Hiking the Forgotten Kingdom of Upper Mustang

Kathmandu | Nepal
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike Upper Mustang

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore Tibetan Buddhist culture of the kingdom of Lo

  • Trip Highlight

    Restricted area and completely off-limits to foreigners until 1992

  • Trip Highlight

    A wonderland of cultural discovery and phenomenal high mountain trekking

Nepal is the only country in the world where mystical jungles, mighty rivers, and the majestic Himalayas converge with the religious and cultural intertwining of Hinduism and Buddhism, India and Tibet. Upper Mustang with its semi-arid landscape, bright colors, aromas, ancient temples, and bustling marketplaces presents a different side of Nepal than the famous snowy Himalayas. This once-forbidden Tibetan Kingdom of Lo is home to charming ancient villages, farmlands, and rugged snowy mountains, drawing people from all corners of the world to experience the traditional way of life and culture dating back centuries.

Season

November

Nearest city

Your adventure begins in Kathmandu, Nepal

Duration

17 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Hiking Tour of the Forgotten Kingdom of Upper Mustang

17 days

Explore the mystical region of Upper Mustang on a 17-day hiking expedition. Discover traditional villages in desert valleys and ancient cave dwellings dating back to 2000 – 3000 years ago. Undertake an epic journey centering on cultural exploration and scenery—from colorful valleys, spectacular snowy peaks and blue lakes to vibrant cities and teahouses that will serve as your refuge after a long day of hiking.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Nepal

Your guides will meet you upon your arrival at the airport and give you a ride to the accommodation in Kathmandu. Take a break, rest, and after a quick briefing about the trip, head for a welcome dinner in a restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu. Meet your guide and group and go back to your hotel for a good night’s rest.
Accommodation: Hotel
*First dinner included. Beverages not included

Stupa in Swayambhunath Monkey temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Day 2: Explore the Nepali capital

Spend your first day in the capital discovering all the heritage sites in Kathmandu valley and the highlights in the city, such as the pilgrimage Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and the Boudhanath stupa or the Monkey temple. After this guided tour, you will have time to check your mountain gear and purchase anything extra you need for the trip. After this, relax in the hotel or enjoy Kathmandu on your own during the evening!
Accommodation: Hotel

Rhesus Macaques monkeys on the ancient stupas of Swayambhunath temple high above Kathmandu, Nepal's vibrant capital city.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara

After an early breakfast, depart for a long drive outside Kathmandu. Drive along the Kathmandu – Pokhara highway for around 7 hours. Once there, you’ll have time to explore the city. Take a walk along Phewa Lake and explore the streets of this city with the Machhapuchhre’s razor-edged peak in the distance.
Accommodation: Hotel
Driving: 200 km

twilight with boats on Phewa lake, Pokhara, Nepal

Day 4: Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and hike to Kagbeni

Early in the morning, fly Northwest from Pokhara toward the great portal between the snow covered peaks of Annapurna and Daulagiri. Enjoy the well-raised massifs of more than 8000 meters, and the deepest gorge on this planet. Upon arrival at Jomsom, you will meet the rest of the trekking staff and start the trek to Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. A special permit for restricted areas requested for the following days will be provided by your guide. Spend the night in a local teahouse lodge.
Accommodation: Local teahouses
Hiking: 11 km

KAGBENI, NEPAL - CIRCA NOVEMBER 2013: view of the village Kagbeni circa November 2013 in Kagbeni.

Day 5 & 6: Hiking from Kagbeni to Geling

Today, a trail will lead you towards the east bank of the Kali Gandaki river, climbing over many ridges as it heads north and reaches Tangbe village. Walk through labyrinthic towns made of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses and endless fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. The trail will climb up a rocky gully to Chaile, through steep, treeless and waterless terrain reaching a ridge at 3800 meters. Descend into Shyangmochen, from where you’ll descend further to Geling Village.
Accommodation: Local teahouses
Hiking: 15 – 17 km per day

The nepali horses on Annapurna trail track

Day 7 & 8: Hiking from Geling to Lo Manthang

Start off day 7 with a climb up the Nyi La Pass and descend below the mythical blue, gray and red cliffs before reaching Ghami village. After crossing the Tangmar Chu river, you’ll arrive at one of the most spectacular Mani Walls in Nepal. Continue walking to Dhakmar and towards the old Ghar Gompa monastery. As you descend into the Lo Manthang Plateau, reach the ancient capital of the forgotten Kingdom of Lo.
Accommodation: Local teahouses
Hiking: 13 – 15 km

Panoramic view of Tsarang manastery, Upper Mustang, Nepal Himalaya

Day 9: Old caves and monasteries

Early in the morning, depart from Lo Manthang to visit Namgyal Gompa, the Tingkah village and the caves close to the Tibetan border. Meet the locals and Yak shepherds along the way. Access the ancient man-made caves where people used to live thousands of years ago and discover an amazing tunnel network inside the mountains. Return to lo Manthang in the evening.
Accommodation: Local teahouses
Hiking: 10 km

Beautiful view of the roofs of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Lo, Upper Mustang. Nepal. Travel to explore the ancient culture of Tibet

Day 10 & 11: Hiking from Lo Manthang to Yara & Tange

Leave Lo Manthang early in the morning and cross over the mountains towards the most remote part of the kingdom. From now on, the lodges become very simple and only local food might be available. On day 11, wake up very early and cross the Pandey River when the water is low. Follow the trail that leads to Tange village and spend the night in a local teahouse lodge.
Accommodation: Local teahouses
Hiking: 16 to 18 km

A hiker standing on a trail and looking in the distance. White and beige hills spruce up in the background

Day 12 & 13: Hiking from Tange to Muktinath

For the following two days, you will start your long journey back to the Lower Mustang region. The trail takes you along steep ridges, towards small settlements with terraces and caves where people used to live. If the days are clear, you will get great views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri & Tukuche peaks among others. Rest in a local teahouse lodge before continuing to the last stage of your adventure.
Accommodation: Local teahouses
Hiking: 15 – 23 km

Streets of Upper Mustang in ruins. White Himalayas seen in the background

Days 14, 15 & 16: Muktinath to Jomsom and return to Kathmandu

After leaving Muktinath, return to Jomsom and spend one night in this small village. On day 15, take a very early morning flight and get back to Pokhara, where your group will spend a relaxing evening hanging out and exploring the city. On day 16, fly back to Kathmandu and enjoy one last dinner with the group in a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Local teahouses & hotel

Old Tibetan woman turning the prayer wheels in a small village, Upper Mustang. Mustang region is the former Kingdom of Lo and now part of Nepal, in the north-central part of that country, bordering the People's Republic of China on the Tibetan plateau between the Nepalese provinces of Dolpo and Manang.

Day 17: Return home

After 16 days of hiking and exploring Nepal’s lost kingdom, your guides will drop you off in the international airport for final departure!
* Itinerary could be changed in case of adversal meteo conditions.

Kagbeni
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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Nepal

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Nepal, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and COVID-19 Crisis Management Center Nepal websites.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified mountain guide with extensive knowledge of the area and a local Nepali certified guide
    • Transportation from and to the airport
    • Transportation for the duration of the tour
      • Kathmandu to Pokhara by private car/van
      • Pokhara to Jomsom domestic flight
      • Pokhara to Kathmandu domestic flight
    • Hotel accommodations with breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara
    • Teahouse and mountain hut accommodations with all meals for the duration of the hike
    • Unlimited tea and coffee during the hiking days
    • Government taxes

Meals during the trip will be healthy and balanced, with authentic Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian meals as common choices in the menu. In case of allergies, intolerances, vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan diet, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements. Please note that the logistics in Nepal are very limited and sometimes, special menus different to vegetarians are difficult to find.

All the rooms are twin shared. Single bedrooms can be arranged on request but they will have an additional cost. Most of the teahouses only have shared washing and toilet facilities. Some of the local tea houses have stove heating in the common areas only. For this reason it is important to have really good sleeping bags.

What’s not included:

    • International flight to Kathmandu
    • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu
    • Luggage transportation for the duration of the hike
    • Sleeping bag and personal mountain gear
    • Trip insurance

How fit do I need to be?

This adventure consists of 17 days of full day trekking on various terrain from valleys to mountain passes, with occasional steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Keep in mind, you’ll be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day, as well as all other personal items such as sleeping bags and clothing. This adventure requires excellent physical fitness and previous experience with multi-day hiking.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 45L bag)
    • Sleeping bag  (-10°C to -15°C/ 14°F to 5°F)
    • First aid kit – remember plasters for damaged feet
    • Water purification tablets, iodine
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity) 
    • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
    • Camp shoes/sandals
    • Socks (polypropylene)
    • A down or fiber filled jacket
    • A good water/wind proof jacket or poncho with a hood
    • Loose fitting lightweight trousers and shorts
    • Thick woolen jumper/sweater
    • T-shirts
    • Spare clothes for layering
    • Sunhat
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Travel towel
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)
    • Chargers and batteries

Due to the difficult terrain, it’s highly recommended to bring good quality mountain gear. Your guides will contact you about any additional equipment at the time of contracting the trip. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1, with a maximum of 12 participants per tour. The cost does not decrease as the group grows.
    • It takes a minimum of 7 people for the tour to operate.

Hiking in Nepal can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors older than 16 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
    • This tour isn’t appropriate for children and minors under 16 years old.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable. The remaining 70% of the amount is paid the latest 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

In the event that the minimum number of people to confirm the trip is not reached, AMAROK ADVENTURES can cancel the departure at most 2 months before the start of the trip. Please note the trips for 2022 are expected to reach the minimum number of people soon, and the likelihood of trip not happening is very low.

In case you need to cancel the trip, the following cancellation costs would be incurred:

– 100% of the price of the trip is refundable before the group is guaranteed

– 70% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 59 days or more before departure, once the trip has been confirmed

– 50% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 30-59 days before departure

– 25% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 16-29 days before departure

– 0% of the price of the trip if it is canceled 15 days before departure.

All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Upper Kingdom in Nepal, most people fly into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, they will arrange for your pickup at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in Kathmandu. After that, all you have to do is stay safe and have fun on this Nepal trekking tour!

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