Shimla’s Trails with Himalayan Ninja!

Wondering where your next mountain bike getaway can be? Look no further, as Himalayan Ninja gives options of Cycling in Shimla …

One of the best ways to explore different corners of the world is on the saddle of a bicycle. For cyclists residing in North Indian cities, the Himalayas are a perfect weekend getaway. You take your bike up there, enjoy a couple of days of incredible weather, clean air and the mountains. Returning refreshed and ready to tackle the urban humdrum again.

Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, was the summer capital of the British, since 1864. And for good reason, when the sun is scorching the plains. Shimla provides refuge, not just for the British, but for us cyclists as well!

This hill station has a number of attractions, for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. For cyclists, Himalayan Ninja has provided a host of fun places to ride. For other members of the family who might tag along, there is the Jakhu Temple, Viceregal Lodge, Christ Church, Mall Road, The Ridge, Annadale and the Kalka-Shimla Railway, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

cycling in shimla
The hill town of Shimla visible in all its glory…

Why Cycling in Shimla?

Shimla is the perfect base for your bicycling pleasures. It has the terrain, infrastructure, community, support and more to make your cycling enjoyable and safe.

For those of you working remotely, you can stay for extended periods of time in the city and enjoy fast internet as well to continue working unhindered.

Shimla has hotels across the budget range. It has decent medical facilities. The city is also home to two super cool bicycle races, MTB Shimla and MTB Himalaya.

To top it off, you have top quality bicycle stores, Hastpa Outdoors and Bike Bros., in case you find yourself requiring repairs on your bike.

Which is why you should pick up your bike and head to Shimla for a mountain biking holiday…

Multiple saddle tales from Shimla…

Himalayas the Ninja Way!

The places to ride on your mountain bike…


Citizens of Shimla have consciously protected the lush and green surroundings of the city. One such protected forest, is The Glen, which is fiercely protected by the govt. It is just 4 km from the city centre. It is also the oldest picnic spot of the city, which is surrounded by pine and deodar forests. Chadwick Falls, which is famous around the country, is also located in the Glen forest.

NOTE: Government tries to save the forest. We all as riders are contributing to nature by riding our bikes, we should also contribute in saving our majestic forest, who gave birth to  many trails.

cycling in Shimla in Glen Forest
Glen Forest

Route info:

Glen forest consists of beautiful trails.
2 of the trails that we Shimlaites love are the Glen 2 and Glen 3.

Route distance: 4 km of trail with tight turns.
Difficulty level: From novice to pro line everyone will enjoy.
Bike type: Hardtail and full suspension.
Type of trail: Flowy trail covered with loose stuff and leaves.
Best time to ride: All year round
Glen Location: Google Maps (Annadale Road, Shimla)
Elevation profile: 357 m

Glen Trail 2 Video


Tara Devi Temple, situated on the western side of Shimla, boasts an excellent location with beautiful valleys around the hill. Surrounded by a mesmerizing view of the lofty mountains, pine forests and lush greenery, the tranquil setting of the temple makes you forget everything about your day-to-day worries of life. It is at a height of 7200 feet above sea level and located only 11 km away from the city centre. This religious place is no less than a paradise for experience seekers.

The trails start from the backside of the temple. You can park your vehicle at the temple parking and start your ride.

tara devi trail in shimla
Tara Devi Trail with the Shimla boys…


Warning: Be aware of pedestrians, they use the same trails as mountain bikers. Sometimes we go fast, which startles them and can also hit them. Be considerate to everyone that uses the area and not just us mountain bikers.

Riding distance: 3-4 km. This is pure downhill.
Difficulty level: Technical trail. Prefer to ride with safety.
Type of trail: Trail is single track. Consists of rocky sections (many rock-built stairs) and jumps.
Best time to ride: All year round. Perfect timing is after 10am. No need to worry about hot weather as the whole trail is covered by huge pine and deodar trees.
Location: Google Maps (Ride starting point – Tara Devi temple)
Distance: 3.66 km
Elevation profile: ~278 m

Tara Devi Trail Videos


Located in the Queen of hills, Shimla,1 km from Summerhill. There is an alluring picnic spot adorned with natural beauty. Tourist enjoy the natural beauty by hiking the entire area. Riders can also enjoy and experience a pure XCO Circuit with single tracks, jeep lanes and sweet climbs.

The world is a slushy playground…

Route Info

Potterhill consists of 2 XCO trails both of 2km approximately.

Both the tracks have climbs of 1 km.

The first trail descends a jeep track and the second one on a single track. Local boys love riding the single track, as many races are organised on this beautiful landscape of Summerhill.

Warning: This area comes under forest reserve and littering is prohibited. Make sure you ride every trail like a responsible rider.

Riding distance: 2 km (both tracks). Ride carefully on the single tracks.
Difficulty level: Amateur riders find it easy to ride here.
Bike type: Hardtail or full suspension
Type of trail: Both single tracks + jeep tracks with small technical patches.
Best time to ride: All year round. However if you visit in the afternoon, I would suggest to carry extra water as it can get quite sunny.
Ride starting point: Himachal Pradesh University (Summerhill, Shimla) Google Maps
Elevation profile: ~117m

Potterhill Trail Video


At this place Shiva had appeared in the form of his lingam, as per ancient stories. There used to be seven lakes near this temple which are now buried deep under the soil.

Parvati meditated for Shiva here. And the Pandavas also prayed around this temple during their anonymous year. Even many saints have prayed here and have fulfilled their destinies.

The way to this beautiful destination is a jeep track and the ancient deodars shadowing the temple makes the place unique. The jungle is untouched. And this 300-year-old temple adds timelessness to the location.

cycling in shimla seepur trails
E-MTBs can be a lot of fun for those who aren’t fighting fit!

Route info

Warning: Be careful riding on this track because goods carrying trucks and vehicles also use the same track to reach many of the adjoining villages.
Riding distance: 3 km of downhill + 3 km of climb to get back to your starting spot, that is Mashobra.
Difficulty level: Variety of trails ranging from novice to hard.
Bike type: Hardtail or full suspension
Type of trail: Jeep track with loose gravel
Best time to ride: You may ride all year but avoid riding during snowfall. Black ice makes for slippery conditions.
Ride starting point: Mashobra (Shimla) Google Maps
Elevation profile: ~293 m

Seepur Trail Video

Chadwick Falls

Chadwick Falls is located in the Glen Forests of the beautiful city of Shimla. This stream of water trickles from a height of about 100 metres. Some explorers recall a walk through the forest as an adventurous experience because of the damp and dark environment created by the thick canopying forest.

NOTE: Ensure you head back before sundown, as the waterfall is a primary source of drinking water for wildlife. Leopards are frequently spotted in the forest after dark.

chadwick falls while cycling in shimla
The falls which attract leopards…

Route info

It consists of beautiful narrow trails.

Route distance: 7 km of roundtrip from the city.
Difficulty level: Easy to ride. Better to ride carefully there than speeding up.
Bike type: Hardtail and full suspension
Type of trail: Single track, narrow at some points.
Best time to ride: 10 am to 5 pm. All year round.
Ride starting point: Himachal Pradesh University (Summerhill, Shimla) Google Maps
Elevation profile: ~265 m

Chadwick Falls Trail Video

About the Authors

This article will help you plan your next mountain biking holiday in Shimla. You can also get in touch with the boys and plan a ride with them…

Gaurav Negi aka Himalayan Ninja started cycling 5 years ago. He transitioned from a fun type cyclist to a competitive rider now. The 28-year-old started with no such passion on his saddle but now competes in races. He has also toured from Manali to Ladakh on his bicycle.

Gaurav has contributed all the visuals for this article.

Rajbir Singh is an 18-year-old athlete based in Shimla and sponsored by the Hero Action Team. His motivation to ride is to win as many podiums in the races that he participates in.

Rajbir has contributed all the text for this article.

Also check out this super cool video by Ashish Sherpa of Urban Downhill in Shimla. You can also read about the MTB scene in Pune by Hakster, Srinagar by Numaan and Imphal by Vim.

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