Upper Mustang Trek – 15 days

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Trekking Destination: Upper Mustang Trek
Transportation: private and public vehicle
Trekking hour: 5-6 hours each day
Duration: 15 Days


Himalayan Treks & Expedition Team mates Organist Upper Mustang Trekking takes us to unrevealed worlds of Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang named Lo. This trek region connects it to Tibet culturally, geographically & in Language because it is the part of the Tibetan empire. Upper Mustang Trekking region separated from the outer world has protected Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature. Mustang encloses itself by different colored rocks with very pleasant formations .It has rugged arid land in the Dhaulagiri massif’s rain shadow. The white washed house, stone and wood chortens festooned with prayers flag and barley field are the dotted settlement in this land. This landscape is colorful.

Our Upper Mustang trek in Nepal entrails via old salt caravan path. The people of Mustang trade Tibetan Salt for grain from lowland via this path. The goal of the Upper Mustang Circuit Trekking is to reach Lo Manthang. At a distance we will view walled medieval capital. Along their white washed 6 m tall wall extended opposite to the sterile terrain. There is a pleasure of invading into a new world while passing to the Lo-Manthang via the Town Gate.

It is a world of hidden chorten, narrow pathways, flock of farming animals and long walls of amazing prayers wheels during afternoon to depart to their hut inside the city. The beautiful places to see here are the royal Palace, Thugchen Gompa, Amchi Museum and school. Thugchen Gumpa is a monastery of 15th century this school has Dr. Amchi’s name. There were two Amchi’s , who were official doctors of the king in Lo Manthang. The school’s establishment by them has a goal to protect their immemorial wisdom.

To roam outside the city and to enjoy the ride you can rent Tibetan Ponies. Here you can visit small monastery, old cave located high in the rocks. The best way to visit Upper Mustang trek is to take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and beginning the trekking from here. Our flight will go crossing the world’s deepest gorge i.e. Kaligandaki Gorge running in between Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Mountain. You will emanate via upstream of Kali Gandaki River and then walk via shore of the river upto Kagbeni.

The restricted area of Upper Mustang starts from here. Before heading to the north of Upper Mustang it’s a good idea to visit Muktinath paying permit cost. Finally, our Upper Mustang Trekking will ahead towards Manthang emanating our trek northward. There are various passes of about 3500 to 4000 m height. Along these passes you will find the world’s one of the oldest Tibetan Monastery. Its name is Lo Gekar Monastery.

One of the Tibetan Magician named Guru Rinpoche in 8th century built this monastery. Moreover, the belief is that he killed a demon whose bright red blood painted the rocks along Dhakmar. This trekking region was not open for foreigners until 1992.But now this trekking region is open for foreigners. Nowadays accommodation is available in this area. According to the Tibetan culture the central part of house is Kitchen. The kitchen in this region is of Living room style. During monsoon this is the best destination for trek in Nepal.

Outline Itinerary

1 Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)

Our Himalayan Treks and Expedition Company Airport Representative will meet you outside the Terminal Hall. Please, look for our Treks and Expeditions play card. Transfer to hotel, introduce your trekking guide and check the necessities. Afternoon stroll Tourist colourful market Thamel down town. 

Overnight in Kathmandu at 3 star Hotel with breakfast 

2 Day 02: Full day Kathmandu City excursion

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tours to world heritage sites of Pashupatinath Temple-the holiest Hindu Temple on the bank of sacred Bagmati River, Bodhanath Stupa-the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture in the world!  Patan Durbar Square is the oldest city in the Kathmandu valley with age old tradition also called Lalitpur-the city of fine arts. The visit covers the Durbar Square, the Krishna temple, the Kumbheswore temple, the Golden temple and many more. Swayambhunath Stupa-the 2000 years old legendary stupa on the hillock also nick-named as monkey temple. Your day tour ends Kathmandu Durbar Square Showcasing living goddess Kumari Temple, Nautale Durbar, the Kaal Bhairav, the Swet Bhairav, the freak Street and more.

Overnight in Kathmandu at 3 star Hotel with breakfast 

3 Day 03: Kathmandu – Pokhara (910m/2,986ft), 25 min flight

After breakfast, transfer to Kathmandu’s domestic airport for a morning flight to Pokhara along the Himalayan Range. Transfer to your hotel, morning free. Afternoon City tour including: Davi’s waterfall, a visit to the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave and the Tibetan Refugee Camp and Craft Centre. 

Overnight at 2 star hotel in Pokhara
Meal: Breakfast 

4 Day 04: Pokhara – Jomsom – Kagbeni (2,858m/9,375ft): 20min flight, ~12km, 3-4 hrs trek

After an early breakfast take the 20min Trans Himalayan flight to Jomsom through the world’s deepest gorge: formed by the Kali Gandaki Nadi that rises in Tibet and continued to cut its gorge southwards as the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himals thrust their way skywards. Meet your porters and trek north. 

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 Bön 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. 

Overnight at lodge in Kagbeni
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

5 Day 05: Kagbeni – Chele (3,050m/10,004ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs

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. 

The route north begins at the Police and ACAP checkpoint: it follows the east wall of the wide river valley, climbing several ridges with picturesque places to rest along this windy route. The first of a group of five Gurung villages is Tangbe (3,060m/10,040ft), with narrow alleys between white washed houses and fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apples. Another hour leads to Chhuksang (2,980m/9,777ft) at the confluence of the Narshing Khola with the Kali Gandaki. 

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. 

Overnight at lodge in Chele
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

6 Day 06: Chele – Gelling (3,570m/11,200ft): 14km, 6-7 hrs

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 (3,630m/11,910ft). Good views to the southeast include Tilicho Peak, Yakwakang (north shoulder of the Thorung La) and the Damodar Himal’s large cluster of >6,000m/19,700ft 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/12,630ft). Descend past a large black, red and white chorten where three paths meet above the lovely village of Gelling. 

Overnight at lodge in Gelling
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

7 Day 07: Gelling – Tsarang (3,575/11,750ft):14km, 6-7 hrs

Today’s trail heads up the centre of the valley, through fields and past chortens to the Nyi La (4,020m/13,190ft): the southern border of Lo. A ¾ hr gentle descent leads to the Ghemi La: a chorten on the edge of a ridge. A steep descent leads to the beautifully whitewashed buildings of Ghemi; the third largest village in Upper Mustang. 

The trail then 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 (3,870m/12,697ft). 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 chorten to the second largest town of Tsarang. A 14thC dzong and gompa overlooks the river gorge (and hydroelectric plant) beyond the town. 

Overnight at lodge in Tsarang
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

8 Day 08: Tsarang – Lo Manthang (3,840m/12,800ft): 10km, 4-5 hrs

Descend the gorge and cross the river, then climb to a ridge chorten overlooking the Tholung Valley and turn northwards towards the windy Lo La (3,950m/12,960ft). 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. 

Overnight at lodge in Lo Manthang
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

9 Day 09: Lo Manthang: rest and exploration day

Within the town: explore the 15thC 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 18thC Chödi 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 Raja’s summer palace. Return to the lodge in Lo Manthang by nightfall.

Overnight at Lodge in Lo Manthang 
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

10 Day 10: Lo-Manthang – Drakmar (3,810m/12,500ft): 14km, 6-7 hrs

Trek southwest on herder’s trails, up a side valley to the Chogo La (4,325m/14,190ft). Then traverse around a grassy valley before descending through a gully to cross the Tsarang Khola and climb to Ghar Gompa (House Temple): a 1,200 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 4,170m/13,680ft. 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. 

Overnight at lodge in Drakmar
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

11 Day 11: Drakmar – Shyangmochen (3,806m/12,484ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs

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 (4,020m/13,190ft). Descend into the Gelling Valley but follow the high trail above the village to Jaite, Chhungar and Tama Gaon. Zigzag down a rocky canyon to a stream then climb to a large chorten – and the Gelling trail near the ridge below the Shyangmochen La. Summit, then walk down to Shyangmochen. 

Overnight at lodge in Shyangmochen
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

12 Day 12: Shyangmochen – Chhuksang (3,050m/10,004ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs

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 in at lodge Chhuksang
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

13 Day 13: Chhuksang – Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft): 14km, 6-7 hrs

Retrace the route through Tangbe in time for 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. 

Overnight at lodge in Jomsom
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

14 Day 14: Fly back to Pokhara and drive to Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft): 20 min flight and 5 hrs drive

After early breakfast, take the dramatic 20 minute flight to Pokhara. And, continue drive to Kathmandu along the sub tropical landscape,mountain and river views along the route. The road winds over passes through forested Middle Hill country, linking Hindu villages and farming communities south of the Himalayan highlands. It follows and crosses several major rivers flowing from the glacial peaks to the north; including the Trisuli River, a popular rafting destination. Afternoon free for relax and shopping. 

Overnight at 2 star Hotel in Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast and farewell dinner  

15 Day 15: Final departure

Transfer to international airport and fly to onward destination.

Note: Trekking distances and times are approximate: times differ widely from group to group. 

Note: B = Breakfast, B.B = Bed & Breakfast, B.L.D = Bed, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

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