Upper Mustang Trek is a rare opportunity. Located in the northernmost part of Western Nepal, Mustang is known as the Land beyond the Himalayans. The sky high mountains lie to the south of Mustang, which in itself is a rare sight to see. The 16-day-long trek will take you to a beautiful and ancient civilization in the lap of the silver mountains. Until the 1950s, Mustang district was a separate kingdom within the boundaries of Nepal. The last king’s impressive palace is still a major attraction of the region.
Since the region geographically lies in the Tibetan Plateau, the trek will feel a lot like a one in Tibet. It is also known as “Mini Tibet of Nepal”. The Upper Mustang Trek will unlock the doors to Trans-Himalayan landscape that look too good to be real. It also offers the unique chance to witness the prosperous ancient civilization and how it has sustained so well. Throughout the trek, we will visit several Buddhist shrines like the Chhortens, Stupas, Prayer walls and notably, centuries old historic monasteries. We will also interact with the local in their beautiful villages for a memorable time. The journey to Lo Manthang – Mountain Desert – is an incredibly gratifying experience for trekkers who want to trek through wilderness and explore civilizations in some of the highest elevations, so close to soaring Himalayans.
The 16-day-long trek journey begins with a trek with a scenic ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara. From Pokhara, we will catch a plane to Mustang’s headquarter – Jomsom. The trekking begins from Jomsom as we trek to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang. From here, we will trek through iconic settlements like Chele, Geling, and Tsarang for three days to reach the kingdom of Lo Manthang. We have allocated a full day to explore the beautiful walled settlement. We can visit the royal palace and ancient monasteries to further explore the region. During the return trek, we will hike down to Jomsom through old fashioned villages like Dhamkar, Ghiling, and Tsugsang. From here, we will trek back to Jomsom and catch a flight to Pokhara, On arrival at Kathmandu, we have a heritage sightseeing tour planned for you within the valley.
In addition to the cultural revelation, the Upper Mustang Trek also rewards trekkers with outstanding views of the colossal Nilgiri Mountain range and Dhaulagiri Massif. The trek also offers pretty amazing views of the Annapurna range. Another main highlight of the trek is trekking through the Kali Gandaki Gorge. Situated between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range, it is also the deepest formed gorge in the world. All the beautiful landmarks, warm and welcoming locals and natural wonders make Upper Mustang Trek a truly unforgettable one.
Mustang lies in the Himalayan rain shadow, thus it does not receive high extent of rainfall, making it suitable to trek even in rainy seasons. This extremely gratifying trek does not consist of any notable technical difficulty. Since the highest elevation of trek is only 3,800m, any individual in good physical health can easily complete it. However, it is very cold and windy throughout the year, making it not very preferable to trek during winter season.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu received by Team Himalaya staff.
On arrival meet our TH staff for courtesy transfer to respective hotels in the heart of Kathmandu at Thamel area, an interesting place for shopping and having meals in one of the many world class restaurants, pubs and bakery.
Our guide will inform on details regarding the trek to Mustang the Forbidden Kingdom.
Day 02: In Kathmandu full day sightseeing tour and preparation day .
Morning after breakfast at given time our city and cultural guide will guide you in and around Kathmandu at places of interest and importance, as Kathmandu Valley is full of World Heritage Sites the holy Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath (Little Tibet), Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) & monasteries, ancient Kings Palaces and courtyard in Kathmandu; after an interesting sightseeing back to the hotel
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 950m – 06 hrs journey.
A scenic drive takes about 6 hours to Pokhara, which is quite interesting on the Nepal’s main highway following the Trisuli river for a while and then heading west with views of Ganesh, Langtang Himal as it gets closer to Pokhara with Annapurna and Manaslu range of peaks. In Pokhara the haven for tourist a scenic place with mountains and lakes, here in Pokhara transfer to hotel by the lake Phewa (Fewa) for overnight.
Day 04: Morning Flight to Jomsom 2,700 and trek to Kagbeni – 04 hrs.
Morning a short scenic flight of 22 minutes reaches to Jomsom, headquarter of the whole Mustang district which is a large town in Mustang region, famous for apple orchards products and apple delicacies. From Jomsom our wonderful journey begins to upper Mustang area, walk follows Kalignadaki River upstream on the wide river bed floor and its bank leading to Kagbeni through Ekle Bhatti 2,740 m.
Ekle bhatti with 4-5 lodges and shops on route between Jomsom, Muktinath and Upper Mustang, from here walk continues for another hour towards north west to reach our first overnight stop at Kagbeni village, located in the Kali Gandaki River valley the gateway to Upper Mustang.
Day 05: Trek to Chele 3,050m – 06 hrs.
From Kagbeni morning walk follows Kali Gandaki River upstream through nice cultivated terraced fields and reaching Tirigaon village, here one can view a striking natural erosion landscapes with red cliff canyon as the walk leads to Chele.
On the way to Chele encountering pilgrims in search of a fossil or ammonite known as ‘Salagram Silas’ which are found in abundant in Kali Gandaki River valley, regarded as holy or scared stones by Hindus and worshiped as an iconic representation of supreme Lord Vishnu (one of the three main Hindu Gods).
Our journey carries on for few more hours through Tangbe, Tsungsang villages and then completing the days walk by crossing a small bridge to our overnight stop at Chele.
Day 06: Trek to Geling 3,540 m – 05 hrs.
After Chele morning walk starts with a gradual uphill climb to Gyakar village, then continue walk on the barren dry area reaching at Samar a beautiful village, the landscapes from here onwards to upper Mustang are dry, arid and barren with cold and dry climate, a dramatic change in vegetation as the walk leads higher ground.
As the walk progress reaching at Bhena a small village and then the trail leads to a climb up to Yamda La pass at 3,860 m offering panorama of mountains of Mustang and Dhaulagiri region. After a nice and enjoyable moment a few hours of walk from this ridge top leads to the overnight stop at Geling village through Syangboche.
Day 07: Trek to Tsarang 3,560 m – 06 hrs.
After breakfast visit Geling monastery and prayer wheels that spins around with water propeller, after an interesting time here morning walk leads up to Ghami village, from here crossing Ghaymi Khola and on the trail with the longest and spectacular series of Mani walls (sacred prayer stone wall contributed by Buddhist pilgrims and local villagers) and then reaching Dhakmar village. After a break here walk heads to our overnight stop at Tsarang village with fields of buck wheat’s, and an old monastery of Tsarang.
Day 08: Trek to Lo-Mangthang 3,700 m – 04 hrs.
Morning walk starts leading to a steel suspension bridge after crossing the bridge heading towards Marang village and then with a gradual uphill climb to a small ridge, then coming across many chortens on route between Tsarang and Lo Manthang, walk today offers fascinating views of Nilgiri’s, Tilicho, Annapurna and Bhrikuti peaks, after enjoying the marvelous scenery walk slowly advance towards Lo La pass at 3,950 m with the first stunning view of Lo Manthang within the high surrounding wall which act as a fortress, then looking across far north hills near the Tibetan border, after a great moment on the downhill path then raching our destination and overnight stop at Lo Manthang.
Day 09: In Lo-Mangthang for acclimatization and local hike.
A rest day at Lo Manthang an ideal place for leisure walk and acclimatization, visit and to explore around its interesting historical and cultural centre of Lo-Manthang, there are four major monasteries or Gompas around Lo-Manthang including Namgyal Gompa, Champa Lakhang (God House), the red Thubchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the great Entrance Hall. These are the main attractions of Lo-Manthang and charges entry fees to visit these places.
Day 10: Trek to Dhakmar 3,810 m – 06 hrs.
Enjoying the day in Lo-Manthang with memorable moment, morning walk leads back on the same route for few hours with gradual walk up to Marang village, from here turning right towards west using the an old path to reach the overnight stop at Dhakmar village, around this area afternoon time is very windy with dust so starting early in the morning is highly suggested.
Day 11: Trek to Ghiling 3,806 m – 06 hrs.
Leaving Dhakmar, follow the trail that passes the longest and spectacular series of Mani walls (Sacred-Holy prayer stone wall which is made by the Buddhist followers and pilgrims) then cross the suspension bridge over Ghami Khola to reach the village of Ghami, walking for couple of hours heading to the south to reach the village of Ghiling for the overnight stop with a visit of Geling monastery and water driven prayer wheel.
Day 12: Trek to Tsugsang 2,980 m – 06 hrs.
Morning walk starts with gradual climb to Syangboche village, then walking for couple of hours towards a small pass of Yamda La at 3,860 m offering grand panorama of snow capped peaks and of Mustang region landscapes, from here on the downhill path through small villages of Bhena and Samar. Then the walk follows a stream leading all the way to Tsugsang village for overnight stop via Gyakar and Chele villages.
Day 13: Trek to Jomsom 2, 715 m – 04 hours.
After Tsusang rest of the journey will be easier with moderate walks all the way, with a drop of 1,200m downhill to Kaligandaki river valley, this pleasant walk reaches the vast Kaligandaki river valley with a small break at Ekale bhatti. From here onwards gets windy in the afternoon time, from this place few hours walk to Jomsom, headquarter of Mustang region with an airstrip located above Kaligandaki River. This town is in the centre or junction of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri circuit, Upper Mustang and to holy Muktinath route, afternoon with ample time to explore around Jomsom.
Day 14: Fly to Pokhara and transfer to hotel.
Morning transfer to Jomsom airport for a short scenic flight to scenic Pokhara, Pokhara valley another highlight of this fabulous trip, Pokhara regarded as the most beautiful place on this globe with awesome mountain views and natural surrounding with its serene lake Phewa.
Day 15: Drive back to Kathmandu – 06 hrs.
Morning a scenic drive to Kathmandu, after a wonderful memorable trip in the high mountains of Annapurna area, then on reaching Kathmandu transfer to respective hotels with afternoon free at leisure.
Day 16: International departure homeward bound.
Last day in Nepal with wonderful memorable time in Himalaya trekking to Mustang the Forbidden Kingdom with Team Himalaya and transfer to airport for the flight back home or to respective destination.