Hiking in Ob Khan National Park
Ob Khan national park is not particularly well known among locals let alone visitors to Chiang Mai. With an area of around 574 sq km it is quite large and has a number of natural attractions such as rivers, mountains and a variety of plants and animals. The highest mountain in the national park is Yod Khun Tien at 1,550m.
Ob Khan National Park is located just 30 minutes drive South of Chiang Mai city, within the vicinity of the far better known Doi Suthep National Park that towers over the city and dominates in terms of visitors and tourist attractions. For anyone looking to escape the hoards of tourists, hiking in Ob Khan National Park makes for a nice afternoon. The drive to the park is pleasant, with very little traffic. To get there, travel South on the canal road for about 20km and keep your eyes peeled for signs turning off on the left. Blink and you will miss it.
There are a series of checkpoints prior to arriving at the parking area, they also have camping facilities and a small coffee shop as well as some basic accommodation. The main attraction is the river that runs through the park as well as some interesting rock formations caused from the erosion from the water. There is a hiking trail that follows the course of the river up into a valley, which loops back to the car park.
You can spend a couple of hours hiking in Ob Khan National Park and relaxing by the river and pretty much have the entire area to yourself. It is not particularly spectacular but it can be nice to get away from the usual touristy National Parks in Chiang Mai and there is none of the usual food stalls or souvenir shops making this trip worthwhile if you have time on your hands. On my last visit there were very few campers too so if you wanted to escape for a couple of days this is a great place and very close to the city. There is no doubt a lot of cycling potential too in the area which will warrant another trip to investigate.