Bhutan's Hidden Highlands Trek

An Expedition to the Base of Gangkhar Puensuum

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Bhutan's Hidden Highlands Trek

Group | 18 Days | Rigorous Trekking
  • Trek to the base of Gangkhar Puensuum, the world's highest unclimbed massif
  • Go with experts: GeoEx first led this trek in 1998 and has been taking travelers to Bhutan since 1985
  • Experience the only place on earth where the habitats of snow leopards and Bengal tigers overlap
  • Epic views of the Himalaya, likely shared with no other expeditions
  • Ancient temples, impressive dzong, and artisan workshops in Paro, Thimphu, and Bumthang

Gangkhar Puensuum is the loftiest of Bhutan's Himalayan beauties, rising to a heavenly, snowcapped 24,836 feet near the Tibetan border. It is also the world's highest unclimbed massif, and likely to remain so—mountaineering is no longer permitted in Bhutan. Our latest trek to the base of this jewel weaves through striking landscapes dotted with pine and rhododendron forests, swift-flowing rivers, bamboo thickets, gnarly rock peaks,  and yak herder meadows, leading to open glacier valleys and the stunning south wall of Gangkhar and its satellites. It's a wonderfully rewarding and rarely done expedition, bookended by visits to some of Bhutan’s most noteworthy (and more accessible) sights.


The trip was amazing, the scenery spectacular. Not your typical tourist destination, definitely off the beaten path. Bart is gracious, diplomatic, and fun!

– Lisa C.

Arriving in Paro, we visit its handsome dzong, built in the distinctly Bhutanese architectural style  A steep hike reveals the gravity-defying Tiger's Nest monastery.


We fly to and explore the beautiful Bumthang region, beloved for its woodcarving and high concentration of sacred sites, including storied Membartsho, the "burning lake."


Setting out on trek, we hike through rhododendron- and juniper-filled valleys, ascend alongside the Chamkhar Chu (a river that tumbles down from Gangkhar Puensuum), cross suspension bridges, and gain insight into the lives of yak herders.


We savor our time at the base of Gangkhar Puensuum, walking amid glacial moraines and appreciating spectacular vistas  Our descent leads across stunning 15,570 foot Thole La, through a verdant and gold tundra valley, and past evergreen forests.


After flying back to Paro, we get to know Thimphu, Bhutan's buzzing and culturally rich capital city  We wing our way to Bangkok and catch onward connections.


Meet Your Trip Leader

Bart Jordans

Bart has led more than 120 treks in the Himalaya, the Alps, and Africa, including to peaks in Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tibet. He lived in Bhutan for more than four years and has written a guidebook on trekking in Bhutan.

Bart Jordans at K2 Base Camp

Dates & Prices


11/4/19 – 11/21/19   – Limited space; please call

11/5/20 – 11/22/20  


2019 Group Trips: From $10,475 per person 


  • Expertise of GeoEx’s travel specialists
  • Services of GeoEx’s in-house air reservations team
  • All accommodations
  • All meals 
  • All ground transportation and airport transfers
  • Sightseeing, events, visits, and entrance fees
  • Bottled water at included meals and while sightseeing, and boiled water on trek
  • Services of a GeoEx trip leader, local guides, drivers, porters and other trek/camp staff
  • Some gratuities
  • Emergency evacuation services and secondary medical expense insurance

A Journey Built Just For You

Take customization to the next level on a journey fully tailored to you. GeoEx's destination specialists will gladly tailor this existing itinerary—or build one completely from scratch—to suit your style, interests, and time frame. Contact us to see what's possible.

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