Mountain biking is a thrilling outdoor activity that appeals to adrenaline addicts, nature lovers, and fitness buffs alike and is absolutely thrilling to participate in. It is a fantastic way to put your endurance to the test, push yourself to your limits, and experience the world on two wheels!
Mountain biking routes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of difficulty, obstacles, and scenery. And wouldn’t it be great to ride on the intimidating Himalayan foothills with the gorgeous Himalayas as a backdrop? And Nepal fits this category unlike anywhere else as huge mountain panoramas with ice peaks against a crisp blue sky are the traditional image of Nepal.
Yes, when it comes to outdoor adventure in Nepal, most people think of trekking, but Nepal has gradually become a popular destination for mountain biking. In fact, Nepal boasts excellent mountain biking sites around the world along with a diverse assortment of mountain ranges given the topography full of startling contrasts.
Mountain bike trails in Nepal not only allow you to see the stunning splendor of the Himalayas, which are blanketed in snow but also to spend the morning in the fresh air, surrounded by lovely scenery and foothills sprinkled with lush flora. Moreover, it helps to learn more about yourself while exploring unfamiliarity.
So, do you wish to enjoy the thrill of wandering around Nepal’s top mountain riding trails? If that's the case, go on a bicycle trip to satisfy your wanderlust. The following are the most popular mountain and spectacular trails whether you're a skilled biker or just want to get outside and be active by pedaling great distances.
1. Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour
If you're a mountain biker, you're missing out on a lot if Upper Mustang isn't on your 'bucket list.' The Upper Mustang, also known as “The Forbidden Kingdom”, is one of the best trails in the world passing through desolate terrain. This adventurous biking journey has been praised as heavenly by veteran cyclists.
Upper Mustang is more than simply a hard mountain biking adventure; it's a trip of discovery, culture, stunning scenery, kind, heart-warming people, and so much more. The dusty routes to the walled kingdom of Mustang include off-road riding sections with bright sunshine blue sky during the day, providing you with even more thrills and satisfaction.
Stunning views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Mt. Annapurna (8091 m), Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Tukuche Peak, and many more snowcapped mountains can be seen during the tour, which is accompanied by Buddhist monasteries, chortens, stupas, wall caves, and peaceful villages. During the journey, you will also ride down the Kaligandaki River, which has the world's deepest gorge.
The Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is well worth taking, despite the hefty permission charge of US$ 500 per person to enter the restricted zone. Hence, this tour is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will captivate you and lift your spirits.
Riding Duration: 6-12 days
Route: Jomsom – Kagbeni – Muktinath – Samar – Ghami – Lo-Manthang – Ghami – Chele – Marpha – Tatopani – Beni
Best Time: Spring, summer, autumn
2. Annapurna Circuit Mountain Biking Trip
Known as one of the classic trekking routes in Nepal, Annapurna Circuit desires the thirst for an ultimate mountain biking adventure. The Annapurna Circuit, which reaches 5,416 meters at Thorong La Pass at its highest point, will expose you to the rigors of cycling at altitude.
The Annapurna Circuit will almost certainly need some bike carrying, but you will soon forget about it as you are surrounded by some of the world's tallest mountains. Snow-capped mountains, suspension bridges, pine forests, small mountain settlements, and breathtaking views in every direction are just a few of the sights to behold.
The spectacular view of gigantic mountains such as the Annapurna massif (8091m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m), Nilgiri (7061m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Hiunchuli (6443m), Lamjung Himal (6983m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Tilicho Peak (7134m), and many other snow-clad peaks accompany the riders throughout the tough trails of the Annapurna Circuit.
Aside from the breathtaking views of the mountains and landscapes, Annapurna Circuit Mountain Bike Tours also provide an opportunity to learn about and comprehend the cultures of the various ethnic groups who live in the area. To the top, it is the ultimate point-to-point singletrack ride where descents will be difficult to come by, and your body will be put to the ultimate test in the harsh climate of the world's tallest mountain bike playground. All of it will be worth it because of the scenery, the trek, and the raw experience.
Riding Duration: 8 days
Route: Besi Sahar – Taal – Manang – Thorong Phedi – Thorong La Pass – Tatopani – Beni
Best Time: Spring & autumn
3. Kathmandu Valley Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Kathmandu, as it is the busiest and most packed city in Nepal. The crowded streets, the varied cultures, the historic monuments, and the jammed concrete buildings are the most noticeable things in the capital Kathmandu. However, Nepal is a land of geographical contrasts. And the Kathmandu valley is no exception, with many winding roads and trails that pass through both large and small towns and villages. In fact, Kathmandu can be a great candidate as a mountain biker’s paradise with diverse tracks satisfying the needs of riders of all abilities.
Not certainly the insides of Kathmandu city, but the outskirts of the picturesque valley offer plenty of fantastic mountain biking opportunities. There are numerous off-road routes as well as black-top roads that are, if not completely remote, at least far removed from the city's hustle and bustle. They pass through some peaceful, unpolluted greenery.
The dirt routes of Kathmandu, which are ideal for mountain biking, are frequently tough but enjoyable, with steep climbs and descents. In many parts, the trails are endless single tracks that wind their way through terraced paddy fields and charming communities. It's all designed to make your heart race with anticipation while also calming your thoughts.
Highlights of Kathmandu Valley Mountain Biking include different cultures, a broad itinerary and riding style, and some truly spectacular terrain suitable for riders of all abilities. So what are the options in Kathmandu? Here are 3 of Kathmandu’s top mountain bike trails for all levels of cyclists.
Riding Duration: 1-14 days
Best time: Spring, summer & autumn
Top 3 Mountain Biking Trails in/around Kathmandu
3.1. Nagarkot Enduro
The trails and tracks from Nagarkot are recognized as classics with well-developed services and wonderful landscape scenery. There are limitless alternatives available to the cyclists from Nagarkot. Delight in the variety of trails Nagarkot has to offer, from grueling ascents to wild descents, while taking in the beautiful scenery of tranquil villages, terraced farmland, and dense forests.
Nagarkot’s rough roads and paths lead from Sankhu to Changu Narayan, south to Nala and Banepa, east to Hiuwapati, Sipaghat, and Panchkhal, and north to Chisopani and the Helambu trails. Tackle one of these tracks of Nagarkot hill and challenge yourself with their huge drops and hairpin turns. Do not, however, ride alone because there are several forks, many of which lead to dead ends or perilous descents.
3.1.1 Out of many routes in Nagarkot, Nagarkot to Kathmandu city via Bhaktapur is the most popular one. The first section features steep descents with big drops followed by a single-track trail bordered by dense forest to the view tower. Then comes the second and final section of the trail which is the blend of gentle inclines and ascents, with one large drop near the conclusion.
Riding Duration: 3-4 hrs
Route: Nagarkot – View Tower – Bhaktapur – Kathmandu
Best time: Spring, summer & autumn
3.2. Kakani Mountain Biking Trail
The ride from Kakani to Budhanilkantha or further up to Kopan Monastery via the Shivapuri National Park is a difficult ride with plenty of hills and spectacular descents.
It is a day-long journey through one of the less-traveled routes around the Kathmandu Valley that has a more authentic Nepalese countryside feel than the Nagarkot to Kathmandu via the Bhaktapur route, with numerous sections guiding you through dense forest to dazzling waterfalls.
The journey is a point-to-point experience that requires the use of a shuttle. Also, this mountain biking trip allows you to enjoy breathtaking landscapes on your descent from Kakani, encounter the unique flora and fauna in the national park, and along the way, learn about the Lord Vishnu in Budhanilkantha, and experience the mysticism of the great Kopan Gumba (Monastery).
Riding Duration: 6-7 hrs
Route: Kathmandu – Kakani – Budhanilkantha – Kopan Monastery
Best time: Spring, summer & autumn
3.3. Hattiban Downhill Mountain Biking
Hattiban offers multiple trails with massive jumps, berms, and gaps, making it a downhill rider's dream. Riders will also be pleased to learn that the course includes a brief rock part at the start. Take on a challenge and ride the different ascents and downward paths available here.
The path, which begins above the Hattiban Resort and continues downward all the way to the village of Gwaldaha, is point-to-point and requires a shuttle. The trail is so popular with mountain bikers that it hosts national championships and a variety of other downhill events.
This ride is quite tough, with steeps, slick surfaces, and a single long stairway. The top half of the journey goes through the pine trees and prayer flags. Along the way, there are a variety of jump alternatives to consider. And the remaining half descends through tall pines allowing a lot of ‘float’.
Route: Hattiban Resort – Pharping – Gwaldaha Village
Best time: Spring, summer & autumn
4. Pokhara Downhill Mountain Biking
Pokhara Downhill is a popular black diamond singletrack path near Pokhara that runs for only 4 kilometers offers a lot in a short distance. This is the main mountain bike trail near Pokhara valley that takes an average of 33 minutes to complete.
This short journey offers an easy downhill with the choice of a tough single track downhill with rocks, roots, and jumps, as well as plenty of opportunities to have fun on the trails.
The Annapurna Range, with Machhapuchhre as the focal point, can be seen from the top of the ridge where the trek begins. You may also see the Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda), a massive white Buddhist structure on the hilltop.
The ride begins at the World Peal Pagoda through a series of stairwells on the mountain’s lakefront. After an extremely steep and demanding part, the ride dives into a deep forest with a tight and steep trail and few turns. The final or the lower part of the track again goes through the deep forest where monkeys are seen hanging and playing around and comes over a terraced field from where you can go to the riverside or directly to the town.
Riding Duration: 30 – 45 minutes
Best time: Spring & autumn
The unique and diverse terrain of Nepal is an ideal location for mountain riding, providing you with unique experiences. Browse through the given information about the best mountain biking trails in Nepal in our Travel Guide as a source of inspiration for your next vacation. In addition, we have many options in Nepal for individuals who want an active trip.
Let us know what kind of biking you prefer, and we will get your adrenaline pumping!