Epic Trans Bhutan Trail to reopen for hikers after decades of neglect


This is your chance to follow in the footsteps of warrior monks, Bhutanese royalty, maybe even the 'Migoi' Yeti.

A 430 kilometre trail across the top of the world is set to open for the first time in over 60 years.

The Trans Bhutan Trail is set to be restarted in March, by royal appointment and a joint project between the Tourism Council of Bhutan and the Bhutan Canada Foundation.

For the past two years, two teams of De-suups (guardians) have been working to restore the 28-day trail. Like the medieval messengers of old, they have been making the month-long journey by foot.

From Eastern Bhutan to Western Tibet, it's a mountain trail that traverses almost 500 years of Himalayan history.

Large stretches of the route fell out of use with the opening of the national road network in the 1960s. The long-distance trail is less about infrastructure and more about the heritage of Bhutan.

It's an artery through the most inaccessible and spectacular landscapes. It leads to and from the many 'Dzong' fortified monasteries, such as the Paro Takstang or 'Tiger's Nest' built into the sides of the paro valley.

Overseen by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the restoration project on the Trans Bhutan Trail was commissioned "to rediscover generations' worth of stories and history".

From the end of next month the old mountain kingdom route will be opened to international tourists.

International partners the Bhutan Canada Foundation want to see the Trans Bhutan Trail rival the Camino de Santiago and the Milford Track.

It's a trail that the legendary Garp postal runners could do in a matter of days. However you'll need substantially more time to cross the country, from Haa in the west to Trashigang in the east.

Toronto-based guided tour company G-Adventures were selected to help launch the route. They will be launching two itineraries from May, following the anticipated reopening of the kingdom to international tourists.

Yves Marceau, VP of product said that G-Adventures was honoured to be working to reopen the trail to tourists.

"It's a country we've run tours in for more than a decade and have long admired for its commitment to the happiness of its people and sustainable way of life, which are both philosophies that align with our values as an organisation."

The company will be offering a glimpse of the restored TBT with two-week 'best of' Bhutan itineraries.