The Chomolhari Trek - 12 Days


  • Country: Bhutan
  • Max. Altitude: 4,940m/16207ft
  • Best Season: Spring/Autumn
  • Group Size: Min 2 Pax
  • Trip Start/Ends: Paro
  • Trek Style: Camping
  • Transportation: Land Transport

The Chomolhari Trek is a perfect yet challenging high altitude trekking in the Himalayan Kingdom, Bhutan. On this trek, one can spend 10 days in the wilderness of Bhutan with high alpine topography and less explored trials. 

Also known as Jumolhari trek, this Trek offers a great opportunity to witness cultural and natural diversity, from remote farmland and pine forests to alpine pastureland and amazing mountain views. This can be an ideal adventure for a nature lover. 


Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Day 2: In Paro

Day 3: Paro – Shana (17km, 5-6 hours)

Day 4: Shana – Soi Thangthangkha (20km, 7-8 hours)

Day 5: Soi Thangthangka – Jangothang (19km, 7-8 hours)

Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi (18km, 7-8 hours)

Day 7: Lingshi – Shodu (22km, 8-9 hours)

Day 8: Shodu – Barshong (16km, 6/-7 hours)

Day 9: Barshong – Dolam Kencho (15km, 5-6 hours)

Day 10: Dolam Kencho – Dodena – Thimpu (8km, 3 hours)

Day 11: Thimpu – Paro

Day 12: Paro Depart

On your arrival at Paro airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel after completion of arrival formalities. At Evening we will visit to Paro market and town. Overnight at the hotel.

Early morning we 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 thangkha 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. During afternoon, we visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. Later on we come to apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens, and we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (2,810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2,870), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.

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.

The path ascends for a while until we reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning view of the surrounding 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 Jangothang (4,040 m). From here, the view of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

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 view of Chamolhari, 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 camp site at Lingshi (4,000m), enjoying a panoramic view of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.

The Laya-Gasa route leaves the Chomolhari trek route here. Our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the 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 climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-la (4,820m). On a clear day you can see Chomolhari, 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 camp in a meadow with a chorten in it.

We are now back at the tree line, and our path follows the course of the Thimpu Chu, descending through rhododendron, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls along the way. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3,600m), near which we camp for the night.

The trail decends gently through a dense forest of rhodendron, birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet the Thimpu 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.

The trail winds in and out of side valleys above the Thimpu 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). Norbu Bhutan Travel transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimpu. Overnight at hotel in Thimpu.

Full day of sightseeing in Thimpu valley visiting the following, as time permits: National Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong, National Library; Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school), National Institute of Traditional Medicine ( outside only ), Handicrafts Emporium. Get back to Paro.

After breakfast, drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination. (We encourage you to extend your views in case if you want to change the itinerary)

Inclusion

  • Accommodation using 3 Star Hotel in a Standard on a twin sharing basis
  • All meals at the given hotels or local restaurants
  • All transfers & transportation within Bhutan
  • English speaking guide, monument entrance fees, sightseeing

Exclusion

  • Lunch & dinner at 5 star hotel, Air fares
  • All beverages including water consumed at hotels/restaurants
  • Hotel facilities, laundry, phone calls
  • Takt sang horse fee
  • Person travel health Insurance etc.
  • Visa Fee

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Acclimatization

To enable all expedition members to acclimatize well and hence maximize their chances of success, our expedition programs are prepared with sufficient time for acclimatization. Adaptation to the altitude takes time and there can be no short-cuts, even if supplementary oxygen is used in the final stages. The atmospheric pressure at the base camp is half of that at the sea level. A thorough program of acclimatization is built into the itinerary which consists of regulated height ascents, followed by descents and rests before the final ascent to the summit. This will prevent the climbers to get rid from altitude sickness.

Why Tipping is essential?

There are several reasons why you should tip in Nepal. It is quite the same as for what you tip in restaurants. They live in remote areas that are far from proper health and education facilities. Tipping them will additionally encourage them to manage good and nutritive food to eat, warm and comfortable clothes to wear or other necessary basic requirements to maintain their livelihood in a comfortable way. A small gesture of gratitude will do no harm to you but actually changes the lives of many people for a long time in many reasons. Our company has its fund collected from the some percentage of profit and sometimes from the tips of our guests which will directly invested for uplifting the economic condition of guides, porters and other staffs of office. It’s nothing more than the way to add smiles on those laborious faces.


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Trip highlights

  • Explore the gems of Bhutan 
  • Immerse yourself in the richness of the culture visiting museums, Dzongs (Citadels) and Monasteries
  • Trek over challenging terrain through the most remote pristine forests and mountains of the Himalaya
  • Meet traditional Himalayan highlanders: farmers, yak herders, and monks

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