The Langtang range is the closest mountain range to Kathmandu. In fact it is only 6 or 7 hours drive no need to fly. Although the mountains in this area are not the highest in the country, there are several over 6000 m, and the views are magnificent! This valley, also known as the ‘valley of glaciers’ is the perfect introduction to trekking in the Himalayas in its close proximity to Kathmandu, the fact you can do this trek in eight days from start to end, the incredible views and the interesting Tibetan Buddhist culture of the local villages and people who you will meet on the way.
Being that it is not as well known as some other treks, you are less likely to meet many other trekkers on the trails. There are plenty of teahouses on the route which makes it possible to undertake this trek without a guide. But please see the section below on trekking with or without a guide. This area was badly impacted by the earthquake in 2015 but the teahouses have been rebuilt since then.
The highest point on the Langtang valley trek is 5000 m at Tserko Ri, where the sunrise is simply out of this world! But in general, you are not trekking above 4000 m. Passing through Langtang national park there is plenty of wonderful flora and fauna, including the renowned rhododendron forests. The mountains you will see on this trek include Dorje Lakpa (6990 m), Langtang Ri (6370 m) and Langtang Lirung (7245 m).
If you wish to trek longer, you can extend your time in Langtang by adding a trip to Gosaikunda Lake or Helambu to your itinerary.
With no airport and no tourist bus, the only way to get to the start of the Langtang trek is to take a local bus or hire a private jeep. The views on the way from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi are pretty interesting though. You will drive along the Trishuli River, passed local villages and through the foothills.
Kathmandu To Syabrubesi By Local Bus
This will take around 6 to 7 hours and give you an authentic experience! And may be one you don’t want to repeat on the way back! But it is the cheaper option.
The bus leaves from Maccha Pokhari near the Gongabu New Bus Park and will cost you approximate USD 5 per person.
With several army checkpoints on the way, you have your passport and other permits ready if requested to show them.
Kathmandu To Syabrubesi By Private Jeep
By jeep it should take you around 5 to 6 hours to reach Syabrubesi and they can pick you up from your hotel so no need to make your way to the bus park early in the morning.
Most jeeps will take up to seven people, and cost around USD 160 to USD 180.
Trekking Permits For Langtang Valley
Two permits are required for the Langtang valley trek the Langtang National Park Entry Permit and a TIMS.
Langtang National Park Entry Permit
The national park permit will cost you USD 30 per person with no time restriction ie you can stay in Langtang as long as you wish with the same permit. But note it is valid for a single entry only. You can get your permit in Kathmandu or at the checkpoint on the trail. No photographs are required.
Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) Card
There are two types of TIMS Card depending if you are travelling with a guide or travelling without a guide. The cost is different too so remember to tell them when you go for your TIMS. This must be purchase in Kathmandu. Should you be trekking with an agency, the agency will organise and pick up the permit for you. One photograph is required.
If you are trekking without a guide, note that two photographs are required. The cost is different too, USD 20 for independent trekkers and USD 10 for those trekking with a guide.
You can buy your TIMS from the NTNC Office at the Nepal Tourism Board on Exhibition Road (15 minutes walk from Thamel). If you are travelling without a guide, you need to go yourself (And cannot buy for your travelling buddy), fill in the form, and pay the fee.
Note: You may see some information saying TIMS is not required for Langtang. It is true that after the earthquake in 2015 it was not necessary to have at TIMS in Langtang. However, the checkpoints were reestablished at the end of 2019 and it is now necessary to once again have at TIMS card to trek in Langtang.
Should You Go With Or Without A Guide?
While you are allowed by the Government of Nepal to trek in Langtang independently, I strongly suggest you take a guide. Or at least buddy up with other trekkers do not go alone. Why? Well, despite this being a short and moderate trek, there have been cases in the past when independent trekkers went missing in Langtang. Here are links to some of these missing trekkers:
If you don’t want to go with a guide or porter, then please try to find others who are also trekking in this area and go with them. It’s always safer to trek with others as even a simple injury can become life threatening or heading down the wrong path can become a serious problem in the Himalayas. There are online platforms to find trekking partners, such as Trekking Partners.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Do The Langtang Valley Trek?
Overall, the best time to trek in the Langtang valley is mid March to end of May and then again in mid September to the end of December. In the Spring the trails will be full of blooming flowers which enhances the experience. Remember that September to December will be a busier time on the trails as it is peak season in this region.
While you can trek these trails in the winter as there are no high passes to cross I do not recommend you go in winter.
I also do not recommend going in the monsoon. This is a time of landslides in the Langtang Region because of the rains. So avoid going in June, July and August.
Langtang Valley Trek Itinerary
This trek is eight days long, which included one day driving to the start of the trek and one day driving back to Kathmandu so six hiking days. The trek also loops back so it is the same way in as out. On average you will be walking 6 to 7 hours a day through moderate trekking conditions.
Please see the itinerary below:
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Langtang Trek Map
I recommend you buy a printed map to take along on this trek. In the meantime, to assist in your planning stage, you can use this online map.
Food And Accommodation On The Langtang Valley Trek
This is a teahouse trek so expect the lodges to have only basic accommodation. Note, there are no ‘upgrades’ or 4 start trekking lodges as can be found in some locations in Everest Region. You can expect a tiny room, probably with twin beds, and a shared bathroom. You cannot book your accommodation online so if you are travelling without a guide, you will have to accept what is available at the end of the day.
Most of the teahouses have a wide variety of food available. The options for vegetarians are good, probably better than non veg items.
Langtang Trek Cost
So how much will it cost to trek in the Langtang Region?
Naturally it depends on the number of people in your group and the services included in your package. But to trek through an agency can range from USD 500 to USD 1200.
To trek independently, could be as cheap as USD 300, roughly broken down as follows:-
- Permits USD 50
- Local transport USD 10
- Food and accommodation approximately USD 30 per day
This of course is the very basic cost. Not allowing for extras at dinner time beer for example! So it’s always good to carry a little extra cash!
If you have little time or want to add another trek to your Nepal trekking itinerary, Langtang is ideal. It’s also a good option if you don’t want take a domestic flight. As mentioned, it is possible to do this trek without a guide. But I do not recommend you travel completely alone. Find a friend to go with you! The altitude is not so high as on some other treks, but the mountains, landscape and villages are just as stunning!