Upper Mustang Trekking

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Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: 14 Days
Departures : 
Grade:  * * * *
Activities: Trekking
Seasons: Mar-May | Sep-Dec
Destinations: Nepal
Max Alt:
4,077m
Points: KTM – PKR

Overview
Itinerary
Detail Itinerary
Departures
Details

The Kingdom of Mustang had been a forbidden land until just recently. Famous for being an important salt trading post in the Trans Himalayan belt, even now the Upper Mustang is only opened for a limited number of trekkers. Lo Manthang (Mustang), located north of the main Himalayan chain bordering Tibet, is a stretch of dry and arid land with villages between the altitudes of 3,300m and 4,000m and passes not lower than 4600m. This is the route where you are likely to come across some very important historical sites. Just recently, an 800 year old cave and religious carvings have been discovered en route!

Highlights

  • Watching the first rays of sun reveal and light up Langtang Ranges Mountains
  • Vantage points where there are the most incredible close-up mountain views 
  • Wilderness experience in a less explored area
  • Pristine traditional villages following centuries old farming methods
  • Undisturbed wildlife, flora and dense forests
  • Spectacular aerial views of the Annapurna Range

Day 1:   Drive by bus to Pokhara
Day 2:   Fly to Jomsom Trek to Kagbeni
Day 3:   Trek to Chele
Day 4:   Trek to Ghiling
Day 5:   Trek to Tsarang
Day 6:   Trek to Lo Manthang
Day 7:   Exploration day in Lo Manthang
Day 8:   Exploration day in Lo Manthang
Day 9:   Trek to Ghami
Day 10: Trek to Samar
Day 11: Trek to Chhusang
Day 12: Trek over Gyu La Pass and trek to Muktinath
Day 13: Trek to Jomsom
Day 14: Fly back to Pokhara

Day 1 Drive by bus to Pokhara
Overnight Hotel. Included meals: breakfast. Alt: 820m/2,690ft.
We will leave Kathmandu in the morning and go to Pokhara by tourist bus. The night will be spent in a hotel in Pokhara’s tourist district Lake Side right by the Fewa Lake.

Day 2 Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
Overnight Hotel.Alt: 2,720m to 2,810m/9,217ft. Trek 3 hours.
Taking a morning flight from Pokhara we will reach Jomsom after 25min. From there we start our trek. Walking along the Kali Gandaki River we will reach Kagbeni after approximately two hours. There are a couple of lodges and shops and apart from that some small monasteries that are worth a visit. Also is the Upper Mustang Checkpoint located in Kagbeni. Every tourist entering the Upper Mustang has to be registered. Furthermore the officials list objects like plastic bottles and other packaging which must not be thrown away inside the Upper Mustang region but has to disposed after one’s return.

Day 3 Trek to Chele
Overnight Hotel. Included meals breakfast lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3,050m/10,004ft. Trek 5 hours
Starting our first full day of trekking we leave Kagbeni early in the morning. In case of clear weather one will be able to see some of Nepal’s most stunning peaks from quite close, such as Niligiri (8,652m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m). After around 3 hours we stop in Chhusang for lunch. The population consists mostly of a local ethnic group of Tibetan descent. Their language is quite similar to other Tibeto-Burman languages like Tamang.
After lunch we continue walking along the Kali Gandaki River towards Chele – today’s destination. It is a small village with a couple of homestays. Local specialties like Tibetan bread and the salty Tibetan tea can be tasted.

Day 4 Trek to Ghiling
Overnight Teahouse/Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3,570m/11,709ft. Trek 6 hours.
At first the trail leads us uphill. After 2 to 3 hours of walking through rough sand and stone formations with very less vegetation we reach Samar, a small village with 10 to 12 houses, where we take our lunch break. The local population originally immigrated from Tibet but by now they have mixed with different Nepali ethnic groups. From Samar two trails lead to Ghiling, today’s destination. The shorter one includes a couple of extreme uphill and downhill sections, the longer one requires more time but ascents much more moderately. This way should be chosen by those interested to see a cave system not too far from Samar. Guru Rinpoche used to meditate in one of the caves and Buddhists – locals as well as pilgrims – still come to worship the huge statue in the shape of the Guru Rinpoche that can be found inside the caves. At least one monk is always there to keep watch. One is welcome to make a small donation of 100Rs, which is used for maintaining and in return get to light a candle, which is supposed to and enjoy some Tibetan tea. As the trail continues we reach Syangboche, a small village with a couple of homestays and lodges that invites to take another break and maybe visit the two local monasteries.

One the other hand the short way offers a beautiful scenery with stunning views of some of the highest peaks of the mustang range, including Niligiri and Dolpo. Ghiling is reached in the afternoon. It is quite a big village with two monasteries and a couple of stupas that can be visited. The night is spent in a homestay-like lodge.

Day 5 Trek to Tsarang
Overnight Teahouse/Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3560/11676ft. Trek 6 hours.

Leaving Ghiling in the early morning our trail constantly ascents for about two hours. It is followed by a downhill sections which leads us to Ghami, a small village having only one lunch where lunch is taken. Continuing after having gained new energy we walk along a long wall-like assembly of stupas which, according to some legend told by the locals was built by the Guru Rinpoche a very long time ago. This region used to be distressed by daemons, causing misery and destruction. The story further tells that to end this suffering Guru Rinpoche slew those bad spirits and built the stupausing their intestines. At times our trail crosses the jeep road which is not too busy though as a jeep goes only twice a day from Jomsom to Lo Manthang. As there are no villages on the way we have to carry packed lunch and stop at a spot of our choice. Excellent views of the surrounding mountains are guaranteed. They seem to be within one’s grasp. Small animals like rabbits and mice are likely to cross our trail. After 5 to 6 hours we reach Tsarang, a big village with 5 to 6 lodges and a couple of stupas and monasteries for monks as well as nuns. The biggest one accommodates 50 to 60 monks who spend their days praying and studying Tibetan Buddhism.

Day 6 Trek to Lo Manthang
Overnight Teahouse/Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3,809m/12,493ft Trek 5 hours.
Today’s trek is quite moderate having only a couple of slight uphill sections. The trail leads us through some unique landscapes with fascinating rock formations and reliefs which seem to change their colour according to daylight and weather conditions. There are no villages on the way, only a 200 to 400 year old stupaso packed lunch is required. After approximately 6 hours we reach Lo Manthang, the capital of the Kingdom of Upper Mustang. After taking a short rest one can walk around and visit the three monasteries inside the palace premises. Being the biggest settlement of Upper Mustang Lo Manthang has a couple of grocery and tea shops and 5 to 6 proper guest houses.

Day 7 Exploration day in Lo Manthang
Overnight Teahouse/Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3,809m/12,493ft.
We will spend the next two days in Lo Manthang, having enough time to explore city and surroundings. Most probably we start the day visiting a monastery about 2.5 hours from Lo Manthang by walking. One can also go by horse which takes only around one hour. The monastery is connected to a cave system and another couple of monasteries which were built during Nepal-Tibet War. The invading Tibetans had closed the water, so people hiding in the caves would die from thirst. However the locals used a trick to free themselves from this hopeless situation by applying oil on hair and skin. From the it looked like water. The Tibetan troops got confused – how did they still get water even though all the water lines were blocked? So they stopped the blocking, as it was apparently not effective at all and the locals survived. Visitors nowadays have to pay 200 Rs at the entry of each monastery. Apart from the fascinating cave system one has a superb view of the surroundings.
After getting back to Lo Manthang in the afternoon one can visit the 400-years-old royal palace and even meet the current king of Mustang, but on appointment basis though. He will answer all kinds of questions related to Mustang’s rich culture and history.

Day 8 Exploration day in Lo Manthang
Overnight Teahouse/Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3,809m/12,493ft.
The first half of the day can be spent doing a horse ride to an ice lake 2 hours from Lo Manthang. Stunning mountain views as well as interesting rock formations and sceneries make this a worthy trip. After getting back to Lo Manthang most people prefer to simply relax and gain some new energy for the remaining days. In the afternoon one can go on a walk to a small river surrounded not far from he city surrounded by salt mines. Locals can be watched mining the salt.

Day 9 Trek to Dhakmar
Overnight Teahouse/Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3820m/12529ft. Trek 6 hours.
Having gained new energy after two days of rest in Lo Manthang we should feel quite easy on today’s route. We return on a different route that we came by, which is a constant mix of slight uphill and downhill sequences through the stunning scenery of Mustang. After a couple of hours we reach LoghykarGumba, a Tibetan monastery that was founded by the Guru Rinpoche around 600 years ago before he crossed the border to Tibet. It is therefore older than the still existing monasteries in Tibet. Its luscious red color is said to be the blood of the demons defeated by Guru Rinpoche. A similar story is told about the red hills around the little settlement Dakmar. They have their unique color apparently due to blood shed during fights between locals and invading Tibetans. One should take notice of the magnificent view before reaching Dakmar, where we will spend the night in one of the two homestay-like lodges.

Day 10 Trek to Samar
Overnight Hotel. Included meals breakfast and lunch.
Alt. 3,660m/12,004ft. Trek 6 hours.
From Dhakmarit takes around 30mins to reach Ghami, which is on the route that we came by on our way up to Lo Manthang. We cross Ghiling where we take out lunch break to reach Samar another 2 to 3 hours later. Samar is a small settlement of 10 to 12 houses with a couple of lodges which we had already crossed on our 4th day.

Day 11 Trek to Chhusang
Overnight Hotel. Included meals breakfast. Alt. 2,980m/9,774ft.Trek 5 hours.
We stay on the road that we had come by. The trail leads us downhill to Chele where we probably stop for lunch break. From there we continue walking along Kali Gandakiriver to reach today’s destination Chhusang after a total of 5 hours.

Day 12 Trek over Gyu La Pass (4,077m) to Muktinath
Overnight Hotel. Included meals breakfast. Alt. 4,077m/13,373ft to 3,760m/12,332ft.Trek 6 hours.
From Chhusang we take a different route than we came by, which leads us mostly uphilltowards Gya La Pass (4077m), which has to be crosses before entering the Muktinath Valley. From the pass we can catch stunning views of some of the highest peaks of the Himalayas, including Niligiri and Dhaulagiri as well as the beautiful Muktinath Valley and the Thorung La Pass on 5416m, which is part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The Gyu La Pass itself is marked by a large number of prayer flags and a couple of stone shrines. From here we continue walking downhill until reaching the Muktinathriver after approximately 1 hour. From here it takes another 20mins to reach the famous site Muktinath, a sacred place for Buddhists as well as Hindus. As today’s trek takes almost 7 hours one will be quite exhausted by the time Muktinath is reached. Who has still some energy left, can visit the temple complex with the famous eternal flame and 108 water taps. However, this excursion can also be postponed for the next day. The night is spend in one of the various lodges in Ranipauwa, the settlement next to Muktinath.

Day 13 Trek to Jomsom
Overnight Hotel. Included meals breakfast and lunch.
Alt. 2,720m/8,921ft. Trek 6 hours.
If not already done, one can visit Muktinath’s famous temple in the morning. After that we walk downhill for around 2 hours, having stunning views of the Muktinath Valley until we reach Kali Gandaki. We keep walking along the river until reaching Jomson another 2 to 3 hours later. The night is spent in a lodge in Jomsom.

Day 14 Fly back to Pokhara
Included meals breakfast. Alt. 820m/2690ft.
There are several daily flights that connect Jomsom with Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara we spend the night in a hotel in Lake Side before returning to Kathmandu the next day.

Start Date End Date
Upper Mustang Trekking 15 Feb 2018 28 Feb 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 28 Feb 2018 13 Mar 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 9 Mar 2018 22nd Mar 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 24 Mar 2018 6 Apr 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 10 Apr 2018 23rd Apr 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 25 Apr 2018 8 May 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 14 May 2018 27 May 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 11 Sep 2018 24 Sep 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 26 Sep 2018 9 Oct 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 12 Oct 2018 25 Oct 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 27 Oct 2018 9 Nov 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 9 Nov 2018 22nd Nov 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 26 Nov 2018 9 Dec 2018
Upper Mustang Trekking 13 Dec 2018 26 Dec 2018

Price Includes:

– All transfers to and from the airport accompanied by an English speaking representative
– Accommodation based on twin sharing as detailed in the itinerary. Twin rooms are provided for non-couples as well as couple
– Meals as outlined in the itinerary
– Activities as shown in the itinerary, note this may vary from day to day
– Sterilized drinking water during trek
– All necessary transportation, whether private or public
– All trekking related permits and fees
– Experienced English speaking guide
– Assistant guides and porters to support the group size
– Trek Nepal T-shirt
– 13% VAT

Price Excludes

International airfare, airport taxes, visa fees, passport costs, insurance premiums of any kind and excess baggage charges
Accommodation and Meals In Kathmandu and Pokhara
Personal Travel Insurance (cover your adventure activity as well as medical, emergency evacuation and personal belongings). It is imperative to be insured with suitable cover
Personal clothing and footwear such as down jackets, waterproofs, hat, gloves, hiking boots
Personal equipment, for example rucksack, day backpack, torch, water bottle, sleeping bag and mat
Personal medical supplies and vaccinations
Optional single accommodation supplement
Personal expenses such as phone bills, room service charges, porterage, bar bills (meals exclude bottle and alcohol drinks), tips to guides, porters and drivers, laundry
Expenses incurred during emergency evacuation due to any reason
Optional tours, excursions and activities
Any item not detailed in the “What Is Included”

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1 Review
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Traveller

“Mustang, Nepal with Bigraj”

3 friends and I completed an 8 day Trek in the Mustang region which was organised through Trek Nepal International – they offered a truly experienced and professional service. They listened and helped us plan and arrange our desired itinerary to work with our tight timeframe.

We were lucky enough to have Bigraj as our guide – his experience, fitness, english and knowledge provided a personable guide who was both entertaining and interactive. He worked well to the groups fitness and was a great host to show us through this beautiful region. (P.S he is an amazing singer which is nice when you stop for breaks).

February 6, 2017