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  • On this website some experienced Chiang Mai hikers post open invitations to join their hikes in the area.
  • We use the date format YY/MM/DD where YY is the year, MM is the month and DD is the day of the month.
  • Hike descriptions may be posted at short notice. So it may be worth checking the website frequently.
  • Hikes may be cancelled or varied at short notice due to weather conditions or other factors. So it is advisable to check the website beforehand on the day of the hike.
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16/10/23_Trip report_Arboretum to Doi Suthep

Group photo near the start - by Chan

Group photo near the start – by Chan

31 hikers began climbing from Huay Gaew. There had been no rain for a week, the sun was bright, and after an hour there were many sweaty shirts. But the gradient became less demanding, the sun less aggressive, and a few cool breezes came into the forest to greet us.

Keeping together on the path. Photo by Chan.

Keeping together on the path. Photo by Chan.

Bridge demon. Photo by Chan.

Bridge demon. Photo by Chan.

Passing the bridge over the strange lateral crevasse, we entered the cultivated highland valley. The lychee trees enjoy some recuperation at this time of year, so we were not distracted by opportunities to buy kilos of fruit. But the location was pleasant and we stopped there to eat our packed brunches.

The garden valley. Photo by Tom.

The garden valley. Photo by Tom.

Moving back into the forest, we reached the highest point of the hike at 5-way junction. After that things were easy, except for frequently having to cross numerous trees across the lane down to the Wat Doi Suthep area. Bending under, clambering over, and skirting around broke our rhythm a little, as did stops for appreciating the small fauna.

Fat disguised caterpillar meets invigorating nail varnish

Fat caterpillar in disguise meets vibrant nail varnish. Photo by Chan.

Rare seven-legged spider. Photo by Bob K.

Rare seven-legged spider. Photo by Bob K.

Fearsome armour. Photo by Bob K.

Fearsome armour. Photo by Bob K.

For a large group,we kept together well. This included the restaurant meal at the end, in the Wat Doi Suthep carpark and shops area, before we clambered into the songthaews to return to base.


  • Distance covered: 12km
  • Gross elevation gain: 1000m
  • Hiking time: 5h 10m
  • Bee stings: 3
  • Disintegrated boots: 1

Many thanks to Tom for developing and leading this very satisfying hike.

Report by Michael.

16/10/23_Arboretum to Doi Suthep


At this time of year, always re-check this webpage on the Sunday morning before leaving for the meeting point in case of weather updates. Hikes may be changed or cancelled at short notice. 

A re-run of a nice nearby hike we did in May – without so many lychees as last time, but perhaps some other in-season delights. We walk from the arboretum, past Huay Kaew waterfall, Wang Bua Ban, across the road and then bridge (see picture above) to the lychee orchards and 5-ways junction, then down to Wat Doi Suthep. When we finish we will go to the regular restaurant at Wat Doi Suthep. After we will take a Songthaew back to the Arboretum for 40 Baht. The hike is about 5 hours, 12 kms. The first 2 hours is steep, then easier. Total height gain 1124m.

Starting point: Meet at the Arboretum at 07.45 for an 8am start.

Hike Leader: Tom

Please bring:

  • at least 2-3 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • energy snacks and a picnic lunch
  • protection from sun (hat, cream), rain, insects, spiky/itchy vegetation
  • lots of energy, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour

16/10/16_700-Year Stadium Loop_Trip Report

A group of 23 potential hikers turned up on time at the Irrigation Department HQ above 700-Year stadium. One member absconded immediately after the photo session. No-one took up the offer of an easier alternative hike, so all 22 remaining set out for the hike as advertised under lowering skies and with the promise of heavy rain to come.


Stephen shows his better side


Over the first section we had to struggle through tall grass that has sprung up during the monsoon and covered parts of the trail. Unfortunately one experienced hiker was feeling the effects of a previous leg injury and opted to return. The remaining 21 maintained a brisk pace and arrived at Porcupine falls in good order, where we stopped to re-group and take on water.

The next section was enlivened by some interesting bugs, including a fabulous tufted long-horn beetle, which would have featured here but for a terrible photograph. The sporadic light rain only served to cool us down and did not even warrant the donning of waterproofs.

The group split at a parting of the ways with some hikers taking the opportunity to rest up under a shelter while the advance guard made an unscheduled ascent of the mightily (un)impressive Doi Pa Ka. All came together again around a huge log at the brunch stop, bang on the pre-hike estimated time of 10.30.


Sated hikers re-energised after brunch

The steep slopes down to the helipad overlooking Huay Thung Thao were negotiated without difficulty and obligingly the clouds parted to allow for a panoramic view of the Chiang Mai Valley.


View to the north


View to the south, and home

The short-cut to the dirt road  between Huay Thung Thao and the Irrigation Dam was located and negotiated with no problems. The heavens finally opened as we were crossing the building site just before the reservoir and we all got a good soaking. One doubts that this road will still be passable once the swank new development is completed.

Fortunately the squall passed before we reached the vehicles permitting us to change and go home in comfort. Total time taken 6 hours to cover the 13 kilometers.


16/10/16_700 Year stadium loop


This hike is 13 km long and involves an elevation gain of 900 meters, so a reasonable level of physical fitness will be required.

We will start the hike at the irrigation office above 700-year stadium at 08.00 sharp. The trail leads us up past Porcupine Falls and then continues south-west uphill through forest for around 3 km until we reach vehicle tracks servicing an agricultural area, where we turn north-west through a mix of open land and patchy forest.


Scary forest creatures

We follow the vehicle tracks for another 2 km to the highest point of the hike, a large junction just below the summit of Doi Pa Ka. Here we will stop for brunch.


Hungry hiker approaches brunch stop

The gradient up to this point is steadily uphill, but is only really steep over one short section.

From the junction we start a long descent to the helipad that overlooks Huay Thung Tao. The first section is on a vehicle track, but we soon turn onto a forest trail with some very steep downhill sections. We will briefly stop at the helipad to admire the panoramic views over Huay Thung Tao and the Chiang Mai valley.

500 meters or so after passing the helipad we turn right onto a small trail that descends into a valley, crosses a small stream and then steeply ascends the far bank to a ridge. We follow this ridge through open forest on a clear trail until we meet up with the motorcycle trail running between Huay Tung Tao and 700-year stadium. The last 2 km is along this trail, dodging backhoes and trucks working on a new housing development, back to our starting point.

Elapsed time including brunch stop is anticipated to be about 6 hours. At higher elevations the trail is mainly in shade, but the lower sections are quite open and hats and sun screen are recommended.

Hike Leaders: Richard and Mike

If you want to join:

Make sure you have read the general advice on this website as well as the specific hike details in this post. If you still think this hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on the day, on time. No need to inform us in advance, but we can not accommodate groups.

Meeting Place:

We will meet at 07:45 for an 08.00 hours start in the car park area for the Irrigation Department HQ next to the dam behind the 700 years Stadium. Motorcycle riders should be aware that the guards at the barrier have been instructed to exclude trial bikes and may stop you. If you tell them your purpose is walking, they will permit access.

  • Head straight out from the North West corner of the moat 2 km towards Doi Suthep on Huay Kaeow Road (H.1004).
  • Turn right onto the Canal Road H.121
  • After 4.5 km going North turn left at traffic lights into the Stadium area.
  • Keep straight for about 1 km and pass through the check point after which the road goes uphill to reach the dam.

Location of meeting place at Dam behind 700 Years Stadium

Please click on map to enlarge

Items to bring:

  • at least 2 liters of water or rehydration drink
  • a picnic brunch
  • strong footwear with good grip and ankle support
  • hiking poles
  • sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • long sleeves/ pants recommended
  • rainwear, unless you are happy to be soaked
  • plenty of energy, team spirit, enthusiasm and good humour.

16/10/16_700-Year Stadium Loop

A heads-up on the plan for this coming Sunday. Since the reconnaissance hike will not take place until Friday afternoon, a full trip description will not be available until Friday night or Saturday morning. For those who like to plan ahead, therefore, a preview of the basic plan follows.

Starting point: Irrigation dam behind 700-Year stadium.

Trip length 10 – 13 km depending on the route chosen. Altitude gain about 800 meters.

Duration about 5 hours.

Terrain: some quite steep sections, particularly on the way down, but all on good trails. The possible exception being a (fairly flat) section close to the end that may have become overgrown in the monsoon.

Rating: moderate. Nothing unduly strenuous or death-defying, but overall length and altitude gain will require a reasonable degree of physical fitness.

Proper trip description with maps and photos to follow after the recce.


16/10/09_Trip report_Thepsadet waterfall (almost) loop

Approximately 26 hikers met up near CenFes and set off in 10 vehicles (including one hikebike) towards the trailhead. Unfortunately we seem to have somehow lost one vehicle on the way (sorry Rex and party!) and one leader couldn’t make it today, so only 22 hikers walked the pre-hike waterfall side-trip, led by Medi. By the time we returned to the carpark to start the hike proper, we had been joined by a 23rd, biker-hiker.


There was plenty of water in the falls and rivers:


Ms J took over front leadership duties from the absent, podiatrically-challenged, Mr P.  Mr M looked after the other end of the crocodile, which had quite a gap in the middle at times.


Lots of mushrooms around at the moment. Some quite big:


Good views SE over Ban Pok Pang Nai and Cow Pat Ridge to Kiw Fin above Mae Khampong:


Only a little rain, as we were descending from the highest point along the ridge, after a quick lunch, but this did make the overgrown sections a little slippier and a few hikers found themselves sitting down in the mud briefly.


As predicted, about 10 kms walked, up about 550m, down rather more, in about 5 hrs 30 mins, I think. (Forgot to check the time.) Thanks to the leaders, drivers, shuttle-pickup drivers, Khun C for photos, and to all for good humour and companionship.


16/10/09_Thepsadet waterfall (almost) loop

If there is heavy rain we will cancel the hike. Please check this page for updates after 06.40 on Sunday morning, before leaving for the meeting point. 

After a short “pre-hike” loop to visit Thepsadet waterfall (see photo below), we will follow, first a concrete, then an increasingly-poor dirt road/trail up to a ridge and then hike up/down/along the ridge and back down to Ban Pang Hai. Nothing too steep or dangerous, but a few sections where the trail is rather overgrown and indistinct, and a few shallow steam crossings, slippery rocks and narrow paths above steep drops. A little car shuttling at the end (4 kms, on surfaced roads).  Around 10 kms, up 570m (down about 800m) in probably 5-6 hours, including lunch stop.  Aprés hike in our favourite Pang Hai Coffee Shop, with cheap eats, beers and coffees.


Hike leaders: Peter & Medi, Mike





Meeting point: In front of CenFes on H.118, opposite Isuzu, before 07.30. We will car share for about 50 mins out past Doi Saket, turn right onto H.3005 and then left onto H.4076/1252 to Tambon Thepsadet. We will park as many vehicles as possible by the coffee shop and take as few as possible the extra 4 kms to park at the waterfall junction.

Central Festival meeting point


Please read our tabbed information on Dangers, Things to Bring and What to do. No groups please. No need to let us know you are coming. No guarantee of seats in vehicles.

Please bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water or rehydration drink
  • energy snacks and lunch
  • strong footwear, hat, sun/rain protection
  • long sleeves/pants to protect against ticks, itchy/hairy caterpillars and snakes. All seen Weds in this area.
  • plenty of energy, enthusiasm and good humour
  • 100 baht for your driver, if you are a passenger, and a change of clothes for return journey