Nepal offers a plethora of things one can get involved in. From indoor activities to thrilling and sensational outdoor adventures, there are plenty of things to do. Among a myriad of activities, hiking is one of the top wilderness activities in Nepal to be part of. It is no hidden fact that Nepal is a Himalayan country with the white Himalayas surrounding all north of Nepal. Offering plenty of beautiful trekking trails, Nepal is a haven for trekking adventures. Yet to venture out to beautiful treks such as Everest Base Camp Trek, one needs to have a flexible schedule.
Excluding the vast tropical lands of the south, Nepal contains hills in the middle, which are perfect for hiking gateways. From places like the pristine far western territories to engrossing woods of central and eastern regions, almost every province contains a bucket list-worthy hike in Nepal. However, since hikes are meant for short escapes, traveling far-west and east for hiking might be too overwhelming. Thus, for short and quick gateways, here we list the seven absolute best hikes in Nepal. All these stunning hikes are set in central or western Nepal.
About 20 km away in the northeast from Kathmandu lies beautiful Nagarkot hills (2195 meters), incredibly popular for hiking ventures, picnics, Himalayan views, and weekend getaways. A small town with Tamang, Brahmin, and Chhetri residing in its foothills, hiking to Nagarkot is a cultural experience mixed with natural attractions. Starting with a short drive to Bhaktapur, the trail follows an unpitched road for a small portion and finds an off-beat path that strolls past semi-urban towns, temples, and terraced farmlands. After a few hours of hiking, the journey eventually brings you to the top of the hill, from where you can view panoramic sights of Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, Gaurishankar, Manaslu, and many more mountain ranges. Overall, the trail is tranquil and scenically pleasing. Henceforth, if you are looking to catch an outlook on the life of people residing on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nagarkot Hike is a great adventure.
Wonderful and absolutely rejuvenating Sarangkot Hike is a fantastic laid-back hiking journey. It is an easy hike from Pokhara valley that hikes past charming settlements on the side slopes. Sarangkot is a small village hill about 10 km away from the central market of Pokhara. It is set at an altitude of 1610 meters and is one of the famous hill stations in Pokhara to view an up-close view of Annapurna massif and Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre mountain range. Along with sighting a picturesque view of the Himalayas, one can also catch the spectacular sunrise rising above the Annapurna massif. In addition, the mesmerizing sight of Pokhara valley along with Fewa Lake from Sarangkot hill is visible, making your hiking experience even more worthwhile.
About 25 km in the northwest of Nepal lies Kakani hill at an elevation of 2030 meters. Kakani is another excellent destination for short hiking ventures. This semi-urban town on the outskirts of Kathmandu offers incredible views of the Kathmandu valley along with remarkable mountain scenes. Kakani is a classic hiking destination of Nepal; thus, it is a favorite of many. Famous for the lovely and tranquil ambiance, Kakani is a splendid place to easily spend a whole day. This fantastic hike catches the route through Shivapuri national park and the Trishuli Highway. The walking course follows a trail along a quiet forest that may offer a chance encounter with some of its residents but not any wild animals. It is a sound walking journey filled with interaction with residents. Also, do make sure to taste locally grown organic strawberries for which the village is very famous. Alongside, do visit a Buddhist monastery, which is a religious hub of the villagers.
Another great hike around Kathmandu valley is the Phulchowki hike which lies 30 km away from central Kathmandu. This is a great hiking destination lying at the height of 2791 meters. This hiking trail offers you a riveting journey with no disturbance on the course. It mostly goes through the dense jungle, so you will have no human interruption but can’t be sure about wild ones. Nevertheless, no wild or dangerous creatures roam around the path, and the trail is highly protected by the Nepal army. The hiking trail begins from the Godavari, a quaint settlement in a distant Lalitpur district. Following the forested path, the paths go past a few small wetlands as well. Incredible views of Kathmandu valley, along with the majestic Himalayas, await your appraisal at the top of the hill.
Prepare to get astounded by alluring Himalayan scenes and cultural splendor with the Dhampus hike from Pokhara. It is a multiday hike genuinely worth every second of your time. Set in the hillocks of northern territory from Pokhara at the height of 1650 meters, Dhampus is a lush and beautiful village under the shadow of the great Annapurna massif. Most town residents are of the Gurung community; thus, this hiking destination explores local ethnic communities. Henceforth, with allowing to taste the natural grandeur, hikers also get a chance to taste one of the magnificent cultures of Nepal. Dhampus hike begins from Pokhara and takes the route along a village named Phedi. You will bypass several small terraced farmed towns before reaching Dhampus. Here, hikers get to soak up the beautiful atmosphere of Dhampus and take in the pastoral life of the villagers in their short visit.
A hiking journey in Nepal is incomplete without a visit to a monastery. Namobuddha, a small village in Kavre at an altitude of 1750 meters. Namobuddha hiking allows hikers to rejoice in rural life, all while enjoying the serenity of the place. The destination is named after the famous Buddhist monastery- Namobuddha, which is also the top attraction of the village. It is a sacred spot for Buddhist followers and is one of the main pilgrimage centers along with Bouddhanath and Swayambhunath stupa. Namobuddha Hike is a one-day hiking journey; however, if you would like, one can extend for an overnight trip as well.
Moreover, the journey begins with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Dhulikhel. The hike from there follows semi-rural communities and hiking some steep slopes up and down. All in all, it is a beautiful hike through rural communities with a majestic Himalayan perspective at the backdrop.
Shivapuri Hike is a wilderness experience. The journey mostly goes through the dense jungles of Shivapuri National Park; hence there are fewer chances of meeting others on the trail. Also, it is one of the biggest national parks in Nepal that touches the two other districts, including Kathmandu. Therefore, hiking here varies in length. However, most hike the park for one day to get their fill of nature. Also, the trail entails climbing and descending uphill numerous times, so it can be a bit tough for some. However, it is a fantastic journey to relish the beauty of Mother Nature. The maximum altitude you will reach in this hike is 2732 meters which is quite a high elevation for a hiking destination. Yet, the view of the Kathmandu valley in whole from the top is truly mesmerizing and captivating. The hike begins from Budhanilkantha and visits the lush forest of Shivapuri, Nagi Gompa, and finishes the walk at Kapan Gompa. It is a beautiful hike to spend a day productively.
These are a few best hikes in Nepal that are cherished and loved in Nepal. From introducing the natural excellence of Nepal to tasting cultural magnificence, people can taste all factors while traversing these hiking trails. These are fantastic 1-2 days journeys which hikers can extend as they like. Make sure to include these places for your vacation in Nepal and perceive the enthralling splendors of Nepal.
I am Pritam Chakrabortty. I’m a professional blogger and author. My passion is travelling and explore new unseen places. My travelling passion makes me create this blog to share my travel experiences.