See More of Nepal with these 7 Mountain Biking Tracks

While Nepal has traditionally been known as a destination for trekkers and mountaineers, it’s quickly becoming a “must visit” for mountain bikers too. Our local insider Samantha shows you why.

With the majestic Himalayas as a backdrop – or for the more adventurous bike riders, part of the trail – it’s easy to see why there’s a boom in mountain biking as an attraction for travelers and locals alike.

Pokhara. Photo Credit: Samantha McMahon

Whether you’re looking for more grueling, multi-day adventures, or a beginner looking to explore Kathmandu and its surrounding valley, there are a multitude of companies in both Kathmandu and Pokhara to help you out.

Mountain Biking in the Upper Mustang and Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Region. Photo Credit: Samantha McMahon

For those who are relatively fit, experienced riders, or those looking to challenge themselves tremendously, Upper Mustang and the Annapurna Circuit are popular multi-day mountain biking destinations.

The Upper Mustang will expose you to the unique Thakali culture, which feels more Tibetan than Nepali.

The route also takes you close to Nepal’s border with Tibet, passing centuries-old monasteries and meeting the incredibly peaceful and friendly people who inhabit this remote region.

Upper Mustang, along with the Annapurna circuit, will expose you to the challenges of riding at altitude, with the Annapurna Circuit reaching 5,416m at its highest point.

The Annapurna Circuit is likely to require some carrying of the bike, however you will forget about that as you are surrounded by views of some of the world’s highest mountains.

Mountain Biking Day Trips in Kathmandu Valley

If multi-day trips at high altitude sound a bit daunting, don’t fear, as there are a number of beautiful day trips on offer too.

The Kathmandu valley offers many great options. This ride is a unique cultural experience, as you pedal through local villages and see places that are less frequented by tourists.

On the ride, expect to be greeted with numerous “Namastes from the locals, and hear local children giggling and running alongside or behind you, trying to keep up.

Mountain Biking in Shivapuri National Park

Shivapuri National Park. Photo Credit: Samantha McMahon

Just on the outskirts of Kathmandu is the Shivapuri National Parkan excellent day trip option if you’re based in the capital.

A bike ride through Shivapuri National Park will make you forget that you are barely out of Kathmandu, as your surroundings change from city walls to lush green forests, or flying down narrow sections of single track.

Mountain Biking in Pokhara

Pokhara. Photo Credit: Samantha McMahon

Pokhara also offers numerous day trips that will expose you to the endless beauty of Nepal.

If you’ve just finished a trek and want to enjoy Pokhara’s relaxing atmosphere, you can hire a bike and enjoy a nice flat ride around the famous Fewa Lake.

Village ride out of Pokhara. Photo Credit: Samantha McMahon.

If adventure is your thing, head into a bike shop near Lakeside and speak to the local guides who will take you to some of the more difficult local trails.

These may involve some tough climbing, but will reward you with some exhilarating downhill slopes.

Both Kathmandu and Pokhara have numerous bike shops, where you can hire or buy bikes, and also organise bike trips.

If you want to ride by yourself, they will give you plenty of information on where to go.

In Kathmandu, the tourist hub of Thamel is the best place to start when looking to hire a bike or book a trip, and in Pokhara, the main streets around Lakeside.

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