Upper Mustang Trek
Mustang valley resembles the Tibetan plateau and terrain due to the geographical proximity along with the cultural influence of Tibetan-Buddhism. A land said to be “barren as a dead deer”, Mustang region blends beauty and happiness with hardship. Officially opened for trekking in 1992, Upper Mustang Trek takes you to the last forbidden land of barren valleys. Therefore, you can expect to see yak caravans, eroded canyons, colourful valley and whitewashed houses while trekking here. Furthermore, the highlight of our trek is the 5 storied 9 cornered Lo-Manthang Palace, home to the King of Mustang.
After a cultural excursion in the Kathmandu valley, we fly over to Jomsom only to witness the breathtaking view of some of the World’s tallest snow peaks. Next, the Kagbeni town (2810m) marks the entry point to the mystical and enchanting land of Upper Mustang. It has the landscape of Himalayan deserts and incomparable scenic beauty often referred as a slice of heaven. Continuing on, we head up through Chele, Ghiling, Ghami and Charang we reach the walled city of Lo-Manthang (3810m). We wander around the traditional villages, monasteries and the palace of King of Mustang or the Mustangi Raja. Besides that, we also hike to the Choser or Namgyal monasteries to explore the traditional Tibetan-Buddhist culture.
Overlooked by Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Tukuche, our trails have caves high up in the hills. And our trek falls during Tiji Festival then trekkers can warm up their spirits with the traditional celebration. In addition to that, you can witness beautiful apple orchards, red-walled monastery (Thubchen Gompa) in the heart of the town. Your eyes will capture sights of people extracting wool from sheep and harvesting of wheat and barley. Last of all, we will trail back to Jomsom through the out-of-the-ordinary Kagbeni and fly back to Pokhara. Upon reaching here, you can spend some time exploring the scenic Phewa Lake before heading off to Kathmandu. This will mark the end of our trekking experience.
Explore the less visited exotic landscape of ancient and once forbidden land of Mustang through the Upper Mustang Trek. This trans-Himalayan region exhilarates the visitors as always with its fantastic alpine desert mountain scenery and cultural heritages. So, you must have proper physical fitness and mentality if you want to enjoy this trek. Moreover, we generally recommend Spring and Autumn season for this trek. However, you can even do this trek during Monsoon season also because this region lies in the rain shadow of Mt. Annapurna
Day 01: Kathmandu City tour
A day to begin the exploration of this enchanting land begins with the exploration of the cultural and administrative capital city of Nepal, the medieval valley of Kathmandu. This enriching day shall mark the visit to the several heritages listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. From the epitome of Hindu faith and one of the most holy temples in the world dedicated to the supreme Lord Shiva, the Pashupatinath Temple to the pilgrimage of Buddhists, the stupas of Boudhanath (one of the largest stupas in the world of its kind) and Swayambhunath (the 14th century stupa, arguably the oldest stupa in the world) travelers have it all in terms of religious heritages and positive vibes radiated by these heritages. The other attraction is the symbol of excellence of Nepalese architecture and reflection of the golden age of Nepalese history, the Royal complex of Patan and the Patan Durbar Square. With ancient palace, temples, courtyard, museum and other heritages besides the ornate carvings this heritage never fails to attract the visitors. After exploration of these heritages, we shall also have interaction with the trekking guide for getting information required for the adventure.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Kathmandu to Pokhara (800m) by Bus/Car/Air
To begin with the adventure in the secret valley we shall have overnight stay at the adventure hub and tourist capital of Nepal, the Lake City of Pokhara. The journey to this beautiful city can be made by 6-7 hours of inland travel along the winding roads or by a flight of about half an hour from Kathmandu. The road travel takes us past the rural settlements, green and lush hills and changing landscape, waterfalls and torrential rivers and with the view of the lofty and humongous mountains in the far which comes to your welcome as you near the valley of Pokhara. The short and scenic flight has the bird-eye view of the vast landscape and green valleys, sky piercing and snow-clad peaks as well as the lush hills and terraced fields. Views of rivers flowing in serpentine fashion and the aircraft passing through the soft clouds make the travel and interesting and entertaining one.
Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 03: Pokhara to Jomsom (2720m) flight then trek to Kagbeni. 2810m (3/4 hrs)
For the beginning of this adventurous journey into the unique valley of Upper Mustang we shall first head for the beautiful Jomsom, a city famous for its scenic landscape and strong afternoon winds. This short flight of around 20 minutes takes you past the marvelous view of the humongous and unique mountains of Annapurna massifs and the unique Fishtail Mountain. From the lush and green valley of Pokhara to the valley famous for arid landscape with sparse vegetation, the change in landscape is of new and interesting experience for the travelers. After landing in the Jomsom Airport located at an elevation of 8,800 feet (2,682 m) above mean sea level, we shall be heading for the adventure in this region starting with the trek to Kagbeni. This introductory trek shall be of 3-4 hours along the holy Kali Gandaki River, famous for the holy stones which are the symbol of Lord Vishnu for the Hindus. Trek starts with the crossing of the suspension bridge over the River towards the northern valley. Accompanied by the torrential river all along the way and past the glacial lake, sparsely populated settlements to the right of the trail, through suspension bridges and the beaches formed we reach the settlement of Kagbeni. Green oasis and ruined village as well as the view of snowy mountains of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri and the Annapurna massif makes the trek a rich experience.
Overnight in Kagbeni.
Day 04: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele. 3050m (5/6 hrs)
The trek further heads into the Kaligandaki valley accompanied by the sand dunes of the Kali Gandaki River. Past the ACAP check post after Kagbeni, we traverse through the trail past the smaller settlements, crossing over streams on some suspension bridges before reaching the Tange, a Gurung village with picturesque traditional houses and cultivation fields as well as apple orchards. Further in the trail we trek on the ridges and have the scenic view of the lofty Nilgiri as we reach the village of Chhuksang lying at the confluence of Kali Gandaki River and Narsing River and have a trail junction besides the prayer stones, Mani walls and prayer flags. We witness the river passing through the rock tunnel besides the increasingly arid landscape and river beach. Crossing the steel bridge we reach the destination for today, the village of Chele.
Overnight in Chele.
Day 05: Trek from Chele to Gilling. 3570m (5/6 hrs)
From the small and beautiful village of Chele, we trek uphill to a ridge that gives us the view of Ghyakar, a Gurung village. Wandering along the trail that twists and turns in the region, we continue over to the Chele La, past the Takllam La and Dajori La, and trek downhill to the village of Samar. Famous for the pack ponies, apricots and mustard fields, this village is high above the river and provides the marvelous view of Annapurna and Nilgiri peaks. Ahead in the trail we descent to a gorge to enter into a valley of juniper trees. Passing through streams, passes and descending along the ridge we reach to the village of Syanboche, a village with few settlements and a nearby cave in the shape of chorten that contains stalagmites act as the attractions nearby. Further past the Syangboche La, barley fields and chortens we reach to the village of Giling.
Overnight in Giling.
Day 06: Trek from Gilling to Ghami. 3520m (5/6 hrs)
Traversing up and down in the trail we further move northwards in the trail towards another settlement of Ghami. We meander along the twisting trail and pass through the Nyi La Pass (4025m), which is one of the highest points in our entire trek and provides the view of Annapurna massif, Nilgiri peak and the scenic view of the Mustang valley as well as the Tibetan plateau to the far. Descending from the pass we reach the easier trail of Kali Gandaki corridor and branch off to the trekking trail past the Ghami La (3765m) and finally to the village of Ghami. Ghami is relatively large village with cultivated walled fields and several houses white-washed that gives the village a unique and interesting look. Exploring the village we can also have the view of red cliffs as well as blue sheep in our sightseeing.
Overnight in Ghami.
Day 07: Trek from Ghami to Charang. 3560m (5/6 hrs)
Leaving the interesting village of Ghami and some ancient village ruins, we trek ahead in the trail further into the Mustang region. Past the longest prayer wall in Nepal which is 400m long and 2.5m tall, we traverse past the chortens and along the ridge with a gradual increase in elevation to reach another larger village of Dhakmar. Surrounding red cliffs provides the landscape surrounding Dhakmar village a unique view. Trekking past the cliffs we traverse along the alluvial plains, increasingly rugged trails and ridges that have up and down landscape we reach to the village of Charang. This village spreads out at the top of the Charang Chu canyon and has one of the largest libraries in the old palace of Lo as well as the huge fortress and ancient monastery with rich collection of statues and paintings to the eastern end of the village.
Overnight in Charang.
Day 08: Trek from Charang to Lo Manthang. 3810m (5/6 hrs)
We trek in this section of the trek to reach to the much awaited destination of this trekking adventure, the ancient town of Lo Manthang, the walled capital of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Lo. The day shall begin with the exploration of the ancient large monastery and the interesting village with unique culture and tradition. We trek accompanied by the Charang River in a gradual ascent to the small settlement of Saukre and up to the Lo Gekar Gompa, probably the oldest monastery in Nepal. After exploring the gompa we reach to the Ghar Gumba that hosts ancient scriptures. In the section ahead in this section of the trail, we cross the Ghyung Khola and traverse in a trail that ascends up to the Chogo La after which we descend and turn right in a trail which is relatively easier with minor ups and downs with the view of Lo manthang and the Charang valley before we reach to the destination of Lo Manthang. This ancient capital of Lo Manthang has ancient palace, fortress, monasteries and gompas as well as unique culture and traditions besides the arid yet scenic landscape.
Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Day 09: Visit the Mustang village, Monasteries and king palace.
Today is one of the exploration days in the capital city of the ancient Lo Kingdom. We shall explore the nearby Mustang village ancient monasteries and the royal palace. This village inside the fabled wall town has the inhabitation of Lhoba community who share closeness to the Tibetan on the other side of the Himalayas, in terms of culture followed and language spoken as well as the Thak community in the southern areas who blend in the Tibetan and Nepalese culture. Within the city of Lo manthang there are four shrines. The 14th century Jampa Lhakhang Gompa, a brick-red gompa is the oldest gompa in the region with a 50 foot stupa of Buddha which was the tallest stupa for many years. The other shrines are 15th century Thubchen Gompa (the second oldest gompa in the region with Great Assembly hall having 30 feet high pillars and marvelous murals), Chhoede Gompa (the residence of Kempo and monastic school) and the Choprang Gompa or the “New Gompa”. The central attraction of Lo Manthang is the Royal Palace, a four storied palace which served as the residence and administrative centre of the ancient Lo Kingdom. Residence of the King of Mustang, who lost his title of King in 2008, this palace, was built around 1400. The Royal Palace of Lo Manthang gets visit and awe from every adventurer travelling to this ancient city.
Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Day 10: Hike up to Choser or Namgyal Monasteries.
Exploring the surrounding of this ancient kingdom continues today as well wherein we have a hike to the Choser and the ancient Namgyal monastery. As we leave the Lo valley along a wide canyon trail and past the ruined fortress, through cultivated area and across a bridge, we reach to the cave of Choser which has the ancient Nyphu Gompa, a deep red gompa built into the hillside. This spot also provides a scenic view of the mustang village. Trekking past the gompa and the 2500 year old Jhong Gompa we return to the western valley to Lo which leads us to the Namgyal monastery (the Monastery of Victory). It is the most active gompa in the region and set on top of a deserted ridge. Past the gompa is the village of Namgyal . we may hike to the village of Tingkar (the summer residence of the King of Mustang), Kimaling village and other surrounding areas. After exploring the outskirts of this marvelous valley we return back to Lo Manthang.
Overnight in Lo manthang.
Day 11: Trek from Lo Manthang to Ghami. 3520m (6/7 hrs)
The trek onwards shall mark the second phase of this adventure where we shall be returning from the marvelous, scenic and ancient city of Lo manthang. We shall trek towards the direction we came from and take on the Lo pass to which the trail is uphill and after it we have a march downhill to through relatively flat trail till we reach the village of Dhakmar. The journey to the Ghar Gumba takes around five hours. This spot serves as the lunch spot for the trekkers. Further on we trek to the village of Dhakmar on a trek for couple of hours after we have explored the gompa. Further on trail is an overall downhill trek where we may take in one of two alternative trails as we reach to the place of overnight for today, the village of Ghami.
Overnight in Ghami.
Day 12: Trek from Ghami to Chele. 3050m (5/6 hrs)
The trek away from the valley of Upper Mustang continues as we further descend from the village of Ghami and head for the settlement of Chele, a village past which our trail shall be accompanied by the torrential Kali Gandaki River. We may follow the path previously trekked during our ascent or take an alternative route as we trek past several settlements; view of the snow capped mountains, changing landscape, several passes and religious heritages are entertaining to the trekkers. Climbing the passes such as Nya La for marvelous view of snow peaked mountains and exploration of ancient caves takes us to the settlement of Samar. Further ahead, we pass through some passes, Gurung village and traverse along the ups and downs of the trail with some steep climbs to reach the settlement of Chele.
Overnight in Chele.
Day 13: Trek from Chele to Kagbeni. 2810m (5/6 hrs)
The trek to Kagbeni may be done in any of the two ways depending on the season. The trail along the river bed is also possible in the Dry season while trekkers have to take a longer route to Chele in other seasons. The longer route takes on the trail on the western side that explores through couple of passes including the Kheku La and Mani La, smaller settlements, couple of streams and through ridges and unique cultured settlements before joining the main road past Chhokam lake and trekking further on to Kagbeni. Through the trail along the riverbed trekkers make initial climb to the ridge on the eastern side which leads to the village of Tangbe after couple of hours. Past the views of erosion of the plateau hills at the riverbed, across the bridge over Kali Gandaki to reach the settlement of Kagbeni.
Overnight in Kagbeni.
Day 14: Trek from Kagbeni to Jomsom. 2720m (5/6 hrs)
The final day of the trek that involves trekking is in store for the trekkers. We trek past the ruined village and green oasis, smaller settlements of Lil and Pangling, along the torrential Kali Gandaki River, the ammonite fossils in riverbed and the glacial lake before reaching the windy town of Jomsom. Jomsom has the Eco Museum, the office of ACAP conservation unit and its check post besides the temples dedicated to Hindu deities, mountaineering school and other facilities.
Overnight in Jomsom.
Day 15: Jomsom to Pokhara flight and explore around lake side.
This flight to Pokhara is a fun-filled and scenic flight that has the view of mountains including the Annapurna massif and the lofty Dhaulagiri Peak during the flight; the close up view of the mountains are a marvel to be cherished by the travelers for a long time and is enchanting to the travelers each time as if the views were for the first time. After landing in Pokhara Airport you shall be transferred to the hotel of your stay. In the afternoon you shall have the time to explore around the marvelous Lake Side. A spot that gives travelers a feel of being in some wonderland, this spot blends in the modern lifestyle with the traditional flavor through the souvenirs offered and cuisines served.
Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 16: Pokhara to Kathmandu by Bus/Car/Flight.
We shall leave for the medieval capital city of Kathmandu today after completing the adventurous experience in the hidden valley of Upper Mustang. The drive to Kathmandu provide the opportunity of enjoying the greenery, mountains and hills, waterfalls and torrential rivers, gorges, villages and terraces during the journey of around 6-7 hours. The flight of around 30 minutes takes us over the lush valleys and green hills, vast landscape and snow capped mountains, terraced fields and scenic landscape. After the journey you shall be transferred to the hotel of your stay. Get rest to your tired body or you may explore the surrounding areas as well.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
- Kathmandu arrival and transferred to hotel
- Kathmandu to Pokhara return by bus or flight
- Pokhara to Jomsom by flight
- All ground Transportation
- All necessary permits and TIMS cards
- All meal during the trek (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Guide and staffs wages and insurance
- All trekking equipment ( tents, tables, chairs, mattress, cooking utensils etc.)
- Bar bills, laundry and tips
- Rescue, insurance, souvenir shopping
- Items of personal expenses
- Nepal entry visa fees
- Personal rescue if needed
#Note above day to day itinerary. May be change depending on weather and flight.