Snowman Trek in Bhutan




27 days

Tour Type

Explore Tours

The Snowman Trek Over View: TREK THE WILDEST, BREATHTAKING ABSOLUTE OFF THE BEATEN SNOWMAN TREK IN BHUTAN. The Snowman Trek is our most challenging trek in Bhutan and ranks amongst the very finest anywhere in the Himalayas. The ultimate high-level traverse through the Bhutan Himalaya, from Shana, through Laya, to Lunana.  The trek lies within the protected areas of Jigme Dorji National Park.

The Snowman Trek is the longest hiking trail in Bhutan that extends from Laya to the high Bhutanese Himalayas, covering the northern part of the Kingdom. It was created by the yak herders of the country. It is one of the hardest trekking trails due to hard weather, duration, and altitude in the world and most trekkers do not complete the route. The route begins from Lunana to higher up in Gangkar Puensum, and ends in Trongsa and from there to Bumthang District, taking through the rough paths of the Himalayas and taking you as high as 5000m above the sea level. It takes you through remote villages, lakes, and eleven mountain passes and provides you the picturesque views of some of the highest mountains of the Kingdom like JomolhariJichu Drake, Gangkar Puensum, and Masangang, Tiger Mountain, etc. It was also reported that the snow leopards can be found on the way, although there has been no report of danger

The Snowman Trek in Bhutan Overview

The Snowman Trek is an extended and demanding trek that traverses the high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas, reaching elevations of over 5,000 meters (16,400 feet). It typically takes around 25-30 days to complete, covering a distance of approximately 200 miles (330 kilometers). The trek starts in Paro and ends in Bumthang, crossing through some of the most remote and pristine landscapes in the country.

Snowman Trek Difficulty

The Snowman Trek is known for its difficulty due to its high altitude, challenging terrain, and unpredictable weather conditions. Trekkers need to be physically fit, experienced in high-altitude trekking, and prepared for long and strenuous days of walking. The trail involves steep ascents and descents, crossing several mountain passes, and camping in remote areas without access to modern facilities.

Altitude and Acclimatization

Due to the high altitude, acclimatization is crucial during the Snowman Trek. Trekkers usually spend a few days in Paro and Thimphu to acclimatize before starting the trek. Additionally, the trek is designed to gradually gain altitude, allowing trekkers to adapt to the thinning air. It’s essential to follow a slow and steady pace, drink plenty of water, and listen to your body to prevent altitude sickness.

Permits and Guide for Snowman Trek

The Snowman Trek requires a special trekking permit from the Bhutanese government, and you must travel with a licensed tour operator. The operator will arrange for experienced guides, cooks, and a support team to accompany you throughout the trek. They will also take care of logistics, including food, camping equipment, and yaks for carrying supplies.

Trip Facts about Snowman Trek in Bhutan

  • Trip Name: Snowman Trek.
  • Trip Duration: 27 Days
  • Max.Altitude: 5230m/17,259ft at Gophula Pass.
  • Best Season: April to May and October to November
  • Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
  • Camping Equipment: All imported tents and camping equipment
  • Transportation: Private car, van, or bus (Depends on group size)
  • Porter/Pony: All Inclusive
  • Trip Type: Private Tour & minimum 2 in the Group.

The Snowman Trek Cost

  • 2 to 4pax USD 12960 Per Person
  • 4 to 8 Pax USD 12100.00 Per Person

The Snowman Trek in Bhutan Highlight

  • Challenge yourself to one of the hardest Trek in the World.
  • Visit the tribal village of Laya.
  • Camp at the highest Mountains of Bhutan.
  • Enjoy watching the wildlife of Bhutan as the trek falls on protected areas.
  • Watch wildflowers and blue poppy(national flower of Bhutan).
  • Discover the highest mountains and crystal clear lakes of Bhutan.
  • Hoist the prayer flag on the highest mountain pass of Bhutan.
  • Cross highest 11 passes during the Snowman trek in Bhutan.
  • Challenge yourself on one of the longest 220 miles trekking in Bhutan Experience the ancient tradition and culture of Bhutan.
  • Explore the largest Lake of Bhutan in Lunana.

Why Book with Us?

Why BOOK Bhutan Snowman Trek with us?We are local and we know the place.We provide you with highly trained guide to explore remote trekking and mountaineering.We make sure that the guest enjoys the hospitality of our well-trained support team, quality sleeping and dining tent with varieties of freshly cooked meals on all your trekking journey.Our guest should feel safe with our highly trained guide equipped with group medical kits, portable altitude chamber and emergency satellite phone.

Best time to Trek Snowman in Bhutan.

Snowman trek can be done only 4 months in a year and that is late April to early June(Spring time) and late September to October(Autumn). This is due to the closure of high altitude passes because of heavy snowfall.

Things to Carry in Snowman trek

  • Duffel Bag
  • Day Pack (30-45 L)
  • Sleeping Bag (-10 to 20F/-23C to 30C)
  • Air Mattress
  • Down Jacket
  • Trekking Boots
  • Running Shoes or Lighter Shoes (optional)
  • Crocs (evenings + washing)
  • Hiking Sandals (or Crocs – river crossings)
  • Trekking Pants (2-3)
  • T-Shirts (2-3)
  • Long-sleeve Trekking Shirts (2-3)
  • Trekking Jacket
  • Wind + Waterproof Jacket + Pants
  • Fleece or Thermal Top + Bottom (evenings)
  • Lightweight Long Underwear (sleeping + layering)
  • Socks (4-6)
  • Gloves (lighter + heavier for passes)
  • Wool Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Wide-brimmed Hat
  • Camp Towel
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended)
  • Down Booties (optional, recommended)
  • Sunglasses (+ extra pair)
  • Water Bottles | Nalgenes (2-3)
  • Bladder (optional, recommended)
  • Toiletries, Sunscreen with SPF, Lip Balm with SPF
  • Watch (or alarm)
  • Extra Batteries
  • Battery Chargers
  • Head Lamp
  • Yak Trax or Micro Spikes (for treks with icy passes)
  • Small Water Filter or Steripen (optional, to carry in daypack)
  • Camp Washing Bowl (optional, collapsible for clothes)
  • Laundry Detergent or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Small Solar Panel (optional, recommended for iPods, iPhones, camera batteries, Kindles)
  • Book(s)
  • Zip-Lock Plastic Bags (extra protection for electronics, and toiletries)
  • Soft Toilet Paper | Tissues (we supply toilet paper but you will want something softer for blowing your nose)
  • Baby-Wipes | Wet-Wipes (for personal cleaning)
  • Handi-Wipes, J-Cloth, or Chux (optional – quick clean, fast drying)
  • Rehydration | Electrolytes
  • Snacks!
  • Personal Medical Supplies

Weather and Climatic condition during the Snowman Trek in Bhutan

Mountain Sickness

Acute mountain sickness is caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. The faster you climb to a high altitude, the more likely you will get acute mountain sickness. The best way to prevent altitude illness is to ascend gradually.

How to Prevent Mountain Sickness?

Acclimatization: It’s remarkable how well we can adapt to altitude if we give our bodies time to do so. Your heart rate and breathing will speed up, and your blood will develop higher-than-normal amounts of red blood cells. The rest of your cells slowly change too, so that they use oxygen more efficiently.

If you give yourself at least two days to reach an 8,000- to 10,000-foot elevation and then limit daily ascents to 1,000 feet, your body will have a better chance to adapt. Note, too, that it’s your sleeping altitude that’s key: You can climb higher in a given day as long as you come back down to a snoozing elevation that’s within this limit.

Everyone adapts at a different rate: You might be able to acclimatize more quickly than the above rule of thumb, or less quickly. Age, gender, race—even your level of fitness—don’t correlate conclusively with faster or slower adaptation rates. Take your time and listen to your body.

Medication for Mountain Sickness

Over-the-counter remedies—ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin—all help relieve the headache associated with AMS and HACE. It’s not uncommon for the headache to persist, though, after these medications are taken. In addition, the headache will usually resolve itself after you’ve descended and/or given your body time to adapt to the higher altitude.

Insurance for the Trek

Snowman Trek is the hardest and longest trekking in Bhutan and its important to have insurance. The insurance provides coverage for people who’ll be mountain climbing or trekking. Mountaineers and hikers of all skill levels are at risk of the dangers of climbing, especially those traveling overseas to famous mountaineering destinations like Nepal and Bhutan.

Trekking travel insurance benefits cover injuries incurred from mountain trekking. Many travel insurance policies exclude mountaineering and other adventurous activities from the plan benefits. Because of this, it’s important to select a policy with mountain climbing coverage or one that has a hazardous sports rider.

The insurance should include emergency medical evacuation coverage, surgery, emergency hospital visits, and repatriation benefits, among other policy benefits.

How do we Organize Snowman trek?

Guide: We select the guide who have lots of experience and have done snowman trek several times. Guides are also trained in basic First aid kids in case of an emergency. They are well equipped with maps and routes of the Snowman trek.

Every member of a trekking group has specific needs that should be met when planning a group trek, and our guide will brief before the trek begins.

Our Snowman trekking Gear?

Sleeping Tents: We tested the best camping tents from Marmot, The North Face, REI, MSR, and more to help you fully enjoy your time in the great outdoors.

Dining Tents: Dining tents help the guest enjoy the best meals during the long hours of trekking.

Kitchen Tent: High-quality Kitchen tent to help our cook to provide timely meals to our trekkers. The tent is of high quality, and waterproof and the PVC floor skirt keeps out wind and dust.

Rubber Mats: We use cell foam works best for camping mats. It is lightweight and insulating. Closed cell polyethylene foam is a brilliantly lightweight material that offers several benefits for use in the camping and travel market. Its closed cell structure provides a high level of insulation from the ground, as well as a flat and even surface.

Durable: It’s also incredibly robust when it comes to wear and tear for those long treks and rigorous environments. The virtually indestructible material is durable, especially against snagging from thorns, barbed wire, and even crampons.

Hot water Rubber Bags: Sometimes high altitude sleeping bag may not be enough to warm up the body. Keeping these minute details in mind we make sure that individual trekkers are provided with hot water bags for a good night’s sleep.

Toilet Tents with Seats: There is no toilet on the way and our team will be carrying the toilet tent with seats for the trekkers.

Table and Chairs: Table and Chairs for comfortable dining during the trek and for relaxation.

Who can trek Snowman?

In order to successfully complete the Snowman trek, you must be incredibly physically fit; most people spend at least one-year training to climb the mountain. You should also be comfortable on AD-rated climbs with previous experience at high altitudes.

Who cannot trek Snowman?

There is no age limit for trekking the Snowman, as long as you are healthy and fit, and give consent. People as young as seven and as old as 70 have successfully completed the trek.


Mess Tent, Kitchen Tent & Toilet Tent. Ponies to carry supplies. Guide, Sleeping Tent. Service of cook & Helper. All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]. Accommodation in 3 Star Hotel [Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement Extra US $: 40 per room per night. All transportation within the country including airport transfers. Royalty & Govt. Taxes. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments only.
Insurance Premiums. Payments for service provided on a personal basis. Cost for any services not mentioned in the "Cost Include head". Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services. Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.

Tour Plan

The start of Snowman Trek in Bhutan Arrival at Paro International Airport. Your landing at Paro international airport is one of the most amazing experiences. Flights swinging between two mountains following the Paro river towards the small strip of Paro International airport are mesmerizing. Upon landing many prefer to take picture outside instead of rushing for immigration desk. This is the beauty of Bhutan. Your guide will be waiting for you to receive you.

You need time for acclimatization before you start the Bhutan Snowman Trek. Today our guide will take you to Drugyel Dzong(victory Dzong) one of the most iconic structures at Paro. On a clear day, you can view the beautiful snowcapped Jumolhari Mountain. Then visit 8th-century Kyichu Lhakhang followed by Paro Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.In the evening leisure time at small Paro town. My guide shall brief you about the start of the trek the next day.

  • Distance: 17Km
  • Walking time: 5 to 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 2820m
  • Ascent: 360m
  • Descent: 80m
  • Camping Altitude: 2820m

Today we start one of the longest and most challenging treks in Bhutan. Before we start our journey we pray that our journey ends well. The trek starts from drugyel Dzong following the Paro river. We camp at Shana at an altitude of 2820m. We have covered 14km and the trekking hour is 5 to 6 hours.

  • Distance: 21Km
  • Walking time: 8 Hours
  • Max Altitude:
  • Ascent: 770m
  • Descent: 10m
  • Camping Altitude: 3610m

Our 4th day trekking from Shana Thangthangka is amazing. The trekking route follows the paro river through beautiful forest with few isolated nomadic huts. The route reaches a junction where another path leads to tremo La to Tibet . Camp here at Junction in a meadow with stone shelter. Camp at 3610m and 8 hours walk covering 21KM.

  • Distance: 15Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4115m
  • Ascent: 480m
  • Descent: 1090m
  • Camping Altitude: 4115m

The route that you take today is little different. After crossing the army post and showing the army permit you shall gradually climb into beautiful valley passing Tegethang the winter home of Yak herders. You can see many yaks today before arriving at the base of beautiful Jumolhari Mountain. You can also see the ruins of old fortress used to guard Bhutan against the Tibetan invasion. Camp at the base of Jumolhari Mountain at an altitude of 4115m. You have covered 15km and takes about 5 to 6 hours leisure trek.

Today you shall take good rest at the campsite and enjoy the 360-degree view of the Jumolhari Mountain. You can hike around the campsite. There are beautiful day hikes around this camp if you are still energetic. One of the highlights of the day hike at Jangothang is Tshophu Lake which is 1 and half hour walk. Here you get a good supply of brown trout and if you are a fisherman then don’t forget to bring your fishing equipment. This is the optional itinerary.

  • Distance: 18Km
  • Walking time: 8 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4700m
  • Ascent: 840m
  • Descent: 870m
  • Camping Altitude: 4000m

The day begins with following the steam for half an hour before crossing the bridge to right side which climbs up to the first ridge of amazing view of Mt.Jumolhari(7316m),Mt. Jichu Drakey (6714M) and Mt. Tserim Ghang. Walk further towards flat valley until the you climb Nyila Pass (4700m). After the pass Gradual descent to Lingshi Camp. Here you also come across local villagers and view of Lingshi Dzong. Campsite altitude is 4000m. Walk time is 7 to 8 hours depending upon the fitness of the clients.

  • Distance: 10Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude:
  • Ascent: 280m
  • Descent: 400m
  • Camping Altitude: 3850M

Today is a very easy and pleasant walk through villages and Yak Herder’s camp. Your lunch will be served at Goyuna village which is very scenic. After lunch you reach Chebisa village and people here are very friendly. We camp here by the side of the stream at an altitude of 3850m. Walking time is 5-6 hours.

  • Distance: 17Km
  • Walking time: 8 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4500m
  • Ascent: 890m
  • Descent: 540m
  • Camping Altitude: 4160m

You day starts with steep climb up towards Gubula Pass at an altitude of 4500m taking 4 hours hard walk. After reaching the top descend the trail through beautiful rhododendrons forest. Continue to follow the stream until you reach at the campsite. You may come across Yak Herders and wild blue sheep of the Himalayas. Walking time is 7 to 8 hours. Camping at 4160m.

  • Distance: 18Km
  • Walking time: 9 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4600m
  • Ascent: 700m
  • Descent: 760m
  • Camping Altitude: 4400m

Day 10 of the Snowman Trek to Bhutan starts with a steep climb to Jarila Pass at an altitude of 4600m. Descend to Tsharijathang one of the most beautiful and broad valleys. This valley is also the summer residence of Wild Himalayan Takin. Lunch shall be served here and further walk towards the campsite. Cross stream and towards the left the trail ascends till you reach the Robluthang Campsite at an altitude of 4400m. Walking time to 8 to 9 hours.

  • Distance: 19Km
  • Walking time: 6 to 7 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4160m
  • Ascent: 850m
  • Descent: 870m
  • Camping Altitude: 4100m

Everyday you will be climbing the pass and today you shall cross Shinje La pass(4900m). The view from the pass is amazing. The descend towards Limithang is quite narrow but you will be rewarded with beautiful view of Mt. Gangchey Ta Peak(6794m) on the last part of the trek. Arrival campsite is 4100m.

  • Distance: 10Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 3800m
  • Ascent: 60m
  • Descent:340m
  • Camping Altitude: 3800m

Your morning will be welcomed by the majestic view of Mt. Gangchey Ta peak in front of you. Today you shall be greeted by the nomadic herders of Laya. Laya is the second highest settlement in the country. Camp site is near by the local village house. Campsite at 3800m. Walking time is 5 to 6 hours.

  • Walking time: Relax Day
  • Max Altitude: 3800m at Laya
  • Camping Altitude: 3800m

Explore the village. The Laya village consists of around 800 people. They have different dresses and the language they speak is different. The government is doing everything to protect the tradition and culture of this small Northern village. They are the tribal people of Bhutan.

  • Distance: 14.5Km
  • Walking time: 8 to 9 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4350m
  • Ascent: 975m
  • Descent: 70m
  • Camping Altitude: 4350m

Start your journey from Laya. You will come across beautiful girls working in their field and they may wave their hand to say goodbye. Descend to army camp and follow the river towards the left. Continue the climb through rhododendron bushes until the camp. Altitude 4,350m. Walking time 8-9 hours.

  • Distance: 36Km
  • Walking time: 10 to 11 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 5080m
  • Ascent: 725m
  • Descent: 1200m
  • Camping Altitude: 3980m

Today is the longest day trek crossing two pass of Tsimola(4700m) and Gangla Karchula Pass(5080m). We start as early as 5 in the morning because it’s 10 to 11 hours of trek. The route offers a view of Lunana Village and a close view of Mt. Jumolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake.

The whole range of mountains, including Masagang, Tsendegang, and Teri Gang can be seen, after the pass, there is a very long descent to Tarina valley. Altitude 3,980m. Walking time 10-11 hours.

  • Distance: 17Km
  • Walking time: 6 to 7Km
  • Max Altitude: 3910
  • Ascent: 270m
  • Descent: 330m
  • Camping Altitude: 3800m

The trek is easy today as the path follows the river downhill. The lunch point is at 3500m and after lunch climb 300m towards the small village of woche. Camp at 3800m and walking time is 6 to 7 hours.

  • Distance: 17Km
  • Walking time: 6 to 7 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 3700m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 1190m
  • Camping Altitude: 3650m

The day begins through juniper and fir forest and rhododendron bushes. Another climb to Kechila Pass(4480m) offers a great view of snowcapped mountains.

After the pass, descend to the river walking through the village with stunning views of Table Mountain and others. Follow the river, one of the main sources of Phochu, till Lhedi village. Altitude 3,650m.

  • Distance: 17Km
  • Walking time: 7 to 8 Hours
  • Max Altitude:
  • Ascent: 450m
  • Descent: 0
  • Camping Altitude: 4000m

The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch visits the Choejong dzong and continues towards the wide valley. Cross the bridge to reach Thanza camp 4,000m. Walking time 7/8 hours.

  • Distance: 8Km
  • Walking time: 3/4 Hours
  • Max Altitude:
  • Ascent: 80m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude: 4230m

From Thoencha, the trail climbs up to a large boulder from where you will have excellent views of Thanza, Toencha and Choso village and the surrounding mountains. After a few hours of relatively flat and easy walking, you will reach a yak meadow with some yak herders’ huts. An excellent campsite with a great chance to spot some blue sheep on the hills above. A trail junction near the campsite will give you the choice between the route up to Gangkhar Puensum base camp, and further on to Bumthang or to Sephu (Trongsa). Both routes are described in this website.

  • Distance: 12 Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4970m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude: 4925m

Having chosen the route to Sephu, the trek crosses the creek and after a long climb, you will reach Jaze La (5,150m) with spectacular panoramic mountain views . The path then descends between snow covered peaks and a couple of small lakes to the campsite near the shore of Tshochena lake.

  • Distance: 12 Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4970m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude:

You follow the bank of the blue green lake before arriving at a ridge at 5,100m, where there is another spectacular view in all directions. After going up and down over small hills to reach a glacial lake, the route descends first before climbing again up the next pass, the Loju La (5,140m). Finally after crossing a small saddle (5,100m) you will enter a wide glacial valley from where the trail descends gradually to the campsite at Jichu Dramo.

  • Distance: 12 Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4970m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude:

Right after leaving the camp you will climb through a moraine to Rinchen Zoe La (5,320m). Spectacular mountain scenery with Gangkhar Puensum amongst the impressive mountains is the reward for climbing the highest pass on this trek route. Rinchen Zoe Peak (5,650) towers above the pass the west. Descending from the pass, the route leads into a wide valley with several lakes and goes steeply down along a moraine to the Thamphe Chhu. Here the vegetation begins to thicken again and you will see the first real trees since Lhedi. After a couple of hours you reach the campsite at Chukarpo.

  • Distance: 12 Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4970m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude:

The descent continues along the river till you reach the yak herder huts at Gala Pang Chhu (4010m). From here the trail climbs steeply towards Thampe Tsho, a beautiful clear turquoise lake, with the campsite next to it.

  • Distance: 12 Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4970m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude: 4900m

From the lake you climb steeply to the last pass on your trek, the Thampe La (4,600m) with a good chance to spot some blue sheep on the way. Then the path descends to the sacred lake Om Thso. Passing a waterfall you will reach another, smaller lake 100m below to descend steeply to the Nikka Chhu. The path finally leads through mixed forest to large clearing on the banks of the river with a few yak herder huts, Maurothang.

  • Distance: 12 Km
  • Walking time: 6 Hours
  • Max Altitude: 4970m
  • Ascent: 980m
  • Descent: 240m
  • Camping Altitude:

On the last day of this extraordinary trek your porters will have to change from yaks to horses as the yaks will not be willing to go further down. The path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. You finally reach the road at the Nikka Chhu bridge at Sephu where you will find several stores (mainly selling bamboo products) and small restaurants

Our team will receive you from roadpoint and drive you to Thimphu. Relax at Hotel.

After early morning drop to airport and see off.

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