The Langtang Valley Trek is a classic trek in the Nepal Himalaya that takes you from the semi-tropical jungles of the Langtang National Park to the high mountain valley of Kyanjin Gompa surrounded by snow-covered peaks. This is one of the best short treks in Nepal which takes you close to the Himalayan mountains without any technical climbing.
Located north of Kathmandu, Syabrubesi the trailhead to Langtang Valley can be accessed by road. Depending on your mode of transport (bus or jeep) and the condition of the road you can reach the trailhead within 7 or 8 hours’ drive. From Syabrubesi you trek further for three days to reach your destination Kyanjin Gompa. After spending an additional day exploring the village and hiking to Tsergo Ri you head back via the same route.
The Langtang Valley Trek is an excellent introductory trek for beginners keen on trekking in the Himalayas. If you are planning to do high-altitude treks in Nepal, the Langtang Valley Trek can serve as a good acclimatization hike. The gradual ascent to the valley will prepare your body for the lowered amount of oxygen in the air before hitting the higher trails of the Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit.
From the dense forests at the lower elevations to deep gorges, glacial rivers, and snow-capped seven-thousanders at the upper reaches, the Langtang Valley Trek delivers pretty much everything you can expect from a Himalayan trek. Although you can't view an eight-thousander, the landscape on the Langtang Valley Trek is pretty impressive and has its own charm.
The Langtang Valley Trekking starts from Kathmandu with a drive to Syabrubesi. Leaving Syabrubesi you enter the lovely forests of the Langtang National Park and the riverside settlements. Enjoy your walk alongside the pristine Langtang River that flows down from the glaciers of the Langtang Range. You can spot the feisty langurs, mountain goats, snow peacocks, and yaks grazing peacefully en route. En route you will pass the Langtang Village which was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 2015. Your final destination is the monastic village of Kyanjin Ri. Surrounded by snow-covered mountains the village lies in a beautiful valley dotted with brand new lodges and a yak cheese factory.
One of the highlights of your trek is the day hike to Tsergo Ri which takes you to an altitude of about 5050 meters, the highest point of your trek. From the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and the Langtang Valley.
Our experienced guide will take care of all the logistics during the trek – accommodation, permits, transportation, etc. Being a local, our guide has great knowledge of the area and he trail. He will enrich your trekking experience by sharing his insights into the local culture and customs.
Langtang Valley Trek Highlights
- Walk through the pristine forests of the Langtang National Park
- Experience Tamang culture while staying overnight at villages en route
- Hike to Tsergo Ri and savor 360-degree views of the snow covered mountains
- Visit the site of the old Langtang Village which was completely destroyed by the 2015 earthquake
- Wildlife sightings – Gray Langur, Red Panda, Himalayan Tahr, Tibetan Snowcock, etc.
- Amazing views of Langtang Lirung,
- Visit the yak cheese factory founded by a Swiss dairy specialist at Kyanjin Gompa
How hard is it to trek to Langtang Valley?
The Langtang Valley Trek is of moderate difficulty. It is much shorter and less grueling than other popular Himalayan treks like the Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna Circuit. However, there are significant elevation gains during this trek which should not be taken lightly. It is possible to feel the effects of altitude of sickness on day 4 when you ascend to Mundu at 3500 meters from Lama Hotel at 2500 meters.
The trail goes up and down past a variety of landscapes and scenery. The hardest day of your trek will be your hike to Tsergo Ri(5050 meters), the highest point of your trek. If you feel your body is not ready for it you can skip the hike and choose a much easier hike. There are many small hills surrounding Kyangin Gompa from where you can enjoy amazing views of the glaciers and mountains. You can also explore the village monastery and the surrounding areas.
While the earthquake of 2015 wreaked havoc in this region by washing away trails and destroying bridges and buildings, much has been rebuilt in the subsequent years. One will find new metal bridges, new routes, and new buildings on the trail. The paths have been repaired and are in good condition.
Can beginners trek to Langtang Valley?
Yes, the Langtang Valley Trek is recommended for beginners and families trekking with kids (aged 8 and above). However one should bear in mind that the route goes past a dense jungle and a mountainous trail and reaches an altitude of almost 4000 meters. You will have to be fit enough to walk daily for more than four hours at a stretch on dirt paths. In some places, you will have to navigate boulder fields and narrow tracks carved on the side of the mountain.
While this trek is recommended for beginners, one must be physically fit and trained to tackle the high mountain trail. It would be helpful if you have some experience in hill hiking and trekking. Strong legs, strong endurance power, and a ‘never-give-up’ spirit will surely help you to complete this trek.
When is the best time to trek to Langtang Valley?
The best seasons for the Langtang Valley Trek are spring and autumn. The spring and autumn months are considered the best time to trek in the Nepal Himalaya as the weather remains clear and favorable for hiking. You can enjoy crystal clear views of mountains and the temperatures remain below freezing point. The trail also gets quite colorful during spring as rhododendron shrubs start to flower and pretty blooms adorn the trail.
It is best to avoid the summer or monsoon months (June to August) as it gets wet and cloudy. There won't be any mountain views to enjoy and the trail will be muddy and infested with leeches. There's also the danger of the route getting blocked due to landslides during the rainy season.
Winter is also not recommended as it gets far too cold in the higher reaches. It snows heavily and teahouses are shut down for the season. However early winter (the first half of December) can be a good time to trek to the Langtang Valley if you can withstand the cold. The trail will be much quieter and isolated during this time. There will be a few lodges open en route and you can enjoy clear views of the mountains and warm sunny days. But nights can be extremely cold as the temperature drops below the freezing point.
Your journey begins with a 7-8 hour drive from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi. A small town in the Langtang Region, Syabrubesi is the start and end point of the Langtang Valley trek. On your first day of trekking you leave Syabrubesi and hike past a thick jungle and ascend several stone steps. You cross the Langtang River via suspension bridges and reach Lama Hotel, which is actually a cluster of old teahouses. Continuing your trek you hike alongside the Langtang River and enter the verdant forests of the Langtang National Park. You can encounter various animals and birds during your walk. The Gray langur can be found lazing around or swinging about on the trees. At Ghodatabela your permits will be checked again. Slowly you will find the landscape changing as you get higher. The views become more expansive as you go above the tree line. There are open yak pastures and stone summer camps for yak herders.
On your hike towards Mundu you will cross the former Langtang Village which was destroyed during the great earthquake of 2015. Except for a single house below the cliff, everything was flattened out by the landslide. There's a memorial at the site dedicated to people who lost their lives during the earthquake. After spending a brief moment at the site you continue hiking towards your destination. On the way, you cross the New Langtang Village with lots of brand-new lodges. Before reaching Mundu, you will encounter one of the longest mani walls in Nepal. Mundu is one of the larger and busier villages on the route. It has new lodges, a health center, and a coffee shop. Spending a night at Mundu can be tough as you are at an altitude of 3500 meters.
A short hike of about 3 or 4 hours from Mundu brings you to your final destination Kyanjin Gompa. This is a beautiful village set in a valley surrounded by soaring snow-covered peaks of the Langtang Range. After arriving at the village you can explore the village’s monastery and the Swiss Yak Cheese Factory. You spend an extra day here hiking to Tsergo Ri, the highest point of your trek.
Tsergo Ri which stands at an altitude of 5050 meters offers a challenging hike. It takes around seven to eight hours to climb the hill and get back. The route to the top is pretty steep and challenging. In the last leg of your climb, you will have to scramble up a rocky slope. From the top you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Langtang Valley and the snow-covered mountains (Langtang Lirung, Baden Powell Peak, Ganchenpo, Dorje Lakpa, Yala Peak, etc.). After spending 2 nights at Kyanjin Gompa, you will walk back to Syabrubesi via the same route.
Alternative Treks You Can Consider
Other popular treks in the Langtang Region include the Gosainkunda Trek, the Tamang Heritage Trail, and Helambu Trek.
You can combine the Langtang Valley trek with the spectacular Gosainkunda Lake Trek. Our Langtang Gosainkunda Trek of 16 days takes you to the windswept Laurebina Pass and the holy lake of Gosainkunda. A large number of people gather and worship on the lake's shore during the full moon festival of Janai Purnima which falls around July/August. There are mind-blowing views of Ganesh Himal Range, Langtang Range, Dorje Lakpa, and other peaks from the trail. You can return to Kathmandu via the Helambu trail.
The trail to Gosainkunda branches off at a junction at Thulo Syabru. You take this trail and head to the village of Sing Gompa and the Laurebina Pass before hiking up to the lake. The landscape is truly gorgeous and it takes only about two days to reach the lake from Langtang Valley.
While the Gosainkunda Trek can be done after trekking to Langtang Valley, the Tamang Heritage Trail can be visited before heading to the Langtang Valley.
The 14-day Tamang Heritage Trek with Langtang takes you to the colorful and vibrant Tamang villages in the Langtang Region. The trek introduces you to the rich culture of the Tamangs who migrated from Tibet a century ago. You will be walking past the villages of Briddhim, Thuman, Gatlang, Chilime, and Tatopani before finally joining the Langtang Valley trail at Lama Hotel. In these villages, you can experience authentic Tamang culture. The Tamang men are able horsemen, while the women are expert weavers. The women can be seen weaving on the traditional wooden looms outside their houses.
If you don't want to take the same route down to Syabrubesi after trekking to the Langtang Valley you can take a comfortable helicopter ride back to Kathmandu. The Langtang Valley Heli Trek offers you the option to return to Kathmandu via helicopter after trekking to Kyanjin Gompa. The 8-day trip allows you to hike in the Langtang Valley as well as enjoy an aerial tour of the valley.