âA fabulous journey on the Tamang Heritage Trail in the shade of high, snow-capped peaksâ
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. Langtang Valley is situated directly north of Kathmandu in the Central Himalayan Region. This area was declared a National Park in 1976 and remains the second largest national park in Nepal, covering a total of 1710 sq. km. of mountainous terrain south of the Nepal-Tibet (China) border.
The area offers a diverse range of cultures. The three main ethnicities living in the area are the Tamangs, the Yolmus, and the Bhotias, who all originated from Tibet, coming to the area beginning about 500 years ago and continuing until about the mid 20th century. In the southern section of the park, there is a small area of sub-tropical chestnut forest and a unique Sal forest. The hill forest (2000-2,600 m.) across the southern slopes of the park consists of Chirr pine, rhododendron, Nepalese alder, and oak. Moving north and higher, the Montane zone (2,600-3000 m.) comprises mainly mountain oak, which changes to silver fir, hemlock, and larch in the lower sub-alpine zone (3000-3,6000 m.). Throughout these zones, several species of rhododendron trees form a twisted and colorful backdrop. It is at 3,600-4000 m. that the juniper and rhododendron shrubs slowly fade into the expansive alpine grassland meadows. Here, the elusive snow leopard is still thought to comb the alpine heights for prey. The park is also well known for its populations of red panda, Himalayan black bear, wild dog, Himalayan thar, ghoral (mountain antelope) and more than 250 species of birds.
Above the tree line, the valley opens up into a classical glacial âUâ shape, bound to the north by the impressive Langtang Himal, beyond which lies Tibet. The major peaks include Ghengu Liru (Langtang II, 6571 m.), Langtang Lirung (7,425 m.), Kimshun (6,745 m.), and Shalbachum (6,918 m.) to the south. The Chimsedang Lekh forms a ridge of peaks, which includes Naya-Kanga (5,846 m.) and Gangchempo, Tilmanâs beautiful Fluted Peak. Beyond is the Jugal Himal, which terminates in Dorjee Lakpa (6,980 m). And to the east, the upper meadows of the Langtang end in a massive mountain wall, forming the frontier with Tibet.