Chomolhari or Jhomolhari Trek is Bhutan’s equivalent to Nepal’s Everest Base Camp Trek- it is Bhutan’s most popular high-altitude trek and is worth all the hype. Approximately 40 percent of all trekkers who visit Bhutan cover this trek through one route or another. Our 12-day-long Chomolhari trek starts and ends in Paro. We begin our trek with an acclimatization hike Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest.
The following two days follow the Paro Chhu Valley to Jangothang via Shana Zampa. Two more days of walking through alpine meadows with herds of yaks and beautiful Himalayan landscape brings us to Jangothang Base Camp. We acclimatize for a day at the base camp with stunning views of Mt. Chomolhari, 7,326m. Mt. Chomolhari/Jomolhari is the third tallest mountain in Bhutan.
The next highlight of the Chomolhari trek is Nyile La Pass at 4,890m, the highest point of the trek. We cross the pass to arrive at the village of Lingzhi, a quaint and stunning village in the Bhutanese Himalaya. Crossing yet more passes, we make our way towards Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We cover a lot of distance and sceneries during the last four days of our trek. The trek ends with a flight from Paro to your respective destination.
The best months to do Chomolhari trek are April and October. In the spring, the trek is favorable from April to early June. July and August bring rain to these muddy terrains making trekking the route quite miserable. September to November is a favorable time slot as well. The high passes close from mid-November and don’t reopen up until April.
Adventure Club Trek has been organizing treks and tours to Bhutan for past 10 years. Join our Glimpses of Bhutan Tour- 4 Days or Cultural Tour of Bhutan-6 Days for a relaxed sightseeing trip in Bhutan. Or, embark on a 12-day-long Bhutan Cultural Tour with Three days Bumthang Trek for a more in-depth trip.
We board a flight from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to Paro Airport in Paro, Bhutan. Enjoy the views of Everest from the flight. Views of Mt. Jomolhari and Jichu Drake welcome us to Bhutan. Upon your landing in Paro, a representative of Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will be there to transfer you to your hotel. After you freshen up, we continue with our scheduled sightseeing around Paro. We visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan followed by a tour of the National Museum, built over an ancient Ta-Dzong building. There is more than 3000 Bhutanese art dating back to more than 1500 years ago. Next, we visit Rinpung Dzong, the fortress houses the government offices these days. Overnight in a hotel at Paro.
Today, we visit the most famous landmark in Bhutan, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Located 900 m above the Paro Valley, it takes around 2 hours to hike up and back. The monastery stands above a cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown in a tigress’ back and meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. After we explore the monastery, we head down and get back to our hotel. Overnight in a hotel at Paro.
Time to put on your trekking shoes! Today,we first drive to Drugyal Dzong start our trek from there. Our destination for the day is Shana Zampa. First we walk downhill, after which the trail climbs up. Along the way, we pass rice and millet fields. The path then takes us through a forest which eventually opens up to a valley. Before reaching our campsite a little further from Shana Zampa we cross a army post at Gunitsawa. Overnight in a camp at Shana Zampa.
We leave Shana Zampa and follow Pa Chu(Paro River) towards Sio Thangthangkha. Today we trek within the Jigme National Park, the largest protected area in Bhutan. The trail climbs up and down several times through pine, spruce, and oak forest. On the final stretch to our destination, we walk through a rhododendron forest and then cross a bridge over Pa Chu. Overnight in a camp at Sio Thangthangkha.
Our trail climbs up towards the base of Mt. Chomolhari. Along the way, we are rewarded with magnificent views of Mt. Jichu Drake(6,794m). As we have crossed the treeline, the vegetation is rhododendrons and juniper bushes. Bhutanese high altitudes are also a habitat for Himalayan blue sheep, so we might spot some on the way to our campsite. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks from the campsite. Overnight in a camp at Jangothang.
Today is set aside for acclimatization. As we are at an altitude above 4,000m, acclimatization helps our body to adjust better to the thinning air. It also plays a key role in avoiding Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). A short hike is planned as part of the acclimatization. We climb up a small valley to a viewpoint for close views of Mt Jinchu Drake. We then walk towards Nyile Las Pass, enjoying the dramatic landscape and then head back to our camp. Overnight in Jangothang.
We cross the Nye La Pass situated at 4,890 m, the highest of our trek. But before we do that we have to climb up a ridge. From the top of the ridge, we get to enjoy the views of Jinchu Drake and Chomolhari peaks. We then walk along a leveled path until the Nyile La Pass starts. It is a steep climb up the pass. After conquering the pass we descend to Lingzhi village. As we near the village we see the Lingzhi Dzong, a fort that was built to keep the invaders from Tibet away, standing out proudly. Overnight in Lingzhi.
We have to cross Yale La Pass (4,820m), a difficult climb, today. The trail starts off with a climb up a ridge and then gradually climbs up towards Mo Chhu valley with Mo Chhu River below. After crossing the river the trail climbs steeply to Yale La Pass. The top of the pass rewards us with spectacular views of mountains like Chomolhari, Jinchu Drake, and Tshrim Gang. Then, we descend to Shodu. Overnight in Shodu.
We descend following the Thimphu River through rhododendron, pine and juniper forests. Along the way, we are rewarded with beautiful waterfalls. After 3-4 hours of walking, the path gradually climbs up to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. Overnight in Barshong.
The trail climbs down through rhododendron, conifer and birch forests. Then, it climbs further down towards Thimphu River. We climb a few ridges and climb a steep cliff to reach Dolam Kencho. Overnight in Dolam Kencho.
We ascend and descend through forests and small passes to finally arrive at Dodena. Here we board a private vehicle that will take us to Thimphu. As there are no planned activities after we reach the capital city, you are free to take a stroll around the city. Overnight in Thimphu.
Our 12-day-long Chomolhari Trek ends today. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will arrange for your drive to Paro and drop off at the Paro airport according to your flight’s schedule.
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Prior to all the treks and expeditions, Adventure Club Trek hosts a pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the forthcoming trek and to introduce other team members. The meeting covers topics as diverse as personal equipment and acclimatization and usually involves a hike and some skills training. Pre-trip meeting is very important in order to have a better preparation of the trekking.