Upper Mustang - 19 Days


Upper Mustang was once part of Tibet used by the salt caravans crossing the Himalaya into Nepal. It is located north of Annapurna at an altitude of 4,000m.  The culture and landscapes of Mustang is very much related to Tibet.  This trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang and you walk in a complete desolate landscape surrounded by colorful rock formations containing many cave dwellings high up in the cliffs. It is relatively easy trekking for all ages along the permitted route.

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Until recently you could only come to Upper Mustang with a fully organized camping trek. However, nowadays some villagers have opened up small lodges in each place and you can stay in those lodges. While staying there, you are welcome to sit with them in the kitchen. In Tibetan culture, kitchen is the center of house, and built like a kind of living room. So there is no better way to learn a bit about the daily life than spending time in the kitchen!

Lo Manthang, the mysterious “capital” of the old kingdom, is the destination of our journey. The town has rarely changed the face over the centuries: the awesome labyrinth of narrow and angled streets, which are passed by small drains and the worth seeing old monasteries and stupas are still surrounded by a wall, which was built in 14th century. The old houses of the Lopas, which is the name of the town’s population, are ranked around the old Kings Palace, in which the last King of Mustang still is living. Who knows, maybe he will invite us for a cup of tea?

The way to Lo Manthang follows a long and lonely high valley, which is flooded by the powerful Kali Gandaki River, to the Upper Mustang – a land, which is full of legends, mythologies and histories – a land, which only exists once on earth. It is a real, hardly discovered pearl within the Himalayas. There you find impressive sceneries with imposing rock formations, deep canyons, torrential rivers and rocky desert – and between you always find small and green oasis, which glitters like crystals within the mountain desert. And again and again we will discover the icy peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna on our way, as well as many other snow-covered Himalaya Mountains.

Again and again we will also discover credentials of the Lamaistic-Tibetan culture on our way, which show us that Mustang’s population still is enrooted in the buddhistic traditions, so as they are doing for centuries.

And last but not least has the Mustang valley, which is lying on the roof of the world and which is surrounded on three sides by Tibet, an own climate. Due to the fact that it is lying behind the Himalayas, it is very dry and windy. During daytime it is comfortable (10 – 12 C) and at night we expect temperatures around freeze point.

It is a medium-difficult trek, with some narrow and steep trails along the river bed, in an altitude between 2700 and 4200 meters.

This journey will begin with a common drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara and it will be finished in Pokhara after the trek.

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu [1300 m / 4264 ft]
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nature Trail who will drop you off at your hotel. After checking in, take a rest. You may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Kathmandu Full Day Sight Seeing
After breakfast the day will start to your guided trip to cultural world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley; including visits to the pilgrimage sites of Hindus Pashupatinath temple, the world biggest Bouddhanath Stupa, visit Swoyambhunath Stupa also known as monkey temple and historical Kathmandu Durbar Square with temple, unique architectures and Kumari (living goddess) in central Kathmandu. Evening pre-trip discussion and introduce with our fellow trekking staff for your adventure trip.

Day 03: Fly Kathmandu to Pokhara Valley (200 km / 30 minutes)
After breakfast drive to Tribhuwan International Airport to catch up a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. After 30 minutes in flight you will reach at Pokhara, the third largest city of Nepal and also the headquarters of Kaski District. It is one of the main tourist attraction centers. You can have a walk in the streets of lakeside of at the evening time. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,810m/9,375ft]: 3-4 hrs
After breakfast catch up a morning flight to Jomsom, a super scenic flight of 20 minutes brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. From Jomsom your trek continues on the gradual and windy path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hrs and finally reaching at Ekley-bhatti village. After good stop here an hour of easy walk reaches you to Kagbeni, which lies at the bank of two rivers.

Kagbeni, an interesting wind swept villages situated on the main age old Trans Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a major tributary, Kak Khola, coming from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki.

Day 05: Trek Kagbeni to Chhomnang (2920 m.)
Your journey starts with a special permit checkup and onwards to the riverbank of Kaligandaki up stream. During the walk we have scenic picturesque place to stop through the sandy and windy trails. This trails follows the up and downhill. After 6 hours trek, we will end our day trek in Chhomnang. Chhomnang is a populated locality and is located in Dhaulagiri Zone.

Day 06: Trek Chhomnang / Giling (3600 m.)
Trek from Chhomnang to Giling (3510 m.) which takes about six hours. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Giling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.

Day 07: Trek Giling to Tsarang (3500 m.)
Trek from Giling to Tsarang (3620 m.) via Ghami which takes about eight hours. From Giling the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing chorten. You then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La [3840m]. The right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs. While Treking from Ghami to Tsarang, much of your energy will be spent negotiating loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, are a source of inspiration. Finally, you come to Tsarang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Tsarang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.

Day 08: Trek Tsarang / Lo Mangthang (3700 m.)
You will leave the Charang Khola and climb the ridge to 3800m for our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. You will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Tsarang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get your first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner.

Day 09: Lo Manthang – Explore Forbidded Kingdom of Mustang
We have allowed this full day to explore this outstanding historical and cultural center. There are 4 major Gompas to visit during your stay. The palace is the home of the raja (king) and his rani (queen). Although the raja’s function is now primarily ceremonial he is seen as a person who can help people resolve local issues. The town itself is fascinating, and offers countless opportunities to observe a vibrant Tibetan culture.

Day 10: Lo Mangtang / Dhile (3360m)
While returning from Lo-Mangthan, we take a different route than that we came by. Leaving Lo Manthang, the trail steadily climbs two small passes before plunging through a spectacular canyon to Dhile village. Explore the area but it will be dusty better to walk in evening time.

Day 11: Dhile / Yara (3760m)
Today, you will continue down the valley leaving Dhile along the river bed to Yara and Luri Gompa. Luri is 13th century cave monastery that jealously guards some rare Pala style paintings of Buddhists mahasiddhas.

Day 12: Yara/ Tange (3320m)
Today, you will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view. Tange is a small village dominated by a series of large chortens in a combination of bright red and white colors. The trail descends from Tange (3240m) to cross the bridge over the Tange Khola and on to the wide stony plain of the Yak Khola. An hour from Tange you will begin a long, steep climb, with views back towards Tange, a green oasis in the gray hills of Upper Mustang. Dhaulagiri’s summit pokes up above an intervening ridge at the top of the pass from Tange in Upper Mustang. Enjoy your trip and overnight stay.

Day 13: Tange / Tentang
Tetang (2940m) is set between two hills to avoid much of the Kali Gandaki wind. Here is the entrance chorten to Tetang, with the main village further up the valley.  The trail contours from the ACAP shelter and climbs around various bluffs reaching an altitude of 4110m. The Kali Gandaki River is hidden between the hills on the eastern and western sides of the valley on the trek from Tange to Tetang. The drop-offs on the side of the trail are staggeringly steep and a bit dangerous, with views of the 1000m deep canyons, as you neared the descent to Tetang from Tange. Don’t get too close!

Day 14: Tentang / Muktinath
Today you will trek from Tentang to muktinath. Muktinath is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass, Mustang, Nepal.

Day 15: Muktinath / Jomsom
This will be your last day trek. After a morning walk you will head on to Jomsom for the overnight stop. Tonight you will celebrate the achievements of the trek with crew and reflect on our journey.

Day 16: Fly Jomsom / Pokhara
This wonderful morning, after breakfast you will check in at the airport to fly back to Pokhara. This is a dramatic flight between gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 17: Pokhara at leisure
Rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at hotel.

Day 18: Early morning flight to Kathmandu and afternoon at leisure
After breakfast, drive to Pokhara airport to catch up 30 minutes flight to Kathmandu. Rest of the day free in Kathmandu for personal shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives and other activities. Overnight Stay at hotel.

Day 19: Transfer Airport / for onward destination
This will be the last day for staying in Nepal. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Nature Trail will transfer you to the airport. On your way home you’ll have plenty of memories of the adventure done in Nepal.

Jungle safari. (3 Days/2 Nights)
Birthplace of Buddha (3 Days/2 Nights)
Trishuli River: 2 days
Seti River: 2 days
For cost, and more detail information, please inquire here. We'll response you within next 12 hours.

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Mustang is a remote semi-independent Tibetan Kingdom which became an independent kingdom in 1380. The valleys are barren and dry with vivid rock formations holding many caves high up in the rock face. Mustang’s wealth was derived from its position on the Kali Gandaki / Thak Khola trade route to Tibet, the region still retains its own King and the current royal family can trace their lineage back to this time.

It is located to the north of Annapurna on the Tibet border in Mustang district of Dhaulagiri zone in Nepal. It lies in the rain shadow area situated in an average altitude of 4,000 meters

Being a part of Tibetan plateau geologically and culturally therefore; it is closely related to Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism is still being practiced in a very pure form and villages are built in Tibetan style, with white washed houses with firewood tucked on the roofs. Lo-Manthang is the capital of Mustang district and it’s possible to visit king palace in Lo-Manthang. It is a medieval city surrounded by big wall.

The Trans Himalayan Mustang Region is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, since the region was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announced the opening of restricted areas in 1992 but at present visitors is allowed with entry permit. Upper Mustang is one of the regions left where one can perceive untouched Tibetan way of life. As per Nepal’s government rules and regulation minimum 2 people required to travel to Mustang.  To get permits for trekking/tour to Upper Mustang, we must pay USD 500 per head for permit only (for the first 10 days) and after 10 days per day per person you need to pay USD 50. Once you have this permit you are allowed to travel to Mustang and enjoy it.

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Fixed Departure

Jan 04 – 19
Feb 07 – 22
Mar 10 – 25
Apr 06 – 21
May 12 – 27
Jun 03 – 17
July 03
Aug 25
Sept 14 – 28
Oct 01 – 19
Nov 03 – 18
Dec 05 – 20

Trip Facts

  • Group Size:Mini 2 – Max – 12 pax
  • Best Season:Sept – Dec, March – May
  • Trip Code:NT-N271
  • Duration:19 Days Treking
  • Maximum Altitude:4300m
  • Region:Annapurna National Park
  • Start:Kathmandu
  • End:Kathmandu
  • Trekking Type:Lodge Trek
  • If you wish to discuss any aspect of Upper Mustang – 19 Days or your suitability of other trips, please contact us by:
Chaksibari Marg 591, GPO Box: 7405. Thamel
Kathmandu, Nepal.

Phone: +977-1-014701925, 014701805, 014701320

E-mail: info@naturetrail.com,
Website: www.naturetrail.com.

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