A Once in a Lifetime Himalayan Trek!
North of the massive gorge between Himalayan giants Annapurna and Dhaulagiri lies the legendary kingdom of Mustang. Historically, Mustang dominated the trade along the ancient route connecting Tibet with Nepal and India. The inhabitants of Upper Mustang (the Lobas) are Buddhist and culturally Tibetan.
For political reasons travel into Upper Mustang was strictly forbidden and the region remained isolated from the modern world. In 1992 it was decided to allow outsiders in on a very limited basis. This isolation has helped maintain a way of life almost unchanged for centuries.
If you are looking for a trek through alpine scenery, this is not it. Instead, this trek is through a great Himalayan rain shadow on a wind-swept desert landscape of implausible gorges and enormous vistas. This trek will go through brightly painted chortens, climb a series of canyons and ridges and discover caves used by monks dating back to the 14th century. The area is home to snow leopard and blue sheep, lammergeier, yaks, and nomads, ammonites and medieval villages.
Watch the PBS documentary on the discovery of the lost caves of Mustang.
The Women’s Mustang Trek, with a predominantly female staff, is accessible to all women who are in good physical shape and maintain a regular exercise routine at home. This trek will also include a post-trek massage, Nepali cooking class and other special touches. Because a new jeep track has been built connecting Jomsom to Lo Manthang, a local 4 x 4 jeep to ferry the group till Ghemi from where the actual trek begins. This way hiking will be minimized on the road. Then a hike over the Marangla pass (13,800ft.) into Lo Manthang. The return to Jomsom is through the trails east of the Kali Gandaki river passing through ancient Tibetan villages.
The best guides will be on this trip with a minimum of 15 years experience and treat the staff with the utmost care and respect.
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- Trek in a highly restricted area.
- Explore a kingdom long isolated from the outside world.
- Discover 14th century Buddhist monasteries in villages and remote cave sites.
- Nepali cooking class
- Post-Trek Massage
Day 01 – Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during dinner. (Dinner)
Day 02 – Kathmandu
Full day of sightseeing in Kathmandu. You will be accompanied by our in-house city guide. In the morning, visit Bodhanath, the Stupa of a Million dew drops, to watch monks and devotees circumambulate the largest stupa in the world. Then visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Drive to Patan for lunch in the garden of the Patan Museum Café. After lunch, visit the well-maintained Patan Museum storing ancient Nepali artifacts, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar Square. Drive back to Kathmandu. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Day 03 – Kathmandu to Pokhara
Board a thirty-minute flight to Pokhara. Day free in Pokhara. Overnight Sampada Inn. (Breakfast)
Day 04 – Pokhara to Kagbeni (9,215 ft.)
Board an early flight to Jomsom. The plane navigates up the Kali Gandaki gorge between Annapurna (26,538 feet) and Dhaulagiri (26,788 feet) to Jomosom. Here you will meet your trekking staff, who will have brought all your gear up by road. Begin your trek up the windy Kali Gandaki valley to its confluence with the Jhog Khola. Kagbeni is the gateway to Upper Mustang and was formed in the 14th century as a checkpoint to control travel. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Day 05 – Kagbeni to Giling (11,300ft.)
We will charter a local 4 x 4 for two days and drive upto Ghemi.
Heading north along the river, snowy Nilgiri (22,431 feet) will dominate the skyline in sharp contrast to the river canyon below. Enter Tange Village, a labyrinth of narrow alleys among whitewashed houses with fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, and apple trees. Then continue toward Chhuksang along a trail lined with chortens (Buddhist wayside shrines) painted the traditional colors of red, black, and white — colors made from local rocks and minerals. Eventually cross the Kali Gandaki River on a steel footbridge, then climb up to the village of Chele, perched on a ridge above the gorge.
Climb steeply past Chele continuing more gently to your lunch stop at the pleasant village of Samar. In the afternoon, navigate over two more ridges (highest pass is about 12,500 feet) to Syangbochen, a small cliff-side settlement with a panoramic view of the Annapurnas. Continue a little further to Giling. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Day 06 – Drive to Ghemi. Trek to Drakmar (11,300ft.)
You have time to explore the monasteries of Giling. Continue drive to Ghemi. Start uphill to another pass of about 12,500 feet. The trail then descends with two drops into small canyons, and then continues with a gentle ascent toward Chyunkar and the Nye La (12,720 feet). From this pass, you’ll have incredible views of the Annapurnas and Nilgiris as well as sweeping views of Mustang. Ghemi Village, built on the edge of a steep cliff, appears in the distance. After lunch, continue to Drakmar with its prominent red-cliffs. These cliffs are home to blue-sheep. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 07 – Drakmar to Ghar Gompa (12,900ft.)
Today is a half day of hiking.
Soon after leaving camp, climb over Mui La and proceed to Ghar Gompa (Lo Gekhar). The views of Annapurna are just spectacular from Mui La pass. Lo Gekhar contains one of the oldest gompas in Nepal (built in the eighth century — even older than Samye in Tibet), a great red-and-white structure surrounded by trees. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 08 – Ghar Gompa to Lo Manthang (12,400ft.)
The trail follows a gentle but unrelenting climb for increasingly beautiful views of the mountains to the south, past numerous caves in the cliffs adjacent to Marang La (pass) at 13,800 feet. Descend through pastures from where you’ll have first view of the impenetrable fortress of Lo Manthang. Enter this walled city through the imposing main gate.
Explore the maze of narrow streets winding through approximately 150 houses, and three important gompas built in the early 15th century. These temples (along with those in Tsarang and Lo Gekhar) have been rescued from the ravages of time by the efforts and heart of local people (Lo Gyalpo Jigme Foundation in collaboration with the American Himalayan Foundation) — with stunning results. If you are very fortunate we may get an audience with the king or queen at the four-story palace. The king, Raja Jigme Parbal Bista, although his duties are mostly ceremonial, is well loved and respected throughout the regionOvernight Lodge. (All meals)
Day 09 – Lo Manthang
Today, we hire a local jeep (costs extra) to visit caves and monasteries North of Lo Manthang. The Namgyal Gompa in Tinkhar is quite spectacular. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Day 10 – Lo Manthang to Dri (11,100ft.)
Our route south is unusual; most groups return the same way they came, but we will make a loop following remote trails on the east side of the Kali Gandaki. Back over the Lo La, head southeast to the Tholung Valley, with terrific views of Nilgiri as we climb higher. Tsarang will come into view across the way, and finally descend steeply into the bowels of the canyon to the village of Dri, one of the most prosperous villages in Mustang.Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 11 -Luri Gompa excursion
It is a whole day’s trip to Luri Gompa and back via Yara and Ghara villages. The landscape here contains strange, fluted pinnacles eroded by wind. At 13,500 feet, Luri sits like an eagle’s nest in the cliffs. This mysterious cave monastery dates from the 13th century. The central chamber is carved directly into the rock. The domed ceiling is covered with murals, and in the center of the chamber there is a large and finely crafted chorten. Luri is a true jewel in a most unbelievable setting — the artwork here is considered to be some the finest and most unusual in the Himalayas. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 12 – Dri to Tange (11,050ft.)
The trail follows the river for a while, and we’ll negotiate five or six fairly shallow crossings of tributary streams (wading shoes will be necessary). This is a very good time to look for spiral fossils (saligrams) scattered among the rocks along the shore. Cross the river that is coming down from the sacred lakes of Damodar Kunda, and then over desolate terrain up to a pass of 12,600 feet. This is a long day, but finally the fields of the prosperous village of Tangye will appear below, and we’ll arrive at camp after passing a series of large chortens. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 13 – Tange to Pa (13,300ft.)
After another river crossing ascend steeply to a higher plateau. You’ll have increasingly fantastic views of not only much of the Mustang we have traveled through, but of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukche, Tilicho, and Annapurna. You’ll look for blue sheep and enjoy the wildflowers as we traverse to a shepherd’s camp by the stone hut near the pass.Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 14 – Pa to Tetang (9,900ft.)
Ascending and descending, travel through the vast and silent world of the wild uplands. Along a ridge, again have views of Mustang, the wind carved hills all around, and the snow peaks stretching from Dhaulagiri in the south to Tibet in the north. Care must be taken on this path that contours along and into a steep and contorted canyon. Tetang is on the Narsing River above Chhuksang, which we passed our first day out of Kagbeni. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 15 – Tetang to Muktinath
It will take about five hours to reach the pass, Gnyu La, at 13,000 feet. It is a rewarding route providing fine views the entire way and wildflowers. From the pass one can see Muktinath, and within a few hours we will arrive at the final stretch where the trail goes through a grove of trees, across a bridge, past a nunnery, and finally joins the main trail from Manang. Here officially exit the restricted area of Upper Mustang. Muktinath is a holy place, the destination of thousands of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims every year. We’ll have time to visit the many fine temples and shrines. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 16 – Muktinath to Jomsom
On the last day of trek you’ll be on the main Annapurna circuit route. Enter the village of Jharkot and visit the monastery and the traditional Tibetan medicinal center. Heading west to the Kali Gandaki, we’ll pass Eklobatti, then south along the river to Jomosom. While still beautiful, Jomosom will be quite a culture shock compared to where we have been with all its busy activity — perhaps including a newly arrived highway (which may even have some internal combustion vehicles plying the gravel and spewing exhaust). Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 17 – Jomsom to Pokhara
Fly Jomsom to Pokhara. Day free in Pokhara. Overnight Temple Tree. (Breakfast)
Day 18 – Fly to Kathmandu
Afternoon flight to Kathmandu. Day free in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 19 – Final departure
Transfer to airport for final departure. (Breakfast)
PRICING & DETAILS
INTERESTED? Sign up & email: info@GlobalAdventuress.com
Pricing & Details:
2 – 4 participants: $4,450 per person
5 or more persons: $ 4,095 USD per person
Single Supplement: $450 USD
- Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information
- Motivated, well-cared-for staff
- All airport transfers
- Two full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments.
- 4 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu.
- Round trip airfare: Kathmandu to Pokhara to Jomsom
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Chartered 4 x 4 transfer
- Camping/lodge trekking as indicated in the itinerary
- Three meals a day
- Boiled water for your bottles three times a day
- Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals
- Guide and staff insurance
- Mustang Restricted Area Permit (US$550 per participant)
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit
- Post-trek massage
- Cooking class
Price does not include:
- Your international airfare
- Nepal Visa
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you)
- Travel insurance (Required)
- Other expenses of a personal nature
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