For adventure buffs Nepal offers a lot of opportunities to burn one’s adrenaline. Be it mountain climbing, rock climbing, trekking, paragliding, rafting or mountain biking there’s something for every adventurer in this ruggedly beautiful country. The Himalayan hills offer the perfect mountain biking trails for mountain bikers looking for the next big adventure.
With trails skirting green forest and traditional villages and terraced farmlands, biking through the Nepali countryside makes for an unforgettable experience. An adrenaline rush is guaranteed as you tackle the dirt track with exciting switchbacks, sweet downhills and challenging uphills. Listed below are some of the best Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal.
Kathmandu Valley Biking
Kathmandu lies in a deep valley surrounded by the green hills of Shivapuri, Nagarjuna, Chandragiri, Champa Devi, Jamacho and Pulchowki. On the periphery of the capital city lies paddy fields and traditional villages inhabited by Newari farmers. Biking trails start from the city and follow pitched road down to these terraced farms and villages and enter the green forested area skirting the above mentioned hills.
Zip along zig-zag dirt tracks and maneuver sharp turns and steep downhills. The Mudkhu-Tokha Trail, Scar Road(Kakani-Budhaneelkantha), Jamacho Trail, Nagarkot-Bhaktapur, Pulchowki-Panauti, Patan-Lakuri Bhanjyang etc. some of the popular mountain biking trails around Kathmandu Valley. Riding along these tracks, you not only get to explore the urban city but also get a glimpse of the rural countryside.
Annapurna Circuit Trail
This is one of the most extreme biking trails in the world. If you want to experience extreme biking along dangerous mountain trails than this is it. The trail passes through lush green forests, picturesque villages and barren desert like landscape. The scenery remains spectacular throughout with snowy Himalayan peaks rearing in the background. The highlight of this biking adventure is the challenging ride past the high mountain pass of Thorung La and the spectacular Tilicho Lake, a high altitude mountain lake.
The start of your adventure is Besisahar. Following an anti-clockwise loop along the Annapurna massif, you ride past the Marshyangdi Valley, crossing the Thorung La pass at 5416m and descending down to Muktinath. As this adventure takes you to elevations above 5000 metres, and involves a traverse through dangerous terrain under extreme weather conditions, this is not recommended for beginners or the fainthearted.
Jomsom – Muktinath
Your biking journey begins from Jomsom, an ancient trading town in Lower Mustang. Surrounded by mounds of red and brown hills riding along this tree-less country almost seem surreal. You feel as though you are in Mars or the moon. As you take the dirt track along the Kali Gandaki river enjoy mesmerizing views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Nilgiri, Tukuche and other Himalayan giants.
From Muktinath, zip down to Marpha and from there it’s downhill all the way to Tatopani, a small village famed for its hot springs. The final leg of your adventure takes you from Tatopani to Pokhara, the scenic ‘City of Lakes’. On your final leg, ride along single dirt tracks which eventually give way to pitched roads.
This is the ultimate biking adventure. Following a dusty trail you enter the ancient kingdom of Lo. A couple of years ago this was a no-entry zone for outsiders. Though now the region has been opened for tourists, the permit fee is high and there are just a few visitors to this remote part of Nepal. Lying in the Trans-Himalayan region, Upper Mustang receives almost no rainfall and thus has an austere and arid landscape.
Riding down the rough and rocky trails you encounter solitary settlements, ancient Buddhist shrines and Gompas, barley fields, mule trains and cave dwellings built on cliff sides. The final leg of your adventure takes you on a downhill ride from Kagbeni all the way to Tatopani. This is a once in a lifetime adventure and easily wins a place in the top bracket of the world’s extreme biking adventures.
Lower Everest Biking Trail
The lower reaches of the Everest Region offers some exciting trails for bikers willing to rough it out in the wilderness. Featuring steep ascents and exciting downhills along dirt tracks skirting green forests, mountain villages and pristine Himalayan rivers, biking in this part of the country makes up for an unforgettable adventure.
A part of the trail takes you to the base camp of Pikey Peak at 3640m, one of the best viewpoints in the Everest Region. From here enjoy mesmerizing views of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and other peaks.