UPPER MUSTANG TREK | KINGDOM OF MUSTANG | Alpinist Club

UPPER MUSTANG TREK

Group Size

5 -15 person

meal

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

accomodation

Hotel, Lodge

arrival on

kathmandu

departure from

kathmandu

trip level

Easy

max. altitude

4000m

Best season

Autumn, Spring

trip highlights

  • Tibetan villages and Buddhist monasteries
  • The Mustang, a Himalayan myth
  • 1 full day in Lo Manthang, capital of Mustang
  • The cave city of Yara and the monastery of Luri Gompa

trip introduction

 upper mustang trek evolves within its own typical culture and traditions closely to Tibet. This lesser-known moderate trek passes through one of the dry regions of Nepal and provides spectacular mountain scenery. Upper Mustang trek is trekking in the Mustang kingdom a region of Nepal that still remained authentic.  however, thanks to its geographical location, true trekking in the Himalayas. The history of the Mustang is merging with  Tibet. which was for centuries one of the kingdoms before being attached to Nepal. moreover, Our hike takes us to a maximum altitude of 4,100 meters. We discover fascinating mineral landscapes, tinged with ocher, brown, and red. The first part of the hike is rather gentle and crosses many villages. We spend whole two days in Lo Manthang with a magnificent hike to the Konchok Ling cave discovers in 2007. The return is via the caves of Tashi Kabum and Lori Gompa then the high passes.

Upper Mustang terrain

In the upper mustang trek, the traveler who arrives is often surpris by the aridity of the valleys. That is making more think of certain desert regions. We can see very beautiful monasteries where Buddhist worship is practic with fervor. The landscapes encounter are absolutely fascinating. The arid zones are sometimes colored by the different geological layers.  mostly, the populations are all of Tibetan origin. who live mainly from agriculture and animal husbandry. however, over time they have kept the culture and religion of their ancestors.

 when trekking in May or June month. we recommend one day stay in Lo Manthang to attend the great festival  Tiji. During this, Buddhist monks perform ritual dances that lead them to the verge of trance. These allow them to release the spiritual energy they have accumulated during their long months of meditation. These choreographies retrace the journey of souls to the land of the dead where they wait to reincarnate. It is also an opportunity to meet the pilgrims and the inhabitants of the region.

Accessing and permit for upper mustang trek

An upper mustang board is close to Tibet and it is considere a Restricted Area.  All trekkers, trekking to the Upper Mustang requires to purchase a permit of $500 per person permitted. which is valid for 10 days. You can stay longer, but every day after that will cost $50. At Kagbeni, you’ll need to show your permit both on the way and the way out. In addition to the restricted permit, you’ll also need to purchase an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), which is $30 USD per person.

Jomsom is the starting point for heading into the Upper Mustang region. Most travelers and trekkers choose to fly between Pokhara and Jomsom (a 20-minute flight) to save time and avoid the arduous bus or jeep journey by land. The official checkpoint for the restricted region is Kagbeni, just north of Jomsom.

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu. you are greeted at the airport by our team and then transferred to our hotel. Evening briefing from your guide.

approximately 15 hours of driving to the hotel
Final altitude: approximately 13,50 m
Meals:  dinner
Accommodation: night in the hotel

We reserve this day for sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley and to prepare for trekking. After having a warm breakfast, we will leave the hotel in a private vehicle with an experienced tour guide. We will visit several UNESCO-listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley and the famous sacred Hindu temple, the Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa, and Boudhanath stupa. These places are famous to have inherited ancient religious practices, architecture, and culture.

Tour: full-day tour
Final altitude: approximately 13,50 m
Meals: breakfast 
Accommodation: night in the hotel

Departure by vehicle for Pokhara. The road first offers magnificent views of the valley of the Trisuli river, then we cross superb tropical landscapes, before going up to Pokhara and having a view of the Annapurna massif and the Machhapuchhare. Free time in Pokhara

Transport: by private vehicle or group transport if less than 4 participants
Duration of transport: approximately 7 h
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel

Flight to Jomsom, the official capital of the region, then we drive along the Kali Gandaki river to reach Kagbeni, the gate of Mustang, a small oasis of greenery, at the junction of the Jhong Khola and Kali Gandaki rivers. Free time and acclimatization in Kagbeni.

NB: flight not guaranteed and subject to the vagaries of weather conditions and places available. Since 2017, only Tara Airlines has operated these flights and this poses problems of seat availability. The flight can be replaced by a long driving day (8-10 hours) on an uncomfortable track.

Transport: by private vehicle and regular flight
Duration of transport: around 1 hour
Final altitude: around 2,810 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in lodge

We take a vehicle to go to Samar. Indeed, for this stage, there is no other alternative than to walk on a track. We, therefore, opted for a jeep transfer. On leaving the village we go through the check post and show our permits for the upper Mustang. We leave the lower Mustang, pass through the village of Tangbe. We then continue our journey along the torrent to arrive at Chuksang. In front of the village a magnificent cliff and many caves. We go along the Kali Gandaki called here Mustang Khola. We cross a bridge on foot and change vehicles. The track takes us to Chele where we discover vertical manis, which is unusual. We arrive at a pass at 3,500 m from where the view of the snow-capped mountains is magnificent. We descend to the village of Samar which is an important caravan stopover. Samar in Tibetan means “red earth”. Stroll in the wooded village of willows and poplars. We see the fields of barley and wheat. In the distance the Nilgiri (7,134 m) and Tilicho (7,161 m) dominate us.

Transport: by private vehicle
Durationtransport: approximately 3 hours.
The number of hours of walking: about 1 hour.
approximately altitude 3,640 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in lodge

Descent into the river bed followed by a quiet climb. Then it is a magnificent balcony path facing the Nilgiri and the Annapurna chain. Here, a few mountain pastures where the shepherds settle in summer. We quickly dive into a superb canyon with steep walls. A round trip of 40 minutes to an hour to visit the sacred grotto, where many pilgrims come to pray, before quietly joining Syangboche, a tiny white village with flat roofs, tight in on itself. The climb continues up to the pass around 3850 meters. The descent towards Ghiling in which we enter following a red ocher wall. Ghiling is vast, its largely irrigated fields are protected by a long dry stone wall. A very beautiful monastery dating from the 1400s preceded by a very pretty chorten dominate Ghiling.

Approximately 6hours  of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,570 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Today, we quiet departure in the pastures of Ghiling before the steep climb by a good path to the Nyi La pass (4010 m). The view is clear on the Annapurnas. From there, we descend into a deep gorge with sculpted walls. A slope crossing takes us to the small Ghemi pass which opens up the view of the eponymous village. White houses pierced by windows with brightly painted woodwork, chortens, prayer wheels make Ghemi a very pretty village that dominates its magnificently drawn fields. After lunch, you can go for a round trip (about 1 hour) to discover the longest wall of Mustang mani (350 m). We leave Ghemi; the path takes us to a new small pass. Quickly, we discover the extraordinary red ocher cliffs which close the horizon and overlook Dhakmar. As usual, a few chortens mark the entrance to the village.

Approximately 6hours  of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,800 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Our winding path zigzags through earthen penitents to the first pass of Mui La, then crosses a pretty plateau to the real pass of Mui La. The path, now on a balcony, winds through pastures where goats and yaks graze, to the very lively monastery of Ghar Gompa (8th century) decorated with beautiful frescoes. Visit of the monastery. Small descent into the thalweg and we gradually climb to Ghar La, accompanied by the song of a small stream. The first pass before a flank crossing that bypasses the valley takes us to the second pass of Ghar La at 4280 meters. In a landscape of magnificent colored hills ranging from white to red ocher with all shades of yellow, all crowned with snow-capped peaks, we reach Lo. Lo Manthang is the fortified capital of the ancient and mythical kingdom of Lo.

Approximately 6hours  of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,810 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

There are many walks around Lo Manthang, in the middle of fields of barley, mustard, and buckwheat. Walk in the small narrow streets of this old town to meet the inhabitants discussing in the square of the royal palace, returning from the fields, or returning the herds. Ancient monasteries with beautiful paintings and magnificent mandalas are worth a visit. An optional excursion is possible to Chooser, in the direction of Tibet: its caves, its monastery half-built in the cliff. In this case, we have to hire horses to go back and forth during the day.

Approximately 5 hours  of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,810 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

We pass the pass over Lo Manthang. The path branches off into an adjacent valley of the Mustang Khola. A magnificent balcony path, with a splendid view of the high summits of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, leads us to a small pass at an altitude of 4000 meters. The descent to the village of Dhi Gaon, steep, ends in a lunar setting, between immense penitents of earth. Magnificent view of the village and the river. Ascent, for a good hour, in the bed of the Puyun Khola river, dominated by cliffs carved out of ancient troglodyte dwellings forming a real city of 17 floors. The path straightens up and it is Yara, a small hamlet with houses tightly packed together.

Approximately 5 hours  of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,650 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Today we hike to the foot of a troglodyte city seventeen stories high and arrived at Luri Gompa, a monastery dug into the fairy chimneys. Discovery of its 15th-century Buddhist frescoes and the magnificent “stupa”. Back to the village of Yara.

Approximately 6 hours  of walking 
Final altitude: approximately 3,640 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

In the morning, we start our trek that will be accompanied today by the Kali Gandaki River, to the village of Tangge, located along the Tangye Khola River. We progress on a plateau, the colorful landscape is beautiful, the views of the Dhaulagiri too. Descent to the river Disvhang Khola we cross a ford. Climb to a pass at 4000 m before descending to the village of Tangge.

Approximately 6 hours  of walking 
Final altitude: approximately 3,440 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Today we leave for a long day of walking. We start with a long climb to the Mustang Pass at an altitude of 4,200 m, then a series of ascent and descent before a long descent into the screes and canyons. Beautiful path of ridges with many colorful cliffs.

Approximately 6 hours  of walking 
Final altitude: approximately 2,970 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Climb to Gyu La pass (4050 m), along a river crowned by high cliffs, then down to Muktinath (3810 m) crossing Buddhist shrines, temples, pagodas, and sacred springs where a natural gas flame burns! Great views of the peaks of Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tilicho Peak (7134 m), and Nilgiri (7061m).

Approximately 9 hours  of walking 
Final altitude: approximately 3,760 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Today, we reach Jomsom by avoiding the track and passing through a pass (magnificent view of the Dhaulagiri) and the village of Lupra, the only village of the pre-Buddhist Bon religion in the area. Continuation of the descent through the villages of Jharkot (3560 m), Lupra (3000 m), Ekle Bhatti (2740 m), Jomoson (2720 m).

Approximately 6 hours  of walking 
Final altitude: approximately 2,720 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

We reach Pokhara then Kathmandu by plane and free time in the capital.

NB: flight not guaranteed and subject to the vagaries of weather conditions and places available. Since 2017, only Tara Airlines has operated these flights and this poses problems of seat availability. The flight can be replaced by a long driving day (8-10 hours) on an uncomfortable track.

Transport: by private vehicle
Meals: breakfast – free lunch (not included) – free dinner (not included)
Accommodation: Night at the hotel

Free day in Kathmandu also serves as a security day in case of problems on the Lukla / Kathmandu or during trekking. Today, you have a rest day to relax or you can also go shopping in Kathmandu or you can do anything you like to by yourself.

Final altitude: 1350 m
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: night in the hotel

free time depending on the departure time of your flight and our representative will drop you at the airport, ending your journey in Nepal. We hope to be of service to you again. Thank you and safe travels.

approximately 20 minutes of driving to the airport
Final altitude: approximately 13,50m
Meals: breakfast

inclusion

what's included

  • Pick up from the airport and Final drop to the airport by private vehicle
  • Domestic flights described in the program.
  • Road transportation
  • Accommodation as described in the paragraph “On-site organization”.
  • Meals as indicated in the “Day to day” program.
  • Dinner on the last evening in Kathmandu (except for drinks).
  • Supervision by an English-speaking Nepalese guide throughout the trip.
  • The assistance of a local team during the trekking (sirdar, porters, cooks).
  • The special permit for this region of Nepal.
  • All Government tax

what's not included

The price does not include

  • Cancellation/interruption of stay/loss of luggage insurance and assistance.
  • All that is not indicated in the section “The price includes”.

Your expenses on site

  • Visa fees on arrival.
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu and Nepalganj
  • Any additional luggage on domestic flights.
  • The drinks.

TIPS

Tips are an integral part of the country’s culture. This gesture of thanks, which varies according to the itinerary and the duration, has become an obligation. A prize pool is created, given at the end of the trip to the members of the team.

However, it is important that the tip remains a gratuity, as our teams are also very well paid. We invite you to distribute tips only if the service has met your expectations and to reduce this sum if the services were not sufficient, explaining why in order to consolidate our educational work.

 

 

Accomodation & meal

ACCOMMODATION

In a standard category hotel (base: double room) in Kathmandu and Pokhara, during the rest of the trip in a tent (3-person tents for 2 people) or in a lodge depending on the trip. The lodges in Nepal are very comfortable random. In general, conditions are quite good around the Annapurnas and the Everest region. On the other hand, in Mustang, in the Manaslu,  Tsum valley, and in the region of Kangchanjung or Makalu, they can be very rudimentary to the point of being a dormitory sometimes even a kitchen. lodges can look like a refuge or sometimes a bed and breakfast from home. Most of the time it is a family house with double, triple, or dormitory rooms. Toilets and showers are always separate.

MEAL

In the cities, many restaurants allow us to discover the typical local cuisine. Meat is scarce in the high mountain, the Nepalese are generally vegetarians. The basic ingredients are rice, pasta, lentils, potatoes, vegetables. Snacks are included during the trek (cereal bars, dried fruits, etc.).

For camping trek accommodation: during the trek, breakfasts and evening meals are prepared by the kitchen team. They are taken under the mess tent. Depending on the profile of the stages (length of the day’s walk and/or presence of water), midday snacks will be served hot or cold in the form of picnics.

For tea house trek accommodation: meals are prepared by the cooks of the lodge and are taken in the dining room. Here is a typical one-day menu:

  • breakfast: eggs, toast or chapati, or Tibetan bread or pancakes, or pancakes, butter/jam, tea or coffee
  • lunch: the main course, tea or coffee.
  • dinner: soup, main course, fruit (fresh or canned), tea or coffee

NB: Hindus and Buddhists are most often vegetarians. We, therefore, eat very little meat or fish. The dishes are pasta, rice, potatoes, lentils, etc.

DRINKS: during the trek, tea is served with meals (two cups of tea per meal). Additional cups of tea and other beverages, including mineral water, are the responsibility of the participants. You can fill your gourds with water in the lodges, but it is essential to treat them with purifying tablets. Avoid buying plastic bottles.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Nepal government policies require to have a special permit also called a restricted area. It is because of open border security and to reduce the illegal activities in the border between two countries.  Until 1992 upper mustang was restricted demilitarized region. That makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world. The majority of the population still speaks traditional Tibetan languages

AUTUMN, During the months of October and November, the sky is normally a deep blue and the sun is often bright. Mountain views are mostly crystalline and daytime temperatures pleasant. SPRING, From March to May, the days are sunny and the temperatures are increasingly mild. The view of the mountains worsens as the monsoon approaches. But it is also the time of flowering for the magnificent rhododendrons, especially in the Annapurna region and Manaslu region. SUMMER In June and July, the humid air masses of the Bay of Bengal collide and rise on the Himalayas. Moisture in the air cools and falls as rain — the monsoon. Its effects are uneven across Nepal, and some regions are less affected. The monsoon loses its intensity as it moves from the southeast to the northwest; north of the Annapurna in the areas of Manang, Naar, Phu, Dolpo, and Mustang the effect of the monsoon is minor.

  • duration :

    18 days
  • difficulty level :

    Easy

price from

2500$per person

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