“A hilly, steep, secluded, scenic 19k loop that is all trail, with no pavement.”
— HECTOR MARTINEZ
River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
This is a great run with lots of beautiful views and shade. The first and last 3k follow a nice stream with nice swimming holes and jumping spots. There is lots of steep running, up and down. It can be slippery during the rainy season - more fun?! Here's the coordinates for the best parking spot (cars): 20.047867,99.823029
You are likely to come across farmers riding scooters and working on their rice patties. They have guns, for hunting small game. They are all friendly people, though. I don't think they speak Thai... maybe Lahu or Karen?
Start in the village called Ban Li Khai. To get to the trailhead from the Super Highway (1), follow the signs to the Naglae Nai Waterfall. It's a 15-minute drive from the highway. If in a car, park by the big sala (20.047867,99.823029). If on a scooter, follow the road through the small village, past three speed bumps, about 100 meters past the point where the concrete ends. There's a small shed and a wooden sign there.
Follow the dirt road, which quickly turns into doubletrack. At 2.3 km from the start, you go through a small field with stepped rice fields, which resembles Hobbiton. Cross the stream from there, and the steep section begins. At 4.0 kms, there is a meadow (nice place for resting). Hang a 90-degree right at the corral, and follow the singletrack up the mountain.
At 5.0 km, take the fork to the right (west). This is where the loop starts, and most of it is in the shade. At 6.2 km, take the fork to the left (aouth), or you'll end up going to Myanmar! It is a nice flat section here for another 1.5 km or so, and then it gets steep again. Follow the singletrack all the way around up to the ridge, to intersect the original track where the loop started. And now just backtrack to the starting point - but watch your ankles! There's a motorcycle-rut in the trail that makes it a bit treacherous!
There are a few great jumping / swimming spots all along the first (and last) 500 meters of the trail - great for cooling down!
Flora & Fauna
Water buffaloes can be found around the first 3 km of the loop. Nothing afterwards. Did not see any poison ivy...