Jomolhari-Laya-Gasa Trek

Laya Gasa treksThis trekking route starts at Drukgyal Dzong in Paro and ends at Damji in Gasa. One of the most scenic trek, this trail passes through thick sub-tropical forests, mountain passes, and alpine meadows. Along the way we can see Mt. Gangkar Punsum and several mountain peaks. The 271-km trail takes 14 days. Frequent steep ascents and descents make the trek one of the difficult ones in Bhutan.

During the first five days, we take the same route as the Jomolhari Trek that passes by Jigme Singye National Park. On the sixth day, we divert towards Lingzhi for the campsite at Chebisa, a small nomadic village.

This route is one of the most scenic. Along the route, we can spot the blue sheep and the takin. We also pass through nomadic villages in Laya. The inhabitants of Laya are totally different from rest of the Bhutanese in terms of culture, tradition, costume, and way of life.

The long trek will be supplemented with a refreshing relish at Gasa Hot Spring.

The best time to complete this trek is between April and June and mid-September and mid-November.

Day 1

Gunyitsawa Village to Sharna Zampa

Time: 40 mins

Trail: 80 m descent

Campsite altitude: 2,850 m

The Royal Bhutan Army at Gunyitsawa will check our trek permit and endorse it. The trek begins here.

Day 2

Sharna Zampa to Thangthangkha (this is a day-long trek)

Time: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 22 km

Trail: 770 m ascent, 10 m descent

Campsite altitude: 3,610 m
Day 3
Thangthangkha to Jangothang
Time: 5-6 hrs

Distance 19 km

Trail: 480 m ascent

Campsite altitude: 4,080 m

If we arrive early, we will be able to see Mt. Jomolhari. Else, we will have to wait until the following morning. From here, the trek continues upward of Pacchu river valley.
Day 4
Halt at Jangothang
Today, our halt at Jangothang provides plenty of time for splendid views of lakes and snow-capped mountains, including Jomolhari, and Jichudrake. If we are lucky, we may spot the blue sheep towards the upper slopes.
Day 5
Jangothang to Lingzhi
Time: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 18 km

Trail: 840 m ascent, 870 m descent

Campsite altitude: 4,010 m

Today, we climb up and down almost the same altitude. After a short distance from the camp, we climb up steeply for about 90 minutes and then we climb Nyilila pass which is at 4870 m.
Day 6
Lingzhi to Chebisa
Time: 5-6 hrs

Distance 10 km

Trail: 280 m ascent, 410 m descent

Campsite altitude: 3,880 m

Today, shortly after the trek starts, we reach a choeten below Lingzhi Dzong. From here, we can choose either to continue trek on the main trail or take a detour.
Day 7
Chebisa to Shomuthang
Time: 6-7 hrs

Distance 17 km

Trail: 890 m ascent, 540 m descent

Campsite altitude: 4,220 m

Today we will have to ascend almost three hours from the beginning. We then come across a huge pastureland towards Gobula pass.  Along this route, we see a few yak herders.
Day 8
Shomuthang to Robluthang
Time: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 18 km

Trail: 700 m ascent, 760 m descent

Campsite altitude: 4,160 m

Today, we climb up the valley to view Kang Bum at 6,526 m. After two hours walk we reach Jhari La at 4,750 m. From Jhari La we can catch the sight of Sinche La.
Day 9
Robluthang to Limithang
Time: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 19 km

Trail: 850 m ascent, 870 m descent

Campsite altitude: 4,140 m

As the trek becomes more adventurous, today we start the trek with an hour of ascent. After an hour, we come across a forest of boulders to cross which takes an hour and a half. The trail then climbs steeply for an hour and finally we reach Sinche La at 5,005 m.
Day 10
Limithang to Laya
Time: 4-5 hrs

Distance: 10 km

Trail: 60 m ascent, 340 m descent

Campsite altitude: 3,840 m

Today, the trail takes us downhill across narrow river valley and densely forested area to the west of Laya.
Day 11
Laya to Koina
Time: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 19 km

Trail: 260 m ascent, 1,070 m descent

Campsite altitude: 3,050 m

Today the trek ends near Mochhu River. The location offers intriguing views of the river, streams and waterfalls.
Day 12
Koina to Gasa
Time: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 14 km

Trail: 740 m ascent, 1,500 m descent

Campsite altitude: 2,240 m

This is the last climb of the Laya-Gasa Trek. The trek passes by Bari La at 3,740 m, after which it descends to Gasa village at 2,770 m.
End of Laya-Gasa Trek
This trek ends in Gasa where we find the remote Gasa village and historically significant Gasa Tashi Thongmon Dzong.