Bhutan: 14d Chomolhari Trek

  • Moderate
  • 8 Days Tent
  • 4,820 M
  • 5 Days Hotel Days
  • 9 Days Trekking Days

Chomolhari trekking

The Chomolhari trekking program presents an extraordinary opportunity to embark on a captivating journey around the base of Mount Chomolhari, a towering peak reaching an impressive height of 7,316 meters. This enchanting trek is renowned for its scenic beauty and cultural significance, as it allows trekkers to explore the second-highest unclimbed peak in the world. The mountain holds deep spiritual reverence among the local yak herders, who consider it the sacred abode of their goddess. Even notable personalities like Michael Palin, during his BBC Himalaya Adventure in 2010, bid a heartfelt farewell to Chomolhari, acknowledging its monumental presence.

Trekking Route and Highlights

The Chomolhari trek kicks off from the picturesque town of Paro, leading adventurers on an exhilarating journey that unfolds over several days. The initial phase of the trek traverses the idyllic Paro Chhu valley, guiding trekkers toward the base camp situated in Jangothang. Prior to commencing the trek, trekkers are encouraged to embark on an invigorating acclimatization hike to the legendary Tiger’s Nest Monastery. From Drugyal Dzong, a historical fortress, trekkers are greeted with a breathtaking panoramic view of Mount Jumolhari, majestically standing at a remarkable height of 7,513 meters. The trail then meanders through lush high pasturelands, providing glimpses of the awe-inspiring Jichu Drake (6,989 meters) and Tshrim Khang (6,789 meters). An absolute highlight of the trek is the exhilarating crossing of the Nyile La Pass, positioned at a breathtaking altitude of 4,890 meters, before reaching the captivating village of Lingshi, which proudly boasts the title of the highest settlement in the northern region. Perched atop a towering 600-foot hill, Lingshi Dzong treats trekkers to commanding vistas of the surrounding valleys, creating a truly memorable experience.

Immersion in Local Culture and Wildlife

The Chomolhari trek not only unveils the natural splendor of the region but also offers an invaluable opportunity to engage with the remote villages that border Tibet. These remote settlements provide trekkers with a unique insight into the traditional lifestyles of the local nomadic yak herders and highland farmers, allowing for a deeper appreciation of their rich cultural heritage. Interacting with the locals, experiencing their warm hospitality, and observing their daily routines and customs enriches the trekking experience. While journeying through this captivating landscape, trekkers are encouraged to capture the sights of the remarkable highland animals that call this region home, including the majestic yaks, elusive marmots, graceful blue sheep, and enchanting musk deer. These encounters with wildlife contribute to the awe-inspiring memories that will be cherished for years to come.

Natural Splendor and Varied Terrain

As the Chomolhari trek progresses, trekkers traverse diverse and breathtaking terrains, ranging from dense conifer forests to awe-inspiring canyons and meandering streams. The untouched natural beauty of the region unfolds at every turn, captivating the senses and leaving an indelible impression on the hearts of trekkers. The ever-changing vistas, encompassing rugged mountains, serene valleys, and picturesque landscapes, create an overwhelming sense of wonder and awe. Trekkers are encouraged to keep their cameras close at hand, as they will be greeted with numerous opportunities to capture the mesmerizing beauty that unfolds before their eyes.

In the final leg of the Chomolhari trek, trekkers traverse through the captivating scenery of lush forests, breathtaking canyons, and pristine streams before arriving at Dodena. At Dodena, the memorable journey concludes, and trekkers are met with a waiting car that will transfer them to Thimphu, the vibrant capital of Bhutan. To complete the expedition, trekkers embark on a culturally enriching tour of the Thimphu Valley, delving deeper into the rich heritage and traditions of the Bhutanese people.

In summary, the Chomolhari trek offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse oneself in the unrivaled natural beauty, cultural richness, and spiritual significance of the region. From the revered Mount Chomolhari to the remote villages, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, this trek guarantees an unforgettable adventure filled with awe-inspiring moments and a profound appreciation for the wonders of Bhutan. Every step of the journey will be etched in the memories of trekkers, forever serving as a reminder of the incredible experiences and the remarkable splendor of the Chomolhari trek.

Day to day schedule to Bhutan: 14d Chomolhari Trek

  • Day 1: Flight Kathmandu-Paro(2250m), arrival and transfer to hotel, o/n in a hotel +L+D

    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. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our Bhutanese representative and transferred to your hotel after completion of arrival formalities, evening visit to Paro market and town.

  • Day 2: Sightseeing in Paro o/n in a hotel +B+L+D

    Morning visit to Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watchtower and in 1968 inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum. The collection includes art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, as well as a small natural history collection. Below Ta Dzong is Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), “the fortress of the heap of jewels”, built in 1646, and now housing the offices of the district administration and Paro’s monk body. In the afternoon, visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain.

  • Day 3: Paro-Shana (17 km, 5/6 hrs) o/n in camp + B+L+D

    The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. Later on we come to apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens, and we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (2,810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2,870m), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.

  • Day 4: Shana- Sio Thangkha (20 km, 7/8 hrs) o/n in camp +B+L+D

    The trail again follows the Pa Chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for a hot lunch. Then we continue along the river, climbing upwards through rhododendron forests, and crossing the river once more before reaching our campsite (3,750m).

  • Day 5: Sio Thangkha- Jangothang (19 km, 7/8 hrs) o/n in camp +B+L+D

    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. Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

  • Day 6: Rest day at Jangothang

    Acclimatization. Explore nearby mountains and lakes.

  • Day 7: Jangothang - Lingshi (18 km, 7/8 hrs) o/n in camp +B+L+D

    The trail goes the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up to the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la pass (4,700m). We descend gradually from the pass to our campsite at Lingshi (4,000m), enjoying a panoramic view of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.

  • Day 8: Lingshi- Shodu (22 km, 8/9hrs) o/n in camp +B+L+D

    The Laya-Gasa route leaves the Chomolhari trek route here. Our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chu valley. The trail stays on the west side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above the Mo Chu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-la (4,820m). On a clear day you can see Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang from this pass. Descend alongside a stream to a rock shelter in the cliff face, and then continue on downstream till reaching Shodu (4,100m), where we will camp in a meadow with a chorten in it.

  • Day 9: Shodu-Barshong (16 km, 6/7 hrs) o/n in camp +B+L+D

    We are now back at the tree line, and our path follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through rhododendron, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls along the way. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3,600m), near which we camp for the night.

  • Day 10: Barshong-Dolam Kencho (15 km, 5/6 hrs) o/n in camp +B+L+D

    The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet the Thimphu Chu. The trail runs along the left bank of the river, climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams run down into the river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu, coming out onto pastureland where we camp for the night at 3,600m.

  • Day 11: Dolam Kencho-Dodena-Thimphu (8km, 3hrs) o/n in hotel +B+L+D

    The trail winds in and out of side valleys above the Thimphu Chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3,510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2,600m). Etho Metho transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu.

  • Day 12: Sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to Paro o/n in a hotel +B+L+D

    Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley visiting the following, as time permits: National Memorial Chorten; Tashichhodzong (“the fortress of the glorious religion”); National Library; Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school); National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only); Handicrafts Emporium.Evening drive to Paro.

  • Day 13: A free day in Paro/Shopping o/n in a hotel +B+L+D

    Basically you can do some sightseeing in the morning and afternoon, you can enjoy shopping.

  • Day 14: Departure from Paro.

    after breakfast, drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.

What is included?

  • Arrival and transfer from to the international airport in Kathmandu and Paro
  • Accommodations in standard hotels on full board (B.L.D)
  • Private transport, in city English -speaking guide, airfare Kathmandu- Bhutan – Kathmandu
  • All monument entrance fees, Royalty and visa fee of Bhutan
  • English speaking local guide, cook, porters or pack animals
  • During trek: accommodation in tent, 3 meals a day

What is excluded?

  • Personal expenses like soft and hard drink, laundry, telephone
  • Airport tax and tips for local staff
  • Personal insurance for helicopter rescue in case of emergency

Trip Customization

Nepal Trekking

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