- 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 Talakha Hike is one of the most difficult hikes in the area, but it offers rewarding views of the vast landscape sprawling below. En route, you’ll meander through bamboo, logging sites, collecting dog friends as you trek, who will bark at any yaks or animals crossing the path. The lack of signage may heighten your chances of getting lost, but it’s all a part of the adventure, right?
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Route Description for Talakha
While this hike unveils magnificent views, it’s not for the faint-hearted and is considered to be one of the more difficult treks around Thimphu.
If you stand in the center of Thimphu and look south you’ll see a monastery on a distant ridge. Above that ridge is Talakha peak and is the highest peak in Bhutan you’re allowed to climb. Most of the mountains here are sacred and are homes to deities whom you do not wish to disturb.
The start point for this trek is the Talakha Monastery itself. Take a taxi from the long-distance stand in Thimphu. Aim to take a bolero as the road is not sealed. The trip will likely cost around Nu3000 return.
The monastery itself provides a stunning view of the Thimphu valley, and you may be able to catch a glimpse of the Dochula pass, but know that more vistas will unfold the higher you trek. Begin your journey by walking through the monastery and taking the path from the back, through the archery ground. Be prepared to have a dog escort of 10 or so—they’re pretty good to have with you as they chase the yaks and other animals that may step into your path.
If you do come across a yak, make a “ssssshhhhhhtttt” sound and do big movements with your arms. They will likely trot away. Please note that bears live in this area as well.
The initial path will take you through bamboo and will wind through some logging sites. Eventually, the path comes out at a dirt road, turn right up the road and look for a path heading left up the mountain. It might not be very clear, depending on the season, and it isn’t marked. From then on, the path only goes one way: up. Even if it looks like it’s splitting, it will meet up on the ridge.
There are a few barriers made from sticks along the way, they are easily traversed to the left or right. There are also some good stopping points for snacks and pictures. As with other walks in Bhutan, it will be markedly different depending on the season. In the summer, you’ll likely see rhododendrons blanketing the area. While in winter, it's much more dusty and sparse, but that affords a spectacular vista of snow-capped mountains.
You can either stop near the summit at about 4,000 m and eat lunch under the prayer flags or walk the remaining 150 m to the peak. It will depend on energy levels and how much daylight you have left. Keep to the ridge on the way down. The trickiest part is finding the path from the road down to the monastery. If you get lost, the road will lead you down to the Basic Health Unit about half an hour from the monastery, on the way back to Thimphu. 7
Insider Hints for Talakha
- It’s always good to start early, but for this particular walk it can be really vital, especially if you’re going in the cooler months when the days are short. It’s an hour from the taxi stand in Thimphu to the start point, so leave enough time for that.
- Take plenty of water on this walk. Hiking along the ridge means you are mostly in the sun and there are no water stations on the trail.
- Pack for all eventualities – wind, cold, hot, dry, rain. Even if it looks fine in the morning, the weather can quickly change and there’s little shelter on the peak.
Getting to the Talakha Trailhead
The start point is the Talakha Goempa.
Talakha Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
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