Jumolhari Trek is a nine day trek starting in Paro at Drugyal and ends in Thimphu at Dodena. In total it is a fourteen day package with includes sightseeing in Paro and Thimphu. In the trek, we get the opportunity to cross two passes at Jangothang. It is a wonderful view of Jumolhari Mountain at jangothang. The highest point of the trek is at 4115 meters. Even though, it is a strenuous trek, it is popular among many with the flora, fauna and natural beauty that we get the opportunity to encounter.
The Jumolhari Round Trek begins at Drukgyal at a height of 2580 meters, not before a two day sightseeing of Paro and its surrounding bounties of historical value. Then, we hike to places Like Shana along the Paro River, Thangthangka where we pass through heavily forested areas of fantastic flora and fauna, Jangothang where we get the opportunity of a pretty valley, Lingshi; here we get through our first high altitude pass and see some wonderful glaciers. Then it’s Shodu where we get the opportunity of getting a firsthand wonderful and unabridged sight of Mount. Jumolhari, Tserim Kang and Masagang from one vantage point. Then it is onto Barshong where it is the treat of a juniper, alphine and rhododendron forest with glimpses of a few waterfalls and Dolamkencho. The hike finally ends at Dodena after which it is a day or so at Thimphu where you get a taste of the Capital first hand and a number of excursions to make the Jumolhari Round Trek a memorable experience to go down in your book of wonderful trekking experiences.
1. Day one – Arrival at Paro 2280m
You are met at the airport by one of our representatives and taken to the hotel. After lunch, we take a visit to Rimpung Dzong in Paro which was built in 1646. We then visit an ancient watch tower, Ta Dzong that was built in 1967 and now houses the National Museum of Bhutan.
2. Day Two – Paro Sightseeing
Today we take an excursion to the Tiger’s Nest, known locally as Taktsang Monastery and then driven to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong that was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namyal.
3. Day Three – Paro to Shana (treks Start)
(Altitude 2850m; Distance: 17Km; Time: about 7 to 8 hours (Ascent 360m & descent 80m))
We drive to Drukgyal Dzong from where we start the hike at 2580m following the Paro River till we reach Shana where we camp for the night.
(Distance: 22Km; Time: about 7 to 8 hours; (Ascent 770m & Descent 10m))
We begin the trek by following the river passing through a heavy forested part and some far flung farm houses. We get to a junction pass where one continues onto Tibet and another on our trail in Bhutan. We take the latter. We finally camp in Thangthangka in a stone shelter for the night.
5. Day Five – Thangthangka to Jangothang 4080m
(Distance 19Km; Time: about 5 to 6 hours; (Ascent 480m)
We begin our trek by first passing an army post and then path gradually leaves the forest and begins to climb into a pretty valley. Here we pass a number of winter abodes of the herdsmen who tend to yaks in this part of the world. After sometime, we finally reach our night’s destination, Jangothang.
6. Day Six – Jangothang (rest day)
We get to rest to get acclimatized to the high altitude we are in. We have the opportunity to take in the beautiful surrounding view and also have three other options. One is we can hike to Jumolhari Glacier. It is a round trip of 4 and half hours. Two, take a hike to Jichu Drake Glacier. It is a round trip of three hours. Or, climb the small mountain peak between Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. It is at a height of 5200m and should take 8 hours back and forth.
7. Day Seven – Jangothang to Lingshi 4010m
(Distance; 18km; Time: 6 to 7 hours; (Ascent 840m & 870m)
We begin our trek by following a stream and then crossing a bridge. We then continue climbing along a ridge with astonish views of Jumolhari, JichuDrakey and Tsrim Ghang. Finally we pass through Nyeley La Pass at 4700m. Then it a slow descent to Lingshi Camp, where we get beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. We halt here for the night.
8. Day Eight – Lingshi to Shodu 4080m
(Distance: 22Km; Time: about 8 to 9 hours; (Ascent 940m & 920m)
Today’s trek takes us to Yalila Pass at 4930m from where if it is a clear day, we get astonishing sights of Mount. Jumolhari, Tserim Kang and Masagang from one vantage point. We continue our trek till Shodu where we stop for the night.
9. Day Nine – Shodu to Barshong 3710m
(Distance: 16Km; Timeabout 5 to 6 Hours; (Ascent 250m & descent 670m)
The day’s trek begins by following the Thimphu River by slowing going down through a forest of Alpine, juniper and rhododendron. On the walk we get lovely views of cliff facing rocks and waterfalls. The the trails slowly climbs to Barshong where we camp for the night.
10. Day Ten – Barshong – Dolamkencho 3320m
(Distance: 8Km; Time: 4 hours; (Ascent 290m & Descent 640m)
The day’s hike begins with a descent through an alpine forest and an ascent to Dolamkencho where we camp for the night.
11. Day Eleven – Dolamkencho – Dodena – Thimphu
(Distance 8Km; Time: 4 hours; (Ascent 500m & Descent 930m)
The trek takes us through a bamboo forest and on arrival at Dodena, you will be picked up from the road and driven to Thimphu.
12. Day Twelve – Thimphu Sightseeing.
Today we begin our sightseeing in around Thimphu. We start by visiting the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Then we visit Dupthop Lhakhang, a nunnery, after which, it is a visit to the National Library, then the Painting School of traditional Art, the Traditional Medicine Institute of ancient practices, The Lungtenzampa to see the Royal Silver Smiths at work, The Bhutanese Paper Factory, the Tashichho Dzong and a visit to the Handicraft Emporium followed by souvenir shopping in Thimphu.
13. Day Thirteen – Thimphu – Punakha – Thimphu
(Altitude: 1320m; Distance: 72Km; 2 hour drive)
Today, we drive to Punakha and if the weather is fine, we stop to view that mountain view at the Dochula Pass. In Punakha, we visit Punakha Dzong built by Shabdring Ngawang Namgyal.
14. Day Fourteen – Thimphu to Paro Airport.
Early in the morning you are driven to Paro Airport for your departure flight from Bhutan.
1) What is the best time of the year to Trek in Bhutan?
The best times to trek in Bhutan are in the month of April and in October. The weather is very unpredictable and the chance for a completely blue sky is very rare. Never the less, you can do the low altitude treks and other routes for other season as well.
2) How fit do I have to be to do a trek in Bhutan?
Trekking in Bhutan requires you to be physical fir. It is not necessary for you to be in great shape. Any normal person without disability can do the trek with relative ease. A trekker gains approximately 500 meters in height in a day. For strenuous treks like Snow Man Trek, Jumolhari or Laya-Gasa Trek, you need to be mentally prepared besides being physical fit.
3) What is a typical group size? Will I fit in?
There has to be at least two of you to embark of any of the trekking expedition in Bhutan.
4) Do I need any special equipment?
No, you do not need any special equipment. All the necessary equipment for the trek is provided by the trekking company itself. Except you need to bring your personal belongings.
5) What gear do I need to bring?
The following would be the things you should bring if you feel like it:
6) Is it safe to trek in Bhutan?
Yes, it is absolutely safe as your security and personal protection is taken care of by the trekking agency which is licensed by the Government of Bhutan. No, personal trekking or visit to the country is allowed without a package being booked by one. So once you have paid for your package, you are a protected person within the country from any bodily harm. You have a local with you at all times.
7) Do I need travel insurance?
It is requested that you get yourself insured for trekking in Bhutan. The insurance should cover medical treatment, theft and rescue – Helicopter Rescue Operation:
There are no helicopters available in Bhutan. As such immediate rescue by helicopter is not possible as there will be so many formalities involved to bring a helicopter from India. While you are trekking in Bhutan and if you happen to fall sick the guide will relay the message to us and we will act appropriately.
8) Do I need a visa to visit Bhutan?
Except for Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivians, all other nationalities require a visa to enter Bhutan.
All visas are issued from Thimphu, and visas are only issued to tourists booked with a licensed local tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent. Visas are issued only when you arrive in the country, either at Paro Airport or (if by road) at Phuentsholing, Gelephu or Samdrup Jongkhar.
To enable us to process your visa on time on your behalf, and get the visa clearance for you, your visa application must reach us at least 60 days before the date of your travel. The immigration department will then issue a visa authorization letter to enable you to board the Druk Air flight to Bhutan. The actual visa will be stamped on your passport when you arrive at the four entry points.
The visa fee is USD 40.
9) How will my booking be processed?
For your booking to be processed, we will require a non-refundable deposit of $300 which can be made by bank transfer or online payment. The balance of payment should be made a week before your arrival. Booking should be made sixty days in advance for your visa to be approved by the immigration authorities of Bhutan.
10) Besides the deposit, what other information do I need to forward?
The following information is needed to process your trekking package and visa to the country:
The above information can be sent electronically via email attachment
11) How far do I trek each day?
You will typically walk 4 to 9 miles (5 to 8 hours) every day. Some days may be rest days for impromptu exploration. In high and steep areas, you may move more slowly. You will carry only a light pack. All the rest are carried by donkeys, mules and yaks.
12) What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Bhutan. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered, otherwise more serious problems can occur which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevation immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper rest are the best methods for the prevention of AMS.
13) What are normal meals like on treks?
You will have three meals each day plus snacks. Breakfast usually include a choice of toast, eggs, hot cereal and hot beverages. Lunch may be prepared hot or served as a picnic always with a choice of beverages. Dinner is a major meal with 5-5 main course usually including salad and/or soup, several vegetable dishes and a meat dish. There will be a fruit dessert and hot beverages. We gladly cater for vegetarians. We combine elements of Western and Asian cuisines.
14) What are the camps like while trekking?
In a typical camping trek, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent, which is durable from rain, flies and fully insect netted. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses.
15) What is your Kathmandu Contact address in case my family needs to contact me in case of emergency?
Please have them contact at any of the following numbers: