Hike to Taktshang monastery as good acclimatisation for the trek
Today we will do another acclimatisation hike at Chele La pass. We can also visit Kila Gompa nunnery.
Early in the morning drive about 2 hours through farm road to Shana, where you will start your trek. We ascend through the river valley and beautiful pine and rhododendron forests. Sadly much of the forest has been cut to make way for electricity to be run to Jangothang and Lingshi – the sight of fallen trees is a reminder of the cost of progress. We turn north towards Mount Jomolhari, which can be seen from the top of the valley. Our camp will be at 3680 metres. (19 km, 8 to 9 hours)
The trail continues to follow the river and passes a small army post where the valley begins to widen again. Views of high ridges and snow-capped peaks can be seen on all sides. At this altitude (about 4040 m) it is possible to see yaks and yak herders. Camp is beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mount Jomolhari. (19 kms, 6 hours)
It’s possible to walk to Tsophu (sacred lakes) or hike in various directions: towards Mount Jomolhari and its subsidiary to the west, Jichu Drake to the north and unclaimed summits and ridges to the east.
The trail climbs gradually to Nyili La Pass (4680 m). Broad yak pastures can be seen along the length of the route. If the weather is clear, there is an excellent view of Lingshi Dzong as we descend into the Lingshi basin. Tserim Kang and its descending glaciers can be seen at the north end of the valley. We camp in a stone shelter at 3915 m. (19 km, 7 to 8 hours)
A day’s excursion to Tsekha (Lahe), the base camp of Jichu Drake mountain where it is possible to see blue sheep and musk deer. (Altitude about 4500 m) If you prefer, you can relax today, explore the village and visit the school. Sadly Lingshi Dzong was badly damaged in a recent earthquake and it will only be possible to visit if renovations works are complete.
The trail ascends to the Yali La Pass (4820 m), from where Mount Jomolhari, Tserim Gang and Masa Gang can be seen on a clear day. We descend to our campsite which is situated at about 3815 m. (6 to 7 hours)
The path follows the Thimphu Chhu (river) and through forests with rhododendrons and waterfalls, before climbing to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. Continue to follow the Thimphu Chu downhill for a couple of hours through dense rhododendron forest before emerging into pastureland at Domshisa where we can camp. (Altitude 3400 m, 17 km, 7 to 8 hours)
From Domshisa we climb for about an hour to a mountain meadow and over a small pass. A new farm road has been built along this stretch, so we have to walk for about 3 hours today along the rough road until we join the original trail just before the end of our trek. From here it is about an hour along the trail to Dodena where a vehicle will be waiting to collect us for the hour’s drive to Thimphu. (9 km, 5 hours)
Sightseeing in Thimphu
Drive to Punakha and sightseeing in Punakha
Return to Paro