Bhutan’s Jumolhari trek: From Paro to Thimphu

One of Bhutan’s most breathtaking mountains, a trek through the Jumolhari (or the abode of goddess Jomo) entails a journey full of new experiences and adventures.

The 10 day trip, which starts at Drukgyel dzong village in Paro and ends at Thimpu, will present opportunities to meet Bhutanese Yak Herders and walk through fields full of rhododendrons, masses of wild flowers and blue poppy, while enjoying the pleasure of hiking.

Day 1: Arrival into Paro

Upon arrival, you will spend a day at leisure in Paro where you will slowly acclimatise to high altitude.

Day 2: Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) to Shana (2850m)

(Distance 17km, time 5-6 hours, Assent 360m Descent 80m)

The day begins by driving up to Drukgyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort). The Dzong was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. Following a viewing of the Dzong, the trek begins by walking uphill along the Paro River, through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards and passing the village houses, monasteries and chortens.

Day 3: Shana (2850m) to Thangthangkha (3580m)

(Distance 22km, time 7-8 hours, Assent 770m Descent 10m)

Climbing along the side of the Paro River, the valley soon narrows and closes, and the path then winds along the stream. This day’s trek is not difficult, but it is long. The route to Tremo La, which served as the main trade route to the Phari Dzong in Tibet, can be seen. The trek to Thangthangkha continues for 3-4 hours through beautiful forests consisting mainly of birch, fir, larch, maple blue pine and rhododendron. At the end of the day, we will set camp in a meadow with a stone shelter.

Day 4: Thangthangkha (3580m) to Jangothang (4080m)

(Distance 19km, time 5-6 hours, Assent 480m Descent 0m)

Today, the climb gains elevation. You are now entering the “yak” country. Yaks have always played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Yaks are not only utilized as pack animals, they also supply cheese, milk and meat and Yak hair is widely used for weaving of blankets, clothes, backpacks and hats. After crossing a stone and log bridge, we reach Jangothang.

Jangothang is known for its unparalleled views of the snow peaked mountains from the eastern side of the valley. You will be in the most spectacular camp spot in the entire Himalayan range.

Day 5: Rest and Acclimatization day at the Jumolhari camp

Today has been set out for exploration of the Jumolhari and relaxation. We suggest a hike up to the head of the valley, toward Jumolhari or a trek up the main valley toward Jichu Drake or even a hike to Tsophu Lake for fishing.

Day 6: Jangothang (4080m) to Lingshi (4010m)

Today, you will reach the highest point in our trek – the Nyile La (pass), which is at 4,890m. Celebrate your accomplishment with sipping hot under the prayer flags fluttering at Nyile La, where you may wish to add your own prayer flag. You will be treated to a fantastic view of Lingshi Dzong further along the trail. If you are lucky, you may also catch some blue sheep and musk deer herding in the area.

Day 7: Lingshi (4010m) to Shodu (4080m)

(Distance 22km, time 8-9 hours, Assent 810m, Descent 740m)

The trail ascends up to Yeli La (pass) at 4,820m, from where you can view Mount Jumolhari, Tserim Gang, and Masagang. The trail descends, alongside a stream. Spend the night camping at an altitude of 4,080m.

Day 8: Shodu (4080m) to Khemthang (4050)

(Distance approx 17 km, Time 6-7 hours, Ascent 800m, Descent 800m)

From Shodu, you will have to cross little streams and will gradually reach Shodu-La, which is at 4800m. Camp out in a meadow.

Day 9: Khemthang (4050m) to Jimilangtso (3880m)

(Distance Approx 20km, Time 8-9 hrs, Ascent 650m, Descent 170m)

A walk through the hemlock and juniper forests takes you up to some beautiful lakes. After a further climb, you will reach Yuesa-La which is at 4700m. We will then descend to the Jimilangtso camp site.

Day 10: Jimilangtso (726ft/3880m) to Camp Simkota (13415ft/4090m)

(7km, 3-4 hours, with several small ups and downs, Ascent: 210m)

The trail takes you through meadows of dwarf rhododendron trees and bypasses the lake of Jaetsho. It begins with a gradual climb, and if the weather permits, you will get a breaktaking view of Mount Gangkar. The trail then slowly descends to the campsite.

Day 11: Simkota (415ft/4090m) to Thimphu Radio Tower (9245ft/2818m)

(10 km, 5 hrs Altitude gain 755ft/230m, Altitude loss 4190ft/1277m)

Today’s trek consists of several minor climbs to small passes, before finally looking down to Phajoding Monastery and Thimphu at the valley floor. If the weather allows for it, you can see a gorgeous view of Mount Gangkar Puensum and the rest of the Bhutan Himalaya. The day ends by descending down to Phajoding Monastery and finally to Thimphu.

Day 12: Departure

After this 10 day trek, it’s time to make your way back home.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival into Paro
Day 2: Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) to Shana (2850m)
Day 3: Shana (2850m) to Thangthangkha (3580m)
Day 4: Thangthangkha (3580m) to Jangothang (4080m)
Day 5: Rest and Acclimatization day at the Jumolhari camp
Day 6: Jangothang (4080m) to Lingshi (4010m)
Day 7: Lingshi (4010m) to Shodu (4080m)
Day 8: Shodu (4080m) to Khemthang (4050)
Day 9: Khemthang (4050m) to Jimilangtso (3880m)
Day 10: Jimilangtso (726ft/3880m) to Camp Simkota (13415ft/4090m)
Day 11: Simkota (415ft/4090m) to Thimphu Radio Tower (9245ft/2818m)
Day 12: Departure

Inclusions

Included

  • Hotel and lodge accommodation and all meals
  • Transfers, sightseeing by an air conditioned vehicle with English speaking tour guide
  • Monument fees
  • Porter/ ponies during treks
  • Government royalty and tax
  • Visa fee
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Any meals other than that mentioned in the program.
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for al Lightfoot Travel holidays)

Map

Drukgyel Dzong Shana Thangthangkha Jangothang Lingshi Shodu Khemthang Jimilangtso Camp Simkota Thimpu Radio Tower

From USD 3,972 per person based on two guests travelling

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant