Mount Jhomolhari (7134m) is Bhutan’s second-highest peak situated on the northern border with Tibet. It is as graceful and striking as its nearby neighbor Jitchu Drake. The six days of trekking is of only moderate difficulty. The trek passes through forested valleys of rhododendron and blue pine into impressive mountain landscape home to yak herders who may even invite you into their tents for tea! This nine-day itinerary out of Kathmandu allows you to see the pristine wilderness of Bhutan as well as its people and culture. It’s an excellent itinerary for getting to see a good slice of Bhutan with a stunning Himalayan flight included
Day 01: Arrive in Paro
The excitement of your journey has already begun on your flight with fabulous views of the Himalayan range. We’ll collect you from the airport and check you into your hotel. Depending on the arrival time of your flight in Bhutan, we can either visit Paro’s ancient Rinpung Dzong, a stunning huge monastery (and government office) and Ta Dzong (the cylindrical Museum) or just have a stroll around the quiet town of Paro.
Day 02: Day excursion to Taktsang Monastery
Early morning hike to Taktsang Monastery, also known as “Tiger’s Nest”, which is the famous photogenic monastery perched improbably on the side of a cliff. It takes about an hour and half to reach the viewpoint (depending on fitness and eagerness) but it is well worth trekking the extra 45 minutes to the monastery and looking at where Guru Rinpoche is said to have landed with his magic tigress to meditate. We’ll take lunch at the viewpoint restaurant. After reaching the valley again, we drive north to the end of Paro valley to visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong and weather permitting, to get a spectacular view of Mount Jhomolhari. On the way back we’ll visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, an ancient 7th century monastery with fragrant orange tree in its courtyard.
Day 03: Trek from Paro to Shana: 5 hours walk
We drive up to Drukgyel Dzong where the road ends and the trek begins, and we follow the river gently uphill through a narrow agricultural valley passing by village houses. Our camp is just beyond the army outpost of Gunitsawa. Shana campsite at 2890m.
Day 04: Trek from Shana to Soi Thangthangkha: 7 to 8 hours walk
The day begins on uphill trails following narrowing river valley. The trek is mostly gentle uphill. Just before reaching camp at Thangthangkha you get a great view of Mount Jhomolhari. We camp in a meadow with a stone shelter about 20 minutes after passing Thangthangkha. Camp at Soi Thangthangkha at 3575m.
Day 05: Trek from Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang: 5 hours walk
Today the valley begins to widen again and we begin to get wonderful views of high ridges and snow-capped peaks. You may see yak herders’ winter homes here too. We camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jhomolhari. Camp in the spectacular location of Chomolhari Base Camp at 4044m.
Day 06: Rest day at Jangothang
Today we have chance to explore the surroundings. If you are feeling energetic then you can trek up to Tsophu. From this lake, Mt. Jhomolhari and its subsidiary are directly west, Mt. Jichu Drake is to the north and unclimbed summits and ridges dot the horizon to the east.
Day 07: Trek from Jangothang to Shing Karap: 6 to 7 hours walk
We begin our return journey today and follow the same trail down to Soi Thangthangkha heading back down towards Shana. Trail is mostly downhill the walking is pleasant and easy. We at a place called Shing Karap, a small meadow with a stone hut housing a local family. Camp at Shing Karap at 3100m.
Day 08: Trek from Shing Karap to Paro: 6 hours walk
We follow the same trail down towards Shana which takes about one hour, cross the Pa Chhu, and go past the military checkpoint of Gunitsawa. Soon we’ll be able to see Drukgel Dzong where the road to Paro begins. A final 6 hours of trekking and return to the comforts of the hotel in Paro.
Day 09: Departure
After an early breakfast, we’ll bring you to the airport for your onward flight back.