Ganja La Pass Trek

13 Days




Ganja in the local dialect means {cannabis}, but this is the Ganja La above 5000m which goes above the timberline…but below this we experience cascading waterfalls, lush green rhododendron forests and the warm congenial folks who are bonafide Nepalese with Tibetan origins…all this nestled in the laps of silver grey snowcapped peaks where even the animals seem to welcome you with a grassy smile…and if cannabis gives you a hallucinated trip…this trip is one of a different kind…especially when you peak out at the Ganja La Pass…don’t hesitate, because the Ganja La waits for no one!!

Among the many ‘come and get me’ hifi Himalayan trips in Nepal, this is one program that will set you for the bigger trip to come…but the Ganja La comes first with its proximity so close to medieval kathmandu, infact you can see the Langtang mountains right from the balcony of your hotel, if it’s a clear day in autumn or mid-spring; and you simply can’t wait to get your trek gears in order and just can’t wait for the night to pass for you to embark on this journey that may become a story for you in the months ahead.
This trip takes us into the heart of Langtang as we also explore the Tsergo Ri at 5000m from where you get a 360 view of all of the Langtang ranges, nothing’s left out, including your video camera with some of the most lovely pictures you can ever take. The highlands down here are amazing to the core.

The trails here are geographically diverse to the extent where the subtropical gives you verdant landscapes right to a point where you lose the greenery for sometime to alpine scenery where vegetation disappears to open up vistas of high country where the locals live in one of the highest settlements on earth…and survive year in, year out. Despite the harsh cold conditions the folks live in hereabouts, they welcome you with warm hearts, and this is what Langtang and the Ganja La pass is all about.

Physically based towards the north of the capital, this narrow valley sits below the prime Himalayan zone just north of the Tibetan border with snowy peaks stretched out towards the south of this area. We experience wonderful interactions with the local folks in their colorful villages as they offer us pure hot butter tea in their thatched huts; these villages are occupied by ethnic Tamangs and Tibetans who live in wonderful harmony with one another and both follow different sects of Buddhism. Our hikes take us across small peaks shining glaciers which are conveniently placed at low altitudes, and ironically, placed so close to Kathmandu, for such are the wonders of God…and his sublime creations. We also cross Kyangjin Gompa which is the last of the villages in this green valley with chocolate box type hamlets and lush meadows ideal for cattle grazing;

From here on we make a beeline for the Ganja La pass which is not a cake walk but a lot more comfortable to cross over in the spring and autumn. Trekkers generally hit the trail during this period where the wilderness is clear with no hassles of snow, the earth is dry and wild rhododendrons can be seen blooming everywhere, it’s a pretty picture to behold.
Nevertheless, we can’t take things for granted as we need good equipment and experienced local guides who are familiar with the routes; for 3 to 4 days we are out in the pure wild with no communication post at all. We must be self sufficient and fully prepared with everything that we need and thought off before starting the trip, down here its us versus the terrain and God for us all. Cutting across this pass requires technical climbing equipment of good quality that requires experience to put into use and we should also be able to make sure our porters too are well equipped because they carry all of our essential needs which include tents, food and water. Out path goes through a small valley before we reach a glaciated breaching where the use of ropes, crampons and ice axes will be necessary to break through the Ganja La. The going is real tough down here, but the stunning scenery warms our hearts in this cold area of Langtang’s mountains. It’s unbelievable, virtually!!

Our journey begins with a cool bus ride from Kathmandu to Dhunche. And it’s from here where on where we get set for the long haul of our trek via Kyangjin Gompa right up and culminates down at Chisopani where we head for Sundarijal the next morning. At the latter end of our venture, we comfortably walk by some fine-looking rice terraces and a few colorful Buddhist monasteries with pretty villages as we cruise down to Kathmandu and a cosy soft bed that awaits us at our hotel.

Includes and excludes :

  1. All meals as specified for trek (breakfast, lunch, dinner with tea/coffee).
  2. Arrival pick up & departure.
  3. All internal local transport as per the itinerary.
  4. Internal flights
  5. All trekking arrangements including trekking permits, climbing permits, National Park entrance fees.
  6. Accommodation in twin sharing local lodges or best available places for accommodation,
  7. Trekking & Climbing leader & porter (salary, insurance, food, accommodation & other allowances).
  8. Basic first aid kit is carried by your leader.
  9. All hard ware gears


  1. Kathmandu food lunch & dinner,
  2. International flights to Kathmandu,
  3. Tips for Porter, guide & other
  4. Personal climbing gears and climbing boot, clothing & equipment
  5. Personal expenditure, all bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, hot shower in the mountain region, mineral water, snacks, desserts.
  6. Medical examination (if required) & vaccination costs
  7. Optional trips. Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond our control
  8. Visa fees & Travel insurance. Airport taxes
  9. Meals or drinks except the 3 main meals specified in itinerary
  10. Anything else not specified in the ‘included costs’ section above

For more details

Itinerary breakdown

Ganja La Pass Trek

Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Dhunche {1966m} – 7-8 hrs Overnight tents

After an early b/fast, we set out for a Drive from Kathmandu to Dhunche, Dhunche is a lively town and trading post that’s important for the local folks in this area who need to buy their essential commodities and a government office expedites paperwork sometimes necessary for the local folks for any purchase of land or business enterprise they would like to start. We head north out of Kathmandu driving through scenic foothills and ridgeline vistas to Dhunche. Stay overnight in tents. B. L. D

Day 02: Trek from Dhunche to Syabru goan {2581m} – 5-6 hrs

Our trek today is pretty leisurely and cool through forests and terraced hill slopes. As we enter Syabru, we descend to the ridgeline that separates the Langtang Khola from the Trisuli River. We will continue through the village to our campsite about fifteen minutes beyond on the slopes below the village. From here we can enjoy spectacular views of Langtang Lirung (7245m.), the sleek Tibetan Himal ranges and so on. We bunk out overnight in tents. B. L. D

Day 03: Trek Syabru goan to Lama Hotel {2470m} – 4-5 hrs

The trail descends along the ridge on Syabru’s main street and then drops to the Ghopche Khola (2050 m.) and again descends to the Landslide area (1810m.). Thereafter our trek ascends gently to Rimche (2400m.) through Bamboo (1960m.) before going along a level path to Lama Hotel. En-route we can see red pandas, monkeys and bears if we are lucky. Stay overnight in tents. B. L. D

Day 04: Trek Lama Hotel to Langtang {3307m} – 4-5 hrs

Our trek route follows Gumanechok at Ghoda Tabela which literally means the Horse Stable. After this the trail climbs gradually to the beautiful valley with yak herds hereabouts. Langtang is a typical village and one of the oldest along this trekking route. The views of the mountains are fantastic down here and gets more imposing as we trek closer. Overnight in tents – B. L. D

Day 05: Trek Langtang to Kyangjin Gompa {3798m} – 4-5 hrs

It’s a shorter walk today which makes it easier on the knees, but adequate for acclimatizing. There are some interesting things to explore, especially the famous cheese factory – don’t forget to try some locally produced cheese as fresh as it could get. This beautiful valley is on the lap of the Langtang Lirung. This is the spot where we can explore the valley and climb several small peaks (hillocks). Overnight in tents – B. L. D

Day 06: Rest day at Kyangjin Gompa for an excursion to Tsergo Ri {5033m} 7-8 hrs

Today is a great day to do some exploration; we make an excursion to Tsergo Ri which would also help us to acclimatize.  The climb to Tsergo Ri which is above 5 thousand meters offers some admirably panoramic views of the Himalayas. Besides, the climb to Tsergo Ri is a challenging one and the time for the climb depends upon our physical fitness and previous experience. By dusk when the sun sets, we reckon we can return back to Kyangjing Gompa for the night. B. L. D

Day 07: Trek to Ganja La high camp {4300m} – 5-6 hrs

After enjoying our warm breakfast, we embark on our journey to Ganja La high camp. We also cross the Langtang River and ascend through rhododendron forests. Since we’re already at a high altitude, the time for getting to our destination also depends upon the season of the trek. Hence, if its during the winter season, then snow could be heavy and this might take a longer time to cross the snow strewn path. Overnight in tents – B. L. D

Day 08: Trek to Ganja La Pass {5122m}. Proceed to Yangrikharka {4000m) – 6-7 hrs

Today it’s a big day. We cross the Ganja La pass. It’d be an exhausting day since Ganja La is one of those difficult passes among the many. Ganja la pass is covered with snow almost throughout the year. We Make the long ascent through boulders, pass the small lakes, and summit Ganja La which is situated on a rocky moraine. Its awesome as we Enjoy the breathtaking views from the pass. Climbing up and down the pass can sometimes be tricky due to snowfall and ice.  From the pass, we descend down to Yangrikharka to bunk out in tents for the night. B. L. D

Day 09: Trek to Dhukpu {4080m} 6.5 hrs

Today we do some lengthy hiking along the ridge and grasslands, with amazing views of the Himalayas. We’ll choose our camping site in the forest for some rest and quiet, accept for the birds who’ll keep us company for the night. Overnight in our tents – B. L. D

Day 10: Trek to Tharepati {3650m} – 6 hrs

We hike below Dhukpu on a steep trail mostly through fir and rhododendron forest where there are no permanent settlements. The trek continues to Yurin Danda with magnificent views of the Himalayas. Finally, we arrive at Tharepati for our overnight stay in tented camps. B. L. D

Day 11: Trek to Kutumsang {2446m} – approx 6 hrs

After enjoying our morning breakfast, we head for a journey to Kutumsang. Our day’s trek starts with a decent crossing through pretty meadows and fields. On the way we enjoy the splendid views of the Langtang Mountains. Thus, we arrive at Pathi Bhanjyang and Gul Bhanjyang. From Gul Bhanjyang, the trail climbs a ridge to another pass. And another downhill trek from the pass takes us to Kutumsang we open out our tents for an overnight. B. L. D

Day 12: Trek to Chisopani {2300m} – 2-3 hrs

From Kutumsang, it is an easy climb to cross a pass at 2470m before descending to Pati Bhanjyang, a large Tamang village. From here it is a 2 hour climb to Chisopani. A short distance above Chisopani is a high knoll which is known as Chisopani Danda, where there is a temple. You will have the splendid mountain views from here. The panorama spreads from the mountains south of Everest to the Manaslu range. Overnight in tents  From Chisopani the trail passes through meadows and cultivated fields then climbs through oak and rhododendron forest to Burlang Bhanjyang. From here there are brilliant views, from Annapurna in the west to Ganesh Himal and Numbur in the east. This ridge marks the northern rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Just after Chisopani there is an entrance to Shivapuri watershed and wildlife reserve. The trail goes through the reserve, moving up to the hill and down to Mulkharka, from which you can already see Kathmandu. From Mulkharka, we descend on endless stairs to the exit from the reserve and to Sundarijal for our night in tented camps. B. L. D


Destination Map