Starts from: Pokhara
Ending point: Jomsom
Duration of trip: 17 days
Best season: All months of the year but people preferred to go much in Munson season.
Join our Upper Mustang trek-17 day’s trek which offers a spectacular trekking into the remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area with Tibetan influence culture. The high desert region of the Tibetan influence, Kaligandaki (RIVER), from the Tibetan border south to Kagbeni is generally referred to as Upper Mustang. Explore the thousand years of old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. Make an adventure starting from world's deepest gorge Kaligandaki Region into world's highest regions of Lo-Mangthang Valley that passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and down hill and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek passes through high peaks, passes, glaciers, and alpine valleys. The thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage remain unchanged for centuries and to this date. The houses in Mustang are mostly made from stone and sun baked mud bricks. The city wall and the four storey palace in Lo-Manthang are some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang region. Another attraction in the Mustang region is the Tiji Festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring). The Mustagi people have their own way of family life, which is quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry.
The Transhimalayan Mustang Region is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, since the region was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announced the opening of the restricted areas in October 1991. The Mustangis or the people of Mustang call themselves Lobas, and they have their own King or Tribe-leader, Jigme Palbar Bista. After Nepal was declared a republic in 2007, the Nepal Government took back the official recognition of the Bista as the Mustangi King. However, the people there still respect him as their King or tribe-leader. Bista also grants audience the visitor upon request. There is also strict control in obtaining a special permit from the department of immigration to protect their tradition from outside influence as well as to protect their environment. The Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang Region. Follow the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream to get to Lo-Mangthang, the capital of the upper Mustang.
Our 17 days teahouse/lodge Upper Mustang trek is a great adventure trek for those who wish to make a challenging trek along "off the beaten path" in the Trans-Himalayan Region. If you are interested in making even more adventurous trek in remotest parts, we recommend you to try our Upper Dolpo and She Gompa Trek -28 days. For the trekkers longing to experience some of the most interesting features of the Annapurna region including Annapurna Base Camp, Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Poon Hill, etc, our Annapurna Sanctuary Trek-16 days itinerary would an interesting option.
DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu 1300 m
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative from All Trekkers Team. After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with All Trekkers Team display board or your name plate at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel in Kathmandu. After check in, you can either take a rest, hang around in the city, visit our office; it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a Welcome Dinner at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.
DAY 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks include the World Heritage Sites: the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. All trekkers Team briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
DAY 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara 900m : 6 hrs drive
Early morning at around 7 am, we set off for Pokhara on a tourist bus. Enrooted we will see more of countryside of Nepal that offers greeneries, rivers, villages, farms and beautiful mountain sceneries. Afternoon, we reach Pokhara. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhare, five peaks of Annapurna and others. Pokhara is city of lakes and has numerous beautiful lakes. We can explore the most accessible and beautiful, Fewa Lake during the afternoon -enjoy boating too. Explore, relax and dine by tranquil Lake Fewa. You can even do some shopping during evening hours. Overnight in Pokhara.
DAY 04: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni 2,858m: 3-4 hrs
After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom, a super scenic flight of 20 minutes over the mountains with views of 8,000m such as Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. This is a large town, headquarter of the Mustang region; it is also a major village on the Kaligandaki area linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards it is very windy in the afternoon, Continue on the gradual 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 takes us to Kagbeni, which lies at the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni is an interesting windswept villages situated on the main age old Trans-himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a major tributory, Kak Khola, coming from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki.
DAY 05: Kagbeni to chele 3050m 5-6 hrs
Our journey starts with a special permit check up 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. Firstly we reach Tangbe village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. From there we trek forward to Chhusang and after crossing the river head up to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki follows. We head on to small ridges reach at Chele village.
DAY 06: Chele to Syanbochen 3475m: 6-7 hrs
Today, we start our trek again and walk further to Eklo Bhatti. We climb to Taklam La Pass 3,624m through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Further descend a little to the village of Samar. Climb the trail that goes above Samar village to the ridge then descending steeply to a stream. Another 3 hrs similar walk takes us to Syanbochen. On the way, we relax along the surrounding of cool streams and juniper trees. Locals use the dried leaves of junipers as incenses to invite deities and start any auspicious work. We also pass by a cave famously known as Ramchung Cave.
DAY 07: Syanbochen to Ghaymi 3520m: 5-6 hrs
After breakfast we trek uphill to the Yamda La 3,850m passing a few teahouses, Chortens and local villages which is like Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda. We cross mountain passes, and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley. The climb to Nyi Pass 4,010m would be a little longer. Descend to our overnight stop at Ghaymi. The third largest village in the Lo region, Ghayami is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren.
DAY 08: Ghaymi to Charang 3500m: 4-5 hrs
Start the trek after breakfast with a pleasant walk. After crossing Ghaymi Khola, the trail climbs to a plateau and passes beside a very long Mani wall, a sacred stone wall made by the followers Buddhism. From the end of the wall the trail heads east to the village of Charang with a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Tsarang Chu canyon. There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa to get to our teahouse for tonight's stop.
DAY 09: Charang to Lo-Mangthang 3700m: 5-6 hrs
Today, we trek to Lo-Mangthang with a magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Charang Chu Canyon and then climbs steeply after crossing the river. Further the trail ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the Lo-Mangthang Valley. While descending to Lo-Mangthang, views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. We stay at hotel for the overnight stop.
DAY 10: Explore Lo-Mangthang
Today we explore the surrounding areas. Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa situated on a hilltop serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, the last main village to the northwest of Lo-Mangthang and stroll back to hotel. Or you may have another option to visit the Tall Champa Lakhang "God house" the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall which are the main attraction of this town. Another attraction is the four- storey building of the Raja's palace as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya.
DAY 11: Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar 3810 m: 6-7 hrs
While returning from Lo-Mangthan, we take a different route than that we came by. Trek to Drakmar via Gyakar with more than 1200 years old Ghar Gompa with Guru Rinpoche as the primary figure. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes one wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is fulfilled. Explore the local area. Likelihood of dusty wind, so suggested to walk in the morning.
DAY 12: Dhakmar to Ghiling 3806m: 5-6 hrs
Today, we get back to Ghiling as our journey for our overnight stay after a long walk takes 5-6 hrs. After arrival and lunch enjoy the day exploring the area, but it will be dusty wind in the afternoon, better to walk in evening time.
DAY 13: Ghiling to Chhuksang 3050m: 5-6 hrs
We re-track back to Ghiling for the overnight stop after 5 hrs walk. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view. Enjoy your trip and overnight at teahouse.
DAY 14: Chhuksang to Jomsom 2700m: 6-7 hrs
Our last day of the day would be a long one. Better to walk early start as before and trek to Kagbeni. Finishing the upper Mustang trails and we join the normal Annapurna circuit trek. After lunch at Kagbeni will head on to Jomsom for the overnight stop. Or, if you can spare one more day, our guide would take you to Muktinath as well.
DAY 15: Fly back to Pokhara
After morning breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. A 17 minute dramatic flight to Pokhara between gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara airport guide will transfer to the lakeside hotel. Rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at hotel.
DAY 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
After breakfast, we start our 200 kilometers drive back to Kathmandu. Better to hold on the left pane of the vehicle to enjoy the sceneries through the route. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and celebrate dinner together with All Trekkers Team staffs. Overnight at Kathmandu.
DAY 17: Fly Home: Farewell Friend
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We hope you enjoyed the tour with us, and are sure you`ll be back in your trip somewhere in the Himalaya again. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from All trekkers Team will transfer you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.