bhutan trek and tour

Chomolhari Trek -12 Days

Chomolhari Trek

Trip Introduction

Join our superb trek program around the base of Mount Cholomhari (7,316 m / 24,000 ft). This enchanting trek takes you to the base of Mount Jumolhari, one of the highest levels of Bhutan treks, the second highest unclimbed peak in the world. The mountain is revered by the local yak herders as the abode of their goddess. While trekking on part of his BBC Himalaya Adventure 2010, Michael Palin exclaimed, Farewell big, monumental, Himalayan peaks. Farewell Chomolhari.

Chomolhari Trek beginning from Paro, the first three days of this trek follow the Paro Chhu valley to Jangothang base camp. After an acclimatization hike to Tiger`s Nest Monastery, the trek starts from Drugyal Dzong. From there you will have a stunning view of 7513m Mount Jumolhari. The next day`s trail passes through high pastureland, and after crossing the highest point Nyile La Pass (4890m), you arrive at Lingshi which is the highest settlement in the north. En route relish the startling views of of Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshrim Khang (6789m). Lingshi Dzong perched on 600ft hilltop offers commanding views of the valleys beneath.

The Chomolhari trek also offers an opportunity to visit remote villages neighboring with Tibet, and learn traditional lifestyles of nomadic yak-herders and highland farmers. Don`t forget to bring your camera to capture the sights of such highland animals as yaks, blue sheep, musk deer and elusive marmots. In the last few days, pass through conifer forests, canyons and streams, and arrive at Dodena, where your car will be waiting to transferyou to Thimphu. The journey concludes with a cultural tour of Bhutanese Capital, the Thimphu Valley.

Detail Itinerary

DAY 01 : Arrive Paro (2250m / 7382ft)

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Upon arrival you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong (fortress). It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions. You'll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the Dzong. Afterward you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most sacred shrine in the country. Overnight hotel in Paro.

DAY 02 : Acclimatization Hike to Tiger’s Nest (3180m/10430 ft)

After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery at 3100m, Bhutan's most famous monastery. The hike also serves the acclimatization purpose for the next day’s trek. The 8th century Spiritual Master, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Explore the Monastery hike back to Paro. In the evening you can explore Paro Town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

DAY 03 : Trek starts Paro-Shana – (2850m/9348 ft): 5/6 hrs/15 km

The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong at 2,580 m with a downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m. This is the last stop before Tibet. At 2,870m, just beyond Shana Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees. Camp at an altitude of 2850m.

DAY 04 : Shana- Sio Thangthangkha – (3,750m/12300 ft): 7/8 hrs/20 km

The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro River), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching to the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.

DAY 05 : Sio Thangthangkha- Jangothang - (4,040m/13250 ft): 7/8 hrs/19 km

The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

DAY 06 : Rest day at Jangothang Base Camp

Today is a rest and acclimatization for the next day’s highest Nyile La (4870m/15970ft) climb on the way to Lingzhi. After breakfast, you will take for 3-4 hours excursion up the ridge to the north of the camp. The ridge is endless, but after walking for hour there is a view of Jichu Drakye. You will have picnic lunch while walking on the ridge. There are chances of encountering grazing yaks and blue sheep on the upper slopes.

DAY 07 : Jangothang –Lingshi - (4000m/13120 ft): 7/8 hrs/18 km

The trail follows the stream or half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshering Gang. Then Walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Camp at an altitude of 4000m.

DAY 08 : Lingshi- Shodu - (4,100m/13450ft): 8/9 hrs/22km

The Laya Gasa route leaves the Jumolhari trek here. The trek route climbs towards a small white Chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chhu valley. The trail stays on the west side of the largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above Mo Chhu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli La pass (4,820m/15810 ft). From the pass, on a clear day, you can see Jumolhari, Gangchen Ta, Tshering Gang and Masang Gang. Descend alongside a stream to a shelter, and then further downstream to a camp at Shodu (4,100m), a meadow with a Chorten.

DAY 09 : Shodu-Barshong - (3,600m/11810ft): 6/7 hrs/16km

At this place, one comes back to tree line. The path follows Thimphu River, descending through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forests. The view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls is stunning. Hot lunches will be served by the riverside. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of riversides. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong, reaching the camp at an altitude of 3,600m.

DAY 10 : Barshong-Dolam Kencho – (3,600m/11810ft): 5/6 hrs/15km

The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, and then drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chhu. It stays on river left, climbing over ridges and descending to side streams. Then traverses steep cliff to Dolam Kencho, a camp among pastureland at 3,600m.

DAY 11 : Dolam Kencho-Dodena-Thimphu - (2350m / 7710ft): 3 hrs/8km

Trek ends The trail goes in and out steeply to the river and follows it southward to the road head at Dodena, elevation 2,600m where you will be picked up by Bhutan Travelers transport to drive to Thimphu. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the life style of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 12 : Drive Thimphu-Paro (Distance 54Km, Time 45 minutes)

After early breakfast, you will drive to airport for departure. Today you bid farewell to the Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport in the morning depending on the flight schedule and your destination. Our representative will bid you farewell.

Important Note and Optional Activities

Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Glacier Trekking. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Dates and Season

We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date. You can join our Bhutan Tour Programs as per your convenience. Spring season (March to June) and in the autumn season (September to November) are the best time for the Chomolhari Trek. The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms. The spring season also observes the biggest festivals of Bhutan.

Trip Cost Includes

  • All meals, tea & snacks
  • Government approved A category hotels on twin sharing basis in city and camping during trekking
  • Roundtrip airport transfers and other transport as per itinerary
  • Experienced English speaking guides and local staff
  • All city tour
  • Government taxes, permits, sightseeing entrance fees for museums and monuments
  • Bhutan Visa fee
  • Porter and pack animals for the trekking
  • Trekking equipments like 2-men sleeping tents, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, and sleeping mats

Trip Cost Does Not Include

  • Airfare to/from Paro, Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet , laundry etc.)
  • Trip cancellation and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
  • Tips for Staff/guide

Health & Experience Required

Trekking in Bhutan is physically demanding because of the distance and abrupt changes in elevation. Depending on the day of the trek, you will have to walk 5-8 hours covering a distance of 10-15 kilometers daily to reach the campsites. Most of the climbs run through deep forests on rocky trails and sometimes the trails traverses through wet mud were you need agility to hop between round river stones. But if you have experience of walking long distances with a back pack and you do not have history of knee pains on descents it should not be difficult for you for trekking in Bhutan.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of joining any of our trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don't arrange or sell insurance. For more information

Accommodations

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of your booking, we provide grade A hotels in Paro and Thimphu. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or similar in Paro , Hotel Migmar or similar in Thimpu and tent/camping during the trekking. Since the Chomolari trek is designed on twin sharing basis, you share room with your fellow traveler but in case you prefer single rooms we charge USD 320 as single supplement.

Meals

A variety of meals are available in most hotels – the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season. For the actual trekking days, our company will send wide assortment of food. You will be provided 3 meals a day – breakfast, hot picnic lunch on the way, and dinner at the campsites with evening tea and snacks. Our trekking cooks are well trained and can whip up delicious meals at any altitude. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know prior to the trek departure so that we would be able to take care of it. For the first few days during trekking, you will be served fresh foods and meats and towards the end of the trek, you will be served with high quality tinned foods.

Equipments & Packing List

While packing for "Chomolhari Trek"certain gears are essential to be considered. Please Click here for the comprehensive packing list for this trip.

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: US telephone: 704-200-7512

Traveller's Reviews

  • We are having a fantastic time. It is the vacation of our lives. The planning, places, accommodations and people are superb. We know you work very hard to make dream vacations come true and it is appreciated. We are in Paro Hotel and what a rare treat. This place is fabulous. No one could have planned a better vacation.

    Vancouver, Canada
  • We appreciated this local Travel Agency, because of friendly and experienced Staffs, who are working in it. They always tried to do their best, to make everything perfect, on what you agreed before beginning of the trip. This is important for clients, who decide to travel in Asia, because experienced tourists know, that it's not always like this here. I hope, they will remain the same, when their company will grow up.

    Alex, London Read More