Lungchutse Hike: Hike through forest of rhododendrons and hemlock

Forest of hemlock and rhododendrons.

Bhutan Day hikes  could be fun. Many a trail takes walkers past remote and ancient monasteries, through deep forest of towering trees, wildflowers and birds. And by such is a Lungchutse hike known for . Lungchutse hike is a a beautiful hike through the forest of hemlock and rhododendrons. It is one of the best hikes in Bhutan that you can try . It takes you to the two of the most beautiful monasteries at hill top, Trashigang Goenpa and Lungchutse Temple.

Lungchutse Hiking Trail

Lungchutse Hiking Routes 

If you are moving from Thimphu to Punakha , it would be convenient to start the hike from  Trashigang Goenpa . Trashigang Goenpa is a beautiful monastery overlooking the Hongtsho village, at an altitude of 3300 meter .  It takes about  15 Km drive from Thimphu to a small village of Hongtsho. And off the highway from Hongtsho and 10 Kms through dirt road, takes you to the Trashigang Goenpa. 

Trashigang Goenpa
Prayer wheels at Trashigang Goenpa
Tashigang Goenpa
Front view of Trashigang Goenpa

Your driver can drop you there . You can pay a short visit  to  Trashigang Goenpa and head for the hike.

The alternate hiking trail will be while  coming from Punakha to Dochula , you can start the hike from Dochula Pass and end at Trashigang Goemba

Hiking trail from Dochula to Lungchutse Temple to Tashigang Goemba

This is one of the best day hikes in Bhutan. It is a gentle 2 hours trek from Dochula, home to the beautiful 108 Druk Wangyal chortens and the magnificent and unique Druk Wangyal Lhakhang. At the starting point of basement at Dochula the sign board reads as below.


Elevation: 3100 to 3569 meters

Time Taken: 2 hours

The given fact is correct if you just walk through the trails. But if you play through the trails , it can get longer .

This hike has lot to offer to you: tall trees, the sight of rare birds, wild mushrooms and most importantly 360 degree view of Himalayan range. Everything around is picturesque. Photos do not justify the beauty of the place as seen through the lens of the living eyes.



As you hike, you will be greeted by carpeted rhododendrons, giving you the sense of aesthetic and soul enriching awareness.  It is a quiet a world out of the world. Specially in month of April and May when the flowers are in bloom it is magical trek amidst the various hues of white, red, pink and purple.

It is like witnessing the subtle play of nature and all its contentedness.

You know you are half way up to Lungchutse when you reach Pang Melong-a big clearing in the middle of the forest at an altitude of 3302m. Above the ground on a little ridge , is Yak’s herders camp. Pang Melong is a good place to rest for sometime and enjoy the packed lunch However we stopped at the shed which is little further from Pang Melong to have our lunch as we were early too have lunch at Pang Melong .


After 20 minutes hike from the Lunch shed we found ourselves on top of the mountain where Lungchutse Temple sits precariously.

Lungchutse Temple

It is situated approximately at 3566 meters , looking over the surrounding hills and valley. It is a perfect place to enjoy the bounties of nature.


Lungchutse Temple

You can get the panoramic view of the Himalayas fro the monastery. All of Bhutan’s major peaks should be visible depending on the cloud cover, including Jhomolhari (23,996 feet), Gangchhenta (Great Tiger Mountain, in the shape of a tiger, 22,440 feet), Masang Gang (shaped like a trident, 23,507 feet), Zongphu Gang (Table Mountain, 23,293 feet), and Gangkar Puensum (Bhutan’s highest, at 24,740 feet, and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world).

From there you descend through the spruce, rhododendron, juniper and hemlock forest and slowly reach blue pine and oak vegetation as you near Tashigang Goenpa. 

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