Five Great Day Hikes around the Kathmandu Valley

  • Last Updated on Dec 10, 2022

Five Popular one-day Hiking routes in Kathmandu Valley, all start in the morning and end at the same location in the evening, Join a group with Guides.

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Most visitors to Nepal fly into Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is quite special, a city of riotous charm, vibrant markets, bustling streets, and hidden alleys with a plethora of colorful temples and grand squares. The city conjures up some great days, time to discover its many layers of historical fabric. Yet, like all cities there comes a time when a day away from the bustle works wonders for the soul. Taking a day away from the busy streets to go hike some wonderful trails around The Kathmandu Valley comes as a welcome escape. The city is surrounded by verdant hills dotted with terraced farms, picturesque villages, and lush forests. Here life continues at a steady pace still not overly influenced by modernity. Spend a day taking in traditional village life, where farmers work in the fields and pilgrims travel to the many monasteries to be found within the valley. If you are lucky you may catch a sighting of an Indian Leopard or a Himalayan Black Bear.

Day hikes are ideal for families and nature lovers, especially if you want to test your legs a little before a longer more arduous trek, perhaps in the Annapurna Region or a trek to view Everest. You do not have to travel far from the city to experience the delights rural Nepali life has to offer. These five one-day hikes are ideal when planning a day out of the city. Each of these offers the opportunity to discover some wonderful nature and authentic Nepali culture, they all provide fantastic views of the mighty Himalayas.

Champadevi to Chandragiri Hiking

Champadevi is a great option when considering a day in the hills, located to the southwest of the ancient city of Kirtipur on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The hike itself starts from Hattiban, it is a longish trek covering nearly 20 Km and takes a minimum of 4 to 5 hours. It is both a vigorous and refreshing hike through the dense forest consisting mainly of pine trees, bamboo, and rhododendron with many herbs and shrubs along the way. There is open grassland as you go providing ideal space to relax and take in a birds-eye view of the valley.
The monastery on the summit is an ideal setting for lunch, time to relax and enjoy the spectacular views of much of the Himalayan range including Mt. Everest, Mt. Ganesh, Mt.Langtang Lirung, and Mt.Gaurishankar. We trek back via the ancient town of Kirtipur where we spend time enjoying its narrow ornate streets and temples. From here our car will drop us back at your hotel in Kathmandu.

Hike Route Summary:

Grade:Moderate
Maximum elevation:2550 m.
Hiking starting point:Pahiro, Pharping
Hiking ending point:Macchegaun or Chandragiri Cable car station
Activities:Hiking, Sight-seeing
Best season:Around the year
Driving duration:1 hour from Thamel to hike starting and ending point.
Hiking duration:s5 to 6 hour

The Shivapuri peak (Shivapuri Baba) at the Shivapuri National Park

A Day hike to Shivapuri National park is also a popular getaway, known for its abundance of wildlife, and pristine nature at its best with 318 species recorded. These include thirty-three mammals and two hundred and eight bird species. Mainly comprised of Rhododendron Oak and Pine, the route consists of a rugged road with many stairs and stone steps over a distance of nearly 18 Kilometres and takes around 5 hours.
The area is steeped in religion, Budhanilkantha temple, and Nagi Gomba are visited during the day. From the final destination, Shivapuri peak, enjoy spectacular views of the Himalayas to the north along with a broad vista of the Kathmandu Valley below. We take a shortcut downhill of around two and a half hours to the holy site of Budhanilkantha, where our car is waiting for the drive back to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Hike Route Summary:

Grade:Easy to Moderate
Maximum elevation: 2732m.
Hiking starting and ending point:Panimuhan, Bhudanilkhantha 
Activities: Hiking, Sight-seeing  
Best season:Around the year

Driving duration:

30 min from Thamel to hike starting and ending point.
Hiking duration:6 hours
Baghdwar is the source of Holy River Bagmati.
Baghdwar is the source of the Holy River Bagmati.

Phulchowki Hill

A short trek to Godawari and Phulchowki is another favorite away day. It is very popular among Birding enthusiasts, rich in birdlife amongst beautiful forests that carpet the surrounding hills. Phulchowki is the highest hill within The Kathmandu Valley, from the peak, there are spectacular views of both the valley along with magnificent views of Himalayas. Situated 14 km south of Kathmandu it takes around 45 minutes by car from the main town.
Godavari Botanical Garden is situated at the base of the hill, a perfect starting point for the hike. The hike takes around 4-5 hours at an easy pace uphill all the way, through the subtropical thick forest predominant in the area. From the summit, we take lunch and enjoy magnificent mountain views of many of the ranges that make up the Nepal Himalayas…Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, and the Gaurishankar ranges particularly stand out. After a leisurely lunch, we retrace the trail for around two hours back to the Godavari, where our car awaits us to take us back to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Hike Route Summary:

Grade:Easy to Moderate
Maximum elevation:2782m.
Hiking starting & ending point:Godawari Park
Driving duration:5 to 6 hours
Hiking duration:1 hour from Thamel to hike starting and ending point.
Activities:Hiking, Sight-seeing
Best season:Around the year

Nargarjun Hill (Jamacho Gomba) Hike

If you a looking for a hike that provides a wide variety of interests along with some spectacular mountain vistas look no further. Located seven kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, the trail to Nagarjun Hill passes through traditional villages where life has changed little over the centuries. Once at the summit enjoy a sweeping vista of much of the Himalayan chain to the north with some wonderful views of The Kathmandu Valley below.

Nagarjun hill is located not far from the sacred Buddhist monastery site of Swayambunath, over the centuries it has developed a distinct Buddhist history with many Buddhist shrines and monasteries surrounding the hill. The trek up to the summit takes around two and a half hours, on the way we visit Buddhist retreat caves where Monks have spent years in deep meditation the most famous of these being Nagarjuna's cave where a famous second-century Buddhist monk spent time meditating there.

An abundance of wildlife with a wide variety of plants, animals, and birds has made Nagarjun another popular destination with nature lovers. An interesting focus here is the remains of an ancient military fort on top of the hill. It was built over two hundred and fifty years ago to protect the valley from invaders before Nepal became a unified country. We trek down to Phulbari gate where our car is waiting for the short drive to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Hike Route Summary:

Grade:Easy to Moderate
Maximum elevation:2128m.
Hiking starting & ending point:Nagarjun Fulbari Gare
Driving duration:30 min from Thamel to hike starting and ending point
Hiking duration:6 hours
Best season:Around the year
View from Nargarjun Hill (Jamacho Gomba) top
View from Nargarjun Hill (Jamacho Gomba) top

Kakani to Suryachaur 

This is another day hike offering the opportunity to sample Nepalese rural life whilst also showcasing superb mountain views. The trail provides a good stretch of legs amongst beautiful hills, traditional villages, terraced farms, and lush forests.

Situated in the northern part of Kathmandu Valley at an altitude of 2100m, Suryachaur Hill lies within the Nargarjun National Park 15 km from Kathmandu. Home to 177 species of birds, including at least 9 threatened species, and 102 species of butterflies with a number of rare and endangered species. Several surveys have recorded the existence of Indian Leopards, Himalayan Black bears, deer, wild boar, and many other rarely seen animals within the park. Yet another perfect destination for viewing the entire valley along with a larger portion of the Himalayan chain of mountains. We trek back to the road and head for the short drive back to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Hike Route Summary:

Grade:Easy to Moderate
Maximum elevation:2100m
Hiking starting point:Kakani
Hiking ending point:Jhor or Gurju Bhanjyang
Driving duration:1.5 hours from the city to the hiking starting point and 30 min from the ending point.
Hiking duration:

4 to 5 hours

View from Suryachaur
View from Suryachaur

 

Rajendra Thapa

Rajendra Thapa

"Take only memories, leave only footprints' -Chief Seattle 

Namaste! Greetings from the Himalayas!! I am Rajendra Thapa, a promising and adventurous wanderer and a travel guide from the beautiful country Nepal. Nepal is a country duct between the gorgeous mountains of the gigantic Himalayas and the lost jungles of the Terai and also a home to multicultural people with various traditions. I am passionate about traveling, trekking, hiking, and photography. You can find my travel experiences and blogs on my Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
I was born in a small countryside full of greenery and fresh air on the lap of Ganesh Himal far from the city chaos. Growing up, I was always interested in exploring things,  places, people, and lifestyles, which developed into my career. Through the company Nepal Gateway Trekking Pvt Ltd. I am serving to share my knowledge, experiences, and guidance regarding various Himalayas base camps, jungles, cultural monuments, historical sculptures, and many more adventurous things to make your lifetime experiences amazing, after all, travel is all about having lifetime experiences with beautiful memories.