The Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Uthai Thani and Tak Provinces, Thailand. The sanctuary was established in 1974, and is one of the largest and most important protected wildlife areas in Southeast Asia. The wildlife sanctuary was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1991. The protected area is home to a diverse range of animals including large mammals, birds, and reptiles. It is Thailand's premier Wildlife research sanctuary.
Length of trail :: 2.9 km
Hiking time :: 2 hours (maybe longer dependent on trail condition)
Difficulty level :: moderate (scale : easy, moderate, hard, ouch)
Terrain :: River valley leading to mixed decid' and mixed evergreen forest with Bamboo forest
Minimum essentials :: 0.5 Litre water
Start point : starting point at the camping ground
Stream crossing 1 : in May the stream water was 2.5 m wide by 0.2 m deep
Stream crossing 2 : in May the stream water was 3 m wide by 0.6 m deep
End Point : back to the camp ground.
The Huai Mae Dee Noi camp ground is one of the 3 small sections of Huai Kha Kaeng that allows limited public access.
The Mae Dee trail in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary is set up as an established and marked trail that starts and ends next to the camp site at Mae Dee.
It really is a trail of two halfs and the stream crossing splits those two halfs. Up to the first stream crossing its a very nice trail with a salt lick and some splendid primary growth trees as well as evidence of deer, elephant and pig. After the first stream crossing it changes to hillside mixed forest with a lot of bamboo growth which makes the trail very difficult. Bamboo does not like people and you will have the cuts and scrapes to show for it after wards.
The second difficulty is that the trail, after the stream crossing, has had little maintenance and we constantly lost the trail and had to search for it again and again. Because of this I would not recommend you attempt this trail without a guide (if you are inexperienced) or alternatively with a GPS and this trail route loaded (if you are confident in the forest). Even though its short this would be a very easy trail to get lost on if you are not used to the forest. For these reasons I have marked the trail as a "moderate" trail - physically it would be an "easy" trail under our matrix but it has technical difficulties.
As you can see from the elevation plot the trail ends with a climb to the top of a hill and then a subsequent descent to the stream/river valley. Upon our descent we had to navigate across the stream quickly as elephants were close by, though there could be a small spur on the trail that we were unable to take because of the elephants.
Another cautionary note would be the stream itself. I have put the widths and depths above because we crossed it in May i.e. at the end of the dry season. I would think that the stream would, obviously, become deeper and wider in the rainy season. You are going to get very wet either way, even in May.
I understand that this trail is no longer being maintained but the post notes that "the Huai Mae Dee Noi camp ground is one of the 3 small sections of Huai Kha Kaeng that allows limited public access".
What are the three areas?
Is this the camp site at the main HQ? Is there more than one camp site at Huai Kha Khaeng? What about Thungyai Naresuan? There is not a lot of info about these two.
Sorry for the late reply I have been away for a few weeks
That trail at Huai Mae Dee is no longer to be found, It can be followed on your right from the other side of a small bamboo bridge a short distance after you enter at the trail sign. This bit of trail goes down to a stream and from there the trail disappears, it is possible to follow the stream both up and down on the far side and down on both sides. The main (trail) track much used by locals from the trail sign goes up to the road through the park which I understand goes to a ranger station and on to the river, it is possible to walk this road as far as you like but no vehicle is allowed. There is good birds along the road and usually elephant and other mammal sign but in the mushroom season there are dozens if not hundreds of locals using the road.
I have seen elephant deer and cattle sign down the stream and on one trip sign of a single water buffalo probably a young bull which had been booted out of the herd, I got very close to this animal but given their reputed bad temper I didnt go look for it.
I have never been charged on any of the occasions I have been to HMD staff are friendly, there are houses for rent but the road is not brilliant with the log bridges not for the faint harted. A place well worth visiting.