This is the most beautiful trek in the eastern Himalayas.It skirts two of Bhutan’s most famous valleys, Paro and Thimphu, with trails passing through a great diversity of landscape and vegetation within an altitude range of 2,500m and nearly 5,000m. The scene is majestic throughout, with magnificent views of Bhutan’s most sacred mountain, Jomolhari, the abode of powerful female deity, Aum Jomo, and several other towering snow-capped peaks. The trek can be undertaken in two other variations, one shorter and the other slightly longer.
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TOUR IN BRIEF
Duration: 7-12 days
Highest Altitude: 5000 m
Season: April-June; mid Sept-mid Nov
• Great views of Mt. Jomolhari (7,300m), Jichu Drake (6794m), Tsherimgang (6,789m), Masang Gang (7165m) and a number of unclimbed peaks.
• The upper reaches of Paro and Thimphu rivers,Tshophu lake (4,380m), beautiful waterfalls, the ruins of Barshong Dzong.
• Alpine meadows, forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos; and pasture lands, blue sheep, yaks, Jigme Dorji National Park
Camp Altitude: 2,850 meters
Today, you will prepare yourself for the upcoming trek, scheduled to start tomorrow. In the evening or after lunch, you will depart from Paro town, passing through an army checkpoint. At this checkpoint, you must validate your trek permit, provided by your tour operator. The permit will be endorsed, and you will spend the night at your designated campsite, situated alongside the river.
Distance 22 km, 7-8 hours, 770 m ascent, 10 m descent, camp altitude 3,610 m.
Today will be a long day. You will hike through an undulating trail and then climb uphill till the valley narrows gradually to a path. You will then descend to a meadow where you will camp for the night. From your camp you can have the first view of the popular Mount Jomulhari on a clear day.
Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours, 480 m ascent, camp altitude 4,080 m.
You will continue to trek up the Paro Chhu valley. It widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty forest growths. You will also cross an army checkpoint along the way. You will see local yak herders tending the yaks. You will pass the villages of Soe, Takethang and Dangochang. You will camp at Jangothang from where you can again see Mount Jomolhari.
You will halt at Jangothang today. You have the option to do day hikes and there are trails in three directions. If you love photography, you can engage yourself in a lot of ways. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.This is also a good time to acclimatize.
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 840 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,010 m.
After the rest yesterday, you will have the energy for a long day today. After a short walk from the camp, you will hike uphill for about 30 minutes and the climb becomes more gradual till you reach the Nyilila pass at 4,870m. From here, you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them standing tall and proud above 7,000m.You could also encounter blue sheep along the way. Then you descent and you will see yak herders’ tents. You will then enter the Lingshi basin, a beautiful U-shaped valley. You can see the Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. You will camp next to a stone just before Lingshi Dzong.
Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m.
You will climb up to the Yelila Pass at 4,930m. On a clear day, You can get a spectacular view of Mount Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masangang. Then you will descend to your campsite at Shodu.
Distance 16km, five to six hours, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3,710m
Your trail today follows the Thimphu Chhu and you will pass through rhododendron forests and will also see some beautiful waterfalls. Then the valley narrows down and you will gradualy climb till you reach your campsite at the ruins of the Barshong Dzong, a fortress.
Today marks the final day of your trek. You’ll bid farewell to your horsemen and cooks. From there, you can descend to the banks of the Thimphu Chhu river, where you’ll meet your driver. You’ll then be driven to your Thimphu hotel, where you can unwind and relax.
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