The tranquility of nature and the thrill of walking through this picturesque beauty is what drive people all the way to Nepal. The snow-glazed Himalayas, the drizzling cold river flowing down the hills and the evergreen vegetation filled with discreet flora and faunas in the Terai belt; Nepal never seizes to surprise you.
Short hikes in Nepal are an all-in-one package, an experience of a lifetime. Along with the serene natural beauty; the Nepalese people, their culture and lifestyle are also a wholesome experience that you don’t want to miss out on.
In this blog, you will get a glimpse of one of the best escapes from your monotonous schedule. We’ll cover a few short hikes in Nepal to add to your bucket list.
So, let’s explore a few worthwhile hike trips around the Kathmandu valley, the heart of Nepal.
To the east of Kathmandu, away from the city hustle and bustle, Nagarkot hike is one of the ideal 1-day escape. This breathtaking day trip takes you to the hilltop village of Nagarkot, which is situated at 2195m high and is only 32km away from Kathmandu.
One may enjoy the refreshing view of sunrise and sunset over the Himalayan range showcasing the beauty of the Himalayas like Ganesh Himal, Gauri Shankar, Dorje Lakpa, Langtang, and Rolwaling from the hilltop. Furthermore, the surreal view of the three highest peaks in the world; Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Dhaulagiri, will leave you awestruck.
Nagarkot is an easygoing hike that you can truly enjoy while exploring the cultural side. You will also come across, the Changunarayan Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest temple in Kathmandu Valley dating back to the 5th century. This religious and historic relic dedicated to lord Vishnu offers you a pleasant sight of Nepalese wooden arts and rich culture carried on from generations.
Nagarkot is the most accessible hike from Kathmandu and is perfect for family, friends or even solo day-trippers.
Chandragiri with its panoramic view of the Langtang and Ganesh Himal range along with the magnificent views of Kathmandu Valley is a popular destination for a short hike.
The exciting journey of this hike begins with a cable car ride leading you to a spectacular view of the Himalayan range spreading across the valley, from the tall standing Everest in the east to the charming Dhaulagiri in the west. Chandragiri with a top elevation of 2729m, allows you to appreciate the majestic scene of Mt. Api, Saipal to Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, Dorje Lakpa, and the Gaurishankar peak range.
Further ahead at the top, you will find Chandragiri Temple which is an extremely pristine shrine. You can either hike or take a cable car to reach the temple. The hiking trail leads you amidst the small villages and verdant woodland traversed through the journey. Along the route and beyond, one has the opportunity to learn about the Chepang language and culture as well.
With the addition of a cable car in Chandragiri hills, it has been growing as a popular tourist destination over the past few years. It is the best place for a getaway with your friends and family.
At a height of 2782m, Phulchowki is the highest hill station in the Kathmandu Valley, situated in the southeast of Kathmandu. Phulchowki, which translates to “hill of flowers,” leads you through beautiful, luscious woodland echoing with the chirps of birdsong. Despite the trip being more difficult than other Kathmandu hiking trails, the destination captivates you even more.
Enchanting views of the Kathmandu Valley engulfed by beautiful Himalayan ranges like Annapurna and Gauri Shankar are one of the major attractions of the hike. On the way to the top, you will come across a small shrine of Phulchowki lavishly decorated by colorful Buddist prayer flags. During the months of March and April, travelers will also witness a month-long annual festival celebrated at the shrine bringing you even closer to experiencing the embedded cultures of the destination.
Also, make sure you stop by the Godawari Botanical Garden on your way back to appreciate the wide varieties of flora and faunas. You are sure to have a relaxing time surrounding yourself with the pleasant natural environment.
Phulchowki is a year-round hiking destination where spring invites you with the beauty of flowers and a magnificent view; whereas winter draws you with ever so slight yet pleasant snowfall and majestic snow-capped mountainous sight.
Thus, being the ideal getaway to unwind from daily life and interact with nature, Phulchowki, which is just 20km from Kathmandu, is a well-liked vacation spot for all.
At an elevation of 2278m and just 20km away from Kathmandu, Champadevi Hiking is one of the most famous and well-maintained hiking trails. The path is laid with stoned stairs throughout the way which makes it relatively easier than other hikes. You will pass through a panoramic view of Kathmandu valley and beautiful eye-catching mountains and its ranges are Mt. Everest, Ganesh Himal, Annapurna, Langtang, Gaurishanker, etc.
If you are hiking with your friends and family, you can also enjoy a short picnic in the natural parks surrounded by the greenery of pine trees. Yummy food in the surrounding of beautiful nature is a wonderful feeling altogether. Cyclists, bicyclists and mountain bikers can be seen traveling the route and soaking in the adventure.
At the top of your destination, alongside the quaint view, you will also get to experience the spiritual sight of devotees paying homage to the goddess Champadevi.
Nepal is not just confined to the Kathmandu Valley, beyond it, Pokhara, the city of lakes has more to offer to your short adventures.
Hike to Sikles will take you on a breathtaking tour through Nepal’s diverse natural and cultural landscape. It is located northeast of Pokhara and is one of the biggest Gurung settlements. As you stroll through lush rhododendron woods, serene scenery, and Gurung tradition, you will be completely immersed in this wholesome experience.
Sikles is a well-maintained Gurung village that welcomes you with open arms. The mesmerizing sight of Annapurna and Lamjung Himal from the village, along with pleasant walks alongside Huwu and Khapuche Lake, has been the major attraction of this place.
Access of the village to the motorable road has made it easier for visitors and made it one of the popular destinations. You may enjoy the walkways and trails or even take a ride for a quick getaway.
This is an easy journey, perfect for anyone looking for a short hike with an easy walking trail. After a one-hour drive from Pokhara, the hike ascends via villages after crossing the Modi Khola suspension bridge. The major highlight of the hike is the ethnic Gurung settlement past the river valleys and farm terraces.
Ghandruk offers spectacular mountain views of Annapurna. Walking through lush forests and some picturesque hill villages is a breathtaking experience. The welcoming locals and an opportunity to experience a day in the life of the villagers make this hike even more worth it. Also, do visit the Gurung museum to learn more about the history and the local way of life in Ghandruk.
You can also manage to make a quick vacation to Pokhara and see the city’s splendor on your way back from the hike.
The Begnaskot walk begins at Begnas Lake and ends in Begnaskot, a hill in the northeast of Pokhara. The hike offers numerous opportunities to discover the tranquil lakes, lush sceneries, and varied cultures of the Pokhara Valley. The hike offers a fascinating look into Nepal’s crop cultivation and cultures.
Across the street from Begnaskot, in Sundari Danda, you will further get to explore more spectacular views of villages, green hills, and valleys. It is a lesser-known hiking trail in Pokhara. Therefore, hiking in Begnaskot is a great experience for visitors who value peace and tranquility.
Along with Begnas lake, you can also enjoy the scenes of Rupa lake. You will also encounter the livelihood of Nepali farmers and fishermen and get to learn about life from a different outlook.
You will find hotels and lodges if you want to stay at Begnaskot itself. While you are staying with your friends and family, you can enjoy short evening walks around the area. In addition, the magical sunrises, sunsets, and snow-capped mountains along the hiking trail are something you can’t afford to miss.
The quick journey from Pokhara to Dhampus hill is not only short but also immensely satisfying. The hike brings you close to nature and the locals as you pass through small villages, farm terraces, and forests.
Dhampus will provide you the chance to explore the serene countryside in addition to the mesmerizing mountain vistas of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Lamjung Himal, and Fishtail. The magnificent range of the Annapurna and other mountains will greet you with their close-up views. The views are further garnished with amazing sunsets in the evenings and beautiful sunrises the next morning, painting the sky with radiant colors. Further down to Dhampus village, you will even experience the rich Gurung cultures.
Even on your trip back from this short satisfying journey, you will have a lot more to explore and relax in Pokhara.
For a hiking enthusiast, Nepal offers many breathtaking routes and diverse trails. You just need to explore them and know Nepal to its core. Wild Yak Expeditions, the best trekking company in Nepal, is always there to be your guide and ensure you a memorable experience here in Nepal.