To the north of Kathmandu is pure Himalayan magic – traditional cultures, great views, well maintained trails, plenty of wildlife, sacred lakes, rarely another trekker in sight and one of the best wildflower displays in Nepal during the spring season.
- Duration & distance: About 9 days total; days not more than 20km per day
- Gradient: Short steep sections
- Quality of path: Formed & rough tracks, some obstacles
- Quality of markings: Signs at beginning, end and major intersections
- Experience required: Some walking experience required
- Walking times: Less than 6hrs a day
- Steps: Occasional steps on some days
- Highest point: 4462m
- Best season: Mar-May/Sep-Dec
- Accommodation: Camping and basic teahouses
- Recommended map: NP105 GHT Series Langtang & Helambu, Himalayan Map House, 2017
To trek out of the Kathmandu valley is a step back in time, to an age when all expeditions started from the valley rim. The feeling of walking away from Nepal’s capital is unique and it allows you to ‘grow’ into the trek. Once over the rim, you head for a mountain range that fills the horizon. To the main north–south route a series of interconnecting trails from the east and west offer an opportunity to trek to your heart’s content.
Gosainkund tends to have a long trekking season from early October through to mid-February, and then re-opening in March until the monsoon begins in June. However, snowfalls are very common on Lauribina Pass throughout the year and trekkers should be careful not to become isolated on the higher trails. A major highlight is the magnificent rhododendron forests that bloom throughout April across the southern boundary of the National Park. If you want to connect with the holy lakes of Bhairav Kund and Panch Pokhari in the east of Helambu, you should be aware of sudden storms that can occur throughout the year, but they never deter the thousands of pilgrims who visit them during the monsoon months. If you have the time, consider a one-day side trip to the summit of Shivapuri and spend a night watching the twinkling of Kathmandu’s city lights beneath a heaven full of stars.
Multiple daily bus services run from Kathmandu to Chisapani, Melamchi Gaon, Dhunche and Syabrubesi. An extensive new road network is under construction throughout Helambu and will include a Melamchi to Trisuli road via Kutumsang. All these roads are causing a great deal of forest damage and are unavoidable whether trekking east–west or north–south across the region.
Dress CodeMid-altitude alpine clothing and camping equipment required
Not IncludedSpecial PermitsTea Houses AvailablePersonal Guide