This Mysterious Upper Mustang trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. The regions isolation from the outside world has contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature. The features of the isolated and imposing landscape are equally assisted by the cultural beauties as monasteries, chhortens, mani walls and the whitewashed houses throughout the trail. The frequent up and down trail, the red sandy cliffs, view of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Mountain ranges are very heartwarming.
Upper Mustang trek is a rare and privileged opportunity, you can experience the true life of the real mountain people of Nepal. In many ways, trekking into the Upper Mustang Area is similar to trekking in to Tibet, which geographically is a part of it.
You could be already in Kathmandu or you may be arriving on this very day, anyway, we welcome you to Nepal! On this first day we transfer you to your hotel and brief you about the trek if the time permits. You will not do much except observing the ambiance around you and get acquainted with the country.
Today would be the most exhilarating day where your leader introduces you to our city tour expert who guides you to the most pious Hindu and Buddhist religious place that are listed in the world heritage sites and elucidates you the entire mysticism over its existence. The rest of your time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near your hotel.
Your guide will come to your Hotel early in the morning at 6:30 am to pick you up and then the bus leaves around 7.30 am to Pokhara. The bus ride will reach you to Pokhara after 7 continuous hours.
Early morning you will be flying northwest from Pokhara towards the great portal between the snow-capped peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will enjoy the well-raised massifs of more than 8,000 m and the deepest gorge on this planet.
On arrival to Jomsom, you will meet rest of the trekking staff. From Kathmandu, you will have a guide with you. You start to trek towards Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang and the trek will take you around 4 and half hours to reach Kagbeni.
The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kali Gandaki climbing over many ridges as it heads north and reaches Tangbe village. The town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. The Nilgiri peak dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni, all the way with different shapes. Beyond Tangbe we reach Chusang village in about 1/2 hour, then we trek and cross the river which continues north climbing up to a huge red chunk of the conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel that the Kaligandaki follows. The trek now leaves the Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chaile. The trek will take you 6 hours in total to reach here. From here the culture changes from the Manangi culture to the Tibetan culture of Lo.
The climb continues along steep, treeless, water less terrain, along the side of the spectacular steep canyon to a pass and cairn of rock. Then the trail makes a long gradual descent to some Chortens on a ridge and with further descent comes a pleasant trail to Samar village. We climb above Samar to a ridge, and then descend into a large gorge, where the trail goes into another valley field, crosses a stream and climbs up to a ridge at 3,800 m. The route climbs over yet another pass, follows a ridge and then descends to Shyangmochen. From there we gently climb to a pass at 3770 m and descend to Geling Village. It will take around 7 hours to reach this village.
From Geling village the trail climbs gently up to an interesting pass Nyi La and descends below the blue, grey and red cliffs. After crossing a steel bridge of the Tangmar Chu (river) you will arrive to Mani Wall, perhaps the longest and most spectacular Mani wall in Nepal. Climbing over another pass at 3600 m, the route makes a long gentle descent to Charang village. The huge five-story white Dzong and red Gompa are the main attractions to visit, and observe collection of statues as well as many large paintings of seated Buddha. After 7 hours of walking, you finally reach Charang.
This is an opportunity to visit two other villages on your trek. The trail climbs steadily until Lo-Gekar. Lo-Gekar Gompa is older than Samye Gompa in Tibet and is one of the oldest Gompa of Nepal. Few meters ahead lies the 1200 years old Ghar Gompa with Guru Rinpoche as the primary figure. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. To reach here it takes approximately 3 hours from Charang. According to the legend, anyone who makes one wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is fulfilled. After visiting Ghar gompa and spending an hour to roam around, the trek continues to Lo Manthang. The trail until Lo-Manthang is fine with some minor climbing. Finally from the ridge, there is a view of the walled city of Lo. After a short descent, cross the stream then climb up into the plateau of Lo-Manthang. The total duration to reach Lo Manthang would be around 4 hours from Ghar Gumba.
It takes around 2 hours to reach Namgyal Gompa. Namgyal Gompa situated on a hilltop serves as an important monastery for the local community, also serving as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, which is a village of around 40 houses, the last main village to the northwest of Lomanthang. After visiting Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar return to Lo Manthang.
From Lo-Manthang the trail walks straight till Dhi pass 4100 m and descends down to Dhi village within 5 hours of the trek. The trek from Lo Manthang to Muktinath is harder, but more rewarding and interesting than the west side of the valley. Dhi village is one of the best villages of whole Lo-Manthang and it seems more prosperous and settled in a very suitable place. We then cross a river to follow a path along the left bank of a river side to Yara village at (3650m).
From Yara, the trail goes through the river for around 2 hours and crosses a river from Damodar Kunda, one of the sacred lakes. There is no bridge on the river so you need to walk across in bare feet to cross this river. After crossing the river the trail climbs high above a pass of 3850 m. The trail goes through a grassless, treeless bare hill. After the pass, the trail again drops directly to Tangbe village at an elevation of 3370 m. Tangbe is a small village of around 30 houses but most of the houses are attached to each other. On the rooftops, one can see piles of dry woods, which also reflects the prosperity in their society. The duration of the trek for this day would be around 7 hours.
The trail walks through a steep ridge of hills providing some fine views of the wind carved hills. Tetang village is formed between 2 hills; they must have found it a safe place to avoid the strong wind that hits the entire Kali Gandaki valley. Tetang is the upper village of Chusang, which we visit on the first day entering to Mustang from Kagbeni. It will take around 9 hours to reach Chusang.
This is the last day of the trek. We follow our trail through the village after passing the scenic Mani walls. We walk past the plateau, and ascend until we reach a small pass from where we can see high mountains and picturesque view of the holy Muktinath temple. We follow the trail taking us to Muktinath temple passing the Kani/gate. We explore the temple, and rest for sometime. From Muktinath we take a local jeep and drive back to Jomsom. The drive will be of around an hour.
Today 30 minute morning flight takes us from Jomsom back to Pokhara. Once we arrive at Pokhara airport, we then drive to a hotel. In the afternoon we will have sightseeing tour around Pokhara valley, which covers Fewa Lake, Davis waterfall, Museum, Tibetan refugee settlement and Gupteshower cave.
In case you are flying back to Kathmandu on the same day, you will rather be taken to lakeside and not in hotel. Depending upon the layover time in Pokhara, you can book for a sightseeing trip. This trip would come for an additional price and can be discussed at the time of booking. In case you are travelling to Kathmandu by bus, you will stay overnight in Pokhara. It’s also a spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom.
Overnight back at the hotel in Kathmandu. If you are interested in continuing onto Chitwan Jungle Safari, River Rafting Adventure, Kathmandu Shopping Tour or Scenic Everest Flight, you may opt for them. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances.
The trip ends, our Airport Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your final flight departure from Nepal.
Porter-supported trekheavy items are carried by porters or mules and personal belongings that you may need for the day like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. So you are briefed to pack items in two different bags.
- 4 seasons Sleeping bag (we can provide one if you need it but is to be returned after the trek)
- Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase
- Down Jacket
Upper Body – Head / Ears / Eyes
- Shade hat or baseball cap – some people drape a bandana down the back of their head and then put a baseball cap on to hold it. This can be a flexible alternative while keeping the sun off your ears and neck.
- Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears.
- Balaclava – lightweight, thinner variety.
- Glacier glasses-100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case (i.e. Julbo or Cebe). This is to protect your eyes from the h3er rays of the sun due to the thinner atmosphere which can cause a painful condition known as snow blindness. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient. If you wear prescription glasses, speak to your doctor about prescription glacier glasses, perhaps with transitional lenses.
- Headlamp – Black Diamond and Petzl both make several good ones. Make sure to bring extra batteries and that they are lithium batteries so that they will last in the colder temperatures. These are indispensable for getting around at night, reading, etc. so, don’t go cheap here.
- Some people like earmuffs; These are optional; a good hat, balaclava, and hooded jacket should really be sufficient, but this is a personal choice for some people (optional).
- A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it (optional).
- 1 pair liner gloves, thin wool or synthetic, useful alone on mild days or as a layer inside other gloves/mitts for additional warmth.
- 1 pair warm gloves (heavier fleece or wool).
- 1 pair shell gloves or mitts; Gore-Tex is preferred for keeping hands dry.
- Instant hand warmers are always nice in a pinch, but really shouldn’t be necessary on the trek.
- Bringing appropriate hand protection as recommended above, should be sufficient (optional).
- T-shirts (2).
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops.
- Fleece jacket or pullover.
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional).
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket.
- 2 women sports bras, Synthetic, no cotton!
Lower Body – Legs
- 2 pairs nylon hiking shorts – Quick drying type, not cotton!
- Underwear, stay away from cotton (4).
- 2 pairs lightweight long underwear – Capilene or other synthetic.
- 1 pair soft shell pants – synthetic, full zip from top and bottom preferable.
- 2 pairs trekking pants, preferably that zip on/off at the knees so they double as shorts.
- 1 pair hard shell pants. Waterproof / breathable, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best. Should zip from the top and bottom – this makes it easier to put on over boots without getting undressed should the weather change once you are underway for the day.
- 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis).
- All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.
- 4 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or Capilene.
- 3 pairs heavy weight socks to be worn over liner socks.
- 1 pair light weight socks, a good option for the lower / warmer parts of the trail.
- 1 pair light to medium weight water proof hiking/trekking boots. Ensure a good fit with layered socks and you have worn them before to get used to it (otherwise you will get lots of blister).
- 1 pair light trekking shoes or sneakers. Good for around the camp/lodges and in Kathmandu.
- 1 pair hiking gaiters, good for keeping dust and rocks out of your shoes/boots as well as keep your feet dry as necessary (Optional).
- 1 pair sandals (Optional).
Medicines and First Aid Kits(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However, we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
- Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
- Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250 mg tablets for altitude sickness. Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
- 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.
- Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
- Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
- Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
- Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
- Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its’ effectiveness over time.
- Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
- Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
- Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.
- 2 bandanas.
- Favorite snack foods (No more than 2 pounds)
- Paperback books, cards, mp3 player
- Cameras (Memory cards, chargers and also batteries)
- Pee bottle for men and pee funnel for women
- All government and local taxes
- A comprehensive medical kit
- Trekking Guide
- All accommodations on the trails and 3 times meals during the trek (staple meal of Daal Bhat for lunch and dinner or any one item from the menu )
- 3 Cups Tea while on the Trail ( in most of the places where applicable)
- Best available local lodges / Teahouse in mountain
- Taxi to and from airport
- Certificate of trek Completion
- Nepal Visa fee
- Kathmandu sightseeing monument entrance fees
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, mineral water etc)
- Extra night accommodation and food in Kathmandu and Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Additional food
- Tips for guide