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Gangkar Punsum Trek: The Tallest Unclimbed Peak in the World

Gangkar Punsum, at 24,837’ Bhutan’s highest peak and the world’s highest unclimbed peak, sits astride the Tibetan border in central Bhutan. Given the ban on mountaineering in effect in Bhutan, it is likely to remain unclimbed for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for us, trekking to its base and viewing it up close is not banned, as it is not only high, but awesomely beautiful as well!

This journey begins with a drive from Paro to Bumthang in central Bhutan. After a day to get your hiking legs warmed up, you'll set off on your trek, following a river course most of the way to the foot of Gangkar Punsum. While on trek you'll have time set aside to explore the areas that pull your interest. You'll of course also get some dramatic up-close views of all the peaks in the area - they are beautiful and rarely seen!

This trek is considered medium in terms of difficulty, requiring you to travel to altitude but not pushing through extremely long days or over passes that require technical skills. Similar in grade to the Chomolhari trek, but this trek offers more unique views and it's extremely rate for a group run into another on this trail. If being alone among the world's biggest unclimbed mountains in the Dragon Kingdom calls to you - this trip was made just for you!

Exploring Haa Valley
Yak Race
A beautiful statue of the Tara.
Punakha rice fields
Temple Interior
Gangkar Punsum's unnamed neighbors
Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Depart USA | Day 2: Bangkok overnight | Day 3: Fly Bangkok-Paro, drive to Wangdiphodrang | Day 4: Drive to Bumthang | Day 5: Day hike in Bumthang | Days 6-17: On trek | Day 17: Arrive Bumthang, lodge | Day 18: Drive Wangdiphodrang | Day 19: Drive Thimphu | Day 20: Drive Paro | Day 21: Visit Taktsang Dzong | Day 22: Fly Paro-Bangkok | Day 23: Arrive USA.

This is our answer to the Chomolhari Trek - similar in difficulty but rarely traveled! It boasts few if any other trekkers on the route, topped off with standing on the base camp of the tallest unclimbed peak on earth.


  • High altitude wilderness
  • Less visited masked dance festival
  • Few if any other travelers on this trek route

Check Out the Other Sample Bhutan Itineraries:

  • The Masked Dance Festivals of Bhutan

    • This itinerary can be done throughout the year, using different valleys and festivals as the main focal point. These festivals are often gathering points for not only foreigners but locals as well - the people viewing can often be just as fascinating as watching the dances themselves!

  • Trekking Laya & Lunana

    • Ass-Kicking Strenuous. This is one of the hardest treks in the Himalaya and offers amazing off-the-beaten path access to rarely seen valleys and corners of this kingdom.

Check Out Our Other Destinations Too!