- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The Lungchutse day-hike will take you through woodland groves peppered with hemlock trees, junipers, and rhododendrons. Once you reach the ridge, the lush forest scenery will dissolve into a ridge, which, on a sunny day, unveils a panoramic view of the Himalayas. The picturesque scenery blanketing this track tends to attract more hikers than other spots, but compared to other tourist destinations, this trail is pretty remote.
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Route Description for Lungchutse
This is one of the most popular hikes near Thimphu. It’s on the tourist route, so you’ll see more people compared to other walks in the area. You may need to enlist the help of a travel agent to get a route permit, but you won’t need a guide as this track has plenty of signs.
The start point is just past the 108 chortens on the pass, about a 45-minute drive from Thimphu. These chortens were built by the Queen as an offering for her husband’s safe return from war.
The walk will take you through the old-growth rhododendron forest. If you do this trek during the spring, bright flowers will elevate the magical ambience spattering this journey. As you hike, notice how the flora changes several times, from old-growth to fir trees and birch, to fields of flowers. Do note that the yak herders use part of the track as a grazing field, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a quintessential Bhutan view of a yak under some prayer flags. These yaks are pretty used to humans and are unlikely to charge you.
You’ll encounter several rest stops as you walk, including a small bench about ¾ of the way up, where a gap in the trees unveils a view of the goempa. The last push is probably the steepest, but the 180-degree view at the top is worth it. If it’s just after or during monsoon season, the vista may be obscured by clouds. Try to do this hike during the spring or winter. Opt to stop at the picnic spot next to the goempa.
On the way down the path splits: the lower path takes you to a different Lhakhang near the immigration checkpoint, and is only 1-2 hours away. Again, this path is pretty well tendered, so it's your choice which path you take back.
Insider Hints for Lungchutse
- You will need a route permit, which you can get from Immigration in Thimphu.
- You can stay overnight at Dochula Eco Resort and walk to the start point very easily. There is also a path from the resort up to Lungchutse – ask the staff on the way up, take the ‘café’ track on the way down. The staff will also pack your lunch. The resort has a glassed-in viewing platform, which is perfect for mountain watching at sunrise, but bring a book or movie as there isn’t much to do.
Getting to the Lungchutse Trailhead
The start point is just past the 108 chortens on the pass, about a 45-minute drive from Thimphu.
Lungchutse Elevation Graph
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