The Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in mountainous Bhutan. It's easy to understand why: in less than a week, you can hike through forests, camp by a lake, visit monasteries, and see a famous meditation center. This 5-day adventure begins in the Thimphu Valley, leading you through alpine scenery to high mountain passes and glacial lakes. Conveniently, you'll end up back where you started at the end of the trek.

Highlights

  • Enjoy sweeping mountain views while hiking the trail
  • Stop at a high-altitude fortress built to shelter travelers
  • Camp by a lake on a trekking trip through the mountains
  • Visit a famous Buddhist meditation center in Phajoding

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Start the Druk Path Trek to Jele Dzong Jele Dzong
Day 2 Visit Jele Dzong & Camp by a Lake Jangchulakha
Day 3 Enjoy Mountain Views from the Trail Jimilangtsho Lake
Day 4 Descend to Simkota  Phajoding
Day 5 Trek to Thimphu & Depart Bhutan  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Start the Druk Path Trek to Jele Dzong

View of the mountains from the path the Jele Dzong
View of the mountains from the path the Jele Dzong

Welcome to Bhutan! Arrive in Paro and transfer to the trailhead, which is located near Ta Dzong Museum. You'll begin trekking this afternoon — and the trail is entirely uphill! After crossing Jili La Pass, descend to the area near Jele Dzong, where you'll set up camp in a meadow and sleep under the stars.

Day 2: Visit Jele Dzong & Camp by a Lake

Mountain scenery along the trek

After breakfast at camp, you'll visit Jele Dzong. This small and isolated fortress was built hundreds of years ago to provide shelter to trekkers making the journey between Paro and Thimphu. Then start walking along the ridge, with short climbs and downhill sections as you continue to a small pass with spectacular views of Jomolhari Mountain. You'll have another breathtaking campsite location tonight, this time near the lake in Jangchulakha.

Day 3: Enjoy Mountain Views from the Trail

Jimilang Tsho Lake
Jimilang Tsho Lake on the Druk Path Trek

Wake up early for sunrise views over the surrounding scenery. If the weather is good, you will enjoy fine mountain views throughout the day. There are two trails you can follow today. For the best views, follow the high trail to Langye Ja La (Ox Hump Pass). From here, you'll look out at Jomolhari (a mountain nicknamed "the bride of Kangchenjunga”) and the majestic peak of Jichu Drake. A steep descent leads to Jimilangtsho Lake. You'll camp by the lakeside tonight.

Day 4: Descend to Simkota 

On the path to Phajoding
On the path to Phajoding

After breakfast, climb gradually along the trail, then descend to the glacial lake of Simkota, which takes about four hours. Break for lunch, then continue to Laban La Pass, after which the trail makes a long and steep descent past Thujidrag to Phajoding. Home to a famous meditation center that consists of ten temples, Phajoding is a spiritual hub. You'll camp near the area's hermitages and monasteries on the last night of the trip.

Day 5: Trek to Thimphu & Depart Bhutan

A local family along the trail

After visiting the temples and monasteries in Phajoding, walk downhill to the region above Thimphu. You'll transfer to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

More Bhutan Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Bhutan? Check out these other 5-day Bhutan itineraries, with trekking adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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