Although Langtang region may not be able to rival the 8000m+ towering peaks of Khumbu (Everest) region, it surely makes up for it in its well-conserved haven of biodiversity. Featuring Helambu (just beyond the North-east rim of the Kathmandu Valley, running North-South) and Langtang (running East-West within a stone’s throw of the Tibet border) valleys connected by an intervening ridge, this area which sits close to the bustling capital of Kathmandu is a surprisingly untouched wilderness just waiting to be explored. The 1710 square kilometre parcel of land including a 420 square kilometre buffer zone was established in 1976 as the first Himalayan national park and encompasses Nuwarkot, Rasuwa and Sindhulpalchok Districts.
Langtang National Park located in the Central Himalayan region is bordered by Dorje Lakpa range (6988m) which bisects East to West, Langtang Lirung (7245m) imposing the South-east boundary, Qomolangma National Nature Reserve (Tibet) rounding off the Northern and Eastern hem, Trisuli and Bhote Khosi rivers forming a barrier to the West and the Kathmandu Valley which is 34 kilometres to the South of Langtang perimeter taking care of the Southern entry point. Moreover, for the curious, the name “Langtang” which translates literally as “lang” (yak) and “tang” (to follow) was conceived by the story of a Buddhist monk who according to legend followed a runaway yak into the rich pastures
Highlights of this truly unforgettable paradise include the Langtang Valley which is enclosed by snow-capped mountains and features relatively untouched Tamang culture (known for farming, cattle breeding and weaving as well as their rich Tibetan heritage), the high altitude sacred lake of Gosainkunda (4300m) in the South-West, Helambu, Kyanjin Gompa (3740m) with hilltop views, Sing Gompa for delicious local yak cheese made in a factory there, as well as summits of Langtang Lirung (7245m) in the North; Gang Chhenpo (6388m) and Naya Kanga Ri (5846m) to the south and Dorje Lakpa (6988m) at the East of the Langtang Valley. Along the way you will be entertained by the spectacular views of glaciers, flora and fauna and glimpses of towering giants such as Manaslu and Ganesh Himal which are accentuated by the magnificent sunrises and sunsets. Likewise, bird watchers will not be disappointed by the fantastic array of bird life including the colourful danphe, Nepal’s national bird that can be viewed in all areas of the park.
“Langtang” derives much of its spectacular beauty and rich biodiversity from it being the meeting point of Indo-Malaysian and Paleartic eco-zones. In fact, with 14 different vegetation types in 18 ecosystem types, ranging from upper tropical forests below 1,000 m altitude to alpine scrub and perennial ice, Langtang is an ideal choice for those who want to experience it all. For the nature lover you will be rewarded with sub-tropical vegetation featuring Sal (Shorea robusta) and rhesus monkeys in the South; hill forests (2000m – 2600m) comprising the brilliant blooms of rhododendron as well as Nepalese Alder and Chirpine; oak forests featuring the rare old growth of Larch (Larixnepalensis), silver fir, and hemlock contrasted with a wide variety of flowering rhododendron undergrowth. As you ascend further up to 4000m and beyond you will be greeted by the gnarled, bonsai-like forms of Rhododendron companulatum, birch and silver fir that persevere up to the tree line and then fade into juniper shrubs as you climb into alpine grassland meadows. In the high meadows you will get the chance to see musk deer, Himalayan tahr who use the area as their Summer feeding habitat. Red panda, Himalayan black bear, snow leopards and ghoral also make their home here… if you are really lucky you might even get to glimpse or take a photo of these amazing creatures!
Treks in the Langtang National Park comprise moderate to difficult grades and offer seasonal changes which are dominated by the South-west Summer monsoon patterns. Most of the annual rainfall occurs between June to early September so the best times to experience optimal weather are late September to November and late March to May when the days are warm and sunny and the nights are pleasantly cool with some snowfall at higher altitudes. December to mid-March offers clear blue skies however, nights are pretty cold. At Down to Earth Adventure, we offer a range of treks that maximise amazing Langtang adventures throughout the year. Our most popular trek is definitely Langtang Valley Trek due to its compact nature and relatively easy trekking grade. However, we also offer the Langtang Valley with Gosainkunda Lake Trek which provides you the chance to also visit a holy lake with water considered sacred by Hindus and Buddhists due to it being the abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri. Indeed, Gosainkunda Lake is majestic at all times of the year, however, in Winter this frozen lake is simply breathtaking and well worth considering despite the additional level of difficulty that trekking in Winter brings. A trek in Langtang will offer you the chance to sample so many unique experiences of local indigenous Tibetan derived cultures and lifestyles in an environment that is surprisingly unspoilt due to the trails in this area only recently being opened up to tourists. If you want to get off the beaten track but still enjoy the hospitality of staying in local teahouses … then Langtang is the perfect choice for you.
Price: USD 1200Highlights of this truly unforgettable paradise include the Langtang Valley which is enclosed by snow-capped mountains and features relatively untouched Tamang culture and of course the high altitude sacred lake of Gosainkunda (4300m) in the South- West of the national park.
Price: USD 800This trek offers you the chance to investigate the rich culture and hospitality of the Tamang including the lifestyles, architecture of their mountain homes and ancient monasteries along the way.