This is perhaps one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. Mount jhomolhari means “mountain of the goddess” and brace yourself to experience Bhutan in its truly wild beauty. With altitude differences of 2,500m and nearly 5,000m (lowest and highest point of the route), this Bhutan Trek offers a wide range of landscape, fauna and flora. The highlight of this Bhutan trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari from Jomolhari Basecamp, Jangothang, and sightings of the Blue Sheep, Tibeta snowcocks, Himalayan griffons amongst others. One should be reasonably physically fit to enjoy the majestic mountain views, endure thin air, serenity & the wilderness of the landscape while on the trek.
| At a Glance:
Day 1 - Drukgyel Dzong – Sharna Zampa
Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) where the road ends and the trek begins. 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.
Walking Distance: Dist 17 km, 4-5 hours walk
Camp Altitude : 2,850 m
Day 2 - Sharna Zampa- Soe Thangthangkha
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After goinguphill 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.
Walking Distance: Dist 22 km, 5 -6 hours walk
Camp Altitude: 3,610 m
Day 3 - Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Ifyou did not see Mount Jomolhari the previous evening, you will get a great view in the morning. The trek continues up the Paro Chhu river 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 beautiful villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another highlight of today. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.
Walking Distance: Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours walk
Camp Altitude: 4,080 m
Day 4 - You will stay at Jangothang campsite and engage yourself in various activities
Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. There are plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. Jichu Drake is also one of those unclimbed mountains. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east. Nearby there are trout filled lakes. You may also walk towards the glaciers of Jhomolhari or visit and experience a high altitude village life nearby. Don’t sweat it too much as you prepare yourself for a tough climb the next day.
Walking Distance: 0.00
Camp Altitude: 4,080 m
Now, YOU CAN EITHER TREK FOR ANOTHER 5 DAYS AND COME OUT FROM DODENA AT THIMPHU OR YOU CAN TREK FOR 4 DAYS AND COME OUT FROM WHERE YOU STARTED, DRUGYAL DZONG AT PARO.
Day 5 - Jangothang – Lingshi
The trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m. Apart from the beautiful landscape you might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains and spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang. You will pass through yak herder’s tents made from yak wool. You will also get a view from the top of beautiful Lingzhi Dzong. Campsite near Lingzhi Dzong.
Walking Distance: Dist 18 km, 6-7 hours walk
Camp Altitude: 4,010 m
Day 6 Lingshi – Shodu
The trail climbs up to Yelila pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day you will get an excellent view of Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.
Walking Distance: Dist 22 km, 8-9 hours walk
Camp Altitude: 4,080 m
Day 7 - Shodu – Barshong
The trail follows the Thimphu Chhu river through colorful rhododendron forests and beautiful waterfalls along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.
Walking Distance: Dist 16 km, 5 - 6 hours walk
Camp Altitude: 3,710 m
Day 8 - Barshong – Dolam Kencho
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. Today you will camp in a beautiful lush meadow.
Walking Distance: Dist 15 km, 5 - 6 hours walk
Camp Altitude: 3,320 m
Day 9 - Dolam Kencho – Dodena
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. Your vehicle awaits you to take you to your hotel in Thimphu.