The day hike is possible throughout the season but the best time for the Gangtey Goenpa – longtey valley – Pelela pass – Gangtey Goenpa will be most beautiful between April – May, and October – November. It is a short and relatively easy day with several beautiful villages and holy sites en route. The hiking trail winds through forests of blue pine, juniper, magnolia, and rhododendron species after crossing Kumbu village above Gangtey Monastery. This hiking trail is an excellent choice for those hikers not accustomed to trekking to the mountains as it offers beautiful panoramic views of Gangtey Monastery, Phobjikha Valley, and Longtey Valley with primarily gentle, forested slopes, and widespread pasture land.
The Gangtey – Longtey – Pelela pass – Gangtey hike follows the old foot trail from Phojikha – Longtey and Trongsa to Wangduephodrang passing through forests and widespread pasture land. It is a fairly easy hike as the altitude only ranges between 2,800m – 3,636m. You’ll begin the day hike from the Gangtey University entrance gate by crossing a beautiful ridge of the Kumbu valley. Then you climb gradually to Jigche La (3,360m), the highest point of the hiking trail, before that you can reach yak herders called Khebche, there you can see medicine herbs or poison plants called then of your trail surroundings. The path leads you downhill into a broad forest to Longley valley. After reaching the longer you can have lunch, and continue your hike to Pelela Pass (3,414m) by following the old trail from Trongsa to Wangduephodrang where you will be blessed with an ancient Dozen, Holy text, Horse footprint, Tsho Show, and Dice game linked to Bhutan’s favorite patron saint, The Divine Madman Lama Drukpa Kuenley.
The day entails crossing several passes, but none of them require a major climb. It would help if you kept your eyes open for different varieties of rhododendron species and mountain birds while in this area. After crossing the last pass, Pelela La (3,414m) and Jigche La (3,360m) you start a long descent to Thowodra meditation center via hawala or Kumbu ridges where you will be treated to a great view of Gangtey Monastery Golden parasol overlooking Gangtey and Phobjikha Valley.
The trail is approximately 27.4km, 9:30 hours, 42,385 steps, and burns 3,420kcal. The best time to embark on this hike is in Spring or Autumn.