If you are not sure to trek for more than a week in rugged mountainous landscapes or don’t have energy, you can still experience hiking around the Kathmandu’s hill and small settlements. The sub-alpine forest and exotic countryside offers the great respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Most of the treks presented here can be done in a (1 – 7 days) and are suitable for children and elderly people.
Pulchowki Hill is the highest hill near Kathmandu and is located to the south of the Kathmandu valley. You have to drive to Godawari (14 km south of Kathmandu) to reach the starting point of the trek. As you reach the Godawari, you will witness the thick sub-tropical forest filled with rhododendron and oak trees as well as various species of orchids, butterflies and birds. As you reach the top of hill, you will get outstanding view of the Kathmandu valley and on clear days you will be able to witness grand Annapurna and Gaurishanker range. Also check the Botanical Gardens in Godawari.
Nagarkot located to 32km east of Kathmandu can be visited for a day but in order to appreciate the beauty of the area and mountain views, it is good to hike around the area and if possible, stay overnight.
To start the hike, drive approximately for one hour to Sakhu, an ancient Newari town located to the northeast corner of Kathmandu valley. The hike takes approximately four hours through pine forests. As you reach Nagarkot, you can visit around the village and watch the sunset over the spectacularly over the mountains.
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy spectacular sunrise over the Himalayan horizon. You can extend your Nagarkot Hiking Tour combining with Chisapani Hike or simply drive back to Kathmandu.
Chisapani is small settlement located to north-east of Kathmandu valley. The village is inhabited by Brahmin, Gurung and Sherpa tribe and commands fantastic views of Himalayan ranges. Chisapani Nagarkot Hike starts from Sundarijal (around an hour drive from central Kathmandu) and goes through the main water source of Kathmandu and Shivapuri National Park until you reach Chisapani village.
Then we continue trekking to Nagarkot which takes about 6-7 hours through the dense forest to Nagarkot. Next day, we enjoy the majestic sunrise and drive back to Kathmandu.
Alternatively you can choose to trek from Nagarkot to Changunarayan and then drive back to Kathmandu.
The trail from Nagarkot to Changunarayan climbs down through the terraced fields and Tamang village and alongside of deciduous forest. It takes around 4 hours to reach Changunarayan. This temple is protected by UNESCO world heritage site which has been resorted after being damaged in the 2015 earthquake.