7 Best Hiking Around Kathmandu

7 Best Hiking Around Kathmandu

Are you ready to find the best-hiking destinations near Kathmandu to find a brief reprieve from city life? There are many spectacular places where you can get lost amongst the trees and enjoy the beautiful nature Nepal has to offer.

With busy work schedules, meeting friends, and family events, it isn’t always possible to get away for a week or more for a long trek, making these day hikes the perfect option for many. Furthermore, day hikes are a much more affordable way to travel and enjoy the hills.

With short durations, affordable prices, and nearby locations, there is no excuse not to explore these seven hikes close to Kathmandu.

1. White Gompa

hiking around Kathmandu: White Gompa

Why should you check out White Gompa?

  • You will be treated to a stunning view of the Kathmandu Valley
  • You can explore the Gompa and meet monks who spend their days there
  • There is an opportunity to take a short detour to Swayambhunath Stupa (also known as the monkey temple)

Details about the White Gomba Trail

White Gomba lies within Kathmandu, making it an ideal spot for a short day hike. The monastery is also commonly referred to as Seto Gomba. Translated from Nepali, this means white (seto) and monastery (gumba). However, officially the name is Druk Amitabha Monastery. It takes approximately 2 hours to walk from Swayambhunath Stupa. You will experience densely populated areas, which slowly dissipate as you reach the top of the hill.

The Gompa is a quiet and peaceful place, and it is important to respect this while you visit. There are also opportunities to practice meditation and learn about Buddhism here. The monastery has restricted hours and is generally only open one day each week. At the time of writing, this was Sunday. Be sure to plan and speak with us to confirm before setting out to ensure you can experience the full monastery.

In addition to the interesting monastery, you will be treated to beautiful views of the Kathmandu Valley, and on clear days you may catch a glimpse of the mountains to the north. This hike is also a popular place to view sunrises and sunsets over the hills surrounding Kathmandu.

Downsides of White Gomba

  • The hiking trail is made of mostly city streets, which means you will not experience much of nature and the typical scenes you may think of when hiking.
  • It can be difficult to see the mountains, depending on the weather.

How to get to White Gomba?

Usually, hikes to White Gomba begin at Swayambhunath Stupa. You may walk or take a taxi to the stupa before starting off the paved road to the north that will take you towards White Gomba.

2. Jamacho Day Hiking

Around Kathmandu

Why should you check out Jamacho?

  • It is one of the closest hiking spots to central Kathmandu
  • Excellent views of the Kathmandu Valley
  • There are many opportunities to bird-watch and look for other wildlife

Details about the Jamacho Hike

The Jamacho Hike is named after the Jamacho Monastery, located on Nagarjun Hill. This is a renowned Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site where you will find a small statue of Nagarjuna Buddha. This is a popular hike largely due to its convenient location, only a half-hour drive from central Kathmandu. You must purchase an entry ticket at the Phulbari gate before starting the hike.

This hike is part of Shivapuri National Park and will take you through a beautiful forest protected by the Nepalese Amy. You will most likely enjoy the sounds of many species of birds that call the park home, in addition to having opportunities to see various wildlife. Lastly, on clear days, as you reach the top of the hill, you will be treated to views of Kathmandu, in addition to the Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, and Jugal mountain ranges.

The trail is easy, with cement steps created especially for those looking for a beautiful day hike. At 5km long, it takes 3-4 hours to arrive at the top, depending on your pace.

Downsides of the Jamacho Hike

  • There is no guarantee that you will have pristine mountain views, as this is weather dependent.
  • Speakers, knives, lighters, and other weapons are not allowed inside the park.
  • There are no teahouses or places for lunch along the way, so you must bring water, snacks, and a packed lunch.

How to get to Jamacho?

The trailhead is located at the entrance of Shivapuri National Park. Most people take a taxi to the gate where you can purchase a ticket.

Highlights of the Jamacho Day Hiking

  • Nearest hiking spot from the focal Kathmandu
  • Perfect for a short departure and to appreciate the tranquility of the Mother Nature
  • Admire the brilliant vistas of the Kathmandu valley

About the Jamacho Day Hiking

Jamacho Hiking Trail is doubtlessly the nearest objective from central Kathmandu for short hiking trips. The way is generally striking for its gatherings on the head of the grade and the shocking perspectives on Kathmandu valley. Essentially, starting from the earliest stage of the slope, you can regard the amazing Himalayan sights, including huge Everest and Langtang. No human experience besides the individual hikers can be met in this journey as the way doesn’t have human settlements. Taking everything into account, the way is truly superb as it offers stunning scenes of the valley throughout the journey.

Additionally, the road is part of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. Thus, it is ensured by the Nepalese Armed force. All open parks of Nepal are under the regulation and rule of the Nepal government. As much as hiking offers the brilliant chance to encounter the wilderness, it similarly presents you with an opportunity to see the deer that stroll around the boondocks. Hence, it is a great quiet walk that includes inconsistent encounters with the official inhabitants of the forested areas and deer.

All in all, it is a splendid short hiking trail that won’t take a lot of your time anyway and outfits you with stimulating imperativeness. You can choose the trip any day you like. The way is tranquil and freed from disturbance so that you can value the heavenliness of the way in solitude.

The drawback of Jamacho Hiking

  • It isn’t a long way from the focal city; in certainty, it is inside the focal city, so one may not feel like they are not totally in contact with Mother Nature.
  • The mountain scenes, because of the bad climate, may deter your vistas.

How to get to Jamacho Gumba?

The start point for the Jamacho Gumba Hike is the entry point of the Shivapuri National Park which is about 15 minutes walkway from the place called “Bypass” along the Trishuli Highway. You may take a taxi to the entry point from your location. Upon reaching the entry gate of the national park, you can register, buy a ticket and start the hike along the well-made trail to Jamacho Gumba.

3. Phulchowki Day Hike

Hiking around kathmandu, phulchowki

Why should you check out Phyulchowki?

  • Spectacular views of the Kathmandu Valley
  • Beautiful views of mountain ranges north of Kathmandu, including Annapurna and Langtang
  • Enjoy various wildlife and plants, including rhododendrons

Details about the Phulchowki Hike

Phulchowki is another great escape from city life. Located on the edge of Lalitpur District, the hill is most famous for being the highest point in the Kathmandu Valley at 2760 meters. There is a small temple at the top, in addition to a Nepal Army station. While there are incredible views of the surrounding hills, valleys, and mountains, this area is home to a significant portion of bird species in Nepal. Hikers also often see deer, monkeys, and other wildlife. With its name translating to “hill of flowers,” you can be sure to spot many incredible plants and tons of rhododendrons in the spring.

Downsides of the Phulchowki Hike

  • There are no shops along the trail, only an army outpost at the top, so you must bring water and food to keep your energy up.
  • On cloudy days views will be limited.

How to get to Phulchowki?

You will need to travel to Godawari, a village around an hour’s drive from Kathmandu. A taxi is the best option. However, you can also find buses leaving Lagankhel bus park. It takes around 3 hours to climb to the top, allowing extra time to stop and enjoy the wildlife and take photos.

4. Namobuddha Day Hiking

namoboudha, hike from kathamndu

Why should you check out the Namobuddha Hike?

  • It features a serene path through forests and villages
  • You will enjoy a visit to the peaceful Namobuddha Monastery
  • You will be treated to views of the hills and mountains, in addition to villages surrounding Kathmandu Valley

Details about the Namobuddha Hike

Namobuddha is a popular hiking route just outside of the Kathmandu Valley. Here you will have the opportunity to meet locals and see traditional Nepali villages. There are also beautiful views of the surrounding hills, and on clear days, the mountains and Kathmandu Valley.

This is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal and is a common destination for those looking to practice meditation and yoga. Many people plan to stay in the area overnight as there are frequently stunning sunrises and sunsets visible from the hill. This hike offers a great combination of natural and cultural experiences.

Downsides of the Namobudhha Hike

  • It must be an especially clear day for the mountains to be visible
  • The trail is rather long, which may be tiring depending on your lifestyle

How to get to Namobudhha Monastery?

There are several options for this day hike. Some choose to start from Dhulikhel (you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to this town around 30km east of Kathmandu. Another option is to start from Panauti and walk towards Dhulikhel, passing through Namobudhha on your way.

5. Balthali Hike

Balthali Village

Why should you check out the Balthali Hike?

  • Experience a quiet walk through lush forest and Newari villages
  • Meet locals and learn about life outside of Kathmandu

Details about the Balthali Hike

Nature and bird lovers will appreciate this hiking route as it passes through many lush forests. However, there are also opportunities to interact with locals and experience life in villages in rural Nepal. Here, there are also plenty of opportunities for yoga and meditation, as the area is very quiet. Additionally, those interested in Hinduism will enjoy the many Hindu temples along the path.

Downsides of the Balthali Hike

  • The trail is slightly longer, which can be difficult for some
  • A guide is recommended as there are many trails and it is easy to get lost

How to get to the Balthali Hike?

The starting point for the Balthali hike is Namobuddha. Most people take a taxi to Namobudhha and then begin the hike to Balthali. Many people stay here overnight due to how friendly the people are. However, if you are short on time, you can continue to Khopasi before driving back to Kathmandu.

6. Nagarkot Day Hike

Nagarkot Hike

Why should you check out the Nagarkot Day Hike?

  • Stunning views of the Himalayas
  • A chance of seeing Mount Everest (highly weather dependent)
  • Meet locals and learn about the way of life in rural Nepal

Details about the Nagarkot Day Hike

Nagarkot is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, as it is a peaceful place offering stunning views of some of the highest peaks in the world. The Nagarkot day hike is a great option if you are preparing for a longer trek while in Nepal. This trail winds through pine woods, and there are no significant hills to assent or descend, making it easy and enjoyable.

Downsides of the Nagarkot Day Hike

  • The trail is often busy as it is one of the most popular routes near Kathmandu.
  • The route is highly commercialized, which can increase costs
  • On cloudy days, views will be limited

How to get to the Nagarkot Day Hike?

The Nagarkot day hike begins in Sankhu, a village outside Kathmandu. This is the most straightforward and easy-to-follow route. Most people choose to take a taxi to Sankhu. However, the local bus is also an option. You will walk through villages, fields of rice or maize, and forests as you walk upwards towards Nagarkot. While you should arrive in Nagarkot around lunchtime, we highly suggest an overnight stay enjoy the sunrise the next morning. Alternatively, you may drive to Nagarkot and then hike back to Sankhu.

7. Chandragiri Day Hike

Chandragiri Cable car

Why should you check out the Chandragiri day hike?

  • Witness exceptional views of Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Langtang, and more
  • Watch pilgrims visit the Baleshwar Mahadev temple
  • Enjoy dense forests filled with beautiful flora and fauna, including monkeys, deer, and even leopards.

Details about the Chandragiri Day Hike

Chandragiri is one of the most popular destinations in Kathmandu, featuring cable cars, trolley rides, temples, hotels, and views of the Kathmandu Valley. The peak sits at 2551 meters, and while most people prefer to take the cable car to the top, others choose to hike. Bhaleshowr Temple is a sacred temple of Lord Shiva, and it is believed that King Prithvi Narayan Shah (who unified Nepal) worshiped at this temple before his historical battle. It takes around 3 hours to reach the top of the hill, but allow for extra time depending on how fast you choose to walk.

Downsides of the Chandragiri Day Hike

  • The top of the hill can be very crowded depending on the weather and holidays.
  • Views may be obstructed by clouds or pollution from Kathmandu
  • The hiking trail is through the jungle and can be challenging in rainy weather

How to get to Chandragiri Hill?

We suggest taking a taxi to Mata Tirtha Temple and then beginning walking along the road (which is under construction) for 2 to 3 hours. It is very easy to find the way, and there are plenty of locals to ask for directions if you get lost.

Conclusion

While many of Nepal’s most famous trails are long treks, there are many options for those staying in Kathmandu with little time to explore the country. The above hikes offer opportunities to learn about Nepal’s culture, religion, and way of life. Each location has unique features that will draw you in and cause you to fall in love with the beauty of Nepal.

Contact Nepal Hiking Team for assistance with transportation, guides, and finding the best hike for your travels.

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