8 Most Beautiful National Parks in Nepal: For An Utmost Wild Experience
National parks in Nepal

Nepal is mostly famous for its enormous mountains, and many of the beautiful national parks of Nepal such as giants Everest, Langtang, and Makalu. Nepal, however, has a lot more than just its mountains. There are 12 National Parks in Nepal that expanding from the lowland Terai region to the high Himalayas. The best way to discover Nepal is by visiting the National parks of Nepal, massive mountains, and its prominent cultures.

The plains that border with India is called the Terai contain several national parks filled with steamy jungle and fantastic wildlife. Other national parks on the hills are easily accessible from the capital, Kathmandu. They don’t need days of wilderness trekking to enjoy. Among them, here is a list of the 8 – most beautiful national parks in Nepal, and what tourists will see there.

Chitwan National Park

The Chitwan National Park was set up in 1973 and assigned as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The most famous national park in Nepal is Chitwan National Park. It is the most accessible in Nepal’s jungle national parks at the Indian border and about equal distance from Kathmandu and Pokhara. The Chitwan National Park is home to diverse flora and fauna such as one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, birds, and many more.

Tiger in Chitwan National Park
Bengal Tiger in Chitwan National Park

It takes about a four-to-five-hour from Pokhara or Kathmandu by bus. The best time to visit for Chitwan National Park is between November and March. Temperatures are sweltering on the Terai between April and October.

Sagarmatha National Park

Mount Everest is the globally tallest mountain that homes to the Sagarmatha National Park. Mount Everest means Sagarmatha in Nepali, perhaps the most famous and highest mountain in the world. Everest is on the north edge, on the border with Tibet, of the Sagarmatha National Park, which designed as a National park in 1976.

UNESCO has enlisted Sagarmatha National Park as a World Heritage Site in 1979 because of its excellent natural characteristics. However, the park has much more to see than “just” Everest. Some other very high mountains are close to Everest and within the park (Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Thamserku, Nuptse, Amadablam, and Pumori), as well as the dazzlingly blue Gokyo Lakes, Namche Bazaar’s Sherpa town, the ice-cold Dudh Kosi River, and remote valleys.

Sagarmatha National Park
Dudh Koshi Valley – Sagarmatha National Park

Many travelers visit the Sagarmatha National Park on the famous Everest Base Camp trek, but that’s just one of many trekking routes that go through the park. However, trekking to the park is the only way to get there, because there is no road access unless you can afford a private helicopter tour. All-day long, weather-based flights leave to the small airstrip at Lukla from Kathmandu.

Bardia National Park

Bardia National Park is harder to get to than Chitwan, situated in the far west of Nepal, but that means fewer people go there. The features of the Bardia National Park are a great chance to see tigers. The last free-flowing river of Nepal, the Karnali, flows through Bardia after it has made its way down from Tibet. At the end of a 10-day white-water rafting trip down the Karnali is an epic way of visiting Bardia.

Bardiya National Park
Visit Bardia National Park for an utmost wild experience

People who have been visiting Nepal for decades say Bardia (also spelled Bardiya) is like how it used to be before Chitwan became so popular.
Bardia can be accessible either from Kathmandu on a very long bus trip. A flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj on a short, overland journey. It’s best to visit, like Chitwan, when the weather is cooler.

Shuklaphanta National Park, wetlands and grassland area, is even further west than Bardia. Avid bird and wildlife enthusiasts can combine visits to the two parks in one trip.

Langtang National Park

The Langtang National Park is the first national park in the Himalayas, established in 1976 to preserve the diverse flora and fauna of the region. It is the nearest national park in the Central Himalayan region of the capital Kathmandu.

The Langtang National Park is some of the most easily accessible for the multi-day treks from Kathmandu. As they can reach on a bus after a few hours of travel, as opposed to a flight like many other routes. The 7-day Langtang Valley trek goes along the Langtang River close to the Tibet border.

Langtang Ganja La Pass Trek
Langtang Valley within National Park

Enormous landslides triggered by the 2015 earthquake tragically wiped out Langtang’s small village killing hundreds of locals and tourists. Still, since then, infrastructure has been restored. From Kathmandu, take a Jeep or Bus to Dhunche or Syabru Besi.

Apart from the diverse flora and fauna, Gosainkunda Lake, and cultural aspects are principal characteristic of the Langtang National Park.

Shey Phoksundo National Park

The Shey Phoksundo National Park is partly located in the eastern part of the Rara National Park in the Dolpo region, an ethnically Tibetan region rain shadow area in the Himalaya. The vibrant turquoise Phoksundo Lake is a main trekking attraction through the park. Apart from that, Shey Gumba, crystal mountain, and Yangtser Gumba are also the features of the Upper Dolpo Trek. Peter Matthiessen has published “Snow Leopard” to a keen reader of travel literature in 1978. Afterward, the Upper Dolpo to Shey Gumpa became popular as a tourism destination.

Trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake
Diversity of the Shey Phoksundo National Park

Kathmandu to Dolpo is reachable both flight and overland journey. The easiest way to explore Shey Phoksundo National Park is a flight from Kathmandu to Dolpo via Nepalgunj. The trekkers require a special permit to enter Upper Dolpo. The park was established in 1984 and enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Travelers who are short on time in Nepal, or who have to stay near Kathmandu, can still enjoy visiting a national park right on the outskirts of the capital. The Sivapuri-Nagarjun National Park has two unlinked areas: Sivapuri in the north and Nagarjun in the west. Nagarjun is a highly unlinked park. Shivapuri is more often visited, and the park is generally known as Shivapuri National Park.

It is the ideal place to go for a day hiking since the lookout points in the Nagi Gumba monastery offer a sweeping view of Kathmandu. The park is also where the holy river Bagmati begins in Baghdwar, deep in the forest near Mt. Shivapuri ‘s summit.

The Shivapuri part of the park is easily reachable from Kathmandu. It is getting a bus or taxi to Budhanilkantha, a suburb on the city’s northern edge.

Makalu Barun National Park

The Makalu-Barun Nature Park is a far less frequent alternative for tourists looking for a real mountain wilderness experience just east of the Sagarmatha National Park. This national park is noteworthy for its vast range of altitudes. For example, the lowest and highest points in the park differ approximately 26,000 feet.

The Arun River crosses the park, and the Arun Valley Trek can link to the Everest Base Camp Trek westwards. A short flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar takes you to the park.

Rara National Park

The highlight in western Nepal ‘s remote Rara National Park is Rara Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in Nepal, and its deepest. Situated at 9,809 feet, after trekking through coniferous trees and juniper forests, many tourists like to camp beside the lake.

Jumla Rara Lake Trek
Rara Lake

Trekking here in the Shey Phoksundo National Park can combine to another spectacular Phoksundo lake trek to the east. It is possible to enter the Rara National Park from Kathmandu via a flight to Nepalganj, and then another to Talcha or Jumla or Juphal.

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.