Upper Mustang trek starts with an 18 minutes spectacular flight to Jomsom, the district capital of Mustang. The flight navigates through the valley wedged between Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Annapurna (8,091m) to Jomsom at 2,800 m. The journey further follows upstream Kaligandaki past honeycomb cave settlements and Tibetan Buddhist villages with mystic monasteries and ruins of fortresses. The eroding, arid landscape has deep canyons making the trekking route twisty and full of steep ups and downs.
Mustang is an almost rectangular landmass protruding into Tibet in the trans-Himalayas of Nepal. Geographically and culturally Mustang is Tibet but politically it is in Nepal.
Day 01: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2,800m/9,212ft)Take an early morning flight to Jomsom (2,705m/8,900ft), the administrative centre for the Mustang district of Nepal. En-route we fly between Annapurna I (8,055m/26,500ft) and Dhaulagiri (8,146m/26,800ft). We will meet our porters in Jomsom and trek 8km (4hrs) to Kagbeni, which is situated at the confluence of the Jhong Khola (river) and the Kali Gandaki River.
Day 02: Trek to Chele (3,050m/10,035ft)The trek to Chele is 18km (7 hrs) from Kagbeni, where we head north along the Kali Gandaki River. The trail goes up and down for two hrs to avoid the many river crossings, and then climbs steeply to a plateau avoiding a vertical-walled bluff ahead. From here it is a gradual climb to Tangbe (4 hrs). The trail climbs to 3,100m/10,199ft and then drops steeply to the banks of the Kali Gandaki. We will walk along the river bed crossing to the western bank before making a small climb to Chele.
Day 03: Eklo Bhatti (3,820m/12,568ft)The trail climbs to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, Nilgiri and Damodar Danda. It then descends a little to the village of Samar, altogether three hrs from Chele. Between Samar and Geling the trail remains over 3,700m/12,173ft, so the group should be well acclimatized to camp in between. The first campsite arrives after two hrs of climbing (mostly gradual), but only provides camping for a few tents. Another campground with nicer prospects is just one hour further.
Day 04: Ghame (3,520m/11,581ft)The trail gently climbs to the Yamda La (3,850m /12,667ft) passing teahouses, chortens and Tibetan-influenced villages, and crosses over a few other passes. The longer climb will be to Nyi Pass (4,010m/13,193ft) after lunch, the trail then steeply descends to Ghame.
Day 05: Tsarang (3,500 m/11,515ft)This is an easy trekking day of 11km (4 hrs) to Tsarang. After crossing Ghame Khola below Ghame, the trail climbs to a plateau and passes beside a very long mani wall. From the end of the wall the trail heads east to Tsarang, gradually climbing and then descending.
Day 06: Lomanthang (3,700 m/12,173ft)The 13km (5 hrs) trek to Lomangthang hosts magnificent views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Tsarang 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 Lomanthang Valley. While descending to Lomangthang, views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border.
Day 07: Lomanthang, Upper MustangExplore the eastern valleys and the Nyphu and Gharphu Monasteries before returning to Lomangthang. This trip is 12km (5-6 hrs) round trip.
Day 08: Lomanthang, Upper MustangThis will be another roundtrip day excursion to explore Namgyal, Tingkar and the valleys to the west (7km/4-5 hrs).
Day 09: Trek to Yara village (3,838m / 12,550 feet) | 6 hrs
Day 10: Visit Luri Gompa & back to Yara village | 7 hrs
Day 11: Trek to Tangbe (3,240m/10,595 feet) | 6 hrs
Day 12: Tangbe to Tetang (2,970m/9,744 feet) | 7 hrs
Day 13: Tetang to Jomsom (2,720m/8,894 feet), 7 hrs
Day 14: Fly back to Pokhara | Overnight in Pokhara
Mustang trek with us:
- Benjamin R
Lonely planet has listed Mustang trek in third position under its list of 'Best in Travel 2013'. The extensive road expansion will soon change its essence. So this is last chance to see Mustang.
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