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Langtang Valley

Just a day from Kathmandu is a slice of mountain heaven!

Langtang Valley

$930 per person

Langtang Valley Trek

It’s easy to linger in the Langtang Valley Trek. Enjoy some stunning views of glaciers and mountains, amazingly photogenic sunsets, sacred lakes, Buddhist monasteries, Tibetan culture, and the possibility of seeing rare wildlife. In short, the Langtang Valley is a culturally rich and beautifully diverse National Park!

Key points:

  • Trekking Grade: Grade 3 Moderate
  • Duration & distance: About 9 days total
  • Gradient: Short steep sections
  • Quality of path: Formed & rough tracks, some obstacles
  • Quality of markings: Signs at beginning, end and major intersections
  • Experience required: No walking experience required
  • Walking times: Less than 6 hours a day
  • Steps: Occasional steps
  • Highest point: 4984m
  • Best season: Sep through to May
  • Accommodation: Camping and teahouses
  • Recommended map: NP105 GHT Series Langtang & Helambu, Himalayan Map House, 2017
  • Recommended Guide Book: Nepal Trekking and the Great Himalaya Trail, Trailblazer, 2020.
Grade 3

GRADE 3

Langtang Valley views
Langtang and Helambu Treks - Tilman Pass North Camp

When to Trek to Langtang Valley?

When you are sitting in the congested and noisy tumult of Kathmandu, it is amazing to think that in a day’s bus drive you could be on the edge of pristine wilderness. Viewpoints above and beyond Kyangjin Gompa offer some stunning mountain vistas, and the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the Himalaya. Three high passes link to trails through Helambu and can be used to provide a range of loop itineraries.

The Langtang Valley can be trekked year-round, and although the mountains are covered in cloud during monsoon, carpets of wildflowers compensate handsomely. The most popular seasons are early October through to mid-February, when the weather is clear and stable. Then from mid-March to the end of May when the rhododendron forests are in full bloom. Care should be taken when attempting any of the high passes; Kangja (Ganja) La, Tilman Pass and Tilman East Pass. All are susceptible to sudden, fierce storms and snowfall at any time of year.

Langtang Valley Map

Langtang Valley Accommodation and Permits

Comfy teahouses are in every village from Dhunche and Syabrubesi to Kyangjin Gompa. After which you will need camping equipment. Supplies are expensive in Kyangjin so try to carry in as much as possible. If you want to attempt the high passes you will need ropes and rock, ice and snow climbing equipment.

Established in 1976, Langtang National Park has a reputation for being well managed. Locals actively help to maintain Park biodiversity and ecology. Human impact is limited but not absent as grazing is allowed in high pastures and permanent communities are permitted to exist in the heart of the Park.

As at August 2019, Rasuwa District (Tamang Heritage Trail) has a trekking permit of US$10 per person per week. Plus the Langtang National Park entry fee of NRs 3000 per person (foreigners), NRs 1500 (SAARC nationals) and NRs 100 (Nepali nationals).

Other Trails in Langtang Valley and Helambu

The Helambu and Langtang Valley region offers GHT through-hikers a wide range of options from technical routes to easy trails suitable for winter hiking and mountain biking.

An enjoyable village-to-village trek that is ideal in the winter-season. For those preferring a lower-altitude route links The Last Resort to Betrawati via Ratnaule, Pokhari Bhanjyang, Golphu, Kharnaitar and then to Betrawati (total 6-8 days, local teahouses en route). At any point along this route you can branch north towards Langtang by crossing one of the Tilman passes, Kangja (Ganja) La or Gosainkund. A road links Betrawati with Syabrubesi as well as a number of trails that head into the Ganesh Himal.

 

Shivapuri

The highest point on the northern Kathmandu valley rim, offers a stunning viewpoint (2732m, 6hrs) of the city below. Try to go on an clear night when the lights imitate the stars above. There are many trails, which often causes confusion, so take a guide who knows the way.

 

Panch Pokhari

Panch Pokhari, translates as ‘five lakes’, is a very popular pilgrimage site in the monsoon and location of a Mahadev Temple. These five sacred lakes at 4010m make an excellent 9-day loop trek from the road-head town of Chautara. The route is via Sano Okhareni, Kami Kharka, Pauwa Bas, Hille Bhanjyang, Nasim Pati and then to Panch Pokhari. Instead of returning the same route, head down to Tupi Danda and then via Dhap to the road-head at Melamchi. And maybe take an extra day or two to relax en route? Chautara, where you begin the trek with a long ridge climb, is a few hours’ drive from the centre of Kathmandu. The trail ascends the Kamikharka Danda above the Indrawati Khola before linking with the Hutprang Danda and then heading north to the lakes.

The villages en route are a diverse blend of Hindu, Tamang and Bhotia communities separated by extensive rhododendron, pine and fir forests. From the lakes there are great views of the Kangja Himal, Jugal Himal, Rolwaling Himal and distant views of Mt Everest, Mt Makalu and Kanchenjunga. This route can be combined with treks to/from Helambu, Gosainkund and over Kangja (Ganja) La or one of the Tilman passes to the Langtang valley. Alternatively, you could combine with the other sacred lakes in the region at Gosainkund or Bhairav Kund for a doubly auspicious trek!

 

Kangja (Ganja) La

This pass should only be attempted by experienced trekking groups with appropriate climbing and camping equipment. Kangja La offers a great circular trek back through Helambu, some fantastic views of the Langtang range and an approach to the popular trekking peak, Naya Kanga. From Kyangjin Gompa, retrace the trail towards Langtang village and after about 20 minutes take the left fork, which drops down to the river and a small wooden bridge. A small but obvious trail climbs through birch and rhododendron forest to simple teahouses and a good campsite, Ngegang Kharka (4430m, 2hrs). Continue climbing, staying on the west bank of a watercourse, across steep ground until you reach the base of moraine deposited by the glacier above, and a potential campsite (4640m, 2hrs).

The pass is a further 2-hour climb up a steep rock scramble, which is often made treacherous by snow. Mountaineering skills and a fixed rope may be necessary to reach Kangja La (5130m) and to descend. There is a steep descent on loose moraine for 3 hours, do not head towards the glacier rather, stay on the east-facing (right) slope of the valley. Continue descending past some kharka and staying high on, but not on top of, a ridge that runs almost due south above the Yangri Khola. There is a good campsite at Keldang (4420m) after another 2 hours with water from a tributary of the Yangri Khola. Continue to traverse the ridge without losing height. The next campsite is Dhukpa (4030m, 6hrs). Follow the ridge until the trail swings up to some prayer flags (1hr) and then descends steeply to Tarkeghyang and the main Helambu trails.

The main route continues to Melamchi Bazaar (870m, 2 days via Sermathang) or via Tharepati and Chisapani (see reverse of Kathmandu to Gosainkund, days 1-4).

How Much does the Langtang Valley Trek Cost?

To help you budget and plan, we’ve made a comprehensive costing explanation on How Much Does the GHT Cost? But here’s a simplified breakdown.

GHT Langtang Valley Trek for 10-days estimated costs:

  • Solo as much as possible US$930.
  • Twin-share with minimum guiding US$935 per person.
  • Twin-share fully supported US$2,360 per person.

Do you have any questions about costs? Please Get in Touch for more details.

Langtang Valley views

Customisation is Normal

Want to do things a little differently? Maybe take some extra time, or go a bit faster? Or avoid technical sections or combine with other trails? Every GHT trek is different and that changes the price, but please feel free to Get in Touch to ask questions and how to customise your own trek.

 

Bookings

Please note that www.greathimalayatrail.com does not handle bookings for treks. We are here to inform you about the trails and logistics, but you will need to book through a registered trekking operator in Nepal. If you would like an operator recommendation or feedback on a company you are already talking to, then please Get in Touch.

Your Impacts on the Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Social Impact SOLO

Solo (Independent)

Langtang Valley is a low impact trek for the solo hiker with moderate social impacts and relatively low GHG and waste impacts.

Consider taking a little extra time to explore side trips or stay a little longer to improve your social impact.

Langtang Valley GHG and Waste Impact SOLO
Langtang Valley Social Impact TWIN

Twin Share (Independent)

Langtang Valley is a low impact trek for small groups with moderate social impacts and relatively low GHG and waste impacts.

Consider taking a little extra time to explore side trips or stay a little longer to improve your social impact.

Langtang Valley GHG and Waste Impact TWIN
Langtang Valley Social Impact CAMPING

Camping (supported)

A high social impact is from having a camping crew who will buy local products  and services, but it increases your footprint.

Despite the good social impact, it is hard to justify camping on this trek.

Langtang Valley GHG and Waste Impact CAMPING

For more information about social, Green House Gas and waste impacts of treks, see The Impact of your Trek.

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Kathmandu
  • Dress Code
    Mid-altitude alpine clothing and camping equipment required
  • Included
    Langtang Valley
  • Grade
    Grade 3
  • Idea Date Range
    15/10/2021
  • Style of Trek
    Teahouse or camping
1
Day 1: Dhunche–Thulo Syabru–Lantang Khola trail      8-10hrs drive + 6hrs
The drive from Kathmandu offers good views of Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang and brief glimpses of village life in the Himalaya. The first section is sealed road to Trisuli before a precipitous dirt road (which is slowly being upgraded) to the National Park and police checkposts on the edge of the bustling trading town of Dhunche (2030m, approx. 8hrs). It is possible to begin your trek from Dhunche, but it means following the road to Thulo Syabru. If you want to stay here, there are many teahouses and some potential camping areas at the end of the town. The road to Syabru Besi (1503m, approx. 1 hr) has been considerably improved over recent years, which means most trekkers prefer the quieter and more comfortable teahouses here than in Dunche. For those who want to trek from Dunche, stay at Thulo Syabru and then join the main valley trail, it might be possible to catch a lift with a vehicle heading towards Syabrubesi and jump off at Thulo Bharkhu (1860m, 1hr), if not, it can be a dusty walk along the road, so make sure you have a scarf to cover your face. Thulo Bharkhu is a small place with road junction at the end of the village, which you follow. You quickly climb (note there are some short cuts to save time walking on the road) through oak and pine forest to Barbal (2190m, 1½hrs). If you can, take some time to visit the gompa here (and make a donation) as part of a rest break. It is now an easy undulating trail through temperate forest with occasional glimpses of the Ganesh Himal and Langtang valley. Reach the ridgetop Tamang village of Thulo Syabru (2210m) in 2 hours, where you may have to register again at the checkpost. Follow the main trail down through the village, which then cuts back into a gully to a bridge before rounding the hillside and dropping about 300m to the main trail beside the Langtang Khola below (1660m, 1½hrs).
2
Day 2: Syabru Besi – Rimche 5.5hrs
This is quiet a long day, especially with the final 400m climb to Rimche, so some trekkers prefer to break the day in two and overnight in Bamboo. From the end of Syabru Besi, cross the footbridge and follow a couple of switchbacks to the extended community on the east bank of the Bhote Khosi Nadi. The trail heads straight through the village, where there are some small teahops and basic teahouses, and then has a few minor ups and downs as you walk upstream beside the Langtang Khola on the true right bank. After 40 mins reach a pretty teahouse called Tingri and soon after cross a suspension bridge to the true left bank and follow the road. This road section doesn’t last long before you head back onto trail. If you miss the trail junction (1660m), you will have a short scramble up from the road ending to the main trail. If you are coming via Thulo Syabru, you will arrive on the road section and then turn east (right, up stream) and continue as follows. In 20 minutes, you will drop to the riverside and there may be a bamboo and log bridge to some hot springs on the far bank. The springs are not always accessible as landslides affect the area regularly. Just beyond the springs is a teashop and for the next 80 minutes the trail passes through some small riverside glades and minor up and downs as you approach Bamboo (1970m). From behind the topmost of three teahouses with flower gardens the trail begins to climb more steadily. Head up into forest to avoid some landslides, although you will return to the riverside a few times before finally crossing a suspension bridge (2150m, 50 mins) to the true right bank where there is a very expensive teashop. Cross a couple of small landslides and then begin a switchback climb to Rimche (2399m, 1hr), where there is a collection of pleasant teahouses, a small campsite and views down valley.
3
Day 3: Rimche–Ghoratabela 4¾hrs
From Rimche the trail climbs a little before dropping to the village of Lama Hotel (2487m, 1¼hrs). Note: if you are camping you will probably have to stay here rather than at Rimche. Lama Hotel doesn’t have any cultivation and relies exclusively on tourists for income. You should check and confirm all fees before committing to a teahouse; some even charge you just for sitting in the dining room. From Lama Hotel you enter some beautiful oak, birch, hemlock and mountain-bamboo forests. Spanish moss hangs from trees giving the whole place a mysterious feeling. Try to make an early start from Rimche to give yourself the best chance of spotting monkey and the many birds that feed near the river. At first the trail undulates through the forest before coming to a lone teahouse at Riverside (2670m, 1hr) in the forest and soon thereafter another lone teahouse at Thomna (Chhunama, 2890m, 20mins). From here the trail climbs steadily for more than 200m to Ghoratabela (3030m, 2hrs 10 mins), where there are a few teahouses and a campsite. If you have the time, consider visiting the small monastery, which the local headman will open for a donation.
4
Day 4: Ghoratabela–Kyangjin Gompa 4¾hrs
Beyond Ghoratabela is an army camp where your permits will be checked. The valley now broadens and the gradient eases; Thyangsyapu (3120m, 1hr) marks the end of the dense forest and the beginning of alpine country. The small settlement of Chyamki (3110m, 15 mins) soon appears, before you then reach the gompa at Kangtangsa (3220m) in a further 45 minutes. If you are feeling the effects of altitude it might be a good idea to rest here for the night. A short climb takes you up to views of the classic glaciated U-shaped valley and the village area of Langtang (3330m), the administrative centre for the valley, in a further 30 minutes. This community was devasted in the 2015 earthquake and has rebuilt itself on either side of the enormous landslide area. There are many teahouses and camping grounds to choose from, and remember to register at the checkpost in the main, upper village. From Langtang it is an easy climb through two Bhotia hamlets, Mundu and Sindum (3410m, 45 mins). Ahead are views of Ganchenpo (Fluted Peak) and Langshisa Ri, and Langtang Lirung rising above you to the north. The trail then climbs the terminal moraine of the Lirung Glacier and descends to the gompa and many teahouses of Kyangjin Gompa (3830m, 1½hrs). If you arrive early enough, sample the nearby cheese factory, visit the gompa, and consider trekking up the trails that run on either side of the Lirung Glacier to see ice falls and spot musk deer or blue sheep.
5
Day 5: Kyangjin Gompa all day
The easiest viewpoint to reach is a hill to the north of Kyangjin Gompa where many prayer flags, which can be seen from the village, indicate the summit (4360m, 2hrs). For the more adventurous there are many good views on the climb of Tsergo Ri (4984m, 3½hrs climb). There is an excellent look-out with magnificent views of Langtang Lirung and its surrounding peaks – it can be reached by climbing the slopes immediately behind Kyangjin Gompa. Further to the east of Tsergo Ri, is Yala Peak (5500m, 6hr climb), which is more spectacular, and requires a trekking peak permit, mountaineering skills and equipment. Alternatively, a trek further up the valley towards Langshisa Kharka (4160m, 7hr return trek) provides great views of the ranges bordering Tibet and a chance for some more wildlife spotting in the early morning.
6
Days 6-9: Kyangjin Gompa–SyabruBesi–Kathmandu
Retrace your steps on the main trail. You might want to stay in different places on your descent or return to see friends. Either way a clearly marked trail follows the river to Syabrubesi (1503m) where there are many teahouses and a regular bus service to Kathmandu (10hrs).