This Langtang-Gosainkunda-Helambu trek combines the unspoilt and remote Langtang Valley with sacred lakes at Gosainkund. Starting at the Sherpa village of Syabrubesi on the edge of the Langtang National Park, you climb through beautiful thick oak and rhododendron forests up to Langtang village. Home to Himalayan black bear, the goat-like Himalayan tahr, rhesus monkeys and red pandas, there are even stories of Yeti sightings here! At Kyangjing Gompa you get close up views of Langtang Lirung (7246m) and other mountains that separate Nepal from Tibet.
Backtracking for a day to the village of Lama Hotel, you cut across to Syabru, a village on the way to Gosainkunda. Climbing through the forest to a high plateau, you come to the high and sacred lakes where in August every year, thousands of pilgrims come here to bathe in the cold waters.
Descending through lush forests you reach Tharepati and the Sherpa village of Melamchi Gaon, villages on the Helambu Circuit.
Trek Grade: This trek is grade 3 most of the way as you are walking typically 5-6 hours along good trails up to 3500m. However, there are a couple of days that are a little more challenging when you go to Kyangjing Gompa (3800m) and Gosainkunda (4165m) but neither day should pose too much problem as the trails are good.
Inspired? Have a look at other treks Royal Mountain Travel offers in the Langtang region:
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Kathmandu sightseeing|
|Day 3||Drive to Nuwakot (972m, 4 hrs drive) Nuwakot Homestay|
|Day 4||Drive to Syabrubeshi (1420m, 3 hrs drive)|
|Day 5||Trek to Lama Hotel (2380m, 6-7 hrs)|
|Day 6||Trek to Langtang Village (3500m, 5-6 hrs)|
|Day 7||Trek to Kyangjing Gompa (3800m, 4-5 hrs)|
|Day 8||Excursion to Langtang Ri|
|Day 9||Return trek to Lama Hotel (2380m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 10||Trek to Thulo Syabru (2200m, 6-7 hrs)|
|Day 11||Trek to Lauri Binayak (3584m, 4-5 hrs)|
|Day 12||Trek to Gosainkunda Lake (4165m, 5-6 hrs)|
|Day 13||Trek to Tharepati 3490m, 6 hrs) Eco lodge|
|Day 14||Trek to Melamchi Gaon (2530m, 4 hrs) Eco lodge|
|Day 15||Trek to Timbu (1580m, 5 hrs) and drive to Kathmandu (4 hrs)|
Trekking: Additional information
Please note that the published itinerary can only be a statement of intent and should be used as a guide only. Each day may vary due to the walking times of the group, camping and trail condRead More...
Trekking: Additional information
Please note that the published itinerary can only be a statement of intent and should be used as a guide only. Each day may vary due to the walking times of the group, camping and trail conditions. The guide in charge of your trip may have to alter the schedule if necessary and any such changes are at the discretion of Royal Mountain Travel and your guide.
The trekking day
Your day starts with a wake-up call, followed by breakfast and baggage pickup. You are then driven to the start point of your trek. While trekking, your day starts with breakfast at the tea house where you are staying. You need to pack up your baggage before breakfast as porters usually set off early.
Normally you are on the trail by 8 am and stop for a leisurely lunch around noon, with the chance to stop along the way for short breaks. Lunchtime usually lasts a couple of hours to give you time to relax or to explore the village where you have stopped. The afternoon walk is shorter and you can expect to arrive around 4 pm to allow time for short excursions to nearby sites, monasteries, exploration of the village or for relaxing with a book or catching up on your diary. Dinner is generally around, 7 pm.
Everyone walks at different speeds and you should always go at the pace that is comfortable for you. The grade of the trek is only an approximate indication of what to expect, based on the altitude and the hours of walking per day. In general, the condition of trails is good as these are the main routes between villages.
What you carry?
Each porter carries 15kg so you should pack 7.5 kgs of baggage, sharing one porter between two persons. These things will not be available to you during the day as the porters usually leave early and do not walk with you. Your daypack should contain all that you need during the day. This should consist of warm clothes for when you stop, a water bottle, camera, sunscreen, lip salve and maybe waterproofs depending on when you’re trekking. Your guide will let you know each evening about any extra items you might need for the following day. You should take a comfortable daypack to carry just a few kilograms of things you need along the way.
Food and drink
No meals are included in your trek. These are available in tea houses, lodges and bhattis that may sometimes have quite limited menus. There are a lot of tea houses and lodges along the way while you are trekking. Meals are generally simple but filling, but you may wish to stock up on ‘trail munchies’ before leaving Kathmandu or Pokhara. Although mineral water in plastic bottles can be found along the way in many places, you should try to avoid using this. Plastic bottles are a serious problem on the trekking routes as there is no way to dispose of them. Instead, you should use water purification tablets, a water filter or ask for boiled water at the lodges. It is a good idea to bring a heat resistant, a water bottle which can double up as a hot water bottle when you go to bed at night too!
It is not recommended to drink alcohol at altitudes above 3,000m or so, where altitude sickness can start to have an effect.
Accommodation is in lodges and teahouses and is of a basic standard. Rooms may be twin or multi-share with basic shared toilet facilities. Hot showers are available in some places for a small charge. It is a good idea to pack wet-wipes to freshen up, especially useful when you reach high altitudes where the water can be very cold. It is not recommended to wash your hair when you are at higher altitudes and where the outside air is cold, as you run the risk of getting a chill when your wet hair takes a long time to dry.
Lodges usually have a common room where later in the day, when people start to arrive from their day’s trek there might be a stove that is lit to keep warm. Bedrooms, however, are not heated. The lodges provide clean bedding, but you may want to pack a sheet sleeping bag for peace of mind.
The main means of transport are on foot, or in some cases by horse, with mules or donkeys sometimes carrying baggage. On most trekking routes, your baggage will be carried by the porters. You should ensure that anything you might need during the day is in your day pack as you will not see the baggage that is being carried again until the end of each day.
You will be provided with government licensed, experienced trek guided assisted by the porters who transport your baggage with one porter for every two trekkers. The guide is in overall charge of the trek and looks after you. This is the person you should go to with any problems, concerns or questions. Our guides are highly trained in all aspects of trekking, conservation, high altitude medicine, first-aid and emergency procedures. They are professionals selected for their knowledge and passion for Nepal and its peoples. However, you should remember that they are local guides and their English may sometimes be quite basic and limited to trek related topics. Usually, porters will have a more basic understanding of English. Please try to speak slowly and clearly to make communication easier.
Trek grading and preparation
It is impossible to have a ‘foolproof’ grading system as everyone has different expectations and perceptions of their own fitness level. Remember that no trek in the Himalaya is a stroll as all involve going up and down, often at altitude. Altitude affects everyone differently, and even if it has not affected you much before, each time can be quite different in how it affects you.
Regardless of age or fitness, preparation, before you arrive, is a good idea. Aerobic activity, swimming, cycling or brisk walking is recommended or, at the very least, walking up and down stairs in your trekking boots to be sure that they fit well and are comfortable. Try to use hiking boots that you have already broken in to avoid blisters. Remember that the trek should be fun and you should go at your own pace.
It is best to bring cash in major currencies such as the US, Canadian or Australian dollars, Euros, or Pounds. Ensure you have a mixture of large and small denominations. Everyone’s spending is different, but as a guide, we suggest about USD 8 – 10 per meal in Kathmandu and Pokhara and USD 30 – 35 per day whilst trekking. If you drink or smoke you need to allow a bit more.
You should exchange enough money into Nepalese Rupees to last the entire time of your trek before leaving Kathmandu. You can find the money exchange counters near your hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara but there are no exchange facilities in villages along the way.
Communication: mobile phones and internet
Please note, as you will be often trekking through valleys and will not always be close to mobile towers, mobile phone reception can be very patchy. NCELL, the local mobile company has quite good coverage, but sometimes the signal can be very weak. Usually, lodges have powerpoint’s to recharge your mobile, although this sometimes can be at an extra charge.
Tipping is a personal and voluntary matter and is not included in the trip price. If you wish to reward the efforts of those who have worked to make your trek the best they can, we suggest the following: USD 4 per day for groups of 8+, USD 5 per day for smaller groups which will be shared amongst the whole staff, including porters.
Travel insurance is not included in the trip price. It is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to your trek. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and repatriation (including helicopter evacuation) and personal liability. We also recommend that it covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Be careful to check the small print of your insurance regarding altitude as some policies only provide cover up to 2000m.
There are no specific health requirements for entry into Nepal. Your health condition must be sound as you will be climbing to above 4000m. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date information regarding vaccinations, high altitude medication and medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling in Nepal. Be aware that some drugs, including anti-malarial, have side effects at altitude. Please discuss this carefully with your doctor.
Please be aware that you will be in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip. We strongly recommend that you carry a personal First Aid kit as well as sufficient quantities of any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses)
AMS (acute mountain sickness) is a serious issue. It is the result of the failure of the body to adapt to high altitude and can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness. It usually occurs above 1,800 meters and the likelihood of being affected increases as you ascend. The way to reduce the effects of altitude is to ascend slowly, 300 meters per day above 3,000 meters until you have acclimatized. Poor acclimatization can result in headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, difficulty breathing and swelling of fingers and glands. The only cure for AMS is to descend to a lower altitude and your guide’s decision on this matter is final. There is a possibility of AMS in any trek that passes through altitudes above 4000 meters.
Although our routes are carefully planned to allow proper acclimatization you may feel some effects of altitude for the first few days or at higher altitudes. Breathlessness, lethargy and mild headaches are not uncommon and generally decrease as your body adjusts. Maintaining adequate fluid intake is essential. Please advise your guide if you feel more severe symptoms and do not medicate yourself without discussing it with them first.
Variation of climate is directly proportional to the altitude. For this trekking, trekking routes are often passed through a range of altitudes from 850m upwards. Between, about 2700m and 3000m a cool temperate climate prevails, and you should expect a cool summer and very cold temperatures in the winter. Above 3000m, even if the daytime is sunny and quite warm, the temperature will drop sharply as soon as the sun goes down.
The weather in the mountains is notoriously changeable, so always be prepared for a change in conditions and note that if severe or dangerous weather conditions occur your guide’s decision on any course of action is final.
Trekking permits are required for almost all treks and will be obtained by Royal Mountain Travel. The Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) is essential for the record of Nepal Tourism Board keeping in mind about probable hazards to occur. You need to provide your full name, nationality, home address, passport number, sex, date of birth and 2 photographs for each permit. Royal Mountain Travel also pays any fees required for entry to national parks, conservation areas or restricted areas.
Packing for your trek
You will need to bring a comfortable medium sized daypack to carry the things you will need during the day. This should have a waist strap or (better) a padded waist belt.
You should limit your baggage to about 7kg. You will find the following items useful.
Still could not decide if you want to go on this trek? Read the experience of Elena Swartz on this trek.
Arrive in Kathmandu
Your first impression of arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport is an experience in itself. But don’t be worried by the apparent confusion as your airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written on a placard. Depending on traffic, you will be at your hotel within 20 minutes or so.
The day is spent visiting some of the major World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu. More…
You will have plenty of time in the afternoon to prepare for your trek and check that you have everything you need. You might want to visit Thamel, the tourist hub of Nepal where you can easily find all you need for trekking. Or if you just want to relax, there are many cafes and bakeries serving excellent local tea and coffee. It is best to avoid the street food, however, unless you have a very strong stomach. It is recommended that you have an early night as you will have an early start in the morning.
Drive to Nuwakot (972m, 4 hrs drive) Nuwakot Homestay
On the way to Langtang, you stop at a village in Nuwakot and stay with a family in a homestay where you can get an insight into the local way of life in a village in the mountains.
Drive to Syabrubeshi (1420m, 3 hrs drive)
The road trip up to Syabrubeshi offers some spectacular views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang Ri, Langtang Lirung, Naya Kangma, Dorje Lakpa and various other mountains. It can be a rough and rocky ride, but as you climb, the mountains of the Langtang region become closer and bigger.
Trek to Lama Hotel (2380m, 6-7 hrs)
The trail from Syabrubesi to Lama Hotel (the name of the village, not the name of the lodge) follows the Langtang Khola and is very scenic. You walk through the dense forest where you might see wild boar, Langur monkeys, Red Pandas or even Himalayan black bears. After crossing a bridge over the Langtang Khola you climb a steep trail to Lama Hotel.
Trek to Langtang Village (3500m, 5-6 hrs)
Continuing up from Lama Hotel you can start to enjoy the mountain landscape, accompanied by the sound of water as you pass many waterfalls. As you reach the green meadows of Ghoda Tabela (‘horse stable’), you start to see the white peaks of the Langtang range. Your trail climbs up the widening valley and passes a few temporary settlements used by herders. Passing a Buddhist monastery, you reach Langtang village. Completely wiped out by a massive avalanche that followed the earthquake in April 2015, the village suffered an estimated 310 deaths, including 176 villagers, 80 trekkers and 10 army personnel. Here the village is recovering and we stay here to help support the local community that has rebuilt lodges that were destroyed.
Trek to Kyangjing Gompa (3800m, 4-5 hrs)
Continuing to Kyangjin Gompa, this is a principal monastery in the region. You pass by water mills, prayer wheels, chortens, and mounds of rocks with holy inscriptions carved on them. You pass the largest mani wall in Nepal. This is made of stone with prayers written on them. You have time to explore the Buddhist shrine in Kyangjin Gompa and surrounding areas.
Excursion to Langtang Ri
This mountain separates Nepal from Tibet and is part of a series of high peaks including Shishapangma Mountain (8013m) and Porong Ri Peak (7292m). It was climbed for the first time by a Japanese expedition team in 1981 and since then is a popular climbing peak. From Kyanjin Gompa Monastery you can hike to Kyanjin Ri to admire the views Langtang Lirung I (7246m), Langtang Lirung II (6581m) and Nayakhanga (5846m). The view of Lirung Tsang Glacier, one the biggest glaciers in the Langtang range is impressive.
Return trek to Lama Hotel (2380m, 6 hrs)
Retracing your steps to Lama Hotel, most of the day is downhill through forests and Tamang villages.
Trek to Thulo Syabru (2200m, 6-7 hrs)
Climbing to the Rimche Village, from here you descend to the banks of the Langtang Khola and continue on an easy trail to Bamboo, to start the ascent to Landslide Lodge. From here you continue to Thulo Syabru.
Trek to Lauri Binayak (3584m, 4-5 hrs)
You start to climb through dense pine and rhododendron forests before passing the Durbin Danda. Along the way, you get an excellent view of the Tibetan mountains. Passing Shin Gompa or “Chandanbari” as it is also known as this village is named after the monastery here. Contouring up around the mountainside through the forest takes you to a path along the top of a ridge from where the route opens up to alpine meadows that is the summer is filled with animals. On a clear day, you can see fine views of the central Himalayan Range from the western Annapurnas to the eastern Langtang range. You continue to Lauri Binayak village where you stay the night.
Trek to Gosainkunda Lake (4165m, 5-6 hrs)
Hiking along the trail that was constructed by local people that leads to the Trisuli River, you come to where the mountain slope drops into a lake. Continuing on, you come to a second lake and then a third, which lies by the village of Gosainkunda inhabited by Tamangs and Bhotias.
Trek to Tharepati 3490m, 6 hrs) Eco lodge
Today is quite a long day. After an early start, you reach the top of Laurebina La Pass (4610m). Here you have very good views of Ganesh Himal, Manaslu Himal and Langtang Lirung. You then descend steeply to Phedi (3630m) and Gopte (3430m), going up and down until you reach a ridge where you find Tharepati.
Trek to Melamchi Gaon (2530m, 4 hrs) Eco lodge
From Tharepati the trail goes east and switchbacks steeply down a ravine. As you go down the vegetation changes to large fir and oak trees, and as you descend further, scrub bamboo. You reach the large Sherpa village of Melamchi Gaon with its fields of barley, corn and potatoes. The little gompa has prayer flags flapping in the front, brightly painted walls and statues of Guru Rimpoche and his consorts Sakyamuni.
Trek to Timbu (1580m, 5 hrs) and drive to Kathmandu (4 hrs)
You come down quite a steep trail from Melamchi Gaon, descending to the Melamchi river valley. This river is the main source of water for Kathmandu. Passing a little gompa, you continue down the valley to the all-season road-head at Timbu. This is a Tamang village where you can find a few little shops and a school. You are picked up here and then driven back to Kathmandu. Depending on the road conditions, this should take about four hours.
You transfer to Tribhuvan Airport to connect with your onward flight. Please note that you should check in three hours prior to your flight time.