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100k MTB circuit South East of Kathmandu

Classic Mountain bike circuit around Phulchowki mountain, from Lele-Bhatase Danda-Panauti, starting in Lalitpur.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 64.001 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview:  A fantastic 104km, 10 hour circuit that goes from the Kathmandu Valley out through Chapagaun right around the south of the Phulchowki ... more »

Tips:  Bring money, at least 2L water and a bike/tube repair kit because there are not many villages and no mobile phone coverage along much ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Transition to dirtroad

First climb on dirt road, coming from tarmac

2. Parallel road left

Go left onto small dirt road. It can be slippery red mud, but it's more fun as the tarmac road.

3. Viewpoint

View across the valley.

4. Viewpoint

View across the valley.

5. Near 2nd mountain pass

Near the top of the 2nd mountain pass

6. 1st Teashop 2079m

Tea shop at the top of the 2nd mountain pass at 2079m altitude. First recommended break. Get some milk tea, local noodles, donuts or the green pea-chick pea dish.

7. Pit stop behind Pulchowki mountain

On the bottom of a long downhill. This is behind Pulchowki mountain in the middle of a very green, uninhabited forest. The trail alternates between dirtroad, mud and tarmac.

8. Viewpoint Kaleshwor ridge

Beautiful view on the rim across the valley which takes you towards Hetauda, South.
This route can be taken if you want to do an overnight stay at Hetauda and go back to Kathmandu via the Pokhara road.

9. School

At the steep downhill turn immediately left, because straight will take you onto the school grounds, a dead end.

10. Waterfalls

You will go through several fords, where mountain streams cross the road, with often nice waterfalls on the side and cristal clear water.

11. Women carrying feed

You often see village women carrying huge packs of leaves for cow-feed or fire wood.

12. Viewpoint monastery

View on new monastery which is next to 2nd tea house stop. It's only a year old and not being used yet.

13. 2nd Teashop 2090m

The recommended second break at 2090m altitude. There are several shops in the small village, but some may be closed. We managed to get some noodles at a shop a bit higher up the road, towards the new monastery.
To continue, go back and take the turn off going North East.

14. Turn off North East

The trail continues down on the North East side of the mountain, often covered in clouds.

15. Viewpoint

Follow the narrow dirt road going up and down on the side of the mountain.

16. Landslides

Continue on the trail past several landslides. The landslides are old, the trail is pretty stable even in the wet season.

17. Best Viewpoint

The most beautiful valley view during the ride, enjoy it.

18. 3rd restpoint 1943m

Recommend a quick stop here at 1943m altitude, to take a snack and a rest before the final -and steepest yet- climb to the saddle, about 300m higher.
There used to be a tea shop here, but it seemed to be closed now because not enough traffic comes this way. Enjoy the beautiful view.

19. End of the climb in view

Almost there, keep going!

20. Final Mountain pass 2260m

The final and highest pass during the ride, at 2260m altitude. Probably also a good point to take a break and enjoy the view. Often one side of the mountain is covered in clouds while the other side is clear.

21. Bridge

A ford and a bridge across a bigger river: time to get wet!
This take you into a bigger village. Pass through and turn right at the intersection.

22. Cleaning garlic

Inside the village

23. Viewpoint back

That V in the mountain was the pass at 2260m you just came from.

24. Hydroplant before panauti

An old hydroplant donated by Russia. Some locals swim in the reservoir.
Just after the hydroplant follow the tarmac road left.

From the hydroplant, North East you can see the prayer flags and building of the Namo Buddha temple. Alternatively you can ride there, to stay overnight at the Namo Buddha resort (http://www.namobuddharesort.com/). Then your ride will be approximately 75km today, and about 40km tomorrow back to Kathmandu. The nicest way to go back would be via... More

26. Banepa turn off

In 100m turn left on the main road to Bhaktapur. If you have a dusk mask & sunglasses, now is a good time to put them on. From here it is the big asphalt road with a lot of traffic back to Kathmandu.

27. Gate restpoint 1550m

This is the gate on the valley rim at 1550m. Just after the rim the downhill meanders down to Bhaktapur. On the right, North East after the gate you can see a big golden Shiva statue overlooking the valley.
There are several tea shops here to get a final drink before the last 20k back to Kathmandu.

28. Koteshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal

On the ring road of Kathmandu. Turn left to go to Lalitpur.
If you came from Thamel, follow the road North West.