Upper Mustang trek offers a spectacular trekking experience in the remote trans-Himalayan mountain region of Nepal which is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom because it wasn’t until the 1990s that tourists were allowed to enter the region. Upper Mustang, being in the Himalayan rain shadow, is one of the regions in the country suitable for trekking even during monsoons. During this time, the upper Kali Gandaki valley is still quite dry with only occasional rainfall.
- Explore the 15th Century and the Last Forbidden Kingdom
- Spectacular trekking experience in the remote trans-Himalayan mountain region of Nepal
- Uniqueness of tree-less landscape, rocky trails and views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and other Himalayas
- Suitable for trekking even during monsoon season
Our Airport representatives will receive you at the airport. We will then transfer you to your respective hotels. You will have the rest of the day free to explore Kathmandu as you please. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
In the morning after having breakfast, we will be going for the sightseeing tour around the Kathmandu Valley. The Kathmandu Valley is known or its rich art, architecture and culture. The valley has a large number of UNESCO world heritage sites. We will be visiting some of the beautiful Buddhist sites like Boudhanath Stupa and Swoyambhunath Stupa. A visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square and walk on its stone alleys will make you feel like you have travelled centuries back in time. The diverse culture and rich art of the Kathmandu Valley will amaze you in every way. Later in the afternoon, we will begin our preparation for our trekking. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
After an early breakfast, we take a morning flight to Pokhara along the Himalayan Range. Transfer to the hotel and tour around the city including: Davis waterfall, a visit to the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave and the Tibetan Refugee Camp and Craft Centre.
After having an early breakfast, we take Trans Himalayan flight to Jomsom which will be around 20 minutes through the world’s deepest gorge: formed by the Kali Gandaki river that rises in Tibet and continued to cut its gorge southwards as the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himal thrust their way skywards. After meet our porters, we will trek northward.
Jomsom is a large town: the administrative headquarters of the Lower and Upper Mustang region. It is also the major village along the Kali Gandaki Valley, linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route from India to Tibet. The trail meanders up the broad Kali Gandaki riverbed to Eklai Bhatti: three hours of toil with winds that blow up the valley daily between 11:00 and 16:00.
Another hour’s walk leads to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang. This Buddhist village with Bon influences is worth exploring. Its abundant orchards and fields are irrigated with snow-melt water from the Thorung Khola that flows past Muktinath and enters the Kali Gandaki at Kagbeni.
Upper Mustang lies behind the great Himalayan Range and in its rain shadow. From here on, we trek through high, dry, starkly beautiful desert terrain that is an extension of the high Tibetan plateau. All water is sourced from snowmelt with villages sited accordingly. Altitude and weather conditions limit crop production to a single crop per year: chiefly barley, wheat, peas and mustard. Over aeons deep side valleys have been eroded along the gorge enforcing much up and down trekking.
Continue over more ridges, with numerous caves along the cliff walls, before descending to the Kali Gandaki near a huge chunk of fallen conglomerate under which the river has had to tunnel. Cross a bridge at the tunnel and head west into the Ghyakar Khola Valley via a steep climb up a rocky gully to the village of Chele.
Beyond Chele we re-enter the Buddhist region and rise above the tree line. The trail rises to a knoll (where a high suspension bridge crosses the Ghyakar Khola to Ghyakar) and continues up the side of a spectacularly steep canyon and on to the Chele La (3630m). Good views to the southeast include Tilicho Peak, Yakwakang (north shoulder of the Thorung La) and the Damodar Himal’s large cluster of over 6,000m peaks.
The trail then descends to the village of Samar: a horse caravan watering point. Three hours of ridge undulations lead to the village of Shyangmochen, and then the path gently rises to the Shyangmochen La (3,850m). Descend past a large black, red and white stupa where three paths meet above the lovely village of Gelling.
Today’s trail heads up the centre of the valley, through fields and past stupas to the Nyi La (4020m): the southern border of Lo. The trail drops to cross the Tangmar Khola opposite cliffs of blue grey and red rock, then crosses the valley and climbs past a vast mani wall to the Choya La (3870m). From here there are magnificent views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and the Damodar Cluster. The trail then gently descends, past prayer flags, to an entrance stupa to the second largest town of Tsarang.
Descend the gorge and cross the river, then climb to a ridge stupa overlooking the Tholung Valley and turn northwards towards the windy Lo La (3950m). Everywhere, the grey and yellow desert scenery is starkly beautiful. From the La the walled capital, surrounded by irrigation canals can be seen in the valley below. A short descent, a stream crossing, a climb to the plateau and: Lo Manthang
Within the town: explore the 15th century Champa Lhakhang (God House: climb to the roof for great views) and the red Thubchen Gompa with an impressive entrance hall and huge assembly hall supported by wooden columns. Also visit the town’s ‘main gompa’ – the 18th century Chodi Gompa in the monastic quarter of town plus the nearby ‘new’ Choprang Gompa.
Beyond the city, visit the Namgyal Gompa situated on a nearby hilltop. This is an important monastery for the local community and also acts as a court. The village of Tingkhar in the valley northwest of the town is also worth visiting and is the site of three Gompas and the king’s summer palace. Return to the lodge in Lo Manthang by nightfall.
Trek southwest on herder’s trails, up a side valley to the Chogo La (4,325m). Then traverse around a grassy valley before descending through a gully to cross the Tsarang Khola and climb to Ghar Gompa (House Temple): a 1200 year old monastery; particularly famous for its collection of painted carved stones framed on the monastery walls. The trail then climbs a ridge and crosses a valley to a cairn at 4170m. Continue across alpine meadows before descending through a rough gully between towering walls of red rock to the large village of Drakmar (red cliffs). Numerous caves dot the cliff walls.
Today’s trail descends alongside a stream, past the walled village fields before climbing a ridge, dropping once more and rising to Upper Ghemi. Walk down to Lower Ghemi, then gradually contour up to the Nyi La (4020m). Descend into the Gelling Valley but follow the high trail above the village to Jaite, Chhungar and Tama Gaon. Lots of twist and turn which leads down a rocky canyon to a stream then climb to a large stupa and the Gelling trail near the ridge below the Shyangmochen La. Summit, then walk down to Shyangmochen.
Retrace the upward trail through Yamdo and Bhena to Samar, then over the Chele La to Chele and down to cross the Kali Gandaki and follow it downstream to Chhuksang. Overnight stay at Chhuksang.
Retrace the route through Tangbe on time where we can have our lunch in Kagbeni. After Lunch resume the trek to Jomsom; joining the Annapurna circuit trail through Muktinath at Eklai Bhatti. Reconfirm the early morning flight, bid farewell to your porters and enjoy the last evening in the mountains.
After having an early breakfast, we take the flight back to Pokhara and enjoy our remaining exploration day.
Early drive back to Kathmandu by tourist bus as we pass through sub-tropical scenery for about 6-7 hrs. Upon arrival, we will transfer to your hotel. After dinner, interaction and farewell.
At about 3 hours prior to your flight time, we will transfer you to the airport to fly your onward destination.
- All Airport/Hotel transfer
- Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu
- Two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara
- Full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
- Flight Transportations from KTM - PKR
- Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom including return
- Trekking permit worth USD 500(50$ per day per person)
- Annapurna conservation fees (approx. USD 31)
- An experienced English-speaking Govt. registered, helpful and friendly guide including porters (1 porter for 2 people) along with their food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and insurance cover
- Full meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) during the trek
- A comprehensive medical kit
- All government and local taxes
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
- Travel insurance
- International airfare
- Nepal entry visa: you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (a multiple-entry tourist visa good for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport-size photos.)
- All kind of drinks (hot, cold and alcoholic)
- Hot and cold showers during the trek
- Personal shopping and laundry
- Personal trekking equipments
- Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is appreciated but it is not mandatory)
- Kathmandu city tours, exclusive of all entry fees, tour guide and private car/van