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Upper Dolpo Upper Mustang Traverse Trek - 30 Days

Upper Dolpo Upper Mustang Traverse Trek
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Upper Dolpo Upper Mustang Traverse Trek Highlights

  • You will pay a visit to Shey Gompa, one of the oldest monastery of the region which reflects the 12th-century history of the region.
  • On this trek, you will follow the route to Lo Manthang- the ancient kingdom of Lo.
  • You will have a closer insight into the life of Bon Buddhists in Upper Dolpo and Thakali people in Upper Mustang.
  • You can spend some time around the Shey Phoksundo lake to breath its pristinity and the serene surrounding.
  • If you opt for this trek in May, you can 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.

Days Itinerary Altitude Time
Day 1 Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (Flight) 150 m 1 hr
Day 2 Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Flight) to Dunai 2850 m 3 hr
Day 3 Dunai to Ankhe 2896 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 4 Ankhe to Renje 3104 m 7 hr
Day 5 Renje to Phoksundo Lake 3612 m 7 hr
Day 6 Phoksundo Lake to Chunemba 3639 m 5 hr
Day 7 Chunemba to Snowfield Camp 4400 m 7 hr
Day 8 Snowfield Camp to Shey Gompa 4310 m 6 hr
Day 9 Shey Gompa to Nam Gaun Gompa 4360 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 10 Namgaun Gompa to Marang 4350 m 7 hr
Day 11 Marang to Dora Sumna 3670 m 6 - 7 hr
Day 12 Dora Sumna to Misha Gaun 4200 m 5 hr
Day 13 Misha Gaun to Shimen Gaun 3850 m 6 hr
Day 14 Shimen Gaun to Tinje 4110 m 7 hr
Day 15 Tinje to Rapka 4535 m 5 hr
Day 16 Rapka to Charka 4302 m 6 - 7 hr
Day 17 Charka to Tulsi Khola 4935 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 18 Tulsi Khola to Nakhkem Khola 5066 m 4 - 5 hr
Day 19 Nakhkem Khola to Kharka 5445 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 20 Kharka to Ghami Phedi 3680 m 8 - 9 hr
Day 21 Ghami Phedi to Ghami 3520 m 4 hr
Day 22 Ghami to Marang 3540 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 23 Marang to Lo Manthang 3810 m 6 hr
Day 24 Acclimatization Day 3810 m 3 - 4 hr
Day 25 Lo Manthang to Yara Gaun 3900 m 7 hr
Day 26 Yara Gaun to Tange 3240 m 6 hr
Day 27 JTange to Tetang 3040 m 7 - 8 hr
Day 28 Tetang to Muktinath 3700 m 8 hr
Day 29 Muktinath to Jomsom 2710 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 30 Jomsom to Pokhara (Flight) to Kathmandu (Flight) 1380 m 25 min

Included

  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/ departure)
  • Local transfers for your domestic flights x 4
  • Kathmandu Nepalgunj Jhuphal Flight
  • Jomsom Pokhara Kathmandu Flight
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Project Entry Permit and Restricted Area Entry Permit
  • Guide for 30 days
  • Porter for 29 days
  • Cook for 29 days
  • Kitchen helper for 29 days
  • 4 nights accommodation in Kathmandu
  • 28 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses and tented camp
  • 1 night accommodation in Nepalgunj
  • 30 x set breakfast, 30 x set lunch and 29 x set dinner while on trek
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff

Excluded

  • International flight ticket and Nepal entry visa
  • Personal travel insurance (Which should include coverage for trekking)
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu, except the farewell dinner
  • Personal gear for trekking (Including any you may wish to hire in Kathmandu), any personal expenses (i.e. soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks etc.)
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FAQs

Is it safe to drink the water in Upper Dolpo Upper Mustang Traverse Trek?

No. You cannot drink the water from the tap or streams in Upper Dolpo Upper Mustang Traverse Trek. Mineral water is not available on the trail. You can use a water purifier or SteriPen.

Am I likely to get altitude sickness on my trek?

Be aware. Elevation on this trek will exceed 3,500m. The possibilities of getting altitude sickness generally start at this elevation. But in order to avoid this, as much as possible, we have designed the itinerary in such a way that it will give you enough time to acclimatize.

Am I at risk and how can I avoid altitude sickness?

There is no knowing who will suffer from altitude sickness. It does not follow that the younger and fitter people will not get altitude sickness where the older and less fit will. It is not related to (general) fitness or age. Talk to your doctor at home. There are prescription medications which help avoid the onset of altitude sickness. But above all, go slowly, listen to your body, be aware of any changes, and listen to your guide if he feels you are showing symptoms (which you might not notice).

What happens if there is need for emergency evacuation while I am trekking?

We will collect your travel insurance policies and details before the trek so that in case of an emergency we can coordinate with your insurance company and the helicopter providers for evacuation.

What about simple medical treatment on the trek?

First aid. On every trek we will carry a first aid kit. We also recommend you carry your own. Here is a checklist recommended by Karen Anderson of things you should bring. Vaccinations are not compulsory in Nepal but to be on the safe side we recommend you comply, where possible, with this list provided by again by Karen Anderson (medical doctor in New Zealand and friend and client of Magical Nepal).

Do I need to buy travel insurance before I come to Nepal?

Yes. Magical Nepal only provides insurance for our own staff. We recommend you buy insurance in your country. Note: Insurance should cover you for the altitudes you are trekking at (not all do). We recommend World Nomads.

Will I need to bring my own sleeping bag or not?

Yes, bring your own or you can rent it or buy it in Kathmandu. Renting a sleeping bag in Kathmandu will cost you $1 or $2 per day. To buy a new sleeping bag in Kathmandu expect to pay around $150 to $200 for one of medium quality.

Will I need to use crampons on this trek?

Yes. It is an exploratory trek, and weather conditions can be unpredictable. We might need to use crampons.

What happens if I forget to bring something with me from home?

If you forget something it might be extremely hard to find here. Please check here for an exhaustive packing list for (general) trekking in Nepal. If you are not a frequent hiker, you can rent most of the trekking gear in Nepal when you arrive.

Will we be using tents and mattresses on the trek?

Yes. It is an exploratory trek, and weather conditions can be unpredictable. We might need to use crampons.

Where can I leave stuff in Kathmandu when I am trekking?

Anything you don’t want to take on the trek with you can be stored at your hotel or in our office. We suggest you ensure your bag is lockable.

Who will be my guide?

We use local guides. On each trek our guides have been to the relevant areas numerous times. All are experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and authorized licensed guides with the Government of Nepal.

Will I need a porter for my trek?

Preferable. If you use a porter it has double benefit: you can fully enjoy your trek without carrying a heavy bag, and its improves the income of the local community.

How much can a porter carry?

20kg. On average a porter can carry 22kg including their own backpack. So, they can carry up to 18kg of your gear and equipment. We provide backpacks for porters.

Are your staff insured in case of accidents etc.?

Yes. At Magical Nepal we make sure all our staff are well insured.

I hear incidents when porters do not have proper shoes etc. Is this true?

At Magical Nepal we ensure all our guides and porters have proper gear, are well equipped and protected. This is for their own well being and for the wellbeing of our clients.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Trip Facts

  • 5445 m
  • Nepalgunj/Jomsom
  • Challenging

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