9 Best Day Hikes From Kathmandu

When people think about Nepal, they think of mountains, rafting, or national parks, or diverse Nepali lifestyles. These are possible unless you have enough time and energy. If you are planning to spend a few days in Kathmandu, there are many short treks around the city that gives a 360-degree view of the valley with enough adventures.

From the hillocks enclosing Kathmandu, you can see settlements around the peaceful countryside. The diverse forests with millions of flora and fauna surround the hill. Moreover, a temperate climate gives you joyous experience. Depending on your time limitation and stamina, the trek ranges from a hours’ walk to a whole day trek.

1. Changu Narayan

Changu Narayan Temple

Height: 1600 meters


  • Changu Narayan Temple.
  • A stone inscription dating back to 5th century AD.
  • Nepal’s only private museum.
  • Hillock covered with pines, Spectacular view mountain ranges-Langtang, Gauri Shankar, and Ganesh Himal.

Hike Duration:

Varies on the basis of the trial chosen. There are two different routes:

  • Changu Narayantar to the temple- a 30-minute hike uphill from the southern face of the hillock
  • Sankhu to the temple- a 45-minute hike route from the northern face of the hillock. It passes through the dense Tamang settlements.

Changu Narayan temple is a historic temple built during the 13th century, Lichhavi period. It rests about 6 km north of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The two-storey pagoda style temple has struts and statues to reflect on different forms of God Bishnu.

A typical Newar locality preserves the ancient art and sculptures of Lichhavi period. The well-managed forest of Pines and Chilauney ( Pinus roxburghii) surrounds the hillock. Scattered settlements of Newars, Tamangs, Brahmin, and Chhetris. Famous Newari cuisines- special Chhyang is available. Enough of open space, picnic spots, etc adds to merriment after you climb uphill.

While you are there, why not stroll to Trishul dada – a renowned hike destination from Changu.

How to reach there?(for solo trekkers)

The bus leaves every morning from Purano Buspark, Ratnapark. You can either choose Ratnapark- Chabahil- Sankhu route or Ratnapark- Koteshwor- Duwakot. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the starting point of the hike whichever route you choose.

Where to stay?

There are plenty of local tea shops and some sophisticated restaurants. Starview Guest House, Champak Guest House, Vinayak restaurant, among them. They provide all kinds of services at a cheaper price. Also, they serve food ranging from Chinese, continental, French to typical Newari cuisines.

2. Sundarijal


Height: 1350 meters


Shivapuri National park.

  • Sundarijal Hydropower Station.
  • Waterfalls, Rivers.
  • Canyoning, Swimming in the natural pools.

Hike Duration: About 1.5- hour climb uphill along the stone stairs. It passes through the Newar settlements till midway. Then the trail ascends to dense hardwood subtropical forests and many waterfalls of different heights.

Sundarijal is the coolest place 25 km away from Ratnapark. It is tiny but an adventurous hike spot inside Shivapuri National Park. Treks to Chisapani, GosaiKunda, and Langtang mountain ranges start from the same place.

There’s enough of flora and fauna-different endangered species too, diverse forest resource. Sundari Mai temple, reservoir, and natural stone carvings beautify the place. A temperate hike trial, serene environment calls for hundreds of travelers every day.

You can stop by at some natural pools or waterfalls to wash off the sweaty body, or enjoy chirping and cool breezes. If you have plenty of time you can continue the hike to Chisapani- a 3-hour stroll from the place.

How to reach there?(for solo trekkers)

The public bus is available from Purano bus park at 7 in the morning. It takes 1.5 hours to reach Sundarijal bus stop. Or you can catch the bus from Baudha-Jorpati, taking 30 minutes to reach the foothill of the national park.

Where to stay?

There are many local eateries and rest houses on the way to the reservoir. You can enjoy local edibles, organic foods and rest for some time.

3. Ranikot


Height: 1788 meters


  • The unchanged lifestyle of rural people.
  • Mountain views, Birds-eye view of the valley.
  • Pristine natural vegetation.

Hike Duration: 2.5 hours walk along the winding forest trail.

Ranikot is a hillock on the southern rim of Bhaktapur. The place embeds stories of ancient history- back to the time of Prithvi Narayan Shah.

Dispersed settlements of hill Tamangs cover open spaces. The remnants of Ranikot fort built by Prithvi Narayan Shah back in Malla period is still there at the place. A gigantic Vairab temple will provide you with his mercy and blessings.

You get to enjoy the spectacular view of eye level hillocks and panoramic valley. En route, do not forget to stop by Pilot Baba Ashram. There’s a meditation hall in the surrounding, and a big courtyard for relaxation.

If you wish to walk further, you can pursue longer hikes to Ashapuri (a 45 minutes trial). Or you can choose to walk to Lakuri bhangyang, a 1.5 hours walk.

How to reach there?(for solo trekkers)

Any public bus that drives along the Araniko highway works for you. It takes you to Suryabinayak temple- a temple of elephant-headed Hindu God. Located 16 km east of Kathmandu it is the starting point of the trial.

Where to stay?

There are few restaurants, and resorts in the place itself. Panorama View Tower Resort, Ranikot Resort are some. Or you can walk downhill to Ghyampe Dada abundant in local eateries, tea shops, and rest houses.

4. Bojini-Nagarkot


Height: 2,175 meters


  • Bojini dam.
  • Saraswati temple.
  • Buddhist monastery.
  • Special Khuwa- dairy product. Small rivers and rivulets, Gigantic boulders.

Hike Duration: 2.5 hours walk uphill commencing from Kamalbinayak pond.

Bojini is an artificial dam atop of Kalamasi village- 9 km from Kamalbinayak pond. A little- known place of lakeside wonder among the townsmen, it is the shortest gateway to Nagarkot view tower.

Locals built this 16ft lake for irrigation purpose. It collects water from rivulets ever-flowing down the dense hardwood forests of Nagarkot.

The hike proceeds after rambling and climbing through giant rocks. On the way, you will encounter dense settlements of different ethnic people. Observing daily activities of countrymen and terraced potato farms you feel energized.

A mossy green lake water with reflections of clouds and the pines with lush green meadows will leave you spellbound. You can feel the spectacular view of the valley- Banepa Bazar in the east to Chandragiri in the west.

You can choose to climb downhill to Muhan Pokhari- a half an hour walk from the place, famous water park. Instead, you can walk 15 minutes to Nagarkot view tower and spend a night there.

How to reach there?(for solo trekkers)

Many public buses to Bhaktapur kick-off from Purano bus park early morning. They take 30 minutes to reach Kamalbinayak- the starting point of your hike.

Where to stay?

Many restaurants and resorts around the place provide services at an affordable price. Ratnagiri Resort, Bojini Resort are famous among tourists.Or you can choose to stay at Nagarkot- place packed with hundreds of restaurants, and rest houses.

5. Champadevi


Height: 2285 meters


  • Third highest hill around the valley.
  • Eagle’s eye view of the valley, Mountain view.
  • Bird watching.

Hike duration:3-4 hours, ranging from the time you spend on the way

Champadevi is the farthest southwestern border of the valley. It stands about 17 km from Purano bus park. It represents an adventurous trial near the city and mild climate in the peaceful surrounding.

The hike proceeds from Taudaha, a foothill about 45 minutes drive from the city. It ends after a climb uphill the sloped terrains of Champadevi hill. On the way is a Buddhist monastery, and a small temple of Champa Devi. Many Hindus and Buddhists visit the place during full moon day.

If you are lucky and the weather clear, the trek promises a spectacular view of mountain ranges- Mt Everest, Gauri Shankar, Langtang, Mt. Jugal, and Annapurna in the north, and historical Pharping, Khokana village on the east.

How to reach there? (for solo trekkers)

A public bus to Dakshinkali leaves every morning at 6 from Purano Buspark Kathmandu. It takes you to Taudaha in 45 minutes.

Where to stay?

There are few hotels on the way where you can get basic services, and eateries at cheaper prices.

6. Nagarjuna- Jamacho

Nagarjuna- Jamacho

Height: 2128 meters


  • Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park.
  • Jamacho monastery, Buddha stupa.
  • Jamacho viewpoint.
  • Former king’s house.
  • Military Fort.

Hike Duration:3.5 hours climb along the cemented stairs uphill

Jamacho rests atop of Nagarjuna hill surrounded by lush green forests. The peaceful south-western rim is about 15 minutes drive from the city.

The hike begins from the entry gate to Raniban where you have to collect tickets to enter the national park. Hike ascends through the cemented stairs blanketed with fallen leaves. The exotic trial gives you pious feeling with a chilly blow of prayer flags. The pleasant jungle view and thick tree shed excuses all exhaustion of your walk.

On reaching the hilltop are several Buddha stupas, monastery, meditation spots. From the view tower, you will see Mt Everest, Langtang, and Annapurna ranges.Also, a 360-degree view of the valley and Dhading in the West.

Hundreds of Buddhists visit the place during Buddha Jayanti and Jamacho Jatra during April/May. While in other months people go on random hikes, drive around the place.

How to reach there?(for solo trekkers)

Public bus to Balaju Bypass-entrance gate of the National park is available at any time from Purano bus park. They take 15 minutes to reach the entrance to the national park.

Where to stay?

Unfortunately, there are no rest houses or local eateries around the place. It is wise to carry along necessary stuff and drinking water. Or you can walk down to Balaju for food and accommodation.

7. Chandragiri

Chandragiri Cable Car



  • Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple.
  • Chandragiri Cable Car.
  • The highest point of the valley.
  • View tower.
  • Bird watching.

Hike Duration: 3 hours climb uphill along the rough road

Chandragiri is among the highest rims about 16 km west of the city. Safeguarding the valley, it stands as a popular tourist destination.

The place has historical and natural importance. History reveals King Prithvi Narayan Shah caught sight of the valley from the same place to carry out the unification process. He even worshiped Bhaleshwor Mahadev for the victory.

The bountiful place covered in lush forests offers a panoramic view of the valley. Spectacular mountains range from Annapurna in the east to Mt. Everest in the west in a clear weather will leave you amazed.

How to reach there? (for solo trekkers)

You can catch a public bus to Thankot, Godamchaur from Purano Bus Park. Or you can catch free bus service provided by Chandragiri Hills Ltd. It leaves every morning from Bhatbhateni of Koteshwor and Maharajgunj every morning at 7:30. The route is 35 minutes drive from the city. On reaching the gateway, if you change your mind you can take direct cable cars to the hillock. It takes 9 minutes to reach the top.

Where to stay?

There are many restaurants on the hilltop looked after by Chandragiri Hills Ltd. Or you can walk back to Godamchaur where many hotels and restaurants await your visit.

8. Fulari Gumba

Height: 1500m


  • Buddhist monasteries.
  • Floral variations.
  • Mild climate.
  • Gokarna Sahid Smarak Park.
  • Magnificent view of Boudhanath Stupa.
  • Terraced fields, and Gardens.

Hike duration: 1 hour climb uphill through the forest of pines.

Fulari Gumba is one of the famous Tibetan monasteries to a little north of Boudhanath Stupa. It is popular as an easy hike spot 2 km away from the hustles of the valley.

You can either walk from the “Jhanda Park”-the southern face of the hillock- easy hike way. Or you can choose to walk along the northern trail uphill to reach the main entrance of the monastery.

Perfectly designed monasteries, impeccable Thanka paintings give you heavenly feelings. A big mandala courtyard and flowery garden surrounding the monastery fascinates the visitors.

How to reach? (for solo trekkers)

You can take any public bus along Gokarna- Sundarijal road from Purano Bus park. It takes 1 hour to reach Jagadol gate- entry point to the hillock.

Where to stay?

There are a few restaurants and local tea shops on your route. They provide basic facilities like few snacks and drinking water.

9. Naag daha- Santaneshwor

Naag daha- Santaneshwor

Height: 1346 meters


  • Historical and Religious Significance
  • Aquatic plants and animals
  • Migratory Birds
  • Pristine surrounding

Hike Duration: 30 minutes hike to the lake from Satdobato.

Naag daha is about 4.5 km south-east of Satdobato road. It is among the biggest freshwater natural reservoir in the valley. The lake is a home for many aquatic plants, migratory birds, fishes, and snakes of different types.

The place entertains you with fishing, swimming, boating. If you are an ecology student then the lake adds to your study.You can study about aquatic plants, animals, and migratory birds.

If you wish to add to your memory then you can hike to Santaneshwor temple- 30 minutes walk from the lake. The historical temple of Lord Shiva rests on a hillock of Jharuwarasi village. From the hilltop,you enjoy view of mountains- Manaslu, Ganesh, and Langtang ranges. The surrounding villages and breathtaking sunrise/sunset view from the place cheers you. The beautiful forest of pines, mustard fields and detailed scenery of the country life is rejoicing to observe.

If you wish to walk longer, you may stroll to Bajrabarahi temple to the west of the Santaneshwor hillock. This is the easiest hikes in the valley.

How to reach there?(for solo trekkers)

Any public bus that drives along ring road takes you to Satdobato. You can either walk from Satdobato to the lake or take the public bus to Dhapakhel and walk 15 minutes to the lake.

Where to stay?

There are many restaurants around the lake- Vantage Viewpoint, Bishram Vatika, and many others waiting for your arrival. If you choose to rest at Santaneshwor, few local eateries serve you.

Planning Hike around Kathmandu and need help?

Let us know about your hike expectations. If you wish to hike with us, contact us for any queries and details. We, here at Magical Nepal would like to hear from you. We promise to help you with best travel guides to meet your needs.

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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