Jomolhari Trek (12 Days)
Jomolhari Trek is for strong walkers. One of the hardest as many experienced, and takes 8 days 7 nights.
The day starts from Drugyal Dzong(now in ruins) at Paro and passes through thick pine forests, scattered villages and alpine meadows. On the way, you will have spectacular mountain views, glacial lakes, high altitude flowers and medicinal herbs. It attains an altitude of 15,115 ft.
Best months: April to June and September to November
Day 01: Arrive Paro
On arrival at Paro, you will be escorted by the representative of Mysterious Bhutan Tours and Adventures. Evening, visit Paro town and neighboring places. Night at the hotel, Paro.
Day 02: Paro
Morning visit to Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watchtower and in 1968 inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum. The collection includes art, relics, religious thankhas paintings, postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, as well as a small natural history collection. Below Ta Dzong is Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong),’the fortress of the heap of jewels’, built in 1646, and now housing the offices of the district administration and Paro’s monk body.
In the afternoon, visit Kyichu Lhakhang .Built by Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan .Night at the hotel, Paro.
Day 03: Paro –Shana
17km, 5 -6 hours
The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong(2,580m)with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. 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 reaches the army post of Gunitsawa (2,810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2,870m), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.
Day 04: Shana – Soi Thangthangkha
20km, 7-8 hours
The trail again follows the Pa Chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for a hot lunch. Then we continue along the river, climbing upwards through rhododendron forests, and crossing the river once more before reaching our campsite (3,750m).
Day 05: Soi Thangthangkha –Jangthang
19km, 7-8 hours
The path ascends for awhile until we reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning views of the surroundings 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 Jangthang (4,040m). From here, the views of Jomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.
Day 06: Jangothang –Lingshi
18km, 7-8 hours
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up to the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking views of Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la pass (4,700m). We descend gradually from the pass to our campsite at Lingshi (4,000m), enjoying a panoramic view of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.
Day 07: Lingshi –Shodu
22km, 8-9 hours
The Laya-Gasa route leaves the Jomolhari trek route here. Our trail climbs up wards a small white Chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up deep 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 climb steeply for two hours to Yeli-la (4,820m). On a clear day you can see Jomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang from this pass. Descend alongside a stream to a rock shelter in the cliff face, and then continue on downstream till reaching Shodu (4,100m), where we will camp in a meadow with a Chorten in it.
Day 08: Shodu – Barshong
16km, 6-7 hours
We are now back at the tree line, and our path follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through rhododendron, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls ruins of Barshong Dzong (3,600m), near which we camp for the night.
Day 09: Barshong – Dolam Kencho
15km, 5-6 hours
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 where we camp for the night at 3,600m.
Day 10: Dolam Kencho –Dodena –Thimphu
8km, 3 hours
The trail winds in and out of side valleys above the Thimphu Chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3,510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2,600m). Mysterious Bhutan transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu. Night at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 11: Thimphu –Paro
Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley visiting the following, as time permits:
National Memorial Chorten; Tashichhodzong (‘the fortress of the glorious religion’);National Library; Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school); National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only); Handicrafts Emporium.
Evening drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel at Paro.
Day 12: Depart Paro
After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport for flight to onward destination.
Package starts from US $ 1,980 – 3,000 for this adventurous strong trek
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