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November 29, 2023

Hiking Paradises Near Kathmandu

Hiking
Hiking (file photo)

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is not only a cultural hub but also a gateway to some of the most breathtaking hiking destinations. Surrounded by verdant hills and majestic mountains, Kathmandu offers a plethora of hiking trails that cater to both novice and seasoned hikers. Whether you seek a serene escape into nature or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, the hiking areas near Kathmandu have something for everyone.

The proximity of these trails to the bustling city provides a perfect opportunity for both locals and tourists to escape into nature without venturing too far. From the serene forests of Shivapuri to the cultural richness of the Shankhu-Narayan hike, each trail near Kathmandu offers a distinct experience, making it a paradise for hikers of all levels. So, lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the mountain air, and embark on an adventure that promises both physical exhilaration and spiritual rejuvenation.

  1. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park: Just a short drive from the bustling streets of Kathmandu lies the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. This protected area is a haven for nature lovers and hikers alike. The trail to Shivapuri’s highest point, Shivapuri Peak (2,732 meters), rewards hikers with panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley, Langtang Range, and even glimpses of the Annapurna Range on clear days. The trek is moderately challenging, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers.
    Shivapuri Village
    Shivapuri Village (file photo)
  2. Champadevi: South of Kathmandu, Champadevi stands as a serene peak offering a relatively easy trek. The trail takes you through lush forests and charming villages, providing an immersive experience of the local culture. At the summit, hikers are treated to stunning views of the Himalayas, as well as the Kathmandu Valley. The tranquility of Champadevi makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat.
    Views seen from Champadevi hiking route
    Views are seen from the Champadevi hiking route File photo)
  3. Nagarkot: Renowned for its sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas, Nagarkot is a popular hill station located just a short drive from Kathmandu. While it’s more famous for its panoramic vistas, Nagarkot also boasts several hiking trails that lead through pine forests and traditional villages. The Nagarkot to Changunarayan hike is particularly famous, offering hikers the chance to explore ancient temples and soak in the rural beauty of the region.
  4. Phulchowki: Standing as the highest hill in the Kathmandu Valley, Phulchowki is a botanical paradise. The trail winds through a dense forest filled with a variety of flora and fauna, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The summit rewards hikers with stunning views of the surrounding hills and mountains. The trail’s varying difficulty levels make it suitable for both casual walkers and avid trekkers.
  5. Shankhu-Narayan Hike: Combining cultural and natural exploration, the Shankhu-Narayan hike is a hidden gem near Kathmandu. The trail passes through the ancient town of Shankhu, known for its historic significance, and leads to the sacred site of Changu Narayan Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hike offers a unique blend of history, culture, and scenic beauty.

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