Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

14 Views
12 Days From

$6066

$5793

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

12 Days Starting in Paro and ending in

Visiting: Bhutan

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

COT

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Moderate

From:
$6066
$5793 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$273

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

If you are seeking a relatively short but rugged high altitude trek with ample time for unique cultural insights, then the Jomolhari trek is the perfect choice. Beginning beyond Drugkyel Dzong at Shana, in the picturesque Paro Valley we enter the stunning rhododendron forests and weave our way up the valley crossing and recrossing glistening glacial streams. Eventually the landscape opens up to grassy meadows and leads us to Jangothang where we camp below the sacred peak of Jomolhari (7314m). Continuing toward the Nyile La (4700m) we are treated to views of the startling Jichu Drake (6794m) and Tshrim Khang, before making the gradual crossing of the Pass with views of the Lingshi Dzong perched high on a hill top. The most difficult day of the trek sees us crossing the 4950m Yale Pass before descending to the Thimphu River and the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. This is a relatively short but challenging trek that offers mountain views generally reserved for much longer treks.

Highlights

  • Cross the high passes of Nyile La (4700m) and Yale Pass (4950m)

  • Undertake the finest short trek in the Kingdom of Bhutan

  • Soak up classic views of the Himalaya on a fully supported trek

  • Camp below the sacred peak of Jomolhari (7314m)

  • Experience the rich culture of Bhutan, exploring ancient dzongs and mountain monasteries

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Join Paro (2200M).

Meals Included: L, D

After clearing customs and immigration you will meet your Bhutanese leader and drive a short distance via the main street of Paro to our accommodation. At some stage of our visit, we have planned visits to the main part of town, and a visit to the National Museum. It will depend on our time of arrival into Paro, and when trek preparations are completed. The touring program will take in the grand Paro Dzong which dominates the valley and is the most important Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan. It is the model by which all other dzongs are constructed. The watchtower above it, Ta Dzong, is also an impressive building that houses the National Museum that is very informative. Old costumes and battle dress, together with priceless jewellery and specimens of the kingdom's unique flora and fauna are included within the museum. Downtown, there is a mixed collection of shops selling basic goods, and also handicrafts of wood, cloth and metalware. Archery is the national sport and practised throughout Bhutan. Shooting ranges lined by willow trees can be seen during our travels, as well as some traditional style bridges.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 2 : Paro Valley, Takstang Monastery (3100M) & National Museum

Meals Included: B, L, D

A really exciting and informative day as an introduction to this wonderful country (described in part above). The Paro valley is truly beautiful, being a location for various farming activities, including commercial quantities of asparagus, strawberries and shitake mushrooms for export, plus various grain and vegetable crops. It is a patchwork of colours delineated by well kept traditional design farm houses that are ornately decorated. All of the slopes surrounding the valley are forested and the hint of mountains beyond is alluring. Our morning is spent exploring and appreciating the Tigers Nest Monastery or Taktsang, as it is known in Bhutan, a short drive from our resort. It takes us about 1.5 hours to walk up the winding trail steeply through chir pine forest to a tea house and excellent vantage point. Another 30 minutes or so takes us to the monastery. The monastery is the divine resting place of the Guru Rinpoche, revered as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. This evening you will need to repack, leaving behind things you will not require on the trek for safe storage with our local partner.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 3 : Drive Past Drukyel Dzong (2580M) To Shana (2860M) And Commence Trek To Thongo Zampa (3250M), (11Kms, Approx 4 Hrs)

Meals Included: B, L, D

It is a short drive of approx 20 minutes up the Paro valley to Drukyel Dzong, which was originally built as a fortress in 1647 to guard against Tibetans invading the Paro Valley. We continue the drive to Shana (1-1.5h drive) from where our trek commences. On this scenic drive we pass through farm country made up of fields of rice, wheat, barley, mustard, potato, and radish as well as herds of cows. The traditional Bhutanese two storey, timber and stone houses can be seen here. We also gain our first views of the summit of Jomolhari (7314m) at the head of the valley. We get under way and take a break for lunch where it suits us, as we are carrying a packed lunch. Initially the trail is wide and flat, as it meanders steadily through lightly forested fields, which in recent years have been the site of the ongoing large-scale Bhutan Government project to bring electricity to the isolated villages further up the valley. Overnight camp Thongo Zampa.

Day 4 : Trek To Soi Thangthangkha (3700M) (Approx 4 Hrs)

Meals Included: B, L, D

We now trekking within Jigme Dorje National Park, the largest protected area in the country (4350 sq kms.) which extends beyond Laya to Lunana in the east and all the territory to the south. Whilst it is a protected wilderness, the park management which is based at Gasa, has to cope with the needs of lowland farmers and semi-nomadic yak herders. There is an amazing variety of species of plants and animals in the park at both high and low altitudes. The forests are tall and thick, comprising a variety of oaks, maple, birch, larch pine and allders that will be replaced by more and more rhododendron and pines as we trek higher. There are numerous different varieties of the former, and depending on the onset of warmer temperatures after winter, flowers will be in bloom, or past bloom, as the lower altitudes flower earliest. As we climb higher the rhododendron species change from the common rhododendron arboreum (Nepal's national flower) to griffithianum and cinnabarinum.
Many of the camps we stop at are not settlements as might be implied by them having a place name. Most are merely clearings beside a water source, which are also suitable camping sites for seasonal yak herders and workers who are involved in the large scale electrification project that will bring electricity to this region of Bhutan.

Day 5 : Trek To Jomolhari Base Camp, "Jangothang" 4100M (12Kms, Approx 5 Hours)

Meals Included: B, L, D

We continue higher to the camp at the base of Jomolhari, a superb alpine setting. Jichu Drake (6794m) rises to our right, with a fine, elegant ridge running down toward the pass that we will cross on our next trekking day. We camp in the vicinity of yak herders from the Paro Valley, who, like their counterparts in Southern Tibet, live in woven yak wool tents throughout the summer months. By now we are above the treeline and the area is characterised by low tundra of juniper and rhododendron setosum, while blue sheep have also been spotted in the higher rocky outcrops.

Day 6 : At Jomolhari Base Camp, "Jangothang", Rest & Explore

Meals Included: B, L, D

An important day is set aside for acclimatisation. A side trip up the small valley towards Jomolhari takes us to a dramatic viewpoint towards the glacier and imposing face of this 7000m mountain. Alternatively we may make a scenic excursion up to Sopu lake set adjacent to Nye La pass, both will be worthy photo excursions. As far as mountaineering is concerned, these two peaks, like the rest of Bhutan, have seen little expedition activity from outsiders. Doug Scott successfully climbed Jichu Drake in 1988 on his third attempt, demonstrating that conditions are not so easy on this far east location of the Himalaya being first in line geographically for monsoonal influences.

Day 7 : Cross Nyile La (4850M) (18Kms, Approx 8 Hrs)

Meals Included: B, L, D

From camp we commence our ascent over rolling slopes of grassland and small brush to the Nyile La (4850 metres). This is a relatively long day on the trail, so if this is your first Himalayan pass just take your time, particularly on the final steeper stages just below the pass, where grasses give way to scree and sand. The views enroute to Jichu Drake will inspire you. From the Nyile La we leave Jomolhari and Jichu Drake behind and make a steep descent through dwarf rhododendron shrub towards Lingshi village. In the distance we can soon see the Lingshi Dzong, built to protect this and the other outlying villages of Bhutan from the periodic raids from Tibet. Before we reach the village and the Dzong, we turn off descending to cross a stream, there is a short stiff climb and then a descent into the quiet valley and camp by a stream.

Day 8 : Cross Yale La (4950M) And Trek To Shodu (3950M) (Walk Approx 8 Hrs)

Meals Included: B, L, D

Today is the most difficult day so an early start is essential. We begin our walk and ascend gradually through the valley until the stiff climb to Yale La pass at 4950 metres the highest point of the trip. The final push to the top of the pass is hard work, but certainly worthwhile! The panoramic view of Jomolhari (7314m), Jichu Drake (6794m) and Tshrim Gang is breathtaking. After the pass it is a long descent to our camp at Shodu (3950m).

Day 9 : To Barshong (3700M), (Walk Approx 7/8Hrs)

Meals Included: B, L, D

The path follows the Thimchu River descending through rhododendron, Juniper and pine forests. The view of the cliff facing rocks and water falls are stunning. The trail gradually ascends after 3 to 4 hours to the ruins of Barshong Dzong and our camp for the night.

Day 10 : Complete Trek At Dolam Kencho (Walk Approx. 5/6Hrs). Transfer To Thimphu (Approx. 2Hrs)

Meals Included: B, L, D

The path descends for a while joining the Thimchu river and gradually ascending and descending through thick bamboo and pine forests. We walk for around 2 hours to reach our old campsite at Domshesha before continuing for another 3-4 hours to Dolam Kencho and the roadhead. Transfer to Thimphu. Pending arrival time, we may visit the Tashichho Dzong, on the time of arrival, we may visit Thimphu Dzong in the afternoon. Any baggage left in Paro on day 2 will be transferred and be available at the hotel in Thimphu. Overnight: Hotel.

Day 11 : In Thimphu, Transfer To Paro (Approx. 2Hrs.)

Meals Included: B, L, D

This morning there is ample time to get a feel for the country's capital or do some shopping in the bazaar. The main Secretariat building, the Tashichho Dzong is the most prominent building consisting of the main Secretariat, the National Assembly Hall, the Office of the King and the Throne Room. Its remarkable construction is in traditional Bhutanese style completed without the use of nails or metal of any kind. There is a large Stupa dedicated to the late King HM. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, regarded as the founder of modern day Bhutan. Then there is the Handicraft Emporium with famous weaving, woodcarvings and paintings and also the Post Office - Bhutan's exquisite stamps are world-renowned.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 12 : Trip Concludes In Paro.

Meals Included: B

Trip concludes after breakfast with a transfer to the airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    4 nights hotel

  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners

  • airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 12

  • expert bilingual guide

  • Safety equipment including portable altitude chamber, group medical and satellite phone

  • good quality accommodation in Paro

  • the use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)

  • all group camping equipment

  • private transportation

  • all park entrance fees and trekking permits

  • animals to carry 20kgs personal equipment

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What's Not Included

  • International flights

  • Bottled water

  • Aerated & alcoholic drinks

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc

  • Airport & departure taxes

  • Tips

  • Travel insurance

What You Carry

In your daypack you will need to carry warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), two water bottles, camera, and personal items such as sunscreen, etc. Porters and mules carry all group gear and your duffle bag.

Grading

On a moderate trek physical activity will generally not exceed eight hours in a day, and altitudes generally not exceeding 5,500 metres. On a moderate adventure the physical activity is sustained and travelers should be comfortable with occasional rough terrain. At any stage of a moderate trek you can expect long steep climbs and descents and a wide range of weather conditions. An example of an average day on moderate trek could include several ascents and descents of 500 metres or more, level ground is rare in the mountains.
To prepare for a moderate trek you should begin training at least four to five months before your departure. As a guideline, an hour of aerobic exercise three to four times per week would be considered a minimum requirement. The best preparation is bushwalking involving relatively steep ascents and descents.If you can manage a couple of valley floor to ridgeline ascents per bushwalk, albeit with stops along the way, you will cope with a moderately graded trek. Speed is not important, stamina, confidence and continuity are.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

E. Mcdougall(Wonga Park, VIC)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

Fantastic experience touring and trekking in Bhuta

Fantastic experience touring and trekking in Bhutan. Great culture within the cities. Wonderful trekking with breathtaking scenery.

Natasha-Leanne Ghafur(Crawley)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

WOW!! Bhutan is such a unique country and well

WOW!! Bhutan is such a unique country and well worth the visit. The trek was fantastic, incredible route, stunning scenery. It’s certainly tough with a pretty quick accent. So take note of the grading, but very achievable with the right fitness.

Lois Laitinen(Maplewood, Minnesota United States)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

Good information

Good information

MARIAN Rae BELLAMY(New Zealand)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

The trip ticked my boxes in numerous ways. 1. Not

The trip ticked my boxes in numerous ways. 1. Not too touristy 2. An active holiday i.e. trekking 3. A friendly, kind people 4. Loved seeing the animals 5. Our guide was very patient, helpful, and informative 6. The staff on the trek were very helpful 7. Enjoyed experiencing a different culture 8. Loved the scenery 9. We did struggle with juggling different currencies on our travels and giving tips, especially as we did not have adequate small currency to do so. Giving tips is not something we do in our own country.

C. Maxfield(St. Kilda, VIC)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

The Chomolhari Base Camp Trek is highly recommende

The Chomolhari Base Camp Trek is highly recommended. Outstanding scenery, supported by nurturing gorgeous Bhutanese staff, high quality tents and equipment, and 3 delicious hot meals a day to keep your energy levels up for the trek. An amazing adventure!

Jon Oviatt(Rochester, MN, USA)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

I can't thank you enough for the outstanding servi

I can't thank you enough for the outstanding service and experience that you and the entire WE team provided! The leaders were superb--kepts us dry and everyone was in very good spirits throughout. The extra day in Thimphu at the sacred dance festival turned out to be a highlight for everyone, so the schedule change was not a problem. We had a great hotel the extra night off the trail and everyone loved having hot showers a day early.

F. Kwok(NSW, Australia)  

Jomolhari Base Camp Trek

The Chomolhari Base Camp trip has been one of the

The Chomolhari Base Camp trip has been one of the most organised holidays I have been on with World Expeditions. The Bhutanese guides and support team were fantastic and they anticipated all the needs of the group. The hiking was well paced and the guides Sonam and Rinzin did a great job ensuring everyone made it over the high passes - for some, slowly but surely and we never felt rushed. The scenery and camping grounds were well selected and surrounded by beautiful forest and always the ever present sounds of the glacial rivers. Tents were always ready when we arrived at campsite and it was pure heaven to have a rug and proper pillow provided in each tent - was very impressive! The whole Bhutanese team worked very cohesively together and we all felt we were well looked after. The food was fantastic as usual.

Read all 7 reviews

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    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

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    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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