Bumthang Owl Trek
Bumthang Owl Trek is one of the easy treks in Bhutan which provides a glimpse of the rich culture and biodiversity of the country. The trail lies in the stunning Choekhor Valley in the district of Bumthang. The area of Choekhor is home to a large number of owls that hoot during the night, hence the unusual name.
Bumthang Owl Trek Facts
- Trek Name: Bumthang Owl Trek
- Trek Duration: 10 Days
- Trek Route: Paro-Thimphu-Dopshing Pang-Chorten Ninpo-Punakha
- Trek Start and End: Paro to Paro
- Guide: Licensed Tour Guide
- Meals: Fullboard
Bumthang Owl Trek Cost
- Trek Cost for Single Traveler US$ 2740.00
- Trek Cost for the group of 2 Pax US$ 2560.00 Per Person
- Trek Cost for Group of 3 Pax and above is US$ 2200 Per Person
Bumthang Owl Trek High Light
- A Visit to Tiger Nest Temple.
- Enjoy the Domestic flights that offer an amazing view of central Bhutan.
- Panoramic view of Mt. Gangkar Puernsum, second highest Mountain in Bhutan.
Bumthang Owl Trek Detail Itinerary
Day 01 Arrival Paro
As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep pass through green forested hills with the silvery Pa Chhu (Paro river) meandering down the valley. Our representative (your guide) will meet you at Paro airport and followed by visa formalities, collections of baggages and transfer to hotel. Spend your day relaxing. Take a stroll around and explore the town area. Your day will be in leisure.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel, Halt at Paro.
Day 02: Paro Tour
After a good breakfast, you can start your sightseeing from Ta Dzong, a Museum housing many religious relics, works of art, and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts.
Drive back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro
Day 03 Paro to Bumthang via Domestic Flight
After an early breakfast transfer to Bumthang by Flight. Upon arrival drive to Menchugang , starting point for the trek.
Start at Menchugang and visit the biggest village in Bumthang, called Dhur, at an elevation of 2900 meters above sea level. The village consists of about 75 households with a recorded population of around 800 people. This single village has three types of inhabitants the Kheps (tax payers) having cattle and farmland, Brokpas (nomads) having Yaks and a third group a combination of the two. This village has two different dialects, the usual Bumthang Kha and the Brokke (nomadic dialect).
A walk above the village to gain an aeriel view is interesting. Descend down to the river where the traditional water-driven flour mill can be visited. This traditional flour mill used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Dhur village however was abandoned after the intake channel was washed away by a flash flood. The mill process has since been rehabilitated as it symbolizes an authentic Bhutanese tradition. Continue to trek uphill through the blue pine forest and reach the camp at Schonath (3450m) in hemlock and juniper forest. The hooting of owls through the night is quite common, hence the name the Owl Trek. Overnight tented campsite.
Day 04 Bumthang Owl Trek begins
Trekking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron introduces you to the real wilderness of Bhutan. Bamboo is the main undergrowth of this wild forest and during the months of April and May the rhododendrons are in full bloom. After 2 hours trekking you will arrive at the Drange La Pass (3600m). Ascending the Kitiphu ridge brings you to an altitude of 3870m for the night camp. In favourable weather you have a wonderful view of the valley and the panoramic snowcapped Eastern Himalaya. The highest mountain of Bhutan Gangkarpunsum (7541m) stands right in front of you when you are on the top of Kitiphu ridge at 4000m.
Overnight tented campsite.
Day 05: 2nd Day of the Trek
The magnificent sun rise in the morning is a new experience in Bhutan. Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you into the religious life of monkhood at these historical Buddhist learning centers. Chuedak monastery has 100 Avoloketeshvaras in the form of Chukchizhey (eleven heads) that you will see nowhere else in the country. This afternoon, trek along the ridge of Kiki La and finally follow the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail) and culminating in a superb view of Jakar Dzong that will end your three day trek with many unforgettable memories.
Day 06: Bumthang to Phobjikha
Drive to Phobjikha Valley, a glacial valley on the periphery of the northern west tip of the Black Mountain, a National Park at the altitude of 9,840 feet. Phobjikha valley is a wide, beautiful alpine wetland valley and is a conservation area, lying on the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. The hill side vegetation is mostly pine forests, interspersed with Rhododendron trees. Phobjikha valley is also one of the roosting grounds for the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year during winter from the northern habitats from Tibet. These elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November till the end of March. Night halt at Phobjikha
Day 07: Phobjikha Sightseeing
Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at the hotel, Halt at Phobjkha.
Day 08: Phobjikha to Thimphu
After breakfast, we’ll drive to Punakha. Stop via Dochula Pass (3,150m) which heralds the most amazing views of Bhutan. The drive will take about 4 hours and upon arrival, Kuensel Phodrang to visit the Buddha Dordenma Statue. Kuensel Phodrang or popularly known as the Buddha point, is where you’ll find one of the World’s largest sitting Buddha statues, standing 167 feet high from the ground. The statue is situated on top of a hill, overlooking the city of Thimphu. As you drive to the statue, the steep winding hill road offers an unparalleled view of the city and is an excellent place to take pictures, especially at night as the City lights glow up the valley.
Day 09 Thimphu to Tiger Nest Hike
After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.
Day 10 See off from Paro Airport
FAQs for Bumthang Owl Trek
Bumthang owl trek can be done all year round but the best time to trek would be during spring (March to May) and Autumn season (September to November). Summer can be beautiful but monsoon rain may disrupt the trekking trails whereby tourists can have problems walking. Winter can be too harsh due to low temperature
During the trek, you will be provided with a good-quality tent mainly used for trekking at high altitudes. You will be sleeping in a tent during the owl trek.
4000m will be the highest altitude you shall cross during the mild Owl trek