Contact us: 303-586-4723
info@oneseedexpeditions.com

Sacred Chomolhari

Trek one of Bhutan’s most famous routes to explore ancient temples and local markets and experience all that the Himalaya has to offer.

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Trip Highlights

  • Visit the famous Tiger’s Nest Temple located on a cliffside 3,000 ft above the ground

  • Climb up and over the stunning Nyilila pass which reaches 16,043ft

  • Explore the Thimphu Valley and visit beautiful monasteries and villages along that way

PRIVATE EXPEDITIONS

This itinerary is for private expeditions only. Pricing is based on group size. See pricing chart below.  

* See more on difficulty levels here.

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ITINERARY SUMMARY

Day 1: Paro
Day 2: Tour of Tiger's Nest
Day 3: Hike to Shing ka rap
Day 4: Hike to Thangtangka
Day 5: Hike to Jangothang
Day 6: Acclimatization day in Jangothan
Day 7: Hike to Lingshi
Day 8: Rest day in Lingshi
Day 9: Hike to Shodu
Day 10: Hike to Barshong
Day 11: Hike to Dolam Kencho and complete trek, head to Thimphu
Day 12: Cultural sightseeing in Thimpu
Day 13: Return to Paro
Day 14: International departures

Please note: 

Expedition dates indicate when you should arrive and depart in Bhutan. See our Cancellation Policy.

WHAT TRAVELERS ARE SAYING

 
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Everything was well-organized and I felt welcomed and comfortable through the entire trek. It was very clear that our guide was invested in our satisfaction, and responded well to all of our needs.
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I feel that OneSeed transformed what could have been a daunting journey to a fun and memorable trip, and it exceeded my expectation of a trek in every aspect.
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Tshering was an excellent guide and a wonderful person to get to know. The scenery on the trek was spectacular, the food was excellent.

Read More Reviews

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Day 1:  ARRIVE IN PARO

Arrive in Paro where a OneSeed representative will be there to greet you. Check into your lodge and catch up on some much needed sleep or explore the city on your own.

Peak Altitude: 7,200 ft (2195m)

Inclusions: airport transfer; dinner; hotel accommodations


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Day 2:  PARO

After breakfast, take a short drive to the trailhead leading to Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest with many of the trees covered with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Stop at a cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue the hike until you reach the Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 3,000 ft. into the valley below. 

Peak Altitude: 10,240 ft (3121m)

Total Hiking: approximately 6 miles (9.6 km) / 5-6 hours trekking

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; transportation; park entrance fee; trekking permit; hotel accommodations


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Day 3:  Paro to Shing ka rap

Drive up to Gunitsawa Army check post where the road ends and the trek begins. With a gradual climb, the trail follows the Pachu (Paro river) passing beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about four hours you will reach Shana village. Continue the hike through conifer forest until you reach small nomad’s settlement just before before reaching the campsite at Shing ka rap.

Peak Altitude: 10,203 ft (3110m)

Total Hiking: approximately 6 miles (9.6 km) / 5-6 hours trekking

Inclusions: breakfast / box lunch / dinner; park entrance fee; trekking permits; camping accommodations; transportation


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Day 4:  Shing ka rap to Thangthangka

The trail continues with several small ups and downs. After ascending through the river valley, you will enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. After the valley narrows, ascends to a meadow where your camp will be set up. From here, you will have the first great view of Mount Chomolhari.

Peak Altitude: 11,730 ft (3545m)  

Total Hiking: approximately 9.3 miles (15 km) /708 hours of trekking

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 5: Thangthangka to Jangothang

The trek continues up the Pachu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and forests. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yak and therder settlements become a regular feature of the landscape. Pass the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang before reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas.

Peak Altitude: 13,260 ft (4044m)

Total Hiking: approximately 8 miles (13 km) / 6-7 hours of trekking

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 6: Jangothang

Enjoy an acclimatization day in Jangothang by resting at camp or head out for a short day hike to further acclimatize. Keep an eye out for blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Trek up to Tsophu or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Chomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west with Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.

Peak Altitude: 13,260 ft (4044m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 7: Jangothang to Lingshi

Just after leaving camp, the trail climbs steeply for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascent to Nyilila pass at 16,043 ft. From the pass you will have spectacular views of Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tsherimgang, all of them higher than 21,000ft. As you descend into the Lingshi basin, enjoy the view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. Continue the descent to Lingshi for the evening.

Total Hiking: approximately 11 miles (17.7 km) / 6-7 hours trekking

Peak Altitude: 16,043 ft (4890m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 8: Lingshi

Enjoy a rest day in Lingshi or take a day hike to Lingshi Dzong if you are feeling adventurous.

Peak Altitude: 13,150 ft (4008m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 9: Lingshi to Shodu

The trail climbs up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 16,174 ft. From the pass, on a clear day you will get an excellent view of Jhomolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.

Total Hiking: approximately 14 miles (22.5 km) / 9-10 hours trekking

Peak Altitude: 16,174 ft (4930m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 10: Shodu to Barshong

The trail follows the Thimphu Chu river through fir and hemlock forests and past beautiful waterfalls along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.

Total Hiking: approximately 10 miles (16 km) / 6-7 hours trekking

Peak Altitude: 13,386 ft (4080m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 11: Barshong to Dolam Kencho to Thimphu

Descend through beautiful rhododendron forests to reach Dolam Kencho. Complete the descent to Dodina (8530 ft). A car will be waiting to drive you to Thimphu (30 minutes).

Total Hiking: approximately 9 miles (14.5 km) / 6-7 hours trekking

Peak Altitude: 12,172 ft (3710 m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; camping accommodations


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Day 12: Thimphu

Spend a day sightseeing in the Thimphu valley. Visit the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Traditional Medicine Institute, where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced; the Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist Thangkhas, and the mask maker workshop. There are also workshops for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making. You ay visit the Handicrafts Emporium and local shops for souvenirs like textiles, Thangkha paintings, masks, wood carvings, jewelry, and more.

Peak Altitude: 7,656 ft (2334 m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; hotel accommodations


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Day 13: THIMPU TO PARO

Explore the city of Thimpu before returning to Paro. Visit temples, pick up some local handicrafts, and explore Simtokha Dzong, Bhutan's first fort built in 1629.

Peak Altitude:  7,656 ft (2334 m)

Inclusions: breakfast / lunch / dinner; transportation; hotel accommodations


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Day 14: PARO

After breakfast in the hotel, catch a ride to the airport for your flight home. Bid farewell to your guides and the legendary Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan.

Peak Altitude: 7,200 ft (2195m)

Inclusions: breakfast; airport transportation


NOT INCLUDED

  • personal items

  • trip cancelation insurance (highly recommended)

  • international airfare and meals during travel

  • beverages outside of designated meals

  • extra snacks during trek

 

INCLUSIONS

  • medical/evacuation insurance for all participants confirmed 30 days or more prior to their expedition start date

  • airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 14

  • Bhutan Visa

  • 3 nights accommodation in Paro

  • 1 night accommodation in Thimphu

  • camping accommodations on trek

  • all meals (outlined in itinerary)

  • trekking permits and entry fees

  • guide and porter services

  • baggage transport (limited to 22lbs/10kg)

  • all ground transportation in Bhutan

  • guided excursion to Tiger's Nest

*All itineraries are subject to change based on local conditions and the judgment of the guide. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary due to medical considerations or the ability of participants as judged by the guide. For complete terms and conditions, see here.


TRIP EXTENSIONS

WHAT TO BRING

 

You are responsible only for personal clothing and gear listed below. We'll take care of everything else.  A gear check will be completed before you depart for the trail. This list does not include additional clothing/items you may want for travel or for your time off the trail.  Any luggage not needed on the trail can be left at the hotel in Paro during your expedition. See current weather conditions for Paro, Bhutan.

Packing System: This expedition includes horses for bag transport. We recommend packing your items in a large backpack or a durable duffle bag. You are only responsible for carrying a daypack.

Carried Bag Weight Limit: 22lbs/10kg 

 

Don't forget

 

We need you to have everything on the list below for our expedition to go smoothly, so there is no one item that is more important than another. Double-check your entire list and make sure to have/review these important items below.

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Valid Passport

Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your arrival date in Bhutan.

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Medical insurance card

Should anything happen, we can get you the care you need.

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Required Vaccinations

It is important to receive required (or recommended) vaccinations before traveling abroad. Check the CDC's recommendations for Bhutan here.

 

The List (check it twice)

Trekking Gear

  • Duffle bag or backpack to be carried by our staff.  

  • Change of clothes for Paro - to be kept in storage during expedition

  • Medium/Heavyweight down jacket

  • Fleece jacket or vest

  • Synthetic hiking pants

  • Rain Jacket

  • Long underwear (top and bottom)

  • Synthetic T-shirt

  • Synthetic long sleeve shirt

  • Wool or synthetic hat

  • Gloves

  • Waterproof hiking boots

  • Nylon-wool blend socks (2-3)

  • Sandals/Crocs/Old sneakers (for walking around the lodges/restrooms in the evening)

  • Day pack

  • Water bottle or camelback (2+ liters)

  • Headlamp

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunglasses

  • Quick-dry towel

  • Personal toiletries and medicine

  • Sleeping bag w/ 0ºF rating

  • Toilet paper in ziplock bag

  • Ditty Bag and extra ziplock baggies for toilet paper waste on the trail 

  • Hand sanitizer

Documents and Logistics

  • International flights booked and confirmed to Paro, Bhutan

  • Flight information submitted

  • Passport valid for 6 months after arrival date

  • Bhutan Visa (Must be obtained prior to arrival. Please send a copy of your passport to OneSeed.)

  • Photocopy of passport

  • Medical insurance card

  • Cash for tipping guides, buying souvenirs, incidental costs, etc.

  • Note: Please bring crisp US bills. Many places will not accept torn, wrinkled, or worn bills

Other (optional)

  • Reading material for the trail

  • Guidebooks

  • Camera

  • Trekking poles

  • Bandana (for dust and wind)

  • Energy bars

  • Yaktrax (especially useful for late fall and early spring trips)

  • Outlet adapter

  • Zip-lock bags for waterproofing passport and other valuables

ELEVATION (FT.)

*Measured in feet
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CLIMATE OVERVIEW

 

Temperatures in the Bhutan vary greatly due to the extreme difference in altitude in the region. Most of the annual precipitation occurs from June to September. In fall (October – November) and spring (April – May), days are warm and sunny, and nights cool. In spring, rain at 3000m elevation often turns to snow at higher elevations. In winter from December to March, days are clear and mild but nights cold.

 

PARO, BHUTAN

Frequently Asked Questions


Does it matter what time I arrive or depart?

  • If you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 8 of your trip, OneSeed will arrange for airport transfers. Pickup will be arranged to efficiently transfer clients with flight times in close proximity (generally within one hour of each other). If you plan to arrive before the scheduled start date or stay past the end date of your trip, you will need to coordinate your own airport transfer or purchase a trip extension through OneSeed.

Do I need a visa? And what about passport requirements?

  • OneSeed will assist you in the process of obtaining a visa to enter Bhutan. Please send a copy of the photo page of your passport to go@oneseedexpeditions.com in order to secure a visa prior to your arrival. Regular processing time for all visas is 2 weeks. Please keep your passport and visa with you at all times during your expedition.
  • Visit the State Department website for Bhutan travel information.
  • Your passport must be valid for six months after your country departure date. It should also have at least one blank page for any necessary stamps.

What happens if my trip is altered due to unforseen circumstances?

Per the Assumption of Risk and Liability Waiver Agreement, if your expedition must be altered at any point, you are responsible for any additional costs.Canceled flights and transportation strikes happen. We do our best to ensure that your experience is unaltered by handling the situation efficiently and smoothly. For complete terms and conditions, see here. We recommend reviewing optional trip cancellation and interruption insurance to cover expenses in these instances. Some instances that have come up are:

  • A twisted ankle one week before a trip
  • Power outages in the Atlanta airport leaving travelers stranded
  • Burst appendix!
  • Earthquakes or floods cutting a trip short

DO I NEED ANY IMMUNIZATIONS OR MEDICINE?

Talk to your physician and follow recommended CDC guidelines found here.

WILL WE NEED TO FILTER WATER?

  • Safe drinking water will be provided to you along the trail. When in Paro and other villages, be sure to only drink bottled water and do not use tap water to brush your teeth.
  • Our goal is to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles on our expeditions. Your guide will be equipped with a SteriPen to purify water on the trail.

WHAT FOOD SHOULD I EXPECT TO EAT ON THE TRAIL?

  • REMEMBER: Avoid street food when you first arrive in Bhutan! You do not want to begin your trek with unnecessary stomach issues.
  • Food on the trail is rich in carbohydrates and protein since you'll be burning calories like a champ. Breakfast may include: tea/coffee, cereal/ porridge, eggs and toast, sausage/bacon, fresh steamed vegetables, and seasonal fruit. Lunch may include: green salad, rice, noodles, dumplings, meat (pork/chicken/fish/beef), fresh veggies, lentils, and dessert. Dinner may include: soup, rice, noodles, roti/bread, spring rolls, meat (pork/chicken/fish/beef), fresh veggies, and dessert.
  • OneSeed is able to accommodate most allergies and dietary preferences. If you didn't include this information on your registration form, please email info@oneseedexpeditions.com. We recommend any vegan travelers bring extra protein bars.

WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE ON THE TRAIL?

  • You will be sleeping in tents during your time on the trail. Tents and meals will be carried and set up by OneSeed staff.

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY

  • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to your scheduled departure for this adventure then you will be able to reschedule or be reimbursed the full cost of this adventure net the non-refundable deposit of $1000.00. If any cancellation is made less than 60 days prior to your scheduled departure for this adventure then you will lose the complete value of your experience.
  • If your expedition must be canceled by OneSeed due to circumstances outside of your control (e.g. natural disasters, weather, etc.), we will work with you to reschedule at no extra cost. If rescheduling is not possible, you will be reimbursed the total amount of your purchase less 20% of trip cost.
  • All discounted and promotional offers made through third-party partners are 100% non-refundable and non-transferable.

DO I NEED TO TIP MY GUIDE?

Tips are always appreciated. Averages below are based on per person recommendations.

  • Head Guide: $6-8/day
  • Assistant Guide: $2-5/day

DOES SOMEONE CARRY MY PACK?

  • Due to the high altitude and length of daily travel, you will carry a daypack and a porter will carry your duffle bag up to 22 lbs. Your daypack should contain any clothes needed for that day and any personal belongings like your camera or passport.

CAN I LEAVE SOME OF MY LUGGAGE IN THE HOTEL DURING THE TREK?

  • You will be staying at the same hotel before and after your trek in Paro. Leaving an extra bag in storage during your trek is free of charge.

HOW SHOULD I TRAIN FOR MY TREK?

  • Daily mileage can range from 3-7 miles and 3-6 trekking hours per day. This expedition requires an average level of fitness and the ability to hike over variable terrain.
  • We always recommend that travelers break in their hiking boots before the expedition. Taking training hikes that mimic the mileage and amount of time you will be trekking in Bhutan is highly recommended.

WHAT IS THE ELEVATION? IS ALTITUDE A CONCERN?

  • The highest elevation you will reach on your trek is 13,812 ft ft. Trekking at high altitudes can become a concern above 10,000 ft. Some travelers choose to use prescriptions such as Diamox to treat altitude sickness. We recommend talking to your doctor about the use of any prescription medicine. We always advise hiking at your own pace, drinking plenty of water, and the importance of self-care on the trail.

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?

  • Weather is always unpredictable which is why we recommend a comprehensive packing list. A sunny warm day can turn on a dime and end in rain. It never hurts to prep for both!
  • Visit the terrain section above to see average temperatures and weather forecasts for Paro.

ANY OTHER TIPS?

  • We always ask that you stay safe on the trail by drinking plenty of water, eating well, and communicating openly with your guide about any issues that arise. Be sure to take care of your belongings, be respectful of your travel companions, talk with people you meet along the way, and respect the natural landscape that you're exploring.

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