Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek Nepal » Trekking In Nepal » Upper Mustang Trek

17 Days / 16 Nights

Duration

Nepal

Country

Moderate

Grade

3810m/12,500ft

Max altitude

Private/Domestic Vehicles

Transportation

Hotel/Lodge/Tea Houses

Accommodation

Feb-June, Sep-Dec

Best season

- Max 14

Group Size

Overview


"Upper Mustang Trek" This is a fascinating exploration of a marvelous trans-Himalayan area of Nepal but rather is more similar to Tibet. The concealed valleys of upper Mustang nestled between Tibet and the Nepal Himalayas discloses the mythical forbidden kingdom’s vast and barren valleys, worn-out canyons, yak caravans and vibrant smeared mud-brick houses with a magnificent backdrop of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tukuche and Dhaulagiri peaks. Upper Mustang Trek is aptly known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom because it was a restricted area until 1992 for visitors from overseas and outsiders; it was confined to the indigenous tribes of the then kingdom of Lo Manthang. As of the present day, foreigners are allowed to visit a place that is different from the rest of the world. However, their entry is limited to entering Upper Mustang Trek only after purchasing special permits, and the trekking to Upper Mustang be organized by any trekking companies recognized by the government and registered under Nepal Tourism Board.

The Upper Mustang Trek undoubtedly is considered as one of the best treks in Nepal where trekkers can be delighted with the peculiarity of the tree-less desolate landscape, steep rocky, undulating trails and mind-boggling panorama of majestic snow-clad mountains. Traversing on the popular trekking route, the Upper Mustang Trek is one of the top treks in Nepal that leads to an isolated region – a rain shadow area filled with charming indigenous people, impressive sights, countless sacred beautifications, and fabulous 16 th -century monasteries. This incredible trekking in Nepal guides you to the hidden paradise where the unfathomable hospitality and warmth of the local people will leave you spellbound. Upper Mustang, also nicknamed as the ‘Mountain Desert’ and labeled by several high-ranked dignitaries as ‘Mini Tibet of Nepal’ justifies the epithet owing to its unrivaled landscape with astounding wilderness, untouched scenery, rare medieval Buddhist arts, and exotic culture.

The best season for trekking in the hinterland of Mustang or Upper Mustang Trek, as usual, is during spring and autumn. However, monsoon season would be as perfect because the villages are loaded with local people engaged with their daily chores. Being a rain-shadow area, there is almost no rain and the whole province blooms making a fabulous contrast with the wind eroded hills, red-walled monasteries and red cliffs with a marvelous vista of the snow-capped mountains on the backdrop. On the contrary, winters are quite harsh making the locals to temporarily leave their village to a lower elevation to avoid snowfall and severe cold. Like any other wilderness treks in Nepal, the pre-requisites of a trekker are average physical fitness and sound health along with a positive attitude and a high mental endurance. While Upper Mustang trek is an easy trek in Nepal’s remote region, the only cause of discomfort would be countable to the frequent high altitudes. Walk with AID Adventure and explore the fascinating medieval walled kingdom beyond mystique valleys ornamented with vibrant flapping prayer flags, sacred Buddhist shrines and cherish this once-in-a-lifetime destination, possibly the last remnants of the pure Tibetan culture.

Outline Itinerary


Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m/4,428ft)
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (827m/2689ft): 6 – 7 hours
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2,700m/8898ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,216ft): 3-4 hours trek
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours
Day 06: Chele to Syanboche (3,475m/11,398ft): 6-7 hours
Day 07: Syanbochen to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft): 5-6 hours
Day 08: Ghami to Tsarang (3,620m/11,873ft): 5-6 hours
Day 09: Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,234ft): 3-4 hours
Day 10: Explore Lo Manthang/ Acclimatization
Day 11: Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3810 m/12,500ft): 6-7 hours
Day 12: Drakmar to Ghiling (3,806m/12,484ft): 5-6 hours
Day 13: Ghiling to Chhuksang (3050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours
Day 14: Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,700/8,856ft): 6-7 hours
Day 15: Fly back to Pokhara
Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 17: Final departure

Cost Includes

    • Airport Pick up/drop in private vehicle
    • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast
    • Tea-house accommodation during the trek
    • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trekking time
    • All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
    • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
    • Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
    • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader
    • Porter service for trekking (2 trekkers :1 porter)
    • Trekking Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation
    • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
    • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
    • AID Team personal Take care
    • All government and local taxes

Cost Excludes

    • Nepalese visa fee
    • Excess baggage charge(s)
    • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
    • Any meals (Except trekking time)
    • International flights
    • Travel and rescue insurance
    • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottled or boiled water, shower, etc.)

Detail Itenerary


On arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will complete all necessary immigration formalities followed by baggage collection from the designated area in the airport. As you exit, one of the representatives from Aid Journeys, with a placard, will officially welcome you and escort you to your pre-assigned hotel. At the hotel, you may stretch out your legs and relax for few hours from the possible jet lag that you might have experienced after a long flight. Those who are anxious and want to hit the streets right away, may stroll around Thamel and do a bit of shopping or hire gears and equipment for the upcoming trip. Overnight in Kathmandu.

After a good night’s rest, you will be woken up with a morning call, if you desire, followed by a warm bed tea. Once you finish your breakfast, there will be a guided tour to some of the most historical and spiritual landmarks of the city, all of them being recognized as UNESCO world heritage sites. You will visit the most revered and holy Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath, the prominent monkey temple, Swayambhunath, one of the largest stupas in the world - a Buddhist shrine at Bouddhanath, and the captivating Basantapur Durbar Square. In the late afternoon, you will visit our office site to make necessary preparations, get your equipment checked, and meet your trip leader, crew members, and other fellow accomplices. You will have a brief discussion about the forthcoming trip and return to your hotel room. Overnight in Kathmandu.

After an early breakfast, you get onboard for a long scenic drive to the lake city of Pokhara. On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful terraced farms, small shops at every small temporary makeshift settlement and the raging Trishuli River towards our right on the Prithvi Highway. Upon your arrival at Pokhara, you will be guided to your hotel room. You may relax in your room relaxing your sore feet after a long drive, or you can also take a stroll along the lakeside which is a pleasant environment during the evenings. At Pokhara, you will be recompensed with astounding views of the Himalayas such as Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre and the Annapurna ranges. Overnight in Pokhara.

Today, you will board an early morning 25-minute flight to Jomsom, the district headquarters of Mustang over the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge along with mesmerizing views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Jomsom is quite famous for its apples, strong afternoon winds, and the spectacular landscapes. After a cup of tea or maybe a quick snack, you will meet your trekking crew and make some initial preparation for your loads. You will then begin walking on an open trail alongside a glamorous valley through the ancient salt trade route. Just leaving Jomsom, you will cross a small hanging bridge, and then walk along the banks of the Kali Gandaki. The track is pretty desolate with weather-beaten rocks and sand, which makes the walk very easy forwards. You will be remunerated with views of towering peaks of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, and Nilgiri as you tread on your way. As you reach near Kagbeni, specific characteristic features of Upper Mustang will start reflecting towards its visitors, such as the narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green wheat and barley fields and a large red monastery. Overnight in Kagbeni.

At the north end of the Kagbeni village, there is a police check post where you need to get your permit checked and complete other necessary documentation before entering the forbidden region. Beginning right away a steep climb up the cliffs on the eastern side of the gorge, you will catch sight of a great view back of Kagbeni. The trail undulates along the bottom of the valley and the riverbed. After a couple of hours or so, you will reach atop a hill, from where it is a gradual descend on the other side to reach Tangbe, you first real Mustang village. Following more ups and downs, you will arrive at Chhusang where you will have your lunch. After lunch, you will continue through a riverbed and then on the side of the valley until you are at the bridge at the bottom of Chele. Crossing the bridge over the Kali Gandaki River, you will make a steep ascent to reach Chele. Overnight in Chele.

You trek from this point becomes comparatively little harder as the walk is more into undulating trails with a couple of steep climb and descents. After an initial rise today, the trail flattens till a deep canyon. A hanging bridge will lead you to the other side of the canyon to the Ghyakar village. Continuing the climb, you will reach the Taklam La Pass, from where another downhill walk will guide you up to Dajori La Pass. From here, it is a little descent to Samar where you may stop for tea. After Samar, it is downhill descent through a pretty steep canyon and again another steep ascent to Bhena, which is your lunch stop. On the way, you will enjoy magnificent views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda passing by the Ramchung cave. One more climb from Bhena to reach the Yamda La Pass from where it is downhill to a stream and further a short walk to Syangboche. Overnight in Syangboche.

After breakfast today, you will climb gently up to the Yamda La Pass and then walk down towards Gheling. You may visit a monastery at Gheling that belongs to the Sakya lineage of Buddhism. Walking past Gheling, you will continue to climb up the valley to cross the Nya La Pass at 4010 meters. Throughout the way, you will pass by a few teahouses, chortens and tiny hamlets, as well as extensive forests and barley fields with extraordinary views of mountains and deep valleys into the wind, eroded canyons. From the pass, it is a gentle descend to Ghami, one of the most prominent villages in the Lo Manthang region. Overnight in Ghami.

This short trek to Tsarang begins with trail descending steeply to the river to cross the steel bridge through the rough and slippery path. You will come across a Mani wall, which is the longest Mani wall in the Mustang area. Legend has it that the wall contains the intestine of the demons killed by Guru Rinpoche. The trail today marks the history and legend of the saint Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Going ahead and up through the Chingel La Pass, you will be rewarded by the fantastic views of Nilgiri and Tilicho peaks. Crossing the Tsarang La Pass, you will enter the Tsarang village that lies at the top of the Charang Chu canyon with a giant fortress and a monastery. At Tsarang after lunch, you will visit the Tserang Thupten Shedrup Dhargyeling Monastery, which has some lovely wall paintings inside it and a few statues of deities. The monastery is considered to be more than 775 years old. Overnight in Tsarang.

The trek today begins after breakfast descending to a canyon and crossing the river behind Tsarang. A steep hike down followed by a steep hike takes you to the other side. Another steady uphill walk follows passing a huge chorten and many caves in the rock wall further up. The last part of the trail is like a desert with hard packed sand that leads up to Lo La Pass, from where you will get the first glimpse of the beautiful village of Lo Manthang, the capital of the land of Lo. It is believed that the king ‘Lo Gyelbu’ named as Jigme Palbar Bista, still resides at his four-storied palace inside the walled city of Lo Manthang. From the pass, you will descend to Lo Manthang, which offers astonishing views of the Himalayas such as Nilgiri, Tilicho, Bhrikuti peaks, Annapurna I, as well as the Damodar Kunda, a sacred pond of the Hindus. Overnight in Lo Manthang.

Today is a free day to explore the ancient capital that has remained untouched since the 14 th century. Walking to the northern end of the city lays the Chhoede Gompa that is attached to a monastic school, the Tse Chhen Shedrubling Tukling Mon Gon Lobdra. The Gompa houses beautiful Thangkas and several statues of gods. You will then visit the museum, then into a smaller Gompa containing a chorten with the grave of an old lama. The other monasteries worth a visit are Jhampa Gompa, the oldest one in Lo Manthang, and Thupchen Gompa, the second oldest Gompa. All the monasteries have undergone expert restoration over the last twenty years. Other significant landmarks to witness and visit in Lo Manthang are the Nyphu Cave monastery, the 2500 years old Jhong Sky Cave, which has more than 44 compartments, and the Thinkar summer palace located at a beautiful village by the same name lying northwest of Lo Manthang. Overnight in Lo Manthang.

Returning from Lo Manthang today, you follow a different route on the west terrain passing through the Gyakar village. The trail offers you the most beautiful view despite the few steep downhill walks. Gyakar village has the oldest Tibetan monastery in the Mustang region known as the Ghar Gompa, which has exquisitely beautiful rock paintings. The monastery was built during the 7 th century by the incarnated monk Padmasambhava. The views of landscape and the mountain in the south is mesmerizing. The walk to Drakmar from Lo-Manthang is thrilling with different trail high above the canyons and eroded hills. According to a legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Ghar Gompa will have it fulfilled. After the visit to this monastery, you will continue our hike to Drakmar. Overnight in Drakmar.

This day, you will begin your trek quite early heading towards south so that strong winds can be avoided during most of the trek. Since there are no teahouses in the middle of the trail from Drakmar to Ghiling, it is advised to carry some water to drink as well as some snacks. On today’s walk, you will come across many caves on the way and keep moving ahead past a Mani wall, shortly after which you will arrive at Ghami village. The hike can be reasonably tricky as you are most likely to experience intense gusty wind hitting on your faces. Passing through a dry plateau and then a climb up to the Ghiling hill, you will reach the Ghiling village that presents excellent views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. After lunch, you can explore the village depending on the windy situation of the surrounding. Early evening time would be good to explore the tiny village. Overnight in Ghiling.

After breakfast, you will begin the day’s walking spree taking a downhill trail along with views of the majestic Himalayas along with enchanting landscapes, and hills. Walking down the same path as before that led towards Lo Manthang you will come across few tiny villages where people follow Tibetan culture and lifestyle. Continuing the walk along the desolate unique landscape of dry terrain, you will reach Chhuksang. Here you will spend some time exploring the village and its surroundings. Overnight in Chhuksang.

Officially the final day of your trekking program, you will have an early breakfast and leave Chhuksang taking a downhill trail towards Tangbe. After trekking for a while, the Mustang trail ends, and you will now be joining the Annapurna circuit trail. There is a uniquely clustered settlement area and walking ahead you come across a few caves, and the landscape views are fantastic. It is almost about three to four hours depending on your walking pace, walking from Chhuksang to Kagbeni. After an ideal lunch in Kagbeni, you will continue your walk along the banks of Kali Gandaki River till you arrive at Jomsom, where your trek on foot comes to an end. Going to your hotel room, you will stretch your weary legs and relax the whole evening. Overnight in Jomsom.

This day, you will embark on an early morning scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara along the Kali Gandaki Valley providing majestic views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Ranges. On arrival at Pokhara airport, you will be transferred to your hotel room, where you may stretch your legs and relax for some time. In the afternoon, you may visit some significant landmarks of Pokhara like David’s fall, the Regional museum or the Gupteshwor Cave. Time permitting; you may take a mind-soothing boat ride in the Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal. Later in the evening you may stroll alongthe lakeside and watch the romantic atmosphere, sitting on a cozy couch of a lavish eatery sipping some Nepali Everest beer along with some upbeat music. Overnight in Pokhara.

Bidding goodbye to the lake city, you will board on an exciting bus journey after an extravagant breakfast. Throughout the trip, you will witness scenic greeneries, rivers, tiny hamlets, streamlets, vegetation farms and marvelous mountain views. The appealing drive eventually lands you in Kathmandu, from where you will be transferred to your hotel where you may take a rest, or wander around Thamel for souvenir shopping to carry back home. If you feel energetic enough after the tiring trip, then you may explore around popular tourist attractions nearby. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Today is the day your holidays in Nepal has come to an end, and you will be flying back home with ample memories of the experiences you’ve had in the Himalayas. A representative from Aid Journeys will drop you off at the Tribhuvan International Airport well ahead of your scheduled flight for your onward journey. With plenty of time onboard, you may plan your next trip in the Himalayan realms of Nepal. For those willing to stay back and extend your holidays, Aid Journeys will be glad to plan your trip according to your craving.

Departure


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Cost Info


Please submit cost inquiry form for more specific details or can also email us at [email protected]

Cost Includes

    • Airport Pick up/drop in private vehicle
    • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast
    • Tea-house accommodation during the trek
    • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trekking time
    • All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
    • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
    • Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
    • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader
    • Porter service for trekking (2 trekkers :1 porter)
    • Trekking Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation
    • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
    • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
    • AID Team personal Take care
    • All government and local taxes

Cost Excludes

    • Nepalese visa fee
    • Excess baggage charge(s)
    • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
    • Any meals (Except trekking time)
    • International flights
    • Travel and rescue insurance
    • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottled or boiled water, shower, etc.)

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