UPPER MUSTANG TREKKING
Trip Name Upper Mustang Trekking
Max Altitude 3760
Grade difficult
Activity Trekking and Hiking
Trip Duration 18 Days days
Minimum Group Size 2
Destination Nepal-Himalaya
Starting Point Kathmandu
Ending Point Kathmandu

Overview

Upper Mustang Trek is the Trans Himalayan trek in forbidden and isolated area which was restricted to outsiders until 1991. Spread from Kagbeni to Tibetan border, Upper Mustang lie in the rain shadow of Himalayas is perhaps the last enclave of pristine Tibetan Culture where the culture, lifestyle and heritage remain unchanged for centuries and to this date.  Till the 2007, before democratic republic revolution in Nepal, Upper Mustang region was ruled by religious king and still highly respected by the locals.  

The Upper Mustang Trekking Trail follows the salt caravan route of the old days that passes through the unique landscapes, very attractive scenery and definitely the distinct cultures. Mustang Trek offers spectacular mountain scenery throughout the trek. In this trek we will be surrounded by more than 35 mountains over 6000 meters and 2 highest mountains of the world i.e, Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Mt. Annapurna (8091m). In very initial day of Upper Mustang Trekking we pass through the deepest gorge in the world, Kaligandaki; further the topography change to barren desert land with speedy wind afternoon, passing by tiny villages, many unreachable caves finally reach the main destination of trek the Lo-Manthang valley the capital of Upper Mustang where king resides in four storeys palace, more than thousand years old Namgyal Gompa is located.  On the way back we visit the Ghare Gompa also known as Lo Gekar Monastery – the oldest monastery of Mustang and also the oldest Tibetan monastery in the world built in 8th century is located close to Dhakmar; and the Muktinath Temple the most sacred temple worshiped by both Hindu and Buddhist.

Trekking in Upper Mustang just doesn’t give the structural attractions only but also provides the opportunity to experience the unique and untouched culture of local tribes very closely. You will be amazed to see that all the brothers in the family do marriage with a single girl, villagers will allow you in the kitchen by which you get chance to know their tradition very closely, and the Tiji festival celebrated in typical traditional way by chasing the Demons, contains interesting myths. All these uniqueness, beauty and legends offered by the Upper Mustang makes the Upper Mustang Trekking one of the must do treks on the planet.

Itinerary

Outline Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
Day 02:  Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara – 6-7 hours bus trip. 
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom & Trek to Kagbeni (2,780m) – 30 minutes flight & 3 -4 hours trek
Day 05: Trek to Chuksang (2,920m) 5-6 hours 
Day 06: Trek to Samar (3,290m) 4-5 hours
Day 07: Trek to Geling (3,440m) 5-6 hours
Day 08: Trek to Ghami (3,460m) 5-6 hours
Day 09: Trek to Charang (3,490m) 3-4 hours and explore charang
Day 10: Trek to Lo Manthang (3,730m) 5-6 hours 
Day 11: In & around Lo Manthang 
Day 12: Trek to Lo Gekar & then to Ghami (3,460m) 5-6 hours
Day 13: Trek to Chele (3,050m) 7 hours 
Day 14: Trek to Muktinath (3,760m) 6 hours 
Day 15: Trek to Jomsom (2,800m) 5 hours 
Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara 
Day 17: Drive back to Kathmandu
DAY 18:  Final Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
Upon arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA), you will be greeted by a representative from Black Diamond at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to the hotel. After check into the hotel, you can either take rest; hang around in the city as it all depends upon your interests. 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. 
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Dinner

Day 02:  Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation
Today after breakfast we will start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) 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. Black Diamond briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us an opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Breakfast

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara – 6-7 hours bus trip.
Early morning at around 7 am, we set off for Pokhara on a tourist bus. En-route we will see more of the countryside of Nepal that offers greeneries, rivers, villages, farms and beautiful mountain sceneries. Afternoon, we reach Pokhara. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, five peaks of Annapurna and others. Pokhara is a 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. We can even do some shopping during evening hours. Overnight in Pokhara.
Hotel Middle Path
Breakfast

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom & Trek to Kagbeni (2,780m) – 30 minutes flight & 3 -4 hours trek
After an early breakfast transfer to the Pokhara Airport to take the spectacular flight to Jomsom (headquarter of Mustang region and famous for its apples) which is flying over the gorge of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna. From Jomsom, we cross the small suspension bridge and then walk along the Kali Gandaki River bed enjoying the stunning view of Mt. Nilgiri, Tukuche, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. The trail is very windy in the afternoon. After 3 hours walking through flat and barren land, we reach Ekley-bhatti village and then an hour walk takes us to Kagbeni which is situated on the bank of two rivers, Kak Khola and Mustang Khola. Confluence of these two rivers forms Kali Gandagi River. Kagbeni is the main age old Trans-Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05: Trek to Chuksang (2,920m) 5-6 hours
Today we walk upstream of Kali Gandaki completing the paperwork formalities in police check post. On the way, on the west bank of the river, we can see some caves and Gompa Kang. Most of the monasteries in Upper Mustang are of the Sakyapa sect, but the Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. We stop in Tangbe village for lunch, where we come across the first black, white and red Chortens that personify Upper Mustang. The little town is a maze of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buckwheat and barley and apple orchards. From there 2 hours walk bring us to the Chuksang village which is situated at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chuksang are some spectacular red eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 06: Trek to Samar (3,290m) 4-5 hours
We head continuing to north and reach the river. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of a tunnel and north from here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable by foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to the village of Chele. Watch out for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs here, which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele we climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Beyond the pass, we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major place to stop for horse and mule caravans.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 07: Trek to Geling (3,440m) 5-6 hours
We climb above Samar to the ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Syanbochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of Chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Syanbochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08: Trek to Ghami (3,460m) 5-6 hours
From Geling, the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. We then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La [3840m]. The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09: Trek to Charang (3,490m) 3-4 hours and explore charang
Today's walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, the loose and dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, more than compensates for the hard climb. Finally, we come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Trek to Lo Manthang (3,730m) 5-6 hours
We will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. Along the trail enjoy the magnificent view of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: In & around Lo Manthang
Today, you are free to explore the fascinating Village of Lo Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. Visit Namgyal Gompa situated on a hilltop serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After then visit 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 Thubchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall which are the main attraction of this town. Another attraction is the four- storey king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Trek to Lo Gekar & then to Ghami (3,460m) 5-6 hours
We begin our return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route. This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley, with snow clad peaks in the background. Passing the settlement of Lo Gekar, we continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch where the oldest monastery in Mustang and the oldest Tibetan monastery in the world, the Ghare Gompa also known as Lo Gekar Monastery is located nearby. After lunch, we walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Trek to Chele (3,050m) 7 hours
We will keep our views of Dhaulagiri and Nil Giri mountains and take lower trail via Rachen Gompa from Syanbochen, Rachen Gompa is mysterious gompa grown itself lap of the rocky cave, continue to Samar and then to Chele.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Trek to Muktinath (3,800m) 6 hours
Now we must retrace our route back over the Nyi La to Chuksang for awhile and then can take upper route to Muktinath- holiest temple worship by both Hindus and Buddhist. We may meet many Nepali and Indian devotees even walking on their bare feet.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Trek to Jomsom (2,760m) 5 hours
Today is the final day of our trek. After 5 hours walking along the Kaligandagi River bank with spectacular view of Nilgiri, Tukuche, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, we reach in Jomsom where we end our trek. It's now time for us to take a nice hot shower. In the evening, we celebrate the success of our long and adventurous trek of Upper Mustang with the Sherpas and porters. B
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara
After morning breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara, a 30-min 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. We make use of the rest afternoon for discovering the beautiful Pokhara valley leisurely. While we walk along the bank of Fewa Lake, a second biggest lake of Nepal, we cannot stop admiring the state of Fish Tail Mountain reflecting in the lake. We can also take a boat around the Fewa Lake or just can take an hour's walk to the World Peace Pagoda. Evening time, we spend exploring around the lakeside. 
Hotel Middle Path
Breakfast

Day 17: Drive back to Kathmandu
Today, after breakfast, we make a 200 kilometers drive back to Kathmandu. Better to hold on the left pane of the vehicle to enjoy the scenery 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 Black Diamond staffs.
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18:  Final Departure
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We take you to the airport for your flight time. We hope you enjoyed the trek, and are sure you will be back trekking somewhere in the Himalaya again. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Black Diamond will take 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.
Breakfast

Cost Includes

Price Includes:

  • All transfers, sightseeing, airport pick up and drop by private vehicle
  • Kathmandu to Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus
  • Domestic flights (Pokhara to Jomsom to Pokhara)
  • Domestic airport tax
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast (Hotel Encounter Nepal- www.encounternepal.com or Hotel Norbu Linka- www.hotelnorbulinka.com) or similar 3-star hotel as per availability.
  • 2 nights accommodation in Pokhara in 3-star hotel with breakfast
  • 12 nights accommodation in guest house/lodge
  • Welcome dinner in Nepalese Restaurant with cultural show
  • Farewell dinner
  • All meals during the trek (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • English Speaking Guide during sightseeing
  • Entrance fees in the monuments
  • An experienced guide, porters (1 porter for 2 people) during the trek
  • Salary, insurance, equipments, transportation, food and lodge for the guide and porters
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are needed to be returned)
  • All necessary paperwork and permits
  • Travel and rescue arrangement
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes.

Cost Excludes

Price Excludes:

  • International airfare
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and in Pokhara
  • Excess baggage charge
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
  • All kind of drinks
  • Extra night accommodation than the scheduled itinerary
  • Tips for guides, porters and driver

Accommodation

Twin sharing

Meals

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