We inchoate our journey of 7 days trek to Jomolhari with a drive to Drukgyal Dzong. Drukgyal Dzong was a fortress and Buddhist monastery, now in ruins,located in the upper part of the Paro District, Bhutan. The name “Drukgyal Dzong” translates to “Fortress of Victory” as the monument stands for the Shabdrung’s victory against an invasion of allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces in 1649. You can have a panoramic mountain view of Jomolhari (7326 m) from here on a clear sunny day.
After your arrival at Drukgyal Dzong, we have to walk from here as the road ends. Be sure that you have all your documents with you as your trekking permit will be at the check post by the army guarding at Gunitsawa village. Gunitsawa is a tiny but beautiful village. Following Paro River along our way, we will pass by cultivated fields, beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses which are so picturesque. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly colored butterflies.Today’s campsite is by the small outpost for park warden on the opposite side of the river.
We will start our trek early today as we have a long way to reach our destination. We have to walk through the river valley and pass by few isolated farmhouses and deep forest area walking through both ascending and descending trail. Enroute you can see the junction from where the other path leads north over Tremo La to Tibet. After goinguphill through the river valley, you enter the JigmeDorji National Park, the largest protected area in the country. The park is home to several endangered species including the Takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been cataloged within the park. Continuing our walk further, we follow a narrow mere path through oak, spruce, birch and alpine yellow trees. In some section, the trail is wet and loose rock. Most of the campsite is designated by government depending on area, access to water andmainly to protect from deforestation and disturbance to wild animals. After crossing a bridge and chorten, we hike towards our camping section. Your camp will be set up in a meadow with a stone shelter. Enormous glance of Mount Jomolhari can be seen from Thangthangkha.
Early in the morning, wake up and explore the panoramic view of Mount Jomolhari today. Our today’s destination is Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas. Commencing our trek, we ascend up to Paro Chhu valley which finally widens up gradually to a mere path which ascends to a meadow where same yak herders have their winter home. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful stroll. The path ascends for a while until we reach the army check post. Crossingthe check post, you will enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. The ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions with wind flags.After reaching Jangothang, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhariincluding its neighboring snowcapped peaks.
One rest day will be kept at Jangothang since it is a perfect place for you to acclimatizebefore going over the high passes. However, if you want to do a short day hike around the place then there are plenty of possibilities here. You can have a great view of lakes and snowcapped mountains such as Jomolhari, TseringKang and Jichu Drake. If you are lucky, you can also spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. You can also trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. 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.In summer, the ethereal Himalayan blue poppy can be seen in this area. If yak herders are in the vicinity, perhaps visit inside one of the big black smoky yak-hair tents.
On the following day, the trail leads to a last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu. Passing the lake of Tshophuwhich is located at the altitude of 4380meter, you will climb up steeply to Bhonte La pass (4,890 m), the highest point of this trek route. Reaching the DhumzoChhu River, you descend downstream passing few houses of SoiYaktsa (Dhumzo) to arrive at your camp soon after.
On the sixth day of our trek, we will be descending down to Thombu Song. The trail climbs 100m over a ridge to drop to another stream then. After crossing the Takhung La pass (4,520m) you descent to ThombuShong, three yak herder huts with your campsite next to them.
Final day of our trek begins with breakfast at the camp. We have to walk 13 kilometers today in order to reach Gunitsawa village, our today’s destination. Enroute we have to cross Thombu La pass (4380 m) and a few hours walk from there will take you to Gunitsawa village. Further, you will be driven to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan which takes about two hours drive. After your arrival at Thimpu, get refreshed and rest.
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