Tuesday, March 4, 2014


To the south of Kathmandu valley lies a peak taller than the other hills that surround the capital city of Nepal. Towering above the others at 2800 meters PHULCHOWKI is the tallest peak in the valley. The hour and a half jeep ride to the top takes us first through the rural fields and villages past Gowdarvi and then creeps slowly up the rubble road through fantastic old growth forest, moss covered rhododendron trees and many species of pines trees, its almost like driving into a lost world, considering we are just on the fringes of the sprawling urban utopia of Kathmandu.

The drive is one thing....the riding down from there......well that is something even more epic. Full suspension bikes are a must to rip up the dirt, rocks tree routes and hard packed red clay and roll on down to the valley.

The trail is a journey of epic proportions, creasing the ridge with flowing single tracks and small rock gardens. The impeding views of the Himalayas on the northern horizon force the riders to stop, pause suck in the fresh air and admire the views way above the city haze of Kathmandu. There is so much fun to be had here for mountain bikers.

The trail eventually joins the LBJ (Lakuri Bhanjyang) Ridge where we can pause for tea. On a Saturday the pounding beats of Nepali pop music amping up through the jungle from the picnic ground far below are an uplifting soundtrack to the downward trails. Your options are hard and fast, a knifes edge switch back that plummets riders straight down the ridge or a dream like forested single track that caresses the ridge and gently rolls downwards, more suitable for the lesser talented (read people without a death wish) or there are several jeep track options plus one more death wish trail to choose from.

After re joining civilization near to Gowdari, head left towards the golden Buddha and follow a series of secondary roads and single tracks as they leave the jungle behind and roll on down through rice and mustard fields, small red bricked villages, little streams and water channels, past temples and back into Patan where you can have cosmopolitan lunch. That is the beauty of this trail, it starts in pristine jungle and gradually fades into a city and almost the entire journey is done on single tracks.

So what to do...grab your buddies, hire a jeep, lube up your full sus bike and head up to Phulchowki for a very special day of riding....you might want to pack your elbow and knee pads as well as some lunch just in case you get lost...

If you are looking for a guide or more information about the awesome trails in the Kathmandu Valley, then look no further than

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