Jomolhari Trek Itinerary
Duration: 14 Nights, 15 Days
Location: Paro, Lingshi, Thimphu
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Upon arrival at Paro Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and help you to check-in to your hotel in Paro for two nights. This afternoon is at your leisure to explore the charming Paro town.
Day 2: Hike to Paro Taktshang
The altitude of Paro valley is at 2,200m. This morning we will take a short hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900m above the Paro valley and takes about a 2-hour climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming tigress in the 8th century. Overnight in Paro.
Day 3: Drukgyel Dzong – Shana [Start of Trek]
Today you will begin the trek distance of 17-km, 4-5 hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent and camp altitude at 2,850m. Drive up to the road end at Drukgyel Dzong where the trek begins. After about four hours you will reach the army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army checkpoint, your trek permit will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.Overnight in camp
Day 4: Shana – Soi Thangthangkha
Today the trek distance is 22-km, 7-8 hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent and camp altitude at 3,610m. The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area and enters the Jigme Dorji National Park. The camp is in a meadow. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari. Overnight in camp.
Day 5: Soi Thangthangka – Jangothang
Today you will trek a distance of 19-km, 5-6 hours, 480m ascent and camp altitude at 4,080m. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari. Overnight in camp.
Day 6: Halt at Jangothang (Rest Day at Jomolhari Base Camp)
Our hike today provides you with great views of lakes, snow-capped mountains plus chances to see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. Trek up to Tsophu or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions: Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east. Overnight in camp.
Day 7: Jangothang – Lingshi
Today you will trek a distance of 18-km, 6-7 hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent and camp altitude at 4,010m. The trail gradually ascends to the Nyilila Pass at 4,870m, where you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang. The trek continues through vast yak pastures and witnesses the yak herder’s tent made from yak wool. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. Overnight in the stone hut or camp.
Day 8: Halt at Lingshi
Today you will have a day excursion to Tshokha (Lake) located at the base camp of Jichu Drake. Along the trek, there are herds of blue sheep and musk deer. The journey is 15-km, 3-4 hours at an altitude of 4,500m. Overnight in camp
Day 9: Lingshi – Shodu
Today you will continue the trek distance of 22-km, 8-9 hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent and camp altitude at 4,080m. The trail climbs up to the Yeli La Pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day, you will get an excellent view of Jomolhari, Tserimgang, and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill. Overnight in the stone hut or camp.
Day 10: Shodu – Barshong
After a healthy breakfast, drive to Paro (53km/ 1.5hr) and check in resort to prepare for the hike. Spend the day hiking up a forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon. The climb is steep and takes about 4 hours round trip. An important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang Monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro Valley, and from your closest vantage point on a rocky ledge directly across from it, you will still need 200-300 mm lenses and a steady tripod to get tight photographs.
This sacred place got its name when Guru Rinpoche rode there on the back of a flying tiger and meditated in a cave behind the present-day monastery. Sadly, in 1998, the central temple was destroyed by fire, leaving the country in mourning for their holiest of spiritual places. But religious leaders and the King quickly developed a plan to rebuild Taktsang and donations started pouring in from Buddhist centers all over the world, and today, the magnificently rebuilt exterior is complete. Tiger’s Nest is once again the subject of cloud-shrouded posters that say, “Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Picnic lunch on the hillside cafeteria. .
Special permit will be arranged for you to enter the Tiger’s Nest monastery but you will not be allowed to take pictures of the inside shrines.
Evening visit a typical village home for a traditional Bhutanese style dinner accompanied by the local liquor called “Ara” (tastes somewhat like the Japanese Sake). Then luxuriate in the Bhutanese equivalent of a Jacuzzi called a “Chu Tsen.” River rocks are heated and dunked into a large wooden tub with herbs. This type of bath is considered to have medicinal properties of healing. Overnight Paro. (Alt; 2280m)
Day 11: Barshong – Dolam Kencho
Today your trek distance is 15-km, 5-6 hours, 290m ascent, 640m descent and camp altitude at 3,320m. The trail descends down to the Thimphuchhu river valley through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples, and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands. The camp is in a meadow.
Day 12: Dolam Kencho – Dodena, Thimphu [End of Trek]
Today your last trek distance is 8-km, 3-4 hours, 500m ascent and 930m descent. The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langurs (monkeys) can be seen along the way. In Dodena, you will exit the Jigme Dorji National Park and reach the road head next to an impressive cantilever bridge. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 13: Sightseeing in Thimphu
Today we explore a fascinating full day tour to see the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Next, visit the 13th-century Changgangkha Temple overlooking the Thimphu town and the Folk Heritage Museum, a showcase of the Bhutanese artifacts used in rural households. Later drive up to the Sangaygang Hill (Radio Tower) or the Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) offering a panoramic view of the Thimphu valley and Mini Zoo for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Continue to the Centenary Farmer’s Market on the banks of the Wangchhu River selling farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 14: Thimphu –Dochula– Paro
This morning we stroll in the Thimphu town to buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home. Afterward, we will head to Dochu La Pass at an altitude of 3,050m. If weather is clear, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow-capped eastern Himalaya ranges and also a magnificent distant view of the Gasa Dzong from this spot. Lunch at Dochula and we head back to Paro for a distance of 65-km for about one hour journey for final Overnight.
Day 15: End of Tour
Your tour concludes this morning. You will be transferred to Paro Airport to connect with your onward flight. Good luck and goodbye! (Tashi Delek)!