Gosainkunda and Langtang Trek via Helambu - 15 days

Gosainkunda and Langtang Trek via Helambu - 15 days

The Gosainkunda and Langtang Trek via Helambu is one of those rare adventures that combines cultural experience with an amazing Himalayan trekking adventure. Breathtaking scenery, majestic snow-capped mountains, wildlife encounters, and interesting indigenous cultures—this trip will let you experience all. What's more, the trailhead of the trek lies in the Kathmandu Valley. You won't have to worry about taking a flight to the mountains to reach the trailhead. One of the major highlights of this trek is the accessibility of the trail from Kathmandu.

You will begin your trek from Sundarijal, which lies about an hour's drive from the city, and enter the Shivapuri National Park. For the most part, you will be walking through a dense jungle with no sign of human habitation for miles on end. The first stop on the trail is Chisapani, a ridge top village offering breathtaking views of Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, and Dorje Lakpa.

In the next couple of days, you will be walking along the Helambu trail, stopping at the traditional Hyolmo villages of Kutumsang and Tharepati en route. These villages offer food, lodging and electricity. Not many foreign trekkers choose this route, and you will find the trail almost empty and secluded. The natural environment is pristine and untouched. During spring, the rhododendron forests with their fresh pink and red blooms look wonderful. You come across wild horses grazing in grassy pastures. After crossing the Laurebina Pass, you come across the first of the lakes (Bhairavkunda) surrounding the sacred Gosainkunda Lake.

Hemmed in by brown hills and snow-capped mountains, the turquoise Gosainkunda Lake sits like a precious sparkling jewel. This is a holy lake believed to have been formed when Lord Shiva's trident landed at this place. The lake's water is said to have quenched the thirst of the Hindu god. This is a powerful spot, and many people talk of a profound spiritual experience after spending time at this lake. A full moon festival in summer brings groups of pilgrims and Shamans to this lake for worship and rituals.

After spending a night at Gosainkunda, you descend to the Langtang Region and enter the Langtang National Park. The scenery is gorgeous, and you will walk alongside the thundering Langtang River. On the way, you will stop at teahouses run by Tamang families who migrated from Tibet years ago. 
The dense jungle of Langtang National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation. On this route, you will find troops of gray langurs frolicking around on trees and horses and yaks grazing peacefully in grassy meadows. In the lower reaches, you may have to climb some steep uphills. But after you reach the Langtang Valley, the landscape opens up and the trail becomes even. During the journey, you will walk past the remains of the old Langtang Village, which was destroyed during the 2015 earthquake. Your final destination is Kyangjin Gompa, the last village in the Langtang Region.

Enjoy a day hike to Tsergo Ri, the highest point of your trek, and savor a 360-degree panorama of Langtang Lirung, Gangchenpo, Yala Peak, Langtang Glacier, and the Yubra Icefall. You can also capture a glimpse of the Tibetan Shisapangma, which, at 8,027 meters, is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world. Your trek will end at Syabrubesi, from where you will catch a vehicle and return to Kathmandu by road. It takes around 7-8 hours to reach the city.

The Gosaikunda and Langtang Trek via Helambu is a moderately difficult trek recommended for people with some experience in multi-day trekking and hill hiking. While there's not much of an altitude gain, the days can be long and tiring. On average, you will be walking for about 5 to 6 hours daily. The trail to Gosainkunda has some steep uphills and downhills and is a bit more challenging than the Langtang Valley trail. 

How Much Does This Trip Cost?

The trip's price depends on the type of services chosen by our clients and the group size. The cost of each trip we organize is different because we see travelers as individuals having their own particular needs and preferences.

Get ready for an incredible journey tailored to your interests and preferences, whether you're looking for a budget-friendly adventure or a luxurious getaway. Leave the planning to us as we take care of all the details, ensuring your dream trip becomes a reality. You can relax and focus on creating unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore both the Helambu and Langtang trails and experience incredible Himalayan scenery and cultures
  • Hike through two national parks – Shivapuri National Park and Langtang National Park.
  • Visit Gosainkunda Lake, a spectacular high-altitude lake and a sacred pilgrimage site
  • Immersive cultural experience at Hyolmo and Tamang villages en route
  • Walk close to the majestic Langtang Range which includes several 7000 and 6000-meter peaks 
  • Hike to Tsergo Ri (4984m) and enjoy a 360-degree panorama of glaciers, snow-covered mountains, and the Tibetan mountains

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) and trip preparation
Day 2 Drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal and trek to Chisapani (2,300 m/7,545 ft): 1.5 hour drive and 4/5-hour trek
Day 3 Trek from Chisapani to Kutumsang (2,470m/8,103ft) - 6 -7 hours trek
Day 4 Trek from Kutumsang to Tharepati (3,690m/12,106ft) - 6- 7 hours trek
Day 5 Trek from Tharepati to Phedi (3,730m/12,237ft) - 5-6 hours trek
Day 6 Trek from Phedi to Gosainkunda (4,380m/14,370ft) via Laurebina Pass (4610m) - 6 - 7 hours trek
Day 7 Trek from Gosainkunda to Thulo Syabru (2210m/7250ft) – 5-6 hours trek
Day 8 Trek from Thulo Syabru to Lama Hotel (2480m/8136ft)– 5-6 hours trek
Day 9 Trek from Lama Hotel to Langtang Village (3,430m/11,253ft) – 5-6 hours trek
Day 10 Trek from Langtang Village to Kyangjin Gompa (3,830m/12,566ft) – 3-4 hours trek
Day 11 Hike to Tsergo Ri (4,984m/16,352ft) – 6-7 hours trek
Day 12 Trek from Kyangjin Gompa to Lama Hotel (2480m/8136ft) – 6-7 hours trek
Day 13 Trek from Lama Hotel to Syabrubesi (1,500m/4,921ft) – 4-5 hours trek
Day 14 Drive to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) - 7-8 hours
Day 15 Final Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) and trip preparation

airport-pickup airport-pickup

On your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will meet our guide. He will be waiting outside at the airport's terminal, holding a placard with our name on it. After a warm greeting, he will drop you off at your hotel. Check-in and freshen up. Later in the evening, you will meet your trekking guide, who will brief you about your trek.

If you want to rent or buy trekking gear, you can do so in Thamel. You will find many shops selling and renting out gear. You can leave the stuff that you won't be using during the trek in the hotel's locker room or at our office. Have an early night, as you will have a long day tomorrow. 
Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal and trek to Chisapani (2,300 m/7,545 ft): 1.5 hour drive and 4/5-hour trek

sundarijall-hiking-road sundarijall-hiking-road

Leaving the busy streets of central Kathmandu, you will take the road towards Sundarijal. It takes around an hour and a half to reach this picturesque riverside settlement. Bagmati, the major river flowing in Kathmandu, starts here. Our vehicle will drop you off at the Sundarijal Bus Park. From here, you walk up a flight of steps. On the way, you will encounter the ticket booth of Shivapuri National Park, from where you will have to buy entrance tickets.

The staircase runs alongside the Bagmati River, and you can enjoy the view of the holy river flowing down huge boulders. There are also Hindu shrines built in small caves en route. A waterfall cascades down on the left side of the trail. It's a beautiful walk filled with amazing natural views. Soon you will enter a dense forest and come to a dam. Cross a bridge and take the steep trail to Mulkharkha. You can stop for refreshment at this picturesque settlement. 

Continue walking past terraced paddy fields and rustic farms. Soon you will enter the forest area. The trail is easy at this point, as you walk on even ground with a few gentle ascents. On the way, you walk past an army barrack. The narrow trail now weaves past a dense jungle area. There's no human habitation, and the trail is almost engulfed by the humongous forest. Make a steep descent down a stone staircase and take a gradual climb to finally reach the village of Chisapani. Head to a lodge and take a well-deserved rest. 

Overnight in Chisapani.

Day 3
Trek from Chisapani to Kutumsang (2,470m/8,103ft) - 6 -7 hours trek

Chisapani Chisapani

Today you will walking on the Helambu trail. It's a long way to Kutumsang, so you start your day early. After savoring the beautiful views of Manaslu, Langtang, and Dorje Lakpa, you walk down and join the main trail. There are some gentle ups and downs en route. For the most part, you will be walking on a rough jeep track used by buses, jeeps, and motorbikes. The trail cuts along the side of the hills, offering sweeping views of the verdant hills and the snow-covered Langtang Himal. Stop at Hyolmo villages en route for lunch and tea. After walking past picturesque scenery, you finally reach Kutumsang.

Kutumsang is a charming Hyolmo village located in Helambu. Hyolmos are one of Nepal's indigenous communities, with their own distinct culture and language. They are Tibetan Buddhists and share similar customs with the Sherpas and Tamangs.
The Hyolmos or Yolmos inhabit places that are sacred to Tibetan Buddhists. Helambu is regarded as the sacred hiding place of termas (Buddhist treasures), and many divine Buddhist beings and saints are said to have visited the mountains and caves of this region. Kutumsang has a giant Buddhist chorten in the middle of the village. As tourists are slowly discovering this route, the villagers have built new lodges to accommodate the visitors. You will be spending a night at one of the lodges run by a local family.

Overnight in Kutumsang.

Day 4
Trek from Kutumsang to Tharepati (3,690m/12,106ft) - 6- 7 hours trek

Leaving Kutumsang you take a steep path to Mangengoth. The route is filled with rhododendron trees and if you make this trek during spring season, the trail will be filled with white and red rhododendron flowers. Gnarly trees with their barks covered in moss and lichen line the path.

There are a lot of staircases you will have to cover. After a stiff climb, you will reach Panghu Danda. From here it's a short walk to Mangengoth. On reaching Mangengoth stop for some refreshment at a teahouse before continuing to Tharepati. The trail goes up and down. As you approach Tharepati the trail flattens and you walk on even ground. Have a good rest at a teahouse after reaching Tharepati. 
Overnight in Tharepati.

Day 5
Trek from Tharepati to Phedi (3,730m/12,237ft) - 5-6 hours trek

Tharepati-lantang Tharepati-lantang

After breakfast, you start your trek and hit the trail to Phedi. The trail takes you to an open juniper woodland. The path becomes rocky and you make your way past narrow trails carved on the sides of rocky cliffs. At Ghopte you stop for a brief rest and refreshment. Later continue your journey past small streams and waterfalls.

Before reaching Phedi the trail becomes a bit dangerous as you walk past a landslide-prone zone. The trail is gorgeous as well as risky. Ascend to Phedi after crossing a beautiful waterfall. Phedi lies at an intersection between Ghopte and Ghyangphedi. It's not a village but a resting place with just a few basic teahouses.
At this point, there is less vegetation and the landscape turns barren and rocky. It also becomes a lot colder. You might feel the effects of high altitude, so make sure to take precautions and keep yourself warm and hydrated. 

Overnight in Phedi.

Day 6
Trek from Phedi to Gosainkunda (4,380m/14,370ft) via Laurebina Pass (4610m) - 6 - 7 hours trek

From Phedi, you take a steep ascent to Laurebina Pass. Laurebina is an excellent viewpoint and offers breathtaking views of Langtang Lirung, Manaslu, Himalchuli, and Ganesh Himal. Stop for a while to enjoy the views and have a meal. The pass is decorated with stone chortens and colorful layers of prayer flags.

After a brief rest, continue your walk to Gosainkunda Lake. The trail goes up and then becomes even. The path is carved on the side of a rocky mountain with a sheer drop-off. Metal railings have been erected on the exposed side for safety. Soon you can see the rocky spires of Surya Peak and the turquoise lake of Bhairav Kunda, one of the holy lakes in the area.

 After walking for an hour or two, you reach the Gosainkunda Lake. According to the holy texts of the Hindus, Gosainkunda was formed after Lord Shiva drank poison during the 'sagar manthan' (churning of the nectar) and saved the world from annihilation. After drinking the poison, he was thirsty and wandered in search of water. He threw his trident, which landed at Gosainkunda and formed the lakes. It is believed that Lord Shiva quenched his thirst with the waters of this lake.

The Gosainkunda Lake is a powerful site and is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. During the full moon festival of ‘Janai Purnima’, which falls in the summer season, hundreds of pilgrims congregate on the side of the lake to worship and seek blessings from the gods. The initiation ceremony of new shamans also takes place by the lakeside during the festival.

On reaching Gosainkunda, you head to a teahouse and take a rest. After resting for some time, you can walk around the lake and take pictures. There are shrines dotting the lakeside, and you can seek blessings from the deities. You can also take a dip in the lake if you feel like it. The Hindus believe that your sins get cleansed by taking a dip in this holy lake. 

Overnight in Gosainkunda.

Day 7
Trek from Gosainkunda to Thulo Syabru (2210m/7250ft) – 5-6 hours trek

Gosainkunda Gosainkunda

Leaving Gosainkunda, you descend to Laurebina Pass. From Laurebina, it's mostly downhill all the way to Thulo Syabru. On the way, you cross dense forests of rhododendron and pine. You can stop for a brief rest at Cholangpati. The scenery is mesmerizing, and you can see the Langtang Range appearing closer. This is horse country, and you will see plenty of wild as well as domesticated horses and ponies grazing in the wide meadows and hillside pastures. 
You can also stop briefly at Mulkharka to soak in the refreshing green views of the conifer forest surrounding the village. The trail goes down a thick rhododendron forest (which will be covered in red blooms during March–April). 

To reach Thulo Syabru, you climb down a flight of steep concrete staircases. Thulo Syabru is a large Tamang village with plenty of new teahouses and lodges. Head to one of the modern lodges where a room has been booked for you and take a well-deserved rest. 

Overnight in Thulo Syabru. 

Day 8
Trek from Thulo Syabru to Lama Hotel (2480m/8136ft)– 5-6 hours trek

Head down the village, enjoying views of terraced fields and villagers busy with their chores. You can see the ladies sitting outside, weaving clothes on the traditional loom. It's a steep downhill through deep gorges and narrow trails. 

As you head down, the jungle becomes thicker and you will encounter a lot of wildlife. There will be gray langurs running around and squirrels and red pandas scuttling past the branches of trees. The lush green scenery dotted with silvery waterfalls is really charming. As you head lower you can hear the roar of the Langtang River. There will be river crossings on swaying suspension bridges. 

You can stop for rest and food at Pairo, which has a cluster of teahouses built to serve trekkers walking on this route. The settlement lies right next to the Langtang River. Walking past the dense forest you cross Bamboo and finally reach Lama Hotel. The last leg of the trail has some really steep ascents and descents. On reaching Lama Hotel you can make your way to a teahouse and take a rest. 

Overnight in Lama Hotel.

Day 9
Trek from Lama Hotel to Langtang Village (3,430m/11,253ft) – 5-6 hours trek

The trail will take you deep into the Langtang National Park. Continue walking in the lush forest with the Langtang River flowing alongside the trail. Stop for a brief rest at a place known as "Riverside", where you can walk to the Langtang River and take pictures. The path takes you inside a dense forest covered in moss.

Along the way, you can encounter troops of gray langurs frolicking around in trees, and musk deer. At Ghoda Tabela you will find horses grazing out in the fields. Soon, the forest opens up into a wide valley. The mountain rears up right next to the trail, and you can see the snow-covered spires of the mountains clearly. 

Stop for lunch at the quaint village of Thangshayp. The treeline seems to disappear, and short bushes cover the landscape as you head higher. After walking through a landslide-prone area, you will reach the old village of Langtang, which was completely flattened by a landslide triggered by the massive earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015. The whole village was wiped out, and many locals and tourists lost their lives in this tragic event. A memorial has been built for the victims on the site of the former village.

A little further from the old village is the new Langtang village. Mani walls with Buddhist mantras engraved on the flat stones line the entrance to the village. All the houses are new in this village as they were built after 2015. You will stay at one of the new and comfortable lodges tonight.

Overnight in Langtang Village. 

Day 10
Trek from Langtang Village to Kyangjin Gompa (3,830m/12,566ft) – 3-4 hours trek

near-kyanjin-gompa near-kyanjin-gompa

Leaving Langtang Village you trek towards the last village in the Langtang Valley, Kyangjin Gompa. It is a Tamang village clustered around a Buddhist monastery known as Kyangjin Gompa, after which the village is named. The trail to Kyangjin Gompa is relatively flat and has no steep inclines. You will be walking in a wide valley surrounded by brown hills and snow-covered mountains. Yaks graze on the short grasses that cover the landscape. Mani walls, chortens, and boulders lie scattered along the trail. At Mundu your permits (Lantang National Park) will be checked. 

From Mundu it's a short walk to Kyangjin Gompa. Kyangjin Gompa is a large settlement surrounded by the snow-capped Langtang Lirung, Yala Peak, and the mighty Gangchenpo. Right next to the village are the two hills of Tsergo Ri and Kyangjin Ri, which tourists love to hike. After checking in to a teahouse, you can explore the village and maybe hike to Kyangjin Ri (4773 meters) for a sunset view if you are not too tired. 

Overnight in Kyangjin Gompa. 

Day 11
Hike to Tsergo Ri (4,984m/16,352ft) – 6-7 hours trek

Today will hike to Tsergo Ri, one of the viewpoints located behind the settlement. The hike to Tsergo Ri takes you to a ridge that offers amazing 360-degree views of the Langtang range and the Tibetan peaks. The hike starts early in the morning with you walking to the eastern end of the village. After walking for about 300 meters or so you will come across a junction. Take the left trail leading up to the hill. The other trail heads down to the valley.

As you go higher you walk on a prominent ridge with clear views of the glacial plain that spans the entire valley below. The ridge flattens and the trail forks. You take the higher one going left. The last hundred meters to the summit of Tsergo Ri is covered with boulders. The top is decorated with layers of prayer flags and stone chortens. It's a beautiful place to experience the wonders of nature. You enjoy fantastic views of Langtang Lirung, Yala Peak, Gangchenpo, Ponggen Dokpu, Yangsa Tsenji, and the Yubra Icefall. Further off you can also spot the 8027-meter Tibetan giant Shisapangma gleaming in the horizon.

The trail is non-technical but the high altitude might make your ascent difficult. Make it a point to start your hike early in the morning before the clouds roll in and obscure the views. As the day progresses it tends to get windy and cloudy. You may need crampons if there's snow on the trail. 
After making your descent down to Kyangjin Gompa you can rest at the teahouse or explore the village. There's a monastery, a cheese factory where you can buy yak cheese, and bakeries selling some really good apple pies and cakes. If you feel Tsergo Ri is too difficult for you, you can opt for another easier hill Kyangjin Ri that lies next to Tsergo Ri for your hike. The hike is shorter and much easier and you get to enjoy similar views from the top.

Overnight in Kyangjin Gompa.

Day 12
Trek from Kyangjin Gompa to Lama Hotel (2480m/8136ft) – 6-7 hours trek

Today you start early as you have a long day ahead of you. You will retrace your steps and head down to Lama Hotel. While the distance is long, the trail is easy. Most of the time you will walk on even ground with great views of the Langtang Range. You can spy Himalayan Tahr, musk deer, yaks, and other animals in the wild. By the time you reach Lama Hotel, you will be surrounded by lush greenery again. 

Overnight in Lama Hotel. 

Day 13
Trek from Lama Hotel to Syabrubesi (1,500m/4,921ft) – 4-5 hours trek

Leaving Lama Hotel you take the downward trail to Syabrubesi. It gets warmer as you lose elevation. You walk through the dense jungle, climbing down stone steps and walking past huge boulders. You can constantly hear the roar of the Langtang River as it flows down below the trail.

Cross some more bridges and walk past the popular rest stop known as Bamboo. After getting out of the jungle you finally reach the rough jeep track. Walk on the dirt road and cross the river to reach the town of Syabrubesi. Your Gosainkunda and Langtang Trek via Helambu finally ends in Syabrubesi.

Syabrubesi is a small town with plenty of guesthouses and hotels. This Tamang settlement is the starting point of the Langtang Valley Trek and the Tamang Heritage Trail Trek. Stay overnight at a guesthouse. 

Overnight in Syabrubesi. 

Day 14
Drive to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) - 7-8 hours

You take a long drive back to Kathmandu. The drive is filled with picturesque views of green hills, rivers, waterfalls, and Tamang settlements. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, you can check in at your hotel and have a well-deserved rest. 

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 15
Final Departure

It's time to bid goodbye to Nepal. Our driver will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at the airport at least three hours before your scheduled departure. If you wish to trek to more destinations please let us know. We also operate tours in Bhutan, Tibet, and India.

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