Within a short distance of Chiang Mai there are plenty of hiking opportunities. The hills and mountains are covered with different types of forest. Hiking trails will take you to hidden waterfalls or to viewpoints where you can truly enjoy the beauty of nature. On this page we will describe some of the most beautiful hikes, with clear instructions and including .gpx and .kml files, which you can use as an electronic guide.

Mister Darcy on a hike on Doi Pui near Chiang Mai

If you are new to hiking, don’t forget to read these hiking tips. Or have a look at these proverbs and quotes about hiking.

The following is a collection of well known hikes near Chiang Mai. Some are circular hikes, while others are point A to point B hikes.

Click on the links below the pictures for detailed information about each hike. For each hike there is a page with hike pictures, a hike description, files with hike tracks to download (kml, kmz or gpx format) and instruction on how to find the starting point of the hike.

Doi Pui to Doi Suthep Hike

A hike that starts near the top of Doi Pui mountain and ends near the temple of Doi Suthep. Most of the hike is through dense evergreen forest, but you will also pass a tribal village with a coffee shop.

Panorama near top of Doi Pui

Click for more info about this hike.

Huay Tung Tao Circular Hike

A hike on the slopes of Doi Suthep mountain. The starting point is about 12 km north west of the old city. The hike includes the Dtaat Mook Waterfall and takes you to a helipad which is an excellent viewpoint to look down from the mountain.

Dtaat Mook waterfall

Click for more info about this hike.

Doi Inthanon Nature Trail

A hike on the highest mountain of Thailand. The starting point is about 4.5 km before reaching the summit of Doi Inthanon. On this hike you always have to use one of the local guides (200 Baht) who will provide information about the area. The hike is partly through dense forest and partly over a ridge with beautiful views over the valley and other mountains.

Inthanon trail

Click for more info about this hike.

Tips for Hiking near Chiang Mai

Even if hiking trails are well maintained and easy to follow they are usually not clearly marked and it is easy to get lost, even for the more experienced hikers. For your safety you should follow a couple of simple rules:

  • Don’t hike alone! If you do go on your own, make sure somebody knows where you are going.
  • Go with somebody who knows the way and if possible take a GPS. But don’t rely only on the GPS; batteries usually run out when you need them most. Take spare batteries anyway.
  • Know that the mobile phone network is not available in the remote places where you will be hiking.
  • Wear proper hiking shoes and take a hiking stick (a bamboo stick works fine). Know that many trails have steep slopes, sometimes sharp rocks, and can be slippery (even in the dry season).
  • Take enough drinking water: at least 1.5 to 2 liter for a half-day hike.
  • Take some energy bars or other snacks such as raisins or bananas.
  • Take a first-aid box with some basic items: adhesive bandages, betadine (or other antiseptic), tweezers, scissors, elastic bandages (for sprains), adhesive tape, pain medication, pocket knife, a piece of rope, etc.
  • Wear a hat against the sun.
  • Take a compass.
  • Take a whistle to draw attention in case you need to be found. Remember that the pattern for S.O.S. is: short-short-short, long-long-long, short-short-short.
  • Depending on the season you may need insect repellent, rain coat, or clothes that protect you from leeches.
  • Wear long trousers; they protect you from insects, snakes, and sharp grasses.
  • Don’t litter. Take a rubbish bag so you can collect some litter left behind by others.
  • Don’t smoke.

The above “rules” apply to shorter (half-day) hikes. For longer hikes you will need addtional preparations, more food and water, and in case you need to camp overnight, a tent, warm clothes, torches, etc.

When hiking in a group, don’t try to keep up with people who have a faster pace. Always walk at your own comfortable speed so that you don’t burn up your energy. The faster walkers will have to wait once in a while for slower walkers to catch up. It is important to pay attention to where the other hikers are. Always wait at junctions for the slowest person to arrive. Stay together.

9 thoughts on “Hiking”

  1. I am looking for a good Thai guide who speaks good English for a day long hike in Doi Inthanon for my friend and me. Thanks, Dan

    1. At the nature trail near the two big chedis, guides are available, but this is for the hike I described here, which takes about 3 hours (depending on how much time you take making photos). For day-long hikes you could ask at the Park Office at Km. 31

  2. Hallo my Name is Peter,

    and I made some Tripps myself in the Doi Suteph Mountain.
    I did this Tour 18Times, but I felt not so delighted because the Trip along the Street with this many Cars and Traffic disturbs you and it is not really enjoyable!
    So after 2 Month I did the Tour from the Backside of Doi Suteph Mountain. And this Tour was very exciting, because it is an old Track, Farmer – Track into the Mountain and you have to climb over Rocks.
    This Track is for Beginners a little Bit hard. But it makes fun and you need min. 2 Liter of Water and some Profiant for your Brake. So 2 Bananas, some Mango or Pine – Apple is ideal to give your Body the right Nutrition.

    1. Hello Peter,

      can you describe me your trip or give me some tips to go a nice trek in Doi Itnhanon/around ChiangMai? I will be travelling in November alone in Thailand and i would like to spend the most time in the north, for treks. I am 30 years old,sports, i think in good condition 🙂 (i am living in the Alps in Austria).Thank you!

  3. After investigation I finally found the best contact. It was difficlut to find a company that organizes real trekking trips (all of them seems to call trekking an easy ballad in the mountains). A friend of mine told me to contact Thailand Mountain Trail. They don’t have a web site yet but you can contact them on Facebook at Thailand Mountain Trail.

    I’ve done one day near Chiang Mai on jungle trails and two days in the high mountains of Chiang Dao. This was awesome, beautiful and tough. This is for real trekkers only. The guide has spent one year to look for trails used previously by hill tribes. He knows many villages, remote areas and trails. He can speak English. I definitely recommend to contact him.

      1. I can confirm what Stephane says. Thanks to him. I contacted Thailand mountain trail last month when I came to Chiang Mai. They have now a web site http://www.tmt-trail.com with information and contacts.

        Ask Sebastien the founder of the agency. He’s great. He’s spent so much time looking for trails so he knows the areas as no one else knows. He’s a good trail runner so he has discovered and relived so many trails around Chiang Mai.

        I went with him for a 3-day trekking trip near Chiang Dao. We slept 2 nights in hill-tribe villages. It was very remote areas and wild trails. We didn’t cross anybody but villagers. It was a unique experience. It’s beautiful, it’s high in the mountains, it’s wild. This is for real trekkers as there is elevation.

        I definitely recommend it. My best experience in Thailand.

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