Jomolhari TrekThe Jomolhari Trek in the far north-west is reputedly Bhutan's best walk, an eight-day horseshoe which follows ancient tracks beneath the spine of mountains separating Bhutan from Tibet, then turning eastwards to descend the valley high above Thimpu, the country's capital.One of Bhutan's most popular trek, it offers spectacular views of 7314m high Jumolhari, its companion Jitchu Drake, Tserim Kang and the adjoining peaks.
Paro / Shana / Soil Thangthangkha / Jangothang / Lingshi / Shodu / Barshong / Dolam Kencho / Dodena / Thimphu / Paro
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical and cultural past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centre, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards walk to the beautiful cantilever wooden bridge still in use. Accommodation: Hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for lunch.
Afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. Drive back to Paro,enroute visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo and is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Accommodation: Hotel in Paro.
Day 03: Paro to Shana (17 km / 5-6 hrs)
The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide track. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and field of millet. Later on we come to apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens, and we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (2810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2870m), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.. Accommodation:Camp.
Day 04: Shana to Soil Thangthangkha (20 km / 7-8 hrs)
The trail again follows the Pa Chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forest .After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for lunch. Then continue along the river, climbing upwards through Rhododendron forest, and crossing the river once more before reaching the campsite. Accommodation: Camp (3750m).
Day 05: Soil Thangthangkha to Jangothang (19 km / 7-8 hrs)
The path ascends for a while until we reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch is served at a yak herder’s camp. A short walk from here into the valley takes us to our campsite at Jangothang. From here the views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake are Superb. Distance and Time: Accommodation: Camp at Jangothang (4040m)
Day 06: Jangothang to Lingshi (18km / 7-8 hrs)
The trail follows a gentle stream for half an hour and crosses a bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la Pass (4700m). We descend gradually enjoying a panoramic view of the mountainous peaks and Lingshi Dzong from the pass until we reach our campsite at Lingshi. Accommodation: Camp at Lingshi (4000m)
Day 07: Lingshi to Shodu (22 km / 8-9 hrs)
Our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south deep to Mo Chu valley. The trail stays on the West side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above the Mo Chu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-La (4820m). On clear day you can see Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang from this pass. The trail then descends alongside a stream to a rock shelter in a cliff face. It then continues on downstream until reaching Shodu, where we will camp in a meadow with a chorten in it. Accommodation: Camp at Shodu (4100m)
Day 08: Shodu to Barshong (16 km / 6-7 hrs)
Our path follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through Rhododendron, Juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views along the way. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong, near which we camp for the night. Accommodation: Camp at Barshong (3600m).
Day 09: Barshong – Dolam Kencho (15 Km / 5-6 hrs)
The trail descends gently through a dense forest of Rhododendron, Birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet the Thimphu Chu. The trail runs along the left bank of the river, climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams run down into the river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu, coming out onto Pastureland. Distance and Accommodation: Camp at a Pastureland (3600m).
Day 10: Dolam Kencho to Dodena to Thimphu (8 Km / 3 hrs)
The trail winds in and out of a side valley above the Thimphu chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2600m). Bhutan Travel Bureau transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu. Accommodation: Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 11: Thimphu to Paro
Enjoy sightseeing in Thimphu beginning with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the third King who passed away in the year 1972. Other highlights include the 12th Century Changangkha Temple, Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha nunnery, the School for Arts and Crafts where the students are taught to master the 13 types of Bhutanese art, the National Library housing a collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. In the early evening depart for Paro. Accommodation: Hotel in Paro.
Day 12: Departure from Paro
After having breakfast in the hotel, drive towards the airport to board your flight home or onward destination.