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Dagana- Thimphu via Dagala Trek


  •   An ancient trail used by Daga Penlops (Regional Governor) to travel to Thimphu 
  • Ruin of Daga Penlop’s guest house
  • The Beautiful Dagala Lakes
  • Telltale signs of the presence of Grizzly Bear
  • Rufous Hornbill, Monal Pheasants, Red-Billed Chough
  • Variety of wildflowers in full bloom
Max Elevation 4000 m
Min Elevation 1500 m m
Difficulty Medium
Season April, June, October, November
No. of Days 6 Days


Geneyzampa(2850m)Northing 27° 18 48.7” Easting 89° 38 04’’to Gur(3350m) Northing 27° 17 43.2” Easting 89° 38 25.5” Distance: 3.5km Cross the suspension bridge, then keep right. Climb steeply, then more steadily, through beautiful oak forest. The trees are draped with lichen.

Along the trail there are old stone steps and resting places. Indicating that it was once a busy route. At 3200m, this is Dophu Jasey Dokha, with a nice view of the valley and surrounding mountains.  

On top of the ridge, at about 3350m, when the trail takes a sharp corner, look for an unclear side trail going down for about 50m to a campsite, Gur. Gur is about 1000m higher than Thimphu. It takes 2 hours to get here from Geneyzampa. “Bjob- Gay-She Ru Daga La Gey PhuMey Choe”(Even as a yak herder dies of old age, he still doesn’t know the area of Dagala) Old Bhutanese saying.  

Distance 7 km
Time 5 hours
Ascent Ascent 550 m, descent 210 m
Camp Altitude 3,290 m

The trail ascends to the main trek route until we reach to Pagalabtsa la(4170m) marked by four cairns. A beautiful high-altitude landscape opens up, with a fine view of Dagala range, including some rocky peaks. On the way we can find some yak herders camp. After travelling three hours, we reach to Watshachen(4100m), a good place to stop for lunch. There is a stone house at Watshachen. It takes one hour from Watshachen to Labatama campsite. At the bottom is a beautiful big flat campsite(4050m). We can still see ruin guest house of Daga Penlop at Labatama.

The next day, visitors can plan to visit to numerous lakes. A variety of wildflowers in full bloom including rhododendrons, and numerous lakes like Lang-Tsho, Tsho-Kharim, Rilang-Tsho, SerTsho, Yu-Tsho and Bjagoed-Tsho (Dagala Trail is said to have 1000 lakes) also fall along the route throughout.  

There is a legend for every lake. For instance, Langtsho, Bull Lake, flows down to the Sunkosh on the right side of the Dagana Dzong. The villages on the either banks of the stream that flows from the lake are mostly plagued with bull calves. Locals say only one-fourth of the total cattle birth in the villages bear female calf.  

Distance 12 km
Time 5 hours
Ascent Ascent 1,220 m, descent 110 m
Camp Altitude 4,300 m

The trail ascends until Lawagu(4426m). After crossing Lawagu, the trail descends until we reach to Tsibsaba campsite. A steep descent follows into Dagana valley. Walk next to a small blue mountain lake, Langtsho(ox) on a well-maintained path: this has long been an important route. The path stays on the eastern slope of the mountainside and leads in a southerly direction. We can see ruin of Daga Penlop’s guesthouse. The campsite is near the ruin guest house of Daga Penlop.


Distance 11-12 km
Time 5 hours
Ascent Ascent 4426 m, descent 4070 m
Camp Altitude 4070 m

The trail starts slight descent through shrub and rhododendron forest. The trek runs through a range of varied ecological zones ranging from dry alpine scrubs, juniper, rhododendrons, fir, spruce, hemlock, blue pine forests to warm broadleaved forests, with an altitude ranging from below 1,500m to as high as over 4,000m.

We can see ruin of Daga Penlop’s guest house at Dompa and a few nomad’s camps along the trail. Wangrapang campsite will be potential spot for nature base tourism such as flora and fauna, bird watching and wildlife.


Distance 11-12 km
Time 5 hours
Ascent Descent 1,500 m, Ascent 4,000 m
Camp Altitude 4000 m

The trail now leads through broadleaved forest with masses of rhododendrons, becoming denser as the day progresses. Cross yak pastures to meet a good path through rhododendron forest. The first clearing reached is Pongukha, there is a small hut in the lower part. Keep left and descent in the forest. A steep descent follows through an oak and warm broadleaved forest.

A pasture with a ruined house on the right side, this is Bjitekha. Again descend steep down to Toepchu stream (1972m) through subtropical vegetation. The trail ascends slightly through the warm broadleaved forest until we reach to Kunga campsite.

We need to aware of insects, leeches, mosquitoes and snakes. 

Distance 12 km
Time 6 hours
Ascent Descent 1310 m
Camp Altitude 2100 m

The trail leads through a floral paradise. Many orchids can be spotted on the trees and you are surrounded by lush subtropical vegetation. The ponies have to go other path. The path is narrow and there are many cliffs. After 5 hours of hiking you suddenly climb and get a good view of Dagana Dzong. The trek end at Shetok(1790m). 

Distance 12 km
Time 5 hours
Ascent Descent 620 m
Camp Altitude 1790 m