The Helipad Mountain Biking Trail
The Helipad Trail within Shivapuri National Park is probably one of the most interesting and winding trails around Kathmandu Valley. This is a technical, gnarly trail that follows a narrow ridge all the way to Kopan Monastery in the northern part of Kathmandu.
Head northwest of Kathmandu Valley to get to Narayan Gopal Chowk, a major road junction of the ring road.
|When to do|
March to May and September to October
Older Children only
Route Description for The Helipad
Head to the northwest of Kathmandu Valley to get to Narayan Gopal Chowk, a major road junction of the ring road. Narayan Gopal Chowk is popularly known as Chakrapath. If you’re coming from Thamel, it is about 3.1mi to reach Chakrapath. Ride through Bansbari, Hattigauda and Golfutar.
Just before reaching the gate of Budhanilkantha Temple, turn right and head southeast on the gravelled path. After riding for almost 1.0mi, you’ll come across several small teashops where you can stop for a quick, local snack of chickpeas and eggs.
The next part of the trail is a steep incline followed by a technical, yet thrilling downhill ride, also one of the most exhilarating sections of the whole route. Pedal steadily, taking frequent breaks as you ride another 1.4mi, gaining an elevation of about 108ft. The trail is dusty and full of small stones. Approaching the top, you’ll see a small helipad on your right and the source of the trail’s name. From the helipad, spend some time admiring the sweeping vista of the Kathmandu Valley before taking in the view of the exciting drops ahead.
The next section is a weaving descent with a few technical drops. Due to the steep switchbacks and gnarly paths, only experienced riders are recommended to ride this trail. You’ll ride down for about 3.0mi to arrive at a fork in the trail. Taking a right from this junction will lead you to Kopan Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery set atop a hill. If there’s interest, follow the main trail into central Kopan. The route is straightforward from here. Ride for approximately 1.8mi to reach Sukedhara Chowk. From here, you’ll begin to see heavy traffic. Take a right from Sukedhara Chowk to get to Chakrapath. Head southwest from Chakrapath to get off the main ring road and arrive back in Thamel where you’ll be in time to enjoy a late lunch in a restaurant of your choice.
Fuel up on local eats before pacing yourself as you climb the steep incline up to the helipad and the reason for the trail’s name.
Check out the colorful Kopan Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery perched on a hill just outside Kopan.
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