Helambu Trek is a short pleasant trek in the Langtang region of Nepal. It is an ideal choice for those who wish to do a low-altitude trek in a brief time. Not only that, the Helambu trekking route is far less crowded than the Everest and Annapurna treks. This is one of the convenient treks in the Langtang Region, and it lies northeast of Kathmandu valley. Despite being close to the capital, the nature and culture in the region are well-preserved and untouched by modernity. The tranquil route, incredible mountain views, friendly people, and fantastic weather are the main attractions of the Helambu Trek.
The alluring Helambu trail also links with the popular Langtang Gosaikunda trail. This one-week trek is an excellent combination of the spectacular view of the Langtang Himalayan range and the unique Hyolmo culture. During the walk, you'll come across some notable Sherpa and Tamang settlements like Chisapani, Trakeghyang, Sermanthang, Melamchigaon, etc., of the Helambu region.
The trekking journey commences from Sundarijal, an hours' drive from Kathmandu. After walking for about an hour, you enter Shivapuri National Park. Surrounded by the lush green hills offers picturesque terrain which is revitalizing and blissful. The trail continues to Chispani, one of the best viewpoints of the trip. You'll enjoy the utterly beautiful sight of snow-capped peaks, including Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, Rolwaling, Jugal Himal, Dorje Lakpa, and Gauri Shankar.
Further, the fascinating Helambu path comprises Langtang National Park, so you'll get a great chance to encounter some rare birds and animals. This region is home to Red Pandas, Himalayan Thar, Ghoral, Rhesus Monkey, Himalayan Black Bear, and Langur. On the way, you'll visit many ancient Buddhist monasteries, gompas, chortens, and mani walls offering spiritual ambiance.
Leaving Chispani, continue the trek to Thadepati (3,650m), the trek's highest point. The route encompasses cascading waterfalls, dense forest of bamboo and rhododendron, and terraced rice fields. The trail also goes through several Sherpa settlements, such as Gul Bhanjyang and Kutumsang.
Afterward, enjoying the incredible Himalayan scenery from Thadepati descends to Melamchi Gaun. Here you'll cross the Melamchi Khola and get to Tarke Gyang, another Sherpa settlement. This village is well-known as Helambu as most of the people here belong to the Helambu caste. Next, you'll trek to Sermathang, another picturesque village through Ghangyul and Chumik. Lastly, head towards Melamchi Pul Bazaar and drive to Kathmandu.
Overall, the tranquil trails of the Helambu route offer some of the most unexplored exquisiteness of nature. Finally, the memorable 8 days- Helmabu Trek concludes with a flight back to your home country.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) and Trip Preparation|
|Day 2||Drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal (1,460m/4,789ft) and Trek to Chisapani (2,300m/7,544ft) - 1 hour drive, 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 3||Trek from Chisapani to Kutumsang (2,445m/8,020ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 4||Trek from Kutumsang to Thadepati (3,650m/11,972ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 5||Trek from Thadepati to Tarke Gyang (Helambu) (2,560m/8,397ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 6||Trek from Tarke Gyang to Sermathang (2,610m/8,561ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 7||Trek from Sermathang to Melamchi Pul Bazaar and Drive to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - 3 to 4 hours trek, 2 to 3 hours drive|
|Day 8||Final Departure from Nepal or Extension Trip|
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A representative from Third Rock Adventures will pick you up from the airport once you arrive in Nepal. After completing your custom formalities, drive to the respective hotel. After the check-in process, you'll visit our head office for a trip briefing. Later you can stroll around Thamel or prepare for the upcoming trip.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Early morning, drive to Sundarijal, a starting point of the trek. You set off the trail up towards Chispani village. It is one of the picturesque villages on the route offering charming mountain scenery and natural surroundings. On the way, you pass through the small hydroelectric plant and enter into Shivapuri National Park.
The first settlement you come across during the trek is Mulkharka, a small Tamang settlement. After walking uphill for few hours through the forested area, you reach Chispani. The village offers a pleasant climate with enticing views of Annapurna, Langtang, and the Jugal Himalayan range. The rest of the time, you can explore around the village interact with locals.
Overnight stay in Chispani village.
After enjoying a hearty breakfast at Chispani, you move towards Kutumsang. On the way, you see small water streams, rivers, and meadows. At first, you reach small Brahmin and Chhetri village of Pati Bhangjyang. From here, you continue your trek to Chipling and make gently ascend on a stone staircase to the top of the Jhogin Danda.
En route, you'll get a tremendous opportunity to stop over and enjoy the snow-clad mountain views. Today's trail is well-accompanied by various ancient monasteries, mani stones, and chortens to Kutumsang. Later the trail descends through the forest to the Tamang village of Gul Bhanjyang. Then following the uneven rocky terrain, you reach Kutumsang.
Overnight stay in Kutumsang.
You are heading to a higher altitude and more remote part of the trek. Start with an uphill climb through pine, rhododendron, and fir forest. Along the way to Kyola Bhanjyang, you'll see a stunning long waterfall. After a short rest, you'll continue your hike to Thadepati crossing Mangengoth and few other Tamang settlements.
Passing through several streams and climbing the steep hills, you reach Yurin Danda. Enjoy the panoramic mountain scenery of the Langtang and Helambu region. Enjoying an uncrowded and pleasant trail, you continue the hike to Thadepati pass, which is the highest point of the Helambu Trek. It is an excellent vantage point for mountain views, including Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar, Jugal, and Langshisa. Besides, this pass is also the main junction that connects the trail to the sacred Gosaikunda Lake.
Overnight stay in Thadepati village.
Leaving behind Thadepati, you'll head to Tarke Gyang. Initially, you descend to a small tributary of Melamchi River. Then you hike through the oak and rhododendron forest towards Melamchi Gaon.
After crossing the Melamchi river, enjoying the majestic mountain panorama, you reach Tarke Gyang village. It is also known as Helambu, and Hyolmo people inhabit this place. Situated just below the beautiful Ama Yangri Peak, Tarke Gyang is the largest village on the Helambu trekking route. Explore the quaint village and experience the warm hospitality of the Hyolmo people.
Overnight stay in Tarke Gyang.
Begin your trek with a short walk through a forested area. You'll pass through streams and waterfalls before you reach Gangyul Sherpa village. Today is a comparatively easy walk as you'll lose altitude with downhill slopes. En route, you encounter some small chortens or stupas too. Then following the path along the beautiful green hills and natural vegetation, you arrive at Sermathang village.
Sermathang is another pleasant village of the Hyolmo people, the local tribe of the Helambu region. You can visit old and beautiful monasteries and learn about the Hyolmo culture and traditions. You can spend some quality time interacting with locals and be familiar with their lifestyles.
Overnight stay in Sermathang.
After spending a wonderful time at Sermathang, you'll descend to Melamchi Pul Bazaar. From here, walk downhill to Melamchi Bazaar on a forested trail. Crossing several streams and cascading waterfalls, you reach Bazaar. Many different ethnic groups, with the majority of Sherpa people, inhabit this main Bazaar.
After a short break, you drive back to Kathmandu on the bumpy roads viewing beautiful scenery of green hills and free-flowing rivers. Upon arrival at Kathmandu, you'll check in the hotel and take some rest. Later you can stroll around the Thamel to buy souvenirs or celebrate your trek success in any of the fine restaurants.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Finally, the Helambu Trek ends with a drive to the airport for your departure flight. Furthermore, if you wish, we could also arrange other top adventurous activities for you in Nepal and other neighboring countries like India, Bhutan, and Tibet.
The best time for Helambu Trek is spring (March to May) and autumn season, where the trail becomes captivatingly beautiful. However, the best thing about the trek is that it's accessible throughout the year. Basically, in these seasons, the weather is pleasant with a stable temperature. The skies are clear, and you'll get the best mountain views throughout the trek.
Likewise, the winter (December to February) season is also a good time for this trek. You'll get utterly beautiful mountain views during your entire trekking journey. In addition, Helambu is a low-altitude trek so that you won't experience a lot of colds even in wintertime.
In Nepal, summer (June to August) is also the monsoon season. So, the weather is hot and wet at times. During the summer, while doing a trek, you might encounter some rainfall. But with appropriate gear such as a raincoat, waterproof jacket, you can complete the trek.
The difficulty level of the Helambu Trek is an easy to moderate level. Throughout the trekking journey, you need to walk a maximum of 6-7 hours per day. Also, on some trekking days, you'll walk for just 3-4 hours per day. The number of trekking days is less, and altitude gains are also relatively low. Thus, the trek demands an average level of fitness with sound health.
Besides, the trekking routes are also well-defined and established. This short trek does not require any trekking experience. Thus, this trekking route is suitable for beginners as well as experienced people. However, some physical training, such as cardio exercise, swimming, cycling, etc., would help to enhance physical strength.
Generally, altitude sickness or AMS is an adverse health effect caused by low amounts of oxygen at high altitudes. AMS commonly occurs after you exceed the elevation of 3,000m above sea level. The highest point of the Helambu Trek lies at 3,650m. However, you'll spend a short period at that altitude, so the possibility is minimal. But it is always wise to stay precautious while trekking in such high altitudes. Staying hydrated, walking slowly, getting adequate rest, and acclimatizing your body will help you avoid such complications.
The packing list for the Helambu Trek depends upon the season, weather conditions, number of trekking days, and area you are trekking in. Proper clothing, including footwear, headwear is essential for the trek. Also, you need to carry some accessories, toiletries, and a first aid kit, including essential medication. Make sure that you don't miss any essential items for your trekking in Nepal.
Most importantly, trekking season determines the packing list for the Helambu Trek. If you plan to trek in the Autumn or Spring season, you can pack lightly with all necessary trekking gears and accessories. However, if you are going to do on Winter or Summer season, you need to pack warm clothes and rain covers. Lastly, pack wisely and make sure not to miss any essential clothing, accessories, gear, etc.
Helambu Valley trek is one of the best tea house treks in Nepal. You'll find plenty of comfortable teahouses and homestays throughout the trail. Most of the teahouses offer cozy beds, good meals with basic amenities. Also, you'll find some tea houses or homestays offering basic twin rooms with attached or shared bathrooms. Some lodges might offer a hot shower with additional charges.
Similarly, most of the teahouses on the Helambu trekking route offer a similar food menu. But you'll get to taste the authentic Nepalese food of that particular area. In this trekking region, most of the teahouses serve vegetarian food. You can enjoy Dal Bhat Set, including rice, lentils, vegetables, pickles, etc. Some lodges may offer western food such as pizza, french fries, noodles, etc.
The total cost of the trek depends upon several factors, such as the number of trekking days, trekking seasons, transportation, and route options. However, the Helambu Trek is short; the trek's value is relatively cheaper than the other treks in Nepal. For details cost and service contact us.
Although Helambu is a short and easy trek, it is advisable to have travel insurance. It would be best to have basic insurance covering trip air ambulance, cancellation, medical costs, theft, accidents, and natural disasters. The travel insurance cost depends upon the insurance company you choose.
The most popular option for starting the Helambu trek area is to drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal. As your preference, you can either take a local bus or private car, taxi, and jeep to Sundarijal. You can reach Sundarijal with an hour's drive if you don't encounter a traffic jam. The drive is scenic as you get to enjoy the countryside of Nepal. Helambu Trek covers approximately 75 kilometers from Kathmandu Valley.
A trekking permit is essential for any trekking in Nepal. Helambu trail lies within the Langtang region, so the permits for the Helambu Trek are similar to the Langtang trek permit. Along with TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card (USD 10 per person ), you need two different permits, ie. Langtang National Park Entry Permit (USD 33 per person ) and Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park Entry Permit (USD 11 per person ).
Along the Helmabu route, the most teahouse has electric power to charge your mobile phone, camera, or other electronic devices. Some places offer solar system power too. However, you might experience a few power cuts. So, it is wise to carry a power bank or solar charger.
During the Helambu Trek, you'll get internet services at various teahouses with some extra charge. There are many options to get connected with the internet, including WIFI or mobile data. So, you can easily contact your family and friends during the trek.
Guides are good companions and will help you in every aspect of the Helambu Trek. They will guide you throughout the trial regarding accommodation, food, transportation, permits, and luggage. Not only that, but they will also assist you in every situation and help you with any emergencies.
In the same way, Porter will also help you throughout the trekking journey by carrying your backpack. You can bring your small day pack with your camera, water bottle, or rain jacket. So, enjoy the trek and have a pleasant trekking experience without any burden of a heavy backpack.
images : yhila | flickr