17 days Upper Mustang Trek with Itinerary and Cost - Sherpa Wonders

UPPER MUSTANG TREK

17Days

From US $2100

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The sacred, isolated Upper Mustang is tucked away on the less-traveled, “hidden” side of the Annapurna/Dhaulagiri Mustang District in the Himalayas. Despite being geographically located in Nepal, the region encircled by this trek bears a palpable Tibetan influence. Experience the spiritual wonder of thousand-year old monasteries, as well as chortens and gompas that all but blend into the landscape. This circuit is one off the beaten path in terms of Himalayan adventures, and the remoteness can be appreciated in the barren, undisturbed views and isolation of the traditional villages we visit. We organize this trek as either a camping trek, or a teahouse/lodge trek – the choice is up to you, and depends solely upon your wishes for exploring the culture and landscape.

Trek Facts

Diffucult level

Moderate +

Max. Elevation

3800m/12,540ft

Trip Length

17Days

Comfort

teahouse

Location

Mustang Region

Itinerary

  • 1Welcome to Kathmandu
  • 2Drive to Pokhara
  • 3Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
  • 4Trek to Chele
  • 5Trek to Syangboche
  • 6Trek to Ghami
  • 7Trek to Tsarang
  • 8Trek to Lo Manthang
  • 9Rest day at Lo Manthang.
  • 10Trek to Tamar
  • 11Trek to Syangbuche
  • 12Trek to Chhuksang
  • 13Trek to Muktinath
  • 14Trek to Jomsom
  • 15Fly to Pokhara
  • 16Drive or Fly to Kathmandu
  • 17Departure Day.

DAY 1 – WELCOME TO KATHMANDU

Elevation: 1,350m/4,428ft

Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, we will be there to welcome and transport you to your hotel in Thamel. The tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to shop for last minute trekking gears and grab your first local Nepalese meal. Then, if it’s not too late, (depending on your arrival time), you can explore the city. In the evening, your trek guide will also organise a trek briefing to talk about the essentials of your trek.

DAY 2 - KATHMANDU TO POKHARA

Elevation: 820 m/2,690 ft

Drive  Distance:  7 – 8 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse


We board the bus to Pokhara at around 6:00am today. The overland trip takes about six hours, leaving you the rest of the day to explore this popular city and ready yourself for the official start of our trek tomorrow. 

DAY 3 - POKHARA TO JOMSOM, JOMSOM TO KAGBENI

Elevation: Jomsom (2,720 m/8,923 ft)  trek to Kagbeni (2,800 m/9,186 ft

Walking Distance:  4hours

Accommodation: Teahouse


We hop a brief flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, where our trek officially begins – it’s just 20 or 25 minutes in the air, but it’s an exciting burst! You’ll see the world’s deepest gorge from overhead, and drink in spectacular aerial views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, the Annapurna range, and “Fishtail” Mountain. We set out on foot from Jomsom, the seat of the Kali Gandaki valley. We’ll trek 3-4 hours in the direction of Kagbeni, the checkpoint for the restricted trail to the Upper Mustang. We’ll enjoy gorgeous mountain views on our first walk, and end the night in a cozy tea house or lodge.

DAY 4 - KAGBENI TO CHELE

Elevation: 3,050 m/10,006 ft

Walking Distance: 6 – 7 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse


We kick off early again today! The Upper Mustang distinguishes itself from other Himalayan treks with a high wind that tends to get going later in the day. Consequently, we take advantage of the clement mornings as much as we can. Plus, we get the opportunity to watch the sun rising over Nilgiri. We start trekking along the east bank of the river, ending up in the Chuksang Valley and crossing the Kali Gandaki. The trail ascends to flat, dry land with the red sandstone pillars and colorful rock formations that are emblematic of the Mustang region. We’ll pass the village of Tangbe first, and then attain Chele with its stunning Himalayan views. 

DAY 5 - CHELE TO SYANGBOCHE

Elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft

Walking Distance: 6 – 7 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse 

The trail curves westward today, and we climb steeply until we can see Jayakar peering back over the other side of a deep canyon. We follow the gorge at a right-hand turn in the trail to a very steep drop, and then cross a high pass with a great view of Samar and many snow-capped peaks. After passing Samar we come across Rangchyung chorten, the red-painted cave monastery and one of the Mustang region’s holiest sites. The name translates as, “the chorten that formed itself,” owing to the unusual development of stalagmites inside. Over the years, prayer flags and clay statues left by pilgrims have accumulated in the chorten. The final wal to Syangboche can feel longer than it actually is, owing to the fact that this leg of the trek involves near-constant ascent with no destination in sight. The chill of the higher altitude is with us when we finally get to the small village.

DAY 6 - SYANGBOCHE TO GHAMI

Elevation: 3,520 m/11,548 ft

Walking Distance:  4-5 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

Today’s trek kicks off eventfully – within the first fifteen minutes of walking, we will have already encountered the first of three (!) high passes we’ll have to negotiate today. After braving Yanda La, we pass a distinctive red chorten emblazoned with an octet of auspicious Buddhist symbols. Two red gompas mark the entrance to the sprawling, thriving village of Ghelung. The brown hills rising beyond the village hearken the Nyi La pass, followed fairly quickly by the Ghami La pass. We cross another broad valley and then arrive in Ghami, another of the largest villages in the Mustang. 

DAY 7 - GHAMI TO TSARANG

Elevation: 3,560 m/11,679 ft

Walking Distance: 4-5 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

The longest mani wall in the Mustang is found just outside Ghami, followed by a cluster of chortens surrounding the red wall that marks the end of the valley. The structures are notable for blending seamlessly in with the landscape. We climb steadily today, ending on a high pass that leads to a lunar-esque landscape rolling with barren hills and strange, eerie beauty. We’ll know we’re re-approaching civilization when we spot the distinctive, red-painted Tsarang chorten, which designates the entrance to Tsarang village.

DAY 8- 9 - TSARANG TO LO MANTHANG, ACCLIMATIZATION DAY

Elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft

Walking Distance:  )4 – 5 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

Uninterrupted barrenness awaits us on our long trek today. The terrain is flat and the view is one of unbroken isolation. The village of Lo Manthang, our stopping point, is flanked by two large rocks forming a natural gate. We’ll linger here for two days as we acclimatize to the higher elevation and rest our tired legs! This gives you the chance to explore the village and the surrounding area. 

DAY 10 - LO MANTHANG TO TAMAR

Accommodation: Teahouse

Fragrant juniper pastures scent our way to Tamar, and the official turning point of our trek. We’ll get to look back at Lo Manthang as we head back the same side of the Kali Gandaki by which we first approached, avoiding the more remote and strenuous path to the east. We bid farewell to the Plain of Prayers and start ascending towards Lugri La pass, and its associated monastery. Tamar is not far, now, and your eyes will delight in the more varied landscape of the northwest. Leaving the monastery, we have a short but steep walk down the yellow canyon to Tamar, seeing fields in the southern and western part of the valley and large red vertical cliffs in the North West. After so many days of uninterrupted red earth and few color contrasts, the combination of red rock, blue sky, green grass and white yaks seems very intense!

DAY 11 - TAMAR TO SYANGBOCHE

Elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft

Walking Distance:  5-6 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

With Nilgiri visible again, we pass yet more caves on our way back south. A gradual uphill climb brings us above Ghami, affording sights of the village, the long mani wall, and the pass we climbed five days ago! Navigating two more passes rewards us with splendid views of the Annapurna range. Next, we reach Ja Myung, a village situated at the fork between Ghelung and Syangboche. We’ll first detour to Ghelung, to pass two notable gompas and a monastery, and then rejoin the traditional path to Syangboche. 

DAY 12 - SYANGBOCHE TO CHHUKSANG

Elevation: 2,980 m/9,776 ft

Walking Distance: 6 – 7 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

Vigorous trekking again awaits us today, as we pass Samar and then Gaikar on the return trail. We’ll savor exquisite views of Tilicho and Nilgiri, and then rest at Chaile for lunch. We are now returning the way we came, although, in the tradition of trekking everywhere, it will feel quite different from the same route we hiked in the opposite direction. Views are different, and perspectives change after many days in the wilderness. 

DAY 13 - CHHUKSANG TO MUKTINATH

Elevation:  3,760m/12,408ft

Walking Distance:  6-7 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

Our departure today treats us to a good view of the village of Tetang, which consists of two separate settlements surrounded by high walls. From a distance, it resembles nothing so much as a large fort! The ascent to the next plateau is steep and the trail here can be tough to follow!. Luckily, our next leg brings an easy walk over a plain.We’ll need it to prepare for three hours of steep uphill hiking, at the top of which we’re treated to stunning views of Thorung, Tilicho, and Annapurna. After this, it’s an easy enough walk to Muktinath, which is strongly associated with local legend and spiritual lore. 

DAY 14 - MUKTINATH TO JOMSOM

Elevation: 2,720m/8,976ft

Walking Distance:  6 hours

Accommodation: Teahouse

Today is our final day of hiking, and we kick it off early to appreciate the majesty of Dhaulagiri backlit by the warm rays of the rising sun. We’ll treat ourselves to a side trip to the Bon Punt monastery in Lubra before walking back to Jomsom. After Lubra, the trail leads to the Kali Gandaki and the river Panga – we’ll have to leap over it a couple of times before the day is through! Where the two rivers meet, we join the main trekking path back to Jomsom.

DAY 15 - JOMSOM TO POKHARA

Elevation:  820 m/2,690 ft

Accommodation: local hotel

We’re up very early again for a Jomsom-Pokhara flight, only this time flying in reverse of the way we came two weeks ago! After bringing you to your hotel, you’ll have ample time to explore Pokhara’s stunning scenery and rich cultural attractions at your own pace. 

DAY 16 - POKHARA TO KATHMANDU

Elevation: 1,350m/4,428ft

Driving Distance:  6-7 hours

Accommodation: local hotel

We’ll return to Kathmandu from Pokhara today, either by bus or small plane. One is longer than the other, but both afford heartstopping mountain views that you will treasure on this, your last full day in Nepal. In celebration of an amazing trip, you’ll be our guests tonight as we host a farewell dinner at an excellent Nepalese restaurant in town. 

DAY 17 - KATHMANDU: DEPARTURE DAY

We bid you farewell today as our travels together draw to a close. We’ll get you to the airport, or simply say goodbye as you move on to your next adventure. Remember to trade email addresses with members of your tour group! We always appreciate our guests’ feedback, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on the trekking experience.

What is covered on this trek

Accomodation
Meals
Local Experts
Gears
Permits
Experience

Cost Includes

  • All airport transfers from arrival to departure
  • Standard hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin share basis.
  • 12 day trek, all accommodations and meals included
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Pokhara
  • Full board meals while trekking (breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
  • Accommodation at local tea house while on this community trail trekking.
  • Farewell dinner as listed in the itinerary.
  • Private transportation to and from the starting and ending points of the trek as applicable.
  • Gears – sleeping bag, fleece inner liner, down jacket, duffle bag etc for the use during the trip.
  • Professional and experienced Trek Leader / Guide trained in Wilderness First Aid with comprehensive medical kit box
  • Trek guide and other support staff.
  • Porters to carry all personal gear and group equipment.
  • Proper Insurance of all staff including porters.
  • Warm clothing and trekking gear for staff including porters.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information and trip dossiers.
  • TIMS / Trekking permit.

Cost Excludes

  • Nepal entry Visa fees
  • Your travel insurance of any kind.
  • International Airfare
  • All drinks and main meals in cities.
  • Tips and Items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, beverage drinks & alcohol etc

 

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