This will be a fairly long downhill hike. We will walk a total of 14 km down, from a height of 1368 down to 448 meters above sea level. The descent is not very steep at any point. We will travel on good wide single tracks or off road car tracks which we will make pretty good time on. There will be some spectacular views walking through a lovely valley between mountain ridges and down the ridge of the mountain. We will also visit a river for an optional dip.

This hike will involve around 5 hours walking and a half an hour stop for lunch and a dip in the river. It will take just less than an hour to drive to the start point and 40 minutes to drive back to the arboretum. So we should be back at the arboretum before 3.30 pm.

Pics from Exploratory Hike

Hike Description

  1. During the first third of the hike we will make the steepest descents of the hike. No part of the descent will be very steep, nevertheless this will be the steepest part. We will :
    • We will have drive up past Wat Doi Suthep, Phuping Palace, the the visitor center near to the Doi Pui peak and the Chiang Mai University coffee shop. Then we will start walking at the 3 way junction just past the coffee shop where there is a turn off towards Baan Khun Chiang Kian.
    • after 1.1 km continue past the turn off down hill towards Huay Tung Thao lake
    • after another 900m take the next turning to the right down hill, 2km from the start point
    • continue down this path for 2km
  2. At this point we will have descended to 849 m and done almost half of the total descent. This ends roughly the first third of the trek which is the steepest and the next third will be very level. We will :
    • turn left and follow a off road car track for 800m. We will have entered a beautiful valley between ridges of the mountain
    • turn right off that track and continue walking across the valley. The rest of the trail follows an off road car sized track, which is very difficult to pass by car, that has little traffic. We will walk another 3.6 km along the level.
  3. The final third of the hike we will again be descending, even more gradually than during the first third. We will :
    • continue to follow the same off road car track which follows a mountain ridge and which has little traffic for 2.6 km.
    • head off down to the river, it is 500m down to the river and 500m back. We will stop for a lunch break next to the river.
    • back on the off road car track, after about another km we will pass a little buffalo paddock.
    • we will continue down the same off road track for another 1.8 km to a point at 448m above sea level. We will reach the edge of a village, Baan Mae Nai, a little way from Mae Rim.

Screen Shot of Trail (Purple) We Will Hike in Google Earth

click to enlarge

Altitude Graph of Trail We Will Hike from Google Earth

click to enlarge

GPS Trails

And here are GPS track files from our exploratory hike in kml (Google Earth) and gpx (other GPS software) formats.

If you want to join

Just turn up at the meeting place on the day. There is no need to let us know you are coming unless you are coming in a big group.

Meeting Place

We will meet at the arboretum as usual at 8 am.

The aboretum (otherwise known as Suan Luukachaat Huay Kaeow or Huay Kaeow Excercise park) is out along Huay Kaeow Rd.

  • From the moat driving out along Huay Kaeow Rd you will immediately pass Kad Suan Kaeow shopping mall on the left.
  • Go straight on through the first big intersection Amari Rincombe intersection.
  • Go straight on further past the Phucombe intersection (you will see a dunkin doughnut on the corner).
  • Go past the front entrance to Chiang Mai University.
  • After less the a kilometer you will see a small park on your left. This is the arboretum.
  • We meet at the car park just after the arboretum, well before Chiang Mai Zoo. It is a small car park, at the back there are some food stalls, away from the road. We meet about 10 meters in from the road.

See the maps below (click to enlarge them).


  • Good footwear etc. hat, mozzie repellant and rain gear
  • Bring around 3 liters of water or more, food (we will stop for lunch) and snacks
  • You may want to bring a swim suit for a quick dip in the river

Travel Arrangements

We will hire songtaews and have them take us to the starting point of the hike and then come and pick us up from the finish of our hike near Mae Rim. The price per songtaew might be anything from 1,000 to 1,400 B split up to 10 ways depending on how many people turn up on the day and how many songtaews we hire. The price per person will be in the range of 100 – 200 B.

If it rains

If it is raining heavily in the morning we will probably cancel the hike. But in the case of lighter rain if it looks like the weather might clear up we will probably go ahead with the hike and brave the rain which will at least cool us down. If in doubt give me a call on 0873004668. Please don’t call before 6:30 AM.