Mountain biking in Nepal has been gaining much popularity among the adventure enthusiasts from around the world over the past few years. Fascinating mountain villages, nomadic lands, high passes, rugged and tough mountain terrain, winding rivers, rice fields, temples and monasteries as a backdrop of majestic snowy Himalayan peaks make mountain biking trail in Nepal an exceptionally inspiring play ground for riders with any level of experience and fitness.
This is a 5-day biking trip on the ridge-top trails which encircle the Valley's rim. You travel along little-used dirt roads away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only a short bike ride away lies a delightful world of wooded slopes, small villages, hidden temples and the views which include all of the principal peaks of the Nepal Himalaya - from Makalu to the Annapurnas providing some excellent, easy to semi - technical single track riding along old jeep roads. During these five days you will experience all of the sights, sounds, tastes and smells that make up life in Nepal’s 'Middle Hills'. You will visit the historic cities of Patan and Bhaktpur, hill resort of Nagarkot with its sunrise view of the entire Nepal Himalaya and the temples, monasteries and picturesque villages tucked away in the forests along the way. You are so close to the bustle of Kathmandu, but so far off the beaten tourist trail.
With the mornings spent cycling above a sea of clouds, it would not be an exaggeration to call this a heaven for mountain bikers! Throughout the trip, support vehicles carrying all your gear will either follow behind you or be with you at the end of the day. Whether you ride for fun, or take it more seriously, challenges lie around every corner.
This is real Mountain bike exploration. For the first three days of this trip you have no backup vehicles, so when you can't ride you carry the bikes. You fly into Tumlingtar and spend the first day getting the bikes put together after the flight. The next day you explore Tumlingtar and the surrounding villages all on the bike, since there are a lot of really nice single tracks here.
Then on the third day the real adventure begins you make your way along the Arun River down to Kewabesi where you meet your support staff and from here on you camp. The rest of the trip is on a series of hard up hill climbs, and trilling down hill rides, but you can now hitch a ride with our support vehicles when the going gets to tough.
This tour provides everything that makes a Mountain bike adventure, a lot of single trails, a couple of strait forward but long climbs and last but not least two long thrilling downhill rides on tarmac.
Day 01: You begin with a classic 50 kilometers, mountain bike trail, at first on roads through Patan to Lubhu, climbing up the deteriorating track to the quiet Newari village of Sisneri.
So near to Kathmandu, but away from the beaten tourist track, it is a photographer's paradise, with the contrast of richly colored villages against a backdrop of snow capped mountains. After a steep 500 meter climb, it is wild trail downhill to Panauti, home of the oldest temple in Nepal, the Indreshwar Hahadev. Reunited with your support vehicle, which could not follow you for the whole route, you camp beside the river at this idyllic settlement.
Day 02: You have a choice of the road climb up to Dhulikhel, or a more adventurous track, which goes more steeply up through terraced fields to the Buddhist pilgrimage temple of Namo Buddha
You have a choice of the road climb up to Dhulikhel, or a more adventurous track, which goes more steeply up through terraced fields to the Buddhist pilgrimage temple of Namo Buddhaand then down to Dhulikhel. This involves a ride of about 35 kilometers. Your camp at Dhulikhel offers fantastic sunset views of the great chain of the Himalaya.
Day 03: It is downhill on a little-used tarmac road towards the mediaeval town of Bhaktapur, where you will spend time exploring a wealth of his historic temples and courtyards.
The afternoon is a steady series of switch-backs up onto the main ridge, where you find another spectacular campsite at the hill-station of Nagarkot.
Day 04: Himalayan mountain biking does not get much better than today's ride.
Early morning usually creates a sea of cloud in the valley beneath you, and you can look beyond this to a mountain panorama which stretches from Makalu to the Annapurnas. The riding terrain is also superb as you slowly make your way along an old jeep track, traversing the ridges of Kattike, Manichup and Chipu Dara. You must be very careful not to take a wrong turning on this part of the route, as the false descent will only mean a long carry back up to the ridge! After about 40 kilometers, you camp at Chisopani, just to the north of the main ridge. This is your last night camping, and you have magnificent views of the Annapurnas. Support vehicles cannot follow you along this part of the route and porters will carry your essentials to the campsite.
Day 05: Fit and well-acclimatized after the exercise of the last few days, you take the opportunity on your final day of biking to climb the valley's second highest mountain Shivapuri 2732m, before plunging back to Kathmandu on one of the best downhill rides in the area, via the reclining Vishnu Temple at Budhanalikantha.
Day 06: Fly out from Kathmandu or stay longer for other activities.
Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar. You take the one-hour flight by twin otter from Kathmandu to Tumligtar.
Tumligtar is situated on a plateau just above the Arun River in an elevation of 460 meters. Around Tumlingtar you find lush forests, banana groves and rice paddies. You are almost 1000 meters lower than Kathmandu and the climate is almost tropical, so be prepared to sweat! After you have put your bikes back together, you go exploring around Tumligtar if you have time before sunset. There are lots of nice small trails to explore on the Tumlingtar plateau.
Day 02: Tumlingtar and Around.
Today you will make an excursion to Khandbari [1040 m.] the regional capital, sited on the crest of a ridge two hours ride from Tumligtar towards Makalu Base Camp. If you are here on a Saturday you will experience the weekly market. Khandbari is a charming place, with a flag-stoned main street, whitewashed houses with gardens and manicured lawns. You return to Tumlingtar for the night.
Day 03: Bike from Tumlingtar to Kewabesi.
This is where the real adventure begins. Today you have to make your way some 25 kilometres down the Arun valley. From Tumlingtar the trail follows the plateau till it ends four kilometres south of the town from here it is down hill to the Shawa River, where you will get to ride across a suspension bridge. The rest of the day you follow the Arun River, sometimes a bit above it and at time right on the riverbank. You have time for a dip in the river at lunch, before you continue to your camp at Kewabesi. Kewabesi is a big delta next to the Arun River and just before the Leguwa River joins Arun.
Day 04: Bike from Kewabesi to Pakhribas.
This is the day that is going to teach you what it means to climb; Pakhribas is about 1400 meters higher in elevation than Kewabesi. You start out the day with another few kilometres of single trail to Leguwa, here you meet your support vehicles, which are going to be there for the rest of the tour if someone needs a lift up one of the hills. From Leguwa you have a few more kilometres on relatively flat dust road, before the real climb starts at Manmaya. Manmaya to Pakhribas is one long climb; you have plenty of time, so for the stubborn and the strong there is enough time to reach Pakhribas without taking a lift from the support vehicles.
Day 05: Bike from Pakhribas to Mulghat.
Today you are going to have a flying downhill ride, but first you have to ride another 10 kilometres on a level dust road to Hile. This is a pleasant roadside town situated high on a hill at 1850 meters; the elevation and cool breezes provide a welcoming relief from the heat of the Arun valley. Many of the people who inhabit this village are Tibetans who have settled here. From Hile the road descends a spur to Dhankuta, at 1220 metres. The road does not pass directly through Dhankuta, but you will find some small roads through the town, because it is well worth a visit. It is a Rai, Newar and Limbu town - large, attractive and clean, with whitewashed houses and winding streets paved with stone. When you have finished touring Dhankuta you make another fast descend to your camp at the Tamur River at Mulghat.
Day 06: Bike from Pauwa Pass to Ilam.
From the Pauwa Pass to Ilam is around 55 km, at first involving a descent before contouring around a ridge? This is followed by a blast down to the river and then a short climb. Finally, you cruise into town and set up camp amongst the sea of tea plantations. Another superb day's riding, full of contrasts and surprises. Ilam is Nepal's most famous tea centre where the tealeaf is cured before being transported to Kathmandu.
Day 07: Ilam and around. Today is dedicated to tea and relaxation.
For those who relax best sitting on the mountain bike this is a fantastic place to ride some single trails. The tea gardens are full of small tracks and trails you can ride. However if, for once you prefer just to walk around at your own pace, looking at life in this tranquil town, fell free to do so this is your "holiday".
Day 08: Bike from Ilam to Biratnagar.
This is another downhill, as far as the river, before another big uphill on your roller coaster route. You hitch a ride on the vehicles for the 40 kilometers climb to the top of the pass at Ficcal, though if there are any hard-core climbers who would like to take on this ascent, you are on tarmac for the first time during the trip. The fish curry at the top of the pass is worth the trip alone, but you are now on the very last crest of the Himalayan foothills, looking down across neatly cropped tea bushes onto the Indian plains. Your trip ends with an 1800m descent, on smooth tarmac for a change, but with enough pot holes to keep it interesting! It is switchbacks all the way to the town of Charali. From here you pack our bikes for a drive back along the Terai to a well-earned shower at your hotel in Biratnagar.
Day 09: Fly from Biratnagar to Kathmandu.
A leisurely morning is spent exploring Biratnagar before you take the return flight across the foothills of the Himalayas to the luxuries of a hot shower in your hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 10: Fly out from Kathmandu or stay longer for other activities.
Thank you so much for the amazing bike tour. The Kathmandu valley was superb (and a little wet).