Popular hiking places near Kathmandu and Bhaktapur
Explore popular hiking places near Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Discover the best routes, challenges and top destinations for outdoor adventure in Nepal.
Nepal is a land of breathtaking natural beauty and dense forests that captivate the hearts and minds of travelers from all over the world. With its stunning landscapes, pristine waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, Nepal is a land that truly beckons to the adventurous spirit within us. Whether you're looking to scale towering peaks, trek through remote villages, or simply bask in the beauty of the great outdoors, Nepal has something for everyone.
One of the most popular activities in Nepal is trekking, which draws in thousands of tourists each year who seek to immerse themselves in the unspoiled beauty of nature. Nepal offers a wide range of trekking options to suit all skill levels and preferences. So if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of nature, Nepal is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit. With its stunning natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Nepal is a destination that promises to leave you with unforgettable memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.
Some of the popular places for trekking in the Kathmandu Valley include:
1. Shivapuri National Park:
The Shivapuri National Park, which opened in 2002, is home to a diverse range of animals, including leopards, black bears, and barking deer. The area also has 177 bird species, 102 butterfly species, and 129 mushroom species. The northern area offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, while the southern slopes offer panoramic views of the Kathmandu valley.
The park has a variety of trekking trails ranging in complexity from easy walks to more difficult treks that take several days to finish. The trail to the summit of Shivapuri Peak, which sits at an elevation of 2,732 meters, is one of the most famous hikes. This hike takes about 5–6 hours to complete and provides stunning views of the nearby mountains and valleys. The trail that goes to Nagi Gumba, a Buddhist monastery situated within the park, is another popular hike. The trail provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
2. Nagarjun Forest Reserve:
Nagarjun Forest Reserve, near Kathmandu, is a famous trekking destination. The forest is a famous spot for bird watching and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Nagarjun Forest Reserve, situated on the outskirts of Kathmandu, is a popular trekking destination. The reserve has a variety of trekking routes ranging in complexity from easy walks to more difficult treks that take several hours to finish.
The route that goes to Nagarjun Hill's summit, which is located at an elevation of 2,095 meters, is one of the best-known treks. This 2- to 3-hour trek provides breathtaking views of the Kathmandu valley and the surrounding mountains. The path that goes to Jamacho Gumba, a Buddhist shrine inside the reserve, is another well-known trek. The trail takes about 2-3 hours to complete and provides a unique combination of cultural significance and natural beauty.
3. Champa Devi:
Champa Devi, at 2278 meters, is the third-highest peak in the Kathmandu Valley. The trek begins in Pharping and brings tourists through lush forests, charming villages, and stunning scenery. Mt. Everest, Ganesh Himal, Annapurna, Langtang, Gaurishanker, and other beautiful summits and ranges can be seen from Champa Devi. Similarly, ancient sites such as the Bagmati River, Bugmati, Khokana, and Pharping can be visited during Champa Devi Trekking. So, if you only have a few days in Nepal and want to see the entire Kathmandu Valley, or if you want to see stunning views of many gorgeous mountains, or if you want to go high in the mountains, Champa Devi is the best place to go. Fulchoki Hill is on the right, and Chandra Giri, which is the highest hill around Kathmandu Valley, is on the left. The trek takes approximately 3–4 hours to complete and is suitable for all levels of hikers.
Phulchowki is situated in southeastern Kathmandu; it is one of the highest points in the Kathmandu Valley and is home to diverse flora and fauna, including over 300 bird species. The hike to the summit takes about 4-5 hours and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
5. Chandragiri Hill:
The renowned trekking destination in the Kathmandu Valley is Chandragiri Hill. The trek to the summit of Chandragiri Hill is a difficult but rewarding experience that provides breathtaking views of the Himalayan range and the Kathmandu valley. Visitors can tour Chandragiri Hill Station once they reach the top and take in the breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the Kathmandu Valley. The hike takes about 3–4 hours to finish and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Some of the popular places for trekking in the Bhaktapur district include:
Nagarkot, a hill station about 28 kilometers east of Kathmandu and 6 kilometers north of Bhaktapur, is a famous trekking destination. The trek to Nagarkot usually begins in Sankhu. The trek to Nagarkot brings tourists along scenic trails with breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range and surrounding hills. Panoramic mountain views include Mt. Everest, Mt. Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Langtang, Gaurishankar, and many others. The view of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur can be seen from a 360-degree angle. The trek takes approximately 4–5 hours to complete. Nagarkot is also known for its beautiful sunrise and sunset views, making it a popular destination for tourists.
2. Changu Narayan:
Changu Narayan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal's Bhaktapur region, and it is thought to be the country's oldest temple. In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Changu Narayan is a famous trekking destination. The trek to Changu Narayan usually begins in Sankhu, about 17 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu. Visitors can follow a scenic path from Sankhu that goes through terraced fields, small villages, and lush forests. Visitors can experience stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys, as well as several ancient temples and shrines, along the route. The hike takes about 2-3 hours to be finished.
3. Suryabinayek Temple:
Suryabinayak Temple is a well-known Hindu temple about 13 kilometers east of Kathmandu. Aside from its religious significance, the area is also a famous trekking destination. The trek to Suryabinayak Temple begins in Bhaktapur and proceeds along a scenic route through lush forests, terraced fields, and traditional villages. Visitors can experience stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys, as well as several ancient temples and shrines, along the route. The hike takes about 2–3 hours to complete.
Dhulikhel is an attractive hill town in the Kavrepalanchok district. The town is a famous trekking location with breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range. The trek to Dhulikhel begins in Banepa and takes a scenic path through lush forests and traditional villages. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the nearby hills and valleys along the way. The hike takes about 3–4 hours to complete.
The Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts offer several popular destinations for trekking enthusiasts. However, there are numerous other places for trekking throughout Nepal, making it a highly sought-after destination for those who love nature and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, Nepal offers something for everyone, from challenging high-altitude treks to more leisurely walks through lush forests and traditional villages. With its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Nepal is truly a must-visit destination for anyone interested in hiking and trekking.