• Modified on Oct 2, 2022

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If you prefer to be with nature, hiking around Kathmandu valley can offer a trouble-free escape from the city's rush. There are many such places just around the valley of Kathmandu, where you can rejoice in the eye-catching scenery at its fullest also, within a short period of time. Being settled right between the hills, Kathmandu valley is a flat land overladen by millions of populations. It is quite stunning to say that such a lively city hides so many amazing places. The north side is always blessed with beautiful mountain panorama and any elevation along the hills offers a hawk-eye view of the valley and its at-hand places. These hikes are easily accessible and most of them don't require permits and preparation. This can be the perfect startup for beginners as well as if you have less time in Nepal but want to explore the highlights of Nepal. Then the short hikes around the Kathmandu valley would be the best options for you.

Besides the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the surroundings of valleys offer extraordinary mountain views, diverse cultures, traditions, festivals, and people along with rich natural beauties, forests, streams, waterfalls, and high/low hills. Here are some of the most popular and widely visited short hiking destinations near Kathmandu valley. 

Chisapani Hike 

The name Chisapani translates to ‘cold water’ and has been one of the perfect hiking routes around the outskirts of the beautiful Kathmandu valley. This trek mostly takes place inside the Shivapuri National Park. This national park is home to many endangered animal and bird species. You will get a chance to encounter them on your way.

One can begin this hike in Sundarijal (beautiful water), which is about 12 km from the city center. You will get an astonishing view of mountains in the Langtang and Ganesh Himal range from Chisapani. We can follow the outer rim of Kathmandu valley from Chisapani and hike to another beautiful hiking destination, Nagarkot if we want. 

Trip Fact 

DifficultyEasy
Duration1-3 days 
Maximum Elevation2,175 m
AccommodationHotels, Lodges & Teahouses
Best Season Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Shivapuri National Park

Nagarkot Hike 

Just 32 km to the east of Kathmandu, Nagarkot is a popular scenic hilltop and most visited destination by foreigners that offers one of the best panoramic mountain views along with breathtaking sunrise and sunset views. This hill is at an elevation of 2,195 m which offers a brilliant outlook of Mt. Everest, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Range, and other popular mountain ranges. The beautiful view of the valley and terraced fields completes the soul of this trip. There are various good walks around Nagarkot such as Nagarkot Tamang village walk, Nagarkot to Dhulikhel, Nagarkot to Chisapani hiking, Nagarkot 360 view tower walk, etc. 

Trip Fact 

DifficultyEasy
Duration1-2 days 
Maximum Elevation2,200 m
AccommodationResorts, Hotels & Guesthouses
Best Season Spring, Autumn & Winter 
Permits & Entrance Changunarayan Municipality Entrance Permit 

Namobuddha Hike 

Namobuddha is one of the epic destinations offering phenomenal views of the mountain panoramas within a very short time frame. Namobuddha is an astounding and peaceful Buddhist pilgrimage place, on a hilltop, with its beautiful stupas and monasteries. According to myths, it is believed that in Namobuddha Lord Buddha cut his own flesh to feed the Tigress. Namobuddha is 45km east of Kathmandu. You can take a drive to Kavre Bhanjyang and climb uphill to the south or you can drive by car or bus to Panauti, an ancient cultural Newari town.

Trip Fact 

DifficultyEasy
Duration1-2 days 
Maximum Elevation1,750 m
AccommodationTeahouses, Hotels & Guesthouses
Best Season Spring, Autumn & Winter 
Permits & Entrance Not Required

Champadevi Day Hike 

The Champa Devi hike is a good 5-6  hours hike starting from Pharping and ending in Kirtipur. Champadevi hill is situated at an altitude of 2,278 m on the southwestern side of the Kathmandu valley. It is about 20km far from Kathmandu and takes one hour to reach Pharping by vehicle.

A well-ambulated track leads northwest up and down through the pine forest along with the superb view of Langtang, Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar, and others. Following the grassy ridge, we can encounter Buddhist stupa and Hindu shrines. 

Trip Facts 

DifficultyEasy
Duration1Day 
Maximum Elevation2,278 m
AccommodationNot Required 
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Not required 

Kakani Hike 

26 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu, Kakani is a popular viewpoint that offers an astounding view of Langtang, Manaslu, and Ganesh Himal. This hike is too good for families, friends, and nature lovers. You go to Kakani via Balaju following the scenic and beautiful trails alongside the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. This hike offers a pristine walk through oak and pine forests, green hills, villages, hotels, and guesthouses with delicacies of Japanese Rainbow Trout fish and local foods along with amazing hospitality. 

Trip Fact 

DifficultyEasy
Duration1-3 days 
Maximum Elevation2,030 m
AccommodationHotels, Resorts & Guesthouses
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Not required 

Ranikot Day Hike

This hiking takes you away from the hectic urban scenery to somewhere at the heart of nature. Ranikot is located in the Southern part of Kathmandu valley, above Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur, a traditional city inhabited by Newari people and their rich culture. You will encounter the hillside settlement of the Ghyampe Dada, Pilot Baba Ashram. Hiking from Ghyampe Dada to Ranikot is a classic outing that offers a valley view and rustic scenery. Hiking to Bag Bhairav is another 15 minutes walk. This is an excellent sunrise viewpoint in Ranikot. A day hike to Ranikot is also best for high altitude trekking in Everest Region and Annapurna Region.

Trip Fact

DifficultyEasy
Duration1 day 
Maximum Elevation1,890 m
AccommodationNot Required 
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Not required 

Shivapuri National Park

Established in 2002, this beautiful national park covers an area of 159 sq km and is the youngest National park in Nepal. Shivapuri National Park is situated on the northern fringe of Kathmandu Valley. Many travel lovers are attracted to this national park for hiking, short trekking, and mountain biking. Popular trekking routes such as Nagarkot-Chisapani, Helambu-Gosaikunda, and Langtang Valley Trek also pass through this national park. It was extended by the Nagarjun Forest Reserve covering 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) in 2009. Established in 2002 AD, this park covers several religious sites for Hindus and Buddhists.

Baghdwar and Vishnu War of the national park from where the sacred rivers 'Bagmati' and 'Bishnumati' originate is the most recommended place for a day hike. Similarly, Dadagaau, Jamacho Gumba are other attractions this national park offers. Shivapuri NP belongs to Nuwakot, Kathmandu, and Sindhupalchowk districts.

Trip Fact 

DifficultyModerate 
Duration2-4 days 
Maximum Elevation2,732 m
AccommodationLodges, Teahouses & Hotels 
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance For SAARC Nationals - Rs 600
For Other Countries - Rs 1,000

Dhulikhel - Namobuddha Hike 

Dhulikhel-Namobuddha hiking is the most promising day hike in Kathmandu valley. Dhulikhel is popular for a day hike, sunset/sunrise along with luxury stay nearby Kathmandu. This day hike has two different hiking routes i.e. Dhulikhel Nagarkot hiking and Dhulikhel Namobuddha and Panauti hiking. You will have choices and both day hikes are beautiful. Dhulikhel provides an excellent mountain panorama on a clear day and you can experience the authentic lifestyles of locals on the trail. Chyang ( local alcohol made by fermentation of rice) is a highly recommended liquor in this area.

Trip Fact

DifficultyModerate 
Duration1-3 days 
Maximum Elevation1,550 m
AccommodationGuesthouse, Resorts & Lodges
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Not required 

Phulchowki Hike 

Phulchowki is the highest hill situated in the southern part of Kathmandu valley as well as praised for its rich biodiversity that offers nature walks, bird watching, short hikes,s and adventure activities. After a 15km drive from Kathmandu, you’ll reach Godawori which also has the biggest garden in Nepal “Botanical Garden''. Furthermore, you’ll start hiking uphill through the dense sub-tropical forest for 4-5 hours to reach the top of the Phulchowki hill station.

The eye-catching view of Kathmandu valley, amazing landscapes, rich biodiversity, and varieties of birds are some highlights of this short hike. Phulchowki is also popular for snow during the winter. 

Trip Fact 

DifficultyEasy 
Duration1-2 days 
Maximum Elevation2,782 m
AccommodationHotels & Guesthouses
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Not required 

Bethanchock Narayanthan Hike 

Bethany Chowk Narayan is regarded as one of the finest places for a short hike from Kathmandu which lies at an elevation of nearly 3,000m from sea level. Bethanchowk which lies in the southern part of the Kavre district offers stunning views of high heels, rich local culture, food, and green views along with beautiful mountain vistas. This hill is also the highest peak of the Mahabharata range. 

You can experience the beautiful sunrise, sunset along with panoramic views of the snowy-mountain peaks including Makalu, Langtang range, and Dorje Lakpa. There is a temple where people worship the god Narayan and this place attracts many hiking lovers for outdoor activities. 

Trip Fact 

DifficultyModerate 
Duration2-3 days 
Maximum Elevation3,000 m
AccommodationGuesthouse, Resorts & Lodges
Best Season Winter, Spring & Autumn 
Permits & Entrance Not required 

These are the top 10 popular and famous hiking destinations around the Kathmandu valley. When you are in Nepal and if you have a short time these hiking destinations are the best options for you. These beautiful hiking trails offer the authenticity of Nepal, culture, traditions, rich natural resources, diversity of foods along with stunning mountain range. You can contact us for the best trekking, hiking, helicopter trips in Nepal.

Abhishek Dhital

Abhishek Dhital

Abhishek Dhital is a travel photographer, blogger, and licensed trekking guide who loves to observe the culture and lifestyles of different corners of Nepal. He is originally from the beautiful western district of Nepal, Dang. Born in inner terai he always loved to hike up to the hills of his hometown. After his schooling, he came to Kathmandu, and currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor's in Travel and Tourism  Management at Nepal College of Travel and Tourism Management, Lazimpat. He said" When I started tourism studies I really got attached to its service concept and decided to be a professional guide and a travel blogger.