All you need to know to hike to Tiger's Nest (2023)

All you need to know to hike to Tiger's Nest (1)

Oct 18, 2022

Reading time: 7 minutes

Tiger's Nest is the beautiful, precariously perched Buddhist monastery that is on every traveller's wish list! We have all the details you need to plan a visit, including how to get there, how long the hike is, and what visitor etiquette to follow.

All you need to know to hike to Tiger's Nest
(Video) The complete guide to hiking to the Tiger's Nest, Bhutan (EP1 of Bhutan)

What is Tiger's Nest?

Tiger's Nest is a working Buddhist monastery that's perched on the side of a cliff in western Bhutan. More specifically, the monastic complex sits on narrow ledges and within caves 900 m above the Paro valley floor.

There isn't a road leading up to Tiger's Nest; you can only reach it by climbing a steep trail. While this requires some effort, it's a beautiful hike and the reward – both in terms of exploring the monastery and the view over Paro valley – is one hundred percent worth it!

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A Follow Alice group tackling the climb to Tiger's Nest

Different names of Tiger's Nest

What we as foreigners refer to as Tiger's Nest – or Tiger's Nest Monastery – is also known by the following names:

  • Taktshang Goemba
  • Paro Taktsang
  • Taktsang Palphug Monastery

Tiger's Nest is actually one of 13 so-called "tiger lair" cavesin which Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the early ninth century in what was then Tibet. (Bhutan used to be a part of Tibet).

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(Video) Review of the Tigers Nest Hike in Bhutan - What it's really like to hike.

Tiger's Nest clings to the cliffside in Paro valley

Where is Tiger's Nest?

Tiger's Nest can be found in western Bhutan. It's situated just 10 km northwest of the town of Paro. This makes Paro the perfect base from which to make a day trip to Tiger's Nest. And since everyone flying into Bhutan enters through Paro International Airport, you don't even need to travel far to visit this world-class site!

When is it open to visitors?

You can visit Tiger's Nest year round. From October to March it's open to visitors from 9 am to 4 pm. And from April to September it stays open till 5 pm.

How much does entry cost?

Foreigners don’t need to pay a special entry fee, as this is included in the daily visa fee. Only nationals of SAARC countries need to pay entrance fees.

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An aerial view of the pretty town of Paro

How do I get to the trailhead?

Every visitor to Bhutan is accompanied at all times by a Bhutanese tour guide-cum-driver (as discussed in 6 things to know before visiting Bhutan). Your guide will drive you the short distance to the end of the access road and the start of the trailhead. He'll likely accompany you on the hike as well.

How long and hard is the hike?

The trail is about 3 km (2 miles) one way, meaning you have a 6 km (4 miles) round trip, as there’s just the one path to the monastery. The upwards hike should take you about two to three hours. But of course everything depends on your pace and how many rest stops you take.

The hike is steep in places, and the route can be slippery in places most of the year round. Always take things at your own pace, and perhaps bring along a walking stick or trekking poles if you’re not feeling gazelle-footed.

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Part of the beautiful route up to Tiger's Nest

(Video) Tiger's Nest Monastery Bhutan | How difficult to hike Paro Taktsang?

Do I need a guide?

No, you don't need a guide to hike to Tiger's Nest – it's a well-defined and busy trail. That said, your Bhutanese tour guide for your trip will accompany you anyway, but at no extra cost. (As we discuss in How much does it cost to travel to Bhutan?, every tourist to Bhutan is given a non-optional tour guide for the duration of their stay.)

What is the trail like?

The hike to Tiger's Nest is a very beautiful one, and there are many rewarding moments along the way ...

The trail starts at the access road parking at 2,600 m above sea level. It’s a wide, well-marked and busy path, so getting lost would take commitment. Some visitors choose to ride horses halfway up the trail, but fortunately walkers can avoid the dust kicked up by following some smaller side trails.

Much of the path leads through pretty blue pine forest. But breaks in the trees offer lovely viewpoints. If you want to avoid direct sunshine, hike in the morning. The afternoon, on the other hand, usually offers better photography conditions. So you decide. Either way, bring a hat and carry water.

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Blue pine forest as seen on the hike to Tiger's Nest

En route you also pass clusters of votive offerings. As well as three water-powered prayer wheels. Prayer wheels are a tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. Each wheel contains or is inscribed with a prayer, and as you run your hand over it you’re meant to send up a prayer.

At around 3,140 m you get a break in the trees that offers the classic, straight-on view of Tiger’s Nest that you see in so many photos. The monastery is, however, on the opposite side of a valley, and you must still walk past the waterfall by Snow Lion Save to reach it.

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The classic view of Tiger's Nest high up along the trail

Tiger’s Nest itself sits at around 3,120 m, though there are different levels to it and so you must climb or descend a bit between each. Anyone who tackles the climb the day after flying into Bhutan might find the altitude quite taxing. It would be better to plan this hike a little later in your stay when you’ve properly adjusted to the higher altitude.

Parts of the monastery

Tiger's Nest, as you can see from the pictures, isn't one building. Rather, it's a complex containing various buildings and spaces on different levels which are connected by walkways, steps, ladders and bridges.

(Video) Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan - Trekking to the SPECTACULAR Monastery on a Cliff! (Final Day in Bhutan)

While the cave became famous in the 800s after Guru Padmasambhava meditated there, and was used as a pilgrimage site in the centuries after, the monastery was only built in 1692.

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A close up view

The complex includes arches, chapels, caves, chortens, prayer halls, and more. You can look forward to seeing wall paintings, statues, a spring and, of course, spectacular views. You can also light a candle within the butter-lamp chapel if you wish.

Visitor etiquette

When you reach the monastery, you should cover up your arms and legs if they aren’t already. You should also remove hats and shoes when entering any of the chapels. And please be sensitive when it comes to photography within the sacred spaces.

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If you wear classic hiking gear like long pants and a long-sleeved top, you'll have the perfect attire to respectfully enter Tiger's Nest

When is the best time to visit?

As mentioned already, Tiger’s Nest is open to visitors all year round. And the view will be spectacular no matter the season!

That said, if you want to avoid very cold conditions, as well as the possibility of snow and ice, don’t plan for winter (December to February). Summer (July to September) also isn’t ideal as this is monsoon season. The path can be slippery in places at the best of times, so you could be dealing with quite a bit of mud.

The ideal seasons for visiting Tiger’s Nest (as well as the rest of Bhutan are, as discussed in Best time to visit Bhutan), are spring (March to mid May) and autumn (late September to November). The conditions tend to be dry and the weather not too cold.

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(Video) Incredible Tiger's Nest - Trekking to Bhutan's Famous Monastery

Tiger's Nest can be visited even in winter

So are you amped to hike to Tiger's Nest? Want to do it with us?? Check out our epic Discover Bhutan itinerary! And just a heads up: we can tailor a trip to suit you and your personal Bhutan wish list. 🤓


All you need to know to hike to Tiger's Nest? ›

The hike to Tiger's Nest is a moderate to difficult one. You'll be able to do it if you have at least an average level of fitness. The hike takes between 3 to 5 hours depending on your pace.

How difficult is the hike to Tiger's Nest? ›

The hike to Tiger's Nest is a moderate to difficult one. You'll be able to do it if you have at least an average level of fitness. The hike takes between 3 to 5 hours depending on your pace.

How long is the hike to the Tiger's Nest monastery? ›

It's a 4 miles round trek that can take around 5 to 8 hours for trekking uphill and then back towards the base point.

How many steps are there to the tigers nest? ›

The following day we hiked back down and toured the Tiger's Nest. 600 steps in, 600 out and an amazing lifetime experience for this Western Buddhist. I had read and seen photos of this epic sacred site, but never in my life thought I would do prostrations there.

How far is the trek to Tiger's Nest? ›

Hike Up the Tiger's Nest, Bhutan Overview

Tiger's nest is known for the trek that has been carried on for years. With a total distance of 6.4 kms, the trek offers mesmerising views of the Paro Valley. Time Required: 3-5 hours depending on your pace.

What is the hardest hike in SF Bay area? ›

Murietta Falls, 12.5 miles round-trip, 4500 feet elevation gain. This undulating hike on the Ohlone Regional Wilderness Trail bisects two steep ridges on the way an ephemeral waterfall. It is considered one of the most difficult in the Bay Area due to it's cumulative elevation gain.

What is the hardest part of the John Muir trail? ›

Hardest: Glen Pass.

It's a long, steep climb, with a cruel psychological twist near the end. Just as you reach the top of a climb that seems to go on forever, you find what appears to be the top of the pass. As you sit there, resting, it occurs to you that you can't see where the trail goes back down.

Can you go inside tigers nest? ›

You will need long pants to enter the Monastery. You will also have to remove your shoes when entering. Your guide will accompany you inside the Monastery and will tell you the history of the place. You will learn that the Tiger Nest Monastery has a few temples within Monastery.

How high is Tiger's Nest Temple? ›

Taktsang (commonly known as Tiger's Nest) is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan and a place you must visit when you visit Bhutan. It is also one of the most challenging monasteries to get to. Located at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Taktsang is the birthplace of Bhutanese Buddhism.

Can you stay at Tiger's Nest? ›

It's best to stay in Paro overnight beforehand, and make an early start in the morning to beat the crowds. Visiting Tiger's Nest Monastery is a day trip. You can prepare to leave early and not arrive back at your accommodation until the afternoon, depending how long you stick around.

Why is the tiger's nest important? ›

Tiger's Nest Monastery is of the upmost cultural and religious importance within Bhutanese culture. Guru Rinpoche, the “Second Buddha” of Bhutan, is believed to have meditated for four months in a nearby cave, having flow from Tibet on the back of a tigress.

What mountain is the tiger's nest on? ›

Paro Taktsang (Dzongkha: སྤ་གྲོ་སྟག་ཚང་, also known as the Taktsang Palphug Monastery and the Tiger's Nest), is a sacred Vajrayana Himalayan Buddhist site located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan.

How many tiger statues are at Comerica Park? ›

There are a total of nine tiger statues in and around Comerica Park, including other statues throughout the park and the two on top of the scoreboard.

What is the altitude of Paro Bhutan? ›

Which country would you go if you wish to visit the Tiger's Nest monastery? ›

Bhutan's most famous site is the breathtaking Taktsang or Tiger's Nest Monastery. Located on the side of a cliff, 3,120 m above sea level, Tiger's Nest Monastery is not the easiest of places to reach — but is well worth the effort.

What is the most intense hike in LA? ›

Mount Baldy

If you want to go big, you can't get any bigger than Mount Baldy (Mount San Antonio), the highest point in Los Angeles County. At 10,064 feet, this mountain is a monster by any approach. Starting at Manker Flats, the trail gains 3950 feet in 10.33 miles and hits two peaks.

What is the hardest day hike in California? ›

What is the hardest hike in California? Mt. Whitney and Iron Mountain are the hardest hikes in California. Both of these hikes have 6,000 feet of gain and are very steep.

What is the hardest national scenic trail? ›

Continental Divide Trail

Arguably the most challenging thru-hike of the National Scenic Trails, it traverses five states, ranges from 4,000 to 14,000-feet in elevation, and passes through alpine tundra, broad glacial valleys, craggy mountain peaks, and desolate desert landscapes.

Is Muir Woods easy to walk? ›

Trail Overview

Muir Woods' main trail begins at the visitor center and follows Redwood Creek on both sides of the stream. Large redwood trees line this trail from the very beginning. Though a level, easy stroll, the walk can be shortened by crossing at the second or third bridge to return.

Is Muir Woods an easy hike? ›

Muir Woods Trail – Bridge 3 and back| Level of difficulty: Easy | Length: 1.3-mile | Duration: 1h. This path follows the Redwood Creek Trail, which is the most popular taken way for anyone visiting the Muir Woods National Park.

Is the John Muir Trail a loop? ›

Top of Nevada Fall (Strenuous)

You can also take the John Muir Trail to the top of Vernal Fall (via the Clark Point cutoff) and the top of Nevada Fall, or combine the Mist Trail and John Muir Trail into a loop.

How much is the fee for Tiger Nest? ›

Visitors entering Taktsang (Tiger's Nest Monastery) are now subjected to an entrance fee of 2000 BTN (~USD25) and the fees for the other monuments have been set at 1000 BTN (~USD12. 50).

Why is it called the tiger's nest? ›

It was constructed in 1692, around the cave where Guru Rinpoche first meditated, the event that introduced Buddhism into Bhutan. There is a legend that Guru Rinpoche was carried from Tibet to this location on the back of a tigress, thus giving it the name “Tiger's Nest.”

What is the elevation of tigers? ›

The highest recorded elevations for the Royal Bengal Tiger are 3,630 metres in India and above 4,400 metres in Bhutan.

Where is the Temple of the Tiger located? ›

Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Yanasampanno, was a Theravada Buddhist temple in the Sai Yok District of Thailand's Kanchanaburi Province in the west of the country. It was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for wild animals, among them tigers, mostly Indochinese tigers.

What is the legend of the tiger's nest? ›

The legend of Taktsang (Tiger's nest) evolved form 747 AD when Guru Padmasmbhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) chose a cave on a sheer rock face to meditate and, assuming a wrathful form, Guru Dorji Drolo, astride a tigress to subdue the evil spirits in the locality.

Where do you put a tiger for good luck? ›

Feng Shui White Tiger Statue: 'Left represents Green Dragon and Right represents White Tiger', is a popular saying in Feng Shui. It is believed that the White Tiger brings fortune and good luck when it is kept in the right side of the house and is most likely to be associated with the compass direction of the West.

Is tigers Nest a wonder of the world? ›

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

In many ways, the country itself is a true wonder, surrounded as it by the world's highest peaks, and a deeply authentic Himalayan culture. But Tiger's Nest Monastery or Paro Taktsang is special.

Can you take a purse into Comerica Park for a Tigers game? ›

Fans are not allowed to bring in any bag, backpacks, purses or clutches. Other items that are prohibited according to Comerica Park's website: Aerosol cans. Marijuana or illegal narcotics, including accessories or paraphernalia associated with marijuana or illegal narcotics use.

What are tiger Den seats at Comerica Park? ›

The Tiger Den was the first of its kind in baseball. Located at the upper rows of the lower bowl, it resembles the fashionable boxes at old-time sporting venues with moveable chairs. A private Tiger Den lounge is available for patrons. The first five rows of the upper bowl have been designated as Club Seats.

What included with tiger Den at Comerica Park? ›

In addition to fantastic sitelines, all Tiger Den seats are cushioned and come with a small table for food and beverage. In-seat wait service (Tigers games only) ensures that you will not have to leave the comfort of your your seat for concessions.

What is the hardest trek in the world? ›

Most Difficult Trek In The World
  • Bandiagara Cliffs (Dogon Country), Mali. ...
  • Indian Himalayas, India. ...
  • Inca Trail, Peru. ...
  • The Narrows, USA. ...
  • Baltoro Glacier & K2, Pakistan. ...
  • Overland Track, Australia. ...
  • Everest Base Camp, Nepal. ...
  • GR20, France.
Mar 26, 2019

How difficult is the Snowman Trek? ›

The Snowman trek goes to the remote Lunana district and is considered to be the most difficult trek in Bhutan. The combined attributes of distance, high altitudes, weather conditions and remoteness make this a very tough trek and it should only be considered if you have experience and a good level of fitness.

How much does the Snowman Trek cost? ›

The cost of the Snowman Trip Package with a Gokyo Treks Agency (local tour agency) ranges between US$ 12700 to US$ 15350. Generally, the trip package price will vary according to the group size you are traveling to and the mode of transportation service you choose.

Is Bhutan air clean? ›

The air quality in Bhutan is often regarded as pristine. However, the statistics of the National Environment Commission (NEC) reveals that the air pollution is emerging to be a major concern, posing risk to human health and environment.

Is altitude sickness common in Bhutan? ›

Even though the altitude in Bhutan is higher than most people are used to, altitude sickness is rare in Bhutan as most valleys are under 2,500 metres, and mountain passes are generally only just over 3000 metres. Our cultural tours do not reach altitudes higher than 3,500 metres (except the 'Journey Across Bhutan').

How many pilots fly to Bhutan? ›

It is 6 km (3.7 mi; 3.2 nmi) from Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu. With surrounding peaks as high as 5,500 m (18,000 ft), it is considered one of the world's most challenging airports, and only eight pilots are certified to land at the airport.

Why is Paro Taktsang important? ›

The site became a sacred space for Buddhist meditation, with Buddhist Gurus and other religious figures traveling to meditate in the caves. In 1692, the Bhutan King Tenzin Rabgye built the monastery to commemorate the arrival of Buddhism to Bhutan.

How to get to Bhutan? ›

Travelers to Bhutan have two ways to get into the country. They can either book a flight from one of the five countries that are served by the Bhutanese airlines, which are India, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, or they can travel overland through India to enter at one of three border crossings.

How far is the Taktsang hike? ›

The trail is about 3 km (2 miles) one way, meaning you have a 6 km (4 miles) round trip, as there's just the one path to the monastery. The upwards hike should take you about two to three hours. But of course everything depends on your pace and how many rest stops you take.

What is the most difficult hike in Olympic National Park? ›

Lake Constance Trail is regarded as the hardest and steepest hike in Olympic National Park, and as such, we only recommend this trail for experienced, confident hikers.

What is the toughest hike at Olympic National Park? ›

The Grand Pass Trail is a difficult Olympic National Park hike and is 14 miles and is located near Port Angeles. This is only recommended for experienced hikers and the highlight is a gorgeous lake. This trail is best used from June until October.

What is the hardest hike in the Glass House Mountains? ›

Mount Beerburrum summit walk

But Mount Beerburrum summit walk is actually one of the steepest walks in the Glasshouse Mountains. There is no difficulty apart from the strong incline that will challenge your leg muscles.

What is the most popular hike in Olympic National Park? ›

Mount Storm King. The hike to Mt. Storm King is one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park, and it is also one of the most popular. This is a short but grueling hike that ends with a spectacular view of Lake Crescent.

What is the most beautiful lake in Olympic National Park? ›

Lake Crescent: Olympic National Park's Most Stunning Lake.

Is Olympic National Park better than Mt Rainier? ›

Mount Rainier has great hikes, but Olympic is more diverse and has many more options for different views. You can see everything from lakes, mountains, oceans, rainforests, and more, whereas Mount Rainier is missing the rainforest and ocean.

What is the best time of year to hike Olympic National Park? ›

Summer is the best time of year to visit Olympic National Park with mild weather and the lowest average rainfall. Average highs even in July and August tend to stay in the upper 60s, so pack a light jacket for lower elevations and a warmer coat if you plan to camp or hike in the high alpine.

How many hikers have gone missing in Yosemite? ›

At Yosemite National Park, there are more than 30 missing persons dating back to 1909, when F.P. Shepherd got lost on the way to Sentinel Dome offering views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome.

Is there beginner climbing in Yosemite? ›

Like YMS, SYMG's guides are top-notch and have climbing options for beginners and experts alike. Whether you are excited to try something new in a beautiful setting or looking to challenge yourself on Yosemite's legendary rock climbs, you'll love your experience in Yosemite.

What is the steepest hike in Yosemite? ›

Snow Creek

This trail begins in Yosemite Valley at Mirror Lake, near the base of Half Dome. This exposed, sunny trail is the steepest way out of Yosemite Valley and gain access to the North Rim with impressive views of Half Dome.

Is Looking Glass Falls an easy hike? ›

The Looking Glass Rock Trail climbs about 1,700 ft. in just over three miles (6.5 miles round-trip, allow 4-5 hours). The many switchbacks along the way help make for a long and moderately difficult climb. A strong hiker can make it to the top in 1.5 hours and down in one hour.

What is the easiest glass house mountain to climb? ›

Mt Ngungun is one of the three most common Glass House Mountains and the easiest, that you are able to climb without the need of climbing gear. Like Mt. Coolum there is a clear path you can easily hike up to be greeted with a wonderful view over the surrounding mountain range.

What is the best walking track at Glass House Mountains? ›

According to users from, the best place to hike in Glass House Mountains National Park is Mount Ngungun Summit Track, which has a 4.6 star rating from 1,179 reviews.


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