Named after this distinctive Bhutanese mountain, the Jomolhari Trek is the most popular in the country and attracts a large proportion of the trekkers who come to Bhutan. High mountain scenery, Himalayan peaks, small villages of yak herders that you will see grazing everywhere, and a couple of mountain-passes at almost 5000 metres. If this is the most frequented trek, there must be a reason.
8 days trek
Highest altitude 4930m
Highest overnight altitude 4080m
Local guide English-speaking
Accommodation and meals in camping during the trek
Transfers in private vehicle
From April to May and from September to November
Most of the hikers who go trekking in Bhutan choose the Jomolhari Trek. It is a trek with a good level, with not too short days, but with a duration that makes it quite affordable, both in terms of physical effort and economic level. Its itinerary takes us to the high mountains of Bhutan, always watched by the mass of the summit of Jomolhari (7315 metres). The first stages gain altitude following the Paro Chu (river) valley until you reach the interesting village of Lingzhi, which has an ancient Dzong. Once past Lingzhi, the route heads south and then descends to near Thimphu.
Most of Bhutan is stunning, virtually untouched natural scenery. Permanent white peaks, yak pastures, occasional isolated and traditional villages, wildlife and unique flora. There are durations and landscapes to suit all tastes, from treks in the remote wilderness of the mountains to hikes that take you closer to a more cultural side, through villages and monasteries. Most of the routes can be done in both directions, so it is also possible to do partial round trips.
Overnight stays for most of the treks are in campsites, and yaks or mules are responsible for carrying your equipment and all the stuff for the trek, so, in a way, the old spirit of the pioneer treks is maintained, bridging distances of course. Bear in mind that there is little chance of charging the batteries of your cameras and other electronic devices, so it is advisable to carry spare batteries and perhaps a small solar charger.
Although we are still talking about a very unspoilt, lonely and wild territory, the rough-roads slowly advance following the valleys that enter the mountains to connect isolated villages, where services are very basic and difficult to reach. This naturally affects the route of the treks, especially during the first and last days, and is reducing the days of some itineraries.
Druk-Yul is what the Druk-pa, the people of the ‘land of the thunder dragon’, call Bhutan. It was one of the most isolated countries in the world until tourism was allowed in the 1970s, but there are still restricted areas of the country. This has preserved its traditions and culture from Western influence, while it has become the main attraction for tourists. And Bhutan has been able to capitalise on this with good tourist organisation and fares not suitable for all budgets.
With a very sparse population of about 700,000, Bhutan became famous for its GNH, the Gross National Happiness Index, as opposed to GDP, a concept they developed in the 1970s and included in the constitution.
Lush forests and high Himalayan peaks to the north define a majestic landscape, barely disturbed by the few existing roads, friendly and peaceful people greet the traveller embarking on the way through the so-called last Shangri-la on earth.
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