While the Rodung La Trek does not ascend to very high altitudes, it is still fairly challenging as the trail covers some fairly steep climbs and descents. The trail takes you from Bumthang in Central Bhutan to Trashiyangtse in the far eastern reaches of the kingdom.
The route was once an important trade road in the past but has fallen into disuse now and is chiefly used as a hiking trail. The trail passes through alpine and bamboo forests, meadows and mountain passes, through villages and temple...
Day 1Visit to Temple built by the first Karma Shamar in 13th century
Jakar - Ngang Lhakhang
The route takes you around Chamkhar Chhu, a river rich in trout. Lunch at the Thangbi Lhakhang, a temple built by the first Karma Shamar in 13th century. Further ahead you enter Ngang Yul, ‘Swan Land” and at its center is Ngang Lhakhang, the “Swan Temple”. Overnight at the camp.
Day 2Manor houses one of the most interesting museums of Bhutan
Ngang Lhakhang - Ugyenchholing
Climb gradually to Phephe La pass (3,353m), altitude of 2,850m Follow the trail until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region. Allow for stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Over night: Camping
Day 3The camp is in a meadow at the head of the valley.
Ugyenchholing - Phokphey
Ascent: 920 m Camp altitude: 3,680 m.
Today’s walk is through bamboos, hemlock and finally up to an alpine forest. The camp is in a meadow at the head of the valley.
Day 4The region is rich in folk lore concerning spirits and yetis.
Phokphey - Pemi
Ascent: 480 m Descent: 1,160 m Camp altitude: 2,950 m.
Continue ascending for half an hour until you reach Rodungla (3,800m), and then continue downhill through the gorge, overlooking some of the mountain valleys. Towards the camp you see pine trees.
Day 5Oldest temples in the country, Khaine Lhakhang
Pemi - Khaine Lakhang
Ascent: 350 m Descent: 1,340 m Camp altitude: 2,010 m.
This trail winds up and down till you reach Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang en route. It is one of the oldest temples in existence today, built in mid 7th century by the King Songtshen Gampo of Tibet to subdue demons. Overnight camp.
Day 6Pass a Tibetan-style Umling Mani
Khaine Lakhang - Tangmachu
Ascent: 520 m Descent: 810 m Camp altitude: 1,720 m.
From your camp, the trail goes down to a stream and back up to a basic health unit and a community school in Gorsam. Further on, you pass a Tibetan-style Umling Mani, built by a lama from Tibet, and a chorten on Zerim La (1,940m). Before reaching the next pass, Tage La (1,760m) you will see Menjabi, a beautiful Bhutanese village with large white houses. The campsite for the night is located South-east of Tage Lanear Tangmachu High School.
Day 7Gradually climb up through paddy fields and villages
Tangmachu - Menji
Ascent: 690 m Descent: 620 m Camp altitude: 1,830 m.
After arriving at Kuri Zampa the trek begins to gradually climb up through paddy fields and villages before bringing you to Chusa.
Day 8Continue uphill through thick forests overlooking spectacular mountains.
Menji - Pemi
Ascent: 620 m Camp altitude: 2,450 m.
Todaywe will continue uphill through thick forests overlooking spectacular mountains. The camp is located in a forested area at an altitude of 2,400m
Day 9Descend through thick evergreen forests
Pemi - Taupang
Ascent: 1,450 m Descent: 1,450 m Camp altitude: 2,450 m.
After climbing up to Dongla you will descend through thick evergreen forests until you reach the campsite for the night.
Day 10Trek ends at Trashi Yangtse
Taupang - Trashi Yangtse
Descent: 720 m
Today is the longest day of the trek. It is a gradual descent to TrashiYangtse. As you descend the chirpine and hardwood forests are slowly replaced by oak trees. The final camp of the trek is located in a subtropical forested region.