All you need to know about Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley is a magnificent short trek in Nepal that sneaks up all of a sudden to the grand Langtang valley. In a matter of 1 week, you will be in the pleasure of Himalayan beauty and its authentic culture. Together with that, you will be in the pleasure of breathtaking mountains, scenic landscapes, and glacial lakes. And not to forget the warm hospitality of Tamang and Sherpa culture. And the trails follow the surging Langtang Khola past verdant forests and bamboo grooves to an assortment of high snow-capped fields, icy masses, and mountains on the outskirts of Tibet. Besides, going hiking in Langtang Valley is one of the easiest ways to experience trekking in Nepal. A journey to Langtang valley is a mix of all those things that trekkers aspire to explore in the lone Himalayan trail. Full nature exposure, authentic Himalayan culture, and importantly empty trails are few perks of hiking to Langtang valley. Henceforth, in this article, you can find all you need to know about Langtang Valley Trek.

Langtang valley trek is a short off the beaten trekking journey in Nepal

Generally, Langtang Valley Trek is a week-long journey that can be extended as well as shortened as per trekker’s desire and capacity. Henceforward, Langtang valley trail is perfect for those who are looking for a short getaway in the mountains. Similarly, if visitors want to extend their vacation beyond a week then also no worries. Because there are many beautiful destinations along the route that are best for exploration. On the same note, this is an off the beaten trek as well. Therefore, not only can trekkers take the pleasure of exploring the beauty of the Himalayas they can also enjoy adventurous trekking experiences in Nepal. And to those people thinking of hiking Langtang in less than a week, it is advised that you stick to your pre-made itinerary. Whenever, people rush while trekking in Nepal, and if the itinerary is not prepared nicely then it mostly leads to mountain sickness.

Langtang valley trek can be done in just 4 or 5 days however, to be able to complete the trek in a short time, the itinerary has to be equipped with proper hours of walk and altitude gain per day. Alongside, following guide tips for avoiding mountain sickness should be followed. And only then trekkers can finish the trek smoothly in a limited amount of time. However, if time is not a problem then approaching the trek in 1 week is the right thing to do. Additionally, before starting the trek, doing training is also suggested. Overall, Langtang valley trek is a beautiful hiking trail near to Kathmandu valley.

Best time to do Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang valley trek is possible to do all through the year. The valley experiences all four major seasons – spring, summer/monsoon, autumn, and winter. According to the season, you can experience variance in the beauty as well. Different seasons offer different flavors to the valley. Check what Langtang looks like through four seasons.

Langtang Valley in spring: Spring in Nepal is from March to May. During spring, the temperature in the Langtang region ranges from 12 to 20 degrees Celsius. This is one of the moderate temperatures to go hiking in the Langtang valley. The days relatively stay warm and nights chilly. This is also the season for flower blooming hence, you will get to see colorful sprouts through the trek. The lush green forest becomes even more vibrant with the red and pink shade of rhododendron flowers. All in all, it is a beautiful time to indulge in the excellence of Mother Nature and picturesque mountain peaks.

Langtang Valley during Summer/Monsoon season: Summer and Monsoon in Nepal coincide and fall from June to August.  The days are hot and nights are warm. Around this time, days are very hot but the heat is tamed down by the monsoon rain. The precipitation may make the path muddy and blood-sucking leeches will be a frequent visitor. Be that as it may, on the lighter side, you will get the opportunity to appreciate the rain-washed encompassing with green all over the place. Summer in the Langtang region is such an ecstatic time for the nature lover. Some of the time the thick mist may discourage the vision. But, after the precipitation, the season offers the clearest views of the mountain range. Additionally, since this is the planting season in parts of the Langtang area, you will encounter people working in the field.

Langtang Valley during the autumn season: Autumn in Nepal is from September to November. It is one of the favorite seasons for trekking in Nepal not only in Langtang valley. This season offers staggering blue skies, fresh air, and astonishing mountain views. Mornings and evenings are cold with crispy cold air whereas days are warm. The temperature ranges from 10°C-15°C (50°F-59°F) during this time of the year. Additionally, the precipitation is low during this time so you will have the option to get the keenest perspectives on wonderful valleys and the Himalayas.  Since this is the pinnacle period of trekking you will meet numerous trekkers on the path. Hence, you will meet fellow trekkers on the trail.

Langtang valley during the winter season: Winter brings cold biting weather in Nepal. December to February is the winter in Nepal. In winter you get the opportunity to investigate the snow-covered Langtang valley under the dark blue skies. However, as this is a mountain district you may see times of snowfalls, brutal breezes, and fluctuating climatic seasons. Since this is less favored season for trekking in this district you will discover the path less swarmed with hardly any trekkers. In this way, the Langtang trek in winter is the better choice for the individuals who need to investigate nature and snap pictures in isolation.

Difficulty Factor of Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Trek is an easy to moderate level of the trek. Hence, people of all ages – child, teenager, adult, and senior all can do this trek. Similarly, trekking begins from Syabrubensi, at the height of 1462m, and starting a hike from this altitude is normal. Furthermore, the trail is easy and entails passing through verdant forests, roaring rivers, and hills. The path is narrow through the hills but it is not that rocky or rugged. There are difficult passes to cross in this trek therefore it is an easy to moderate trek. The only difficult part of this journey would be a 6 hours bus drive to Syabrubensi from Kathmandu through unpaved and ongoing constructed roads. Other than that, the path simply flows bypassing ethnic villages and indulging the brilliance of Mother Nature.

Accommodation on the Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley is filled with beautiful and warm teahouses. The massive earthquake of 2015 destroyed Langtang valley mostly among the trekking regions of Nepal. However, the destruction did not stop its progress. Now more than 90% of the teahouses have been rebuilt and the region is booming more than any other time. Langtang valley made many teahouse owners lose its property. However, the locals worked to rebuild their businesses. Along these lines, in regards to teahouses Langtang valley offers perhaps the best teahouse services among many trekking trails of Nepal. The rooms at the teahouses are basic yet prepared cautiously recollecting the solace of the trekkers. Similarly, you can find private washrooms nearly at all the overnight stops aside from at Lama Hotel. Besides, because of less traffic, trekkers don’t need to manage inaccessibility as well. All in all, teahouses are another fun thing to experience while on the trek to Langtang valley.

Foods on the Langtang valley

Various types of food are available on the Langtang valley trek. The tea houses on the trail offer a food menu to its visitors. From the menu, visitors can choose any dishes they like. The menu contains international cuisine like pizza, spaghetti, pasta, English breakfast, salad, pancakes, and many more. The menu also includes the local dishes as well as traditional Nepalese Khana. Also, gluten-free meals, vegan, and veg meals all are available for trekkers with special requirements. Nonetheless, trekkers with these special requirements are suggested to inform the teahouse cooks beforehand. Most of the cooks at the teahouse are unfamiliar with these terms. But if you tell them what it is, they will prepare your required dish smoothly.

How to access water on the Langtang Valley Trek?

There are various ways to access water on the Langtang valley trek. Trekkers can access water at the teahouse or from the spring or public taps. Teahouses sells mineral water bottles and hot water. We do not recommend trekkers to buy mineral water bottles due to environmental concerns. Instead of buying hot water, we suggest our trekkers bring their water bottle or travel thermos with them. They can buy hot water at the teahouses which cost half the price of mineral water. The prices for the water differ as per the location. If the mineral water bottle cost NPR 100, then hot water will cost NPR 50. The price of water ranges around NPR 100-200 per bottle. And lastly, getting water from public taps and spring does not cost you money. You can find public taps for drinking water all along the trail. Moreover, we do not recommend directly from the tap even though it is drinking water. Trekkers need to bring water purification tablets with them and filter water. After filtering water for 30 minutes, your water will be pure drinking water.

How to get there?

There are various alternative ways to reach Langtang valley. Although there are no flight services from Kathmandu to Langtang, people still can reach the valley via Helicopter ride. Besides the option of flying via helicopter, the other alternative option which many uses, is to go via buses. The bus ride is uncomfortable as the roads are not pitched and fully constructed. Nonetheless, the bus journey can be considered as one of the adventurous parts of the trek. The bus drive is about 7-8 hours depending upon traffic.

You can take local bus service from Bus station at Machhapokhari, Balaju which is a 10-minute drive away from Thamel. The bus station is located in the northwest of Thamel. Or you can drive there in a 4WD private vehicle (Car/Jeep/ Scorpio). The first stop on the journey is Syabrubensi.

Taking a bus to reach Syabrubensi is budget-friendly and gives you the raw feeling of how locals transfer daily. On the same note, taking a private vehicle of course is an expensive option but also a convenient choice. Similarly, if you are looking for the shortest way to reach Langtang valley then taking a Helicopter is the most suitable option. It is expensive but will give you a luxurious and thrilling experience of flying over the deep valleys and hills of Nepal.

Preparation for the trek

Langtang Valley trek as it is an easy to moderate level of trek does not require much preparation. For this trek, you do not have to go through the hassle of booking flights or purchasing a special type of permits. To Langtang Valley trek, you need to be healthy and fit and need to prepare a few travel documents. We have listed, what travel documents you require for Langtang valley trek in below:

A valid passport with validity of at least 6 months.

Travel visa: You can get a travel visa for Nepal upon your arrival at the Kathmandu airport. Travel Visa fee differs according to the number of days you are staying in Nepal. You can also obtain a tourist visa at the border of India and Tibet to Nepal.

Trekking permits required for Langtang Valley Trek: You need to have a TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System) and Langtang national park entry fee. TIMS cards cost NPR 2000 for independent trekkers and a group joining trekkers, it cost NPR 1000. A green TIMS card is given to independent trekkers. And the group joining trekkers will get a blue card. You can obtain trekking permits from the Nepal Tourism Board Office at Pardashani Marga, Kathmandu. And as per the Langtang National Park fee, it cost NPR 3000. You can get this at the Tourism Office while getting a TIMS card. Or you can purchase the national entrance fee at the Dhunche which is en route to Syabrubensi. It cost the same for both independent as well as a group joining trekkers.

Travel Insurance: Travel Insurance is an important travel document that no one should forget to purchase. It covers the extra cost that was incurred due to unforeseen events. Hence, it is necessary as well as mandatory for all travelers trekking to Langtang valley or any other trekking trails of Nepal. When purchasing travel insurance, make sure your insurance covers emergency helicopter evacuation and medical fees. Also, since Langtang valley trek takes you over the 5000m above sea level, so it is necessary to purchase insurance that covers for the height of over 5000M.

So these are some of the important official documents required to do hiking in the Langtang valley. Hence, be prepared with these documents which are necessary for the trek in advance.

Anticipate amazing mix of Nature and culture

Langtang Valley is full of life. Throughout the trek, you will encounter locals and get to have a glimpse of their life in the Himalayas. Tamang and the Sherpa’s are the prominent ethnic groups living in Langtang valley. Both communities are indigenous ethnic groups of Nepal henceforth, being an indigenous people, they have a deep relation with Mother Nature. Their culture, tradition, customs in some ways are related to beautiful nature. Forest, rivers, mountains, hills all have significant meanings in their culture. Similarly, en route, you will see many Buddhist prayer flags, chortens, Gompas, Mani walls, and monasteries. They are culturally associated with Mother Nature so they care for them. And to see this amazing bond with nature is interesting to see. So anticipate seeing the perfect blend of Mother Nature and culture during Langtang valley trek.

Major attractions of Langtang Valley not be missed

Langtang valley goes through beautiful Himalayan villages which flourish with an amazing culture. So on the trek, do not forget to get insight into the people and their life in the mountains. On the same note, do check the wide assortment of vegetation on the journey. Similarly, do not forget to check the enormous mountain tops and glacial lakes of the valley. Also, do not forget to taste the local cheese that the locals make using the traditional method of cheese making. Tasting cheese of Langtang valley is a must thing to do while on the trek.

Correspondingly, the journey entails going through Langtang National Park, which is home to a large group of flora and fauna. Also, one of the frequent encounters will be with the herds of horses, goats, mules, and other domestic animals grazing on the vast pasture lands. Along with that, visit Tserko Ri and Kyanjin Ri for a breathtaking picturesque view of the Mountain range.

Highlights of Langtang Valley Trek:

Lama Hotel: Lama Hotel is one of the stopovers on the trek. Lama Hotel is a small village with few teahouses.

Langtang National Park: It is the closest Himalayan national park from the capital city Kathmandu. The trek mostly entails traversing through the national park. The national park is famous for sheltering endangered red pandas, langurs, snow leopard, Himalayan Thar, wild deer, and many more. With a wide range of flora and fauna, the national park houses a large number of bird species as well. The national park is one of the best destinations for bird watching in Nepal.

Kyanjin Gompa: Kyanjin Gompa is a small village under the shade of Langtang range. The village offers a grandeur view of the Langtang range as well as its stunning landscapes. Also, the monastery of the Gompa is another highlight of this small village.

Kyanjin Ri: Kyanjin Ri is a vantage point at the height of 4,773m from where glorious views of the Langtang range are seen. Along with the view of Langtang Himal, neighboring peaks Yala Peak (5520m) Kimshung (6781m), and Langshisha RI (6370m) are visible.

Chorkari Ri (5050m): Chorkari is a significant feature of the Langtang Valley Trek. We head to this vantage point after spending a relaxing day in Kyanjin Gompa. After a short excursion around Kyanjin Gompa, we start our climb to Chorkari Ri. It is the highest point of the trek and from here, we get the chance to see the astonishing Langtang top and get hypnotized in its ethereal excellence.

Side trips around Langtang valley

A journey to Langtang valley is short hence there is an amazing place close to Langtang which is worth visiting. Gosainkunda, Helambu, and Tamang Heritage trail are some of the interesting places around Langtang valley. You can link these places with your Langtang valley trek.

Gosainkunda Lake trek with Langtang valley: Gosainkunda Lake is a sacred lake in the Langtang region. Hence, pilgrims as well as mountain lovers get on this trail to explore the mesmerizing scenery. Langtang Gosainkunda Trek takes you to a lovely valley of Langtang that is inserted with many purplish blue-hued mountain lakes. The flawless and peaceful lakes in the scenery of snow-clad mountains look divine. Langtang Gosainkunda Trek isn’t just about mountain lakes, it is a euphoric trek that includes Langtang National Park and numerous other ethnic settlement towns. We can discover numerous remarkable verdures and faunas protected inside the national park. Strolling along with the rich timberland of rhododendron and bamboo of the national park, you will eventually reach Azure Gosainkunda Lake and enter the amazing Langtang valley.

Langtang Tamang Heritage Trail: You can link Tamang Heritage Trail with your Langtang valley trek. Similarly, you can do Tamang Heritage trek as a standalone trek too. But joining two treks will give you more insight into the cultural aspects of Nepal as well as the lifestyle of people in the Himalayas. This trek is filled with passing through Tamang villages, hot springs, and fine views into Tibet. This addition makes this cultural trod journey even more interesting and fascinating. Tamang Heritage trail is a relatively new trail where interaction with giant mountain views and cultural elegance is guaranteed.

Langtang valley Trek with Helambu Trek: Helambu trek is another fine journey either on its own or in conjunction with Langtang trek. Helambu trek is a low altitude area trek which is perfect for winter treks. Helambu trek in addition to amazing Langtang trek lets trekkers explore the rural villages of Nepal from low altitude to high altitude. It attracts far fewer trekkers than other treks so you will get to see a genuine picture of life in the Himalayas that is mostly engaged in agriculture than teahouse business. Although the close-up view of Giant Mountain views is not the specialty of the Helambu trek it is a culturally interesting region. However, your thirst for mountain views will be catered while trekking to Langtang valley.

Conclusion

These are some basic info that any trekkers wishing to do trekking in Langtang valley should know about. There are far more glorious things you can experience on this trek. So keep this information in mind and start planning for your next exhilarating experience in the Langtang region of Nepal. Explore the rich Himalayan culture and pure natural beauty of Langtang valley at your comfortable pace. Langtang Valley trek is an easy trek best done in the spring and autumn. Nonetheless, whenever you choose to explore this enthralling place, it will never miss to amaze you. 

About Author

Balaram Thapa, an executive director at Nepal Hiking Team had a long journey before making NHT one of the revolutionary tour operators in this competitive field of Tourism. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism from Tribhuwan University in the year 2000.

He started his career as a trekking support staff in 1998 and gradually earned a status of trekking leader. He has trekked several trekking routes such as Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Mustang, Makalu, etc. Thus has immense knowledge about the trekking routes of Nepal. Alongside this, he has also organized several tours to Bhutan and Tibet as a tour guide. He has traveled to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Italy promoting Nepal’s tourism.

After earning lots of experience in this field, he wanted to explore his own business ideology. He along with his brother- Ganga Raj Thapa start their own company, Nepal Hiking Team in 2009. He is friendly and works side by side with the staff inspiring and motivating them. He is an expert travel consultant and handles all the concerns of travelers regarding their trip. He inspires people to travel new and unique destinations and implement the same ideology on himself as well.

He started his journey 22 years ago and has immense experience in this field. His passion for traveling has made his 22 years of working journey, a precious phase of his life. And he plans to continue doing this and add more years in it.

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