Mountain Biking in Nepal is a prospect that is yet to be fully realized.
Nepal is a treasure of the world but it is not a gem that can be unveiled at once. The diverse terrain and numerous untouched trails mean that it can take days, months or even years to reach every nook and corner of the country and experience every single facet of it.
The best way to explore the green plains, lush hills and chilly majestic mountains is on foot. Trekkers trek on trails-old and new- to discover the joys of diverse flora and faunas, cultural heritages as well as the traditional lifestyles of the humble and friendly people of Nepal.
But with the varying terrain from valleys to the rough roads of the hills, enthusiasts have found another fun and exciting way to explore the most unreachable of places – mountain biking.
With a number of adventure sports being discovered, explored and promoted to establish Nepal as the ultimate destination for adventure sports, mountain biking in Nepal is slowly gaining popularity among the adrenaline junkies.
As even the slopes are easy, maneuvering in mountain bikes offer a better means of experiencing the trails and nature of various regions than mountain flights or drives in jeeps and buses do. Itineraries for the bike rides are available mostly for Kathmandu and Pokhara only as the bike renting options are available only in these cities.
Trails range from very difficult ones with monster ascents and descents that require high level of physical fitness, stamina and experiences to the trails in Kathmandu and Terai that are mostly flat and can be completed by even novice bikers.
Newer routes and itineraries are constantly being explored and opened for such treks as bike shop owners and local biking enthusiasts are regularly going off the known trails.
Famous Trails for Mountain Biking in Nepal
We have listed some of the popular spots for mountain biking in nepal.
One of the most beautiful valleys in Nepal, Pokhara is a perfect mixture of natural beauty, culture and adventure sports. It attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists every year. Adorned with various lakes and hilltops that are vantage points for numerous snow capped mountains including Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, Pokhara is the ultimate destination for tourists to explore.
Phewa Taal Loop
One of the shortest trips of Pokhara is riding along the Phewa Lake. You start from the north shore and then make your way towards Danda Kot and World Peace Pagoda. From the stupa, it is a single track downhill trail through the forest that comes out of Dam side. It is a five hour trip that can be extended either to Sarangkot or to the south of the Peace stupa to Seti Nadi.
Sarangkot to Pame
Sarangkot, the hilltop vantage point, is one of the most visited sites of Pokhara. It is famous for the awe-inspiring views of the snow capped mountain ranges. The ride starts from Bindabasini temple and follows the paved road, 8 km west, to reach Sarangkot. 3km to the right from the junction takes you to the famous hilltop viewpoint whereas the left trail leads to Naudaada.
The trail to Naudaada is a pleasantly contouring trail for the first 10 km that passes through farmlands and villages. From Naudaada, you can ride to Deurali and then take a sharp descent on off-road tracks to reach Pame which lies just a couple of kilometers to the west of lake shore.
Other famous trails in Pokhara include riding along Begnas and Rupa Taal, the extensive ride along Annapurna Circuit, Ride to Seti Nadi and many more.
The capital of the country is not just famous for its tourist hot-spots, cultural hubs and modern amenities but also for having the best trails for mountain biking and experiencing thrill along with the beauty of greeneries and mountains. Some of the trails of Kathmandu are:
Kathmandu- Kakani- Budhanilkantha- Kathmandu
The trip starts from Thamel, a tourist hub where you can either buy or rent mountain bikes in perfect condition. From the back streets of Thamel you reach Raniban and ride outside of it to reach Kakani . IT mostly has paved roads.
The trail from Kakani to Budhanilkantha is a technical one and has also been used for Mountain Bike Championship course.
The trail is wide and undulated and you pass through Shivapuri Park to finally reach Budhanilkantha. From there, you ride the smooth, graveled roads to Thamel. The trip provides unhindered views of Ganesh and Langtang Himal on clear days and also a chance to witness the 5th century stone statue of Lord Bishnu in Budhanilkantha.
Kathmandu – Bungmati – Chapagaon- Kathmandu
This trip is towards the southern part of the valley. It starts from Kathmandu and after following the back alleys to the south, you reach Bungmati. Here the main attraction is Red Machchhindranath temple and the traditional houses and temples of Newari culture and architecture.
From here you descend through a rocky single track to reach the lower valley of Khokana. Once you climb uphill to Bungmati, you continue south through lush green forest to the village of Champi. An up and down trail then takes you to the village of Chapagaon with lush green farms and the Bajra Barahi temple to its south. From there a jeep track to the village of Baregaon leads back to Kathmandu following the quiet Godawari road.
Other famous routes of Kathmandu include: Road to Tokha, and a citywide trip through Kathmandu Durbar square – Swoyambhunath – Patan – Pashupatinath- Boudhanath. Various biking trips can also be done in the Terai region of Nepal which includes cities like Chitwan, Lumbini and Butwal along the Mahendra Highway.
In this way, one can explore all aspects of Nepal in all three regions (mountains, hills and terai) in their bikes. Enjoy the excitement offered by the trail and the beautiful distractions of the quaint, cultural villages or lush green forests and farmlands.
If one truly wants to explore the incredible lands of Nepal, the best way is to grab a bike and start on an unforgettable ride of your life!