Over the last week there has been a dramatic increase in burning in the mountains around Chiang Mai. This is unlikely to impact directly on Sunday’s hike, but hikers may wish to take along a protective face mask as a precautionary measure (I plan to do so).
This is a not too strenuous high-elevation hike that any experienced and reasonably fit hiker should be able to enjoy. The total distance is about 10 kilometres, altitude gain is only about 350 meters and there are no unduly steep ups and downs. Predicted duration 5 hours of leisurely hiking including snack break.
We will start off by hiking along a well-shaded dirt road for about 3km and then along a forest ridge trail for another 2km until we reach the hike high point of 1,320m, where we will stop for a snack/ late breakfast/ early lunch. The trail then descends gradually through forest to a finish point at an elevation of 600m. A car shuttle will be organised to cover the 5km distance between the start and end points.
There was no sign of burning in the area when we did the reconnaissance hike last week. The ecosystem seems to be in good order judging from the amount of bird song and the presence of larger creatures that prey upon them.
Although for the most part the trail is shady, as we get lower there are patches where the trees have shed their leaves. The last 1km is in full sunlight and hikers will be exposed to the mid-day heat. A hat, sun screen and adequate drinking water are all essential.
This is a fairly remote area and taking the wrong trail could cause serious inconvenience to yourself and your fellow hikers. Please stay together as a group and pay attention to the hike leader.
There is a good probability of finding noodles, cold beer and ice cream at a pleasant establishment close to the hike end point. However, relying entirely on this happy eventuality could potentially lead to extreme hunger and thirst.
Hike Leader: Richard
Please read the general information on this site, as well as this particular post. If you still think this hike is for you, then just turn up at the meeting place on the day and time. Seats in cars are usually available, but can not be guaranteed.
Meeting Point and Directions:
We will meet at the parking lot in front of the 700-year Sports Stadium on Canal Road (Highway 121) for a 07.30 departure.
The intention is to travel in convoy all the way from the meeting point to the hike start point. However, in case of mishap en route or for anyone preferring to go direct to the start point, the route we will follow is:
Left along Canal Road to the Junction with Highway 107 and turn left towards Mae Rim.
Take the short cut that by-passes Mae Rim and then turn left on Highway 1096 along the Mae Sa Valley towards Samoeng.
After 3km (and shortly after the Monkey Centre) turn right (the old road to Samoeng).
After about 17km the road forks. Take the right-hand fork.
The start point is a large dirt road on the right-hand side about 1km on from the fork. There is limited parking at the road itself and it may be necessary to park some cars further back.
Some vehicles will be required to drive on to the hike end point for the car shuttle, which is an additional 5km along the road.
- At least 2 litres of water/ rehydration drink.
- Snacks/ picnic lunch.
- 100 Baht for driver if sharing their car.
- Hat and sunblock.
- Change of shirt/ clothes.
- Energy, enthusiasm and good humour.
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