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Chomolhari Trek 11 days

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  • Jyatha, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Overview

Chomolhari Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan as the trail offers a chance to view the second-highest unclimbed peak in the world, Mt. Jumolhari (7,326m/24035ft) while camping at the highest settlement of Lingshi at an altitude of 4100m/13,451ft.

Along with the views of Mt. Chomolhari, the hills are decorated with monasteries of cultural significance. The trek itinerary mostly revolves around getting one with nature. Walking through blue pine, rhododendron, conifer lush forests beside the Wang Chhu river through the villages of Sio, Takethang and Dangochang are just some of the highlights of the trek. Bhutan's traditional economy can be seen in the farmlands with locals engaged in food and cash crop production.


Trip highlights

  • Most popular high altitude treks of Bhutan
  • Cross the high passes of Nyile La (4700m) and Yale Pass (4950m)
  • Stunning views of Bhutan’s sacred peaks: Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, and more
  • Immerse yourself in Bhutan's rich culture visiting museums, dzongs, and the famous Taktsang Monastery
  • Hike up to Chomolhari Base Camp (4050m)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Kathmandu to Paro (2250 m.). Overnight at hotel

Fly from Kathmandu to Paro by Druk Air flight. Drive to Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. Here you can see finest example of Bhutanese architecture..

Drive to see the Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Visit the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m).

Day 02: Hike to Taktsang Monastery (3180 m.). Overnight at hotel

The iconic Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s nest is a must place in Bhutan. There is a legend associated with this monastery. In the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava or the great spiritual master is said to be flown to this monastery on a back of a tigress from Tibet and meditated in a cave for 3 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days and 3 hours. This is the most important monastery in Bhutan also. The main temple complex was first built in 1692 AD. Standing on a vertical cliff one will be amazed to the architecture of this monastery. This hike takes around 2.5 hrs from the base. There is only a single trail that goes through forest up to this monastery & the ascent is gradient. This hike is very much enjoyable as the trail goes through lush green forest. At the beginning of this hike one can see this monastery from the base. As climbing up the view of Paro valley from the top looks superb. Once reach at the final view point the jaw-dropping view of this monastery will surely make speechless to anyone.

Day 03: Drive from Paro to Drukgyel Dzong and Trek to Shana (2800 m.)

We drive from Paro to the remains of Drukgyel Dzong with Mount Chomolhari making its spectacular backdrop. We trek to Shana via the bank of Paro river along a broad, fertile valley. There are typical Bhutanese rural houses on the way. We stop at our campsite at Shana, which offers the spectacular view of glistening mountains.

Day 04: Trek from Shana to Soi Thangthangka (3750 m.) – approx. 7 / 8 hours

This is a long and demanding day involving a lot of altitude gain as well. We leave our campsite and ascend gradually through stone-strewn dirt track. There is the thick alpine forest with oak, rhododendron and other trees. The path leads upward until we reach the vicinity of Tremo La Pass, which in the past was used to reach Tibet. Then we go downwards again through thick alpine forest containing birch, fir, maple and other trees. Viewing Chomolhari mountain to the north, we reach our campsite located on a big grassland.

Day 05: Trek from Soi Thangthangka to Jangothang (4050 m.) – approx. 4 / 5 hours

Soi Thangthangkha - Jangothang and the walking distance is 12 kilometers which takes 4/5 hours. The path ascends for a while till you reach a army camp. After a kilometer pass a village called Jampu towards the north. From here you will be above the tree line enjoying the stunning views of the rocky mountains. Occasionally pass by solitary houses of the yak herders before you finally reach the old ruins of the fort known as Jangothang at an altitude of 4050m with a community hall. This is also the Chomolhari base camp.

Day 06: Trek from Jangothang to Lingshi (4150 m.) – approx. 6 / 7 hours

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 4830m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong.

Day 07: Trek from Lingshi to Shodu (3963 m.) – approx. 7 / 8 hours

Today is the most difficult day so start early. Begin walk opposite the dzong gradually through the valley until the stiff climb to Yale la pass at 4950 meters the highest point of the trip. The panoramic view of Mt.Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Gang is breathtaking. After the pass its a long descent to the camp at 3750 meters. Walking time 7/8 hours.

Day 08: Trek from Shodu to Barshong (3500 m.) – approx. 5 / 6 hours

The path follows the Thimchu river descending through rhododendron, Juniper and pine forests. The view of the cliff facing rocks and water falls are stunning. The trail gradually ascends after 3/4 hours to the ruins of Barshong Dzong reaching the camp at 3500 meters. Walking time 5/6 hours.

Day 09: Trek from Barshong to Dodina and drive to Thimpu. Overnight at hotel

The path descends for a while joining the Thimchu river and gradually ascending and descending through thick bamboo and pine forests. From Dolemkencho the trail descends all the way to Dodina where the Our coach will be waiting for your return. Walking time 7/8 hours. Drive 1 and half hour to Thimphu (capital city). Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10: Sightseeing in and around Thimpu and drive to Paro. Overnight at hotel

Proceed to visit National Library (Sat, Sun, Govt holiday closed), which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.

Also visit nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holiday closed). Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.

Drive towards city centre to visit Textile (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holiday closed) and Folk Heritage Museum. These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.

Conclude sightseeing with a visit of Trashichhodzong. This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.

Day 11: Depart Paro

After leisurely breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.

  • Trip facts

  • Trip duration : 11 days
  • Grade : Easy
  • Activity : Trekking & Sightseeing Tour
  • Starts in : Paro
  • End in : Paro
  • Max Altitude : 4150 m
  • Location Covered: Paro, Shana, Jangothang, Lingshi, Shodu, Barshong, Dodina
  • Best Season: Spring / Autumn

Extension Tours

Paragliding
Jungle Safari
Pokhara Tour
Rafting

Necessary Information

1. Visa to Bhutan

To travel to Bhutan, first of all, you have to obtain a passport with the valid for 6 months. Then, if you are not an Indian, Bangladesh, or Maldivian, you must have a visa and get permission via your travel agency to enter Bhutan. Also, you cannot purchase air tickets unless you can show your visa clearance.

2. Meals on Bhutan Trip

We offer 3 tasty meals while on our trips in Bhutan (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

3. Accommodation on Bhutan Trip

All the hotels we use are comfortable, clean and offer all the amenities required. We have carefully selected the best hotel in Paro, Tiumphu and major cities of Bhutan for you and your group. If you would like to select your hotel, please let us know and we'll book everything for you.

4. Transportation

We use comfortable and well-maintained 4WD Toyota land cruiser. We ensure before leaving on a trip that our vehicule are double-checked properly. Your security is our main concern and you can be sure to have a safe trip with us.

5. Climate

You can travel in Bhutan at any time of the year except during the winter which starts in December and ends in early March. During the summer, you should expect some light rainfall especially in the south of Bhutan. In the winter time, the temperature can drop down to -6 degrees Celsius while in the summer time the temperatures reach an overage of 25 degrees Celsius.

The best time to travel in Bhutan is during the Spring (March, April and May) as days are warm and clear.

6. Vaccinations

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the commencement of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

7. Insurance

Before joining the tour we recommend you take out travel insurance. This should include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses, cancellation, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. If you do not have travel insurance you must have a credit card with at least a US$5000 limit.

8. Personal Expenses

We don’t pay for your personal expenses and recommend you to bring extra money to cover meals not included in the tour, extra activities, souvenirs, tips etc. Bhutan currency: Ngultrum (Nu) There is no ATM machines in Bhutan and credit cards are usually not accepted.

9. Safety in Bhutan

It is no doubt to say that Bhutan is the safest country in the world as there is no terrorism, riots, and political turmoil. Due to the fact that most Bhutanese people are Buddhist; hence, they believe in karma and always try to do good things in life. For this reason, your Bhutan tour itineraries will be so much perfect without worrying about anything dangerous.

10. SIM card & Internet Service in Bhutan

To keep in touch with your beloved ones, or your local guide who comes along with you on your Bhutan tour itinerary, you have to own a Bhutanese SIM card. The Internet is limited in Bhutan as it just can be found in very few hotels in big towns like Thimphu and Paro; however, you still can use the internet via data servicing packages including 2G, 3G, or even 4G by the two network providers in Bhutan: Bmobile and TashiCell.

Additional Information

Travel With Rajbala

Since we began in the early 90s we have always strived to keep our environmental footprint as small as possible and to give back to the many villages we pass through on our trekking itineraries. Today we still embrace this responsible travel approach when devising and operating our small group travel holiday experiences in Nepal. We invite you to trek in Nepal with the Himalayan trekking specialists Raj Bala Treks and Expeditions.