Winter Wonderland: Hiking places near Kathmandu
Around the serene tranquility and crisp mountain air, Nepal presents some of the most thrilling hiking places near Kathmandu Valley. They offer snow-kissed landscapes. Nestled in between the two huge territories of India and China, Nepal is a landlocked country with mesmerizing natural and cultural diversity that will blow up your mind once you step on this land.
Moreover, Kathmandu offers plenty of hiking trails which are perfect for winter exploration. The winter months in Nepal, typically from December to February, carry a rejuvenating change to the landscape. The clear sky and tall mountains turn into a paradise for people who seek adventure.
If you are planning on a voyage for winter hiking adventure around the vicinity of Kathmandu, we present you with an amazing realm of courses with snow-laden and crisp air which will offer a welcome recess from the bluster of city life. Here are some hiking places near Kathmandu that offer a variety of experiences and challenges for hikers of all levels:
1. Shivapuri Hike
Shivapuri is one of the renowned hiking spots in Nepal which resides in the Northern part of Kathmandu. The hike gradually gains an elevation of about 2,500 feet. The trails are well maintained, and the overall hike is moderate. The most suitable time for you to hike Shivapuri is during the spring or the fall which is during March and May when the weather is mild. However, during winter you will be able to explore the snow-covered mountains pleasingly. The distance is about 6 miles, so don’t forget to wear your comfortable shoes.
Shivapuri is a popular destination to explore wildlife and a range of landscapes along with a breathtaking view of the Kathmandu valley. Also, you can have a glance at the snow-capped mountains and Himalayan peaks from there.
This hike offers some stunning views and also connects you to nature. It takes about 4 to 5 hours, but the walk is worth it as it offers spectacular scenery and other trailheads including the Budhanilkantha Temple. This is a perfect spot to escape your busy life from Kathmandu without traveling very far.
2. Chandragiri-Chitlang Hike
Chitlang is a traditional Newari village that was founded in the 11th century and presents you with authentic Newari lifestyle and cuisines. This place offers a wide range of natural and cultural beauty including temples, monasteries, and other historical sites.
Reaching Chiltang via Chandragiri is also one of the popular hiking places near Kathmandu. This hike begins at the Chandragiri cable car station. You can take a cable car ride for about 20 minutes through the hills and look at the amazing view of Kathmandu Valley. Thereafter, you shall have the option to hike to the Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple or to continue to Chitlang.
It takes about 2 to 3 hours to get to Chitlang from Chandragiri and the walking trails are easy to navigate and are mostly downhill and flats. You shall be passing through the lush green forest and small villages. The perfect period for you to get to the hike is during the fall when there will be less rain. From Kathmandu, you can take a bus or a taxi to get to the cable car and the cable car can cost you around 800 Nrs per person.
If you are someone who is planning to spend some of your time wandering around nature and the historical areas, Chitlang is the spot for you that will meet your needs and deliver you the overall satisfaction.
3. Chisapani to Nagarkot Hike
Chisapani is located in the North-East part of Kathmandu where the hike begins. Thus, you can get to Chisapani from Kathmandu via Jeep or you can choose to hike from Sundarijal to Chisapani. Staring at Chisapani, you will see a trail heading towards the southeast. This trail will lead you to Dhap Dam popularly called Nagamati Dhaap. This is a small lake for you to take a break and enjoy your snacks for a bit. The Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park has dense forest as you pass through the dam.
The overall hike is around 15 kilometers which takes around 4-5 hours to complete. You will be passing through the Jhule village, Lapsephedi, and eventually to Nagarkot through Kartike Bhanjyang. You shall see tall, white mountains with a panorama of the beautiful hills of Nagarkot. This hike is indeed a rewarding and quiet one. You will feel close to nature and be mesmerized by the terraces and landscapes there.
4. Sundarijal Hike
Sundarijal hike begins in a small village named Sundarijal which is in the northeast of Kathmandu. This is one of the famous hiking places near Kathmandu Valley that offers some dazzling vistas of the mountains, the overall Kathmandu Valley, and also the popular Shivapuri National Park.
This 18-kilometer hike takes around 5 to 6 hours to complete and the trails are well maintained. During the hike, you will also see captivating water bodies like rivers and waterfalls along with a rampant green forest, and a variety of flora and fauna.
After about 2 kilometers, the trail reaches the Budhanilkantha Temple which is one of the most important Hindu sites dedicated to lord Shiva. Thereafter, you will be heading toward the Tarebhir viewpoint which offers a view of Kathmandu valley and Mount Everest as well. Once you get to Tarebhir, you will reach Nagi Gumba Monastery which is around 8 km from Tarebhir. This is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery which is a peaceful place to relax.
Sundarijal hike is a great way to experience the natural and cultural beauty of Nepal along with an opportunity for self-discovery.
5. Ranikot Day Hike
A hospitable hike to Ranikot village which is around 15 kilometers from Kathmandu is awaiting you to offer its elegance and pristine views. This hike is considered a relatively easy hike which can be completed in around 4 to 5 hours which makes it ideal for those who seek a moderate outdoor adventure.
The hike begins at Suryabinayak which is in the eastern part of Kathmandu. Thereafter, you can head towards the well-maintained track to Ranikot’s viewpoint. Descending the Rayale village, you will see a spellbinding Newari settlement where you can enjoy delicious Newari cuisine and a view of the mountains.
You can embark on your journey to a refreshing place with a blend of cultural and natural beauty. Ranikot hike is a pleasurable getaway to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu Valley.
6. Phulchowki Hike
Moving through the hills of Godawari, Pulchowki is a Hindu pilgrimage site that offers tranquility and peace to those who visit. The Phulchowki hike is a 6.8 km hike which takes about 4 to 5 hours to get there.
With an elevation of about 2,700 meters, Phulchowki has well-maintained but slippery trails. You can start your hike from Godawari. Autumn is the perfect time for you to get to the hike as it will have blue sky and colorful flowers. Phulchowki is also renowned for mountain biking.
This is one of the most challenging but rewarding hiking places near Kathmandu and is famous for its serene views. There is an army checkpoint at the top of the hill that is protecting the place, so be sure to get your IDs and passports. Also, the army canteen at the top will provide you the replenishment if needed.
7. Bethanchock Narayanthan Hike
The Bethanchock Narayanthan Hike is one of the favored hikes in Kathmandu which is moderately challenging but presents you with some subdued and ravishing views of the captivating Kathmandu valley along with the remarkable mountains. You shall further have a 360 view of Kathmandu.
The hike is around 6 kilometers long and usually takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete while the trail is easy to follow and well-maintained. The hike begins at the village of Dhungkharka with a path of pine trees and rhododendrons. As you continue to hike along the cliff to the summit of Bethanchowk Hill, you will encounter the Narayanthan temple.
If you are planning to stay overnight, this place lacks the luxury accommodation. Therefore, you can opt for camping or reside in the local stayhouses. This shall be a totally into the wild experience.
With every step, the mighty mountains will be staring at you and you will be enjoying the startling vistas. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just a newbie seeking winter adventure with friends, these hiking places near Kathmandu will offer you challenges and rewards while also ensuring that you take some lifetime memories and unforgettable experiences as you return. From the short day hikes to Ranikot to an overnight stay at Nagarkot, Kathmandu has everything to offer you.