Mountain Biking in Nepal
Nepal is home to some of the world’s tallest and most iconic mountains. From Mount Everest to the Annapurna’s, Nepal is synonymous with mountain adventures. So it’s no surprise that Nepal is a great place to go mountain biking.
Thrilling mountain biking trails await you throughout the country of Nepal, taking you on an exciting tour of this mountain wonderland. Explore lush valleys and scenic overlooks, discovering the natural beauty and cultural diversity that make Nepal so unique. Enjoy views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, watch for wildlife, visit sacred temples and monasteries, and so much more. Mountain biking in Nepal is an unforgettable experience!
TYPES OF MOUNTAIN BIKING IN NEPAL
Mountain bikers who visit Nepal will find trails for riders of all abilities and interests. There are easier rides that are suitable for beginners, rugged and strenuous trails that will challenge even the most experienced mountain bikers, and everything in between. Whichever type of trail you are looking for, you know you can expect spectacular views and astounding natural beauty to surround you wherever you go.
In addition to stunning nature, mountain biking in Nepal also gives you a unique glimpse into the cultural diversity of this special country. A variety of indigenous people groups call this nation home, and several different religions coexist peacefully here in close proximity to each other. As you ride through the countryside, you’re sure to encounter monuments, statues, and temples, as well as vibrant prayer flags. Included in your adventure is a chance to learn about traditional cultures and get a taste of daily life. Nepal is a spectacular place to go mountain biking!
Best Easy Mountain Biking Trail in Nepal
Mudkhu to Tokha: This trail blends adventure and cultural experience on a fun route that’s quite suitable for beginners. Tokha is a popular tourist destination thanks to the Tokha Chandeshwori temple and the beautiful Jhor waterfall located there. Though you won’t climb any peaks, you can still get an incredible panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley from the viewing tower near Mudkhu.
Best Family Mountain Biking Trail in Nepal
Kirtipur Circuit: Kirtipur is ideal for families with younger and less experienced riders since it is a short loop trail that avoids climbing mountain trails. The route passes through several villages where you can get a glimpse of the culture and daily life of the indigenous Newar people. Since a stretch of this route follows a highly-trafficked urban road, this route is not recommended for young children.
Best Challenging Mountain Biking Trail in Nepal
Kakani Scar: The Kakani Scar trail traverses more than 50 km through the Kathmandu Valley, featuring steep climbs and fast descents. This route leads you through the remote Shivapuri National Park on a trail that is densely forested at times and passes some breathtaking waterfalls. The biggest challenge on this ride is a 13 km ascent, which gains nearly 1,000 m climbing from Tinpiple to Kakani.
Best Cultural Experience on a Mountain Biking Trail in Nepal
Seto Gumba: With a moderate difficulty level, the Seto Gumba trail leads to a Buddhist pilgrimage site: the hilltop monastery called Seto Gumba (or White Gumba). Along the way, you’ll pass a Hindu temple, iconic Buddhist statues, and a variety of monuments and other religious structures. Discover the local culture and the blend of different religions that makes Nepal so special. If you choose to continue riding about 600 m past the monastery, you can visit the Gurung village of Kallaghari. Time permitting, you can arrange a homestay to spend the night in this village for an authentic experience of daily life, food, and culture in this region.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO MOUNTAIN BIKING IN NEPAL?
The best time of year to go mountain biking in Nepal is during the spring and fall. Plan to visit during the months of March, April, May, September, October, or November for the best chance of enjoying ideal weather and scenery. In the spring, the valleys explode with color as the blooming rhododendrons put on a breathtaking show. The weather in fall is generally drier than spring, but you are likely to have clear skies during both seasons that allow you to take in the amazing views. Either season will allow you to experience traditional holiday celebrations so plan your dates accordingly. Fall is typically Nepal’s peak tourist season.
Summer monsoon rains make mountain biking dangerous, and we recommend avoiding the trails in June, July, and August when they are muddy and unreliable. Winter can be cold and snowy, especially at higher altitudes and mountainous areas, so winter is also not a good season for mountain biking in Nepal.
Other Outdoor Activities in Nepal
With so many spectacular mountains to choose from, Nepal offers some great options for hiking and mountaineering adventures. Just as with mountain biking, hiking trails are available with varying levels of difficulty so there is something for everyone. Novice hikers will find short, simple trails while experienced trekkers will find no shortage of more challenging treks. Hiking is a wonderful way to explore Nepal’s natural wonders.
For an easy hike that only takes a few hours, you can’t beat the trail to the Bosan Danda viewpoint in Kathmandu’s southern outskirts. For an all-day experience on one of the Kathmandu Valley’s most beautiful hikes, take the challenging trail to Phulchowki, the “hill of flowers.” For even more great hiking options, check out our list of the 10 Best Hikes in Kathmandu.
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Mountain biking regions in Nepal
Best Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal
Kirtipur, 5.0 km southeast of Kathmandu, is a medieval town filled with impressive temples and houses attached to one another. The whole town sits atop a single piece of rock creating a fascinating image. Kirtipur provides visitors with a wonderful sense of time-worn grandeur. Although this trail avoids the mountain trails, it is a short and fun cultural trail where you get to witness the daily goings-on of the Newar people. You will pass through stunning villages and lush green fields throughout the entire route.
Budhanilkantha to Tokha
The ride from Budhanilkantha to Tokha is particularly enjoyable in terms of the diverse terrain and the opportunity to visit cultural heritage sites from the vantage of your mountain bike. Making this ride, you will get to check out the impressive Chandeshwari Temple in Tokha, experience technical, yet easy, single tracks, as well as interact with the locals in Tokha.
This is a massive day, biking one of the less-frequented routes around the Kathmandu Valley. You’ll get an authentic feel of the Nepali countryside as you mountain bike the Scar Route in Shivapuri National Park. This remote route features a fair amount of climbing followed by exhilarating descents with many sections leading you through dense forest to dazzling waterfalls all along the way.
Lakuri Bhanjyang Ride
A great ride, with a lot of climbing, however a very scenic mountain bike adventure leads you around the Kathmandu Valley, taking you out of the busy city and into nature as you ride your way to Lakuri Bhanjyang. Enjoy the stunning views from the many vantage points, including one that rests above the clouds at the highest altitude within the valley.
- Technical Difficulty
- Physical Difficulty
Mudkhu to Tokha
The trail from Mudkhu to Tokha is a fairly easy ride suitable for beginners with good endurance. Trails range from paved roads to winding single tracks, offering up the perfect balance of culture and adventure. Tokha is a small town on the northern outskirts of Kathmandu Valley where many people come to visit the Tokha Chandeshwori Temple and to see the renowned Jhor Waterfall. This mountain biking trail is perfect for riders who want a bit of physical activity and plenty of fun.
Feel like a king as you take on the ridges of Nagarkot hill and challenge yourself with its huge drops and sharp switchbacks. Delight in the variety of trails Nagarkot offers, from tiring ascents to wild downhills, all the while taking in the beautiful scene of quiet villages, terraced farmlands, and dense forests.
This is a massive day out exploring beyond the Kathmandu Valley. A small village, Markhu sits at the top of the Kulekhani reservoir, a massive hydroelectric. Markhu offers beautiful panoramic landscapes, complete with the tranquil Indra Sarovar Lake, a perfect spot to engage in fishing and boating.
White Gumba, or Seto Gumba, is a Buddhist pilgrimage site set on top of a hill just outside the main ring road, northeast of Swayambhunath. A massive structure, complete with soothing monk chants, offers a peaceful spot for contemplation. The calming ambience, amazing valley view, and beautiful structure of Seto Gumba are what makes this ride from Kathmandu to Seto Gumba a perfect mountain biking adventure. The climb up to the Gumba is fairly strenuous, though it’s a short ride over black-topped roads.
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.
The Marijuana Loop
Developed by a rock star and mountain biking enthusiast, the Marijuana Loop is a trail within Kathmandu Valley. It has a bit of everything, from single tracks, cross-country, and suburban trails, as well as a few downhill options that start from Chobhar and end in Khokana.
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Other Activities in Nepal
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