Mustang – Journey to Lo Manthang

Grade 1 2 3 4 5
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding treks, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000ft / 4,000m. Trails can be ill defined, narrow, steep, and rocky, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average walking is 6 - 7 hours a day.
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Trek Difficulty Grading

Our treks vary from easy hikes in the foothills to challenging climbing adventures in the high Himalaya. More often than not, we use trails that have since ancient times been the only link between villages, settlements, and their inhabitants. The trails may take you through a well-inhabited area with many villages and tea-shops, or through a mountain wilderness without a single permanent settlement for days, but one thing is certain: there'll be lots of ups and downs as we walk from one Himalayan valley to another. Treks are graded on the basis of altitude, trails, walking hours per day, and length of trek.

Grade 1 – Easy
Treks in the foothills staying below 6,500ft / 2,000m. Trails are relatively gentle & wide, and average walking is 3 - 4 hours a day.
Grade 2 – Moderate
Treks in the foothills and the middle-hills going up to 10,000ft / 3,000m. Trails are mostly gentle and wide, but at times may involve more difficult stretches like a steep stone staircase. Average walking is 5 - 6 hours a day.
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding treks, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000ft / 4,000m. Trails can be ill defined, narrow, steep, and rocky, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average walking is 6 - 7 hours a day.
Grade 4 – Demanding
These treks require participants to be in excellent health. They take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000ft / 2,800m to often in excess of 16,500ft / 5,000m. Trails venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness, and are often ill defined, occasionally on glacial moraines. Average walking is 6 - 9 hours a day.
Note on altitudes
The altitude definitions indicate elevations through the major part of the trek. Treks usually involve side-trips into elevations exceeding the altitude ranges defined for their grades. Grade 3 and grade 4 trek itineraries are designed to allow proper acclimatization, with acclimatization days when we take side trips to higher elevations where necessary.

 

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18 days – 14-day trek to the exotic cultural enclave of Lo Manthang
  • 14 days challenging trekking in the trans-Himalaya
  • Three days of exploration around the fabled kingdom of Lo Manthang
  • Spectacular views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, & Nilgiri Himal ranges
  • Cultural encounters with the ethnic people of Tibetan descent
  • Leisure in Kathmandu & Pokhara
mustang-scene-270x180Opened to outsiders only as late as 1991, travel to Mustang is still restricted by hefty permit fees, but the forbidden “Kingdom within a kingdom” of Lo Manthang must nevertheless rate as one of the world’s most exotic cultural destinations. This trans-Himalayan enclave of Nepal bordering Tibet to the North of the Annapurna Himal is among the most isolated and best-preserved cultural jewels of the Himalaya. After the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Mustang, along with Dolpo, has become one of the few remaining pockets where the Tibetan Buddhist tradition continues to flourish since bygone days.

Starting from the rustic lake-valley of Pokhara, we take a captivating mountain flight up the Kali Gandaki gorge – the world’s deepest, running between the 8,000m / 26,000′ ranges of Annapurna & Dhaulagiri – to Jomsom, on the Annapurna circuit trail. The transformation from the sub-tropical foothills around Pokhara to the arid semi-desert bio tope of the trans-Himalaya is dramatic. At Kagbeni we leave the main trail to head North across the upper reaches of the Thak Khola canyon towards the vast Tibetan plateau. We arrive at the fabled walled capital of Lo Manthang in four days, trekking through some almost literally “out-of-this-world” landscape. We spend the next two days exploring nearby monasteries and settlements. On our return, we make a detour to the Jhong Khola valley and visit the shrine at Muktinath.

One of the classic cultural treks of the world, the journey to Mustang is a worthy contender as a substitute for the rigorous Dolpo treks, and (like the Dolpo treks) is best experienced in the summer. A fascinating spell in a timeless, magical land not to be missed by anyone with an interest in ancient living Tibetan Buddhist religious culture.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1  Arrive Kathmandu. Orientation.
Day 2  Morning drive to Pokhara. Rest of day at leisure.
Day 3  Early morning flight Pokhara – Jomsom (2,760m / 9,050′); trek to Kagbeni (2,840m / 9,320′).
Days 4-7  Upper Mustang: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3,840m / 12,600′) , stopping en route at Chele (3,100m / 10,170′), Geling (3,570m / 11,710′), and Tsarang (3,575m / 11,730′).
Days 8-9  Upper Mustang: Exploration around Lo-Manthang.
Days 10-12  Upper Mustang: return via Ghami (3,460m / 11,350′) and Samar (3,620m / 11,870′) and detour to Chhuksang (2,980m / 9,770′).
Day 13-14  Trek to Jharkot (3,500m / 11,480′) in the Jhong Khola valley. Excursion to Muktinath (3,800m /12, 460′).
Day 15  Trek to Jomsom via Lupra (3,000m / 9,840′).
Day 16  Early morning flight Jomsom – Pokhara. Rest of day at leisure.
Day 17  Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 18  Depart for onward destination.

Dates and Pricing

Jun 13 - Jun 30
Jul 13 - Jul 30

Aug 11 - Aug 28

  Standard Hotels
2 - 5 personsUS$ 2,043
6 - 12 personsUS$ 1,917
Single room supplement US$ 164
Airfare Pokhara - Jomsom - PokharaUS$ 222
Cost Information
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Cost Information

The trip cost quoted is the cost per person, and includes:

  • Hotels: Accommodations in Kathmandu and Pokhara on twin / triple room-sharing basis with breakfast.
  • Tours: Sightseeing tours indicated with a certified English-speaking guide.
  • Transfers: All land transfers by car (Toyota Corolla or similar) or van (Toyota Hiace or similar).
  • Trekking: Room-sharing accommodation in local lodges, all meals, services of trek crew (guide, sherpa(s), and porter(s) to carry all luggage & equipment), applicable trekking / ACAP permit / National Park entry fees.
  • Permits, Fees, & Taxes: All applicable permits, entry fees, and taxes.
  • Trek leader: We provide a trek leader on groups of six or more. A tour leader can be provided upon request for smaller groups, upon additional cost.

Not included in the cost are:

  • Meals other than indicated.
  • Flights: All internal flights are extra. Internal airfares indicated are subject to change without notice.
  • Personal clothing & equipment (upon confirmation you’ll receive a clothing & necessity checklist of items we recommend you bring, items you can hire / purchase locally are indicated).
  • Personal expenses, bottled / alcoholic beverages, and tips to crew.
  • Insurance: We strongly recommend that all trip participants be covered by their own personal insurance that also covers emergency evacuation.
  • Other unforeseeable expenses that may arise due to factors beyond our control, like bad weather or flight cancellations.
  • Nepal visa fee.

 

  Standard Hotels
KathmanduNirvana Garden Hotel
PokharaHotel Trek-O-Tel
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