Rating – Blue/Red – trails for all levels
Best time to Visit – Year round, but can get wet and wild in the monsoon.
Access – International Airport
Accommodation – 1 to 5 Star Hotels and Hostels
The gateway to Nepal. Most people come here to enter and leave the country. If you like biking, then its worth while stopping in this fertile valley for a few days to check out the local trails and meet the local riders.
Kathmandu is one of the few capital cities in the world within a pedalling range of such diverse culture, nature and wildlife. The city boasts over 130 important cultural and religious sites, including some that are World Heritage listed, a densely populated city centre, a ring of semi rural rice fields and farms and a fringe of National Park’s and Jungles clinging to the steep sided hills. From a low point of around 1200m stretching to the highest point 2732m at Shivapuri Peak.
A growing local interest in mountain biking has led to the establishment of trails dropping off the surrounding valley rim, all can be accessed by pedalling or by shuttling. Modern bikes and top quality gear can be hired in several places, making it worth the travellers time to do a day trip or two here and interact with some local riders along the way.
The best places to ride are:-
For Enduro – Nagarkot, Shivapuri National Park, Lakuri Bhanjyang and Phulchowki. All can be reached by shuttle services. Nagarkot has multiple trails and is the home of a leg of the Asian Enduro Series held every April.
For XC and intense uphill challenges – Kakani, Nagarjun, Shivapuri, Chandragiri and Phulchowki are some of the high points in the valley. Great to test your fitness with 1000m + climbs to the top. Best part – you get himalayan views.
For culture and sightseeing – World Heritage sites like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath and Swayambhu can link up in a sightseeing ride along with the local markets and backstreets around Assan Tol. To go further afield in the valley head to the ancient villages of Bhaktapur, Chitlang, Panauti, Kokhana and Bungamati to get a taste of the traditional housing, artisan crafts and farming life that still clings on there.
So if you are in Kathmandu and love mountain biking, don’t miss out on being sure to hit these trails with some locals.