The green pastures of Langtang valley offer one of the most beautiful treks in the mountainous region of Nepal. The remoteness has lured many trekkers from around the world and is fast becoming a sought-out destination. However, many have mentioned that the trek is on a dangerous trail and should be avoided. But what reward without some risk, right? This trek gives the best chance to be as close as you can get with the mountains. With some great viewpoints along a stream flowing endlessly and finally Kyanjin Ri’s viewpoint. All of this and more without any climbing involved. Isn’t it a bargain? Let us discuss a few things.
- Trekking in the Langtang Valley
- Flora and Fauna in the valley
- Why is the Langtang Trek difficult and dangerous?
The trek takes place around 30km from the busy city of Kathmandu in Nepal. Though the distance is not much, the difference in landscape and terrain is really vast. If Kathmandu is a bustling city then the Langtang region is just the opposite. With a landscape with captions of hills and views of the peaks, it’s a perfect location for a wonderful trek. You will walk through quaint forests and hilly and rocky roads near the Langtang river. There are large villages with several settlements on the trail leading to the village of Langtang and Kyanjin Gumba.
From the beginning of the trek at Syabrubesi itself, the views of the hills standing close by can be seen. The Langtang valley trek can also be extended towards Gosaikunda Lake and Helambu Region from Langtang village. The village is mostly inhabited by Tamangs of the Himalayas and you can learn many things about their culture. You can come across many domestic animals like yaks and sheep grazing in the fields. Many birds and butterflies can also be seen in these forests but it’s hard to come across the animals here. Apart from rhododendron trees, there are junipers and coniferous trees as well.
Trekking in the Langtang Valley
Langtang trek is one of the shortest trips right to the heart of the Himalayas and close to Langtang Range. The trip promises to be an exciting trek filled with beautiful scenery and strange terrain in a protected area. The trip starts at Syabrubesi village, the pick and drops point for all mountaineers going towards Langtang. The route gradually ascends to take us higher and closer to the mountains. The presence of Langtang Khola (river) remains through most parts of this wonderful trek. Each stop is at a higher elevation, which seems like hurdles before reaching the ultimate destination.
The trek can be taken by anyone who has at least one good trekking experience at high altitudes. The route passes through some of the most remote parts of the Langtang National Park which are also considered difficult. The Langtang National Park stretched over 1700 sq.km was the first of the Himalayan National Parks too. However, the area is still lightly inhabited by people so the trekking trail has not been used as often. So whoever wants a solitary and peaceful trek to the Himalayas, can take this wonderful trek to Langtang Village.
You reach the confines of the Himalayas and its remote villages while gazing upon beautiful mountain vistas. Each stops you make will ease your hunger for the best views in the Himalayas. In fact, the villages themselves look uniquely picturesque amidst such grandeur only Mother Nature can offer. Ironically, this beautiful valley was discovered by a person following the trail taken by his yak, thus the name. It’s a true story. Lang means “yak” and tang means “follow” in Tibetan. Imagine what may have been missed for much later had he not lost his yak to the National Park.
Flora and Fauna in the valley
Langtang Trek takes you through two drastic changes in terrain in the Himalayan region. The transition from a grassy lowland to a much rockier alpine landscape at high altitudes can be observed. Some areas are almost desert like beside the Langtang River. The trees growing abundantly along the trail includes mostly Rhododendron, Laurel, Sal, Blue Pine, and Nepalese Alder. The upper region consists of Juniper and Rhododendron shrubs until the landscape takes a more alpine grassland meadow. Other species of plants growing in these areas include silver fir, hemlock, and larch.
The expansive meadows on this trek are homes to many hoofed animals like Musk Deer and Himalayan Tahr. Animals like Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Ghoral and Wild Dogs can also be found in this region. There are a few places you come across a Baboon or some monkeys as well. Several species of birds and butterflies can also be seen soaring above the Langtang Valley. Birds such as the Impeyan Pheasant, Ibis Bill, and SNow Patridge are common in this region. Domestic animals like Himalayan Yak and Mules are also common in the villages.
Why is the Langtang Trek difficult and dangerous?
In 2015, the devastating incident of the Earthquake in Nepal caused major damage, especially in the Langtang Region. The disaster took away many lives and homes in several villages located in the region. As a result, Langtang Valley was closed for trekking for almost 4years. But the Trekking trail is open and the tea houses have started accepting guests as well. Many owners who lost their lodges and restaurants are rebuilding to accommodate more trekkers coming that way. The trail had also been damaged as a result of the earthquake, but they have recreated a different path now.
Now the reason why they say Langtang Trek is difficult is because of the trail through which you need to travel. Part of the trail takes us to small dirt tracks big enough to take a mule or even a yak. There are a few suspensions bridges you need to walk to cross a river to reach another hill. While some locations have smaller streams and handmade wooden bridges to cross. The trail also takes a rocky turn as you move higher before reaching the village of Langtang. But you can overcome this trekking trail if you have the physical strength and capability to carry yourself this terrain. They may sure seem like a hurdle, but your hard work is rewarded with the most spectacular and picturesque views.
People call this expedition a dangerous trek as well. Few of the locations you pass are prone to occasional landslides. And these unforeseen landslides usually damage the trekking trail covering a large portion of the trail with its sediments. Sometimes it is impossible to walk beyond but sometimes it is possible to walk around the rubble. However, all the villages you reach are safe from landslides and do not pose a threat to the trekking journey. Apart from that, the trail is well maintained and it only takes a physically fit body to complete the journey.