“A downhill tour of the eastern Kathmandu Valley with a cultural stop at Bkaktapur.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
The Nagarkot to Kathmandu ride is an excellent way to experience the landscape and culture of the Kathmandu Valley. The route requires a shuttle to the village of Nagakot. The route finishes at Guhyeshwori Temple on the south side of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu city.
Throughout the ride, expect technical and narrow sections of trail, passage through villages and sweeping views of the Kathmandu Valley. It's an excellent ride that combines challenging mountain biking with ancient culture and customs.
Need to Know
Nepal is the kind of mountain bike destination that is best experienced with a tour company and guide. With routes and trails that interconnect through remote countryside and numerous villages, local knowledge and pre-planned logistics are invaluable.
The route described here is part of Big Mountain Bike Adventures
Himalaya Heights trip.
The Nagarkot to Kathmandu ride begins with a descent from Nagarkot to Bhaktapur
Starting from a small plateau near Nagarkot village, descend the upper reaches trail which link a series of steep and technical sections of trail and footpaths. Be aware of thick vegetation steep sideslopes on the initial descent. A fall can send you tumbling a fair bit through thorny bushes. That said, this part of the ride is thrilling.
The route then has a short respite through a beautiful hardwood forest, contouring with a brief climb. From there you'll ride along a ridge with great views of terraced field below and the Kathmandu Valley to the south.
The route descending steadily from here, alternating between rocky village walkways, dirt-packed doubletrack and techy singletrack. Be aware of people and animals as you pass through the villages and don't be afraid to smile and say hello.
As things level out you'll find yourself working on your slow speed balance through the elevated rice field pathways. It's definitely 'local' flow with sharp bends and hard turns.
The Nagarkot to Bkatapur route ends at the UNESCO World Hertiage Site village of Bkatapur where you can enjoy a rooftop lunch and a tour.
To continue the ride, roll out of Bhaktapur from the Sweet Home restaurant and turn left down through the city. Reconnect with the rice paddy singletrack for a bit and then hang a left at the intersection where the Nagarkot to Bhatapur route would come straight down a small hill.
From here the route is rolling and links together a combination of singletrack through pastoral fields, rocky pathways through villages and sections of paved road.
The final bit of the route has one quick, steep, loose descent through a gully to roll out to a road. Stay right and follow along the northern edge of the Tribuvan Airport. The route ends near the Guhyeshwori Temple on the south side of the Bagmati River.
History & Background
This ride is highlighted by a visit to Bhaktapur, the third largest city in the Kathmandu Valley and an ancient Newar city. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhatakpur is home to a rich culture of temples as well as wood, metal and stone art.