The Jhomolhari trek is a high-altitude adventure in the foothills of Bhutan's sacred peaks that offers breathtaking views of alpine meadows, pristine forests, and seasonal shelters of the yak herders. The journey is a chance to explore some of Bhutan's iconic cultural landmarks while experiencing the rich Buddhist culture and heritage of the Himalayan kingdom.
The journey begins in Paro, the only city in Bhutan with an international airport, where you can explore cultural sites such as Ta Dzong, Paro, Rinpung Dzong, and Kichu Lakhang. Prior to starting the trek, it is crucial to engage in an acclimatization hike to the renowned Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest. This sacred monastery is built on a sheer cliff and is a symbol of Bhutanese culture, according to local lore.
The trek starts from the ancient ruins of Drugyal Dzong and takes you through terraced fields, apple orchards, and lush forests of pine, bamboo, and rhododendron. Along the trail, you get a chance to see the sacred mountains of Bhutan, including Mount Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tshering Gang, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Bhutanese consider the mountains their spiritual guardians, and as a result, mountaineering expeditions are banned.
After trekking to Jangothang or Jhomolhari base camp, you will have a day to hike to vantage points and savor the panoramic views of Mount Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake. The trail follows the Po Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the lifeline for the farming communities in the area. During the trek, you will traverse high-altitude mountain passes, witness breathtaking glaciers, and come across remote encampments of nomadic yak herders. The apex of your journey will be at Yale La pass, standing at an impressive 4950 meters. You will camp at dramatic locations, such as Lingshi Dzong, an ancient fortress, and Barshong Dzong, a grand fort, en route.
The trek is moderately difficult, and anyone who is physically fit and has a strong pair of legs can complete it. The trail is up and down with no technical sections, and it is best to do some high-altitude treks or hill-hiking before undertaking this journey. The ideal seasons to embark on the Jhomolhari trek are spring and autumn.
The trek is fully organized, with support staff responsible for setting up tents and serving nutritious meals. Mules or horses will carry the heavy load of camping equipment, food supplies, and heavy baggage. A local trekking guide will lead you through the wild trail while sharing knowledge about the landscape and culture.
The journey ends in Thimphu, where you can explore the city's highlights and shop for unique handicraft items and hand-woven textiles. The trek is an opportunity for adventurers seeking to explore Bhutan's pristine nature and rich culture by taking them on an ancient trail to the base of Mount Jhomolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain.