If you’re in Kathmandu from a trek or a long tiring journey and don’t have much time and energy, or you just want to escape from a hustling and bustling city for some time. Then there are many best hiking places near Kathmandu with sub-alpine forests and quiet rural areas , where you can go for a day hike.
Since, the capital city, Kathmandu is a valley. It is surrounded by beautiful hills rich in varieties of flora and fauna (plants and animals). And varieties of ethnic people with their unique culture, traditions, customs and language reside in those areas.
You will feel different in every place you visit or hike.
Also the top of any hills near Kathmandu will please you with a bird eye view of the whole Kathmandu Valley, different species of birds, animals, plants and butterflies.
Thus, I have listed some of the best hiking places near Kathmandu based on my experience.
Jamacho is one of the most beautiful and easy hiking trails near Kathmandu. The trail goes through the Queen’s Forest (Raniban).
The max. the altitude gain of this hiking trail will be 2128m/6981’ and the total hike duration will be 3–5 hrs and the distance is 7.4 KM/4.6 Miles.
Why go for a Jamacho hike?
- Serene and Near from Kathmandu (Away from hustling and bustling city)
- Trails exceed through queen’s forest (Raniban) and get hold at Tamang (Buddhists) Stupa
- Varieties of Flora and Fauna
- Mesmerizing views of the Kathmandu valley, including Swayambhu and the Nuwakot district
- Nagarjuna (Shivapuri National Parks) unique preservation of birds, mammals and vegetation makes the walk heavenly.
- The summer palace of the Royal family turned into a museum adds to historical significance of the place besides being a preferred site for meditation.
How to go there?
- Drive to Machhapokhari, Balaju (Either on Private Vehicle or on Local Bus)
- Walk to Shivapuri National Park Gate if you’re on public vehicle (You can drive upto here if you’re on private vehicle)
- Buy Tickets and Start Hike
Budhanilkantha – Sundarijal is the home of 2,122 plant species, 129 species of Mushrooms, 24 species of Mammals, 106 species of moth and butterflies and 318 species of birds.
And it is one of the best and nearest hiking trails in Kathmandu which lies inside Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. It is
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park covers a total area of 144 KM Square.
and spreads among the parts of Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading districts for central Nepal.
The head office of the National Park is located at Panimhuan, Budhanilkantha municipality of Kathmandu.
The clean and fresh water from the rivers and streams of this National Park is delivered to the residents of Kathmandu Valley (30 million liters of water per day).
Why Budhanilkantha Sundarijal Hike?
- Visit few cultural shrines (Hindu and Buddhist Culture) along the trail (Nagi Gumba – 2,340 m)
- Bird watching in Shivapuri National Park
- Scenic view of Kathmandu Valley, Forest Environment and Religious sites
- Spiritual Fitness and Spend a day in wildlife/nature
- Observing dense forest, wild life, waterfalls, cliff and the beautiful landscape
- Wild animals like deer, leopard, wild cat etc. and many varieties of butterflies and birds can be seen if you get lucky.
Budhanilkantha – Sundarijal Hiking Route
Chakrapath – Budhanilkantha – Shivapuri National Park – Nagi Gumba – Tare Bhir – Mulkharka – Sundarijal
How to reach Budhanilkantha?
On a Public Vehicle
Get a bus to Chakrapath (Maharajgunj), then get off there. From Chakrapath, get a bus, micro or tempo to Budhanilkantha/Narayanthan.
You can also get a direct bus or micro bus to Budhanilkantha, Narayanthan from Sundhara (Kathmandu Mall) and from Kalanki route.
On a Private Vehicle
Just drive or ask a driver to take you to Budhanilkantha, Shivapuri National Park Gate. You can use google maps or MAPS.ME for offline maps.
And if you like interacting with locals then you can ask locals for direction.
Jamchen Vijaya Stupa is a newly built beautiful monument on the top of Budhanilkantha Hill. From the top, you can see the panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley.
The stupa is open for visitors from 8:00 A.M – 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 P.M. The path to reach there is a bit difficult, but the final destination will make you feel worth it.
The view from the top, clean air and serene environment will make you want to stay and spend your time as much as possible.
How to reach Jamchen Vijaya Stupa?
Route: Ratnapark, Chakrapath, Budhanilkantha, ISKCON Temple, Jamchen Vijaya Stupa.
If you’ve a private vehicle then you can reach the top of your vehicle. But if you don’t, then you will have to first reach Budhanilkantha on a Public Vehicle and then start your hike from there.
It’ll take around 1 – 1.5 hrs to reach the top.
- You can get a micro bus or a tempo to Budhanilkanth from Ratnapark. Or catch a bus for Ring road and then get off at Chakra path. And from there, catch a public vehicle to Budhanilkantha.
- Start your hike from Budhanilkantha.
- You’ll walk towards Budhanilkantha School, then to ISKCON Temple (Krishna Mandir), and from there you’ll have to walk uphill.
- You can ask locals for the way to reach Jamchen Vijaya Stupa.
One of the beautiful hiking trail near Kathmandu filled with varieties of plants and animals.
Some of the attractions of this hike are
a. Panoramic view of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur
b. Clean, Green and Fresh environment Kathmandu
c. Varieties of Plants, Animals and Mushrooms
d. Champadevi Temple at the top of the hill
e. Remaining of the fort built during the unification of Nepal by King Prithivi Narayan Shah.
f. Beautiful Monasteries in Pharping
g. First Hydropower of Nepal – Pharping Hydropower
“Though Champadevi is green and has lots of trees, there’s not any sources of water. As it was cursed by god in ancient time”
This is one of the best places to visit near Swayambhunath Stupa. In this hiking route you will visit two major religious shrine
- Ichangu Narayan – Hindu Temple devoted to incarnation of Bishnu, Narayan
- White Gumba – Buddhist Monastery
Beside this, you can visit various other beautiful places on the way, like Single Tree, Chaitya Gumba, etc.
Ichangu Narayan – White Gumba hiking route
Start from Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple)
You will have to come to Swayambhunath Stupa to start this hike. You can come to this point on a public vehicle or on a taxi.
From here you will have to walk on the road opposite to Swayambhunath Stupa. If you get confused, you can ask locals for directions to White Gumba.
After walking for about 20-30 mins you’ll reach a point where the road is very steep and at the top there’s a temple, ‘Bhairavnath Temple’.
From a little ahead, if you take a left turn then you can go to a beautiful place called Single Tree. And a little ahead of this place, you can also go to another beautiful place called Chaitya Gumba View Tower (higher altitude than Single Tree).
To reach here you might have to ask locals or Read this article.
But the road straight from Bhairavnath will take you to Ichangu Narayan and White Gumba.
Go to Ichangu Narayan Temple First
After walking for another 15-20 mins from Bhairavnath temple you will get a junction. From here, if you follow the straight road then you can reach Ichangu Narayan Temple.
Finally to White Gumba
But if you take a left turn, it will take you to White Gumba.
From that junction, it will take another 20 mins to reach Ichangu Narayan temple. You can roam around the temple and then come back.
And then go to White Gumba. The trail to White Gumba is more steep than the path to Ichangu Narayan temple. So it will take more time (approx 1 hour).
Now, the monastery is closed to the public but you can enjoy the view from the top, feel the clean and peaceful environment, buy some local and organic fruits and vegetables.
Also if you want to stay overnight and experience the local experience near Kathmandu then you can visit the Nagarjun Homestays, little above white gumba.
6. Godawari – Phulchowki Hiking Trail, Kathmandu
This is another beautiful hiking route. Godawari is famous for its Botanical Garden. It is a romantic place to be.
Many people visit this garden to see the varieties of flora and fauna, some visit for movie/video shoots as well.
From Godawari, Hiking to Phulchowki hill starts. It’s a 5 hours hike to reach the top and come back to Godawari.
There’s a vehicle road to the top, so you’ve an option whether to go on a vehicle road (longer but wider) or take traditional trails (shortcut, no vehicle but narrow).
At the top of the hill, there’s a small Hindu temple and army check post, and the top view of Kathmandu and Patan area can be seen. On a clear and sunny day, different mountain ranges are also visible from the top.
On the way to the top of the hill varieties of Plants and Animals can be seen.
In winter, it usually gets covered with snow. So, people from Kathmandu come here to play with the snow.
7. Hike to Chandragiri
Chandragiri is now famous for Cable cars. On the top of the Chandragiri hills lies Bhaleshwor Mahadev (a Hindu temple) and private Resort.
From the top, beautiful mountain ranges on the north can be seen and in south Chitlang Organic Village and surrounding is seen.
It also gets snow in the winter which is one of the major tourist attractions of this place.
Though this is famous for cable cars, you can also take a traditional hiking route to reach the top of the Chandragiri hills. On the trail, you’ll get to see varieties of plants, animals and medicinal herbs.
You can also taste the local foods in small tea shops on the way.
To reach the top it can take around 3–4 hours. And if you like you can also go down to Chitlang organic village (best if you stay overnight there).
But we have done the hike from Thankot to Chandragiri, then Chandragiri to Chitlang and Back to Kathmandu in a single day.
So, if you walk quickly then you can do it as well.
8. Hike to Lakuri Bhanjyang
This is also another beautiful hiking route near Kathmandu which lies in Patan district. And the hiking starts from Lamatar.
Lamatar also had an amazing trail for the Mountain Biking Trail (don’t know if it’s still there or not).
Same as other hills, the top of this hill also has a view tower and a flat ground for you to enjoy (picnic, camping, etc.).
And the top view of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu can be seen. And on clear weather, various mountain ranges can be seen.
Since, It’s been a long time since I visited there, I don’t know the recent updates.
So if anyone knows recent updates then please feel free to comment below.
Hiking in Kathmandu FAQs
Are there any places to go for a day hike in Kathmandu?
Yes, there are lots of amazing hiking trails around Kathmandu. Since Kathmandu is surrounded by hills, you can climb any hill for a short hike, and you will be amazed by unique experiences in every hill.
Where should I go for a hike near Kathmandu?
Some of the best hiking places near Kathmandu based on our experiences are
1. Hike to Jamacho through Nagarjun National Park
2. Budhanilkantha to Sundarijal hiking trail through Shivapuri National Park
3. Hike to Jamchen Vijaya Stupa, Budhanilkantha
4. Champadevi Hiking Trail
5. Hike to Ichangu Narayan and White Gumba
6. Gowawari – Phulchowki Hiking Trail
7. Hike to Chandragiri
8. Hike to Lakuri Bhanjyang
What can I expect from a day hike in Kathmandu?
1. Varieties of Plants, Animals, Birds and Butterflies.
2. Different ethnic groups with their unique culture, traditions, languages and customs residing on those hills.
3. Top Panoramic view of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.
4. Clean, refreshing and Peaceful environment near Kathmandu
5. Fresh and Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Is it Safe to Hike in Kathmandu?
Yes, it is. People in those areas are really kind and loving. Some people even go for a solo hike.
Also you can hire a guide if you need.
And be careful when you’re near monkeys as they might try to snatch foods from youu.