Trekking around the base of the 7000 meter Chomolhari is an experience like no other. Follow a path less traveled along the spectacular Paro Chhu valley to the base of Mt. Jumolhari, the world’s second highest unclimbed peak. To begin the journey, we will visit the fabled Tiger’s Nest monastery for amazing photos ops and breathtaking mountain scenery. We will climb to Bhutan’s highest northern settlement at Lingshi, crossing a high pass over Nyile La at 4890 meters. Amazing views unfold of the 6000 meters peaks of Tshrim Khang and Jichu Drake along our ascent. See the traditional agrarian ways of yak herders around the isolated settlements along the Bhutanese-Tibetan border, descend into verdant canyons and cross fresh mountain streams. This is a rare opportunity to experience a very isolated and unexplored part of Asia.
Day 1: Arrive in Paro
The flight in Paro traverses the Himalayas in clear view of the spectacular Bhutanese peaks of Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. Visit the Paro Dzong fortress today, built in 1646, which now serves as an center for government and spiritual activities. In the evening, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most revered shrines. We spend the night at a hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery 3180m/10430ft: 6 hours
Today we’ll trek to Bhutan’s most famous and iconic monasteries, the amazing Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) perched on the edge of a cliff 900 meters above the lush Paro Valley. We spend the afternoon exploring the monastery and basking in the surrounding tranquility. Descend back to Paro this evening and overnight at your hotel.
Day 3: Trek to Paro Shana 2850m/9348ft: 6 hours walk
Our trekking begins with a trail sloping gradually downwards through terraced fields of millet and rice. We pass through apple orchards into a wide valley dressed in superb vegetation. We pass the beautiful rural settlement at Shana Zampa, arriving at a campsite in a grassy meadow.
Day 4: Trek from Paro Shana to Sio Thangthangka 3750m/12300: 7 hours walk
We follow a trail along the Pa Chhu (Paro river), winding our way through pristine forests of pine, oak, and spruce. Crossing the river twice, our trail climbs gradually up the valley walls to a campsite in a forest clearing.
Day 5: Trek from Sio Thangthangka to Jangothang 4040m/13250ft: 7 hours walk
We ascend passed an army camp, emerging above the tree line to meet a host of peaks including Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. Stopping to rest near a camp used by yak herders, we reach tonight’s campsite near Jangothang, from where the sunset view over the distant peaks and sprawling valley is magnificient.
Day 6: Rest day at Jangothang
We spend the day acclimatizing for tomorrow’s high pass. We make an excursion up a nearby ridge for an excellent view of Jichu Drake before descending back down to our campsite for the evening.
Day 7: Trek from Jangothang to Lingshi 4000m/13120ft: 7 hours walk
Beginning the day along a streambed, we cross via a bridge and begin a climb among epic vistas of Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tshering Gang. The trail flattens out before the ascent to our pass over the Nyile La 4870m/15970ft, the most challenging part of today’s journey. Great mountain panoramas abound on our descent to Lingshi.
Day 8: Trek from Lingshi to Shodu 4100m/13450ft: 8 hours walk
We climb a hill to where a white chorten stands, then begin traversing the Mo Chhu valley. Crossing the rocky valley’s south edge, we climb steeply to the Yeli La pass 4820m/15810ft, from where we enjoy views of Jumolhari, Gangchen Ta, Masang Gang, and Tshering Gang. We descend along a valley stream to a large meadow to our campsite near Shodu.
Day 9: Trek from Shodu to Barshong 3600m/11810ft: 7 hours walk
Descending through thick forests along the Thimpu river, a spectacular cliff striated with cascading waterfalls flanks our trail. We continue along the river’s edge, gradually ascending through to the ruined town of Barshong Dzong where we set up camp in a nearby clearing.
Day 10: Trek from Barshong to Dolam Kencho 3600/11810ft: 6 hours walk
The day begins with a gentle descent that becomes suddenly steep on our approach to the banks of Thimpu Chhu. We cross over several ridges hugging the river, then traverse a steep canyon wall to Dolam Kencho, where we set up camp in a pasture.
Day 11: Trek from Dolam Kencho to Dodena and drive to Thimpu 2350m/7710ft: 3 hours walk and 3 hours drive
A steep series of climbs and descents takes us to the road head at Dodena. Here you will be picked up by a private vehicle and transported to Thimpu. Spend the evening in Thimpu, a quiet town in the Bhutanese countryside.
Day 12: Drive from Thimpu to Paro: 1 hour drive
We’ll transport you to the airport shortly after breakfast at your hotel. Thanks for traveling with Outdoor Expeditions. Farewell and Namaste.
- Airport pickup and drop off in private vehicle
- Hotel with included breakfast in Kathmandu
- Private transportation and government licensed guide while sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
- Government licensed, experienced trekking guide and porters during trekking
- Insurance for trekking crew (guides and porters)
- All required equipment for trekking crew, kitchen tent, dining tent, and toilet tent
- Accommodations in hotels, tea-houses, or camps during trekking
- Three daily meals while trekking
- All required conservation fees and trekking permits (TIMS)
- Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu
- Entrance fees for attractions (UNESCO world heritage sites, museums, etc.) during sightseeing in Kathmandu
- Personal insurance or cost of air rescue in the event of emergency
- Air ticket to and from Nepal from your point of origin
- Visa fee for entry into Nepal
- Personal expenses (souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, hygiene items, staff tips, etc.)
Some of the trails on this trek can be particularly challenging, with wet and uneven footing and rapid changes in altitude. Expect 6 – 8 hours of walking daily, with an average of 10 – 15 kilometers to cover daily between campsites. Rest days at Tiger’s Nest monastery and Lingshi have been included to provide adequate time for acclimatization. The best seasons to do this trek are in in Spring (Mar – May) and Autumn (Sep – Nov).