Closed to the outside world for a long time, the hidden valley of Mustang won the hearts of adventure seekers and admirers of nature soon after it was opened for trekkers few years ago. The valley, an expansive high-altitude plain land beyond the Dhaulagiri summit, boasts a rich preserved culture close to the Tibetan culture. It can be accessed either from Pokhara or Besisahar via Manang.The Himalayan range, which appears towards north from most places of Nepal, appears towards south from Upper Mustang. Beautiful views of Mount Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri is seen from Upper Mustang. Lower Mustang Trekking is an easy trek and is also famous for pilgrimage to Muktinath temple, a holy place for the Hindus. Upper Mustang Trekking is more challenging and takes longer. It is exciting to adventure seekers, particularly because this area is completely untouched from the outside world. A trek to Upper Mustang requires a special permit from Nepal government.
Day 01: Kathmandu To Pokhara (827 m) Drive by bus
Day 02: Pokhara to Nayapul /Drive & Trek to Tikhedhunga
Day 03: Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani(2675 m)
Day 04: Ghorepani –PoonHill –Tatopani (1189 m)
Day 05: Tatopani to Ghasa(2013 m)
Day 06: Ghasa to Tukuche (2591 m)
Day 07: Tukuche to Kagbeni (2895 m)
Day 08: Kagbeni To Chuksang(2900 m)
Day 09: Chuksang to Samar(3150 m)
Day 10: Samar to Geling(3510 m)
Day 11: Geling to Ghami(3490 m)
Day 12: Ghami to Tsarang(3620 m)
Day 13: Tsarang to Lo Manthang(3730 m)
Day 14: Explore Lo Manthang
Day 15: Lo Manthang to Ghami (3520 m / 6hrs)
Day 16: Ghami to Samar (3540 m / 6hrs)
Day 17: Samar to Kagbeni.
Day 18: Kagbeni to Jomsom (2700 m / 4hrs)
Day 19: Flight: Jomsom to Pokhara fly (827 m / ½ hr)
Day 20: Pokhara to Kathmandu by bus.
Day 01: Kathmandu To Pokhara (827) Drive by bus
Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.) which takes about six hours. You depart for the six hours drive to Pokhara (915m,), 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. As you climb out of the Kathmandu valley, only to quickly descend again to the Trisuli River, you follow upstream to its junction with the Marsyangdi River. You follow the Marsyandi gently up through heavily terraced fields and small hill towns to the Seti River that takes you directly into Pokhara. Having pleasant weather, Pokhara is tourist's paradise with full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves, temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with mountains. You can observe views to the north across the hills and Phewa Taal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon to fall in love with its beauty. You can also fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara which takes about 25 minutes.
Day 02: Pokhara to Nayapul Drive and trek to Tikhedhunga
Trek from Pokhara (827 m.) to Nayapul (1050m.) by car which takes one and half hours drive. Now you begin your trek from Nayapul (1050m.) to Tikhedhunga (1577 m.) via Birethanti (1065m.) which takes about four and half hours. After breakfast at hotel you could drive by car or van for one and half hours to Nayapul. Then you start your trekking. The first part of your trek is easy passing through numerous small villages and settlements. Afterwards you could ascend gently to the final destination of the day. The majority people here are Gurung and their religion is Buddhist. They are engaged in agricultural activities, tourism business and some in Gorkha and Indian regiments.
Day 03: Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani(2675 m)
Trek from Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani (2675 m.) and it takes about six hours. To begin your trek, you could ascend steeply for the early 2 hours and then ascend gently passing through Ulleri (2070m.) and Banthanti, Magar villages. On the way, you could see good view of Machhapuchhre or Fish Tail (6997m.), Huinchuli (6441m.), and Annapurna (7219m.) South. Now your trail is quite easier passing through forest and descends gently up to the final camp. You could see some of the wild life such as monkey and various species of birds.
Day 04: Ghorepani –PoonHill –Tatopani (1189 m)
Early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m).This day you can enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhre (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other numerous snowcapped mountain peaks. After breakfast trek from Ghorepani to Tatopani [Natural Hot Spring] (1189m.). day at Tatopani to enjoy the natural hot spring bath. It is believed that one who takes bath get rids of skin diseases. After several days trekking, it is a great idea to take bath at hot spring and relax.
Day 05: Tatopani to Ghasa(2013m)
Trek from Tatopani to Ghasa (2013m.) and it takes about five hours. The followed route ascends gently up the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, towards the village of Dana, which is surrounded by orange groves. From autumn to winter, baskets of these oranges are offered for sale to passing travelers. Just beyond the small hamlet of Rupse, a thundering waterfall cascades down beside the trail. From here, the trail enters the steepest and narrowest section of the gorge, but the layered stone path is well-constructed and wide. When the rock cliffs end, we descend to the river before making the short climb back up to Ghasa. This is the first Thakali village we come across and the houses here are all built in the flat-roofed Tibetan style.
Day 06: Ghasa to Tukuche (2591m)
Trek from Ghasa to Tukuche (2591m.) which takes about six hours. The trail goes gentle uphill until you reach Lete (2480m.) crossing suspension bridge over Lete Khola (stream). On the way you find small towns with local shops and lodges and tea shops. From Lete you follow quite flat path all the way and cross suspension bridge, few tea shops, lodges, small streams and villages. For some distance you walk along the bank of Kali Gandaki river. Tukuche is a Thakali village. There are apple distillery, apple orchard, chortens, prayer flags, mani walls and farming terraces.
Day 07: Tukuche to Kagbeni (2895m)
Trek from Tukuche to Kagbeni (2895m.) via Jomsom (2713m.) and it takes about seven hours. The trails move through flat land till Jomsom. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang and it is split into two towns and between these two towns passes through Kali Gandaki river. There is access of internet and banking facilities. From Jomsom, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Nilgiri and Tilicho peak. Some part of your trek goes along the bank of Kali Gandaki river. En route you find farming terraces, apple orchard, monasteries, chortens, mani walls and prayer flags. You can enjoy the spectacular views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche peak and many other unnamed peaks and mountains. Now your trail again passes through the bank of Kali Gandaki passing through the Eklebhatti. The trail is windy after late morning. The river flows through broader course. Finally you reach Kagbeni following flat path. This is a small village mainly inhabited by Gurung. Here you find monastery, apple orchard, chortens, mani walls, prayer flags and farming terraces. From here Upper Mustang begins and it is known as restricted area for trekking. The trekkers need to receive special permit to trek in this area.
Day 08: Kagbeni To Chuksang(2900m)
Trek from Kagbeni to Chuksang(2900 m.) which takes about five hours. You trek right up the river valley, but you use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. You stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you come across the first black, white and red chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chusang village is only about 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe 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 Chusang are some spectacular red organe pipe eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves
Day 09: Chuksang to Samar(3150m)
Trek from Chuksang to Samar(3150 m.) and it takes about three and half hours. There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang do practice agriculture, but because of the lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is in sheltered plots of land, scattering the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, you reach a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of the tunnel and north of here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable on foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky alley to the village of Chele. Watch out here for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major stopping place for horse and mule caravans.
Day 10: Samar to Geling(3510m)
Trek from Samar to Geling (3510 m.) which takes about five hours. You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of chortens and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.
Day 11: Giling to Ghami(3490m)
Trek from Giling to Ghami (3490 m.) via Ghami La (3520m.) and it takes about five 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. You 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.
Day 12: Ghami to Tsarang(3620m)
Trek fram Ghami to Tsarang (3620 m.) which takes about five hours. Today's walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of your energy will be spent negotiating loose, 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, are a source of inspiration. Finally, you come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village is a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.
Day 13: Tsarang to Lo Manthang(3730m)
Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang [Mustang](3730 m.) and it takes about three hours. You will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner.
Day 14: Explore Lo Manthang
Camp at Lo-Manthang to observe the blood drinking festival. Visit nearby place of interests.
Day 15: Lo Manthang - Ghami (3520m / 6hrs)
This is an opportunity to visit two other villages on your return trek. The trail climbs steadily to the pass marked by a cairn, offering a last glimpse of Lo Manthang. Crossing a ridge at 4070m, the trail then bumpily to Gekar. Lo Gekar Gompa is one of the oldest gompas in Nepal. And is older than the famed Samye Gompa in Tibet. Passing through Thamar village, the steep trail finally reaches Ghami.
Day 17: Samar - Kagbeni (2800m / 5hrs)
Return trek to Kagbeni.
Day 18: Kagbeni – Jomsom (2700m / 4hrs)
Return trek to Jomsom.
Day 19: Jomsom - Pokhara fly (960m / ½ hr)
After breakfast drive to airport to fly towards Kathmandu.
Day 20: Pokhara Kathmandu Drive
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu and it takes about seven hours.
Trip Destination: Nepal
Total Duration: 20 Days
Trek Duration: 16 Days
Group Size : Minimum 2
Best Season: Spring and autumn
Max. Altitude : 4200m
Accommodation: Teahouse and Lodge
Transportation: Domestic Flight