The grandeur of Jumolhari has played with peoples imaginations for centuries. Romanticised eternally in traditional folk songs, Jumolhari at 7326 m. is also considered to be the abode of the mountain goddess Chomo.
This trek goes all the way to Jangothang from where Jumolhari looks close enough that you can touch it. And instead of back tracing the trail, you trek east, into the beautiful region of Yaksa, meaning the Land of Yaks.
This trek is well suited for people who would like to experience trekking in the Bhutanese Himalayas but do not have the luxury of time to go on the longer Laya Lingshi trek.
Besides trekking in the mountains, you will also be visiting the main cultural centres of western Bhutan. Western Bhutan is comparatively more developed than the rest of the country. Thimphu, the capital, has all the important government offices, including the King’s Secretariat. Paro has the only airport and Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan.
The flight into Bhutan takes you to the great Himalayas, offering the most scintillating scenery of the world's nighest glacial peaks. On arrival, received by the representative of Yak Holidays transfer to the hotel where arrangements have been made for the night. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast the guests will be driven to Satsam Chorten from where they can hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery which is one of the most sacred and famous monastery in Bhutan. The 8th century Spiritual Master, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff. The hike to the monastery will help the guests to acclimatize for the next day’s trek. A vegetarian lunch will be served at the Cafeteria overlooking the picturesque view of the monastery. Hike back to the car where the guests will be driven back to Paro. The guests are free to stroll and visit various souvenir and handcraft shops in the small town of Paro. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, the guests will be driven to Drugyal Dzong at 2,580m where the trek starts with a downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail is fairly easy traversing through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet including the traditional farmer's houses. The route later passes through fruit trees orchard and forests. Picnic lunch will be offered on the way including some snacks and tea/coffee in between. Soon the valley widens and you reach the Royal Bhutan Army check point at Gunitsawa at 2,810m. Night halt at a camp site surrounded by forests and close to the river. Distance 17 km. and walking time 5-6 hours
After breakfast, slowly start trekking on the trail following the Pa Chhu (Paro River), each time ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Picnic lunch will be served during the trek. After lunch follow the trail close to the river gradually climbing through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the river to reach the campsite at an altitude of 3,750m. Distance 20 km. and walking time 7-8 hours.
After breakfast, slowly start the trek until the guests reach the Royal Bhutan Army check point on this route. Continue to follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Picnic lunch will be served during the trek. A further short walk into the valley will take the guests to the camp site at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mount Jhomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake can be seen clearly and one can enjoy the scenic views of this splendid mountains which are so sacred and pure. Distance 19 km. and walking time 7-8 hours.
After climbing so high in the mountains it is important for the guests to rest and acclimatize to be conditioned for further treks higher up that is required to be climbed on this route. Although, it is a rest day, the guests are free to go for short walks or hikes on their own to explore the hills and lakes which are nearby.
After breakfast, slowly start on the trail which takes you to climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Mount Jhomolhari, Mount Jichu Drake and Mount Tsherim Gang. From the ridge, the guests will walk towards the valley which is almost flat for a while, until the next 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. Distance 18 km and walking time 7-8 hours.
The Laya Gasa route leaves the Jhomolhari 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). From the pass, on a clear day, you can see Jhomolhari, 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.
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 Barshong Dzong, reaching the camp site at an altitude of 3,600m.
The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifer trees, and then drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chhu. It stays on river left, climbing over ridges and descending to side streams and then traverses steep cliff to Dolam Kencho, a camp site among the pastureland at 3,600m.
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 Sonam Tshoey Travel's transport to drive the guests to Thimphu. Overnight in a hotel in Thimphu.
Depending on the flight timings, the guests will be driven to Paro International Airport for their onward journey.
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