Upper Mustang Trek via Dolpo

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33 Days
Availability : All Years
Tribhuvan International Airport
Kathmandu
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 10
Tour Details

The Upper Mustang Trek via Dolpo is regarded as a stunning panoramic trek in western Nepal’s remote regions. In the trans-Himalayan zone, the Dhaulagiri Himalayan range separates the destination from the Tibetan plateau. This trek features some flatlands with deep gullies and narrow valleys, which are unusual for most people. The Upper Dolpo region trek will take you to Mustang, a remote and semi-independent Tibetan kingdom that preserves traditional Tibetan culture.

The trek begins at the Juphal airport in Dolpa and ends in Jomsom, Mustang. While on this trek, you will have the opportunity to circle Shey-Phoksundo Lake. This lake has a turquoise color. Alpine freshwater formed it, and it has no aquatic life.

 

The Highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek via Dolpo:
  • An excursion trip to Shey Gompa, one of the oldest monasteries in the region, holds 800 years of history.
  • Visit the ancient kingdom of Lo-Manthang.
  • The mesmerizing view of Lake Phoksundo.
  • Explore the culture, food, and people in Mustang.

 

The Best Time for the Upper Mustang Trek via Dolpo:

Choosing the best time to go to the Upper Mustang trek via Dolpo determines the difficulty of any trek. Upper Mustang Trek via Dolpo is possible throughout the year with proper preparation, gear, and equipment. However, most people prefer to trek to Upper Dolpo in the spring and autumn.

 

Permits for the Upper Mustang Trek via Dolpo:

There are only 250 foreigners allowed to enter Upper Dolpo each year, which makes permits for Upper Dolpo expensive and strictly enforced. You must also purchase a permit for Lower Dolpo, which you pass through to Upper Dolpo.

Also See: MUSTANG TOUR

Price Includes

  • All land transportation by private vehicle.
  • 1-night stay in Pokhara at 3* Batika Classic Hotel or a similar one, including breakfast.
  • 1-night stay in Kathmandu at 4* Yatri Suites and Spa or a similar hotel, including breakfast.
  • 31-night accommodation throughout the trek in a local lodge or a camp on a full-board basis.
  • The hotel accommodations are basic twin-sharing.
  • Domestic flight tickets: Kathmandu-Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj-Juphal and Jomsom-Pokhara.
  • TIMS, Restricted Area Permit for Upper Mustang, ACAP, Upper and Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Permit & other required permits.
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trekking guide.
  • All porter services (one porter can carry 18 kilo of luggage and share between two clients; both clients are suggested to bring 9 kilo of luggage each).
  • Staff costs include their salary, insurance, equipment and accommodation.
  • All government and local taxes.
  • First-aid kit.

Price Excludes

  • Personal expenses.
  • Food (lunch and dinner) in Kathmandu, and beverage bills in all places.
  • Tipping (tips).
  • Travel insurance.
  • International flights.
  • Donations at temples, schools, monasteries.
  • Emergency rescue or evacuation.
  • Any other items that are not mentioned in the package.
Itinerary

Day 1Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (1 hour)

The flight to Nepalgunj will give you good views of the Himalayas towards the north. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. There will be a time in the evening to have a good look around the town, which is 3 km from the Nepal-India border.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 2Flight to Juphal (2400m) and Trek to Dunai (2150m), (35-minute flight), (2-3-hour hike)

Early in the morning, you will fly to Juphal airport in Dolpa. It takes about 35 minutes. From Juphal, you will commence your first day walking to Dunai through terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow canyon, which leads you to a relatively larger village called Dunai.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 3Dunai to Ankhe (2660m), (6-hour hike)

We begin our journey by crossing a suspension bridge and heading west to the confluence of the Thuli Bheri and Suligad rivers. From here, follow the Suligad and walk along the river bank, where you can hear its roar. You pass through an area that is overgrown with marijuana plants but also contains crops for the villagers and animals, such as millet, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet corn, and chilly.

Many of the villages in this area are involved in the production of ‘chuk’, a lotus-like plant used to make vinegar and medicines. You will continue walking until you reach Ankhe, which serves as the entrance to Phoksundo National Park. The three villages you pass through share an unusual name: Parela, which means eyelash; Rahagaon, which means eyebrow; and Ankhe, which means eye.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 4Ankhe to Renje (3104m), (6-7 hour hike)

The trail is really difficult once you cross the river by well-made bridges; you have to climb steep ascents on a very narrow path. You will reach the top and descend to the river. Again, the trail takes another steep ascent, where you can enjoy the panorama of the landscapes and the surrounding environment. You will camp on the side of the Suligad River.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 5Renje to Phoksundo Lake (3600m), (6-7-hour hike)

Initially, you will walk along an easy trekking trail until you reach Samdo. Now, the trail resembles an incline. Then, You will leave the river behind and continue walking upward. Afterward, you will reach a ridge about 3,875 meters above sea level, which will provide you with the most stunning view of a 300-meter waterfall, Nepal’s highest, as well as your first view of Phoksundo Lake.

You will now descend through birch forests to the upper reaches of Phoksundo Khola. It is followed by the picturesque settlement of Ringmo. Ringmo welcomes you with Tibetan Buddhist chortens and Mani walls. The village has solar panels, which help improve the quality of life for the residents. From the settlement, it is a short walk to the shores of Phoksundo Lake, where you will spend the night.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 6Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola (3507m), (6-hour hike)

In the morning, you will visit Phoksundo Lake and learn about the specialty of the unexplored land and the remoteness of the area. After sightseeing around the lake, you will start walking steeply up to 4,040m. Then you will walk down again to the valley to enter the floodplain of the Phoksundo Khola. Later, trek to your night stop alongside the river within the confines of the forest to avoid the worst of the wind that is prevalent in the valley bottom.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 7Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4402m), (7-hour hike)

Today, you will walk a route that will require you to cross streams several times, so sandals rather than trekking shoes are recommended. You will continue along the glacial valley, which now leads north, and the path will become increasingly narrow. There are some impressive vertical cliffs and twisted rock formations. An old wooden bridge can be found at the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another unnamed mountain stream.

You will now walk along an unspecified path, which requires you to climb over rocks and ford a stream that flows down the steep valley. A long climb leads to a meadow, where the trail ascends a steep gorge to reach Phoksundo Bhanjyang. After a difficult climb to the top, you will arrive in another valley with views of the Kang La Pass, which leads to Shey Gompa.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 8Cross The Kang La Pass (5151m) and Trek to Shey Gompa (4126m), (6-7-hour hike)

Leaving Bhanjyang, you will head towards Kang La Pass, which will take about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the top. The views from the top are magnificent and well worth all the hard work. You will start descending steeply into the valley for about 45 minutes. From here, you will have a long, meandering trek along the bank of the river, crossing it. A red Chorten indicates that you have now arrived at Shey Gompa, where a picturesque wooden log bridge leads up to the Shey territory.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 9Rest and Explore Shey Gompa

Today is a rest day in Shey Gompa, also known as Crystal Mountain. The monastery is linked to Tsakang Gompa, a red hermitage where the Shey Lama resides. Tsakang is a meditation center for renowned Tibetan lamas. Shey Gompa, founded by Lama Ten-szin-Ra-Pa in the 11th century, belongs to the Chaiba community, following Padmasambhava and Kagyu sects. Known for its ancient Buddhist culture, Shey combines animism with Buddha’s teachings. Drutup Yeshe introduced Buddhism in Dolpo Valley, where the Crystal Mountain stands, featuring contorted cliffs with quartz and marine fossils. Shey Gompa overlooks the Kangjunala and Yeju Nala confluences, with nearby prayer mills turned by water wheels.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 10Shey Gompa to Namgong Gompa (4360m), (5-6-hour hike)

Today’s trek from Shey Gompa to Namgong includes a visit to the 800-year-old Shey Gompa, also known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. The monastery houses murals and an ancient scroll that details Crystal Mountain’s mythology. The trek begins along Sephu Khola, which features typical Dolpo landscapes. After a few hours, ascend to Shey La Pass to enjoy breathtaking views of Mustang, Tibet, and the Crystal Mountain. Descend for about 2 hours to reach Namgong, which is home to the popular Namgong Gompa.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 11Namgong to Marang (4350m) via Karang, Sibuk (6-hour hike)

We commence our trekking to reach Marang while enjoying the panoramic view of the Himalayas. On the way, you will pass through Karang and Sibuk villages. There you can enjoy the lifestyle and have some local foods.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 12 Marang to Dora Sumna (3670m) via Sungjer Gompa and Luri Gaon (5-6-hour hike)

From Marang, the trail heads up towards Dora Sumna, the next stopover for today. On the way, you will walk through the famous Sungjer Gompa and Luri Gaon.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 13Dora Sumna to Misha Gaon (4200m) via Yangjer Gompa (4599m), (6-hour hike)

You can have the locally available breakfast in Dora Sunma and commence trekking towards Misha Gaon (Mugaon). Foremost, the day begins with a trek to the popular Yangjer Gompa (one of the richest gompas in that region). After visiting the gompa, you will lead the way to reach Misha Gaon.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

 

Day 14 Mishagaon to Chanpola Goth near Shimen Gaon (3850m), (5-6-hour hike)

While trekking from Misha Gaon to Chanpole Goth, you will cross the Musi La pass (5030 m) on the way. From Musi La Pass, you will continue walking to Chanpola Goth.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 15Shimengaon to Tinje Gaon (4110m), (4-5-hour hike)

You can have a locally made breakfast in Shimen village and commence walking towards the beautiful village of Tinje. The village is located in the valley. When you reach the Tinje Gaon, you can observe the natural scenic beauty and the traditions of the local people.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 16 Tinje Gaon to Rapka (4535m), (6-hour hike)

You will visit the beautiful valley of Tinje after having breakfast. Then, you will commence walking on the trail that leads to Rapka.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 17Rapka to Chharka (4302m), (6-hour hike)

In Rapka, you can stroll around the surroundings and visit the beautiful Bon Gompa. From Rapka, you will walk to today’s destination, Chharka. After crossing the Chharka La Mola pass (5030 m) and descending for some time, we reach Chharka.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 18 Chharka to Tulsi Khola (4935m), (5-6-hour hike)

Start descending in the first part of the trek to reach Tulsi Khola. The Tulsi Khola had great significance in Hindu culture. You are now very close to the territory of the Last Forbidden Kingdom of Lo. After some time, you will start ascending and again descending towards Tulshi Khola. The camp will be set up on the bank of Tulsi Khola.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 19 Tulsi Khola to Nakhkem Khola (5066m), (5-6-hour hike)

After having breakfast at the camp in Tulsi Khola, you will commence walking to reach Nakhem Khola. The trail is almost flat to Nakhkem Khola.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 20 Nakhem Khola to Kharka Camp (5445m), (5-6-hour hike)

Today, you will walk to reach Kharka Camp. You will start ascending towards Kharka, having good views of mountain ranges and lakes. The trail to Kharka is very scenic and beautiful. There are a few lakes, and you can have an incredible view of the Dhaulagiri Himalayan Ranges. Today is the final night in the Dolpo area. Tomorrow, you will step towards the Mustang area.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 21 Kharka Camp to Ghami Phedi (4520m) via Ghami Pass (5694m), (5-6-hour hike)

Today, you will start trekking early in the morning in quite a difficult way, as it is not a specified trail. You must be careful and concentrate on every footstep. You can see the spectacular view of the mountain ranges and the surrounding area. Enjoy the unique terrain of Upper Mustang from the top of Ghami Pass. The views and the trail are the same as those of Dolpo, but the culture is somehow different.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 22 Ghami Phedi to Ghami (3520m), (5-6-hour hike)

Today, you will get back to the human settlement area. You have to rise and go down along the way to reach Ghami. Then, you will be cross the Ghami River several times on your way to the game. Ghami is a village with a beautiful settlement of Tibetan-influenced culture and tradition.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 23 Ghami to Marang (3650m), (5-hour hike)

Today, you will trek to Marang village. In Marang, you can observe the village and the gompas. During the day, you can visit the historical Ghar Gompa, situated at an altitude of 3950 m, where you can observe the scriptures of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava).

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 24 Marang to Lo-Manthang (3810m), (6-hour hike)

Leaving Marang, you will head towards Lo-Manthang, where you will see the desert-like landscape and the places that still hold the unique Tibetan culture and traditions. From the top, you can witness the beauty of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Bhrikuti, and Annapurna I. The Pass remains windy most of the time. You will descend to the capital of Upper Mustang. There is so much to see in this beautiful village, Lo Manthang. You will be spending two nights here. Today, you can just walk around this medieval village.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Lo Manthang

Day 25Explore Lo-Manthang

You can visit the village and gompas that represent Tibetan culture and traditions. In the morning, you can begin by visiting Namgyal Gompa. It is a very important monastery, with strong local beliefs. Tingkhar, a village on Nepal’s eastern border, can provide an ideal escape from Lo. You can also try ponyback riding. Explore the God House, other major gompas, and the King’s Palace. The Palace is a truly unique structure that dates back over 700 years.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 26 Lo-Mangthang to Yara (3650m), (7-8-hour hike)

After breakfast, you will leave the beautiful Lo-Manthang and commence walking for Yara. The trail steadily climbs two small passes before plunging through a spectacular canyon to Dhi village. From Dhi, you continue walking along the riverbed to Yara.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 27Explore Yara Gaon

Today, you can explore the Yara Gaon. Luri Gompa is the major attraction of this village, where you can get lots of information about Tibetan Buddhism and the Guru Rinpoche. After visiting the Luri cave, you can stroll around the village and observe the culture, traditions, and lifestyle of the local people.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 28Yara to Tyange (3240m), (8-9-hour hike)

The journey between Yara and Tangee is moderate, but compared with other days’ treks, today’s walking is quite long, and some parts of the trek are quite steep too. After a long walk, you will reach a river bank that starts in Damodar Kunda, where you will see some black fossils. Continuing the walk from the river, you will reach the village of Tange, where several Chorten give you a warm welcome.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 29Tyange to Chhusang (2980m), (8-9-hour hike)

Descend to a river crossing, then climb to the 4,100-meter Pa Pass with panoramic views of Tsarang, Lo, and Dhaulagiri to the north. The summit at 4050m reveals a stunning view of Dhaulagiri to the south. Prayer flags mark the pass, and the only water source, Ba Ha, is half an hour away. After a break, continue with a spectacular descent, reaching Chhusang by choosing the right fork towards Chuksang.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 30Chhusang to Muktinath (3710m), (6-7-hour hike)

The trail leads up the Narsingchu to the lovely village of Tetang. Tetang is divided into two parts. The outer houses’ walls are more than ten meters high and have few windows, giving them a fortresslike appearance. The nearby second part of the village contains the remains of a fort, complete with high, fortress-style walls.

Then, the trail ascends across a plateau before turning east into a narrow river valley, eventually reaching a pass at 4030 meters with spectacular views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. Later, we descend to Jhong and cross the Jhong River before ascending to Muktinath. After several hours of ascent, we arrive at Muktinath.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 31Muktinath to Jomsom (2720m) via Kagbeni (2810m), (5-6-hour hike)

In the morning, visit the famous Hindu temple of Muktinath, where lots of pilgrims come to worship the god. Afterward, start descending towards Kagbeni while passing through the fields. Then, after some walking, you will reach Jomsom to catch the flight to Pokhara the next morning.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 32 Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (25 minutes)

Flight to Pokhara. Today you have a free day in Pokhara. Stroll around Phewa Lake, go shopping, or explore the charming streets and local markets of the city.

Accommodation: an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

pokhara

Day 33 Drive back to Kathmandu (6-7 hours)

After having breakfast in the hotel, you will catch the vehicle to drive back to Kathmandu. Arrive in Kathmandu and check in at the hotel. This marks the end of the Upper Mustang trek via Dolpo.

Accommodation: an overnight stay at Yatri Suites & Spa or a similar hotel.

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