The green pastures of Langtang valley offer one of the most beautiful treks in the mountainous region of Nepal. The remoteness of this region has lured trekkers from around the world and this is fast becoming a sought-out destination. The trail is notable for being more rocky and including greater risks than some others – but what reward without some risk? 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.
- 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 of magnificent 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 a great deal about their culture. You’ll come across many domestic animals like yaks and sheep grazing in the fields. Many birds and butterflies can also be seen in these forests; and in addition to rhododendron trees, there are junipers and coniferous trees as well.
Trekking in the Langtang Valley
The Langtang trek is one of the shorter trips right to the heart of the Himalayas and is close to the 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 pickup and dropoff 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 of this wonderful trek. Each stop is at a higher elevation, which enables us to acclimatise properly in order to reach our final destination.
The trek can be taken by anyone of moderate to reasonable fitness. The route passes through some of the most remote parts of the Langtang National Park which are also considered difficult. The Langtang National Park stretches over 1700 sq.km, and was the first of the Himalayan National Parks. However, the area is still lightly inhabited by people so the trekking trail has not been used as often. So if you’re looking for a solitary and peaceful trek to the Himalayas, then take this wonderful trek to Langtang Village.
You reach the confines of the Himalayas and its remote villages while gazing upon beautiful mountain vistas, and the views keep on getting better. In fact, the villages themselves look uniquely picturesque amidst the grandeur that 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.
Flora and Fauna in the valley
The Langtang Trek takes you through two drastic changes in terrain in the Himalayas. The transition from a grassy lowland to a much rockier alpine landscape at high altitude can be observed. Some areas are almost desert like beside the Langtang River. The trees growing abundantly along the trail include mostly Rhododendron, Laurel, Sal, Blue Pine, and Nepalese Alder. The upper region consists of Juniper and Rhododendron shrubs until the landscape becomes 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 4 years. 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 suspension bridges you need to walk to cross rivers, 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. The trek is a little tough and challenging, but it’s worth it!
The trek has somewhat of a dangerous reputation, but this is hardly borne out by the facts. 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, and are subsequently repaired. Occasionally it is impossible to walk further and we have to find an alternative, but more usually 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.