Kingdom in the sky
Best Trekking Experience in the Himalayas...
Trek with the Marmots
The Best of Popular Bhutan Trekking Trails combined into one giant Adventure:
1. Mt. Jumolhari Trek,
2. Naro Trek,
3. Yaktsa Trek and
4. Druk Path Trek
The routes are least trodden so there are hardly any tourists and while this is a challenging Trek, it is also all the more spectacular with magnificent views of the Snow Capped Himalayas and the best yet amongst all the trekking trails of Bhutan.
A marmot here, a yak there, a herd of blue sheep here, a mountain lake below, an exotic flower here, a swift-flowing stream there, a bridge here and a mountain ridge beyond that. This is the pattern of the eight-days trek that took a group of us across the vast wilderness with altitude that stretched between 2,100 metres and 5,200 metres above sea level.
The Jomolhari Combo trek is all about exploring the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park, the second largest National Park of Bhutan covering an area of 4,316 square kilometres with an altitude range of 1,200 metres in the south to 7,314 metres in the north. The park is home to numerous species of animals many of which are endangered or extinct in other parts of the world. They include the Royal Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Takin, Blue Sheep (Pseudouis Nayaur), Musk Deer (Moshcus Chrysogaster), Himalayan Black Bear, Marmot (Marmota Himalayana), Red Panda (Ailurus Fulgens) and several species of pheasants. More than 300 species of medicinal plants can be found in the park.
The trek that spans the entire Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park in northern Bhutan took us across 26 bridges, 12 lakes, and six mountain passes. But the trek has a thousand-fold more to offer than just the mere numbers. The virgin wilderness stretches far and wide, ultimately tapering off into frozen peaks rising into the sky. One could see at least six mountain summits from the route. It all seems formidable and unconquerable but when the will to explore takes hold of the human spirit, the two little legs can take one beyond the horizon.
The Trek starts with the Yaktsa Trek Trail in Paro valley, diverting towards the regular Jomolhari Trek, following the Naro Trek and finally merging with the Druk Path Trek that ends at Thimphu.
What is the Good Season for this Bhutan Trekking?
Bhutan is located in the upper interior part of the Himalayas with mountains as high as 7800 m above sea level. This adventure involves trekking on the ridge of rising mountains to these high Himalayas, and mostly the trail is between 3800 – 5200 m above sea level and the campsites are between 3800 – 4280 m. It will be extremely cold in winter and moderately cold in summer. Therefore this Trek is good for the month of April, May, September, Oct and November, moderately good for the month of March and August. Due to extreme cold and the frozen ice in winter it’s not good for the month of January, February and December and also not advisable for the month of June and July due to rain and bad weather.
Where to Stay While Trekking?
A dedicated team lead by the trekking leader, certified chef, horseman with horses and enough helpers to ensure a comfortable trekking experience, will accompany you through out the trek.
Normally, it takes about 6-7 hours of walk between the camps and you will usually reach your campsite around 4 – 5 o clock in the evening. 2 times tea and snacks will be served on the way, in the morning and after noon with hot lunch at some good location, most of the time with spectacular views of the Himalayas. A hot tea or porridge will await you at the campsite. Hot water bags, hot meals and comfortable mattresses will also be waiting for you in your A – shaped sleeping tent with good quality sleeping bags.
A separate toilet tent will be pitched nearby at a dedicated location and, on demand shower tents can also be provided at a small additional cost.
The trekking leader will brief you every morning about the next day’s schedule.
Check for the following Essential Trekking Gears While Trekking in Bhutan
During the Trek
- Clothes: Waterproof jacket and pants. You really don't need thick heavy clothes. As always, trekking in layers is better.
- Bag pack with rain cover for bagpack
- Water bottles (at least 3 liters total capacity)
- Baseball cap (the sun is strong at all elevations)
- Hiking poles (lessen the impact on your joints)
- Sunglasses (essential when you cross snow line)
- Trekking shoes: A pair of lightweight-waterproof hiking boots is a must. Break them in beforehand
- Winter hat
- Winter gloves
At the Camp Site:
- Head lamp with extra batteries
- A pair of Camp shoes too.
- Thermal underwear and can be useful in the mornings, or for sleeping in at night. If you forgot some, jogging pants are widely available in all towns for less cost
- Reading materials (Kindle may be best)
- Journal and pens