The Sagala 360 Degree Trek is also called the ‘Haa Planters’ Trail’ as in the ancient times, this was the trail that the rice planters of Haa used to travel to Paro to help the people of Paro plant and harvest rice. Haa valley is not much visited by tourists, and particularly Sagala trek is a beautiful 3 day hike through a mountain trail dividing the Haa and Paro valley. Traverse through beautiful meadows across virgin forests rich in flora and fauna and enjoy the wilderness in all its various shades and at its magnificent best. Soak in the panoramic picturesque view of the Haa Valley and the three sacred hills of Haa. Walk through peaceful and quaint villages (comprising of around 8 households) and stop over at a yak herder’s camp and interact with them. One of the main highlight of the trek is the absolutely gorgeous view from the Pass, with the Mount Jhomolhari, Mount Drageygang, Drugyal Dzong and the Taktsang Monastery on one side and Haa valley on the other.
At a Glance
Day 1 - Haa - Sagala
From Talung (3000m), trail ascends gradually along Halung chhu (locally known as Makhang chhu) through Blue Pine (Pinus wallichiana) and Fir (Abies densa) forests onwards to Sagala. You reach to Chagdo Zampa (3180m) after crossing Hatsho Thangka (summer grazing ground of Talung village) and see a rock with twin eyes and distorted mouth. It is believed that a Tibetan saint, Thangtong Gyalpo, in the 14th century subdued Nyela Thi Ngi Tana Rinchen (demon) at Khadey Gom and got turned into this rock. Since then travelers have no fear of the demon.
After a breathtaking climb uphill, you can stop for picnic lunch at Khadey Gom (3280m), a meadow covered with blooming Iris, Primula, Aster, etc. Then you continue uphill to Sagala camp (3600m) below Sagala pass.
The view of Mt. Jomolhari (7326m), other mountain peaks, Haa, Paro valleys and Paro Tak Tshang is spectacular on the clear day from Sagala Pass (3700m) which takes three quarter of an hour walk from the camp.
Sagala is ideal for bird watching in the morning and evening. There are chances to spot feeding Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejans) and Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) and the likelihood of spotting Musk Deer (Moschus chrysogaster) along this trail.
Walking Distance: 5 to 6 Hours
Camp Altitude: 3,600 m
Day 2 - Sagala - Nyingungla
Morning trek is mostly along the ridges. After lunch, the trail ascends and descends through rhododendron scrubs all the way to Nyingungla camp. Rhododendron lepidotum could be seen in late bloom. The trail is covered with flowers of Meconopsis simplicifolia, Iris, many species of Aster, Primula kingii, Cynanthus lobatus, many species of Bistorta, two three species of Aconitum, Thalictrum cheldonii, many species of Pedicularis, Lillium nanum etc. There may be possibility of seeing Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus), Blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus), Hill Patridge (Arborophila torqueola) and Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra), Musk Deer (Moschus chrysogaster), Sambar (Cervus unicolor) and Goral (Nemorhaedus goral) along the trail.
Before reaching the camp, you may come across a herder camp and cattle. Nyingungla camp is very beautiful site at 3874m, from where you can view Mt. Jomolhari, Bjichu Drake, Haa valley and Paro Taktsang.
Walking Distance: 5 to 6 hours
Camp Altitude : 3,874 m
Day 3 - Nyingungla-Chele La Pass
The trail ascends and descends along the ridges through Fir (Abies densa) and Larch (Larix griffithii) forest and Rhododendron scrubs. The trail is covered with colourful Iris, Bistorta, Primula, Meconopsis paniculata (yellow Bhutan Sagala Trek from Paropoppy), many species of Pedicularis, Corydalis spp., Rhododendrons, etc. The Kalila Pass (3770m) is also covered in blanket of flowers. This is another chance to see the view of Mt Jomolhari (7326m) and Bjichu Drake (6794m) on a clear weather.
The trail leads through Fir forest and climbs up to Gung Karpo ridge at 4000m and follows the ridge before descending down to Chelela Pass through Rhododendron scrubs. The view of snow-clad peaks and mountain ranges are spectacular. All along the trail, you can find colourful flowers of Rhododendrons, many species of Pedicularis, Blue, Yellow Poppy, Iris, Bistorta, Berberis, Buddleja colveilei, many species of Asters, red Primula, Primula gracilipes, Primula capitata var capitata, Primula sikkimensis and Edel weiss. Chelela is also ideal for bird watching where you may have chance to spot Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra), Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus), Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos), Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis), Rock Pigeon (Columba iivia), Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalaynsis), Eurasian Sparrow Hawk ( Accipiter nisus), Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Black face Laughing Thrush (Garrulax affinis); Spotted Laughing Thrush (Garrulax ocellatus) and other ground thrushes and many small birds. Trek time from Gung Karpo to Chelela road head is about four to five hours.
Walking Distance : 7 to 8 hours