Langtang/Gosainkund & Helambu Trekking in Nepal

April 7, 2024 nepalguide
Langtang/Gosainkund  & Helambu Trekking in Nepal
Trekking in the Langtang/Gosainkund and Helambu regions of Nepal offers a blend of stunning natural beauty, cultural encounters, and diverse landscapes. Here are some highlights of each region:

Langtang/Gosainkund Trek:

 
Langtang Valley: Begin your journey in the picturesque Langtang Valley, surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests. The valley is inhabited by Tamang and Sherpa communities, offering a glimpse into their traditional way of life.
Kyanjin Gompa: Trek to Kyanjin Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery set against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Enjoy breathtaking views of Langtang Lirung (7,227 meters) and explore the surrounding glaciers and high-altitude lakes.
Gosainkund Lakes: Visit the sacred Gosainkund Lakes, a cluster of high-altitude lakes nestled amidst the Himalayas. Hindu pilgrims believe that these lakes were created by Lord Shiva, and they attract thousands of devotees during the full moon festival in August.
High Mountain Passes: Cross the Lauribina La Pass (4,610 meters) and other high mountain passes, offering panoramic views of the Langtang range, Ganesh Himal, and even the distant Annapurna range on clear days.
Breathtaking Scenery: Immerse yourself in the stunning alpine landscapes, including rhododendron forests, terraced farmland, and rugged mountain terrain. The scenery is especially spectacular during the spring when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

Helambu Trek:

 
Sherpa Villages: Explore the traditional Sherpa villages of Helambu, known for their unique culture, hospitality, and ancient monasteries. Interact with the friendly locals and learn about their customs and traditions.
Charming Hill Stations: Trek through scenic hill stations adorned with prayer flags, chortens, and terraced fields. Enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Langtang, Ganesh Himal, and even Everest on clear days.
Hyolmo Culture: Encounter the Hyolmo people, an ethnic group with a rich cultural heritage distinct from the Sherpas and Tamangs. Visit Hyolmo monasteries and learn about their traditional way of life.
Helambu National Park: Traverse through Helambu National Park, a sanctuary for diverse flora and fauna, including endangered species like the red panda. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as Himalayan thars, langur monkeys, and various bird species.
Delicious Local Cuisine: Indulge in delicious local cuisine, including Sherpa and Tibetan specialties like momos (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and yak cheese. Enjoy warm hospitality at teahouses and lodges along the trail.
Both the Langtang/Gosainkund and Helambu regions offer rewarding trekking experiences with a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural exploration, and adventure in the heart of the Himalayas.

ITINERARY FOR THE LANGTANG/GOSAINKUND TREK

The Langtang valley, running west to east, parallel with the Tibetan border, north of Kathmandu, is a popular trekking area, but nowhere near as crowded as the Khumbu or Annapurna areas. It offers a variety of spectacular scenery from dense forests to austere high mountain landscapes, and spectacular views of the Ganesh, Langtang, and Jugal Himals.
 
The itinerary below was followed a couple of years ago by two aging (65+) trekkers, as a camping trek, with a full Nepali trekking crew (though for the time in Kyanjin, and at Laurebinayak and Gosainkund lodges were used). From what was seen the lodges were perfectly adequate.
 
No doubt the itinerary could be shortened by a couple of days if you are younger and fitter !
 
There are several possible variations to this trek
 
A
 
Day 1: Drive to Thulo Bharku (between Dunche and Syabrubesi) and trek (about three hours) to Thulo Syabru – relatively free from long ascents, and a pleasant trek
 
Day 2: Descend to Bamboo, and on to Lama Hotel.
 
Day 3: Trek to Langtang VIllage
 
B
 
Day 1: 6 – 8 hour drive to Syabru Benshi
 
Day 2: Trek on the north side of the Langtang Valley to Kangjin (initially gentle, then a 600 metre ascent)
 
Day 3: Trek to Ramche (another ascent, then mainly contouring)
 
Day 4: Trek to Langtang Village
 
Day 5: Acclimatisation at Langtang (unless you’re feeling really good)
 
Day 6: Short trek to Kyanjin, and perhaps explore the valley a little way beyond.
 
Day 7: Ascend Kyanjin Ri for superb mountain views
 
C.
 
Day 1: Drive to Syabru Benshi
 
Day 2: Trek to Bamboo Lodge (about 4 hours, mainly steadily uphill through forests)
 
Day 3: Trek to Riverside Lodge (beyond Lama Hotel. Quite steeply uphill through the forest)
 
Day 4: Trek to Langtang Village (initially steep, then once Ghora Tabela is reached the gradient decreases, and the views open out)
 
Day 5: Rest / acclimatisation around Langtang Village (including a visit to Langtang Gompa)
 
Day 6: Trek to Kyanjin
 
Day 7: Ascend Kyanjin Ri (c.4600 metres) for superb views of the Langtang Lirung amphitheatre
 
Day 8: Explore beyond Kyanjin towards Langshisha. Return to Kyanjin
 
Day 9: Descend to Lama Hotel
 
With any of these approaches you could do a ‘there and back’ route, making a good short (8 – 10 day) trek, returning from Kyanjin in 2 days directly down the valley to Syabrubenshi
 
An alternative short trek, which also avoids spending 2 whole days on the road, is to do simply the Gosainkund – Helambu section of the route, as outlined below (where obviously Day 10 is actually your first day !
 
Day 10: Trek to Thulo Syabru (short stroll down valley, then turn left to ascend for an hour, and then final contouring ascent (!) through farmland
 
Day 11: Day off in Thulo Syabru (interesting village, and even a Cyber Café)
 
Day 12: Trek to Sing Gompa (initially steep ascent for a couple of hours, then a gentle ridge walk with superb views)
 
Day 13: Trek to Laurebina Yak (starts fairly gently, then ends with a steady ascent: fitter people could go on to Gosainkund provided that they are not feeling any altitude problems)
 
Day 14: Trek to Gosainkund (begins with steep ascent, then more gentle, through high mountain country, again with great views)
 
Day 15: You could, at this point, turn west and descend back to Sing Gompa, thence to Dhunche for a road journey back to Kathmandu
 
Cross the Laurebina La (4600 metres). (A steady, rather than steep, ascent, then stroll through wonderfully bleak landscapes to reach the final summit of the pass.) Steep descent to Ghopte There are now perfectly adequate lodges at Phedi and at Ghopte – used one of the Phedi ones in 2011 and it was fine.
 
Day 16: Trek via Tharepati to Magen Goth. (Initially short ups and downs to Tharepati, then mainly down. For non-campers there’s a good lodge on the small col about 30 minutes beyond Manga Goth)
 
Day 17: Trek to Ghul Bayang (Again mainly down, through interesting rural landscapes. Ghul Bayang seemed a bit of an uninspiring village, but again there’s an excellent lodge about 30 minutes further on)
 
Day 18: Trek to Chisapani (A gentle day, apart from the climb up from Pati Bhanjyang towards Chisapani. Great sunset views from the village)
 
Day 19: Descend to Sundarijal for the 30 minute drive back to Kathmandu (initially a bit, of a climb to the ridge but great views, then down. The route turns into a descent of an interminable series of concrete steps !)
 

Helambu Trekking

Itinerary

 
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal (1350m.) this takes about one hour and then you begin an uphill walk to Chisopani
 
Day 2: Trek from Chisopani to Kutumsang (2446m.) we reckon this takes about 07 hours.
 
Day 3: Trek from Kutumsang to Magen Goth (3514m.) this takes about 03 hours.
 
Day 4: Trek from Magen Goth to Melamchi Gaon (2640m) via Tharepati Pass (3650m.) this is going to take about 06 hours.
 
Day 5: Trek from Melamchi Gaon to Tarkeghyang (2743m.) this takes approx 06 hours.
 
Day 6: Trek from Tarkeghyang to Shermathang (2621m.) this takes about 04 hours.
 
Day 7: Trek from Shermathang to Melamchi Pul Bazaar (846m.) this takes approximately 05 hours.
 
Day 8: Drive from Melamchi Pul Bazaar to Kathmandu which takes about 4-5 hours.