The Helambu trek: you’ll find the trailhead to one of Nepal’s best-hidden gems.
The Helambu trek is a perfect short trek nearby Kathmandu Valley. Despite being so close to Kathmandu, the Helambu region remains relatively un-spoilt. Besides the hyolmo culture of high mountain people, the company of green rhododendron and bamboo forests, majestic waterfalls, and the snow-capped Himalayas make the trek one of the most diverse treks near Kathmandu.
The great Himalayan scenery at the border with Tibet and monasteries make a trek to the region an enthralling experience. The people living in the highlands of the Langtang region are certainly the Nepalis, being the descendant of Tibetan origin, they still look like Tibetans.
The Helambu Trek begins from Sundarijal, an hour’s drive from Kathmandu. After about an hour’s walk, we enter Shivapuri National Park. Continuing along the Chisopani, Kutumsang, Thadepati, and Sermathang, the trek ends at the Melamchi Pul Bazar in the Helambu region.
The trek passes through thick mountain forests with great Himalayan views and toward the end of the trip, you will also trek through some beautiful rice terraces and a number of splendid Buddhist monasteries.
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu
Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalayas, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.
Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal, Trek to Chisopani
After breakfast at your hotel in Kathmandu, you'll be picked up by private car and transferred to the village of Sundarijal (about an hour's drive). From Sundarijal, you'll begin the trail, which climbs along the water pipeline that supplies Kathmandu with drinking water. The first part of the trail passes through a military checkpoint, the Shivapuri Watershed, and Wildlife Reserve.
Continue uphill through a forest and you'll begin to see Tamang people, inhabitants of the Mulkharka villages. The trail climbs upward through rhododendron and oak forests and provides great bird-watching opportunities. You'll then come to the Borlang Bhanjyang pass, which goes downhill to Chisopani—you're home base for the night. On a clear day, the views are excellent from here allowing you to see the snowcapped peaks of Annapurna and Everest.
Day 3: Trek from Chisopani to Kutumsang (2446m/8022ft): 7 hours
After taking our morning breakfast, we head for a journey to Kutumsang. Our today's trek starts with decent crossing meadows and fields. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Langtang mountains. Thus we arrive at Pathi Bhanjyang and Gul Bhanjyang. From Gul Bhanjyang, the trail climbs the ridge to another pass. Another downhill trek from the pass takes us to Kutumsang.
Day 4: Trek from Kutumsang to Thadepati (3650m/11972ft): 6 hours
We climb above Kutumsang on a steep trail mostly through fir and rhododendron forest where there are no permanent settlements. The trek continues to Yurin Danda with magnificent views of the Himalayas. Finally, we arrive at Tharepati for our overnight stay.
Day 5: Trek to Tarkeghyang (2560m/8397ft): 6 hours
Today we head for Tarkeghyang. During the early part of the trek, the trail descends until we cross the Melamchi Khola. Then we trek up to Tarkeghyang passing through Sherpa settlements. Enjoy the Himalayan peaks ofter appear before you glistening in the sunshine. Discover the village and its monastery which is one of the oldest and biggest monasteries in the region. The village is more popularly known as Helambu since most of the inhabitants belong to the Helmu caste.
Day 6: Trek to Sermathang (2,610m/8,563ft): 3/4 hr
Since, we do not gain altitude that much today, it's going to be a comparatively easy walk today. Wet forests, streams, and waterfalls. The trail makes a sweep around the wide valley end between Parachin and the Sherpa village of Gangyul. From Gangyul, we arrive at Sermathang. Discover the village. There is also a Buddhist monastery at the highest point of the village.
Day 7: Drive from Sermathang to Kathmandu: 4-5 hr drive
Today after breakfast you will be picked up by a driver to drive back to Katmandu. After reaching Kathmandu we have the rest of the day off to rest or do some souvenir shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 8: Depart Kathmandu
It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a final stroll through the narrow alleys and temples, and some final souvenir shopping. A driver will be waiting for you at your hotel to take you to the airport for your return flight home. It's best to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.