Located in northern central Nepal, Ruby Valley is a unique overland trek through the Himalayan foothills (‘parbat’ in Nepali) beneath the soaring summits of the snow-capped Ganesh Himal.
Unlike most Himalayan treks that generally follow north/south river valleys, this route travels up and over many ridges (or ‘dandas’) in a generally east/west direction. As a result, it involves more climbs and descents (about 12,500 ft of total vertical gain and loss), requiring strong legs, stamina and determination.
The rewards, however, are well worth the effort. Our Ruby Valley trek will take you places rarely visited by other tourists, including remote villages, high and scenic passes, less-established trails, friendly local people of many different cultures, and a sense of travelling back in time to traditions and lifestyles mostly untouched by modern development.
Ruby Valley also offers outstanding views of major Himalayan ranges, including the Langtang, Ganesh, Manaslu and distant Annapurna Himal (Nepali for ‘mountains’). It is home to magnificent stands of old-growth hemlock trees which provide excellent quality wood for timbers and roof shingles in many local villages. It is also blessed with an abundance of herbal plants which are transported by foot or yaks over the Himalayas to China (Tibet) and exchanged for salt, wool, turquoise and livestock.
The people of Ruby Valley reflect a rich mix of different cultures. Starting in Langtang Valley to the east, we encounter Tamang people. They are primarily Bon Po or Buddhists...although some also embrace Christianity…who originally migrated here from the north (Mongolia/China/Tibet) and speak a Tibetan dialect. Trekking westward, we meet Gurung and Lama people, also mostly Buddhists whose culture and language are Tibetan-based, but different from Tamang since they are more influenced by people from the south. Below the Phulkarka area in the west are Chetri, Bramin, Ghale, Kami, Damai and Magar people, who are primarily Hindu and reflect the appearances and cultures of people from the southern lowlands and Indian subcontinent. Most all cultures in Ruby Valley, however, also recognize and practice shamanism and animism…especially during festivals, on auspicious and sacred days and when a person is in need of healing.
Since Ruby Valley is remote and undeveloped, we camp during this trek. Eco Trek provides sleeping tents, dining tent, cooking tent and toilet tent so you can relax and be comfortable after trekking each day.
Eco Trek has rated the difficulty level of this trek as ‘demanding’ (based on its threefold scale of ‘moderate, demanding or strenuous’).