Helambu trek is the perfect short trek in the vicinity of Kathmandu. Despite being so close to the national capital, yet it has retained its untouched and un-spoilt character. This region is home to the Tamang and the Sherpa community in the upper section. They provide a glimpse of a typical Nepalese village and lifestyle. Apart from the people, the green rhododendron and bamboo forests, gurgling and gushing waterfalls and the snow capped imposing Himalayan peaks including Langtang, Gaurishankar, Jugal Himal and other small snow capped peaks with addition to the natural beauty make this trek an exciting and a diverse one. This is not too high or steep trek and this moderate elevation makes it accessible and easy for even those people who have very little experience of trekking. It is an almost easy walk through the high and low mountains, memorable chortens, the terraced fields and the villages with their colorful and meaningful prayer flags fluttering merrily in the breeze. It gives the trek an ethereal look which one has to experience to know.
There is an extensive trail network in this region and you can customize your circuit according to your time schedule. There are many highs and lows in the region, typical of a mountainous area and yet the highest altitude that you gain is just 2700-3200 meters above sea level. Hence, there is no problem of getting acclimatized to the weather conditions. The best season to visit this region is in autumn (mid September to mid December) and spring (March to May). During this period, the weather is sunny and warm and one can have a clear view of the Himalayas but the nights are slightly cold. Winter season (Dec, Jan, and Feb) is also considered to be good for trekking in this region but the weather would be very cold, almost freezing temperatures. The peaks of Langtang Himal are often visible but they are not too close as in the other areas.
Helambu was once considered to be a hidden, sacred domain and this feature is till date retained. Its ridges and fertile valleys are still almost virgin areas where there are very few footfalls of the outsiders. And as there are so many trails to follow, people do tend to spread out creating less of a crowd. The valleys of the region are occupied by the Buddhist majority and minority of Hindus who are engaged in farming extensively.
This trek head towards the beautiful villages of Melamchi Gaon, Tarkeghyang and Sermathang where the hospitality of the people is renowned all over the Nepal and you can experience this through your eyes. The trek between the latter two villages is somewhat taken over by the new rough road but still the views are amazing; passing by beautiful and serene looking monasteries, the predominant of Hyalmo Buddhism is widely spread in these places. While walking through the oak, rhododendron and Lokta forests, you will find yourself at the piece of heaven as the peace and serenity of nature will make your trip mesmerizing. Lokta is a kind of tree whose bark is used for the manufacture of traditional handmade paper.