- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Literally translated as a ‘hill of flowers,’ Phulchowki is one of the highest points in Kathmandu Valley and resides in the southeast part of Kathmandu. This is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in terms of vegetation and offers the chance to sight a variety of birds. Though the walk is difficult, the wonderful views from the summit grant travelers the opportunity to enjoy nature at its finest.
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Route Description for Phulchowki
The starting point of the hike to Phulchowki is Godawari Bus Stop. To get to Godawari, take a bus from Gongabu Bus Park to Satdobato first, and then look for a bus that goes to Godawari in Satdobato. The ride may be long and bumpy considering the heavy traffic and rough roads. Head south from the bus stop and start walking the first section of the trail, which is a black-topped road. The first 1.0 km of the trail is asphalt and after that, the trail completely changes to a gravel path. Remember to pack a lunch before leaving Godawari as there are no restaurants or tea shops along the trail.
Traverse through tropical forests and enjoy the frequent views of the populated Kathmandu Valley. You climb almost 1,600 m to the top of Phulchowki and only descend about 500 m. The trail has multiple shortcut routes made up of recently built stairs. Take multiple breaks and keep hydrating to endure the strenuous climb. The higher you climb, the better the views become. The trail here is a series of sharp switchbacks and will test your endurance.
Following the gravel path through the dense forest, you’ll come across a small area abundantly decorated with prayer flags that are sure to brighten your mood. The final section of the climb is about 600 m and covers close to 5.0 km. This section of the Phulchowki Hike has one of the most exhausting ascents, so it is recommended to walk at a slow and steady pace. As you approach the top, you’ll see a small check post where you’ll have to provide your details to the army members tasked with protecting Phulchowki Hill.
If the weather is ideal, you’ll be able to see Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, and Gaurishankar Himal to the east. There is a small temple dedicated to Hindu pilgrims on the top, which is decorated with prayer flags. If you happen to visit Phulchowki during the months of March and April, you’ll have the pleasure of witnessing a month-long annual festival celebrated at the shrine of Phulchowki.
Returning the same way you came, if you’re hungry, stop in at the army canteen for a refreshment. Take a bus back from Godawari Bus Park to Kathmandu and celebrate the day’s hiking achievement with a mouth-watering meal and a drink or two.
Insider Hints for Phulchowki
- Remember to take a packed lunch before leaving Godawari as there are no restaurants or tea shops along the trail.
- Along the trail, there is an army canteen that offers refreshments.
Getting to the Phulchowki Trailhead
From Gongabu Bus Park, board a bus to Satdobato. From there, grab a bus to Godawari, where the hike starts.
Phulchowki Elevation Graph
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