Of all the treks in Nepal, the Langtang Valley Trek is often ranked in the top five. Located directly north of Kathmandu, Langtang Valley has long been considered a holy valley, as it holds many natural wonders. The Langtang Valley Trek is relatively short and can be completed in 7-8 days. It provides stunning views of Langtang Himal, the mountain range that towers over the region.
Langtang Valley, which is isolated and high in elevation, is home to the hospitable Tamang ethnic group. Their rich culture and heritage is similar to their northern neighbours in Tibet, and is full of Buddhist symbols and monuments. Biodiversity throughout the Langtang Valley Trek is abundant and well-preserved. Forests that make up the landscape on the way up to the Langtang Valley are shelter to the Red Panda. Other wildlife found in Langtang National Park includes the elusive Himalayan black bear, the goat-like Himalayan tahr, and legendary Yeti. The combination of sky-high mountain peaks, plentiful wildlife, and the cultural curiosities of the Tamang people make this trek so unique and special.
Due to the earthquake of 2015, much of the Langtang Valley was flattened. Entire forests were blown over, houses crumbled, and livelihoods were lost. Over the years, support from within and outside of Nepal have steadily helped rebuild the area. Guest houses have been rebuilt and visitors are more than welcome to come trek in the Langtang Valley. In fact, trekking in the area is the best way to sustain the locals’ livelihood.
The Langtang Valley Trek begins with an eight-hour drive from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi. The trail passes through the picturesque scenery of small villages next to terraced hillsides, following the Langtang River along the way. The sound of the moving water, complimented with lush pine, bamboo, and rhododendron forests fills us with energy. There is pure, fresh air all around us.
It’s a continual uphill climb along the river, and quaint tea houses along the way offer meals for nourishment. Finally, you arrive at the alpine pastures of Kyanjin Gompa, a spiritual center and settlement where we take see unforgettable mountain views. Here we can stop in and watch one of the monastery’s daily ceremonies, or take a tour at one of Nepal’s oldest Yak-milk Swiss cheese factories. Kyanjin Gompa is our ultimate destination of the trek, though there are several absolutely breathtaking day trips that we can take from here.
You can explore the high glacial valley of Langshisha Kharka, or witness astonishing views at Kyanjin Ri (4773m). Another high point, Tserko Ri, (4985m) offers a view of over 21 Himalayan peaks. Both Kyanjin Ri and Tserko Ri offer 360-degree panorama views of the Langtang region. Taking our sweet time, we snap some photos and sit with smiles on our faces in appreciation of the mountains. Retracing through the same trail, we descend to Syabrubesi and drive back to Kathmandu. The sheer beauty of this trek is otherworldly. The Langtang Valley Trek is more peaceful than most trail in the Annapurna and Everest region, but offers the same pristine landscape and rich cultural heritage.
Langtang Valley Trek Best season
The best seasons for the Langtang Valley Trek is Autumn (from the second half of September, through October, until the first half of November) and Spring (March, April and May). September offers crystal clear views of the Langtang Valley, with budding alpine flowers and lots of greenery along the peaceful trail. September also marks the end of the monsoon, so it is nice and warm, although there is a chance of rain during this time. We recommend starting from the second week of October to minimize the chance of rain and have a higher chance of mild weather. October and November are the most popular months for trekking in the Langtang Valley (and all over Nepal). These months offer clear weather and awesome Himalayan views. Spring (March, April, and May) is an equally fantastic time to visit Nepal – particularly great for climbing. The springtime is the best to see the versatile, colorful alpine flowers, and crisp mountain views.
Trekking to Langtang Valley during the monsoon is possible, but it can rain every day and the mountain views might be less than ideal. Winter is a good time for those who can handle the cold. The winter months (December, January, February) are quite cold, but the trail is much more peaceful and the mountain views are unparalleled.
Is Langtang Valley Trek Difficult?
For the average trekker, the Langtang Valley Trek is not at all difficult. It is just a basic hike on a well-maintained trail up to an altitude of 3800 meters at Kyanjin village (or 5130 meters at Tserko Ri if you’re up for the acclimatization day hike). Actually, one of the more difficult parts of the Langtang Valley Trek is the bus/jeep ride form Kathmandu to Syabrubesi and back. The 200km ride takes about 7-8 hours and consists of a zig-zagging road through the hills. Another tough part of the trek is heading up from Kyanjin Gompa to Tserko Ri, which takes about 5-6 hours roundtrip. The trail is narrow and leads into the high altitude. Otherwise, the trail is relaxed and mellow all the way to Kyanjin Gompa.
Physical Fitness for Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang Valley Trek is a medium level trek northeast of the Kathmandu Valley. It is a basic multi-day hike on a regular trail. You do not have to be an ultra-fit marathon runner, nor are you required to have any climbing experience. Before you start the trek, you could do some running or walking up and down hills/stairs to build your stamina, as you will be walking on mountainous trails for 5-6 hours per day during the trek. A little bit of training can go a long way, so we highly recommend doing some aerobic exercise before your adventure.
Earthquake in Langtang Valley in 2015
The 25th of April 2015 was a dark day for people all over Nepal, especially in the foothills of the Langtang Himalayan range. Of the almost 9,000 that died all over Nepal, 243 of them were in Langtang village, and even more died in the surrounding villages. April is a busy trekking season in Nepal, and unfortunately the area of full of tourists and locals alike. Before, Langtang Valley was home to over 200 houses, built from wood. At 11:56 am, most of the people were busy at work in the fields or in their houses. Most guest houses were busy serving lunch for trekkers coming down from Kyanjin Gompa or ascending from Lama Hotel. At that moment, the 7.9 earthquake hit and there was a massive avalanche from Langtang Lirung. In less than a minute, the earthquake wiped out all the houses, people, animals in the village. Only those who had walked away to their fields or a neighboring village survived. It was a massive loss for the village. With the help of the government and other groups, a new village has been created near the old one. All new guesthouses have been constructed and the locals are doing their best to rebuild after the disaster that struck them.
Any big changes on Langtang Valley Trek after the earthquake?
Of course, there have been significant changes along the Langtang Valley Trek post-earthquake. The changes are that the villages have been built in safer places, where they are not at risk of facing another avalanche. The previous trail is still there, but it is more dangerous, as the rocks might fall after minor earthquakes or landslides. Our government has opened a new trail which goes through a beautiful forest after crossing a bridge over the Langtang River. Also, all the guesthouses in Langtang and Kyanjin Gompa are newly built, with attached bathrooms and a hot shower – a rare treat on the Himalayan trails. The guesthouses are beautiful and colorful. Although the locals have been scarred from the earthquake, they are feeling a renewed sense of hope and opportunity after their village has been rebuilt.
Can I trek solo in Langtang Valley?
Langtang Valley Trek does not require a minimum number of people per group like the restricted area treks. So, this trek can be done solo. If you are looking to go solo, but want some guidance, we can organize a solo Langtang Valley Trek for you with a member of our team. Our highly-experienced guide and strong, friendly porter will take care of you and lead you up to Tserko Ri safely.
How is the trail on Langtang Valley Trek?
The trail through Langtang Valley is the same as most other trails in the Himalaya. The first part is on a road, though there are no vehicles on the road. Then, the trail leads through a rhododendron forest all the way up to Lama Hotel. This section is ages-old and has been traveled for hundreds of years. However, we recommend the newer river-side trail, as it’s much safer. The path on the rock and glacier of Langtang Valley is a bit dangerous, but our guide will lead you safely. Since the earthquake, the huge amount of ice makes it difficult, but day by day the ice is melting and it is getting a bit easier. Finally, the trail up to Tserko Ri is narrow, but as long as you walk with the guide, you will be completely fine.
Can I fly my drone in Langtang Valley?
Yes, you can fly your drone on the Langtang Valley Trek, but it needs to be verified by the Nepal Government and CAAN (Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal). Then, you will have to obtain permission from the authorities of Langtang National Park, as well as the local police and army. It is a long process to get drone-flying permission, but it is possible.
People, Culture and lifestyle of Langtang Valley
People from Langtang Valley are super helpful and friendly. People in this region are Buddhist and have ancestral roots in Tibet. The border is nearby and the religion/culture are all interconnected. Most of the locals belong to the Tamang and Lama ethnic groups. They celebrate Sonam Loshar Festival, which usually falls in January in the Gregorian calendar. They welcome you as a guest and send you back as a friend. They live on very little and despite living with the trauma of the earthquake, they are still smiling and show gratitude. There is a lot to learn from the people of Langtang Valley and how they appreciate life.
Most Popular Places in Langtang Valley Trek
There are countless beautiful places on the Langtang Valley Trek. Among them, Langtang Valley, Tserko Ri, Kyanjin Gompa, and Kyangjin Ri are the most popular. Langtang Valley is known for being an incredibly scenic village and having super kind people. Also, the clear view of the Himalayas from the village is spectacular. Kyangjin Gompa is famous for its yak cheese factory, the Buddhist monastery, and the charming guesthouses enveloped by the Himalayas. Tserko Ri is popular for its high-altitude, breathtaking view. Similarly, Kyanjin Ri is a pristine mountain lookout with views of Kyanjin Gompa and the Langtang Glacier below.
Langtang Valley Trekking Permit
The Langtang Valley Trek lies in Langtang National Park, so you have a purchase a national park permit specific to the Langtang Valley. The permit can be bought in Kathmandu in Kathmandu at Nepal Tourism Board, but it can be more conveniently purchased in Dhunche at the actual entrance of Langtang National Park. The cost of the permit is $30 USD per person. You must also acquire the TIMS permit (Trekkers’ Information Management System). You must show your original passport to buy the national park permit, so do carry it on the trail with you. All permits are included in the cost of the trek.
Accommodation During Langtang Valley Trek
Accommodation in Kathmandu is in a 3-star rated hotel with breakfast included. On the Langtang Valley Trek, you will stay in all-new guesthouses (as most of the old ones were destroyed in the earthquake). These new guesthouses are top-notch. Rooms have attached bathrooms with western toilets and a hot shower. Accommodation in Lama Hotel is basic, but in Langtang Valley and Kyanjin Gompa, it is upgraded and very comfortable.
Food and beverages on Trek
The food in Langtang Valley is notably tasty. Skilled, professional cooks at each guest house make a variety of different foods, including some western dishes. The menu has lots of options, including Indian, Nepali, and continental items. The vegetables are grown in the Langtang Valley give you a true mountain, local taste. Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) are included in the cost of the package. You can find all kinds of beverages as well in the Langtang Valley. You will pass a little cold drink places on the trail where you can buy soda, tea, etc. Beer is sold at the guesthouses. Extra drinks are not included in the cost of the trip.
Guides and porters for Langtang Valley Trek
Guides and porters are included in the given cost of the package. They are your key to a successful, valuable, and joyful adventure in the Himalaya. All our guides and porters have years of experience in the Langtang Valley. Your guide will lead you each day and in the evening, they will brief you on the next day’s trail. Each of our guides and porters are very dedicated to their work. They have led the Langtang Valley Trek countless times and are equally excited to go back each time.
Communication status on Langtang Region
Communication with the outside world along the Langtang Valley Trek has become much easier in recent years. You can use a local SIM card and stay connected with your friends and family and/or get WiFi all the way up to Langtang Village and Kyanjin Gompa (at about 300-400 rupees for WiFi). If you want to be away from your devices, but still want to let your family know how you’re doing, you can send a message from our guide's phone when you want.
Getting Langtang Trek Starting Point
A 6-hour drive leads from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi, where the trek begins. The road is paved and well-maintained all the way to Trishuli (lunch stop). From this point, the road is being rebuilt, but will be finished soon. There is another road that is nearly finished connecting Betrowati to Syabrubesi (a much shorter route), which will shave about two hours off the drive. After finishing the trek, you will head back on the same road from Syabrubesi to Kathmandu.
Avoid Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness is a dangerous situation caused by a lack of oxygen in the body. The highest altitude that we sleep at on this trek is 3885 meters, so the risk of altitude sickness is much less on this trek. If this is your first trip to the Himalayas (or anywhere high in elevation), you will need to be a bit careful – drink water and don’t walk too fast. The highest point on the trek is 5130 meters at Tserko Ri, but after sleeping and acclimatizing in Kyanjin Gompa, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you do experience any symptoms of altitude sickness (i.e. light headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness), please notify our guide immediately so they can take the steps necessary to minimize the risk.
Acclimatization Day on Langtang Valley Trek
Acclimatization days are built to allow your body to adjust to the lower level of oxygen in the Himalaya. On this trip, there is one acclimatization day built into the itinerary. It is best to climb high and sleep low to maximize the acclimatization. On the Langtang Valley Trek, you spend your acclimatization day hiking up to the gorgeous peak of Tserko Ri. After enjoying the view, descend back to Kyanjin Gompa for the night.
Electricity and Charging facility on Langtang Valley Trek
There is electricity throughout the lower part of the trek. Also, in Langtang Valley and Kyanjin Gompa, there are micro-hydro power systems, so you never have to worry about having your gadgets run out of battery. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a fee of around 200 rupees to get a full charge at some guesthouses.
Why Langtang Valley Trek?
The real answer is ‘why not the Langtang Valley Trek?’ It was a short and sweet trek, accessible from Kathmandu, that offers awesome views of the Himalayas, alpine landscape, and the fascinating lifestyle of the Tamang people throughout the Langtang Valley. This trek can be done with basic hiking experience and gives you views that you can’t find anywhere else. Within 4 days, this trek leads high into the Himalaya. The views from Kyanjin Ri and Tserko Ri are truly mind-blowing. Towering snow-capped peaks surround you as far as the eye can see. The Langtang Valley Trek is also super meaningful because you are supporting the livelihood of those who lost their friends and family in the 2015 earthquake.
Please be assured that Breeze Adventure manages our treks to the highest standards. Your safety and satisfaction are our priority. We will support you to the best of our abilities with any issues that may arise. We will work with you to ensure you get the most from your trek and visit Nepal.