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Jumolhari Trek

Jumolhari Trek

Jomolhari Trek is the most popular trek in Bhutan. The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari(7314m) which is the biggest virgin mountain in the world from Jomolhari Basecamp, Jangothang. Nearly the whole trek goes through a small part of the Jigme Singye National Park, passing a few of the Yak herder’s settlement and the remotest region of Lingshi. One should be reasonably physically fit to enjoy the majestic mountain views, endure thin air and serenity. This trek is possible from April to early June and from September to November. Days are normally warm but nights are very cold. Snow usually closes the high passes in mid to late November and they don’t reopen until April.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 (Paro):You are expected to arrive at Paro through the only flight to Bhutan, Druk Air. We assure you a unique travelling experience across the Himalayas, including the sacred Jhumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks of Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by a tour executive from Bhutan Vajra Adventures and check you into your hotel. After lunch, your first event of the trip will start with a visit to the national Museum of Bhutan and walk down to Paro Rinpung Dzong which is strategically located on a small hill top overlooking the paro valley.  You can expect to see a great architectural view of the gigantic dzong built in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Later in the evening, if time permits drive up to Kyichu lhakhang to see one of the oldest monastery of Bhutan built in the 8th century by a Tibetan king.

Day 2 (Paro, Taktshang):This 3-4 hours hike to Taktsang is deliberately included in the itinerary to prepare our guest for the big hike next day.After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, this is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche (Second lord Buddha) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. After lunches take some rest, and once you are active enough to start your sight scene, we will visit the following places like Drukgyal Dzong (fortress of victory) and in the evening walk around Paro town.

Day 3 (DrukgyelDzong – SharnaZampa): Distance 17km, four to five hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850m.

Drive up to DrukgyelDzong (2,580m) where the road ends and the trek begin. With a gradual climb the trail follows the Paro Chhu passing beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about four hours you will reach the army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army checkpost your trek permit (provided by your tour operator) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.

Day 4(SharnaZampa- Thangthangkha): Distance 22km, seven to eight hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m.

On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley, you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. 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 will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari.

Day 5(Thangthangkha – Jangothang: Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m.

If you did not see Mount Jomolhari last evening, you will have a great chance to get a great view this early morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. 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. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.

Day 6(Jangothang Halt)

The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on 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 acclimatisation. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.

Day 7(Jangothang – Lingshi): Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m.

After 15 min. from the camp the trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m. While on the climb enjoy the surrounding. You might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherim gang, all of them rising above 7,000m. On the way down to the camp you will pass by some of the yak herder’s tent, made from yak wool, where the herders take shelter while on the move to various pastures for their yaks. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserim gang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. The campsite is next to a stone hut you reach just before Lingshi Dzong.

Day 8(Lingshi – Shodu): Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m.

The trail climbs up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day you will get an excellent view of Jumolhari, Tserim gang and Masang gang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.

Day 9(Shodu – Barshong): Distance 16km, five to six hours, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3,710m.

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

Day 10(Barshong – DolamKencho): Distance 15km, four to six hours, 290m ascent, 640m descent, camp altitude 3,320m.

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. The camp is in a meadow.

Day 11(DolamKencho – Dodena): Distance 8km, three to four hours, 500m ascent, 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 JigmeDorji National Park and reach the road head next to a impressive cantilever bridge.

Day 12 (Thimphu):In Thimphu we will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, textile museum, Buddha point (for a great bird’s eye view of Thimphu Valley and the giant Buddha statue), and the mini-zoo, where you can see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. From there we will visit the Zilukha nunnery temple, a traditional paper factory, the Tashicho dzong (Fortress of Thimphu). In the evening, walk around Thimphu town to shop for souvenirs to take back home and wind up your trip to Bhutan with a quiet Bhutanese dinner at one of the local restaurants

Day 13: Depart for onward destination from Paro International Airport

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