The scenery all along this trek is awe-inspiring as it passes through rhododendron and fir tree forest, through friendly Sherpa villages, past clusters of shepherds’ huts and Buddhist gompas (monasteries). This is a short tea-house trek, with some tough slopes, immediately accessible from Kathmandu and, if you’re planning to bring the children, this is probably the best trek to do.
The low maximum altitude and temperate climate of the Helambu Valley mean that this trek can be done year round, except during the monsoon months from June to September. The rhododendron season here is during March into early April, though the views are best in October, November and December as the Helambu Valley can get a bit hazy thereafter.
This trek can also be done in reverse.
|Kathmandu to Chisopani (2,140m) Your trekking guide will arrive and, after breakfast, we drive for 1 hour from Kathmandu to Sundarijal, on the northern edge of the Kathmandu Valley, and start to hike up to Mulkharka, a sprawling Tamang settlement. The trek continues on a gentle climb through the forests before dropping down to Chisopani (2,140m). From here you can see countless snow peaks and the Himalayan sunrise is particularly outstanding. We stay overnight here. (4 hours trekking).
|Chisopani to Gul Bhanjyang (2,140m) The trek continues and crosses meadows and fields to Pati Bhanjyang, a Brahmin and Chhetri village on a saddle at the bottom of a ridge at 1,860m. From here the trek starts up again on a series of steep switchbacks to Chipling (2,170m) where we stop for lunch. From Chipling the trek makes another steep 200m climb up a stone staircase to the top of the Jhogin Danda ridge. From the ridge the trek descends through the forest to a large chorten (round Buddhist monument) overlooking the Tamang village of Gul Bhanjyang, a delightful hill village with a pleasant main street. (5 to 6 hour trek).
|Gul Bhanjyang to Tharepati (3,640m) From Gul Bhanjyang the first part of the trek climbs up a steep, eroded trail through rhododendron forest passing a few shepherds’ huts and proceeds north up the Yurin Danda ridge offering views of Langtang and Gosaikunda peaks. We cross a pass at 3,510m before trekking down to Magen Goth, where we stop for lunch. Postprandial the hike passes through forests, across flower-strewn meadows and crosses streams till we reach Tharepati (3,640m). (6 hour trek).
|Tharepati to Melamchigaon (2,530m) From the northern end of the village the trek turns east and drops steeply into a ravine and the flora changes to large firs, then oaks and rhododendrons, as we rapidly lose altitude. After crossing the Chhyadi Khola via a suspension bridge, the trek makes a short final ascent to Malamchigaon. We will arrive here early and the rest of today’s time can be spent strolling around the village, a large prosperous Sherpa place with extensive fields of barley, corn and potatoes. The gompa here has a line of prayer flags at the front, brightly painted walls and statues of Guru Rimpoche and his consorts. It is a local belief that Guru Rimpoche meditated in a cave above the village and wore robes made by dakinis (female angels). (5 hour trek).
|Melamchigaon to Tarke Gyang (2,590m) From Melamchigaon the trek descends through jungle to a bamboo tea-shop at 2,360m, then drops steeply through fields to the Malemchi Khola River. After crossing a suspension bridge at 1,890m the trek begins its long climb towards Tarke Gyang, the largest village in the Helambu region. The stone houses here are built close together with narrow alleyways separating them. (6 hour trek).
|Tarke Gyang to Sermathang (2,610m) The trek leaves the village and makes a sweep around the wide valley to the pretty Sherpa village of Ganyul (2,520m), where the people practice Drukpa Kagyu Buddhism, aka the national religion of Bhutan. From Ganyul the trek drops over a ridge, but soon starts climbing again through deep forests, crossing a number of streams to a crest at 2,620m. We pass a large gompa at Chumnik before another gentle climb leads us to the village of Sermathang. In the afternoon we can visit the gompa here. (4 hour trek).
|Sermathang via Melamchi Pul Bazaar to Kathmandu From Sermathang the trek follows the ridge all the way down to Malemchi Pul Bazaar, a drop of 1,730m, passing chorten after chorten in the settlements of Nigale, Gyalsha and Raithani Gyang. We hike down through a pine forest to Kakani, the last Sherpa village on the trek and the site of the Thai Memorial Park, which provides the resting place for the 113 casualties of a Thai Airways plane that crashed near Gosaikunda in 1992. From Kakani the trek drops steeply to the attractive village of Dubhachaur in a saddle at 1,610m. Continuing further down the ridge our trek will eventually bring us to a large suspension bridge which crosses the Indrawati River and brings us to Malemchi Pul Bazaar. From here we will take a car/van/bus back to Kathmandu. (6 hours trekking, 3 to 4 hours drive to Kathmandu).
We hope you’ve had a great trek, some exhilarating adventures, have a few fond memories to take home and we look forward to trekking with you again on your return to Nepal.
|Ballpark price; US$ 550 plus accommodation in Kathmandu.
|Price includes airport pick-up/drop-off. All inclusive trek costs; accommodation in twin shared rooms, breakfast, lunch, dinner, trekking and park permit fees, guide and necessary porters and all their costs such as transportation, accommodation, food, equipment, insurance etc.
|Price excludes food and accommodation in Kathmandu, alcoholic beverages, tips, your insurance and personal expenses.