14 days Jomolhari Trek

jomolhari-trek
The Jomolhari Trek is longer than the Jomolhari Loop – the most popular trekking routes in Bhutan.  With altitude differences of 2500m and nearly 5000m it offers a wide range of landscapes, fauna and flora.  The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari from Jomolhari Base camp (Jangothang).

Day 1: PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - PARO (L/D) 

Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 2: TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)

After breakfast, we will drive you to the trail head to commence a climb through beautiful pine forest. We will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east.

After lunch, we will visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 3: PARO – GUNITSAWA VILLAGE – SHARNA ZAMPA (Distance: 40min, 80m descent, camp altitude 2580m) (B/L/D)

After breakfast, drive to Drugyal Dzong, a ruined fortress 16km from Paro town. Although it is now in ruins, this dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day you can view sacred Mt. Jomolhari (mountain of Goddess) at an altitude of 7329m.

The 10-day trek begins at Gunitsawa Village where you pass the army post.
The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa. 

Dinner and overnight camping at Sharna Zampa.

Day 4: SHARNA ZAMPA – THANGTHANGKHA (Distance: 22km, 7-8hrs, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3610m) (B/L/D)

On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs following the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses.

After going uphill through the river valley, the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari.

Dinner and overnight camping at Thangthangkha.

Day 5: THANGTHANGKHA – JANGOTHANG (Distance: 19km, 5-6hrs, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4080 m) (B/L/D)

If you did not see Mt. Jomolhari the previous evening, you will still have a chance to get a great view early this morning.  This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley that widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest.  You will cross an army checkpoint along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herders’ homes become a regular feature of the landscapes.
Passing the villages of Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day.  After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.

Dinner and overnight camping at Jangothang.

Day 6: JANGOTHANG HALT (B/L/D) 

The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake.  There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley.

Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization.  You can also trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area.  There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.

Dinner and overnight camping at Jangothang.

Day 7: JANGOTHANG – LINGSHI (Distance: 16km, 6-7hrs, 810m ascent, 1090m descent, camp altitude 3800m) (B/L/D)

The trail leads to a last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu.  Passing the lake of Tshophu at an altitude of 4380m you will climb up steeply to Bhonte La pass at an altitude of 4930m, the highest point of this trekking route.  Reaching the Dhumzo Chhu River, you trek downstream passing the few houses of Soe Yaktsa (Dhumzo) to arrive at your campsite.

Wide yak pastures can be seen all along the trail. If the weather is clear, one can get a spectacular view of the Lingshi Dzong as one descends into the Lingshi basin.

Dinner and overnight camping at Lingshi.

Day 8: LINGSHI – SHODU (Distance: 22km, 8-9hrs, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4080m) (B/L/D)

The trail ascends up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 4930m. From the pass, on a clear day, you will get an excellent view of Mt. Jomolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang.  The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.

Dinner and overnight camping at Shodu.

Day 9: SHODU – BARSHONG (Distance: 16km, 5-6hrs, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3710m) (B/L/D)

The trail follows the Thimphu Chhu (Thimphu River) through dense rhododendron forests, past beautiful waterfalls with great views along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.

Dinner and overnight camping at Barshong.

Day 10: BARSHONG – DOLAM KENCHO (Distance: 15km, 4-6hrs, 290m ascent, 640m descent, camp altitude 3320m) (B/L/D)

Today the trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu river valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands.

Dinner and overnight camping in a meadow at Dolam Kencho.

Day 11: DOLAM KENCHO – DODENA – THIMPHU (Distance: 8km, 3-4hrs, 500m ascent, 930m descent) (B/L/D)

The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langur (monkeys) can be seen along the way. In Dodena, you will exit the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park and reach a road next to an impressive cantilever bridge.   Drive through to Thimphu.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 12: THIMPHU – SIGHTSEEING (B/L/D)

After breakfast, visit the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of Bhutan’s late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck before visiting the Giant Buddha Sakyamuni statude atop Kuensel Phodrang, mini zoo at Motithang to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. Then visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). If you wish we can then visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu.

In the evening, visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).

Farewell dinner with traditional dance and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 13: A DAY EXCURSION TO DOCHULA PASS – PARO (B/L/D)

Morning drive to town for shopping. Then drive to the Dochula Pass at 3150m for a photo stop and for tea, coffee etc and to enjoy a most spectacular view of the Himalayan snow capped mountains and a great view of Gasa Dzong at a distance.

Lunch at the Dochula Pass. In the afternoon drive to Paro and on the way visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in the Kingdom. It was built in 1629 AD by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It houses the largest monastic school in the country.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 14: PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (B)

In the morning drive to Paro International Airport and your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell.

Cost Information

Peak-Season (Mar, Apr May, Sep, Oct and Nov)
Number of days: 14 days (9 days trekking & 5 days cultural sightseeing)
Price:
US$ 5,000 single per person
US$ 4,505 twin/double per person
US$ 4,180 triple per person

Trekking Dates

Any date on a private basis