Ruby Valley Trek
The Ruby Valley is a true gem of a trek in more ways than one! Some terrific views combine with authentic mountain hospitality to form one of the best low-altitude treks in Nepal. Add some intriguing history about a deserted gem mine and it’s time to go!
- Trekking Grade: Grade 3
- Duration & distance: About 8 days total
- Gradient: Short steep sections
- Quality of path: Formed track, some obstacles
- Quality of markings: Limited signage
- Experience required: Experienced walkers require navigation skills
- Walking times: Less than 7½ hours per day
- Steps: Occasional Steps
- Highest point: 3830m
- Best season: Oct to May
- Accommodation: Camping
- Recommended maps: NP106 GHT Series Manaslu & Ganesh Himals and NP105 GHT Series Langtang & Helambu, Himalayan Map House, 2017
- Recommended Guide Book: Nepal Trekking and the Great Himalaya Trail, Trailblazer, 2020.
When to Trek Ruby Valley?
The Ruby Valley is one of the few year-round trails, but is at its best from mid-October to May. You should be careful of heavy snowfall during winter storms, especially in January and February, which can close passes for weeks at a time. However, the other, lower trails are all open over winter and offer some fantastic off-season trekking! General delays can occur in all seasons, so you should make sure you can adjust your itinerary if necessary.
The Ruby Valley crosses the jopin of two maps – Langtang and Manaslu
Ruby Valley Accommodation and Permits
The Ruby Valley borders the Manaslu Conservation Area and Langtang National Park but you do not require any permits, making this an ideal trek for those who want an inexpensive mountain fix. It is possible to hire locals guides and porters in communities, but beware of asking route directions from random folks you meet along the trail – there are lots of potential routes, so it is easy to get lost! In 2018, a couple of young Korean trekkers got lost and were found after 4 weeks, after one had died!
The Ruby Valley was affected in the 2015 earthquakes, but is now fully reconstructed. Homestays and teahouses offer accommodation and meals in every community, and the hot springs are still working too!
GHT and Other Routes near the Ruby Valley Trek in the Ganesh Himal
From Timure (the village before Rasuwa, to the north of Syabrubesi) there is a small trail to Dudh Kund on the northern slopes of Langtang Lirung. WH Tilman was the first European to trek in Nepal in 1949. This was the first place he tried to reach, but he couldn’t find it as the trails were bad; they’re not much better today!
Sangjung Kharka and Paldor north face
From Tatopani in the Chilime valley you can ascend the Chilime Khola to the border with Tibet and then climb a steep rocky hillside to your west (left) to the Sangjung Kharka (4-days from Tatopani return trek), a pretty valley that lies beneath Paldor and the Ganesh Himal.
To the west of Paldor is Kalo Pokhari (‘Black Lake’), the starting point for a technical mountaineering circuit around the trekking peak (4 days).
Gatlang is a good place from which to head up to Jaisuli Kund (4-day return trek), to the south of Paldor and another potential route to Sangjung Kharka (a further 2 days). Once in the valleys to the south-west of the Ganesh Himal there are a number of shikari (hunter trails) that you could explore to the southern slopes of Pabil, or Ganesh IV (7104m) and Salasungo, or Ganesh III (7043m).
Kalo Tal and Seto Tal
The sacred lakes of Kalo Tal and Seto Tal and perhaps the best Ganesh Himal viewpoint are north from Sertun. From the centre of the village, descend and cross the Menchet Khola and climb to Hindung (5hrs). A steep climb through forest to Thulo Kharka (6hrs) is followed by an easier gradient to Nochhet Kharka (5hrs). The main viewpoint is on the ridge above the lakes. The return to Sertun along the same route takes 2 days.
Alternative Route to Dhading Besi
If you have a little extra time, access to or from Dhading Besi is best combined with Sing La, which connects to Boran, Tipling and Somdang. Sing La has wonderful views of the Ganesh, Langtang and Manaslu Himals.
Dress CodeLow-altitude alpine clothing and camping equipment required