Helambu Trek -05 Days
The Helambu Trek is a perfect short trek nearby Kathmandu Valley. Despite being so close to Kathmandu, the Helambu region remains relatively un-spoilt. Besides the hyolmo culture of high mountain people, the company of green rhododendron and bamboo forests, majestic waterfalls, and snow-capped Himalayas make the trek one of most diverse treks near Kathmandu. The great Himalayan scenery at the border with Tibet and monasteries make a trek to the region an enthralling experience. The people living the highlands of the Langtang region are certainly the Nepalis, being the descendant of the Tibetan origin, they still look like Tibetans.
The Helambu Trek begins from Sundarijal, an hour’s drive from Kathmandu. After about an hour’s walk, we enter Shivapuri National Park. Continuing along the Chisopani, Kutumsang, Thadepati and Sermathang, the trek ends at the Melamchi Pul Bazar in the Helambu region. The trek passes through thick mountain forests with great Himalayan views and toward the end of the trip, you will also trek through some beautiful rice terraces and a number of splendid Buddhist monasteries.
Trek Facts of Helambu Trek
|Seasons||March, April, May, September, October, November|
|Level of Difficulty||Easy|
Day 01:Kathmandu – Sundarijal (1 350m/4 430ft) – Chisopani (2 160m/7 130ft), 1 hr drive, 5-6 hrs trek
From your hotel, drive 15km north-eastward to Sundarijal: entrance to the Shivapuri National Park; and Kathmandu’s water catchment region. At first the trail follows a pipeline to a military check point then gradually climbs to the Tamang village of Mulkharka (1 800m). Continue through oak, rhododendron and pine forests to Borlang Bhanjyang (2 460m, ridge). Then descend gently to Chisopani on the park’s northern border: with distant mountain views. Overnight in Chisopani.
Day 02:Chisopani – Kutumsang (2 450m/8 080ft), 6-7 hrs
We now enter the Helambu District with typical Middle Hill scenery. Descend to cross rivers and ascend to ridge top villages: showcasing the way the Nepalese work land to maximise its use. Forest and steep terraced paddies intermingle: water ingeniously directed to feed crops. You will be welcomed by several different groups along the trail: Brahmin and Chhetris in Pati Bhanjyang (1 770m), Yolmo at Thakuni (1 750m) and Chipling (2 170m) and Tamangs in Thotong (2 260m). From Golphu Bhanjyang (2 140m) tackle a 1½ hr ridge climb to fine scenery on the Thodang Danda (2 580m). The trail then winds below granite cliffs before dropping gradually (¾ hr) to Kutumsang. Overnight in Kutumsang.
Day 03:Kutumsang – Mangin Goth (3 290m/1 080ft) – Tharepati (3 650m/12 045ft), 5-6 hrs
Tharepati is the trail’s highest point: and its northern views are the reward for today’s 1 200m climb. The trail rises gradually (3 hrs) through farmland and a mix of rhododendron and fir forest to the Mera Danda (3 510m). From high points, the northern peaks gradually come into view. Below the ridge is a forested valley, attractive Mangin Goth: and lunch. After lunch, set out towards the impressive Thare Danda: through dense stands of pine along a steep (2 hrs) rocky trail to Tharepati. The ribbon village spreads along a meadow. A hillock above the village offers uninterrupted views of the ranges to the north and east. Overnight in Tharepati.
Day 04:Tharepati – Melamchi Gaon (2 530m/8 300ft) – Tarkeghyang (2 590m/8 550ft), 6-7 hrs
Catch the sunrise on camera from the hillock before breakfast. The sweep of the border ranges with Langtang Lirung (7 227m/23 712ft) takes centre stage: the Tserko Group (5 749m), Langshisha Ri (6 427m), Dorje Lakpa (6 9 66m) and the border Jugal Himal are further to the east.
Today’s trail scribes a large (sideways) S and loses, ultimately, 1 000m in altitude. Head east, dropping through dense pine forest and seasonal kharkas (grazing lands), then down a ridge spine to tiny Bolgang beyond a wooden tributary crossing. The trail turns north, descending through rhododendrons and kharkas. A final steep descent ends at a bridge; and industrious Melamchi Gaon: for lunch.
Descend, on a roughly SE trail passed numerous chortens and a fork. Keep left and drop to cross the Melamchi Khola; then a gradual 600m climb up the east flank of the Valley through several Buddhist villages. Nakote (1 980m) has a notable Gompa. Beyond a yellow chorten, turn left up to Dozum (2 320m); and finally up to the clustered homes of the Tarke Ghyang (Tarke Monastery). The village’s Yolmo people left Tibet ~500 years ago, settling in this region: their monastery is the oldest in Helambu and, unusually, is built in the Bhutanese style. Explore the village and overnight in Tarkeghyang.
Day 05:Tarkeghyang – Thimbu (1 580/5 180ft) – Kathmandu (1 300m/4 260ft), 2-3 hrs, 4 hrs bus trip
Today’s trail continues down the east bank of the Melamchi Khola Valley, high above the river. Descend gradually to Setighyang (2 600m) and a fork in the path: take the western trail (past a hydro electric plant), through patches of rhododendron forest as it gradually descends to Kakani (2 070m). A steeper trail then descends to Thimbu from where we will take a bus back to Kathmandu. Transfer to your hotel. Rest of day free.