Trekking in Nepal

Langtang Gosaikunda Pass and Helambu Trek

Langtang Gosaikunda Pass and Helambu Trek
  • Total Duration

    19 days
  • Trek Grade

    Moderate to Adventurous
  • Trek Duration

    15 days
  • Max Elevation

    4610m at Laurabina Pass
  • Mode of Trek

    Teahouse
  • Trek Start

    Syabrubeshi
  • Trek Ends

    Melamchi Bazar
“A remarkable trek on the Tamang Heritage Trail in the shade of high Himalayan peaks”

Overview

This journey is a scenic journey to the age-old Tamang tribe’s heritage trail and to the home of the elusive red panda and snow leopard. This marvelous trek passes through the cool shade of rhododendron, oak, and pine forests.

In spring, the forest are lively with the flaming blooms of wildflowers and rhododendron, the national flower, which form a beautiful contrast with the high, snow-capped peaks and the crystal blue sky.

At present, Langtang is the third most popular trekking area in Nepal, after the Annapurna and Everest regions. This fabulous trek, a perfect combination of moderate and rigorous walking, leads to the high alpine valley with the backdrop of high, snow-capped peaks. In the spring, this place is alive with wildflowers. Here you will find peace and serenity amidst the Buddhist culture. With its scenic valley and impressive gorge, affording views extending all the way to the Annapurna, it is no wonder this is such a popular place to trek.

On this trek you will become a pilgrim and head to the shimmering lakes at Gosainkunda. Here, you will find peace and serenity alongside the Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. It is no wonder this area is sacred, as it affords views extending all the way to the Annapurna. Cross Laurabina Yak La Pass, (4,615 m.), adjoining the Gosainkund and Helambu regions. At this higher altitude, the terrain will transform to arid alpine above the tree line, and the villages will become sparser. Descend on steep mountain trails high above the valley. Helambu is one of the most culturally wealthy regions in Nepal, home to many people of Tibetan origin.

The Yolmo people of the Helambu region are not often referred to as “Sherpas”. Their languages, customs, and clan structure do not resemble the Solukhumbu Sherpas of Everest. They are thought to be more akin to Langtang Bhotias, and may also have originated from the Kyirong area of Tibet, just over the border. Their religion and monasteries display their rich Buddhist culture. You will find other mid-hill tribes and castes residing at lower elevations along the edges of the park, including Brahmins, Chhetries, Newars, and some Gurungs.

Departures

SPRING - AUTUMN

20 March to 08 April
17 April to 06 May
25 September to 14 October
23 October to 11 November

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu (1300m) and transfer to hotel
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the hotel, where our Sherpa guide or the office staff will give you a brief orientation about the hotel, Kathmandu itself, trekking, and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal, including an overview of the next day's sightseeing tour. In the evening, you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of the finest traditional Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu, with the necessary transfer to and from the hotel by taxi, bus. Overnight in Hotel
Day 02: Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
After your breakfast, you will precede to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will tour the ancient palace, the temple of the Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal, Hanuman Dhoka and Kasthamandav Temple with a guide knowledgeable about Nepalese history, architecture, and religion. From there, you will proceed by taxi, bus to the Buddhist site, Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of its lively troops of resident monkeys. You will then visit Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest shrine for Hindus, situated on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, a popular cremation site. Before returning to the hotel, you will visit Boudhnath Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to many colorful gompas, or monasteries. Once back at the hotel, you will receive a briefing about the trek and have a chance to meet your guides and ask any last minute questions before tomorrow morning's departure. Overnight in Hotel
Day 03: Drive to Syabrubesi (1460m) 07 Hrs
An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Syabrubeshi. The bus ride takes you on a winding uphill and downhill road and passes many rural towns and farming villages. The bigger town en route is Trisuli Bazaar, which is in the sub-tropical zone. From here, the road climbs uphill to a cooler region, leaving the rice paddies behind as it passes by terraced fields of maize and millet. As the weather changes, the culture and the people begin to change as well. You then arrive at Dhunche (1965m), the one and only major town of the Langtang area and the Rasuwa district. There's a Langtang National Park headquarters, where your trekking and park permit are checked by the Royal Nepalese Army, who serve as park wardens as well. From here, the journey continues downhill for 1-2 hours until you reach Syabrubeshi village for the overnight camp. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 04: Trek to Riverside (2240m) 06 Hrs
The trek from Syabrubeshi is quite pleasant, with a few uphill sections. The majority of the walk is, however, on a relatively level trail through terraced farm fields and villages. The trail descends and joins the path coming from upper Syabru at the Riverside Lodge near Bamboo, an ideal spot for camping. You will have ample time to go for a refreshing splash in the nearby upper Trisuli River. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 05: Trek to Ghoretabela (3020m) 05 Hrs
The trek today leads to cool forest in the gorge, following the rushing Trisuli River upstream. The walk is more or less an uphill climb in the cool shade of rhododendron and oak forests. After three hours trekking, you arrive at a small clearing that houses the Lama Hotel, where there are facilities for camping. From this place, another 2-3 hours brings you to the wonderful spot at Ghoretabela for the overnight camp. Ghoretabela is situated in the midst of a forest of pine, hemlock, and rhododendron. From here onwards, you will begin to feel the altitude. In Nepali, Ghoretabela means “horse-stable.” In the early days, the people from Langtang and as far as Kathmandu use to trade with Tibet, brining large numbers of Tibetan ponies to the town, as Ghoretabela is an ideal place for the cattle and horses to graze. Ghoretabela has a lodge and a park warden's barrack, where your permit is checked once again. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 06: Trek to Kyanging Gompa (3850m) via Langtang Village (3430m) 06 Hrs
After a pleasant stay in Ghoretabela, the trek continues for a few short hours on the trail to Langtang and its beautiful valley. You walk through the cool shade of the alpine woods for an hour, following a small stream and leaving the tree line behind. The path leads uphill for an hour, and then follows a gentle, gradual winding trail with a few ups and downs until it reaches the village of Langtang. (*Note: Langtang used to be a beautiful village and a beautiful campsite. But, a big avalanche triggered by the mega earthquake of 7.8 Magnitude that hit Nepal on 25 April 2015, swept this valley leaving only rubble). From Langtang village, the walk leads you on a level path for a short time before winding uphill for a few hours through prickly blueberry and alpine shrubs. You will encounter a Mani prayer wall, which you should walk around in a clockwise direction, following the local culture and religion. As your walk leads you further east, the valley opens up and the walk continues on a grassy meadow with views of numerous snow-capped peaks in the distance. The walk is more pleasant, but can seem more difficult because of the altitude gain as you approach Kyanging Gompa for the overnight stop. Kyanging Gompa is a scenic, charming spot, with peaks looming in all directions. The closest peak that you can see is the Langtang Lirung (over 7,000 m.) and its icefall, which is not too far from the campsite. Kyanging Gompa is a small monastery located on the top of a ridge formed by a glacial moraine of rocks and boulders. Within the Kyanging Gompa area, there are 6-7 lodges and a cheese factory. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 07: Rest Day at Kyanging Gompa
Spend today at your leisure, a very well deserved rest day. After breakfast, you can go for a short walk to the nearby hill called Kyanging Ri (4,700 m.), which gives you a panoramic view of the surrounding snowcapped peaks. Or, alternately, take the time to visit the cheese factory or simply look around the village. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 08: Trek to Lama Hotel (2470m) 06 Hrs
After a wonderful time at Kyanging, the journey continues back on the same trail to the Lama Hotel, a small settlement in the midst of the forest on the bank of the upper Trisuli River. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 09: Trek to Upper Syabru (2720m) 06 Hrs
The trek today follows the same route for an hour. After the bridge, the walk is pleasant, leading you through the bamboo forest until you leave the river down below and start to climb through a landslide area littered with rocks and boulders. You will pass through terraced fields until arriving at Upper Syabru for the overnight stay. Syabru is a village with rows of houses perched on a ridge. It has a monastery near the helipad just a few minutes from the village. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 10: Trek to Singh Gompa / Chandanbari (3250m) 05 Hrs
The walk from here follows the winding uphill trail above the monastery. As you gain altitude, you will also have a superb view of the Ganesh-Himal, Manaslu, Langtang, and Annapurna ranges to the far west. After a few refreshing stops in teahouses en route, the journey continues uphill for an hour, passing from the farmlands into the cool shade of the alpine forest. Once out of the thick forest, you come upon a meadow with one or two teahouses, where you can stop for lunch. From this spot, the walk is gradual, taking you through the pine and rhododendron forest with a view of Dhunche town down below. On arriving at Singh Gompa, you will see a few cheese processing factories. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 11: Trek to Gosainkunda (4380m) 06 Hrs
The trek today offers more spectacular views of an array of snowy peaks, from Langtang and Ganesh Himal to the north and the Manaslu and Annapurna ranges to due west. The walk is gradual for an hour as you enter the forest of oak, pine, and rhododendron. After leaving the cool shade of the forest, you will come to a clearing with one or two teahouses, where you can take a refreshing break and take in the excellent view of the Langtang range. The trail continues uphill, leaving the tree line and lush vegetation for dwarf rhododendron, juniper, and alpine shrubs bushes. The walk then leads you uphill, passing by a few teahouses at Laurabina, where you have more views of the northwestern Himalayan range. Laurabina means “place of walking sticks,” as many pilgrims leave their walking sticks behind when they come to the Laurabina yak pass at 4,165 m., not needing them for the subsequent descent to Gosainkunda. The trail descends from Laurabina for a half an hour before it comes to the first of two ponds, Saraswati Kund. A pleasant short walk from Saraswati Kund brings you to Bhiarav Kund, a pristine glacial pond, where you will camp overnight. You can see many traces left behind by pilgrims. During the auspicious time in and around August during the full moon, as per the Nepali lunar calendar, pilgrims come to Gosainkunda to take a ritual bath at Gosainkund pond. The ritual bath is supposed to deliver the bather unto paradise, and a drink of the holy water eradicates the sins of a hundred lifetimes. The Hindu pilgrims come here to change the holy thread they wear. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 12: Trek to Ghopte Odar (3430m) via Laurebina-La And Bhanjyang (4610m)
From Gosainkund, a gradual walk on the small path along the bank of the lake takes you to a spot near a small creek, where you must climb in between the rocks and boulders. The walk up brings you close to the small pond of Surjakund; the trail from here is more or less gradual, winding up to the last pass of Gosainkunda or, in the east, Laurabina La, the highest spot of this trek. After reaching the top, a long descent brings you to Phedi (bottom), which is situated at 3,630 m. and has one or two teahouses. A lunch stop is usually set here; it will be quite a relief after the long, steep descent. After a nice lunch break, the journey continues towards east to the Helambu region; the trail from here has a few ascents and descents and takes you back through juniper, rhododendron, and other alpine bushes. 3-4 hours of walking will bring you to Ghopte, meaning “overhanging rocks,” as it provides a cozy shelter for the pilgrims. Around this area, there are few small caves formed by overhanging large rocks. Ghopte has two teahouses; level ground for camping is very limited. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 13: Trek to Melamchegaon (2600m) 06 Hrs
After being in the absolute wilderness, the trail from here joins the other path of Helambu that continues on to Kathmandu. Today’s walk is pleasant, taking you through the alpine forest for a hour and then taking you uphill for another hour to Tharepati, situated at 3,510 m. Tharepati is a lovely spot on a high ridge, overlooking the snow-capped peaks of the Jugal Himalayan range to the east and the Ganesh-Manaslu to the west; you can also make out the ridge and the trail coming out of Gosainkund. You can take a lunch break here. After lunch, trek continues downhill from Tharepati towards Melamchigaon for another three hours passed through beautiful forest of oak and rhododendron. The route then descends steeply down a ravine. You will see the vegetation change from large firs, then to oaks, and finally to the famed rhododendron plant. Crossing a stream on a suspension bridge, the trail then ascends to reach the prosperous Sherpa village of Melamchigaon for the overnight stay. This village is famed for its woodcarving; you can see the intricate carvings on the windows of the houses. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 14: Trek to Tarkegyang (2560m) 04 Hrs
The walk from Melamchigaon is gradual for an hour before climbing for another hour to reach Tarkegyang. Tarkegyang is the main village of Helambu region; it is also renowned for its green apples and the woodcarving on furniture and other household items. You will have ample time to visit this lovely village. The homes of the inhabitants are amazingly clean, with polished wooden floors and spic and span utensils. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 15: Trek to Sermathang (2621m) 05 Hrs
After a lovely morning, you head to Sermathang, another important village of the area. The walk leads you on the gradual winding path, offering excellent views of the surrounding landscape. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 16: Trek to Melamchi Pul (840m) 06 Hrs
The last day of the trek is more or less downhill all the way to Melamchi Pul bazaar. The trek passes through mid-hills villages of Kakani and Thimbu before heading towards the subtropical region and its rice paddies. Melamchi Pul is a busy bazaar where people from rural villages come for the market and to catch a bus to Kathmandu. You will have the final camp of this wonderful trek at Melamchi Pul, away from the noise of the busy bazaar. Overnight at teahouse/Lodge
Day 17: Drive Back to Kathmandu via Dhulikhel 06 Hrs
The drive from Melamchi Pul is on a dirt road for few hours until the road join the main Tibet-Nepal Araniko Highway. From here, a pleasant scenic drive of one hour brings you to the mountain resorts at Dhulikhel. Dhulikhel is an old Newar town, situated beyond the eastern rim of Kathmandu Valley en route Tibet and to Jiri, the classic gateway to Everest. As Dhulikhel offers panoramic views of the central and eastern Himalayan ranges, it is one of the most popular tourist spots and has comfortable lodges and resorts. From Dhulikhel, a short, scenic drive of about an hour brings you back to Kathmandu. Overnight at Hotel
Day 18: Free Day in Kathmandu
Today is a free day in Kathmandu. Please let our staff or tour officer know if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for our extension trip white water rafting-Jungle Safari, paragliding or Bungee Jump. Overnight at Hotel
Day 19: Final Departure
Keep the departure time of international flight in mind, and make sure to keep your confirmed air ticket and passport handy! Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from beautiful Nepal.

Useful Information

Tea House Trekking

On the more popular treks in Nepal, particularly in the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions, enterprising villagers have built teahouse lodges, similar to European style alpine lodges offering simple but comfortable accommodation and food. We offer a selection of single/twin sharing rooms in the best available lodges run to a high level of service. We also supply a four season sleeping bag and cotton liner free of charge on our teahouse treks. Hire of other key items if needed can be arranged in advance. During the trek you’ll have 3 meals a day, with a mixture of European and Asian style dishes and large portions. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included.

Fully Provisioned Camping Style Trekking

This type of trek is staffed by a full Sherpa crew including a Sirdar (head man), cook and assistants. Porters, yaks, horses or mules carry your main baggage. It is the Sherpa crew’s job to perform all the camp work, from setting up to providing freshly made meals, to leaving the site clean on departure. We provide twin share dome or a frame sleeping tents, a kitchen tent, mess tent and toilet tent. We also provide tables, chairs or stools, lanterns/candles, thin sleeping mattresses a nd all crockery and cutlery as well as a fully equipped kitchen set up. The Sherpa crew will cook, wash up, and provide hot water for washing and tea and coffee at night and for your wake up call. Food is a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, with lots of choice, freshly prepared. As with teahouse trekking you can expect 3 main meals each day. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included. A few of our teahouse treks involve crossing high passes and necessitate camping for a couple of nig hts. We provide full camping services for these nights including providing four season sleeping bags.

Small Group Travel

Most of our trips, treks and tours are organized on a small group basis, usually with a maximum of 16 persons in a group. On family holidays the maximum number is 20 to allow a number of families to join a group. By keeping numbers small we are able to offer a friendly, personal and high quality service.

Tailor Made Adventures

We offer a very competitive complete tailor made service and are happy to design private charter programs for individuals and for groups as well as to tailor any of our packages to more closely meet your requirements. We have a wealth of experience in helping many clients in designing and planning individual adventures, ranging from romantic breaks to personal challenges, fun draising programs, student programs to extreme adventure expeditions, from low budget to no expense spared. We don’t charge a fortune to tailor make a trip for you and we have plenty of ideas, suggestions and experience we’re happy to share. We’ll work clo sely with you to design your adventure. Our advertised brochure prices will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay but we’ll provide individual quotes based upon your itinerary, requirements, budget and number of people traveling. Let us take care of the research and arrangements for your flights, accommodation, guides, transport, permits, peak fees, equipment requirements, food and all ground handling service for treks, expeditions or tours, using our local knowledge, expertise and contacts. And yo u can get on with enjoying yourself.

Group and Club Organizers

If you are organizing a trip for a group or a club we will offer one free* additional place for every 10 bookings made. You can use this for your own travel, use it to reduce the overall cost of the trip for everyone or perhaps offer it as a fantastic prize for your group members or for a charity. Contact us for more details and for conditions (* permit fees, national park entry fees, airfares and departure taxes not included).

Grading System

In Nepal, the trails often zigzag with plenty of ascents and descents and it is better to think in terms of hours spent walki ng rather than miles covered. A typical day’s walking is from five to seven hours with a number of ascents and descents. This includes a one hour lunch stop, a comfortable pace of walking and time to enjoy your surroundings. We use four grades for our treks, inte nded to give you a general sense of what to expect and to help you choose which adventure will suit you best. Factors such as weather conditions, altitude, fitness level, experience, interests and how you feel on a particular day all contribute to how easy or strenuous you find a trip. If you’re unsure of whether a trek is suitable for you just contact us before making your booking.

Equipment Checklist

A pair of light hiking boots
A pair of sandals
2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
1 medium poly pro shirt
1 pile jacket
1 down jacket
1 woolen hat
A pair of sunglasses
A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
A pair of woolen gloves
One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
Two Reading books (Optional)
One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
A one liter water bottle
A pair of trekking poles
One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one
5 to 20 sleeping bag
Two Tshirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
Two Trekking baggy pants.

Toiletry Items

moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items such as toothbrush, comb, etc.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries, r eading/writing materials, postcards of hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with Nepalese people, safety pins, sewing kit, zip lock bags for small items.

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