Max Elevation: 5,000 m
Min Elevation: 2,500 m
Best season: April, May, June, September, October, November
If you are seeking a relatively short but rugged high altitude trek with ample time for unique cultural insights, then the Chomolhari trek is the perfect choice. Beginning beyond Drugkyel Dzong at Shana, in the picturesque Paro Valley we enter the stunning rhododendron forests and weave our way up the valley crossing and recrossing glistening glacial streams. Eventually the landscape opens up to grassy meadows and leads us to Jangothang where we camp below the sacred peak of Chomolhari (7314m).
Continuing toward the Nye La (4700m) we are treated to views of the startling Jichu Drake (6794m) and Tshrim Khang, before making the gradual crossing of the Pass with views of the Lingshi Dzong perched high on a hill top. The most difficult day of the trek sees us crossing the 4950m Yale Pass before descending to the Thimphu River and the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. This is a relatively short but challenging trek that offers mountain views generally reserved for much longer treks.
At a Glance
Day 01 Arrive Paro International Airport
Day 02 Paro – Sightseeing
Day 03 Paro – Shana
Day 04 Shana – Soi Thangthangkha
Day 05 Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Day 06 Jangothang – Halt
Day 07 Jangothang – Lingshi
Day 08 Lingshi – Shodu
Day 09 Shodu – Barshong
Day 10 Barshong – Dolam Kencho
Day 11 Dolam Kencho – Thimphu
Day 12 Thimphu – Punakha
Day 13 Punakha – Paro
Day 14 Thimphu – Paro International Airport
Among the tremendous classic trekking routes, Jhomolhari Loop Trek is no doubt one of the most popular medium-level treks in Bhutan and enjoys large popularity in hike lovers all around the world.
Day 01, Arrive Paro International Airport
During the flight to Paro, one will experience breath taking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by representatives of our Tour Company, who will escort you to the Hotel where arrangements have been made for two nights halt at Paro.
Day 02, Paro – Taktsang
After breakfast, hike to the most famous Taktshang, popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest, built amazingly on a steep cliff. According to legend, Guru Padmasambhava flew here on a flying Tigress and meditated there for three months in the 8th century. It was from there, he propagated the Vajrayana- Mahayana Buddhism (Larger Wheel) that was prophesied by the Buddha at the time of attaining Nirvana. In April 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure of the buildings and its religious contents. A complete restoration was done and resulted in a carbon copy of the original. The return walking time is approximately five hours. After lunch, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong or ‘fortress of the victorious Drukpas’ was built in 1649. In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jomolhari, (7,314 m / 24,000 ft) appears as a backdrop. This mountain which marks the frontier with Tibet, is sacred, as are all mountains in Bhutan, and it is the dwelling place of Goddess Jomo. Drukyel Dzong, with a delightful village at its foot, is built on a rocky spur that blocked the Paro valley & protected it from invasions from the north. In 1951 a butter lamp fell & started a terrible fire and only the walls Overnight at Paro
Day 03, Paro – Shana.
Distance 15 Kms. About 5 – 6 hours’ journey. Altitude of Shana 2890 Mtrs. Drive up to Drugyel Dzong where the road ends and the trek begin. The trail follows the river through beautiful meadows and paddy fields. The night’s camp is just beyond an army outpost.
Day 04, Shana – Soi Thangthangkha
The trail continues uphill through the river valley. The valley gradually narrows to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up.
Day 05, Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Distance – 19 Kms. About 5 – 6 hours’ journey. Altitude of Jangothang 4040 m. The trek starts up the Pa Chu. Cross an army outpost along the way. The valley begins to widen here with a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herders’ winter homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Camp for the night beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Chomolhari.
Day 06, Jangothang – Halt
Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Chomolhari and it subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unscaled peaks to the east. Overnight halt in camp
Day 07, Jangothang – Lingshi
Distance – 19 Kms. About 5 – 6 hours’ journey. Altitude of Lingshi 4150 m.
Trek through wide yak pastures and up and down passes. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tsarim Kang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. Night halt is a choice between a stone hut and the tent.
Day 08, Lingshi – Shodu
Distance – 22 Kms. About 7 – 8 hours journey. Altitude of Shodu 3963m.
The trail climbs up to the Yalila Pass at an altitude of 4820 m. From the pass, you can get an excellent view of Chomolhari, Tserim Gang and Masagang on a clear day. The trek from the pass to camp site at Shodu is steep down hill. Camp can be made in a stone shelter or in tent.
Day 09, Shodu – Barshong
Distance – 13 Kms. About 3 – 4 hours journey. Altitude of Barshong 3785m.
The trail follows the Thim – Chu river through rhododendron forests. Waterfalls can be seen along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to reach the ruins of Barshong Dzong. Camp can made in stone shelter or tent.
Day 10, Barshong – Dolam Kencho
Distance – 11 Kms. About 3 – 4 hours journey. Altitude of Dolam Kencho 3628m.
The trail descends through thick rhododendron forest to meet the Thim-Chu and then ascends to pasture lands. Camp is in a meadow.
Day 11, Dolam Kencho – Thimphu Distance – 14 Kms. About 4 – 5 hours.
The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langurs (monkeys) can be seen along the way. Overnight halt in Hotel.
Day 12, Thimphu – Punakha
In the Morning complete the sightseeing at Thimphu and drive to
Dochula Pass which is 3125 M (Altitude) and lunch will be serve at Dochula Café. After lunch drive to Punakha and visit Punakha Dzong which was built in 17th Century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Overnight halt in Hotel at Punakha.
Day 13,Punakha – Thimphu – Paro
Morning drive back to Thimphu via Wangduephodrang Dzong and Lunch will be serving at Thimphu. And Afternoon do some shopping at Thimphu and drive to Paro. Overnight Hotel at Paro
Day 14, Thimphu – Paro International Airport
Drive to Paro International Airport.