Top Ten Treks in the Nepalese Himalaya

Langtang and Helambu

The Langtang and Helambu regions are home to the Himalayan treks closest to Kathmandu. Langtang, lying entirely within Langtang National Park, is the higher mountain hike, whereas Helambu never gets above 10,000 feet. For thin-air lovers, Laurebina pass, which connects these two areas, gets up to 16,800 feet. The Langtang trek is a two-week, slow and elegant climb out and back the length of the Langtang River valley. Through changing climates and vegetation, don't be surprised if you start by wearing shorts and finish slogging through a few inches of snow. To get to Helambu to the south, if you don't want to backtrack, try the long and tough Ganga La traverse through the heart of the park's Jugal Himal. This trail is the only section of either trek where you must be entirely self-sufficient. It eventually drops to Helambu's Melamchi Khola valley. Otherwise, back at the trail head near Dhunche, head to Laurebina Pass and Gosaikund Lake, a pilgrimage site for followers of Shiva. The week-long Helambu hike plunges into the higher temperatures and lush vegetation typical of Nepal's Pahar midlands. You could, if you wished, just walk all the way back to Kathmandu.


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