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Laya & Lunana

Sometimes called the Snowman Trek, this is one of the most rigorous adventures in all of the Himalaya. From the lush, subtropical Punakha Valley you will trek north to Laya (12,600’) at the very foot of the Bhutan Himalaya. After a day’s visit with the friendly Layaps, you'll begin to trek into the high altitude valley of Lunana, crossing a total of six passes getting in and out of this isolated valley, totally encircled by rugged mountains.

The villagers of Lunana are predominantly yakherders, most of whom have very little contact with the outside world. Despite a hard life in an unforgiving terrain, they are among the happiest people in this land of Gross National Happiness, and our encounters with them are likely to be some of the highlights of our trek. Another, of course, will be almost daily views of some of the world’s most impressive snow-capped peaks, weather permitting.

Lunana campsite
Threshing grain in Laya
Masang Gang
Laya Village
Yak above Laya
Lunana lake
Lunana Valley
Gasa Dzong
Peaks above Laya
Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Depart USA | Day 2: Bangkok overnight | Day 3: Fly Bangkok-Paro, drive Thimphu | Day 4: Drive Thimphu-Punakha | Day 5: Drive to Goem Damji, begin trek | Days 6-24: On trek | Day 24: Arrive Nikachu, drive Wangdiphodrang | Day 25: Drive Thimphu | Day 26: Drive Paro | Day 27: Fly Paro-Bangkok | Day 28: Arrive home

Special Note

We've had some clients wanting to do shorter versions of this trek recently and we've so enjoyed the opportunity to put it together! Interested in doing a shorter version that doesn't require THAT much time on trail but still introduces you to the unique and wonderful villagers of Lunana? Let us know! We'll send the itinerary right over to you.

One of the hardest Himalayan treks out there! Offering access to both beautiful villages and the vast wilderness of the biggest mountains on earth.


  • Ass-kickin' strenuous
  • Bhutan's most remote trek
  • Yaks, blue sheep & snow leopards

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!

  • Gangkar Punsum: The World's Tallest Unclimbed Peak

    • Our answer to the Chomolhari Trek! Why go all the way to Bhutan to do a trek that is over-crowded by any standards? This trek offers great views, few (if any) other trekkers on the trail, a chance to step foot on the base camp of the worlds tallest unclimbed peak and a wonderful chance to get into the heart of Bhutan.

Check Out Our Other Destinations Too!