Jomolhari Circuit Trek – 13 Days

Highlights:
✓ Taktsang Monastery
✓ Dolam Kencho
✓ Lingshi
✓ Shodu

✓ Jangothang

Category:

Description

Jomolhari Circuit Trek

Jomolhari Circuit Trek is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled trekking areas in Bhutan. The trek passes through the antique villages, alpine grazing meadows, livestock farms and offers the great variety of Bhutanese landscapes. Jomolhari Circuit Trek offers scenic beauty with its splendid lofty mountains and deep valley undisturbed by modernization. Firstly, the trek passes through the Paro Chu Valley crossing passes, crests and Jigme Dorji National Park etc. The main goal is to reach Jangothang to witness Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drakey from a closer proximity. Besides trek, there are other opportunities to discover Paro, Thimphu and Punakha; especially the hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff.

Trip Facts

Trip Name: Jomolhari Circuit Trek
Trip Duration: 13 Days
Max. Altitude: 4,180m/13,714 ft (Jangothang)
Best Season: March to May and September to November
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private car, van or bus (Depends on group size)
Trip Type: Private Tour
Min Group: 2 pax

Highlights:

• Witness bird’s eye-view of the world’s tallest mountains onboard flight to/from Paro
• Explore the colorful Paro and the tiny capital – Thimphu
• Witness unforgettable view of Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey, Jomolhari
• Explore abundant flora and fauna
• Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’
• Discover Bhutan’s historical, cultural and religious landmarks

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m)

Flying in to the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro. In the evening, stroll along Paro downtown for acclimatization and orientation or there is an option of exploring different sites in Paro which the guide will organize depending upon time available. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Drive to Drukgyal Dzong & trek to Shana (2,950m) (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) where the road ends and the trek begin. With a gradual climb the trail follows the Pachhu (Paro River) passing beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about 4 hours it arrives at the army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army check point the trek permit will be checked and endorsed. Today’s campsite is by the small outpost for park warden. Overnight in Camp.

Day 03: Trek to Thangthangkha (3,645m) (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)

Due to long distance to cover today the trek starts a bit early. Most of the campsite is designated by government depending on area and access to water. Mainly to protect from deforestation and disturbance to wild animals. The short walk from the camp will arrive at the Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area in the country. The park is home to several endangered species including the takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been cataloged within the park. After about 2 hours, the trail gets to a fork where the path which is not supposed to follow or the ancient trade route to Tibet is much wider and definitely more inviting. Turn right and follow the smaller trail through oak, spruce, birch, alpine yellows trees. After lunch the trail becomes bit tricky with wet and loose rock for some section. After an hour hike the path comes across a bridge and chorten (Stupa) not to turn toward chorten. Keep left! Overnight in Camp.

Day 04: Trek to Base Camp/Jangothang (4,180m) (Walking Duration: 4-5 hrs)

The trail continues with gentle climb along Pa chu to another army post. The valley finally widen up gradually to a mere path which ascends to a meadow where same yak herders have their winter home. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful stroll. When the campsite is approached Mt. Chomolhari can be spotted including its neighboring snowcapped peaks. Overnight in Camp.

Day 05: Rest Day at Jangothang (4,180m)

Jangothang has a perfect environment for the acclimatization before going over the high passes. Relax or hike in the spectacular surroundings. From here a line of great peaks on the horizon can be seen; Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tsering Kang and many more. There are herds of blue sheep in the area. In the summer, the ethereal Himalayan blue poppy can be seen in this area. Today just rest in camp or go for a day hike in this beautiful place. If yak herders are in the vicinity, perhaps visit inside one of the big black smoky yak-hair tents. Chomolhari is a mountain sacred to a female deity (Jomo); lhari means snow peak. An Indo-Bhutanese team reached the summit in 1970, but now the high peaks may no longer be climbed.

Day 06: Trek to Lingshi (4,010m) (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Starting at Jangothang (4180m) and camp at Lingshi (4010m) Today the first major pass at 4890m (Nyile-la ) is encountered. Also spot snow peak views of Tserim Kang (6789m) Camp near a stream in a meadow. Overnight in Camp.

Day 07: Trek to Shodu (4,110m) (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)

Starting at Lingshi (4010m) and camp at Shodu (4110m). The first half of the trek is mostly through treeless valley until the trail starts ascending to Yeli-la pass at 4820 m, from here Mt. Jumolhari, Mt. Tsherimgang and Mt. Masagang can be seen on clear days. Camp in a meadow. Overnight in Camp.

Day 08: Trek to Barshong (3,680m) (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Starting at Shodu (4110m) and camp at Barshong (3680 m). Today’s trial winds up & down following the Thimphu Chhu and crossing it six times. A final climb for about an hour walk will bring to Barshong. Camp just below the ruins of a small Dzong. Overnight in Camp.

Day 09: Trek to Dolam Kencho (3,430m) (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Starting at Barshong (3680m) and camp at Dolam Kencho (3430m). The trial descends gently down to meet Thimphu Chhu through the dense forest of Rhododendron, birch, conifer trees and across the pasture land. Camp in a meadow. Overnight in Camp.

Day 10: Trek to Dolam Kencho & drive to Thimphu (2,350m)

Starting at Dolam Kencho (3430m) and end of trek at Dodina (2600m). Today is an easy 3 hour descends till Dodina where the vehicle will be awating for the drive to Thimphu which is about 30 minutes. Overnigh at Hotel.

Day 11: Thimphu –Day excursion to Punakha (1,310m)

After early breakfast, drive about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochu La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, the road descends through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields.

In the afternoon, Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river). Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Later in the evening drive back to Thimphu. Overnigh at Hotel.

Day 12: Thimphu – Paro & Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)

After breakfast drive towards Paro and further drive to the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost) Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan and Paro Ringpong Dzong. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 13: Paro Depart

After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

Cost Includes:

• Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

Cost Excludes:

• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

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