Trekking to Helambu valley is great for short treks, and easy access from Kathmandu. Helambu Trekking has an extensive trail network enables you to tailor a circuit to your schedule. The area spans a wide elevation range. There is a lot of up and down but the highest point reached is only 2700 to 3200m depending on route, so acclimatization is rarely a problem. Helambu Winter treks are particularly feasible. The peaks of Langtang Himal are often visible, but the views aren’t as close up as in other areas.
Helambu Trek was once considered a hidden sacred and its misty ridges and fertile valleys are still comparatively isolated. Relatively few people trek in Helambu and with so many trails to choose from those that do tend to spread themselves out. Helambu people call themselves Sherpa. Although they are only distant cousins of the Solu-Khumbu Everest. Tamangs are also numerous while the valley bottoms are farmed mainly by caste Hindus.
Most trekkers make 5 to 9 days Trek, typically clockwise loop around two main ridges on either side of the Melamchi Khola, staying high and avoiding the mega water-diversion Melamchi Project under construction in the valley. The walk in follows the Gosainkund trek, rising and falling from Sundarijal through the Shivapuri National Park to Chisapani, then climbing to Khutumsang and Tharepati. From here, the circuit breaks east taking in the fine villages of Melamchigaon, Tarkeghyang and Sermathang. The walk between the latter two is somewhat shadowed by a new, rough road, but is otherwise very rewarding, passing picturesque monasteries and contouring through forests of oak, rhododendron and lokta, whose bark is used to make traditional paper. From Sermathang, you can continue down the ridge towards Melamchi Bazaar, though jeeps and soon, buses are available. From Tarkheghyang, the faster alternative is to take a side trail down to the Melamchi Khola and Melamchi road at Thimbu where you can pick up a jeep down to Melamchi Bazaar. Countless other trails strike west and east to villages that see few trekkers.
Gosainkund can be reached from Helambu by a long, high, rugged route from Tharepati, via the Laurabina La. The higher, still tougher alternative route to Langtang heads north from Tarkeghyang over the Gangja La (5130m), a serious three-day traverse for which you’ll need a tent, food, crampons and ice axe. It may be impossible between Dec and March. From Tarkeghyang, lesser trails cut across the Indrawati basin and over to Panch Pokahri (3800m), a set of lakes two or three days to the east, and from there you could continue south to the Chautara road, which joins the Arniko Highway just above Dolalghat.
Sundarijal, a taxi or local bus ride from Kathmandu is the most common starting point, but alternative trailheads include Sankhu, Kakani and Nagarkot. To get deeper into the hills faster, take the Arniko Highway to Banepa or Dhulikhel, and change to one of the fairly frequent buses for Melamchi Bazaar; rough roads head up from here towards both Thimbu and Sermathang, but are frequently blocked, so transport all the way is not assured.
Day 1: Arrive to Kathmandu.
We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Rest of day at leisure. Please let us know your flight details in advance.
Day 2: Drive to Sundarijal and trek to Chisapani (2300m)
After breakfast in your hotel drive to Sundarijal (1350m) by private vehicle about one hour and trek to Chisopani (2300m) which takes about four hours. The unpaved road from Kathmandu turns into a trail near a small hydroelectric plant. The trail will enter through the Shivpuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. The first settlement we will come across is Mulkharka with Tamang habitants. The route heads down the ridge through a forest of oaks and rhododendron to Chisopani (2300m.)
Day 3: Trek to Kutumsang (2446m)
After breakfast trek to Kutumsang which takes about seven hours. The trail continues to drop from Chisopani on a good, sometimes level, trail that crosses meadow and fields. You will then descend through Pathi Bhanjyang till Gul Bhanjyang. The trail climbs the ridge from Gul Bhanjyang to another pass at 2620m. The meadow makes a good camping spot, its downhill to Kutumsang at 2470m, in a saddle atop the ridge.
Day 4: Kutumsang to Tharpati (3650m)
After breakfast trek to Tharepati which takes about five hours. The trek continues north up the Yurin Danda ridge and affords views of the peaks. The trail climbs above Kutumsang on a steep, eroded trail mostly through fir and rhododendron forest where there are no permanent settlements. Now you will be in Thare Pati. There are few lodges and Goths.
Day 5: Trek to Melamchi Gaon (2640m.)
After breakfast trek to Melamchi Gaon via Tharepati Pass (3650m.) which takes about four hours. The trail gradually ascends through the enchanting forest enriched with beautiful rhododendron, oak and other trees. Tharepati in fact is a great view point from where you can take a glimpse of the breathtaking snow capped mountains views such as Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar, Langshisa, Jugal, and many others. From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through the pine and rhododendron forest with great views down into the Helambu valley. Melamchi Gaon is surrounded by beautiful forests, which is mainly inhabited by Sherpa people with their distinctive culture. There is some Buddhist monasteries situated which can be visited.
Day 6: Trek to Tarkeghyang (2743m)
After breakfast trek to Tarkeghyang and it takes about six hours. The early part of the trek descends until you cross the stream named as Melamchi. Now you trek gently up to Tarkeghyang passing through Sherpa settlements. Tarkeghyang is a beautiful Sherpa village with one of the oldest and biggest monasteries. Tarkeghyang, also known as Helambu is named after the Helambu caste. The Sherpa people living here originally belong to Helambu caste.
Day 7: Trek to Shermathang (2621m)
After breakfast trek to Shermathang which takes about four hours. This day the trail is quite easier through flat land with beautiful forests on the way. Trek on crossing some small streams on the way. There is situated a beautiful village on the half way to Shermathang. To add your joy, Shermathang is another pretty Sherpa village where you can visit many ancient monasteries. From here you can see Jugal Himal range at the north face of Shermathang village.
Day 8: Trek to Melamchipul Bazaar (846m)
After breakfast trek to Melamchipul Bazaar and it takes approximately five hours. The trail gradually descends all the way to Melamchipul Bazaar through meadows and cultivated fields. On the way, you come across several old villages with their own particular tradition. Walking this day is quite pleasant with mountain views and interaction with local.
Day 9: Drive to Kathmandu
Morning we’ll drive back through the scenic countryside and en route will stop for lunch and breakfast. It takes 5 hrs to back to Kathmandu and optional home stay in Nagarkot with trail finders’ family