Ruby Valley

A hidden gem in more ways than one!

Ruby Valley

$915 per person

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!

Key points:

Grade 3


Tamang Heritage Trail Gatlang
Ruby Valley Ganesh Himal

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

Manaslu and Ganesh region map
Langtang Valley Map

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.


Kalo Pokhari

To the west of Paldor is Kalo Pokhari (‘Black Lake’), the starting point for a technical mountaineering circuit around the trekking peak (4 days).


Jaisuli Kund

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.

How Much does the Ruby 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 Ruby Valley Trek for 9-days estimated costs:

  • Solo as much as possible US$915.
  • Twin-share with minimum guiding US$920 per person.
  • Twin-share fully supported US$2,225 per person.

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

Ruby Valley Tipling village

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.



Please note that 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 Ruby Valley Trek

Ruby ValleySocial Impact SOLO

Solo (Independent)

For a 9-day trek the social impact is a little low but your GHG and waste footprint is also low.

Consider taking an extra day or two to relax in a Tipling homestay and really get to know the locals.

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

Twin Share (Independent)

For a 9-day trek the social impact is a little low but your GHG and waste footprint is also low.

Consider taking an extra day or two to relax in a Tipling homestay and really get to know the locals.

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

Camping (supported)

The Ruby Valley communities have copied many of the lessons the Tamang Heritage Trail villages learnt about developing tourism.

Things are bit rougher here and camping is still an option, but the social benefit justifies it less and less over time.

Ruby 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
  • Dress Code
    Low-altitude alpine clothing and camping equipment required
  • Included
    Ruby Valley
  • Grade
    Grade 3
  • Idea Date Range
  • Style of Trek
    Teahouse or camping
Day 1: Kathmandu–Syabru Besi 8hrs drive
The drive from Kathmandu offers good views of Manaslu, Ganesh and Langtang Himals as well as brief glimpses of village life in the Himalaya. The first section is a sealed road to Trisuli before the precipitous dirt road to Dhunche, where there is a National Park and police checkpost. Continue to Syabrubesi (1503m), where there are many teahouses and a campsite. As most of the day’s drive is on dirt roads, a light scarf to protect your face against dust may be useful.   Ruby Valley Locals in Somdang love to tell the story of why the road exists. They say that the Nepal Army built the road to supply a security post at Somdang. The post was established to protect a nearby mine, which many believe mined precious gem stones including rubies. Others say it was a lead mine and the ensuing debate is always fun to watch! However, there is some truth to the story. A seam of zinc and lead ore that runs through the Ganesh Himal (between 4000 and 5000m) was identified in 1981. A disused research mining facility sits beneath Paldor Peak at the head of the Somdang valley. The ore has traces of silver and some garnets and there are many stories of locals finding good-quality rubies in secret locations throughout the region. It is said that some of the jewels worn by the kings of Nepal came from here.
Day 2: Syabru Besi–Gatlang 5¾hrs
There are two trails to Gatlang (2300m) from Syabrubesi: the first option follows the new valley road to the Chilime Khola valley into which you turn west (left) and follow a good trail to Thambuchet and then to Gatlang (see Tamang Heritage Trail, day 8, p000). The second, faster option from Syabrubesi is to climb a trail that begins beside Buddha Guest House. This is a direct route to the Rongga Bhanjyang (2187m, 2hrs) above Syabrubesi, and also sometimes coincides with the route of an old road to Somdang. From the pass it is an easy 2 hours and 20 minutes along the road to Gatlang (2238m).
Day 3: Gatlang–Somdang 6hrs
From Gatlang the road is rarely used by motor traffic as landslides and fallen trees often block it. Follow a large track from Gatlang school up to Parvati Kund (45 mins). From the lake the trail intermittently cuts across the road as it winds through pine and rhododendron forest. At 3100m (1¾hrs) you come to a large kharka where you can camp. Not far above you re-join the road and follow it as it traverses a steep rocky hillside to another, smaller, kharka where the road does a U-turn. Here you take a small trail that climbs up and right, away from the road, into a gully filled with rhododendron to the Khurpu Dada Pass (3710m, 2hrs; Finaid: Somdan, sheet: 2885 13, ref: 194 171). For location reference, note a line of old powerlines (now only poles) that crosses the Khurpu Dada, small chautara and trail junction. To the north, along the ridge, is a small trail, which leads to Jaisuli Kund (Jageshwar Kund on the Finaid map, 3hrs), from where you could head to Paldor Peak Base Camp. Instead, head west and descend quickly, cutting across the road a few times, before following it again as it gradually descends to Somdang (3258m, 1½hrs), where there are some campsites and teashops.
Day 4: Somdang–Tipling 6¾hrs
From Somdang, the trail climbs up through forest and occasionally follows road construction, which is expected to reach Tipling and be finished in early 2020. In 2¾ hours you should reach a small pass at 3780m, where the trail begins traversing steep, rocky hillside. If there has been recent snowfall care should be taken to avoid small avalanches along this section of track. The trail traverses above a large kharka before arriving at the Pansan Pass (3830m, 1hr; Finaid: Somdan, sheet: 2885 13, ref: 153 165) where locals have built a small gompa and a small teahouse. Descend through rhododendron forest for 1¾ hours, passing through a couple of kharkas, which are potential campsites. However, it is best to continue to the terraced fields of Lawadun or Tipling village (1890m, 1¼hrs), where there is a small teahouse in the centre of the village and camping is possible in the school. Nearly all the locals in this region of the Ganesh Himal are friendly Gurung Christians, who have decided to ban all alcohol from their communities.
Day 5: Tipling–Lapagaon 6¾hrs
From Tipling follow the main trail to Sertun (1920m, 100 mins) and on to Boran (1560m, 2½hrs). As you enter Boran there is a stone house on the right-hand side of the trail. Next to this house is a stone staircase that cuts down through the northern edge of the village to the Akhu Khola below. Either camp in the school grounds at the centre of the village, or descend to the river, cross a suspension bridge and camp in a small grassy field beside the Lapa Khola (1285m, 30 mins; Finaid: Somdan, sheet: 2885 13, ref: 030 168). If you choose to camp by the river you will need to post a night guard on your camp as local thieves are not uncommon. Note: it is possible to descend to the Dhading Besi roadhead in 3 days from Boran by following the main trail to the south. From just beyond the riverside campsite, cross another suspension bridge to the true right bank and begin the long climb to Lapagaon (1850m, 2hrs), a large Tamang village, where there is a small teahouse towards the top of the village and the school grounds can make a good campsite. Unless someone in your group knows the trail ahead it is wise to employ a local guide from this village.
Day 6: Lapagaon–Nauban Kharka 6½hrs
A new, steep trail climbs a hillside to the west of the village to a chautara with views back down the valley (2200m, 50 mins). You now enter a section of mixed forest with many trails. After 70 minutes you reach a kharka with a dharamsala (GPS: 2441m, N 28° 10.246’ E 084° 59.077’). The trail heads north-west up a gully with a rocky spur to the north. The gully steepens as it nears a ridge and the barely distinct Mangro Pass (2936m, 1¼hrs, GPS: 2782m, N 28° 10.102’ E 084° 58.726’), which leads to the first of a series of shallow basins that make the next few hours tricky to navigate. Descend into and then climb out of the first basin to another minor forested ridge in 45 minutes (GPS: 2728m, N 28° 09.908’ E 084° 58.354’). The trail now heads north-west, first through forest and then across an exposed hillside to the large Myangmal Kharka (50 mins, GPS: 2936m, N 28° 09.468’ E 084° 57.656’), where there is a dharamsala. However, rather than camp here, ascend an easy trail to a final forested ridge marked with a chorten (2975m, 10 mins, GPS: 2975m, N 28° 09.475’ E 084° 57.506’), which the locals call Myangmal Bhanjyang. Descend a good trail through forest for 25 minutes to Nauban Kharka (GPS: 2750m, N 28° 09.732’ E 084° 56.900’), which makes a better campsite.
Day 7: Nauban Kharka–Machhakhola 7½hrs
The trail continues to descend, sometimes steeply, through dense forest for 140 minutes to a bridge over the Richel Khola (GPS: 1555m, N 28° 10.729’ E 084° 55.522’) from where it is less than an hour to Yarsa village (GPS: 1877m, N 28° 10.857’ E 084° 54.773’). As you leave the village, the trail swings north-west into the large Budhi Gandaki valley and in 30 minutes you reach a trail junction, right is to Kashigaon, but turn left and descend to the river. Do not go to Kashigaon. In 3 hours reach a bridge to Machhakhola (870m) and the main Manaslu Circuit trail, see pp000-00. Note: If you miss the descent to the Budhi Gandaki before Kashigaon you will probably have to continue to Kerauja/Rumchet and then make a very difficult descent to another bridge across the river to Tatopani. This route involves rock scrambling and should not be attempted with loaded porters. You should also consider taking a local guide from Rumchet for this section.
Day 8: Machhakhola–Arughat–Kathmandu 7½hrs
The main trail south following the true right bank of the Budhi Gandaki feels like a super-highway compared the trails of the previous days! It is a short and easy walk to the road-head at Soti Khola (700m, 3hrs), where there are jeeps. The main bus station for Kathmandu and Pokhara is at Arughat (508m, 4½hrs).