The Bumthang Owl Trek offers an invigorating experience of the culture and environment of the central Bumthang region. It is a moderate rated 3 day trekking route which starts from Menchugang and ends at Jakar Dzong. The trail has an abundance of flora and fauna with panoramic views of the valleys and the Himalayas offering an experience one will cherish for a lifetime. This trek is a better substitute for the Bumthang Cultural Trek that has deteriorated to a great degree by construction of more local farm roads.

Max. Elevation: 400m

Seasons: (March, April, May, June, Nov. & Dec.)

Start: Menchugang (Bumthang)

Finish: Tharpaling Monastery (Bumthang)


1st Day: Menchugang to Schonath (time 4 to 5 hours)

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.

2nd Day: Schonath to Kitiphu (time 5 to 6 hours)

Treking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron intorduces 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 snow capped 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.

3rd Day: Kitiphu to Tharpaling (time 4 hours)

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 centres. 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 culmonating in a superb view of Jakar Dzong taht will end your three day trek with many unforgettable memories.

Overnight in Bumthang Hotel.

Other information

On this trek you have the opportunity to see:

Village life in a very big village like Dhur.

The virgin temperate forest of blue pine, hemlock, fir, spruce, juniper with undergrowth of bamboo spices, rhododendrons, birch, maple, chestnut and many others. In spring the rhododendrons flowers are in bloom that beautifies the whole trek route.

The valley views and the Himalayan snow capped mountains in the north.

Birds of different spices, among them the big monal pheasants can be sighted around the second camp and Tharpaling area during mornings and evenings.

The fascinating Monastry life in Tharpaling, Choedak and Zhambala.


Day 01: Paro (arrival) then drive to Thimphu

On the way visit Tachogang Lhakhang founded by the Tibetan saint,Thangton Gyelpo (1385 – 1464) probably around the year 1420.

In this place you can also see one of his famous iron bridge (later carried away by floods in 1969.  After a mile you will reach to a junction where the roads from Haa, Paro, Thimphu and Phuentsholing meet. Here you can see three different Stupas (Nepalese, Tibetan & Bhutanese).

Overnight in Thimphu Hotel.

Day 02: Thimphu (sightseeing)

(Trashichho Dzong, Semtokha Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Largest Buddha Statue, National Library, Changangkha Lhakhang, Painting School, Textile Meusum, Folk Heritage, Tango & Chari Lhakhang, Vegetable Market, Botanical Garden).

Overnight in Thimphu Hotel.

Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha

You will come across the Dochula Pass. Here you can see 108 Stupas built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003 and also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang. On the way visit Chhime Lhakhang and later visit Punakha Dzong (the palace of Great Bliss) built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung.

Overnight in Punakha Hotel.

Day 04: Punakha to Bumthang

Overnight in Bumthang Hotel.

Day 05: Menchugang (Bumthang) to Schonath (trek starts)

Campsite in Schonath.

Day 06: Schonath to Kitiphu

Campsite in Kitiphu.

Day 07: Kitiphu to Tharpaling (Bumthang) (trek ends)

Overnight in Bumthang Hotel.

Day 08: Bumthang (sightseeing)

Chakhar Lhakhang, Kenchosum Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong, Jampey Lhakhang, Kujey Lhakhang, Kunzangdrak Monastery, Mebar Tsho, Tamshing Monastery, Tang  Rimochen, Thangbi Lhakhang, Thowadra Monastery, Ura Lhakhang, Wangdichholing Palace, Yathra weaving centre, etc.

Overnight in Bumthang Hotel.

Day 09: Bumthang to Phobjikha

On the way back visit Ta – Dzong (watch tower) and Trongsa Dzong). After reaching Phobjikha Valley visit Gangtey Monastery and later visit Black – necked crane centre where it is the winter home for this bird.

Overnight in Phobjikha Hotel.

Day 10: Phobjikha to Paro

After reaching the Paro Valley visit Ta – Dzong, Paro Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang and Dungtse Lhakhang.

Overnight in Paro Hotel.

Day 11: Paro (sightseeing)

Today will be your last day to stay in Bhutan and also the foremost sightseeing in Bhutan. Hike to the Tiger Nest, where you could find amazing the Monastery built in the hill of the rock. This Monastery is the 10th holiest place in the world.

Supper with the President/Representative of SNG Tours & Treks and bidding farewell to the Guest(s).  Hold night at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m).

Day 12: Paro (departure)

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