Day Hikes from Kathmandu Valley

Day Hikes from Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu, the capital city of the of Nepal, is situated in a basin surrounded by chain of mountain. Eastern rim of the valley from Nagarkot to Kakani provides easily accessible and a quick approach to the mountain. The Himalayan view from Mt. Everest in the east to Manaslu and Hiumchuli in the west can be seen throughout the trail. Langtang and Ganesh Himal dominates skyline on the north. On a clear day part of the range of Annapurna can be seen. The village dotted on the ridge and foothill of this section of the rim gives a bird eye view of diverse culture. The oak, pine and rhododendron forests give different view of the fast disappearing forest resource of Nepal.

Beside Dhulikhel, Nagarkot (2175m) is popular with tourist and local people alike. There are several tourist standards hotels that fit in with every budget. An overnight stay would allow you to see a memorable view of sunset and sunrise over the Himalayas. This ridge is linked with 32-km road with Kathmandu. Bhaktapur City is en-route.


Day Hike to Nagarjuna - ( 5/6 hours walk)

Nagarjuna, known as a Jamacho, nearest day hiking peak from Kathmandu which is located to north-west of Kathmandu Valley at the height of 2128 covered by thick forest. The hike starts from Rani Ban (Queen’s forest) takes about 20 minutes drive from Thamel for entry gate and about 2 and half hours of walk up to the summit. Nagarjuna hill is popular Buddhist pilgrimage site having shrine of Padmashambhava.

The etymology for its name as Nagarjun is based in a mythological statement that it’s the location where Acharya Nagarjun has meditated. Nagarjun also described as Vindya Mountain in literatures. Here one can feel peace state of mind with natural setting and it’s the best place to meditate. Buddhist shrines, ancient caves and finally Jamacho view point are the main points of attractions offering valley’s widest mountain panorama stretching all the way from Annapurna to Langtang Himalayan range and the view of Kathmandu valley from here is superb.

Gundu to Sanga day Hike ( 6-7 hours walk)

This hike starts at Gundu village which is located 2 kilometers from Suryabinayak, about 10 km from Kathmandu. Gundu is a pristine, alluring and beautiful village, the trail climbs ups from this point, the views of lush green fields from the top hill and blue skies with refreshing breezes are just amazing. There is a temple of Pilot Baba Ashram and Somnath Temple on the top of the hill. The holy shrine is built by the sage Pilot Baba who is believed to have renounced the material world for the spiritual one. As you moved and explored the hills and villages you arrive another hill called Ghyampe Danda that has its own beauty. Next you walk down hill to Ashaphuri Mahadev temple which is between Bhaktapur and Kavre. The pristine and sparkling Ashapuri river races through these settlements. There are natural water spouts in and around the temple. We will pass through pine forest on our way to Pilot Baba Ashram. From the ashram we will hike toward Ashapuri Mahadev temple. We will finally hike down to Sanga from where we will return back to our hotel in Kathmandu. Overall this hike is of easy grade and will be of 6 to hours. Total hike would be around 18 KM.

Shivapuri - day hike - ( 5/6 hours walk)

Shivapuri (2732m) is second highest hilltop around Kathmandu valley. It is located north of Kathmandu. Drive to Busdhanilkantha; there is a statue of sleeping Vishnu. Start to ascend from the road head. The trail gradually climbs up to the fence border of Shivapuri forest and becomes moderately steep. It takes about an hour to cover the steep portion and the trail becomes little easier. The trail is fairly level as it approaches the ridge. The last part of the trail is steep walk is about 2-3 hours. The view from the nice open grassy field at Shivapuri (2732m) is impressive. An overnight camp is idle.

Changunarayan to Sundarijal – day hike - ( 5/6 hours walk)

Start the trek from Changunarayan temple. It is 45 minutes drive from Kathmandu. Changunarayan was built in 323 AD. This temple provides deep and rich impression of the past culture. Walk to Nagarkot (2200m) and stay overnight to see beautiful sunrise and sunset on the Himalaya and Mt. Everest. You need to book your own accommodation here, there are plenty of choices from budget hotel to luxurious hotel in Nagarko.  Next morning you will walk through the trail from Nagarkot pass through several villages and follow the ridge towards northwestern direction passing through Bhotechaur, and the trail descend to Sundarijal. Drive back to Kathmandu from Sundarijal. This is quiet a long day trek.

Champadevi - day hike - 5/6 hours walk

Champadevi is situated at a height of 2278m on the western ridge surrounding Kathmandu valley. The trail to the ridge top starts from Pikhel on the way to Dakshinakali. The trail leads towards north and climb the ridge top at Neupane Danda. Continue to ascend through tall pine forest in northwest direction and reach top of a ridge at Champadevi. Its vantage point provides wide-angle view of Kathmandu valley and entire Himalaya range. There is a Buddhist stupa and Hindu temple located on the road head at kirtipur. The ridge trail continues from Champadevi to Bhamesmar, and descends to Kirtipur. (There are lodge and hotels at Pharping and Hatiban.)

Dhulikhel to Namobuddha via Panauti - day hike - ( 6/7 hours walk)

It is 30 km east of Kathmandu on Arniko (Kodari) highway to Chinese boarder. The hotels and resorts built along the ridge line gives a great view of the lower valley that rises up to the Himalayan range that seem to extends endlessly to the east as well as western direction.From Dhulikhel walk up gradually on the summit of Namo Budha. It is situated on a hill above Panauti - a medieval town. You can also drive but the road condition is very bad. It is best to hike up the ridge. It is on of the important religious site for Buddhist. It is believed that Buddha came here in one of his incarnation and fed his flesh to a hungry tigress so she can feed her cubs. There is an ancient stone slab and a stupa with all-seeing eyes of the Buddha that commemorate that occasion. There are several stupas and colorful flags fluttering in the cool breeze. A big statue of Buddha and several uniformly lined up stupa in the back drop of the enchanting himalaya provides an ideal scene for photographer.

Descend to Panauti. It is an old settlement of Newars. This medieval towns has some of the best example of wood craftsmanship in the form of temples. Take time to see the temple of Indreshwar Mahadev built in the 14th century and Brahmayani built in 17th century. These temples are restored to its original form. Panauti is linked by 6km road, which is rather bad in condition, with Banepa that links Kathmandu and Dhulikhel. (There are several resort hotels in Dhulikhel.

Pulchauki (2759m) – day hike - ( 5/6 hours walk)

Drive to Godavari (18 km from Kathmandu) botanical garden and gradually hike up to the ridgeline. At several points you come across a gravel road that leads to the summit of Phulchauki. The summit is the highest point in Kathmandu valley. Throughout the up hill trail and road there are thick bushes of rhododendron trees and orchids flowers. In the spring it is pleasant to see colorful flowers all over the forest. This area is equally great place for bird watchers. In December, sometime there are snowfalls on the summit. The ridge top provides unobstructed wide-angle view of the Himalayas stretching all the way from Everest to Annapurna. At the summit there is a Buddhist stupa and colorful flags offered by devotees. You can either descend to Godavari-about 3-hour walk or have a 4-wheel drive jeep pick you up at the summit. Walk up the hill takes about 4 hours. (A luxury resort has been recently built for tourist near Godavari.).

Changunarayan to Nagarkot (2175m) – day hike -  (5 hours walk)

The drive from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur turns northwest to Changunaryan temple. The road is 22 km. from Kathmandu. From Bhaktapur it is a steep drive about 4 km. The road used to be narrow all the way to the temple but no it is much improved. You will gain height of 153 meter from the valley level. It was built in 323 AD by King Hari Dutta Varma. This temple is decorated with beautiful sculptures and woodcarvings. It is believed to be the oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley built during the times of Lichivi dynasty. The vantage point of the temple provides scenic landscape of the surrounding valley all around.

Walk on the road and footpath used by local people to go to Nagarkot. The trail gradually winds up passing through several villages.

Private arrangement trek cost:

1  pax:       US$80 per person

2  pax:       US$60 per person

3-5pax:      US$50 per person

6-9 pax:     US$40 per person

10-15pax:  US$35 per person

Cost Include:

01: Trek Guide

02: Lunch

03: Local public transporation

Cost does not include:

01: Private Transportation

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  • Price : USD 35
  • Destinations : Around Kathmandu Valley
  • Max Elevation : 2175
  • Weather : all season
  • Trip Duration : 1 day
  • Trip Grade : Easy
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