The mesmerizing Ganden to Samye Trek will take you on an unforgettable journey through the stunning alpine landscapes of Tibet. Embark on a cultural odyssey as you walk through two of Tibet’s most significant religious centers and delve deeper into the local traditions and customs. Prepare to encounter nomadic herders’ camps and witness firsthand the authentic way of life in Tibet. A trek that promises to be an adventure of a lifetime!
*** Updated 2023 ***
Every year, we carefully update our itineraries to ensure that we are always offering the best and most exciting experience possible. This means taking advantage of newly opened roads, hotels, and restaurants, and constantly seeking out new and unique adventures to make your trip unforgettable. So you can rest assured that when you travel with us, you’ll be embarking on a journey that is fresh, dynamic, and tailored to meet your every need.
Day 1: Ganden Monastery and start trekking to Samye Monastery (3-4h, 9 Km, 4200m)
In the morning we’ll visit Ganden Monastery, 50 km from Lhasa. It is the main seat of the Gelug Sect and was founded by Tsongkhapa in 1409. It’s placed on the top of a hill in the Kyichu valley. You can do the kora around the monastery too and enjoy great views of an original Tibetan landscape. After lunch, it begins your journey at the highest point of the Ganden kora, where you can trek along an ancient trail and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Follow the trail as it leads you along a ridge towards the ancient Hepu village. We’ll stay with a local Tibetan Family in a dormitory style room. Overnight at the Tibetan Family Guesthouse.
Day 2: Trek and camp before Shuga-la pass; usually in Yama Do (3-4h / 6 Km / 4500m).
Today you’ll ascend towards Yama Do, gradually feeling the lack of oxygen as you walk through Tibetan nomad settlements. The effort will reward you with a peaceful afternoon at 4500m. Camping.
Day 3: Trekking and camp in the valley after Shuga-la 5260m pass (5-6h / 9 Km / 5000-5100m).
Challenging morning crossing the highest pass of the route, the Shuga-La pass, standing at 5260m. This part of the trail presents incredible panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the lovely valley below and a little stream. After reaching the pass summit, you’ll descend through fields of glacial boulders towards the valley floor until you arrive at our preferred campsite.Camping.
Day 4: Trekking and camp near herders camp after Chitu-la 5220m pass (5-6h / 13 Km / 4500m).
As we continue our way, you’ll catch sight of the rocky mountain pass of Chitu La before descending into the stunningly beautiful camping grounds and fields. You will encounter three lakes that you will have to cross on the right side (west) by jumping from stone to stone. Once you leave these lakes behind, a rapid descent will begin following the natural course of the river through a gorge, which will lead you back to traditional drokpa territory, already in a more gentle terrain where their herds graze. Camping.
Day 5: Trekking to Yamalung (4-5h / 11 Km). End of trek and transfer to Samye (3580m).
The final stretch to Yamalung (3985m) is a mere formality. As the trail progresses, it gradually widens and the walking becomes more manageable, with the only complication being the possible rise of the different streams that we will have to cross. The path meanders through picturesque streams of water and lush forests filled with a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and blooming rhododendrons. The sweeping vistas of meadows are truly awe-inspiring, offering a stark contrast to the nearby desert-like terrain. Once you arrive at the end of our trek, you can opt for a hike to the ancient and sacred Buddhist meditation site of Yamalung. Transfer to Samye crossing small villages and visit Samye Monastery (8th century). It’s the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and with its particular architecture forms a gigantic mandala following the structure of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology. Camping.
Day 6: Tibet departure / back to Lhasa.
Enjoy your last hours in Tibet exploring Samye on your own until you wait for the group transfer to the airport. End of our services.
Consider extending your trip walking the wonderful ancient route between two of our most important Monasteries: The Ganden to Samye Trek. It’s also possible to spend one-two more days visiting holy Namtso lake in North Lhasa (250Km, 3-4 hours drive, one way). Or even take a relaxing day in Lhasa on your own!
Please, contact us for further information about any available extension of your trip.
Price varies according to the number of people in your group, category of hotel, transportation, dates and other services you request. Please contact us with these important details first. If you prefer joining a group, please check our group tours upcoming departures.
Consider other extensions of your journey in Lhasa and its surroundings.
Consulte salidas especiales con guía en español con nuestra agencia hermana Mundo Tíbet.
We’re expecting that borders will be open to international tourists anytime this year. At the moment, only Foreign China residents are allowed to visit Tibet. Please contact us by email to check the latest group availability and any further information during 2023. ➜ Read more