Duer Hot Spring Trek

Author: Laden Bhutia
Date: 2019-12-03

Bhutan’s landscape is ideal for trekking, and most of the treks can be made throughout the year. Each one offers a different experience and are suitable for both first-time trekkers as well as experienced ones.

The Duer Hot Spring Trek is one of the most challenging treks available in Bhutan. The route partially intercepts with the well-known Snowman Trekking trail—considered one of the most difficult treks in the world. 

Trekkers on this route can expect a challenging 9-day journey that will take you up to the Duer Hotsprings. The Duer Hotsprings in Bhutan are considered the most beautiful hot springs in the Himalayas.

The trail has numerous steep ascents and descents. Altitudes can range anywhere between 3000-4700m. However, despite the difficulty of this trek, the vista the trail provides is well worth the effort.  This beautiful trek will also take you through forests of juniper, maple, spruce, and hemlock. You will also spot herds of Blue Sheep, Musk Deer and even Himalayan Black Bears that are common in Bhutan.

This trek includes an entire day at the Deur hotsprings. Best time to visit is March to April and September to November.

Duer Hot Spring Trek itinerary at a glance

Day 1: Trek from Duer to Gorsum. Distance covered is 18 km within 6-7 hours. Altitude reached is 380 m. 
The trek route today follows the Yoleng Chhu: a river known for its abundance of trout. The trek is easy today, with the trail from Bumthang to Gorsum no less than a gradual climb.

Day 2: Trek from Gorsum to Lungsum. Distance covered is 12 km in 5 hours. You will ascend a further 40 m today. 
The trail leads through a beautiful dense forest of spruce, hemlock, cypress, juniper and maple and gradually leads to the campsite.

Day 3: Trek from Lungsum to Tsochenchen. The distance covered is 15 km in 6-7 hours.  You will be ascending a further 620 m. 
You will see a decrease in vegetation as you ascend. The campsite is located above the tree line.

Day 4: Trek from Tsochenchen to Duer Tsachu. You will cover a distance of 18 km in 8-9 hours. The trail ascends and descends from time to time. 
The trek from Tsochenchen is uphill all the way until Juli La (4,700m, thereafter it descends to a lake at 4,220m and climbs to Gokthong La (4,640m). From here the path is steep descent until the campsite.  Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of of blue deer and musk deer.

Day 5: Trek to Duer Tsachu. Today will be spent at the Duer Tsachu. Trekkers can rejuvenate at the hot springs or hike around surrounding areas.

Day 6: Trek from Duer Tsachu to Tsochenchen. Distance covered today is 18 m in 8-9 hours. You will return by the same route taken on day four. The journey is a bit taxing than before as you will be climbing more than descending.

Day 7: Trek from Tsochenchen to Lungsum. Distance covered is 15 km in 5 hours. The route is the same taken on day three of this trek.

Day 8: Trek from Lungsum to Gorsum. You will cover a distance of 12 km in 4 hours. The path descends gradually from the campsite and leads through a dense forest.

Day 9: Trek from Gorsum to Duer Village. This is the last day of the trek. You will cover a distance of 18 km in 6 hours. The trail takes you from Gorsum to the bridge near Duer village, where you reach the trail head.

Trek facts:

Best time to trek: March, April, September, October, and November.
Difficulty level: Hard
Max elevation: 4700 m
Min elevation: 3000 m

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