The Langtang Valley, nestled in the center of the Himalayas, provides a memorable setting for trekking and vacations of all sorts. People come from around the world to admire this scenic setting and experience nature at its most dramatic. The valley is also important to Hindu pilgrims, who come to honor and celebrate their faith.
If you'd like to add some outdoor adventure to your Kathmandu vacations, you could make plans to visit Langtang National Park. After a short twenty-mile trip, you'll find yourself at a scenic wonderland. Nepal's first national park was created in the 1970s, set aside to preserve the unique landscape and biodiversity. Like Chitwan National Park, Langtang has plenty of nature you'd never see in your backyard.
The Nepal weather has some bearing on when to visit the Langtang Valley. While the peaks are usually covered with snow between September and May, the valley is more temperate, receiving snow only in February and Wednesday. By April, the wildflowers burst into bloom; the rhododendrons are especially beautiful, in a palate of pinks, whites, and reds. Once the weather gets warmer, the herds of yaks and chauaris are on the move to higher elevations. You aren't likely to see a chauari at home as it is a mix of a yak and a cow. The rains come in July and August, which may be a good time to avoid if you want to spend time outside on Langtang trekking.
August also brings one of the biggest events as thousands of Hindu faithful join in a festival at Gosainkunda Lake. According to the legend, the mighty lake was created by Lord Shiva who used the water from a glacier to quench his thirst after swallowing a poison that threatened the earth. Today, the lake is one of the main destinations for Langtang trekking. The most visited paths are along the lake and throughout the valley well equipped with visitor amenities such as hotels and tea houses. This region is also a popular place for camping. Most of the places in Langtang National Park are open year-round unless the snow is blocking the trails.
After you've decided where to go and when to go, you'll need to decide what include in your plans. Trekking is by far one of the most popular things to do in the Langtang Valley, which can suit visitors of various fitness levels. If you'd like to go for a few hours at a relatively easy pace or spend weeks on a challenging hike, you'll find an excursion that matches your plans. Seasoned guides, experts in Langtang trekking, can lead you on a route that is suited to your interests and skills.
If mountain climbing or hiking are not your thing, you'll still find activities in the Langtang Valley to keep your interest. Wildlife watching is a popular pastime for many valley holidays to Langtang National Park. Besides the yaks, you could spot black bears, rhesus monkeys, and even wild dogs. Red pandas favor the forests of Ghoda Tabela, while the Trisuli-Bhote Koshi River is a stop on many bird migration routes.
While the Langtang Valley is known for its unspoiled landscapes, it's also home to small villages and people who depend on the land for cattle herding, farming, and other ventures. On tours of the Langtang Valley, you can take the chance to meet some of the Nepalese people who live in the shadows of the Himalayas.