Bhutan

Helambu Trek: Best for short trips

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Helambu, also known as Helambhu, is actually a classification of Tamang-Sherpa villages spread over a broad area roughly linked by a series of mountains, between the Jugal Himal group in the east and Gosainkund in the southwest, at an altitude of 5,000 to 6,000 meters above sea level. Helambu trekking is one of the best routes for short treks.

If you are planning trekking in Nepal but want a shorter trek then Helambu Trek is for you.

Helambu Trek

Helambu trek is the best circular trek near Kathmandu valley.

This trekking area is further divided by a number of north-south running valleys which are often tributaries of the Indrawati River system in the upper part of Sun Kosi.

Of these, the westernmost is known as Melamchi Khola, followed by two branches of Indrawati, Yangri Khola and Larke khola, while the westernmost Tandi Khola is part of the aforementioned Trishuli drainage system.

The entire area containing these valleys and the ridges that separate them is called Helambu, with local elevations ranging from 1200 to 3600 meters.

Helambu Trek in Nepal

Most Popular Short Helembu Trekking Routes

  • first day: 1 hour drive to Sundari Jal 1,450 m. Then trek to Chisapani 2,165 meters (3-4 hours)
  • Day 2: Trek to Kutumsang 2,470 m (6-8 hours) Lunch at Chipling 2,170 m.
  • third day: Kutumsang to Melamchi dress. Enjoy lunch at Tharepati Lookout at 3,690m.
  • Day 4: Trek to Thimphu (2-3 hours). 1 hour by local bus to Melamchi Bazar, then 4 hours by jeep to Kathmandu.

Notable settlements in the area include Tarke Ghyang, Melamchigaon, Sermathang, Kakani (different from the aforementioned settlements) and Iccok.

And since there aren’t many 8,000-meter peaks like Annapurna or the Khumbu, the overall view might cause a slight disappointment. These villages also don’t have the distinct flavors of villages in drier regions like the Kali Gandaki Valley or its upstream Thak Khola.

Proximity to Kathmandu here is an advantageespecially for those who have limited time for hiking or during the rainy season, since one can rely almost entirely on one’s own mobility.

On the 1st day of the itinerary, if you take a jeep from Kathmandu to Sundarijal via Boudhanath, you may walk to Pati Bhanjyang on the 2nd day. Caution should be exercised in Sundarijal. However, when trying to reach Mulkharka, the route can be somewhat confusing when passing under the hydroelectric plant’s pipeline and across the elevated dam of the reservoir.

When the weather is nice, head north from Pati Bhanjyang via Chipling and Ghur Bhyanjyang, overnight in Bhanjyang and then Kutumsang, get up early the next morning and continue walking, the best views are along this route to Melamchigaon. In case of bad weather, however, the best valley route is from Pati Bhanjyang descending east to Talamarang Khola and then via Mahankal, Keul, Timbu Kakani and Tarke Ghyang to Melamchigaon.

Melamchigaon may offer travelers more comfortable and homely accommodation than Tarke Ghyang, but from the latter one should follow the ridge north and pass Kangla at 5132m to the Langtang valley.

Helembu Hiking: More Hiking Routes in the Helembu Region

other Helembu trekking trail through Indrawati Khola Climb east over the next ridge to reach Panch Pokhari, a glacial lake area about 5000 meters above sea level, the name means “five lakes”, it is a well known holy place.

From here you can enjoy the view of Dorje Lakpa at 6990 meters and Phurbi Chyachu at 6722 meters.

While hiking east from the lake to the Kodari Highway may be a future project, it is also possible to go directly across the ridge and down to the large settlement of Chautara.

From the village of Talamarang in Melamchi Khola by light vehicle it is also possible to follow a narrow road downriver to the Kodari road in Panchkhal. Plus, even though the road is often littered with falling rocks or collapsed side walls that might block cars, motorcycles can still pass.



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