As romanticized in its name, the trail meanders along the mountain ridge as if floating among the clouds separating Thimphu valley on one side and Punakha valley on the other. However, it is also an equally challenging 11-hours hike from steep ascends to the historically renown Sinchula Pass to a knee-wobbling sudden drops. Of course other times, it’s a moderate and easy walk through misty forest of Rhododendron trees, willows, primroses and junipers descending onto picturesque Dochula pass.
For this trek, an overnight camp just below the Sinchula Pass is necessary to provide a respite for the tired limbs while sipping in the beautiful ambience. You will be greeted by an spectacular sunrise if you camp at Balakha (at an altitude of 3499masl), a little below the Sinchula Pass.
The hike starts from a small village Kabisa in north Thimphu climbing up to the Sinchula Pass onwards reaching the hishest point at an altitude of 3990 metres asl. The trail mostly used by semi-nomadic communities and yak herders meanders on the ridge providing glimpses of Thimphu on its right and Punakha valley on its left.
Eating lunch in a yak herder’s temporary shed provides a sense of a yak herding life. Along the way you can visit the Thadar Goenpa perched on top of the mountain cradling Thimphu valley and begin a rather vertical descend down to Yangchenphu Higher Secondary School or Tandin Nye to be picked up by a car.
Along the trail, whether you are vertically climbing or dropping, you will have ample opportunities to see some rare flowers, birds and animal species – Himalayan Monal, Blue sheep etc. A variety of flowers carpet the valleys in between March to May so it is the right time for you flower lovers. For a grandeur view of the mighty Himalayas, and if leeches are not your sense of adventure then perhaps, you might want to do the trail when they are hibernating – from October to January.
However, the trek can be done all year round, except on rainy days when it can become sloshy and dangerously slippery not to forget the crawly leeches.