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Kathmandu Valley Trek

Let’s have a look at the sites, scenes and adventures that await avid explorers on a Kathmandu Valley Trek in Nepal.

Where is the Kathmandu Valley?

The Kathmandu Valley is a Himalayan valley that includes the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and the surrounding area. There are several interesting places near Kathmandu Valley.

An amazing way to see and experience them is on a Kathmandu Valley trek.

One of the best things about a Kathmandu Valley trek is that it can be done in three to four days, so it’s perfect if you only have a week in Nepal. You can add it on to a couple of days in the capital exploring all of the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO sites.

Nepali Trekking You Should Avoid

Most people know Nepal as the ultimate place to do a trek. Who doesn’t want to trek in the Himalayas? Nepali trekking can be challenging and rewarding, but as Nepal has different regions with different weather patterns, it’s always prudent to plan ahead.

Nepal is one of only two places in the world with access to Mount Everest. Please don’t climb Everest. It’s dangerous and the area around the peak is littered with human bodies and, well, litter. Instead, if you want a challenge, hike to Everest Base Camp. It’s still over 5000 metres above sea level.

When to Go Trekking in Nepal

The best time to hike to Everest Base Camp and the amazing Annarpurna region in Central Nepal is spring or autumn. Summer brings monsoons, making it a terrible time to attempt high altitude treks.

Summer, however, is a great time to trek the Upper Mustang region. The region is in the shadow of Annapurna and mostly sheltered from those pesky monsoons.

Kathmandu Valley Trek – An All Year Round Adventure

Kathmandu Valley Trek The only trek in Nepal that can be done all year round is the Kathmandu Valley Trek. This is because it’s not considered high altitude. It’s highest elevation is around 2200 metres, which is quite doable for most fit people.

We did our trek towards the end of winter. The mornings and nights were obviously cool, but not nearly as cold as you would expect from a mountainous region.

The days were relatively warm and sunny.

Getting to the Starting Point of Our Kathmandu Valley Trek

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Pre Trek Pic
Pre Trek Pic
I mentioned in my last post that my hiking buddy Dina in Hong Kong and his brother Bhim in Nepal had helped me organise this trip and trek through their company Exodus Himalaya Treks and Expeditions.

Although Bhim had joined us for our sightseeing around Kathmandu, he would not be joining us on the trek. He needed to be at his office, so he put us under the care of one of his guides called Amir.

Bhim and his driver escorted us to the to the northern outskirts of Kathmandu where we met Amir. We realised straight away that he had a wicked sense of humour. This was going to be a great trek!

Entering the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park Entrance Kathmandu Valley Trek - Sundarijal Sign Our first day of trekking would take place in the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, northeast of Kathmandu.

But first we had to stop at the entrance station at Mulkharka to get our permits to enter the park.

The 1000NPR (US$8.30) fee was included in our trek fee, so our guide Amir handled the payment for us.

Fees for other parks in Nepal are here.

We had to show our passports at the station for registration. The registration procedure took quite a while. Then finally we could head on to Sundarijal and officially enter the park!

Kathmandu Valley Trek Day 1 – Sundarijal to Chisapani

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Gate at Sundarijal Kathmandu Valley Trek - Nice Flat Trail Near Sundarijal The first day of our Kathmandu Valley Trek was the shortest, but it was far from the easiest. The first four kilometres from Sundarijal was rather nice and flat.

But then we hit what I like to call heart attack hill. Stairs, stairs and more bloody stairs. Over 10 freaking kilometres of them.

My knees were not happy by the end of it and I was happy to see a tree with toothbrushes on it. That tree was in front of our lunch stop.

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Flat Trail Near Sundarijal Kathmandu Valley Trek - Kathmandu Valley Trek - Kathmandu Valley Trek - Kathmandu Valley Trek - Kathmandu Valley Trek - Flat Trail With Trees Near Sundarijal Kathmandu Valley Trek - House and Goats Kathmandu Valley Trek - Chisapani Toothbrush Tree

I asked Amir if he knew why there were toothbrushes on the tree and he said he wasn’t sure. Now I’m going to spend the rest of my life wondering!

Lunch Then Chisapani

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Directional Sign Kathmandu Valley Trek - Earthquake Damaged Buildings in Chisapani All of our food was included for the trek and Amir always took care of the ordering for us.

There was a bit of a wait for food, but we were glad for the rest.

When we got into Chisapani, the first thing we saw were buildings that had been damaged by the 2015 earthquake.

They seemed to be defying gravity. I walked to the left of them just in case gravity finally won.

Chisapani to Nagarkot – Day 2 of a Kathmandu Valley Trek

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Breakfast in Chisapani Kathmandu Valley Trek - Directional Sign After Chisapani When you’re doing a Kathmandu Valley trek, you want to make sure you have a breakfast full of energy.

So someone in the group, (not me) ordered a Snickers Crepe. Another option was a Nutella Crepe. I went with the slightly healthier Banana Crepe option. I stand by my choice.

It wasn’t long before we were on our way again for our longest trekking day.

Luckily, as we’d done the majority of the ascent on the first day, we were in for a day of relatively flat trails.

Kathmandu Valley Trek - View of Terraces on a a Mountain Kathmandu Valley Trek - Cows and Goats Hanging Out Kathmandu Valley Trek - Taking the Goats for a Walk Kathmandu Valley Trek - Amir on the Trail

And amazing views! With cows and goats thrown in for good measure.

Lunch in Chauki Bhanjyang – Places Near Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Lunch Stop Kathmandu Valley Trek - Group Photo at Lunch We stopped for lunch in Chauki Bhanjyang. We actually had a couple of last minute additions to our trek on the first day. Amir’s son Ajit and his friend Solomon.

Both were enthralled with my crazy travel stories and asked about my blog. When I told them I didn’t have one, they insisted that I start one.

So you can blame them for my internet presence.

Afternoon Snack in a Blue Village on a Kathmandu Valley Trek

Kathmandu Valley Trek - On The trail Again After Lunch Kathmandu Valley Trek - ColourfulFlags

We had already walked a long way by the afternoon, so Amir did a quick survey to see if we wanted to stop for an afternoon snack.

Nagarkot, our stop for the night, was still a few hours a way.

We almost unanimously cried, “Yes!”.

Amir advised us that we just needed to walk up the hill from the valley we were in and we would be able to eat.

But first, he showed us how to use a local swing with colourful flags. Those colourful flags are everywhere in Nepal.

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Amir on the Village Swing Kathmandu Valley Trek - Mountain Views Kathmandu Valley Trek - Trekking Through a Forest Kathmandu Valley Trek - Another Blue Village

When we got to the top of the hill, we noticed that all of the buildings in the village where we stopped to eat were at least partially blue.

Sitting by the Fire in Nagarkot Nepal After a Long Day on a Kathmandu Valley Trek

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Hotel at the End of The Universe Kathmandu Valley Trek - Sitting by the Fire in Nagarkot We got a bit of a laugh when we rocked into Nagarkot and saw the ‘Hotel at the End of the Universe’. I mean, we knew we’d hiked a long way that day, but to the end of the universe? Wow.

We put in our order for dinner and went to rest for a while.

When arrived in the dining room for dinner, we noticed the staff has started a fire in the fire place for us.

We chatted by the fire for several hours before heading to bed. I think we all slept pretty well that night!

Kathmandu Valley Trek Day 3 – Nagarkot to Dhulikhel

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Hiking on a Road Kathmandu Valley Trek - Another Day, Another Cow We arose bright and early for the second last day of our Kathmandu Valley trek.

It was actually our last day of hiking though.

Again it was a long day with many awesome views and animals along the way.

We even saw a little waterfall.

And would you believe we stopped at another blue village for lunch? Maybe blue villages are a thing in the Kathmandu Valley.

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Waterfall Kathmandu Valley Trek - Terraced Hill Kathmandu Valley Trek - Empty Trail Kathmandu Valley Trek - Terrace Farming

Kathmandu Valley Trek – Taking it Easy on the Way to Dhulikhel

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Downhill to Dhulikhel Kathmandu Valley Trek - Unexpected Uphill on the Way to Dhulikhel The Nagarkot to Dhulikhel part of our trek was pretty much all down hill.

Except for the part in the middle that wasn’t.

Luckily that part didn’t last for too long.

The trails for most of this day were more open than other days. Strangely, all the animals we’d been seeing throughout the trek seemed to disappear after lunch.

Perhaps that was because we were getting closer to a city.

Dhulikhel to Kathmandu – Day 4 of a Kathmandu Valley Trek

Kathmandu Valley Trek - Dhulikhel Kathmandu Valley Trek - Nepal Transport Although the fourth day of our Kathmandu Valley trek didn’t really include much trekking, it did include quite a bit of travel.

We had walked nearly 70 kilometres in our three days of hiking and needed to get back to Kathmandu, which was now 30 kilometres away.

So we got to experience some local transport, which was fun and frightening at the same time.

Final Thoughts on Nepali Trekking

Our Kathmandu Valley trek was pretty amazing overall. We did notice that everywhere we stopped for food there was a long wait. The food was great, it just took a while to get to us.

Given that our trek came at a very cheap price, we were expecting very basic facilities for our overnight stays. They were much better than we expected.

We walked nearly 70 kilometres in the 4 days of our Kathmandu Valley Trek. With more than 1800m net elevation gain over those days, this trek may not be suitable for people who are not regular hikers. At least not at the pace we did it.

For an easier trek, you could start in Chisapani. Any Nepali trekking adventure will be a great one, no matter how short it is.


Are you ready to take your very own Kathmandu Valley Trekking trip? My friend Bhim from Exodus Himalaya Treks and Expeditions can help you plan an amazing trip. :o)

If you enjoyed this article, we’d be grateful if you shared it with your friends. Thank you! :o)

19 Replies to “Kathmandu Valley Trek”

  1. No way! So this is the whole reason you started your blog!? What a great way to get started!! I was really hoping you’d post about this trek when you mentioned it in your previous post, so this didn’t disappoint. :) What an amaaaaazing area to hike.

  2. Love this… I’ve been to nearly all these places and they are all so amazing. Traveling to Nepal is so good for the soul. And, I agree about Everest – no one should be able to climb that sacred place

  3. My biggest dream is to trek in Nepal, so I truly enjoyed reading about your experience. Thank you for sharing, I really hope that I can make it there in the near future.

    1. I know the feeling! This was my third attempt at a trek in Nepal.
      First time I’d organised an Annapurna trek and the airline I’d booked with folded and cancelled the flight two days before I was due to fly out. Then I’d organised a trek to the Upper Mustang region the next year and the earthquake hit a week before it was scheduled. I still plan to go back and do these treks one day.

  4. I want to trek in Nepal and have always considered the big treks like Everest basecamp. It’s nice to know there are smaller treks if I’m not ready for the big ones. I enjoyed the details of the hike.

  5. I would love to visit Nepal one day!! I didn’t know about this trek so it’s an activity that I am adding to my list.

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