UPPER MUSTANG CAMPING TREK

  • Days:19 Days
  • Difficulty:Moderate to strenuous
  • Country:Nepal
  • Activity:Trekking & Hiking
  • Max Altitude:4322m/14,181ft
  • Accomodation:Camping Tents and Lodges
  • Best Season:Mar-May, August-Nov
  • Meals:B,L,D
5/5 Stars form 13 reviews
Trekking & Hiking
19 Days Days Trip For

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UPPER MUSTANG CAMPING TREK-19 Days Day/s

  • (9 Reviews)

Accomodation

  • Hotels & Lodges

Meals

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Duration

19 Days

Days

Trip Introduction

The Upper Mustang Camping Trek is a spectacular journey through the rugged terrain and ancient culture of the Upper Mustang region in Nepal. You’ll traverse the Kali Gandaki Valley, pass through historic settlements and monasteries, and witness some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, including the high-altitude desert of Lo Manthang. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to experience the unique cultural heritage of the region and connect with local people, while enjoying comfortable, traditional teahouses and breathtaking camping sites. This trek is a must for any adventurous traveler looking to experience the best that Nepal has to offer.

 

Trip Highlights

  • Experiencing the unique and ancient culture of the Lopas, who have maintained their traditions for centuries.
  • Enjoying breathtaking views of the Central Nepal Himalayas, including the snowy massifs of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
  • Meeting the local people in their picturesque villages and farms and learning about their way of life.
  • Exploring ancient temples and monasteries that are lost in time and steeped in history.
  • Visiting the 500-year-old walled city and capital of the Kingdom of Mustang, Lo Manthang, which was previously closed to foreigners until 1991.

 

19 Days of walking
Pace

Terrain

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Kathmandu! A Company representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Late in the afternoon or early evening, there will be a briefing on the trek arrangements and important information about your stay in Nepal.

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Day 2

In the late morning, we take a scenic flight to Pokhara (2,700′), passing over the deep valleys and rivers of central Nepal and taking in views of the Ganesh, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna Himals. After checking into our lovely hotel we’ll enjoy a poolside lunch. This evening, you’ll enjoy a tour of the hostel and cultural show with the group and all the kids at Lama Pasang’s Children’s Care Home.

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Day 3

From Pokhara we take a very early 17 minute flight up the spectacular Kali Gandaki Gorge lying between the peaks of Dhaulagiri (26,788′) and Annapurna (26,538′) to Jomsom (9,053′), the administrative center of the Mustang district. Upon arrival, we meet our trekking staff and begin hiking along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni (9,315′), a medieval looking village that is the “gateway” to Mustang. We are now in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, and it’s easy to see how closely this area geographically resembles Tibet. The peak of Nilgiri (23,166’) dominates the southern skyline. (3 – 3 ½ hours hiking.)

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Day 4

We travel by jeep to the village of Tangbe (10,037′) and take in our first views of the uniquely colored chortens and landscapes of Upper Mustang, where beautiful red, yellow, and brown sandstone pillars rise from a barren, desert-like terrain. We’ll continue driving to Chhuksang (9,774′), at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Narshing Khola rivers. From here we leave our jeep and start hiking north. We’ll cross the Kali Gandaki before a short steep climb brings us to the village of Chele (10,168′), from where we’ll have a magnificent view of the southern valley of the Kali Gandaki. Continuing west from Chele, we make a steep climb that leads to a cairn from where we’ll see the village of Ghyakar (11,683′) and its surrounding fields across a massive canyon. The climb continues on a long, steep, dry trail and winds up the side of a deep canyon. After crossing a ridge, we enter a large side valley, gradually descending to our lodge at Samar (11,874′). Once a trading post for horse caravans, Samar is an oasis surrounded by groves of poplar trees amid the arid landscape. Overnight at camp. (Jeep ride: 2 hours. (4 – 4 ½ hours hiking.)

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Day 5

After breakfast, we take an alternate route to the main road in order to visit an ancient cave, Chungsi, that houses the Rhangchung Chorten (meaning “the chorten that built itself or appeared by a miracle”), hidden away in a deep canyon. We take a sharp descent to cross a ravine, then we deviate off the main trail, cross an even deeper ravine, then start the long hike up to a pass from where we will have a great view of the canyon to our north and east and of the snowcapped mountains to the south. After a very steep descent, we finally reach the cave monastery, which looks as if it’s growing out of the vertical wall. The cave, decorated with khatas (ceremonial scarves), numerous chortens, and  other ritual items, is believed to have been visited by Padmasambhava, the Indian saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet. After visiting the cave, we head north to Syangmochen. The trail passes through an area of small trees and green bushes in the narrowing gorge before it broadens into a valley. After a long gradual climb we arrive at Shyangmochen where we stop for lunch. After lunch we head to our camp at the scenic village of Geling (11,710′) with its poplar trees and vast, fertile fields. The main monastery overlooks the whitewashed houses that dot the valley. (7 – 7 ½ hours hiking.)

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Day 6

From Geling, we climb across the Karki La pass (13,186’), the southern boundary of the Mustang proper, and descend to the large village of Ghemi (11,513′) where we enjoy a hot lunch. We’ll then cross the Drakmar Chu River over a suspension bridge and walk above the most impressive and longest stretch of Mani wall (boulders with carved Buddhist prayer inscriptions) in Upper Mustang. Leaving the main trail ascend to the secluded village of Drakmar (12,529′), set under magnificent red sandstone cliffs dotted with numerous cave openings. We may possibly see blue sheep from this camp! (6 – 6 ½ hours hiking.)

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Day 7

A morning hike through amazing rock formations brings us to a beautiful ridge with magnificent view of the Annapurna range. We descend gradually to the ancient town of Tsarang (11,677′), with its picturesque entry portal. Nearby is a five-story dzong (fortress-monastery), formerly the home of the kings of Mustang, and the vast red Dorje Dhen Gompa, which we will visit before enjoying a hot lunch. After lunch we climb gradually up the valley through the village of Marang from where we get our first view of the famous Ghar Gompa, also known as Lo Gekar, meaning “true virtue of Lo.” This is the oldest monastery (Nyingma sect) established in the 8th century by Padmasambhava, in an effort to pacify the “demons” that were hindering the construction of the Samye monastery in Tibet, which is often considered to be the first monastery in the Tibetan region. The gompa was restored with the funding of the American Himalayan Foundation. We’ll camp above the gompa and make time for a visit. (7 hours hiking.)

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Day 8

After crossing several valleys, we reach the Chogo La pass (14,186′), the highest pass on the entire trek. After a long gradual descent, we finally get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang in the distance, set among the fields and poplar trees. A steady descent brings us to our hotel just outside the walled town. (4 ½ – 5 hours hiking.)

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Day 9

We take a day off from hiking to explore Lo Manthang, one of the last walled cities in Asia. We’ll start with visits to its two major 15th century monasteries: Thugchen Gompa and Champa Lhakhang. Because of their remoteness, these monasteries have remained unaffected by modern times and entering them is like walking into another world, one heavy with incense and flickering yak butter lamps. When the chanting of monks or the moan of the long Tibetan horns is added to this, it’s possible to lose oneself in reverie for a long period of time! Thugchen Gompa, located near the center of town, contains fine Buddhist murals in its massive assembly hall that is supported by 35 tall, wooden columns. Sakyamuni, the main deity of Thubchen, is depicted with other deities such as Avalokiteshwora and Padmasambhava. The three-storied Champa Lhakhang, whose walls are painted with intricate mandalas, opens to a central courtyard supported by carved wooden pillars and contains a fifty-foot-tall image of Maitreya, the future Buddha. It sits on a pedestal that occupies the entire ground floor and is the largest clay statue in Nepal. A team of conservation architects has restored both monasteries with funding provided by the American Himalayan Foundation. We also visit the Choedhe monastic school. Although the monarchy of Mustang officially ended in 2008 by order of the Government of Nepal, the former official Raja Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista was recognized by Mustang residents as the king until he passed away in December 2016. He traced his lineage back to Ame Pal, who founded the kingdom of Lo in the 14th century. (Note—The PBS documentaries Journey of Transformation and The Lost Treasures of Tibet are about Mustang and the restoration projects of this fragile area.)

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Day 10

We leave Lo Manthang today, climbing up the pass overlooking Lo Manthang and continuing a while before walking down toward the Kali Gandaki Gorge.

The dry and dusty trail is steep and winding, with a clear view straight down to the rooftops of the village below. The final section of the trail drops sharply to the village of Dhi (11,119′), set by the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. Like most of the settlements along this river, Dhi is marked by a patchwork of fertile fields and trees. After a well-deserved break here, we’ll hike up to the village of Yara to camp. Just before reaching Yara, we will see an incredible series of gigantic 300-foot-high wind-scoured cliffs resembling giant organ pipes. The cliffs are dotted with numerous cave openings and offer one of Upper Mustang’s most spectacular sights. (7-8 hours hiking.)

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Day 11

Today we enjoy a side hike to the ancient Luri Gompa cave monastery (13,317′), one of the few remaining cave monasteries in the world. Luri remains one of the only monasteries in the region belonging to the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and consists of a series of interconnected chapels covering various levels, all carved out of the cliff. The inner room contains a large chorten painted with deities. Kashmiri-style paintings of exquisite flowers, deities, and various figures of Indian origin cover the dome-shaped roof and the west wall. We return to camp at the end of the hike. (5-6 hours hiking.)

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Day 12

From Yara, we head south to Dhechyang Khola, our trail winding steeply uphill before opening to magnificent views of the landscape below. We’ll then continue downhill into the village of Tangge, a hamlet whose homes form a fort nestled below cliffs eroded into massive columns. The view of the settlement with its groups of chortens and mani walls of various sizes and shapes is stunning! Our camp is set in a walled compound to protect us from the dry winds of Mustang. (8 hours hiking

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Day 13

On our way out of Tangge, we’ll take an atmospheric walk through town past narrow rows of houses, under buildings, and up alleys, and past the mani walls and chortens to join the trail leading down to the Tangge Khola, where we’ll cross a suspension bridge. We’ll hike above the village and then descend again to the wide rocky plain of the Yak Khola. After one more river crossing, we’ll begin a steep ascent. Once we reach the prayer flag-adorned summit of Pha la (13,720’) we make a short descent to our beautiful camp just below the other side of the pass near the only water source

on this part of the trek. After a hot lunch in camp we’ll relax and enjoy stunning views of the canyon below. (5 hours hiking.)

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Day 14

Today, the trail winds uphill, opening to exceptional views of the whole of Mustang Valley, extending to the northern border beyond Lo Manthang. Some sections of the trail are fairly narrow, and care must be taken here, as the scenery is so dramatic you may be tempted to venture too close to the edge of the 3,000-foot gullies dropping down to the river below. Soon, the trail veers away from the rim and opens to the extraordinary southern view of the Kali Gandaki Valley below as it cuts between the Annapurnas, Nilgiris, and Dhaulagiri. To the east, an array of peaks surrounds the

famous Thorang La pass (17,764′). From this viewpoint, our descent begins along a steep and rough trail with loose scree. Eventually the trail flattens out on a plateau and splits in two. The right fork leads to Chhusang, while the left one leads on to Tetang. Tonight, we’ll stay in a small lodge in the village of Chhusang. (6-7 hours hiking.)

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Day 15

From here we drive about 1 hour to the edge Jomsom, enjoying wonderful views of the Nilgiris (23,160′ and 22,763′), we’ll hike 30 minutes into town and overnight at a lodge. Tonight we will enjoy our farewell dinner with our staff. (Jeep ride: 2 hours. Hiking time: 30 minutes.)

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Day 16

Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (weather permitting)*. Transfer to hotel. Lunch and dinner at hotel. The afternoon is free to shop and explore Pokhara.  *Flights in and out of Jomsom’s tiny mountain airstrip are commonly delayed. We have scheduled an extra day at the end of the trek so as not to interfere with your homeward-bound flights.

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Day 17

A 25-minute flight brings us back to Kathmandu. The afternoon is free to relax or do some lastminute shopping or sightseeing on your own. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner.

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Day 18

Fly home Transfer to the airport and depart Kathmandu on homeward-bound flights.

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NOTE:

During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors,that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

 

Join our Fixed Departure

TRIP DATES PRICE SPACE LEFT
September 19, 2024 - October 7, 2024 $ 4500 05-15 person Book Now

Included

  • Arrival and Departure: Pick-up and drop-off from the airport to the hotel.
  • Hotel Accommodation: Twin sharing room with bed and breakfast basis in Kathmandu.
  • Permit: All necessary permits including special Mustang permits, TIMS permit, and conservation entry fees.
  • Insurance: Comprehensive insurance coverage for all Nepalese staff during the trek.
  • Member Transportation: Domestic airfare from Kathmandu to pokhara to Jomsom and return with a guide as per the itinerary.
  • Ground Transportation as mention in the Itinerary. Staff Transportation and  necessary equipment for all.
  • Member Luggage: Each member is allowed up to 15 kg of personal baggage during the trek, carried by porters.
  • Lodging and Food: Accessible accommodation in Camping with 3 meals a day (B/L/D) during the trek.
  • Guide Cook and Helpers : One English-speaking guide,  kitchen staffs, personal camping cooks and pony’s to carry loads during the trek.
  • Staff Salary and Allowance: Daily wages, salary, food, and accommodation for all Nepalese staff.
  • First Aid Kit: A well-stocked first aid kit will be available for emergencies.

Excluded

  • Airfare and Visa: International flight fares to/from Kathmandu and Nepal entry visa fees.
  • Personal Transportation: Any personal transportation beyond the aforementioned programs.
  • Lunch and Dinner: Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara and during early returns from the trek.
  • Extra Night in Kathmandu: Any extra nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara due to early arrivals, late departures, or early returns from the trek.
  • Rescue Evacuation: Medical insurance and emergency rescue evacuation costs if required, including rescue, repatriation, medication, medical tests, and hospitalization costs.
  • Personal Expenses: Telephone, internet, battery recharge, shower, laundry, alcoholic beverages, boiled water, beer, coke, and personal trekking gear and equipment.
  • Tips: Tips for guides, cooks, and staff.

Note: Any other services not mentioned in the included or excluded services list will not be covered and will be the responsibility of the trekker.

Route Map


Altitude Map

Accommodations

General Trekking Equipments

                  

S.N Particular

 

Quantity Type Remarks
1 Woolen Cap     1
2 Sunglasses     1  UV protected
3 Bob Scarf/buff Mask     1
4 Warm down Jacket     1
5 Thermal Inner Layer  2 pairs
6 Gloves  1 pair
7 Sleeping Bag    1 20 + Degrees
8 Trekking Trousers & Inner Vest As per necessity
9 Trekking Shoes  1 pair   Full Ankle
10 Woolen Socks 3/4 pairs
11 Trekking Poles  1 pair
12 Water Bottle    1    Thermos  1 L+
13 Waterproof Jacket    1
14 Slippers  1 pair
15 Sun Block    1     SPF 30
16 Personal First Aid Kit    1
17 Trekking Bag    1    Rucksack  50 L+
18 Area Map    1
19 Head Light with extra battery    1

 

General Trekking Info


  1. Trekking at high altitudes requires warm clothing to protect you from the cold. A down jacket with a hood is a must for altitudes above 4,000 m. You can rent a down jacket for USD 30-40 based on trekking days, but please note that in case of loss or damage, you will need to reimburse the cost of USD 150 per item.


  2. A good quality sleeping bag is essential for a comfortable night’s sleep during the trek. You can rent a 4-season sleeping bag for USD 30-40 based on trekking days, but again, if you lose or damage the sleeping bag, you will need to reimburse the cost of USD 150 per item.


  3. Before embarking on your trek, make sure to acclimatize to the altitude by spending a few days in Kathmandu. This will help your body adjust to the change in altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.


  4. It is essential to have proper trekking shoes that are comfortable and provide good traction. Make sure to break in your shoes before the trek to avoid blisters and discomfort.


  5. The weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, so it is crucial to pack for different weather conditions. Layers of clothing, including a waterproof jacket and pants, are recommended.


  6. Trekking poles can be a lifesaver, especially when trekking uphill or downhill. They help reduce the pressure on your knees and provide extra stability.


  7. It is important to stay hydrated while trekking. Carry a water bottle or bladder with you and make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Avoid drinking untreated water and carry water purification tablets or a water filter.


  8. Toiletries like wet wipes and hand sanitizer are essential, especially when there is no access to running water. It is also important to carry toilet paper and dispose of it properly.


  9. Trekking in the Himalayas can be physically demanding, so it is essential to be in good physical shape. Regular exercise and cardiovascular training can help prepare your body for the trek.


  10. Respect the local culture and traditions by learning a few words in the local language and dressing modestly. Avoid giving money or sweets to children, as it can encourage a culture of begging.


  11. Trekking in the Himalayas can be an unforgettable experience, so take the time to enjoy the scenery and immerse yourself in the local culture. Take plenty of pictures, but remember to be respectful of the local customs and traditions.

 

FAQ

You can apply visa to Nepal through embassy or other diplomatic mission to your country also you can obtain tourist visa upon arrival at Kathmandu airport. If you prefer to use a visa service you will find many by searching on the internet, one in particular we have found reliable is CIBT: https://cibtvisas.com/

Yes, it is compulsory you should arrange your travel insurance and please insure your chosen policy also covers helicopter and medical rescue and repatriation costs.

In Kathmandu or in other cities we use 5-star hotels and in trekking or in remote areas we provide the highest quality available.

Between 1000m and 3500m the temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to 5 deg C low. At higher altitude, the temperature ranges from 20 deg C to -10 deg C. During winter it is around 10 deg colder.

Nepal is Greenwich Mean Time plus five hours and 45 minutes. That means if it’s 8:00pm in Kathmandu, it’s 9:15am in New York and 6:15am in California.

Nepal is on the 220V system. Sockets are usually the three-pin variety, but they vary. If you are planning to use something like a hairdryer or electric shaver at the hotel, bring a converter and a selection of plug adapters.

There are varieties of Food item so menu will be provided to all the clients and they can order their food according to the menu.

As long as you are in good physical shape, you do not require any hiking experience for short treks. If you are planning a trek longer than a week, you should work out or do long day hikes at home.

You should bring a one-litre water bottle with you on the trek. We prefer that you purify water yourself using iodine in order to save scarce fuel. You can also buy mineral water bottles or boiled water during the trek.

Yes, we will provide you a domestic sim card or a satellite phone from which you can make international calls. You can also buy a domestic sim card on your own in Kathmandu.

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