Best Day Treks in Nepal: find your best one-day trek in Nepal
Nepal is the trekking Mecca of the Himalayas, and there are more high-altitude treks in the country than in almost any other country in the world. However, if you are not into the high-altitude treks of Annapurna and Mount Everest, or are just looking for a short trek due to time constraints of family trekking, then there are a host of other, much shorter treks in Nepal that can be a lot more suitable for you. Scenic day treks are a great option for those that want to go trekking, but do not want to spend 12-20 days on the trail. Whether you are traveling as a family, a group of friends, or just do not like camping and roughing it, the Kathmandu Valley is the perfect place to trek around for the day, then head back to your hotel for a nice warm bath, a good meal, and a soft warm bed.
Insider Tips: One of the advantages of the day treks in the Kathmandu Valley is that they are not limited by the time of year. The weather in the Kathmandu Valley is warm throughout the year, although you may want to think about whether you want to trek in the summer, as the temperatures can get pretty hot. With summer temperatures as high as 29 degrees, and the coldest daytime temperature in the winter being as low as 18 degrees, cold is not really an issue here. Summer can be a little wet, with some monsoon rains getting heavier in the peak months of July and August. However, not every day is wet, and there is still plenty of opportunity to trek.
Day Trek from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel
Possibly one of the most exciting day treks in Nepal, the route from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel is the best short hiking trail in the Kathmandu Valley, trekking through exotic forests and traditional small hamlets, with stunning views of the Himalayas. The trek takes you from Nagarkot in Bhaktapur District to the hill station at Dhulikhel, an ancient Newari village. The route heads from Nagarkot, through Rhonnie Bhanjyang, Kankre, and Tanchok, before reaching the hill station.
You can enjoy the majestic Himalayan views after arriving at Dhulikhel.
The trek can be done at any time of the year, as it is at relatively low altitudes, reaching a maximum height of around 2,200 meters. You do not need to be the fittest person to take this trek, as it is an easy leisurely trek to the hill, though you will be trekking for around 6-7 hours. The town of Dhulikhel lies around 30 kilometers to the east of Kathmandu, and is one of the oldest towns in the area, as well as the location of the Namobuddha, with its stupa and Buddhist monastery.
Day Trek from Nagarkot to Changunarayan
Another great trek in the Kathmandu Valley is the trek from Nagarkot to Changunarayan, which is just a four-hour trek. A great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours of leisurely walking, this great short trek starts at the hill station at Nagarkot, and descends gradually through rice terraces to the nearby Tamang Village. A fascinating experience of the local culture, the latter part of the trek is more inclined to the scenic valley itself, and the great views of the high mountains of the Himalayas.
The shrine of the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The trek is rated as easy, as it is mostly downhill to the ancient Hindu Temple site at Changunarayan. Another trek that is possible throughout the year, it can be done by anyone of any level of experience, and you do not need to be fit to make it easier to the end. The ancient Hindu Temple at the end of the trail is located on a hilltop, though lower than the hill at Nagarkot. The shrine of the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and the temple is considered to be the oldest standing temple in the history of Nepal. The temple is actually named after the Kashmiri Princess, Champak, who was given in marriage to the Prince of Bhaktapur, and local legend tells of the acts of the Brahmin, Sudarshan, who cut down a Champak tree on the hilltop and freed Lord Vishnu from his sins.
Chandragiri Day Trek
The Chandragiri Day Trek is an easy trek that starts around 22 kilometers from Thamel in Kathmandu, in the southwest of the Kathmandu Valley. One of the most beautiful new hiking trails in the valley, the trek is filled with primeval forests and stunning views of the Himalayas, as well as taking you to some traditional Newari villages. The trek is mostly uphill, though the climb is a low gradient, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and rest, as well as look out on the beauty of the view over the valley to the Nepali capital and the mighty Himalayas beyond.
Chandragiri Hill is an exquisite site that offers one of the best views out over the Kathmandu Valley to the mountains, and lies at an altitude of just 2,551 meters above sea level. An excellent place to get great photos of the sunset or sunrise, the hill is one of the most beloved natural sites in the Kathmandu Valley. The hill is also a place where the auspicious Hindu herbs grow in abundance, as these herbs only grow within the Chandragiri sub-tropical zone, and if you love birds, it is a great site to see such species as the Common Myna, Grey Wagtail, Red-vented Bulbul, Great Egret, Steppe Eagle, and the Spotted Dove.
Day Trek to Champa Devi Hill
Champa Devi is one of the most famous short hikes around the Kathmandu Valley, and the hill at Champa Devi is the third highest in the valley area. At a maximum height of around 2,278 meters, a hike to the top of this beautiful hill is a delightful day out from the city. For anyone who has limited time in Nepal, yet wants to see the best of the Kathmandu Valley, there is no better place than Champa Devi, as the vista over the whole valley is stunning.
Champa Devi trek offers you an excellent chance to appreciate the green mountain view of Champa Devi Hill.
The trek starts at Bhangyang, around 45 minutes from Thamel in Kathmandu, and the trek to the top of the hill takes around 3-4 hours, though you can take longer if you are inclined to stop and look at the magnificent views. The top of the hill is the site of the Champa Devi Shrine, and also includes a small Buddhist monastery. The route down again follows the trail on the other side of the hill, which ends your trek in the small village of Macche Gau. The hike is rated as easy, and can be done by anyone of any level of fitness, and is often done by families with kids or the elderly.
Day Trek to Nagarjun Hill
For those that are interested in some of the Buddhist associations with Nepal, then there is no better hike than the trek to the top of Nagarjun Hill, outside the capital. At 2,128 meters, the hill lies in the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, and is surrounded by jungle which is the home to wild boars, deer, monkeys, and thousands of species of birds. The trek starts from the Phulbari Gate of the park, and climbs slowly to the top of the hill, a trek that takes around 3-4 hours. It is an easy trek that anyone can manage, as the climb to the top is very gradual, and only rises by around 700 meters above the valley floor.
The top of the hill is the location of a famous Buddhist monastery that is a major pilgrimage site in Nepal for devout Buddhists. The hill, which was originally known as Jamacho, was once the meditation site of an Indian Buddhist teacher named Nagarjuna, who came to Nepal to teach Buddhism to the people. The trek back down to the Phulbari Gate takes around 2 hours, making it a 5-6 hour day of trekking, with a delightful restful stop at the top in the monastery. It is advisable to bring your own food and water, as there are no teahouses or restaurants within the national park area.
Whatever your requirements, there is a trek in Nepal to suit your needs, and if day trekking is your preference, then you can do no better than a visit to the Kathmandu Valley. With dozens of different treks to choose from, you are really spoiled for choice here, and with most of the treks being within an hour of the capital, you can get out, trek the day at your own pace, and still get back to the hotel in time for a relaxing bath, dinner, and a good night’s sleep in a soft bed. Altitude problems are rarely seen in the Kathmandu Valley, as even the highest altitude of these short day treks is rarely above 2,400 meters. And with treks being open all year round, there is no time like the present to head to Nepal for a great day-trekking tour.