This is quite a tough hike, with beautiful ridge views, around 11 kms round trip, but with about 900m of often VERY steep altitude gain and then similar very steep descent. A good level of fitness and agility is required, along with a good head for heights. We will take it at a moderate pace, with probably around 6-7 hours walking, plus lunch break, plus over an hour’s drive each way. All must keep up with the group to ensure a return well before sunset.
The views along the ridge, and towards Doi Lanka Luang (2022m, 6th highest peak in Thailand) on this hike are marvellous (if clear), but be warned that the first couple of kilometres involve fording Huai Mae Ton stream 14 times (!) and the second half of the uphill is very steep (+33%), partly on a very narrow path skirting steep cliffs, and needs a very good level of fitness and balance. The initial descent from the peak is even steeper (-50%) and requires hands to steady oneself (though no rock climbing). Anyone without a good head for heights should not join. Slips are quite common on the way down and the path can be quite overgrown in places. Thanks to HB for discovering the start of this route.
We will :
- meet at the Doi Saket Bangjak petrol/gas station before 07.00 am and car-share about 40 kms to Wat Kampaeng Hin, at an altitude of around 1,000m.
- hike 3 kms gently uphill (+250m, average +7%), fording a stream 14 times.
- hike another 3 kms steeply up (+511m, av.+33%) to and along a ridge to Doi Lanka Noi peak, at 1,750m.
- have lunch and explore the broad plateau and golden stupa (or rest ;-).
- descend carefully down the very steep ‘goat track’ from the peak (av.-50%).
- hike 1 km along a gently undulating ridge with beautiful views .
- descend steeply (-35% for first 1km) down for 2 kms to Ban Mae Dton Luang village.
- if time/desired, have a coffee/drink in the village corner shop.
- walk the final 2 kms along the very quiet 1252 road back to the cars.
If you want to join
Just turn up at the meeting place on the day. If you need a lift to the meeting place, make a request below leaving contact details and suggesting a convenient meeting place. Drivers, please look out for hitching hikers (not hitchhikers?) along route 118 opposite the Isuzu showroom (see photo) just after the superhighway (route 11) junction, about 06.30.
We will meet before 07.00 am at the Doi Saket Bangjak petrol station (see map and google street view photo), on the 118 just after the Doi Saket 1007 junction and leave there promptly at 07.00, then…
- Car-share in convoy past Doi Saket on the 118 road towards Chiangrai.
- Turn right onto the 3005 rural road towards Mae Kampong/Flight of the Gibbon.
- Turn left onto the 1252 road towards Ban Mae Dton Luang.
- Turn left again at the Ban Mae Dton Luang junction and park two kms along the 1252, near Wat Kamphaeng Hin.
- Start hiking by 08.00 am.
Please see the images below (click to enlarge them).
Please bring :
- at least 3-4 litres of water/rehydration drink, energy snacks and lunch
- appropriate footwear (sandals for stream fording, boots for ascent/descent?)
- sunhat, sunblock, and anti-leech measures
- trekking pole(s) or stick recommended for steep uphills and descents
- driving licence and up-to-date tax disc on vehicle – we were stopped at a checkpoint recently
- lots of energy, enthusiasm, good humour and a sense of balance
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