Bhutan's Laya trek route
The Laya trek (also known as the Jomolhari–Laya–Gasa trek) is a challenging multiday adventure in Bhutan's gorgeous and super remote western Himalayas. We discuss what to expect each day to prepare you for this incredible trek of a lifetime!
Laya trek quick facts
Type: High-altitude guided trek Duration: 10 days Difficulty: Hard Best seasons: Spring and autumn Start point: Sharna Zampa, Paro District (2,810 m / 9,219 ft) End point: Koina, Gasa District (3,278 m / 10,755 ft) Highest elevation: 5,005 m (16,421 ft) Accommodation: Camping
Highlights of the trek include the spectacular mountain views, visiting remote Laya village, and possibly seeing takins, blue sheep and blue poppies.
Location of the trek
The Laya trek is an extension of the Jomolhari trek, and thus is sometimes also called the Jomolhari Laya trek.
Laya trek itinerary
Day 1 – Trek to Thangthangka
Distance: 15 km / 9 mi Duration: 6 hr Ascent: 770 m / 2,526 ft Descent: 10 m / 32 ft Thangthangka elevation: 3,610 m / 11,844 ft
There's a great view of Mt Jomolhari from the campsite on night one. 😀
Day 2 – Trek to Jangothang
Distance: 13 km / 8 mi Duration: 5 hr Ascent: 450 m / 1,476 ft Jangothang elevation: 4,080 m / 13,386 ft
The Govt of Bhutan forbids climbing Mt Jomolhari as it's a sacred place.
Day 3 – Acclimatisation and exploration
Jangothang means 'land of ruins', as the remains of a small fortress can be found nearby.
Day 4 – Trek to Chha She Thang
Distance: 18 km / 11 mi Duration: 6-7 hr Ascent: 840 m / 2,756 ft Descent: 870 m / 2,854 ft Chha She Thang elevation: 4,010 m / 13,156 ft Nyile La elevation: 4,870 m / 15,978 ft
Today you cross Nyile La, the first of two mountain passes on the Jomolhari trek.
Day 5 – Trek to Chebisa
Distance: 10 km / 6 mi Duration: 5-6 hr Ascent: 280 m / 919 ft Descent: 410 m / 1,345 ft Chebisa elevation: 3,880 m / 12,730 ft
Day 6 – Trek to Shomuthang
Distance: 17 km / 11 mi Duration: 6-7 hr Ascent: 890 m / 2,920 ft Descent: 540 m / 1,772 ft Shomuthang elevation: 4,220 m / 13,845 ft Gogu La elevation: 4,440 m / 14,567 ft
Day 7 – Trek to Robluthang
Distance: 18 km / 11 mi Duration: 6-7 hr Ascent: 700 m / 2,297 ft Descent: 760 m / 2,493 ft Robluthang elevation: 4,160 m / 13,648 ft Jhari La elevation: 4,750 m / 15,584 ft
Day 8 – Trek to Limithang
Distance: 19 km / 12 mi Duration: 6-7 hr Ascent: 850 m / 2,789 ft Descent: 870 m / 2,854 ft Limithang elevation: 4,140 m / 13,583 ft Sinche La elevation: 5,005 m / 16,421 ft
The blue poppy – Bhutan's national flower – has been upgraded to a species of its own! It doesn't produce opium like other poppies.
Day 9 – Trek to Laya
Distance: 10 km km / 6 mi Duration: 4-5 hr Ascent: 60 m / 197 ft Descent: 340 m / 1,115 ft Laya elevation: 3,820 m / 12,533 ft
Be sure to ask your guide to share with you the history of Laya and the legend of how the land protected them from Tibetan invaders!
Day 10 – Trek to Koina
Distance: 19 km / 12 mi Duration: 6-7 hr Ascent: 250 m / 820 ft Descent: 1,070 m / 3,510 ft Koina elevation: 3,050 m / 10,006 ft
Best time of year for the Laya trek
The very best times for the Laya trek are April and the third week of October.
Spring (April to June) Autumn (mid September to mid November)