Upper Mustang Trek with Yara - 16 Days

based on 3 reviews
  • Duration 16 Days
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
  • Destination Nepal
  • Trip Type Lodge Based Trekking
  • Best Season March - Nov
  • Group Size 16
  • Maximum Altitude 4,260 m

Highlights

  • Kali Gandaki River Gorge – The deepest gorge in the world 
  • Majestic view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs including Nilgiri and Annapurna I, II, III
  • An ancient walled town of Lo Manthang which was believed to be built by Ame Pal back in 1380
  • An ancient cave dwelling of Chosar 
  • Luri Gompa – an ancient monastery filled with artifacts, Buddhist frescos and chortens

A journey to Upper Mustang is an extremely rewarding classic trek that provides a very different setting than the more usual ones Nepal is known for. With its heart-stopping views of milky peaks, desert landscapes, brown rolling hills and deep rooted cultural practices that remain intact, the Upper Mustang Trek is a true gateway to ancient Nepal –The region lies in the northern section of Kali Gandaki Gorge between Tibet and Himalayas – and at time you feel you are almost from another world. our trail follows The Ghandaki Valley with occasional excursions high above the valley walls.

It is an amazing journey through an arid and parched landscape where treeless barren hills with remote clustered villages of stone and bricks have stood for centuries. Small settlements of white washed houses, set amongst barely fields and chortens; all decorated with colorful prayer flags.

If you enjoy seclusion this ancient Buddhist Kingdom rarely fails to excite the inquisitive traveler. The original name for the region is Lo and it used to be part of Tibetan empire and consequently closely influenced by the Tibetan culture, language and geography. The early history of Lo is filled with myths and legends. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche confronted a demon among Mustang’s snow capped mountains, desert canyons and meadows. He killed the demon and threw its body across the Mustang valley – the blood changed into the towering red cliffs and its intestines tumbled near to Ghami where the longest stone prayer wall was built.

Our destination is Lo Manthang, the capital of Upper Mustang. The town was built on the orders of the first King of Lo in 1380 A.D. ThaKali A Maize of gompas (religious shrines) and houses surround the king’s palace with the town itself contained within the eight meters high and 700 meters long boundary wall. Along the periphery of the boundary wall are a series of 14 guard towers, built to protect the town from its many envious enemies of the past.

Trekking to Upper Mustang has been restricted for outsiders in order to protect its fragile ecology and diverse culture. Trekkers need to obtain special trekking permit to enter the region.

Itinerary

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One of us from Gateway trekking will welcome you at Kathmandu airport for the transfer to your hotel in Thamel. They will be waiting for you outside the arrivals terminal and will be holding a Nepal Gateway Trekking signboard with your name printed on it. We will assist you with your hotel check-in and advise you of the evening meeting time with your Kathmandu tour leader.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • Maximum Altitude1310 m

Meet our tour guide in your hotel lobby. He or she will take you on a guided city tour. You'll visit historical sites such as Boudhnath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and the famous Monkey Temple. We then prepare for the trek with the trek guide. There will be a short briefing session followed by final packing.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1310 m

After breakfast, we begin the scenic drive to the beautiful town of Pokhara (6 hours) ,popularly known as “The Lake City”. We travel along the banks of the Trishuli River with beautiful views of the countryside villages and terraced farmlands.

Upon arrival at Pokhara, we are rewarded with close up snowy peaks including Dhaulagiri (8,168m/26,794ft), Manaslu (8,156m/26,759ft), Machhapuchhre (6,993m/22,943ft) and the five peaks of Annapurna massif. We check-in to the hotel and take a well-deserved rest. In the evening, your are free to enjoy Fewa Lake and the surrounding restaurants, perhaps a visit by boat to Tal Barahi Temple located on a island in the Lake.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude820 m

After an early morning breakfast, we travel to the domestic airport for the 20 minutes Trans Himalayan flight to Jomsom flying through the worlds-deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki. Jomsom is the administrative center of the Lower and Upper Mustang region. After our permits are checked the team is ready to move. From Jomsom we take a jeep for around two hours before a short hike of around an hour to Chele vilage.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3060 m

Today is a tough day with a lot of ascent / descent. We start by taking the dusty road out of Chele until the suspension bridge that leads to Ghyakar. There used to be a trail cut into the cliff face, however the roadwork has caused landslides across the trail, making it impassable now. So now, cross the suspension bridge, walk through Ghyakar and then on to Samar (we come across the road again at one point but only to cross it as you head to Samar). From Samar, there is stiff climb up a big hill before a long steep descent to Chungsi cave and the cave gompa. There are normally a couple of Indian Sadhus in residence, so no issues with keys etc to explore the cave. From Chungsi we need to negotiate the Syangbochen Khola gorge – keep an eye out for the lammergeier nests before finally arriving at Syangbochen. It is a hard day but also very stimulating.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3500 m

We start today by following a road to Tamagaon, then cross country (to avoid the road) a trek uphill to meet up with the trail from Ghilling. Then back on the road to Ghami where we take lunch. The scenery around Ghami is really pretty, especially in autumn lovely colours at this time of the year! From Ghami to Dhakmar there are two (main) options – take the road heading east out of town, cross the bridge and take the low route to Dhakmar via the longest Mani wall in Nepal; alternatively, cross the river and head north on the high route to Dhakmar for some spectacular views! We normally take the latter option; it was less than 90 mins Ghami – Dhakmar (and 4 hours Chele – Ghami). Plenty of time to wander around Dhakmar in the afternoon, taking in the incredible scenery.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3820 m

Two routes out of Dhakmar: a steep route and a less steep route! The less steep route goes directly to the pass; the steeper route involves a traverse along the cliff tops. Both have stunning views over Dhakmar and fantastic views all the way to the Annapurnas and Nilgiri. After a visit to the gompa itself, it is a long climb to the Chogo La (with a couple of false summits along the way!!), from here it is an easy downhill stretch to Lo Manthang

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3810 m

Today is a free day to explore this ancient capital Lo Manthang has remained untouched since the 14th century. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborated mandalas painted on the walls. The 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 and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout the kingdom. Your first overnight in the lodge of Mustang on full board meals. Lo Manthang to Chhosser caves and back to Lo Manthang for the night {optional by horse or jeep}We will vist the Chhosser on horseback taking a packed lunch. Chhosser is a mysterious place gifted with its beautiful architecture. The cave looks like cliff but inside there are many steps leading to 44 rooms. It is quite a surreal experience that it gives the feeling of being in alien place. After taking it all in we return back to Lo-manthang for overnight

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner

We leave Lo Manthang by taking a short climb up to a glacial valley with views of the reddish brown historical walled city during the return Some unforgettable images of the Lo as we slowly move on. On reaching the ridge we are greeted by some stunning views as we trek along the ridge for around an hour There is then a descent down to the village of Dhi where we take lunch. It a good day, the air is fresh with the meadows and farming fields near the river side. After lunch, we cross the river to follow a path along the left bank to reach our overnight destination Yara.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3650 m

Today we head down to Luri Gompa which was founded in the 13th century, it is also called Kagyukpa cave monastery. There are golden written lama’s books found here. The route continues up to Duyung Khola {river} which runs from the Damodar Kund (basin). This place is also famous for hindu pilgrims. the headwater is an area of land from where the water runs down into the Kali Gandaki river. This place is famous for black ammonite fossils found hereabouts. Hindus and Buddhists collect these fossils to worship in their belief that it is the embodiment of God Vishnu.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Early in the morning we leave Yara along a high winding path. This soon leads down to the Dhechaeng Khola (river) which runs from the Damodar Kund (basin). The trail crosses a small river of melting ice water after crossing we climb up for around one and a-half hours to Dhi village and then on along a winding desert mountain path to the Lo-Pa village of Tangya. The inhabitants of this gentle religious group of Buddhism are mostly busy in local businesses.The small foot hills roll away to distant horizons sheltering the villagers from the winds coming in from the valley. From the village to the north and we see some ancient sandy cliffs which we need to head towards to reach the small village of Tangbe.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3240 m

Today we need to leave early in the morning with a packed lunch because it is a long day. We climb steps up to and over a suspension bridge following the trail on the right side. We soon come to the Yak khola (river) before climbing a terraced hill to to a pass at 4,210m, it is the highest point of the Upper Mustang trip. From here Damodar Himal and Saribung Himal at (6,346m) can be seen. The main trail continues along flat land to left and after one and a-half hours we take lunch amongst some ruins of an uninhabited village.The afternoon is long, four to five hours total with ascents and descents to reach Tetang our target of the day.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3040 m

We begin with a gradual trek up to Gyu La pass 4,077m. It is a beautiful day and we take it easy after yesterdays long walk.We pass through Kharkas with many grazing domestic animals as well as wild mountain goats. Its peaceful trek up the valley as we reach to the top of Gyu La. From the pass there are panoramic views of Thorong peak, Nilgiri, Tukche peak and the lovely Muktinath valley. We reach Muktinath via Chhenkar village. We explore the Temple and Monastery then drive to Jomsom for overnight. 

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3760 m

We take an early morning flight to Pokhara, it a very scenic flight through the mountains and takes around 20 minutes on our arrival we transfer to our hotel.The rest of the day is free to enjoy the lake relax and catch up on all the experiences of the past 10 days.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude820 m

You have a choice, either by a scenic journey road (seven hours) or a flight of around 25 minutes. We transfer to our hotel. In the evening we often arrange a farewell meal in a local restaurant. 

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast & Farewell dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1310 m

One of our team will be with you to help you with your onward connection. Be it by air where you will be transfered to the airport in time for your flight, or any help with other arrangements. We hope you have enjoyed your journey with us and we look forward to meeting up again in the future.

  • MealsBreakfast

This is our standard and recommended itinerary. If this itinerary doesn’t suit to you, we can customize your trip as per your interest and time-frame. Click here for Tailor-Made program. 

Includes

  • All grounded transportation as per itinerary by private car
  • Three nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu inclusive breakfast
  • Three times meal (Breakfast/lunch/dinner) and accommodations during the trekking
  • One highly experience English speaking & friendly trekking guide and required porter including their expenses
  • Mustang trekking special permit fee (Mustang region is in restricted zone, we need a special permit to visit this area)
  • Annapurna conservation fees and Tims card
  • Upper Mustang Trekking map
  • Nepal Gateway Company T-shirt and achievement certificate
  • Local fresh fruit
  • First aid kit
  • Evacuation assist if needed
  • Government taxes and office service charge

Excludes

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Your travel insurance
  • Nepal entry visa. You can obtain a visa quickly upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. A multiple-entry tourist visa suitable for 30 days can be obtained by paying the US $ 50 or equivalent in foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying the US $ 135. Please bring two passport-size photos.
  • Your international flight ticket to/from Kathmandu
  • Your personal nature expenses, equipment and medical kit
  • All kinds of hot and cold drinks and alcoholic beverage in trekking
  • Hot shower, internet and phone call unless it is free
  • Tipping to field staffs (Tipping is not mandatory but expected)

Client Reviews

tatp
  • Upper Mustang - the Forbidden Kingdom" with Nepal Gateway Trekking - a Wealth of Experience

    We were fortunate to have the opportunity to revisit "Upper Mustang - the Forbidden Kingdom" - a unique part of Nepal. It is important to have all the boxes ticked for each aspect of this trek to link together. In spite of the fuel restrictions, everything went according to the schedule carefully set out by Raj. He has a wealth of experience and along with Pasang, our guide, we could not have been in better hands. Experience, full registration, and insurances are essential when choosing a trekking company. Thank you for providing us, yet again, with a fantastic trekking experience in this beautiful country.

    Zanette Crowden
    Zanette CrowdenAustralia, Travel Date: 25/08/2018
  • Beautiful Upper Mustang Trek!

    Upper Mustang is an area I have wanted to visit for quite some time and I am thrilled to have finally done it. However, what made the experience even more memorable and wonderful was the incredible service provided by Nepal Gateway Trekking and our amazing guide, Raj.

    When I first booked the trip for a friend and I, I was in contact with Ram who was always very patient, helpful, and friendly in answering all of my questions and helping us to prepare for the trip. Upon our arrival, he met us, and discussed all details of the trip and there were no surprises. The whole trip went incredibly smoothly due to the hard work of Ram and Raj.

    As a guide, they don't get much better than Raj. At all times he was attentive, positive, and on the lookout for anything which may interest us and thus make our experience more enjoyable. He is extremely knowledgeable about the area and was able to answer all of our questions with clarity and ease. In terms of our actual trekking routes, Raj lead us off the beaten track to really take us into the countryside to see some real gems. It was absolutely wonderful from start to finish. Attentive to our needs, keeping a good pace, offering sound advice, and always smiling, joking, and laughing, Raj was truly a 5-star guide. I would highly recommend him and his company to anyone visiting Nepal, no matter what their agenda may be.

    A huge thanks to Ram and Raj! I hope to see them again someday!

    Aaron Curmi
    Aaron CurmiCanada, Travel Date: 15/09/2017

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