This is said to be the land of the real Tibet. The Mustang region along with the Naar-Phu Valley is inhabited by a people whose roots are in the Tibetan Plateau. What you will see in this region of Nepal is what Tibet looked and felt like over 50 years ago. These people settled in these remote areas and have eked out a living here for over a thousand years. The ancient kingdom of Mustang is known for its moonscapes. There are orange colored rocks, varicolored canyons and impressive rock formations created by wind and erosion. This is a land where the monsoon rains almost never touch, making for an ideal place to trek during the rainy season.
There is the ancient walled capital city of Lo-Manthang. There are monasteries that date back to the Guru Rinpoche who brought Tibetan Buddhism to the region. The region is watered by the Kali Gandaki River, which forms the deepest gorge in the world. It is a land whose primary occupation is farming. The residents raise yaks, sheep and goats while planting fields of barley, wheat and mustard. The capital city of Lo-Manthang still has a king that the people honor, living in a four storey palace.
The Mustang region was closed to the outside world until 1991, and now only a limited number of visitors are allowed in each year in order to preserve the local culture. The trek continues on into the Naar-Phu Valley which is also restricted. This area did not open to the outside world until 2002. It is steeped in Tibetan Buddhism with its residents speaking a dialect of Tibetan. The land is composed of extremely self-sufficient people, who have braved the elements as well as the harsh climate. They are skilled as traders as well as farmers.
Swiss Nepal Family Trek & Expedition is pleased to be able to offer this unique camping trek. It will take you to places where very few people ever visit as you enjoy the windswept alpine scenery. It will make you feel quite isolated from civilization as you travel to remote kingdoms and villages. It is like stepping back in time to a world that does not exist anywhere else. If you love adventure and are willing to tackle some difficult terrain, then the Upper Mustang to the Naar-Phu Valley Camping Trek is for you.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
DAY 2 – Drive to Pokhara (elev. 820 m) by luxury bus: 6 – 7 hours
DAY 3 – Fly to Jomsom (elev. 2720 m), trek to Kagbeni (2800 m) 3 – 4 hours
DAY 4 – Trek to Tsaile (elev. 3100 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 5 – Trek to Ghiling (elev. 3570 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 6 – Trek to Tsarang (elev. 3560 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 7 – Trek to Lo-Manthang (elev. 3840 m) via Ghar Gompa & Marang-La Pass (elev. 4230 m) 7 – 8 hours
DAY 8 – Explore walled city of Lo-Manthang
DAY 9 – Trek to Yara (elev. 3900 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 10 – Excursion to Luri Cave Monastery: 4 – 5 hours
DAY 11 – Trek to Tangya (elev. 3240 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 12 – Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4100 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 13 – Trek to Samsena Khola (elev. 4220 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 14 – Trek to Teri-La Base Camp (elev. 4630 m) 7 – 8 hours
DAY 15 – Rest Day
DAY 16 – Trek to Teri-La High Camp (elev. 5100 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 17 – Trek to Tera-La Phedi (elev. 5000 m) via Teri-La Pass (elev. 5595 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 18 – Trek to Labse Khola (elev. 4800 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 19 – Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4600 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 20 – Trek to Naar Gaon (elev. 4110 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 21 – Trek to Kyang (elev. 3800 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 22 – Trek to Phu Gaon (elev. 3899 m) 3 – 4 hours
DAY 23 – Trek to Meta (elev. 3560 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 24 – Trek to Koto (elev. 2600 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 25 – Trek to Dharapani (elev. 1860 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 26 – Trek to Jagat (elev. 1300 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 27 – Trek to Ngadi (elev. 930 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 28 – Drive to Kathmandu by bus (6 – 7 hours)
DAY 29 – Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport where you will be met by your representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. You will be escorted to your hotel where there are complimentary welcome drinks and a short briefing with plenty of time to relax from your flight.
DAY 2 – Drive to Pokhara (elev. 820 m): Today is a great bus excursion to the beautiful lakeside city of Pokhara. This trip is by luxury bus as we make our way through canyons and alongside of raging mountain rivers. There are incredible mountain scenery along with terraced farms and quaint villages along the way. The trip to Pokhara is around six hours and we will arrive around 2 in the afternoon. Once we check into our Deluxe Hotel, you are free to explore around Lakeside, which is a lovely area along the eastern shores of Phewa Lake. From Pokhara are incredible views of the Annapurna Mountains, which feel so close that it seems like they may fall on you! There are also wonderful shopping possibilities at Lakeside.
DAY 3 – Flight to Jomsom, Trek to Kagbeni (elev. 2858 m): This morning we rise early to catch a 45 minute flight into the mountains to Jomsom. This is a principal village on the Kali Gandaki River. It has always been a major destination point, being on the ancient trans-Himalayan trail to Tibet. Our trek begins today as we make our way to the windswept village of Kagbeni. We will camp in Kagbeni. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours, a short day.
DAY 4 – Trek to Tsaile (elev. 3100 m): Today we enter the restricted region of Upper Mustang. We follow the left bank of the Kali Gandaki River. The first Mustang village we come to is Tangbe which has a medieval atmosphere. The train continues upwards to Chhusang Village. Further up, we pass 16 caves along the Kali Gandaki. We see some of the snowcapped peaks like Mt. Nilgiri Himal as we approach our destination of Tsaile Village where we will spend the night in camp. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 5 – Trek to Ghiling (elev. 3570 m) via Ranchung Cave Monastery: We leave Tsaile via an old pebble road that leads up the plateau. There we will see a large canyon. We continue on our journey as we head for Ranchung Cave Monastery where the features stalactites that resemble Buddhist chhortens. It is said that the famed Guru Rinpoche meditated here. We will pass high pasturelands as the farmers continue in their traditional style of farming. We arrive at Syanmochen where we will see colorfully painted square chhortens as well as two ancient monasteries.
DAY 6 – Trek to Tsarang (elev. 3560 m) – Today is traveling on what we call "Nepali Level" which means that we are staying around the same elevation, but there will be ups and downs as we climb hills and descend into small valleys with farms and beautiful landscapes. The mountains of the Annapurnas are behind us, and we will be able to see the snowcapped peaks with all of their brilliance. Our destination is the village of Tsarang where we will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 7 – Trek to Lo-Manthang (elev. 3840 m) via Ghar Gompa & Marang-La Pass (elev. 4230 m): Today is a day of climbing as we make our way to the capital city of Mustang. We will ascend to the top of Marang-La Pass for one incredible view of the region. From here, we can see the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas plus look upon the plateau of Tibet. You also will have your first view of the ancient walled city of Lo-Manthang which is an awesome view of this forbidden place. We will descend to spend the night in the capital city. Along the way, we will see the Ghar Gompa, one of the oldest monasteries in the region. Trekking time is 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 8 – Exploring Lo-Manthang (elev. 3840 m): Today will be a time to explore inside and outside of the walls of the ancient city of Lo-Manthang. There are gompas, temples and interesting alleyways that lead like a maze through the city. There is also the royal palace, a wonderful four-storey affair that is the heart of the city. We will spend a second night in the city.
DAY 9 – Trek to Yara (elev. 3900 m): We are now turning to the east as we start to make our way toward the Naar-Phu Valley. It will be a few days before we exit the kingdom of Mustang, and here we will enjoy some great views as we walk around the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Our destination is the village of Yara which sits at 3900 m. Here we will spend the night. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 10 – Excursion of Luri Cave Monastery: The region of Mustang is dotted with windswept caves. These became important places for Buddhist monks to meditate, following in the pattern of The Buddha. Some of these caves became monasteries, and the one here at Luri Cave is an important monastery for the people of this region. We will explore this sacred place of meditation along with meetings its monks. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 11 – Trek to Tangya (elev. 3240 m): We begin trekking again to the east as we descend toward the village of Tangya. There are plenty of great views along the way with fascinating windscape scenes. Trekking time to Tangya is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 12 – Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4100 m): It is an uphill climb to Yak Kharka. A kharka is a summer grazing place for the herds as these are usually semi-flat places with plenty of grass for the animals. We will see yaks and goats along with farmers who move their animals to these places every summer for good grazing. They will stay here until fall when the colder weather and threats of snow will move them and the animals back to their traditional villages. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 13 – Trek to Samsena Khola (elev. 4220 m): The Mustang region tends to be dry, but there are rivers that cross the region, bringing life-giving waters to humans, plants and animals. We will be staying at Samsena Khola, which is a small village next to a river. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 14 – Trek to Teri-La Base Camp (elev. 4630 m): There are many mountains that one can climb in Nepal, and our destination is the base camp for climbers for Teri-La. We will ascend to the pass which forms the lower camp for those who set out to climb Mt. Teri—La. Trekking time is 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 15 – Rest and Acclimatization: We are moving into some very high elevations, and in order to avoid altitude sickness, it is important to allow the body to become acclimatized to these elevations. We will spend the day at Teri-La Base Camp where we can explore some interesting sights in the area. There are great views of the snowcapped peaks in a 360° panoramic view.
DAY 16 – Trek to Teri-La High Camp (elev. 5100 m): We climb upwards in a short day as we make our way to High Camp for even greater views. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours as we ascend upwards to Teri-La High Camp.
DAY 17 – Trek to Teri-La Phedi (elev. 5000 m) via Teri-La Pass (elev. 5595 m): Today will be a difficult day as we climb to the highest point in our trek. Teri-La Pass is our high point as we enjoy some of the finest views of the Himalayas from our high vantage point. We will cross the pass and stay at Teri-La Phedi. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 18 – Trek to Labse Khola (elev. 4800 m): We drop down a little in elevation with our goal being the rushing mountain stream of Labse Khola. We have great views of the mountains. We are primarily above the tree line, so we won't be seeing much more than what is ground vegetation in this high elevation until we get around the river. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 19 – Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4600 m): Today we encounter more vegetation as we descend. This Yak Kharka is no relation to the Yak Kharka we stayed at a few nights ago. However, its purpose is the same. We will meet local herders with their yaks and goats and may even have a chance to taste some yak milk. We will camp here.
DAY 20 – Trek to Naar Gaon (elev. 4110 m): We are definitely in the Naar-Phu Valley area, which is also a restricted area. Don't worry; your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition has procured your entry permit. The region is restricted because of its unique Tibetan culture that has endured for over a thousand years. Along the way, you will be seeing ruins of ancient forts and watchtowers in the area. The people who settled here were refugees from one kingdom to the north, and they moved to this valley to regain their freedom. Our goal is the village of Naar Gaon, with trekking time being 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 21 – Trek to Kyang (elev. 3800 m): We continue our journey eastward as we walk our way through the Naar-Phu Valley. We are in the shadow of Mt. Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, which is considered sacred by the people here. It is a majestic mountain to behold with its brilliantly white snowcapped peak. Trekking time today is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 22 – Trek to Phu Gaon (elev. 3899 m): We reach the other principle village of the Naar Phu Valley today, the village of Phu. These are all small villages as there are no more than 300 homes in the area. The houses resemble Tibetan architecture and they have thick, wooden doors. These doors were made in a time when they feared outside invasion. Now there is peace. Don't be surprised to discover the local women with more than one husband, which is rather common in these parts. One man will share a wife, usually with his brothers. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 23 – Trek to Meta (elev. 3560 m): We are making our way away from the Naar-Phu Valley, descending into lower levels where we will start encountering more trees, but still have some great views. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 24 – Trek to Koto (elev. 2600 m): Our journey is descending into wonderful forests as we move away from Naar-Phu Valley. We drop nearly 1000 meters in elevation today. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 25 – Trek to Dharapani (elev. 1860 m): We descend some more, following along mountain rivers that will continue to grow in width as other streams join it on their journey toward India. We will spend the night in Dharapani (elev. 1860 m), trekking between 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 26 – Trek to Jagat (elev. 1300 m): We follow along the Budhi Gandaki River, a beautiful mountain river that drains this region of the Himalayas. Jagat is a pretty little village with stone walkways and narrow alleys nestled alongside of the river. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 27 – Trek to Ngadi (elev. 930 m): We are on our final day of trekking, and there are wonderful wildflowers, waterfalls and villages to behold as we descend to our final destination of Ngadi where we will spend the night. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 28 – Drive to Kathmandu: We return to Kathmandu by bus, taking between 6 – 7 hours to reach the capital city of Nepal. Here we will check into a Deluxe Hotel for a good meal and a hot shower.
DAY 29 – DEPARTURE: All good things must come to an end, and your trip to Nepal is no exception. Before leaving, why not talk to your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about returning to Nepal for your next holiday. The vast majority of people make a return trip to Nepal because they are impressed by not only the beauty, but also the local people. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition offers trips into neighboring Tibet, Bhutan and India. Be sure to discuss your interests and plans with them today.
Your safety is of paramount importance while traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary. However, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountain regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not be forced to make last minute changes due to weather conditions, health conditions or any member of the group, unexpected natural disasters, etc. The team leader will do everything possible to ensure that the trip runs according to plan. Be prepared for any last minute changes. The Himalayas are big and wild, and worthy of your respect.
THE TREKKING GROUP
For the Upper Mustang Naar-Phu Valley Camping Trek, there will be one team leader/guide. We also provide an assistant leader (1 assistant per six trekkers), and Sherpa porters for carrying luggage (usual compliment is one porter for two trekkers). This arrangement ensures that anybody in the group gets sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can run this trek for any size group, but the maximum size is 12 people in order to make it a pleasant and enjoyable trip. However, if you would like to have a larger group, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can make the appropriate arrangements as well.
All accommodations are included in the trip cost and SNFT has chosen the best deluxe accommodation for Four nights in Deluxe Hotels in Kathmandu and One night in Pokhara. For the remaining Twenty-Five nights in comfortable two-men camping tent. To sleep in tent, 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. We maintain standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. All hotel and camping accommodation is on twin sharing basis, Solo travelers may share a room or tent, or if requested, you may indicate your preference and get single room/tent on request by paying additional fee.
During the Upper Mustang Naar-Phu Valley Camping trek, we can enjoy freshly cooked, hygienic and delicious typical Nepali meals on full board basis prepared by our experienced and trained cook during the trek with different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). We can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, drinks and snacks. Lunch will be served on the way to our destination and usually along the trail. Note that at the camping trek, the food is good, although the menus will be limited. A farewell dinner with cultural show and breakfast will be served in our stay in Kathmandu as well as breakfast served in Pokhara.