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Helambu Trek – Experience The Culture Of The Mountains

  • Updated: December 9, 2019
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Requiring no prior experience, the Nepal’s Helambu Trek is recommended for families and anyone else who prefers a short, pleasant trek to an overlong, strenuous hike.

On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Helambu Trek. This article contains affiliate links. It won't cost you extra, but if you buy something using our links, it might help us keep the site alive!

Helambu Trek - Route Overview

Elevations are lower, from 2,600 to 12,400 feet, so it is warmer, which contributes to the trek’s popularity. There are less crowds here than on the Annapurna and Everest treks – it never gets crowded, even in high season. The place is tranquil. This trek is one of the most accessible from Kathmandu.

The local Sherpas have a culture distinct from the Sherpas of Solu Khumbu, the Everest region, most obviously in terms of dress and dialect. The women are considered the prettiest in all of Nepal. Despite being close to Kathmandu, the locals still maintain a very rustic and authentic lifestyle. The Helambu trek is more of a cultural trek than a glacier expedition or mountain trek. Make sure to try one of Helambu’s famous sweet apples!

As with other treks in Nepal, you might see red pandas, Himalayan black bears, and many other wildlife.

The greatest attraction is the views of Langtang (23,734 feet), Ganesh (24,429 feet) and many other summits of more than 20,000 feet. Considering that you do not go so very high, the views are incredibly impressive.

Please Note

This trek can take anywhere from 7 to 12 days, making it ideal for anyone who desires a genuine Himalayan experience but is pushed for time.

Regional Map

The Halambu trek occurs 45 miles northeast of Kathmandu, from north of Taramarang to the tree limit of the Gosainkunda Lake and lower slopes of Jugal Himal.

There are towering mountains to either side – the locals call them hills – but none are giants.

Despite its proximity to Kathmandu, the area is relatively unspoiled.

Langtang-Valley-Trek-map

Recommended Map

Langtang : 1 : 125 000 Trekking Map: Gosainkunda & Helambu. With detailed trails. Walking distances. Altitudes

There is a good map for this trek called Langtang : 1 : 125 000 Trekking Map: Gosainkunda & Helambu. It includes detailed trails, walking distances and altitudes.

Helambu Trek - Typical Itinerary

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Below is a detailed Helambu Trek itinerary. 

There are no flights, so no delays. Accommodation is at tea houses. There are several trek itineraries for this route, however, the 7 day itinerary below is the most popular.

Click each day to read more...

Day 1-2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Video Overview

A beautiful and detailed video overview of the Helambu Trek by tonvanson9

Although long, the video is well worth watching to understand just what the Helambu Trek is like!  

It’s 27.34 long.

Recommended Guidebook

A Trekking Guide to Langtang: Gosainkund, Helambu and Tamang Heritage Trail (Himalayan Travel Guides)

In terms of a guidebook we recommend A Trekking Guide to Langtang: Gosainkund, Helambu and Tamang Heritage Trail by Sian Pritchard-Jones, Bob Gibbons and the Himalayan Map House.

A second guidebook you might find useful is The Langtang and Helambu Trek in the Nepal Himalaya by Ian P Johnson.

You are also welcome to have a look at our recommended list of Nepal books and guidebooks Library for more options.


Frequently Asked Questions about Helambu Trek

1.

When is the best time to trek?

Since the altitude is not great, this trek can be accomplished throughout the year, but the best times are Autumn, from Mid-September to mid-December, and spring, from March to May.


You can see the rhododendrons bloom in April and May. With moderate temperatures, Winter – January and February – is a possibility. 


In summer, from June to August, visibility may be poor and it may rain. Weather can be unpredictable.

2.

How much does Helambu Trek cost?

Prices vary hugely, at the low end we have seen prices around the $700 mark. With a good international operator you can expect to pay around $2,000.

3.

Are permits do I need for Helambu Trek?

You require a Trekkers Information Management System card – $20 – and an entrance permit for the Shivapuri park – a further $35.

4.

Is altitude sickness a risk on Helambu Trek?

​The Helambu Trek ascends to some high altitude points. At its highest point, Tharepati, you will reach an altitude of 4,085 meters (13,400 feet).


Therefore, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the risks associated with high altitude trekking and how the body acclimatises to high altitude.


We suggest reading our detailed article on Altitude Sickness and Acclimatisation.

5.

How difficult is the trek?

The Helambu Trek is ideal for beginners and families. It is not a strenuous trek and can be completed with a basic level of fitness.

6.

What gear do I need?

​Hiking the Helambu Trek requires a number of essential pieces of trekking gear. The Helambu Trek is quite short and moderately easy. However, it exposes you to a range of altitudes where temperatures fluctuate dramatically between night and day.


Most of your gear can be rented or bought in Kathmandu, but we strongly suggest bringing the most important pieces of gear and equipment with you.


To help you plan and prepare for your trek we recommend reading our gear section.

Do I Need Insurance for Helambu Trek?

climbing-aconcagua-insurance

Climbing insurance is vital for Helambu Trek. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance in Nepal. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you'd need.

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