We did a new variation of one of the most challenging one day hikes around Chiang Mai last Wednesday. We had found a new trail down from Doi Langka Luang. We decided to try hiking up to the summit of Doi Langka Luang via the beautiful roller coaster ridge, across Doi Pah Ngom and on up to the peak of Doi Langka Luang. Then we would head through the jungle near the top of Doi Langka Luang in a saddle between peaks and head down our slightly less steep alternative to heading down via Doi Langka Noi.

We took some video of the route which should give you an idea of the beauty of the views from the ridges we hiked along and of the expanse of untouched forest on this side of town.

We started hiking at 8:40 am after having dropped off one car at the expected end of our hike. We made it to within 500 m of the peak but did not go up to the peak of Langka Luang.

The new ridge trail down from the forest near the peak of Langka Luang is another nice find in this area. It starts near a royal project on the 1252 and is at times a very narrow ridge but there is a very well defined trail all the way up to midway through the forest where the path has got a little difficult to follow this rainy season and probably is not a lot easier to follow outside the rainy season. The trail along the ridge would be one that you could follow without a GPS, there is nowhere to go but follow the ridge until you get to the top.

Below is a screen shot of the trail we followed shown on the Google Earth and below that the altitude graph.

Trail from Doi Radar To 1252

Trail from Doi Radar To 1252

 

Altitude Graph

Altitude Graph

 

Here is the trail as a file you can view in Google Earth and in other GPS software.

For those interested in a shorter walk, a walk up the ridge we came down would be fun and only a little steep. Directions courtesy of Hein :

  • From the turn off to Doi Saket follow the 118 for about 29 km.
  • Then we turn right to the 1252 (signboard shows Chae Hom) and after 8 or 9 km we reach the place where the trail starts. That’s about 40 minutes from the turn off.
  • You will see on the left side a blue signboard to a Royal Project. You will have to park up next to the 1252 you cannot drive the car in because after 100 m there is a barrier.
    • This is:Latitude:  18.992860° Longitude:  99.343149°
    • Below is a picture of this dirt road you have to walk in from the 1252.
  • Walk into this road and cross the barrier. After 200 or 300 meters the track is on the right.
  • Very soon it splits, but both are ok. Just keep following the trail up.
start of dirt road to royal project - park here

start of dirt road to royal project – park here

A Comparison of Different Ways Up to Near Peak Of Doi Langka Luang

So we now know of three routes up to the peak of Doi Langka Luang. I thought I would spend a moment comparing the trails to find the easiest way up to the top of the ridge (500m  from peak) :

  • from Baan Mae Dtoon Luang via Doi Langka Noi. 10.1 km. 1101 m climb and 294 m drop. Path through forest is not so easy to follow.
  • new trail from the 1252 at the start of the dirt road to the Royal Project – 9.51 km. 1077m climb and 248 m drop. More climb. Need to follow the trail through the forest, much time will be wasted trying to find the trail and / or get back onto it again after wandering off it.
  • roller coaster trail – 8.01 km with 981 m climb and 427 m drop in altitude total. No chance to get lost.

I think the roller coaster ridge is still the winner, being by far the easiest way to get to the peak.

Pics from Our Trip

Thanks to Hein.

First section of trip over unnamed peak on roller coaster

Second section of trip upto peak of Doi Pah Ngom on roller coaster

Up to near peak of Doi Langka Luang and down other side