Jomolhari Yaksa Trek - 12 Days

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Jomolhari Yaksa Trek
Trip Duration: 12 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 Yaksa Trek is enjoyed in the most biologically diverse environments witnessing the spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari (7314m) and it’s associates Jichu Drake (6794m) and Tshering Gang. The trek goes to the base of Mt. Jomolhari, the second highest unclimbed peak in the world. It is one of the best treks for nature lovers with great mountain views and alpine pastures teamed up with visiting remote villages neighboring Tibet. The trek starts from Paro with driving towards the Drukgyal Dzong; once the road ends, the trek starts with passing through alpine meadows with majestic Jomolhari peak rising at the valley head. Fishing trout’s at the high altitude Lake Tshophu can also be done during the trek. Besides, the program visits all the important cities of Bhutan like the colorful Paro, the tiny capital- Thimphu and the old capital city of Punakha. During the sightseeing several historical and religious landmarks are visited like Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang and the most interesting hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff.

Trip Highlights:

  • Bird’s eye-view of the world’s tallest mountains onboard flight to/from Paro
  • Visit the tiny capital – Thimphu City
  • Punakha Dzong – arguably the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan
  • Moderately difficult high altitude trek
  • Majestic panorama of Mt. Jomolhari & Mt. Jyichu Drakye
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a cliff
  • Explore around remote rural life of Bhutan
  • Discover age-old culture, tradition and religious landmarks

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m) - Sightseeing
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 Yaksa (3,830m)
After a short walk from the camp the trail climbs rapidly for some time and then becomes a gradual ascent to the camp in yak pasture. Herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains might be seen from here and if the weather permits spot Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu drake and Tsherimkang. Then the path becomes much broader and gradual. Continue the hike passing the beautiful lake (TshoPhu).The government has stocked brown trout in many alpine lakes in 1980’s. Now the climb to Bongtoe La at an elevation of 4890m begins. Roughly take about an hour to reach the meadow before the summit and another 45 minutes to the top. From here it’s all downhill to the basemen of Yaksa village. The villager often comes with their local product to sell like, textile, yak cheese etc. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 08: Trek to Thongbu (4,120m)
A gradual climb above tree-line, past hillsides covered with rhododendron and azalea will come across some yak herder’s camp. After crossing small stream the trail continues with climb about an hour over the Takalung La (Wind-Horse pass) at 4540m. Descend to grassy meadows where herds of yak graze during the summer months. It is a very large meadow. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 09: Trek to Shana (2,950m)
A steep climb above the valley to Thongbu La (4160m) traverse an incredibly beautiful garden of wildflowers, then begin long and steep descent to Shana and the last campsite, as the trail leaves the forest at a hillside above the river valley where the trek will end tomorrow. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Day 10: Shana - Paro - Thimphu (2,350m)
Today, it is a relatively easy half day’s walk through fields and rice terraces to the end of the trail at Drukgyel Dzong, where the trek ends. After refreshment drive to Thimphu the capital city. It is a pleasurable ride, with many optional stops along the road. The capital rests on a wooded hillside by the Wang Chhu. The center of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a bustling town where traditional ways mingle with modern introductions. The drive takes about two hours. Overnight in Camp.

Day 11: Thimphu –Day excursion to Punakha (1,310m)
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 12: 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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