Trek to Upper Mustang Nepal known as the “Lost Tibetan Kingdom”
Home to the former Tibetan Kingdom of Lo, Upper Mustang is nestled between the border of the Tibetan plateau in the north and the Annapurna / Nilgiri Himalaya range in the south. The region has some of the world’s tallest peaks, including over 8000-meter tall Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range.
Mystical land Upper Mustang is one of the most preserved regions in the word as it was a restricted area until it was open to tourism only in 1992, today accessible only by permit. Because it was not open for visitor Mustang used to be known as the last “forbidden kingdom”. Only a limited number of tourists are allowed to visit Upper Mustang a year which has helped in preserving the ancient Tibetan culture and language. Trekking to Upper Mustang gives the same level of experience as visiting Tibet as it shares the same geography, culture, and tradition that is found in Tibet. Until 1950, the Mustang region was an independent kingdom with Lo Manthang being the capital. Still, the walled capital city Lomanthang has a Palace of Mustang King.
The trek to Upper Mustang is relatively easy as the highest point in the trek is about 4000 meters only. The Upper Mustang region lies in the rain shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges so trek runs the most part of the year including summer months ( June to Sept.) also, which considered as off-season to trek in Nepal.
To reach upper Mustang from Kathmandu, we fly or take a 6 hours bus drive to Pokhara and the next day early morning take another flight to Jomsom which is in the Lower Mustang region. The flight itself is a breathtaking scenic flight as you will fly over the Kali Gandaki gorge which is the deepest canyon in the world and sight the entire panoramic view of the Annapurna, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri Mountain range. The holy Kali Gandaki = black river is the only river in the world where we find Saligram (black holy rocks – the fossils) Hindus consider as an incarnation of Lord Bishnu.
Trekking in Upper Mustang is a rare privilege and you will get a chance to explore the lifestyle, culture, and tradition of true Himalayan people along with the breathtaking view of Himalayan landscapes. Trek is over mostly flat and interesting geography as you hike along the beautiful Kali Gandaki river. All through the trek, you will witness the landscape of indescribable vastness and beauty, home to the famous snow leopard, the endangered bharal (blue sheep), and the mythical methi (abominable snowman). Many old Buddhist monasteries, Isolated caves, and tales of Guru Rimpoche – Pamadma Shambhava you will hear while hiking in Mustang.
Rimmed by 20,000+ snowcapped peaks and bathed in hues of orange and red rocks with sporadic fields of vibrant green, yellow and red of barley, maize, and buckwheat, Mustang is a step back to a simpler time.
The Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs provide an impressive backdrop as you trek up the Kali Gandaki river valley to the ancient city of Lo-Manthang. The Kaligandaki valley walk was part of the Silk Road and also once a famous route for trans Himalayan salt trade.
Mustang is the region that even the Tibetan Guru the Dalai Lama mentioned about it’s preserved culture, festivals, and traditions. Once the famous singer Ricky Martin visited Mustang and explained this as a “Moonland”.
Mustang is quintessentially Tibetan in character and to date largely unspoiled. However, the advent of a planned new road (progressing slowly) is likely to change this – so the time to see Mustang is now!
We have been running Mustang trek from 1997, April to early Nov. is the best time to visit Mustang. Each year there is the Tiji festival happening in Mustang in May, the best time to visit the region to witness local culture and tradition (Colorful dress, mask dance, and incredible landscape). Tiji Festival in Lo-manthang happens in front of the old royal place, the festival dates back to the 8th century while Guru Rimpoche entering to Tibet.
Kindly let us know if you wish to attend this Tiji Festival = Tenchi festival or the Damon chasing festival ( may / June each year).
Nowadays there are road tracks (bumpy/dusty adventurous) in the upper Mustang area, so if you wish to drive upper Mustang in a Jeep to save some time and money you can do a Mustang Jeep tour, the trip will be a lot shorter. But in our “upper Mustang trek”, always try to avoid the road using side alternative trails so the Mustang trek itself will be interesting. Come enjoy the Upper Mustang trek in Nepal with a team of experts who have been taking people to Mustang since 1997. Please call or write to hear about our new 2021 Mustang trek itinerary and date details. See you soon in Nepal. Namaste!
On arrival in Kathmandu Airport, you will be greeted and received by our representative and transferred to the Hotel. After resting and refreshing, you will be briefed on your travel itinerary.
Full day for sightseeing in Kathmandu valley includes The Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath (a UNESCO world heritage site) & the biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhanath, check into a hotel and stay. B. We receive the official permit from Immigration for Mustang.
Our trip starts after the breakfast in the Hotel, Depart from Kathmandu our journey takes us to Pokhara. The bus ride goes through Midhills, along the Trishuli river observing the beautiful landscapes and amazing views of the Himalayas. We also have an option to fly to Pokhara on an addition cost of USD125. The bus journey takes 6 to 7 hours. B.
Fly to Jomsom ( 20 min flight), after light lunch,start trek to Kagbeni (2810 mtr) the starting point of the \"Upper Mustang\". Camp / gust house at Kagbeni / 4 hrs. B.L.D. ( if flight cancel or delayed we may have option of driving to Jomsom about 10 – 12 hours)
After an early morning breakfast we start another day of beautiful trek. The trail follows a prehistoric salt trading route. It mostly passes through a sandy and windy terrain. The first village that you will pass through is Tangbe. Similar to Kagbeni with narrow alleys, this is a very scenic village. Apple orchards are another highlight of Tangbe. The trail follows gentle up and down all the way. After a couple of hours of further trek, you will reach the small village of Chhusang. B.L.D.
Chhuksang trek to Samar (3660mtr) crossing via Dajori la pass (3736mtr). About five hours of a hike through the bank of Kali Gandaki River with little ups and little downs and do a climb to Chele, home to Tibetan mastiffs. With a descend from Chele, the trail takes us to Samar, a beautiful village with amazing views of Mount Nilgiri. Overnight at Samar.
Samar trek to Gheling (3820mtr) crossing via Yamdo la (3860mtr) & Shyangmochen, Visit the Gheling Gompa of Maha Kala and Shkya Monastery ( claim as 600 years old) – Max 6 hours walk. Camp at Gheling - beautiful landscape B.L.D.
Gheling trek to Dakmar (3820mtr) via Ghami, crossing Nyi La (4010mtr), Ghemi la (3520mtr) stay in Dakmar, beautiful colorful landscape and village, if time permit go up to Lo-Ghakyar and camp there so we can reach to Lo-Manthang earlier next day Max 6 hours walk, B.L.D.
Dakmar to Lo Manthang via Lo Gekar (3800mtr), visit the Oldest Gompa in Mustang \"1400 years old\" we have to cross Mui La (4170mtr) and trek to Lo Manthang (3840mtr) crossing Chogo La (4230mtr), Camp at Lo Manthang, reach at the afternoon.
One day more in Lo manthang to visit Near by village . Camp at Lo Manthang, B.L.D. If we are free at afternoon can visit Monasteries nearby. At night if King is there, try to meet with him in his palace.
From Lo-Manthang the trail walks straight till Dhi pass 4100meters and descends down to Dhi village. The trek from Lo Manthang to Muktinath is harder, but more rewarding and interesting than the west side of the valley. Dhi village is one of the best villages of whole Lo-mathang and it seems more prosperous and it is settled in a very suitable place B, L, D
We take the pack Lunch from our camp at Dhi and go for explore to Lori (Ghar gompa), a beautiful walk via river & village. Impressive landscape and cave monastery, back to Dhi at evening Our crew stay at Dhi and wait us there, a long day at least 7 hours, Camp at Dhi, B.L.D.
From Dhi trek to Tsarang and then to Ghami ( 3560mtr) and explore the valley, we visit Old Buddhist Library of Lo Manthang and Monastery, after lunch continue trek to Ghami crossing via Tsarang la (3870mtr), Stay at King\'s relative\'s lodge, it is very nice to be their guest, they have lovely house. Max 6.5 hours, Camp at Ghami, B.L.D.
From Ghami trek to Samar. Camp at local apple garden Samar. B.L.D. ( Now a days from Samer we can trek to Chaile and get the Jeep and go to Jomsom same day if you wish).
From Samar, we trek to Kagbeni crossing the beautiful village of Chhuksang. We pass through the several enshrining stones, ammonites embedded rocks and beautiful Kali Gandaki River. After about six hours of hike, we reach Kagbeni, situate at the upstream on the Kali Gandaki, on the trail to Lo Manthang. Overnight at Kagbeni.
From Kagbeni, we make our way down to Jomsom via the beautiful trek route enjoying the magnificent scenery on the road. The flat and easy walk of about three to four will be the last steps in the Mustang region. We visit the beautiful sites of the village and rest for the night at Jomsom.
We take an early morning short flight out to Pokhara relishing the glorious Himalayas over the sky. If the flight is canceled or delayed due to uncertainties, we have an option of driving to Jomsom which takes about 10 – 12 hours. Overnight at Pokhara.
Enjoying the beautiful small hamlets, barren landscapes, graceful streams, we drive back to the capital city, Kathmandu. The six to eight hours of a drive will give you the extreme feeling of driving in the beautiful roads of Nepal. Overnight at Kathmandu.
You have a full free day in Kathmandu before you head back to your home. Tour to the beautiful places you missed before including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can go shopping in Thamel area to bring memorable pieces of stuff from Nepal as reminiscence. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner together in one of the best restaurants in Kathmandu. Overnight at the hotel.
The great adventure in Nepal ends today. With lots of gratefulness, we will drop you to the airport 2-3 hours before your flight schedule for your return flight. Namaste!