Inquiry Now This Trip
The Langtang Valley is located only 19 miles north of Kathmandu, close to the border of Tibet, below the main crest of the Himalaya. The valley is dominated by Langtang Lirung (7246m), the highest peak in the area. This trek with its optional climbs of Yala Peak and Naya Kanga offers a wonderful introduction to mountaineering in the Himalaya, among some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of Nepal.
Our trek begins with a 6 hour drive to Dhunche. Initially we trek through sub-tropical jungle, then dense forest of oak, birch and pine before the valley opens out into alpine meadows and yak pastures. In the spring these high meadows are carpeted with a rich variety of alpine flowers - gentians, violets, edelweiss and primulas to name just a few – and the forests are also in full bloom with rare tree orchids and the colourful rhododendron. The Langtang forests are also known for their wildlife, including red pandas, Himalayan black bear, wild boar and langur monkeys.
We trek up the valley to Kyangjin where we camp in a superb setting, dominated by the fluted north west face of Kangchenpo, whilst Kyangjin Ri provides a splendid viewpoint. From Kyangjin we move further up the valley to Yala, a small yersa (summer hamlet). Basing ourselves here allows time to walk to the top of Tsergo Ri (5066m), the highest point on a broad flat plateau. The views from here are as spectacular as anywhere in the Himalaya, a 360 degree panorama of snow capped mountains including Langtang Lirung, Pemthang Ri, Langshisha Ri, Dorje Lakpa, and Kangchenpo.
Our base at Yala also provides us with the opportunity to climb Yala Peak (5500m). This is not technically difficult and provides good acclimatisation and training for our climb of Naya Kanga (5844m). The climb is straightforward being little more than a walk up steep snow slopes of around 30 degrees. The view from the summit is breathtaking - magnificent snow capped peaks all around and views across to the mountains of Tibet, including Shishapangma.
Fit and acclimatised we move from Yala to our base for Naya Kanga, a camp on moraines below the Kangja La. From here there are good views of the north east ridge of Naya Kanga, the route we will be climbing. The climb is fairly straightforward, though the final snow crest is quite narrow, great fun for those with a head for heights. Once again the views from the summit are spectacular, a fitting climax to a magnificent climb.
For anyone not wishing to climb Yala Peak and Naya Kanga, there is every opportunity to explore the spectacular upper Langtang valley. Our camps are in superb locations, the trekking is not difficult and there are many good options for day walks from our base camps. The trek to and from the Upper Langtang valley is a 'classic' in its own right.
We descend from the upper Langtang Valley as far as Syabru before following a different trail, past Sing Gompa, to the sacred lakes of Gosainkund. We cross the Laurebina La (4610m) and return to Kathmandu through the lovely villages of the Helambu region.
Day 01 Kathmandu to Dhunche [1970m]
Today is a full day's drive to Dhunche from where we will begin our trek.
Day 02 Dhunche to Syabru [2130m]
From Dhunche the trail turns east down the village's main street, using one or two short cuts to avoid the longer dirt road loops, crosses the Trishuli Khola and follows the contouring road to the village of Bharkhu. Climbing steeply from Bharkhu the trail reaches a ridge where we enter the Langtang valley. From here there are views north to the snow peaks in Tibet and, to the east, the top of Langtang Lirung can be seen. Descending, we come to the village of Syabru strung out along a ridge.
Day 03 Syabru to Lama hotel [2748m]
The main trail to Langtang descends along the ridge, through the village, then continues the descent to the Langtang Khola. We follow the river, climbing though uninhabited forest of oak and rhododendron alive with birds. Passing the single dwelling of Chongong we climb along a steep trail to our camp in the forest.
Day 04 Lama hotel to Langtang village [3500m]
As we continue climbing there are occasional glimpses of Langtang Lirung between the trees. At Ghora Tabela [3000m], the trail emerges into open ground. There was once a Tibetan resettlement project here, but now it is a Nepalese army post though it has no permanent inhabitants. The trail continues to climb gently and the valley widens, passing a few temporary settlements used by herders who bring their livestock up to graze in the high pastures during the summer months. There is a monastery which we can visit shortly before arriving at the village of Langtang, the headquarters of the Langtang National Park. The houses of Langtang and neighboring villages are of Tibetan style, surrounded by stone walls enclosing fields of buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips and barley.
Day 05 Langtang village to Kyangjin [3800m]
The trail climbs gradually through small villages and yak pastures as the valley opens out further and the views become more extensive. After crossing several small streams and moraines, the trail reaches the settlement at Kyangjin. Here there is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory. We should arrive at Kyangjin by lunch time allowing time to acclimatise and explore the area.
Day 06 Rest day in Kyangjin
A day to rest, acclimatise and explore the area. Near the village, visits can be made to the monastery and the cheese factory. We may walk up the moraine to the north where there is a spectacular view of Langtang Lirung and its hanging glaciers, or climb Kyangjin Ri, just behind the village, for a superb all round panorama.
Day 07 Kyangjin to Yala [4641m]
From Kyangjin we continue further up the valley, climbing above the Langtang Khola and contouring around the hillside to the yersa at Yala. From our camp here there are tremendous views towards the peaks of Dorje Lakpa [7000m], Kangchenpo [6400m] and Lonpo Gang [7100m].
Day 08 In Yala
From our camp at Yala it is only a short way to the top of Tsergo Ri [5066m]. This is an 'easy' walk to the prayer flags and mani stones marking the summit, the highest point on a broad flat plateau. The views all around are spectacular, a 360 degree panorama of snow capped peaks including Langtang Lirung, Kimshun, Yanza Tsenji, Langtang Ri, Pemthang Ri, Langshisha Ri, Dorje Lakpa, Kangchenpo and Naya Kanga.
Day 09 Climb of Yala peak
Our base at Yala provides us with the opportunity to climb Yala Peak, a glaciated peak to the north east of Yala. The climb is not difficult and provides good acclimatisation and training for our climb of Naya Kanga. The climb is straightforward being little more than a walk up steep snow slopes of around 30 degrees. Ice axe and crampons will be needed and most of the climb will involve walking roped together up the glacier. This climb is a superb introduction to mountaineering in the Himalaya with magnificent mountain scenery all around and views across to the mountains in nearby Tibet, including Shishapangma.
Day 10 Yala to Naya Kanga base camp [5100m]
We retrace our route down the valley towards Kyangjin and cross the Langtang Khola before following a trail uphill towards the Kangja La. Some steep scrambling through boulder fields eventually leads to a camp on moraines below the Kangja La. The campsite offers good views of our route up Naya Kanga, as well as views of Shishapangma.
Day 11 & 12 Climb of Naya Kanga [5844m]
Two days have been allowed for the climb. One may be used as a rest day before climbing Naya Kanga.
An early start will take us towards the Kangja La before following a terrace to cross the glacier and reach the foot of the north east ridge. This ridge provides a long steep snow climb with superb views down both sides. The final snow crest is quite narrow and will be great fun for those with a head for heights. The views from the summit are superb and many of Nepal's well known mountains can be identified. A long steep descent to camp will leave us tired but very satisfied with our efforts. For those not wishing to climb Yala Peak and /or Naya Kanga, our base at the head of the Langtang valley is in a superb setting, as spectacular as anywhere in the Himalaya and there is ample time to explore the upper Langtang valley with many good options for day walks from our base camps.
Day 13 To Lama hotel [2748m]
From Kyangjin we retrace our route, following the Langtang Khola to Langtang village and on to Ghora Tabela. After lunch we continue the steep descent to Lama Hotel.
Day 14 Lama hotel to Syabru [2130m]
We continue retracing our steps to Syabru.
Day 15 Syabru to Sing Gompa [3254m]
From Syabru it is a steep climb through forests of oak, firs and rhododendrons to gain a ridge. From here it is only a short descent to Sing Gompa. Here there is a Buddhist monastery and a small cheese factory.
Day 16 Sing Gompa to Gosaikund [4336m]
From Sing Gompa we climb a ridge to gain the main Gosainkund trail. There are good views across Langtang valley to Langtang Lirung. To the west there are dramatic views of Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu. Eventually the trail descends from the ridge to the first of three lakes, Saraswati Kund. The second lake in the chain is named Bhairab Kund, and the third, Gosainkund. This lake is particularly sacred and a place of pilgrimage in the summer. According to legend this lake was created by Shiva when he pierced a glacier with his trident to obtain water, quenching his thirst after taking some poison.
Day 17 Gosaikund to Gopte [3359m]
The trail leaves Gosainkund and climbs through rugged country, past four more small lakes to Laurebina La at 4610m. We then descend steeply to camp near Gopte.
Day 18 Gopte to Mangan Kharka [3285m]
We continue descending along the ridge, through rhododendron and juniper forests and past herders' huts to a stream before climbing to Tharepati, a group of herders' huts at 3490m. From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through pine and rhododendron forest with good views down into the Helambu valley and across to Jugal Himal and Numbur in the Solu Khumbu.
Day 19 Mangan Kharka to Gulphu Bhanjyang [2125m]
From Mangan Kharka it is a short climb to cross a ridge before following a very easy trail, through forest with superb views across to Numbur, Jugal Himal and many other snow capped peaks. From Kutumsang we climb to a pass at 2620m., before descending to the Tamang village of Gulphu Bhanjyang. We camp beyond Gulphu Bhanjyang, on a ridge with splendid views, stretching from the Annapurnas and Manaslu in the west to Numbur in the east.
Day 20 Gulphu Bhanjyang to Chisopani [2194m]
From our camp it is an easy climb to cross a pass at 2470m before descending to Pati Bhanjyang, a large Tamang village with a few shops and a police check post. From here it is a 2 hour climb to Chisopani and our camp.
Day 21 Chisopani to Kathmandu [1450m]
From Chisopani the trail passes through meadows and cultivated fields then climbs through oak and rhododendron forest to Burlang Bhanjyang. From here there are magnificent views, from Annapurna in the west to Ganesh Himal and Numbur in the east. This ridge marks the northern rim of the Kathmandu Valley. We now begin descending steeply through dense forest of oak, pine and rhododendron to cross a dam and then follow a large water pipe which supplies much of the water for Kathmandu. Soon we are down into Sundarijal where we pick up transport into Kathmandu.
Day 16 Trek to Manang [3520m]
As we continue with our trek further a field from Pisang, we head along a steep ridge savoring beautiful sights of the Manang valley and the Tilicho peak towering above 7132 meters. As we descend through Manang's airstrip, we come to Hongde lying beneath the gigantic Annapurna III on the north-east face. The route further leads to the wide plain of the Sabje Khola Valley from where we get the majestic view of Annapurna IV [7525m]. Further on, we cross a wooden bridge, as the Marshyangdi Khola gushes below us. We enter the beautiful village of Mungji. We continue treading along the cultivated fields and after a while we arrive at the village of Bryaga with a splendid monastery. On trekking down to Manang, we enjoy the majestic views of the Annapurna range - Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna [7455m] and Tilicho Peak [7134m].
Day 17 Rest day in Manang [3520m]
After reaching Manang, we take a day off for complete rest and adequate acclimatization before crossing the Thorung La. We can spend this day strolling down the river to see the tremendous ice-fall cascading down from the glaciated mountain peaks or by simply taking in the panoramic beauty of the Annapurna mountain range and the Manang Valley. A short visit to Himalayan Rescue Association [HRA] aid post makes for an interesting visit.
Day 18 Trek to Letdar [4250m]
Thoroughly acclimatized, we advance towards Thorung La. On the way, we cross a stream, climb to Tengi, 120 meters above Manang and ascend further past Marshyangdi Valley turning north-west up the valley of the Jarsang Khola. Amid the spectacular vistas of Annapurna mountain range, we trek beyond the lush vegetation of scrub juniper and alpine grasses to reach the small village of Gunsang. Gunsang is a cluster of flat mud roofs just below the trail at 3960 meters. Along the route, we see several lodges. As we approach picturesque meadows and rich forests of barberry, juniper, etc., we encounter horses and yaks grazing. The trail takes us further along a large stream that flows from Chulu West and Gunsang, and leads to a rich pasture at 4000 meters.
Day 19 Trek to Thorung Phedi [4500m]
Leaving Letdar, we climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marshyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, we follow a narrow trail across an unstable steep slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.
Day 20 Trek to Muktinath [3800m]
We have an early start today for the crossing of Thorung La [5416m]. The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp, but as local people have used this trail for hundreds of years, the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing, we reach the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. From the snow-covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang, which spread out before us, we are presented with a dramatic tableau. The descent to Muktinath is a 1600m trek. But the excellent views of Dhaulagiri, more then makes up for the tiring journey. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath, with its shrines and temple.
Day 21 Trek to Jomsom [2713m]
We now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki valley, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom. En route, we sight tremendous views of both Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Jomsom is a large town sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River, and it is here we will spend the final night of our trek.
Day 22 Flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. It is a spectacular flight along the Kali Gandaki Gorge and provides wonderful views of both the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. We then catch a connecting flight back to Kathmandu.
Day 23 Depart Kathmandu
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.- ask us.