In recent years, mountain biking has started to become popular among bike lovers in Kathmandu. What was once a small community of bikers has now grown to many MTB enthusiasts who spend their weekends riding around the valley. From downhill and enduro tracks to trails that spread across the peaceful outskirts of the city, Kathmandu is a mountain bikers’ haven. There are many places around the city where you can spend a day shredding the tracks or if you like to take it slow, take a day ride enjoying the moments on your bike. Looking for the best trails to take your bikes for a spin? Here are 6 of the best mountain biking trails in Kathmandu that are suitable for all riders.
Home of the Asian Enduro Series, Nagarkot is one of the favorite spots for downhill and enduro. However, Nagarkot is not only popular with downhill riders, you will find many trails here that are suitable for riders of all levels. From beginner-friendly to pros, the countless trails in Nagarkot will ensure that any rider has an adventurous day. You can start your journey from Nagarkot View Tower and ride downhill from there. In this trail, you will find many technical downhill drops as well as plain, leisurely trails. You can also start your journey from Bhaktapur and ride uphill to the Nagarkot View Tower. The roads aren’t well maintained, so that means you will be riding through a muddy track during monsoon and a dusty one during the dry season.
Check out our blog on the Best Time to go Mountain Biking in Nepal to learn more about the perfect season for an MTB adventure.
Shivapuri to Helipad
This trail is great for beginners as it has wide tracks and is easy to locate. Although most of the trail route is ascending, the elevation is not gained too quickly, so it is great for a slow, full-day ride. The trail starts from Budhanilkantha. Once you reach the gate, head southeast along a graveled road that takes you through Shivapuri heights all the way to Helipad. You can either choose to turn back from here or, if you are up for some technical drops, continue towards the descent ahead. This is a steep drop so it is recommended that only experienced riders try this. This is also where you will find the infamous Widow Maker, a steep, technical downhill section of the trail. This trail offers a lot of beautiful, panoramic views of the city among the greenery. However, while riding keep an eye out for jeeps and heavy vehicles passing by as parts of this trail also doubles as a road.
Godavari is another great place to go if you wish to try out diverse types of trails. Mountain biking trails in Godavari are especially well-known for their steep and technical trails that are perfect for downhill and enduro. The best downhill trails can be found on Phulchowki Hill. As you might have guessed, these trails are not suitable for beginners. However, beginners will also enjoy themselves as you ride up to Godavari from Satdobato. There are many places of interest to visit in Godavari and it’s best done on a mountain bike. You can also stretch the ride by joining the Lakhuri trail from Godavari. This one is a mix of stairs, switchbacks and single tracks that end up in paddy fields.
Hattiban is a downhill rider’s paradise as it has many trails with big jumps, berms and gaps. Riders will also be delighted to know that there is also a short rock section at the beginning of the trail. You can take on a challenge and ride through the various ascents and downhill trails found here. The trail starts from Hattiban Hill, from here, you can ride downhill all the way to Pharping. This place is so popular with mountain bikers that it is also the place where the National Downhill Championship and many other downhill events take place. These trails are diverse and span from Hattiban all the way to Pharping.
Khokana to Bhainsepati
The trails in Bhainsepati are quite different from other trails on this list. If you are looking for a slow and leisurely ride while enjoying the scenery around you, the Khokana to Bhainsepati trail is the way to go. This trail mostly consists of a single track and it is not suitable to ride during monsoon. This trail spans from Bhainsepati, all the way to Sikali in Khokana. The trails here are grassy and cut through peaceful paddy fields where you can spot locals farming their crops during harvest season ie. October to November. This is a great trail if you wish to visit a traditional town and savour the best local eats while also enjoying an escape from the city.
Kakani to Helipad
This trail is perfect for a day-long ride. This trail is demanding as it will have you moving up and down throughout the trail. Thus it is great for a cardio-fueled weekend ride. The Kakani to Helipad trail takes you through the scenic route of Kakani and its surrounding forests to Shivapuri National Park to reach the Helipad. Start your journey from Balaju Chowk where you will move ahead towards Trishuli Highway. From Trishuli Highway, you will make your way to Kakani. Riding through Kakani will take you towards Shivapuri National Park, once you enter from there, the forest trail continues onwards. This trail has more descends so it will be a fun and peaceful ride as you pass through trees and occasionally come across magnificent views of the Himalayas.