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International Yeti Gathering 2025: Tour Itinerary

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This mountain bike tour in Bhutan will take you to the heart of this Himalayan kingdom. Some of the riding in Bhutan is shuttle-assisted, with lots of descending, but there are still some climbs and long hike-a-bikes most days to contend with. You’ll be riding at over 3,000m / 10,000ft much of the time, so be prepared to pace yourself as you acclimatise to the altitude and surroundings. There is also exposure on some trails.

We recommend arriving into Bangkok, Delhi or Kathmandu at least one night prior to your flight into Paro, Bhutan, to allow for any delays in flights or luggage.

Our local team will book your flight to Paro from whichever of the above airports you would prefer to fly through. We will discuss this with you post-booking.

 

Our team will welcome you at Paro airport, then we’ll load up the vehicle and transfer to the capital city Thimphu, where the International Yeti Gathering Bhutan will officially start.

If flight times allow, we will stop en-route to visit Tamchog Lhakang (the Iron Chain Bridge) and take a short break to breathe in Bhutan’s fresh air and rich nature. We will walk over this 15th century iron bridge reconstructed using original chain link from the famous Tibetan bridge builder TangThong Gyalpo.

When we arrive at Thimphu we’ll check into our hotel, then head out to build your bikes in the ornate town square.

Once bikes are built and stored we will take an evening visit to the Memorial Chorten Stupa, a sacred shrine built in the memory of the third king of Bhutan, then on to a welcome dinner where you can enjoy fine authentic Bhutanese cuisine.

Your guide will go through the all-important pre-trip briefing over dinner.

Accommodation: 
4* hotel, Thimphu
Meals included: 
Lunch, Dinner

Your first ride in the magical Kingdom of Bhutan will prepare you for the challenge of mountain biking at altitude. We’ll set off on a cross country-style ride that will gradually introduce you to some “enduro” features as we go, helping to set the scene of the adventure ahead.

After a gradual 6km climb and with the blessing of Bhudda as we pass, we’ll drop into the capital’s favourite MTB trail, the KC Trail, that extends for 6km of flowing singletrack with grin inducing S-bends. The trail ends at a breathtaking monastery at Motithang where we will take a shuttle back to the Buddha statue to ride another amazing descent to Babesa.

Then we’ll hit the hills up to the Takin Reserve centre, with a stop to see the takins, the national animal of Bhutan. We’ll continue to the radio tower, which will be our entry point for the next two descents: the Wangditse trail and (of course) the Takin trail. After these two superb descents, we’ll be ready for some lunch.

After lunch, we’ll hike-a-bike for an hour on the Phajoding trail and ride the Ridge down to the radio tower and continue on the Takin trail and enjoy another fast flowy trail. The entire ride is on fantastic singletrack punctuated with great views over the capital city. You may also come across some of our local MTB riders on this popular trail.

After our ride you will have time to stroll around the city and enjoy a nice dinner at one of the best restaurants in the capital city.

Your time in Bhutan is not just about riding, but also to enjoy some very good craft beers and local culture – both rural and urban. Tonight we’ll go to one of our favourite bars called the Mojo Park where young musicians will be playing covers and originals to go along with your beers!

Accommodation: 
4* hotel in Thimphu
Meals included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
35
kms
6 - 7
hrs
800
m
1800
m

After a traditional Bhutanese breakfast we will hop in the shuttle and drive for an hour up to Trashigang gonpa at an altitude of 3,000m from where we can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayas.

From here we’ll hike-a-bike to Lungchutse gonpa for an hour at an easy pace. It’s a magical hike-a-bike and we’ve spotted red pandas on this section before.

From the head of the Mega-Madman Trail at 3500m, the ride drops into rhododendron and old fir forests with wide and wild trails for 10 km of pure descending in the mist before making a stop at Thinleygang where a picnic lunch will be waiting for us.

After lunch, we’ll continue to ride down to an old village by the river, and from there we’ll pedal on a gentle and long meditative climb through pine forests offering great views. Once we reach Laptsakha village, we’ll head downhill to Punakha Dzong fortress. The ride is 25 km with 80% downhill on one of the best trails in Bhutan.

When we arrive back at our hotel we’ll be ready for a hot shower and cold beer before dinner!

Accommodation: 
Small resort, Punakha
Meals included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
30
kms
6 - 7
hrs
600
m
2300
m

Today we’ll be riding a series of trails with shuttled assists to the Limbukha ridges.

After breakfast, we’ll shuttle to Tshochhasa village and ride a long downhill of 10km from 2200m to 1300m along the ancient Trans-Bhutan Trail.

The beginning 40% has some technical rock-gardens and the rest are flowy ride into the valley. This ride mostly winds through chripine forests and ends at the paddy fields near the fortress.

In the afternoon, we’ll shuttle back to Tshochasa village and ride two more trails in the afternoon through pine forests descends with some technical features.

Accommodation: 
Small resort, Punakha
Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
30
kms
6
hrs
100
m
1500
m

We have a day off the bike today to refresh the legs and take in some of Bhutan’s cultural sites.

We’ll drive to Punakha valley to visit the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal stupa, which involves a short scenic hike through paddy fields for about 45 minutes to the hilltop where the temple is located. From here you can also enjoy a majestic view of the underlying valley. The temple itself is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world.

Our next stop is at Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful fortress in Bhutan situated at the confluence of two rivers. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s leadership and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region.

To round off our cultural day we’ll drive to the village of Lobesa and pay our respects to one of Bhutan’s most charming and eccentric historic figures nicknamed ‘The Divine Madman’ at the Chhimi Lhakhang – also called the fertility monastery – where your guide will explain the history.

We will enjoy dinner in Lobesa before heading back to our hotel

Accommodation: 
Small resort, Punakha
Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we’ll shuttle the bikes to Talo village where the queens of Bhutan hail from. This will take us to one of the best downhill trails in the valley.  Stretching 8 km with an altitude drop of 1000m, this ride takes us through beautiful villages, punctuated with monasteries and picturesque viewpoints of the valley below.

After the first ride, we’ll transfer to Phobjikha valley which is so beautiful that it is often dubbed as the “Switzerland of the East”. On the way, we stop at the Lawala pass where we’ll probably see some yaks grazing.

Next, we’ll hike-a-bike for about 30 minutes to the ridge above the valley and enjoy an 8 km long ridge ride that gives you a feeling of a freeride as there are multiple line choices.

The ride leads to the famous Gangtey Gonpa monastery where the annual black-necked crane festival will be taking place. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of the black-necked cranes that migrate to this valley in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau crossing high Himalayan passes.

The festival includes cultural programs such as folk songs and mask dances performed by the local people.  The highlight of the festival is usually the locally choreographed crane dance performed by school children highlighting the cultural significance of these revered birds as well as the importance of conserving this endangered species of cranes.

Our accommodation this evening has amazing views of the Phobjikha valley below.

Accommodation
Family-run lodge
Meals included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
35
kms
6
hrs
400
m
1200
m

It’s a big day on the bike riding point-to-point with no shuttle assists.

We’ll head off early, at 8 am, with a gradual ascent of 8 km to the Phobjikha pass and from there descend about 10 km on back-country logging roads before a gradual ascent for another 6 km to reach the second pass.

From there we continue downhill for 12 km on a logging road to reach the hidden valley of Khotokha which is far from the tourist trails. It’s a high glacial valley that is so beautiful and tucked away from civilisation. Our riders are the only visitors who pass through this old authentic village that seems to be untouched by tourism.

We’ll stop to enjoy a lovely lunch at a local farmhouse.

After lunch we hike-a-bike for about an hour to reach Moleyla pass at 3000m, from where you are about to be rewarded with one of the most technical and exciting trails we know.

The Khotokha trail is 30% rock-gardens and then it comes to a beautiful forest ride where you can let go of the brakes a bit more. The flowy trails are full of roots, leaves, switchbacks, natural berms, jumps and very fast sections allowing riders to shred to their limits.

Theres a nice resort waiting at the end of the ride.

Accommodation: 
Small resort near Paro
Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
55
kms
8
hrs
1560
m
3200
m

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll drive to Paro for 4 hours.

In the afternoon we’ll visit a farmhouse to try a herbal hot-stone bath which is known to be therapeutic and helps ailments related to joints and muscle aches (after a long week of biking), besides it is simply soothing for your mind and body.

We’ll also enjoy an authentic local dinner at the farmhouse.

Accommodation:
Picturesque resort near Paro
Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

By now, you might start believing that the trails in Bhutan get better with each passing day, and today might reaffirm this!

It is a big day, but with your rested legs it should be no problem. So we’ll start a bit earlier than normal and shuttle the bikes for about an hour to get to the Museum, from there we will hike-a-bike for around 1.5 hours to reach the Jela temple which sits on a ridge overlooking the valley.

We will sit here for a well earned snack before we hit the famous Jela trail which is a 15km descent on one of the best trails in Bhutan.

After lunch in Paro town at the best pizzeria in town, we shuttle the bikes for about an hour and a half to reach the trail head close to Kila Goenpa nunnery at 3600m. We’ll enjoy a long descent down to Paro valley for 12 km. The trail starts to get nice loamy on a beautiful fast-flowing trail through rhododendron and Oak forests.

Once we get to Gorina monastery, the trail starts to get loose with hardpacked dirt with a number of rock gardens, making it awesome ride. The entire downhill section is close to 12 km. This trail is pure ecstasy with very interesting features.

Accommodation:
Picturesque resort near Paro
Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
32
kms
7
hrs
600
m
3200
m

It’s your last day in Bhutan today, and one you won’t forget!

We have options today, depending on how much challenge you feel ready to take on.

The full challenge is to drive to the trail head for 30 mins and then hike-a-bike for about 4 hours up to Bumdra campsite via Sangchhokhor Buddhist College.

After lunch we’ll ride Bhutan’s ultimate downhill trail passing several monastries located at dramatic spots that gives a true sense of riding in Shangri-la. The highlight to end your Bhutan adventure is the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery that clings precariously to a 1000 ft cliffside.

The ride is a 2000 m descent on some spectacular trails. Switchbacks, off-camber, downhill, rock gardens, flowy trails, enduro-style riding – you name it, it’s all in there!

After visiting the Tiger’s Nest, we’ll enjoy some proper downhill type of riding to end a spectacular MTB adventure in Bhutan.

Alternatively, we can hike up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, without bikes, spend time there, then hike back down and enjoy the final descent.

Tonight it’s chill time and we’ll visit Bhutan’s first brewery-pub to sample some amazing craft beers, food and celebrate our Bhutan adventure together!

Accommodation:
 Picturesque resort near Paro
Meals included: 
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
15
kms
8
hrs
960
m
2000
m

Sadly, this is the end of your International Yeti Gathering in Bhutan. After breakfast at your hotel your guide will take you to the airport, help you with the formalities and wish you a fond farewell.

Meals included: 
Breakfast

Please note: The International Yeti Gathering in Bhutan is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Bhutan and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience on our mountain bike tour in Bhutan.

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