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Bhutan Trekking Season - When is the best time to trek Bhutan?

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Tuesday Jan 5, 2021
Bhutan Trekking Season
The ideal trekking season for Bhutan is regarded to be Autumn and spring season when the weather is perfect with clear skies and views of majestic mountains and rolling hills.

Bhutan has four distinct trekking seasons namely Autumn, Spring, Winter, and Monsoon. Different seasons offer different trekking opportunities. However, in general, the best Bhutan trekking season is regarded to be the Autumn and Spring seasons. Most of the treks in Bhutan are high altitude treks which is why Autumn and Spring seasons offer the best experience.

Best Bhutan trekking season can depend on the weather, climate, duration, and region of trekking. Autumn season offers clear views of the mountains and valleys and the trails are dry and better than winter and monsoon season. Autumn also welcomes many festivals in the central and western region of Bhutan, making it perfect to immerse into the culture and traditions of the ethnic Bhutanese residents. Hence long and high-altitude treks are ideal for the Autumn season falling in October and November. Spring season from March to May is considered to be the second-best time to trek in Bhutan because the flora and fauna are at their best. It is also dubbed as rhododendron season because the rhododendrons bloom to the cusp of their prime during this season.

The Winter season from December to February is best for low altitude short treks because at higher altitudes the temperature can fall below 0 degrees Celsius during the day. The roads might also be filled with snow, making it difficult to trek in higher elevations. The monsoon season from June to Mid-September sees a downpour in the lower altitude and unpredictable weather in the higher altitude. Although it is generally avoided by trekkers, the season is better for short sightseeing tours in the religious landmarks around Bhutan.

Recommended Read:  25 Festivals In Bhutan - A Complete Guide To Bhutan Festivals (Updated 2021)

When is the best time to trek Bhutan? 

Looking at the general geography of Bhutan and the trekking packages, autumn and spring seasons are regarded to be the best time to trek in Bhutan. These seasons are popular among tourists and is also recommended for any kind of hikes, tours, and treks in the Himalayan Kingdom.

Autumn/Fall Season – Mid September October to November

Autumn Season is the best trekking season in Bhutan. Autumn in Bhutan falls in September, October and November months. It is regarded as the best trekking season in Bhutan because it is characterized by clear blue skies with hints of crisp Himalayan wind. In terms of tourism, it is the busiest season.

The autumn season allows trekkers to visit some of the best treks in higher altitudes. As the weather is clear, the Himalayas are generally calm, making it ideal to set foot above 4000m. The beauty of Bhutan comes alive during these months because of the majestic view of surrounding mountains and hills unaffected by fog or cloud. An average temperature can range from 29 to below 0-degree Celsius during the day. At night the temperature can range from 3 to minus 10-degree Celsius. Valley floors are much warmer during the day than at the higher altitudes. If you are looking for high altitude treks in Bhutan, then the Autumn season is the best time to hop on the next flight to Bhutan.

Temperature in °C

Places ↓

September

October

November

Temperature →

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Paro

23.5

11.7

18.8

7.5

14

1.5

Thimphu

23.1

15.2

21.9

10.4

18

5

Punakha

27.6

19.1

26.1

14.7

22.6

9.5

Trongsa

22.8

14.2

21.8

11.7

19.9

6.5

Bumthang

21.4

12.1

20

6

16.2

-0.5

Mongar

24.6

19.4

22.8

15.8

19.9

11.5

Trashigang

29

21.9

29

17.7

26.7

13.5

Temperature in °F

Places ↓

September

October

November

Temperature →

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Paro

74.3

53.06

65.84

45.5

57.2

34.7

Thimphu

73.58

59.36

71.42

50.72

64.4

41

Punakha

81.68

66.38

78.98

58.46

72.68

49.1

Trongsa

73.04

57.56

71.24

53.06

67.82

43.7

Bumthang

70.52

53.78

68

42.8

61.16

31.1

Mongar

76.28

66.92

73.04

60.44

67.82

52.7

Trashigang

84.2

71.42

84.2

63.86

80.06

56.3

Best treks during the Autumn season:

While most treks can be done in the Autumn season as well as other seasons, one of the most challenging treks in the world, Snowman trek, is ideal only from late May-June and mid of September-October months. Some of the treks that are best for the Autumn season in Bhutan are:

  • Bumthang Cultural Trek
  • Snowman Trek (hardest trek in the world)
  • Druk Path trek
  • Laya Gasa Trek
  • Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
  • Jumolhari Trek

Major Highlights:

  • Chance to witness festivals like Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival, Trashigang Tsechu, Black Necked Crane Festival, Gangtey Tsechu, Jumolhari Mountain Festival, Jakar Tsechu, Mongar Tsechu, and more.
  • Walkthrough alpine meadows, fertile rice fields, farmlands, and rhododendron clad forests
  • Bright starry sky at night
  • Roosting time of the rare Black Necked Cranes that migrate from Tibetan Plateaus to the Phobjikha Valley
  • Unhinged views of Mountains like Jumolhari, Gangkar Puensum, and Jhichu Drake

Spring Season - March, April, May

Spring Season falling from March to May is regarded to be the second-best time for trekking in Bhutan. The Spring season in Bhutan is characterized as the best time for the flourishment of flora and fauna in Bhutan. As trekking in Bhutan will take you through lush forests, you will get a chance to be one with the luscious nature. Most medium to high altitude treks is ideal for March, April, and May. The weather is clear, mostly sunny.

Trekking in the western region of Bhutan is typically promoted as the eastern region can get a little warmer during the spring season. An average temperature can go from 25 to 3 degrees Celsius. The weather is mostly dry but witnesses mild rainfall in the last days of May. If you are a nature lover looking to experience a nature walk amidst rhododendron clad forests, then Spring season is the ideal trekking season for you.

Recommended Read:  Bhutan Festivals Calendar 2021

Temperature in °C

Places ↓

March

April

May

Temperature →

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Paro

14.6

0.6

17.7

4.6

23.6

10.7

Thimphu

16.7

3.9

20

7.2

22.5

13.2

Punakha

23

10.4

26.2

12.9

29

17.8

Trongsa

16.8

4.4

20.1

6.6

21

16.6

Bumthang

16.1

3.5

18.9

4

21.2

9.5

Mongar

20

11.7

23

14

25.3

17.4

Trashigang

24.9

14.4

28.1

17

29

22.6

Temperature in °F

Places ↓

March

April

May

Temperature →

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Paro

58.28

33.08

63.86

40.28

74.48

51.26

Thimphu

62.06

39.02

68

44.96

72.5

55.76

Punakha

73.4

50.72

79.16

55.22

84.2

64.04

Trongsa

62.24

39.92

68.18

43.88

69.8

61.88

Bumthang

60.98

38.3

66.02

39.2

70.16

49.1

Mongar

68

53.06

73.4

57.2

77.54

63.32

Trashigang

76.82

57.92

82.58

62.6

84.2

72.68

Best treks during the Spring season

Most high to medium altitude treks are good for the Spring season.

  • Dur Hot Spring Trek
  • Bumthang Culture Trek
  • Gasa Hot Spring trek
  • Punakha Winter Trek
  • Gazamchu Rhododendron Trek
  • Bumthang Cultural Trek
  • Druk Path trek
  • Laya Gasa Trek
  • Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
  • Jumolhari Trek

Major Highlights:

  • Clear blue sky with minimal chances of rainfall
  • Valleys come alive with the bloom of Rhododendron during Spring, which is known as the Rhododendron season
  • Take part in the festivals of Gomkora Tsechu, Paro Tsechu, Punakha Tsechu, Chorten Kora, Gasa Tsechu, Rhododendron Festival, Domkhar Tsechu, Ura Yakchoe Tsechu, Gomphu Kora Tsechu, and more.

Winter Treks in Bhutan

The Winter season in Bhutan is not regarded as the ideal trekking time. However, it has gained prominence for being one of the better seasons for short treks in low altitudes. The Winter season in Bhutan falls between December to February. The temperature can range from 10 to minus 5 degrees Celsius during the day. At night, the temperature falls to a minimum of minus 17 degrees Celsius in the higher altitudes.

One of the biggest advantages of trekking to Bhutan during this season is that the guest houses, hotels do not have many tourists so you will have a wide selection among a range of rooms and hotels. Moreover, the trails are not packed with tourists so you will have the hills and valleys all to yourself.

You can go for treks in the village areas, valley floors, and pastures. Some of the festivals that you can witness during the winter seasons are Lhuentse Tsechu, Trongsa Tsechu, Nabji Lhakhang Drup, Nalakhar Tsechu, Jambay Lhakhang Singye Cham, and Trashi Yangtse Tsechu.

Temperature in °C

Places ↓

December

January

February

Temperature →

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Paro

11

-1.7

9.4

-5.7

13

1.5

Thimphu

14.3

-1.1

13.3

-2.5

14.4

0.5

Punakha

19.1

6.3

17

4.7

19.6

7.9

Trongsa

18.7

2.5

13.5

0

13.7

0.5

Bumthang

13

-2.3

11

-5.3

10.5

-1.5

Mongar

17.6

9.4

15.7

8.2

16

8.3

Trashigang

23

11.3

20.4

1.7

21.8

11.7

Temperature in °F

Places ↓

December

January

February

Temperature →

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Paro

51.8

28.94

48.92

21.74

55.4

34.7

Thimphu

57.74

30.02

55.94

27.5

57.92

32.9

Punakha

66.38

43.34

62.6

40.46

67.28

46.22

Trongsa

65.66

36.5

56.3

32

56.66

32.9

Bumthang

55.4

27.86

51.8

22.46

50.9

29.3

Mongar

63.68

48.92

60.26

46.76

60.8

46.94

Trashigang

73.4

52.34

68.72

35.06

71.24

53.06

Some of the treks best during the Winter season are:

Monsoon Seasons to avoid trekking in Bhutan 

Monsoon Season is an off-season for Bhutan trekking. As trekking in the Land of Druk takes you to high mountain passes, characterized by unpredictable weather, so the monsoon season only amplifies a swift weather change. Hence, it is not the idyllic season for trekking. Rainfall is common during this period making the climate humid and the roads slippery. Although not good for high altitude treks, it is better for short sightseeing tours and luxury tours in nearby religious landmarks. Monsoon lies between June, July, August, and the first half of September.

Temperature in °C

Places ↓

June

July

August

Temperature →

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Min °C

Max °C

Paro

25.5

14.2

26.8

15

25.3

14.8

Thimphu

24.5

15.1

25.9

15.6

25.1

15.8

Punakha

29

20.2

30.2

20.7

29.1

20

Trongsa

22.5

13.7

25.7

15.6

23.8

15

Bumthang

22.7

35.5

24

13.6

23.2

13.8

Mongar

26.2

19.7

27.2

19.7

25.2

19.5

Trashigang

30.5

22.5

31.1

23

30.1

22.8

Temperature in °F

Places ↓

June

July

August

Temperature →

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Min °F

Max °F

Paro

77.9

57.56

80.24

59

77.54

58.64

Thimphu

76.1

59.18

78.62

60.08

77.18

60.44

Punakha

84.2

68.36

86.36

69.26

84.38

68

Trongsa

72.5

56.66

78.26

60.08

74.84

59

Bumthang

72.86

95.9

75.2

56.48

73.76

56.84

Mongar

79.16

67.46

80.96

67.46

77.36

67.1

Trashigang

86.9

72.5

87.98

73.4

86.18

73.04

June, July, August

June is the onset of monsoon season so for the two months to follow, there is heavy rainfall during the afternoon. The cloudbursts can make the roads slippery and problematic to trek. Also, the views of mountains and hills can be obstructed by clouds and fog. Bhutan sees a downpour of up to 529 mm in July. The temperature gets between 24-to-25-degree Celsius in the daytime. The eastern side of Bhutan can realize a temperature rise of 31.5 degrees Celsius. Some of the festivals you can relish during these months are Nimalung Tsechu, Mushroom Festival, Haa Summer Festival, and Kurjey Tsechu.

September

Although trekking in the first few days of September is not considered to be ideal, after mid-September short trekking is likely. The temperature during this time can range from 11 degrees to 2 degrees Celsius. During mid-September rainfall of up to 247mm is witnessed. The festivals such as Thimphu Drubchen, Wangdue Tsechu, Tamshing Phala Chhoepa, and Thimphu Tsechu can be observed in the towns, villages, and cities.

Things to consider while trekking in different seasons in Bhutan 

  • Different Trekking seasons in Bhutan are categorized by diverse trail settings so prepare the appropriate packing checklist for Bhutan Trek depending upon the time and duration of travel.
  • Don’t forget to wear comfortable hiking boots and carry a trekking pole or stick for all treks as you will have to walk through slippery paths, snowy trails, and high hills.
  • Carry sets of thermal inners because during any season, the temperature can fall severely at night.
  • Consider checking the festivals that fall during each season before you select a trekking package because you might get a chance to witness the rich heritage, culture, and traditions of Bhutan.

Conclusion

To enjoy your Bhutan trek to the fullest it is important to draw out the best trekking season for your preferred trek package. Consider the above list of treks depending on the different trekking seasons for a better understanding of the trekking seasons in Bhutan. You can feel free to contact us if you wish to receive apt guidance from our professionals or to plan your future treks in Bhutan without any hassle.

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Tuesday Jan 5, 2021
Naba Raj

About Author - Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996. He is Founder and Managing Director of Third Rock Adventures.

Beginning his journey in the tourism industry as a humble Porter Guide to founding hospitality establishments and an adventure travel company, he has come a long way.

In a career spanning more than two decades, he has achieved more than anybody dreams of achieving. Along with his professional achievements, his selfless contribution towards his community and society has won him a lot of accolades and praises.

Having dedicated more than two decades in the tourism and hospitality sector, he has amassed a wealth of experience.

After passing high school, he began helping out some trekking guides and was soon recruited as a porter guide at a reputed trekking agency. Within a short time, he was individually guiding clients across the well-known trails of the Himalayas.

He went on to lead tour groups on multi-country tours to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Being a part of mountain climbing expeditions familiarised him with expedition logistics and operations. Later on, he went to become the Executive Director and took over the reins of Operations, Sales and Marketing departments. Spending several years in the tourism field has made Naba Raj Amgai a destination expert.

Travelling is his passion and he has been to many countries across the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Austria and many parts of Asia.

His journeys to different parts of the world have enriched his travel experience and knowledge. This experience has been instrumental in planning and organizing successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed travel companies, hotels and restaurants are under his leadership. A dynamic and proactive leader, he continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

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