Jomolhari Circuit Trek - 13 Days

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 vehicle

Trip Overview:

Jomolhari Circuit Trek is one of the popular treks in Bhutan with the maximum elevation going to over 4,180 meters above sea level. The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong and ending at Dolam Kencho. In fact, Jomolhari Trekking can be done through two different routes – the main Jomolhari Trek and Jomolhari Trek II. The main Jomolhari Trek has a total length of about 140 kilometers, which is covered in 9 days and call Jomolhari Trek or Jamolhari Circuit Trek while the second route is shorter having a length of 120 km approximately and it is 8 days trekking. Jomolhari Trek II follows a shorter route, the trek gets diverted before Sharna Zampa and passes through Thombu La, Thombu Shong, Dhumso, Bhonte La and then it meets again with the main Jomolhari Trek near Jangothang at an altitude of 4080 meters. Both of these routes are popular among tourists with maximum opting for these routes. 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. Overall, Jomolhari Circuit Trek is ideal for adventure enthusiast and nature lover plus exploring Bhutan’s age-old monasteries, temples and shrines.

Trip 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
  • Unforgettable view of Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey, Jomolhari
  • Abundant flora and fauna
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’
  • Discover Bhutan’s historical, cultural and religious landmarks

Day to Day 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: Day Hike to Taktsang Monastery (3,120m)
This morning, take a short drive to the trail head to start the hike to Taktsang Monastery. This is one of the Buddhist world’s most cherished pilgrimage sites and is known as the Tiger’s Lair. It is said that the Indian saint Guru Rinpoche came to Taktsang on the back of a tigress and, whilst meditating in a cave, converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. A number of temples have been built on the site in 16th hundred and these occupy precarious positions, clinging to a black cliff high above the Paro valley. The visit involves a two-hour climb on a steep footpath through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: Drive to Drukgyal Dzong & trek to Shana (2,950m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Day 04: Trek to Thangthangkha (3,645m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)

Day 05: Trek to Base Camp/Jangothang (4,180m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 4-5 hrs)

Day 06: 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 07: Trek to Lingshi (4,010m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Day 08: Trek to Shodu (4,110m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)

Day 09: Trek to Barshong (3,680m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Day 10: Trek to Dolam Kencho (3,430m) 
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. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 11: 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 12: 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.

Day 13: Thimphu – Paro Depart
This morning leave early morning to Paro airport to catch the onward flight; Bid farewell to the guide, and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

Cost Details:

The tour cost depends upon the category of hotels used and as per the group-size. Normally we use government approved 3 star and above hotels. Please contact us for the trip pricing. 

Our entire Bhutan tours are private journeys and tailor made programs suited for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates. Should you wish, the tour can be easily customized as per your interest and activities you wish to get involve in or spend more time in your places of interest. Contact us to customize this tour as per your requirements. This tour can be undertaken round the year.

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    Bhutan tour review Bhutan is a very beautiful country in the Himalayas and worth visiting with Family. People of Bhutan are very kind and happy people and tourist friendly nature.Climate is pleasant during April-May. Temples and monasteries are very beautiful and historical. Flora and fauna are great. Green and white (Snowclad) hills and clean rivers are really very attractive.  Only a co Read More

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