Dolpo Mustang Traverse Trek

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Starts at: Jhupal Ends at: Jomsom
Trek Region: Dolpo & Mustang Transport: Flight
Duration: 30 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5445 m / 17864 ft Accomodation: Camping

Dolpo Mustang Traverse Trek Highlights

  • Visit to Shey Gompa, one of the oldest monastery of the region
  • Follow the route to Lo Manthang- the ancient kingdom of Lo
  • Closer insight into the life of Bon Buddhists in Dolpo and Thakali people in Mustang
  • Spend time around the Shey Phoksundo lake to breath its pristinity and the serene surrounding
  • Opt for this trek in May and actively partake in the proceeding of the Tiji festival

The Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang trek takes in two remote areas which until relatively recently were closed to outsiders. These areas are unlike any other in Nepal, and can be compared in landscape and culture to Tibet or Ladakh in India. Indeed Dolpo lies between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri mountain ranges.

This is a long (almost one month) and challenging trek. With most days spent at altitudes over 4,000m and some high passes over 5,000m a great deal of stamina and fitness is needed to complete this trek. It combines all the main points of Dolpo trekking, such as Phoksundo Lake; Shey Monastery; the Crystal Mountain; the Bon Po religion, and rare wildlife, such as the snow leopard, with the monasteries, stupas, people and history of the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang.

Both areas are unforgiving and yet people have lived there for centuries, trading goods along ancient salt trails, working what little fertile land there is by planting potatoes and barley and being self-sufficient. Mustang only officially became part of Nepal in the 1950s and until a few years back had its own king. Mustang is part of the recent turbulent history of Tibet: freedom fighters set up camps in Mustang from which to attack the Chinese troops.

Starting in Dolpo, this trek passes through forests and remote villages to reach the clear, blue waters of Phoksundo Lake within the first few days. This lake was made famous, as indeed the whole of Dolpo was, in the Eric Valli film ‘Himalaya’. Shey Gompa is another famous landmark, and is often referred to as the spiritual heart of Dolpo. Situated at the base of the Crystal Mountain, it and the mountain attract hundreds of pilgrims each year.

Within Upper Mustang, Lo-Manthang is the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo. Although no longer the official king (his throne was lost when Nepal became a Republic in 2008), King, or Gyelpo Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, still commands the respect and regard of the locals. It is in Lo-Manthang that the famous 3 day Tiji Festival is held every May or June. It is also in Mustang that the ‘sky caves’ or the Jhong Cave is found. Some 50 m up a cliff face, the Jhong Cave is thought to be over 800 years old.

The Jhong Cave, which has five stories and 144 rooms, housed priceless wall paintings, centuries-old Tibetan Buddhist doctrine books, and human remains. It seems that there are hundreds of such caves in Upper Mustang, which appear to be dwellings of an ancient civilization. Set with the backdrop of the Annapurna mountains, Upper Mustang is a little explored yet unique place.

This trek is definitely something special, especially for those who are interested in fascinating anthropology, mountain wildlife, and stunning scenery and who have a taste for adventure and the necessary time and fitness level.

Dolpo Mustang Traverse Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (Flight)

Nepalgunj – 150 m / 492 ft – 50 minutes

Day 2: Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Flight) to Dunai

Dunai – 2850 m / 9350 ft – 4 hrs

Day 3: Dunai to Ankhe

Ankhe – 2896 m / 9501 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Ankhe to Renje

Renje – 3104 m / 10183 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Renje to Phoksundo Lake

Phoksundo Lake – 3612 m / 11850 ft – 6 hrs

Day 6: Phoksundo Lake to Chunemba

Chunemba – 3639 m / 11938 ft – 5 hrs

Day 7: Chunemba to Snowfield Camp

Snowfield Camp – 4400 m / 14435 ft – 7 hrs

Day 8: Snowfield Camp to Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa – 4310 m / 14140 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9: Shey Gompa to Nam Gaun Gompa

Nam Gaun Gompa – 4360 m / 14304 ft – 6 hrs

Day 10: Nam Gaun Gompa to Marang

Marang – 4350 m / 14271 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Marang to Dora Sumna

Dora Sumna – 3670 m / 12040 ft – 6 hrs

Day 12: Dora Sumna to Misha Gaun

Misha Gaun – 4200 m / 13779 ft – 5 hrs

Day 13: Misha Gaun to Shimen Gaun

Shimen Gaun – 3850 m / 12631 ft – 6 hrs

Day 14: Shimen Gaun to Tinje

Tinje – 4110 m / 13484 ft – 6 hrs

Day 15: Tinje to Rapka

Rapka – 4535 / 14878 ft – 6 hrs

Day 16: Rapka to Charka

Charka – 4302 m / 14114 ft – 7 hrs

Day 17: Charka to Tulsi Khola

Tulsi Khola – 4935 m / 16190 ft – 5 hrs

Day 18: Tulsi Khola to Nakhkem Khola

Nakhkem Khola – 5066 m / 16620 ft – 5 hrs

Day 19: Nakhkem Khola to Kharka

Kharka – 5445 m / 17864 ft – 6 hrs

Day 20: Kharka to Ghami Phedi

Ghami Phedi – 3680 m / 12073 ft – 8 hrs

Day 21: Ghami Phedi to Ghami

Ghami – 3520 m / 11548 ft – 5 hrs

Day 22: Ghami to Marang

Marang – 3540 m / 11614 ft – 6 hrs

Day 23: Marang to Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang – 3810 m / 12500 ft – 6 hrs

Day 24: Day Trip to Jhong Cave

Lo Manthang – 3810 m / 12500 ft – 6 hrs

Day 25: Lo Manthang to Yara Gaun

Yara Gaun – 3900 m / 12795 ft – 6 hrs

Day 26: Yara Gaun to Tange

Tange – 3240 m / 10629 ft – 6 hrs

Day 27: Tange to Tetang

Tetang – 3040 m / 9973 ft – 7 hrs

Day 28: Tetang to Muktinath

Muktinath – 3700 m / 12139 ft – 8 hrs

Day 29: Muktinath to Jomsom

Jomsom – 2710 m / 8891 ft – 6 hrs

Day 30: Jomsom to Pokhara (Flight) to Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 2 hrs

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Plan Your Trip

Includes

  • 28 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses and tents
  • 1 night accommodation in Nepalgunj (Hotel Sneha or similar)
  • Guide for 30 days
  • Cook for 30 days
  • Required number of porters for 30 days
  • Kathmandu Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj Jhupal Flight
  • Jomsom Pokhara, Pokhara Kathmandu Flight
  • Shey Phoksundo national park permit
  • Annapurna conservation area project permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 30 x breakfast, 29 x lunch and 29 x dinner while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • Lunch and dinner in Nepalgunj

Dolpo Mustang Traverse Trek Map

dolpo region trek map

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