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  • On this website some experienced Chiang Mai hikers post open invitations to join their hikes in the area.
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18/05/06_Old Samoeng Road

This is an ideal hot season hike, it starts high climbs gradually higher and then descends into the valley through shady forest until the last kilometer or so, which is open but offers nice views in compensation. The strain of getting high is taken on by the internal combustion engine, start and end points being separated by about 5 road kilometers which will be covered by car shuttle. Distance 10 kilometers, up around 300 meters very gradually over 5 kilometers and then down 800 meters over the other 5 kilometers. Steep down over short sections but always on good firm trails or, near the end, on a dirt road.

P1000796

Previous group photo to jog defective memories

 An alternative tougher hike with the same endpoint is also under consideration. This would involve about 1,000 meters of elevation gain and might include some bushwhacking. Numbers will be limited by logistics, but fit and experienced hikers are welcome to signify potential interest by sending a comment (bottom of this post).

The main hike starts where the Old Samoeng Road crosses the watershed at the head of the valley at around 1,000 meters elevation. From there we will follow a heavily-rutted dirt road through forest for about 3 kilometers to a beautiful area of pine forest. Here we turn off the road onto a gently undulating forest trail that rises gradually to the high-point of the day at just over 1,300 meters. This is a lovely area and we will take the hike slowly enjoying the bounties of nature and hoping to see some of the critters that we have come across here in the past. Somewhere near the day’s high-point we will stop for a snack and to commune with nature.

Red-tailedRacer3OSR

Hi! I’m a Red-tailed Racer. Please join me in my kingdom

Oriental Whipsnake2OSR

Hi! I’m an Oriental Whipsnake. Please join me in my kingdom

The trail down is steeper, but there are no protracted or unduly steep sections and conditions underfoot are firm. The steepest part is near the end and is on a dirt road. We will aim to complete in around 4 hours.

A few meters up the road from the endpoint is a small restaurant with nice wooden benches and good valley views that has served us well for food and essential beverages in the past. Only be aware that food choices may be limited and service may be on the slow side if we are a large group.

A couple of pieces of advice/ admonitions:

Although this is a relatively benign forest area, it is remote and there are possibilities to get horribly lost. Please stick with the group and on no account go wandering off on your own.

The last 1 kilometer or so will be in full sunshine during the hottest part of the day. You should be sure to bring along a hat and should consider applying sun block.

The Pong Kwao hot springs are nearby and may be worthy of a post-lunch visit. A group of hikers visited after our last hike to this area and gave an enthusiastic recommendation.

Hike Initiator: 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.

700-year-stadium

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.

Advice

Please bring:

  • 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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7 Responses

  1. This hike is on a Friday? I would love to join but I work weekdays so can only join weekend hikes….

    • Sandi,

      The hike is on Sunday 6th May. Hope this is better for you,

      Richard

      • Haha… Cool. I will try to join. (the dates are backwards to how I’m used to it…. lol…) I’m also interested in more difficult trails when they happen.

  2. I like the idea of tougher hike and we have plenty of time just take your time. It is worth it.

    • Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for reading the posting!! Your preference noted and passed to the tougher hike planners,

      Richard

  3. I would be in for the longer trail if it goes ahead. Thanks.

    • Hi Diane,

      Your preference noted and passed on,

      Richard

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