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Upper Mustang Trekking

Mustang trekking is one of Nepal's most mysterious and least known kingdoms. The landscape of Mustang is a barren moonscape of eroded sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, which together present a colorful mosaic made up principally of earthen reds, yellows and brown. It is relatively easy trekking along the permitted route to Lo Manthang, which lies in the very heart of Mustang. The trek to Mustang is through an almost treeless barren landscape. Strong winds generally howl across the area in the afternoon, generally subsiding at night. Being in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, Mustang has much less rain then the rest of Nepal.

  • Trip Overview
  • Detail Itinerary
  • Include/Exclude
  • Dates and Price
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Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel. 

Day 02: Full day guided city tour to World Heritage sites in Kathmandu. 

Day 03: After breakfast by bus or afternoon airplane from Kathmandu to Pokhara. 

Day 04: By flight: Pokhara to Jomsom.
Trek to Kagbeni: Approximately 3 hours from Jomsom after landing at the airport. The trek takes you through desert which is surrounded by stunning views of the Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Nilgiri, and Annapurna Ranges. You will stay in Kagbeni, which is a beautiful village made up of traders. The view of Nilgiri is the first mountain which will be encountered while arriving in Kagbeni from the south. Then trail widens as it continues north across stretches of sand, pebbles and boulders. You will be frequently passed by mules bringing supplies. 

Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele: Approximately 7 hours, 2800 m – 3050 m.
The trek begins climbs quite steeply here into an array of gullies and small towers, zigzagging to a viewpoint over Kagbeni with Nilgiri. The trail continues on the east bank of the Kali Gandaki River, up and doewn until you reach the village of Tange. The trail then drops steeply and undulates along the east bank of Kali Gandaki for 1 ½ hours to the village of Chhuksang. From Chhuksang you will be able to see the Chele. After a short walk along the river bank, there is a solid bridge across the Kali Gandaki river into a tunnel. The tunnel is burrowed under a vast block of red sandstone. From here short, sharp climb to Chele. It takes about 3 hours. 

Day 06: Chele to Eklo bhatte. Approximately 6 hours, 3050m – 3820 m.
The path climbs steeply up to a plateau through a small gully. As you round a corner, the village of Ghyakar appears to the west. The view south offers a panorama of Nilgiri, Tilicho peak and Yakawa Kang. The main peak is Thorongla Pass which is on the Annapurna circuit. To the far-east is the range of the Damodar Danda. From the pass it is a short descent to Samar, a quaint settlement in a grove of willows with good running water. Samar village takes about 3 hours of hiking from Chele. This second climb is steeper and longer. After about a 2 hour walk from Samar, the trail reaches 3750 m and descends slightly to the first tea house. The second tea houses can be seen in the distance, but once more the trails dives into another steep canyon and it will take another hour to reach it. This place is known as Eklo Bhatte. 

Day 07: Eklo Bhatte to Ghami,  6 hours 3520m.
Today climbs gently to a small pass at 3870m with views directly below into deeply eroded canyons. Residing in this canyon are monks who dwell in a beautiful cave monasteries. About 1-1/4 hours from camp, is the tea shop of Syangmochen. After a gentle climb the trail  levels out to Chorten (3700m. 2 hours) and the first view of the Geling villages below (3500m). From here the path descends gradually into another less severe gully and climbs out to a collection of houses. You will break here for lunch for 2-1/2 hours. Geling would be a good camping spot, since it is near the monastery, Chorten, and mostly flat fields. After lunch the trail continues around above Geling and starts the long climb to the Nyi pass at 3950m. A long descent, out of the wind, takes you down more steeply to Ghami 3520m. This is about 1-1/2 hours after lunch. 

Day 08: Ghami to Tsarang, 6 hours, 3520 m3500m 11 km.
From the Gompa in Ghami two tracks level down into a gully east of the village, one steeply past a trio of red, black and white Chortens which are a common sight in upper Mustang. At the bottom of the gully are two bridges across the river, there is a direct path to this point if you did not visit Ghami. The trail climbs onto a gently sloping plateau and passes beside a very long wall – about a half hour – from Ghami. From the end of the wall the trail heads east away from a very dramatic red eroded canyon wall towering above the village of Tramar in the distance. From here you will climb steadily to an altitude of 3770m. This will be reached after about 2 hours from Ghami. The descent to Tsarang is fairly gentle and completed in about 2 hours. 

Day 09: Tsarang to  Lomanthang,  5 hours,  3500 m – 3700m. 13 km.
The trail continues northwest once you leave Tsarang.  Once you are clear of the village the trail drops steeply into the Tsarang Chu canyon. After crossing the river the route is very steep. As you round the corner and head north there is a great view of the great white Himalayan peaks of Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I. Behind you Brikuti peak is visible to the southeast. The trail climbs gently along the west side of a side valley to an isolated chorten at 3620 m. It is about 2 hours from Tsarang. An hour later you will be able to view some spectacular caves high up in the cliffs to the east.  You will reach a “narrow window” pass around 3850 m. The view ahead spans out to display the western valley of Lo-Manthang. The bright red and grey monastery of Namgyal is visible with the wide valley surrounding it.  Tingkar (the site of the King’s Summer palace) and Phewa villages lay behind it. Just down from the pass is the first dramatic view of the walled city of Lo-Manthang and the ancient ruined forts on the hills behind. There is a tremendous view to the east of the multi-colored Mustang Khola canyon, to the north lies the flattish, red-colored hills and the Tibetan border. The western view is dominated by the snow-capped peak of ‘Manaslu‘. The descent to Lo-Manthang is short and after crossing the small river and climbing briefly the fabled city is finally reached.

Day 10: Rest to Acclimate 

Day 11: Lomanthang and eastern valleys, Nyphu, Ghaphu this is a  5-6 hours round trip hike. 

Day 12: Lomanthang and western valley, Namgyal, Tingkar this is a  4 – 5 hours, round trip hike. It takes about 2 hours to reach Namgyal Gompa which is situated on a hilltop. It serves as an important monastery of the local community and as the local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa the trek continues to Tingkar, a village of around 400 houses. It is the last main village to the north-west of Lo-Manthang. 

Day 13: Lomanthang to Surkhang (3670m) / Yara Gang (Village), 4-5 hours.
From Lo-Manthang, the trail continues to  Dhi pass (4100m) and descends down to Dhi village. Dhi village is one of the moast prosperous village of Lo-Manthang regions. The trail goes near the river around 2 hours then reaches Surkhang. 

Day 14: Surkhang to  Lori Gumba (Monastery) to Yara Gang, 4-5 hours (4000m), and back to Surkhang. 

Day 15: Surkhang to Tange Height, 3500 – 3240 m, about 4 hours, 10 km.
From Surkhang, you cross the river, Damodar Kunda, which originates from a sacred lake. There is no bridge on the Ghechang River, so you’ll need to wade across the river in bare feet. After crossing the river, the trail ascends to a pass of 3850m, and continues through grasslands and treeless hills. After the pass the trail drops rapidly to the village of Tange at an elevation of 3240m. Tange is small village with around 30 houses. Most of the houses are attached to each other. On the roofs, one can see the piles of dry wood, which also reflect the prosperity in their society. 

Day 16: Tange to Tetang Height, 3240 – 2940 m,   3 hours, 10 km.
The trail continues through deep ridges and provides amazing views of wind carved hills. The Tetang Village was built between two of these hills to shield it from the strong wind that hit the entire Kail Gandaki valley. Tetang is the upper village of Chuksang. 

Day 17: Tetang to Muktinath Height, 2940 – 3800 m, 6 hours.
This is the last day of the Upper Mustang Trek. The trail goes through the village of Jharkot where one can see the Jharkot Monastery,  a Tibetan herb medical center and the old fortress of Jharkot, which was once a palace. You will continue your final day of the trek by going toward Muktinath. You will also be able to view the  Kali Gandaki Valley and Kagbeni Village which is the entry point of Upper Mustang. 

Day 18: Muktinath to Jomsom, 5 hours, 3600 m – 2700 m. 

Day 19: Jomsom to Pokhara to Kathmandu.