One of the most beautiful areas of the mighty Himalayas can be found in the far western part of Nepal. The region of Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo are some of the most remote places that offer incredible opportunities for great mountain views, observation of wild animals and some of the most interesting culture that Nepal has to offer. This area was closed off to visitors until 1992. Before that, it was home to Tibetan Freedom fighters who took up residency to fight against the Chinese after their invasion of their native land. It is a sparsely populated land with incredible natural scenery.
This place was only declared part of Nepal around 1950. Mustang has retained its king since then, even though the government of Nepal no longer recognizes any monarchy. Upper Mustang is so remote that they have retain their culture and religious practices. It is noted for cliff monasteries, unique moonscapes, wind-erosion formations and the walled capital city of Lo-Manthang are there to explore.
Upper Dolpo is even more remote as it is a hidden land within the borders of Nepal. Like Upper Mustang, their people came as settlers from the Tibetan plateau over 1000 years ago. It is the highest inhabited place on earth. It is a hostile environment as winter comes early to its high elevations. However, the people there have managed to establish subsistence living through farming on the banks of rivers. Their villages are fortress like, and there are incredible waterfalls and beautiful lakes in the Upper Dolpo region. It has some of the finest scenery in all of Nepal
Upper Dolpo has no roads, and most of the region is not even accessibly by flight. The only air connection is at the district city of Dunai which is a several days journey from Upper Dolpo. It has some remote and beautiful Buddhist monasteries. The ancient Tibetan Bön Religion is still practiced in places. Altitude in Upper Dolpo ranges from 2500 m to 5070 m.
Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition is pleased to be able to offer this truly amazing trek into the most remote parts of Nepal. It is truly a camping adventure that will reveal some incredibly stunning scenery, incredible opportunities to see wildlife and to meet the local people who rarely ever see outsiders. If you like real adventure, then this trip is definitely for you.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to Hotel. Orientation
DAY 2 – Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (elev. 820 m)
DAY 3 – Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (elev. 2720 m), Trek to Kagbeni (elev. 2800 m)
DAY 4 – Trek to Tsaile (elev. 3100 m)
DAY 5 – Trek to Ghiling (elev. 3570 m)
DAY 6 – Trek to Drakmar (elev. 3450 m)
DAY 7 – Trek to Lo-Manthang (elev. 3840 m)
DAY 8 – Acclimatization Day, exploring around Lo-Manthang
DAY 9 – Trek to Tsarang (elev. 3560 m)
DAY 10 – Trek to Ghami (elev. 3510 m)
DAY 11 – Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4200 m)
DAY 12 – Trek to Ghami-La Base Camp (elev. 5100 m)
DAY 13 – Trek to Chharka Bhot (elev. 4110 m)
DAY 14 – Trek to Rapka (elev. 4535 m)
DAY 15 – Trek to Tinje Gaon (elev. (elev. 4150 m)
DAY 16 – Trek to Shimen Gaon (elev. 3870 m)
DAY 17 – Trek to Nisal Gaon (elev. 3750 m)
DAY 18 – Trek to Saldang (elev. 3770 m)
DAY 19 – Trek to Namgung (elev. 4430 m)
DAY 20 – Trek to Shey Gompa (elev. 4160 m)
DAY 21 – Trek to Nangda-La Phedi (elev. 4600 m)
DAY 22 – Trek to Phoksundo Khola (elev. 4316 m)
DAY 23 – Trek to Phoksundo Lake (elev. 3373 m)
DAY 24 – Exploring around Phoksundo Lake
DAY 25 – Trek to Rechi (elev. 2940 m)
DAY 26 – Trek to Chhepka (elev. 2835 m)
DAY 27 – Trek to Dunai (elev. 2140 m)
DAY 28 – Trek to Juphal (elev. 2475 m)
DAY 29 – Fly to Nepalgunj
DAY 30 – Fly to Kathmandu
DAY 31 – Free Day for Sightseeing
DAY 32 – 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): The journey today is by 1st Class, Luxury Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. While flying will get you there in just 25 minutes, taking the bus is the best way to see the countryside. The trip crosses the pass out of Kathmandu and then down the mountain through beautiful canyons. We will pass waterfalls and fast flowing mountain rivers which are famous as great places to do rafting. There will be many villages the journey will pass through as well as along terraced farms. We will arrive around 2 pm in Pokhara and check into a Three Star Hotel near Lakeside. This will give you an opportunity to explore some of the Lakeside area, which is located on the eastern shore of Phewa Lake. There are great views along the way.
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 trail 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): We get up early and take a rather poor local dirt road uphill to reach the plateau. From here, it is an easy ascent to a small pass as we make our way to Samar village. We will have lunch here and then the trail will be up and down as we trek to Chungsi Cave Monastery. This monastery features an incredible feeling of deep spirituality that touches every visitor. There are great mountain views along the way. We will see and visit several monasteries along the way, including one where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. We pass next to Syangmochen village, then climb again to a small pass were we will encounter a very large chhortens along with two smaller gompas with walls that are painted red. We will spend the night camping in Ghiling.
DAY 6 – Trek to Drakmar (elev. 3450 m): We begin the day by walking through the village of Ghiling which is a large village here in Mustang. We will ascend to the mountain pass of Nyl-La, and enter what is known as Central Mustang. In ancient times, this was the land of Lo. We descend into the valley and reach the village of Ghami with its terraced farmland that clings to the sides of the cliff. We pass incredibly long Mani Walls and then unique rock formations with stones of red, orange, blue and white. We will follow a small river upstream to reach our night's destination of Drakmar. Trekking time today is 5 – 6 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 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, and wonderful four-storey affair that is the heart of the city. We will spend a second night camping in the city.
DAY 9– Trek to Tsarang (elev. 3560 m): We leave the ancient walled city after breakfast and climb up a steep, sandy slope to reach Lo-La Pass which will afford us our last view of Lo-Manthang. We will be walking on a wide plain as we look up and see numerous caves in the face of the rock. When we come to a very large, isolated chhortens, we are crossing an ancient boundary between Lo-Manthang and Tsarang. We will cross an iron bridge over the Tsarang Khola. Tsarang was once its own kingdom and we will see a five-storey palace there along with a 14th century Gompa situated on the side of the Kali Gandaki Gorge at the eastern end of the village. We will spend the night at a local lodge in Tsarang. Trekking time is 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 10 – Trek to Ghami (elev. 3510 m): The little village of Ghami features some incredibly wonderful terraced fields as farmers till their crops on the hillsides as they have done for centuries. We are moving away from the Mustang Region and civilization as we trek westward toward the Upper Dolpo Region. Camp at night in Ghami Village. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 11 –Trek to Yak Kharka (elev. 4200 m): We are gaining elevation as we leave the villages behind. This area is sparsely populated and we will probably see more goats than people from now on. The trail is gaining elevation with great views of the mountains. We will camp tonight at Yak Kharka, which is a summer mountain grazing area for yaks and goats. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 12 – Trek to Ghami-La Base Camp (elev. 5100 m): We are gaining in elevation and now above the tree line. Our destination is Ghami-La Base Camp for those climbing this peak. We will camp here and enjoy a great sunset over the Himalayas from our high vantage point. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 13 – Trek to Chharka Bhot (elev. 4110 m) via Ghami-La Pass (Bhanjyang) (elev. 5933 m): This is the highest point on our trek as we nearly break the 6,000 meter mark. From here we will have some of the most stunning views of the snowcapped peaks. It will be cold up here as the wind always blows. Then it is a steep downhill trek to reach Chharka Bhot where we plan to spend the night camping. Trekking time is 9 – 10 hours
DAY 14 – Trek to Rapka (elev. 4535 m) via Chharka Bhanjyang (elev. 5027 m): There are lots of mountain passes along the way as we continue our journey through Upper Dolpo. We will be doing lots of climbing to cross these high mountain passes which will afford us outstanding views that few people ever see. We will spend the night camping around the village of Rapka. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 15 – Trek to Tinje Gaon (elev. 4150 m): We are heading north today, following the Keighn Khola (river) valley. We are rising above this fast flowing mountain stream as it rushes down from the lofty peaks. The trail follows alongside a cliff with great overlooks of the deep valley below us. We will camp at Tinje Gaon. Trekking time is 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 16 – Trek to Shimen Gaon (elev. 3870 m) The trail now turns northwest. We will pass through a few small villages, but most of the way is pretty sparsely populated. We will camp at Shimen Gaon. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 17 – Trek to Nisal Gaon (elev. 3750 m): The trail continues toward the northwest. Our destination is almost the most northern spot we will be trekking to in Nepal. We are dropping a bit in elevation as Nisal Gaon is on the confluence of several mountain streams. We will camp at Nisal Gaon. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 18 – Trek to Saldang (elev. 3770 m): We reach the most northern part of our trek and then turn south at Yangier Gumba. We follow a river valley almost straight south as we come to the village of Saldang. It is a larger village up in the mountains, it even has a health post. We will camp here for the night. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 19 – Trek to Namgung (elev. 4430 m): Today is a shorter day as we follow along the Namgung Khola, passing a few settlements along the way. We are climbing upwards again on our way to Namgung village where we will spend the night. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 20 – Trek to Shey Gompa (elev. 4160 m): We are turning again southward, and we will be climbing another mountain pass at Shey Bhanjyang (elev. 5010 m). We will drop down to Shey Gompa where we will camp for the night. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 21 – Trek to Nangda-La Phedi (elev. 4600 m): We make our way through some rather remote area with very few villages. Our destination is Nangda-La Phedi where we will camp for the night. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 22 – Trek to Phoksundo Khola (elev. 4316 m) via Nangda-La Pass (elev. 5360 m): It is another high mountain pass at Nangda-La Pass where we will get some of the finest views of the mountains of Upper Dolpo. Stretching below us is Phoksundo Lake which will be a blue jewel in the midst of the snowcapped peaks and deep green valleys. Trekking time today is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 23 – Trek to Phoksundo Lake (elev. 3733 m): What an incredible view today as we see Phoksundo Lake up close. This is a wonderful mountain lake. It is long and narrow, forming deep in a valley. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours. We will camp here two nights.
DAY 24 – Explore Phoksundo Lake: We will explore the surrounding hills overlooking the lake with its waterfalls and beautiful views.
DAY 25 – Trek to Rechi (elev. 2940 m): We are dropping in elevation today as we are making our way toward the entrance to the Upper Dolpo Region. We will pass through a few small villages along the way, camping at Rechi overnight.Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 26 – Trek to Chhepka (elev. 2838 m): We continue our drop in elevation, following Phoksundo River. Chhepka is a small camping area along the river. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 27 – Trek to Dunai (elev. 2140 m): Dunai is a major village in the Dolpo region, and there we will find more amenities than we have seen in days. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 28 – Trek to Juphal (elev. 2475 m): This is our last day of trekking, and our destination is the district city of Juphal. It is also the farthest west we will trek in Nepal. Tomorrow we catch the plane first to Nepalgunj. We will camp tonight at Juphal. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 29 – Fly to Nepalgunj: We will take an early morning flight to Nepalgunj, the largest city in the Terai region. Nepalgunj is on the Indian border and is very low in elevation. This is a great place to shop for Indian goods as they are quite inexpensive. There are some nicer hotels here, where we can get a hot shower and some good food. Nepalgunj is not a tourist town, and when it comes to daytime temperatures, it has the hottest temperatures of anywhere in Nepal. May can be brutally hot, with temperatures reaching 40°C. We will choose an a/c hotel for the night.
DAY 30 – Fly to Kathmandu: Nepalgunj sits on the flat plains of the Terai, but you will be able to see the mountains to the north. It is about one hour flight back to Kathmandu where you will be transferred by private vehicle from the domestic airport to your Three Star Hotel.
DAY 31 – Free Day in Kathmandu: Today is a free day in the Kathmandu Valley. You can use the time for exploring the Valley, shopping or just relaxing with a book on the rooftop garden of your hotel. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with local food and cultural show.
DAY 32 – 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 Upper Dolpo 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 Three nights in 3-Star Hotels in Kathmandu and One night in Pokhara. For the remaining Twenty-Seven 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 with someone of the same sex, or if requested, you may indicate your preference and get single room/tent on request by paying additional fee.
During the Upper Mustang Upper Dolpo 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.