This region is in third place in terms of popularity with visitors. The gentle hills of the Helambu just north of the capital are the ideal playground for travelers that are new to trekking or otherwise prefer short treks. This is home of the Tamang and Helambu sherpas. The numerous monasteries, prayer flags and walls are proof of the sherpas’ strong roots in the Buddhist religion. From March to June the rhododendron are in full bloom and the trekker will encounter a colorful landscape near the passes to the Langtang. While the Helambu may be visited practically anytime outside of the monsoon season, winter does make it difficult to cross Laurebina La and Ganja La as they are often snowed in from December to February. Only attempt Ganja La if you are well acclimatized and have sufficient mountaineering experience and equipment. Since 1974, the Langtang Valley has been a national park. This dry mountain valley with its Yak herds and Bhotia (Tibetan) inhabitants offers stunning mountain scenery, jungles, and plenty of game. The Langtang National Park provides abundant opportunity to observe nature in various climatic zones, from tropical to alpine. Semi-wild yaks graze in Kyangjin and Tibetan mountain goats live on the enormous moraines above. This is also the home of the snow leopard. But don’t expect to see this shy and elusive animal. The Langtang National Park is easily accessible from Kathmandu and is therefore well suited for shorter excursions.