Duration: nine Days, max. elevation: 4,700m
Highest camp: 3,400m
Standard: Medium to hard
Best Seasons: March to April & September to November
The Dur Hot Springs in the north of Bumthang, central Bhutan, are considered to be among the most beautiful in the Himalayas. To reach there, it takes a demanding nine-day trek which is also the finishing end of the world’s most challenging Snowman Trek. A few patches along the route consist of grueling steep, long ascents.
Day 1: Dur – Gorsum
Distance – 18 km, six to seven hours; 380m ascent; camp altitude – 3,120m
The first trek from Bumthang to Gorsum is almost a leisurely climb and follows the course of Yoleng Chhu, a river known for its huge trout population.
Day 2: Gorsum – Lungsum
Distance – 12 km, five hours; 40m ascent; camp altitude – 3,160m
From Gorsum, the trail weaves through dense forests of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. The tail end of the trail entails a very gradual ascent to the campsite at Lungsum.
Day 3: Lungsum – Tsochenchen
Distance – 15 km, six to seven hours; 620 m ascent; camp altitude 3,780m
The vegetation along the route is similar to the day before. However, as we near our destination for the day, the vegetation thins out considerably and the campsite is located above the tree line.
Day 4: Tsochenchen – Dur Tsachu
Distance 18 km, eight to nine hours; 1,340m ascent, 1,530m descent; camp altitude 3,590m
This is the day where our endurance will be tested to the limit. The trail from Tsochenchen is uphill all the way till Juli La which is located 4,700m above the sea level. The only solace is that, on a clear day, we can view stunningly beautiful surrounding mountains. After reaching a pass, the trail descends to a lake at 4,220m followed by an ascent to Gokthong La (4,640m), and finally a steep descent to the campsite. We may come across musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan Black Bear along the final stretch of the route.
Day 5: Halt at Dur Tsachu.
After a late breakfast, relax in the hot spring or hike to the surrounding areas.
Day 6: Dur Tsachu – Tsochenchen
Distance 18km, eight to nine hours; 1,530m ascent, 1,340m descent; camp altitude 3,780m
Follow the route taken on day 4.
Day 7: Tsochenchen – Lungsum
Distance 15 km, five hours; 620 m descent; camp altitude 3,160m).
The same route taken on day 3.
Day 8: Lungsum – Gorsum
Distance 12 km, four hours; 40m descent; camp altitude 3,120m
The trail descends gradually from the campsite and leads through a dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple.
Day 9: Gorsum – Dur Village
Distance 18km, six hours; 380m descent
From Gorsum the trail descends gradually till the bridge near Dur village, where we reach the road head.