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Dolpo to Mustang trek is challenging hiking with five passes over 5000 meters. Only physically fit and the adventurous hikers can explore this hidden gem of Nepal. These trekking routes give you true wilderness along with the natural beauty of landscapes. You can experience a wide variety of local cultures and traditions during your trek.
Most part of the Dolpo is located under Shey Phoksundo National Park which lies between Tibetan Plateau and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Shey Phoksundo is home to over 197 species of birds and 32 species of mammals. Dolpo region is also a part of the Trans Himalayan trade route which is connected through Kali Gandaki George.
In this trekking routes, We start our trekking from Dolpo and then we move toward the Mustang region. Trekking from Dolpo to MustangTrek is an outstanding opportunity to experience the unforgettable thrill of adventure among the extraordinary citizens of the mysterious trans-Himalayan countryside. This journey forms many high elevations between the stunning valley, alpine meadows, and breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and glaciers into three weeks of unforgettable adventure in Nepal.
Because of the elevation of the trek, with many days spent near or above 5,000 m, you may encounter snow-particularly on approaching your final, and highest pass, the Ghami La at 5,700 m. The snow will make progress more difficult but will also add extra magic to its crossing. You will certainly feel mixed emotions at the end of your trek in mustang: a touch of bewilderment as you return to civilization, but also a deep sense of pride and accomplishment in completing such an epic, challenging and incredible trek.
The area of Mustang is dry and receives much less rainfall, with far less vegetation. This region’s landscapes strongly mimic the Tibetan high plateau. The places in this area are almost like dessert with many fluttering prayer flags featuring imaginative monasteries.
37 days of Dolpo to Mustang Trip is considered as moderate. If you regularly exercise or do morning walks, then walking on the trail wouldn’t be a problem for you. However, it’s strongly recommended that you do exercises a month before your trekking date. This would help create the best walking holiday experience in the Himalayas. That said, it should be remembered that there is a need for technical abilities. The major hurdle is an altitude. Therefore, a person having a past medical history of lung, heart, and blood diseases is extremely advised to consult your doctor before embarking on this journey.
Joining the Dolpo to Mustang trek with Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage in 2023/2024 can be a fantastic adventure for several reasons:
Scenic Beauty: Dolpo and Mustang are both regions known for their breathtaking natural beauty. The trek offers awe-inspiring landscapes, including rugged mountains, deep valleys, pristine lakes, and unique rock formations. You'll get to witness the beauty of the Himalayas up close and experience the tranquility of remote, untouched regions.
Cultural Exploration: Dolpo and Mustang are culturally rich areas with distinct traditions and lifestyles. The trek allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the people of different ethnicities, such as the Dolpo and Mustang communities. You can visit ancient monasteries, observe religious ceremonies, and gain insights into their way of life.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Experience: Dolpo and Mustang are considered off-the-beaten-path destinations in Nepal, making this trek a less crowded alternative to popular routes like Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit. You'll have the opportunity to explore remote trails, encounter fewer tourists, and enjoy a sense of seclusion amidst the wilderness.
Expert Guidance: Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage is a reputable trekking agency with experienced guides who are familiar with the Dolpo and Mustang regions. They can provide valuable insights, ensure your safety throughout the journey, and share their knowledge about the local culture, history, and geography. Their expertise will enhance your trekking experience.
Unique Highlights: The Dolpo to Mustang trek offers unique highlights that set it apart from other treks in Nepal. You'll visit Phoksundo Lake, one of the deepest lakes in Nepal and a stunning natural wonder. The journey also takes you through the Upper Dolpo region, known for its remote villages, ancient monasteries, and the chance to encounter rare wildlife like the elusive snow leopard.
Personal Growth and Challenge: Trekking in the Himalayas is a physically and mentally challenging endeavor. It pushes your limits, tests your endurance, and fosters personal growth. The Dolpo to Mustang trek will provide you with an opportunity to challenge yourself, build resilience, and create lasting memories as you conquer high passes, navigate rugged terrains, and overcome obstacles along the way.
When choosing Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage, make sure to inquire about their trek itineraries, safety measures, accommodation arrangements, and the level of support provided during the trek. Additionally, check if they have the necessary permits and licenses required for organizing treks in the Dolpo and Mustang regions.
We have a wide range of treks, tours, and expedition packages in Nepal that lets you explore the mainstream trekking routes to the isolated, offbeat trails and the hidden corners.
In the Everest region itself, we have quite a range of trekking and climbing packages available, like the Gokyo Lakes trek, Everest Panorama trek, Everest Three High Passes trek, Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour, etc.
Likewise, here are some other hand-picked trekking packages for you in Nepal- Langtang Valley trek, Annapurna Circuit trek, Manaslu Circuit trek, Mardi Himal trek, Khopra Danda trek, Upper Mustang trek, Ghorepani Poon Hill trek, and Langtang Gosaikunda trek.
Research and plan your itinerary: Start by researching the Dolpo to Mustang trek route, including the highlights, distance, duration, and difficulty level. You can find various online resources, guidebooks, and travel forums to gather information. Plan your itinerary accordingly, considering your fitness level, available time, and the attractions you want to explore along the way.
Obtain necessary permits: Trekking in Dolpo and Mustang requires permits. Obtain the required permits before starting your journey. You'll need the Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Permit and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). These permits can be obtained through a registered trekking agency in Nepal or directly from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu.
Hire a guide or porter (optional): While the Dolpo to Mustang trek can be done independently, hiring a guide or porter is an option you might consider. A local guide can provide valuable insights into the region, culture, and ensure your safety. A porter can help carry your heavy backpack, allowing you to enjoy the trek more comfortably. Hiring these services is a personal choice, and you can decide based on your preferences and experience.
Arrange transportation: To reach the starting point of the trek, you'll need to arrange transportation. From Kathmandu, you can take a domestic flight to Juphal, which serves as the gateway to Dolpo. There are also bus options available from Kathmandu to Jomsom, which is the entry point for the Mustang region. Consider booking your flights or bus tickets in advance, especially during the peak trekking seasons.
Pack necessary gear and supplies: Make sure to pack appropriate trekking gear, including sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, rain gear, a sleeping bag, a backpack, and other essential items. Carry enough food supplies, as some sections of the trek might have limited teahouses or lodges. Additionally, carry a water purification system or iodine tablets to ensure a safe drinking water supply throughout the trek.
Follow the trail and respect local culture: As you embark on your trek, follow the designated trail and respect the local customs and culture. Interact with the locals, learn about their traditions, and be mindful of their way of life. Carry a guidebook or trekking map to navigate the route, and be prepared for variations in weather and terrain.
Stay in teahouses or camps: Along the Dolpo to Mustang trek, you'll find teahouses or lodges where you can rest, eat, and spend the night. These teahouses provide basic accommodation and meals. It's advisable to carry some cash as the availability of ATMs or card payment options might be limited. In some sections, you may also have the option to camp if you have the necessary equipment.
Stay physically fit and acclimatize: The Dolpo to Mustang trek involves high altitudes, so it's crucial to acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness. Take regular breaks, drink plenty of water, and ascend gradually. Before starting the trek, spend a few days in Kathmandu or a nearby location to adapt to the altitude. Maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness through regular exercise and walking to prepare your body for the trekking challenge.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a representative from Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the afternoon, we may take a rest or visit Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj.
We fly to Jhupal after breakfast. The town is beautifully located over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Here, we meet our trekking staff and begin the adventure. We walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai, which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We explore the small town in the evening and camp there for theTented camp
From Dunai we trek to Chhepka, which has few houses and a lodge. It will take us almost 6 hours to reach Chhepka and we will spend the night at the Tented camp.
Today we follow a trail that goes up and down along the forested riverbed. There are several streams on the way that offers a chance to cool off. The trail continues along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo Khola (rivers). We cross to the western side of the Phoksundo Khola and reach Sumduwa. Sumduwa is a major trail junction. As its name suggests ‘Sum’ in Tibetan means three and ‘Duwa’ means trail. It is also the Shey Phoksundo National Park’s headquarters. Traveling for nearly 6 hours we will reach our destination for the night
We will join the direct trail to Lake Phoksumdo today which would take us nearly 5-6 hours of walking. We will traverse through forests that have huge cedar trees and reach Palam (3710m), a winter settlement used by the people of the Ringmo village. The entry point for the Shey Phoksundo National Park is at the south end of the village. The route then descends on switchbacks through open country to an elevation of 3300 meters and then starts up another set of a dusty roller coaster walk to a ridge at 3780 meter that leads to the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 meters high). Our route then continues on to Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of flat-roofed stone houses with lots of Mani walls. Just after Ringmo we cross a bridge and follow the trail to Phoksumdo Lake, where we camp at the national park camping grounds on the western side of the lake.
We take a halt at the Lake Phoksundo campsite to get acclimatized to the area and the prevailing weather conditions. Taking advantage of this fact, we can explore the area around the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. Ringmo village, which looks like a typical Tibetan village, is scenically nestled in the area. Many beautiful glaciers can be found near and above the lake area. There are many monasteries (Gompas) and Bon-Po religious sites at the park and we can spend some of our time visiting these. The most famous, Shey Gompa was established in the 11th Century. Thashung Gompa located near Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago. We also explore the natural scenery and enjoy our nature tour
From Phoksundo we trek for five to six hours till we reach Sallagari, our campsite for the night.
From Sallaghari we trek to Kangla base camp or furthermore Nangdola camp traversing through Mandala camp. Owing to Bon Po influence some people called the surrounding place is also renowned as Mandala Camp, we will walk through this camp to our destination.
Today we walk for five to six hours to the fabled Shey Gompa and the nearby ‘Crystal Mountain’. It is considered to be the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. We are now entering the actual Dolpo region, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Kangla Pass also popular as the Nangdola. We trek along the precipitous and narrow trail to the western side of the lake, otherwise known as the ‘Devil’s Trail’. Cresting a 4000-meter ridge, we are treated to the magnificent view of Sonam Kang. We can also see the peaks Shey Shikkar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters. The trail then descends steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red chorten marks the entrance to Shey, where we camp for the night.
We walk for about 6 hours to reach the Namgong Gompa from Shey Gompa that is said to be about 800 years old. It has some ancient beautiful murals inside and a scroll that describes the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain, locally called Riu Dhukta, and the Gompa. Peter Matthiessen wrote quite a lot about his stay at Shey in his book ‘The Snow Leopard’, and it was also shown in Eric Valli’s movie ‘Caravan’ as Thinley’s son’s Gompa. After crossing the Ge La (Se La) Pass west of Shey, we are treated to a magnificent view of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. We spend our night at Namgong, a local nomadic herding settlement.
For six hours we walk from Namgong Gompa to Yanger Gompa, which lies on the old trade route to Tibet. We follow the Namga Khola past more summer herding spots, to the large village of Saldang. We’ll get a chance to visit some local houses, drink some salt butter tea or chang (Tibetan barley beer) and sample the local fare. This is the short but stunning day on the high trail leading to Saldang, with a large bird of prey and sometimes we can see the migrating Demoiselle Cranes above us and crossing many sodas and villagers on the way. After few hours of walking, we crest ridge topped with prayer flags and below of us, we can see the Saldang with dun Colored Mountain to the north bordering on Tibet. Also, you can see the trail to the Pamzang valley from the ridge and can pick out much of our trail after leaving Saldang. After crossing and walking several climbs and descends we reach Caravan Thinley’s typically Tibetan style house at the north end of the village where we will stop for some butter tea and a cup of Tibetan Barley Beer or popular as “Chang”. If time and physical conditions permit us then we will head 1 hour north along the Nagon Khola, to reach Yanger Gompa, where we set up camp for the night.
After crossing and walking several climbs and descends we reach Caravan Thinley’s typically Tibetan style house at the north end of the village where we will stop for some butter tea and a cup of Tibetan Barley Beer or popular as “Chang”. If time and physical conditions permit us then we will head 1 hour north along the Nagon Khola, to reach Yanger Gompa, where we set up camp for the night.
After a long walk of 6 hours, we will reach Khoma that bears a striking resemblance to a typical Tibetan village with the stunning beauty of villagers, Purely Tibetan lifestyle and hospitality make this place best trekking in the entire Himalaya. We walk passing the Saldang Gompa along the trail of Dho to the Nagon Khola through Sugugaon which is a stunning whitewashed village and past long Mani walls with painted Chorten and ancient Gompas at the cliffs. At Chagaon, we cross the Nagon Khola on a small bridge and walk straight up the dusty ridge on the steep, rocky trail for an hour. Descending to a dry, black riverbed we again ascend to a grassy plateau where we will stop for a much-needed lunch break after a long walk. After lunch, we walk 15 minutes to the Khoma La (4565m), from where we descend slowly to reach the stunning village of Khoma Gaon where we camp in the middle of the town at the grassy land.
As we trek from Khoma village, if we are lucky enough we may be able to see some endangered animals like a snow leopard or Blue Sheep. On the way, we pass small villages that look right out of the picture postcards. We stop at Simen village for lunch. After lunch, we will explore Simen Gompa which is in the middle of town and we can stop for a while to see this picturesque Gompa and see the culture and traditions of the local people, where villagers will be threshing their barley. We walk further passing the Mani walls with old chortens and descend to the river. We follow this trail for about an hour to reach our campsite for the day. The place is called Mendo, a seasonal doksa with a Mani wall and stone fields. This is a beautiful but cold place as it loses the sun very early and does not get until late morning.
Today we will head south along the Panjyan (Panzang) Khola passing the two trails leading north to the border of Tibet on our left, we will see more Mani walls and further along Pu Gompa on the other side of the river. We can see the Namgyal Chorten soaring up at the hill across the river. We will walk to the seasonal village and then to the small hamlet of Phalwa, where another route headed off to the north heading to the Tibetan border, shows the importance of the trade with Tibet is still to the Dolpo-Pa. After that, we will cross the intersecting stream and ascend to an impressive group of large chortens and Mani walls with colorful Tibetan flags and continue another hour to the Thinje. It is a large and renowned village where many villagers acting in the movie “Himalaya”. Tenjin Norbu, the well known “Ngagpa”, painter of Dolpo also comes from this village. Similarly, in the old times, his ancestors also monk painters traveled to Lo Manthang in Mustang to pay their tribute in Murals, Mani walls, and Thankas.
Tinje From Chharka we climb down to a river and follow the right fork southward, climbing in and out of the side valleys on a rough trail. The valley narrows here and we then step on to a big meadow and walk to our campsite at Yak Kharka.
We begin the day by starting our climb to a yak pasture at Molum Sumdo (4860m) and further on to a crest at 5130m. We then traverse across meadows and then make a long, steep final climb to Ghok Pass at 5460m. We will come down the switchbacks to reach our campsite by a stream at 5100m.
We climb to a lower Sangda La at 4990m and then descend through loose shale towards the village of Sangda (4190m). We will come down to the Chalung Khola, crossing it at 3750m, and then climb steeply up the opposite bank. A long high traverse leads to a cairn at 4090 meters after which we come to a set of steep switchbacks that descend to a stream at 3580m. We climb up to the compact settlement of Sangda where we will settle for the night. Sangda is a remote village of Gurung Tibetans originally from Mustang. This is blue sheep territory, so be ready with your binoculars
We start climbing the hill behind Sangda and spend most of the day making a high traverse, crossing nine ridges to a final crest at 4280m. We then come down into the Kali Gandaki Valley, walking under high cliffs and descending to the large village of Phalek. We can see the stunning view of Kagbeni, Jharkot, Muktinath, Thorung Peak, the Thorung La, Niligiri, Dhaulagiri and the Kali Gandaki. Phalek is an attractive Mustangi village which holds a yearly archery festival as most of the Mustangi and Managi villages do.
From Phalek we climb to a ridge that is at an altitude of 3360m and make a final descent on a challenging trail consisting of loose rocks to reach Jomsom located at 2670 meters above sea level.
This is a large town, headquarter of the Mustang region; it is also a major village on the Kaligandaki area linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. In may visit an interesting wind swept villages situated on the main age old Trans Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. O/N at Lodge.
Kagbeni to Chele Actually, Kagbeni is the entry point to upper Mustang. From Kagbeni, trail leads up the east bank of Kali Gandaki and climbs over many ridges as it head north. After, that, through the interesting cave, Gompa crossing place of Tangbeegetation is almost non- – existent except for small shrubs and thorn bushes. The Kaligandaki canyon is awe-inspiring. However, the trail is kept lively with several passing mule trains and horsemen bearing wares from after. This day is uphill, quite steep at times up to the little village of Tangbe 2900m where we stop for lunch. Then after the path flattens out up to Chusang a fairly large settlement inhabited mostly by a mixed ethnic group of Gurungs, Thakalis and some families from the land of Lo. There is a small Buddhist Gompa constructed out of stone and mud across the river, which can only be reached during the colder months when water is low. By itself Chusang is a very interesting village with narrow covered alleys running through the cente, Chhuksang 5/6 hours. Overnight at Lodge.
The trail widens significantly an en Chusang-Samar (3050 m) approx.,4 hrs
Having entered this long and secluded valley one feels also a distinct change, not only to topography but there is a world of difference in culture, lifestyle and landscape. Settlements are more scattered, smaller and basic. The people of Lo or Mustang practice agriculture but because of the lack of the rain and fertile soil, cultivation is in sheltered plots of land making the landscape of a pattern of brown with scattered patches of shaded greens. A little ahead of Chusang we cross a small bridge across the Mustang Khola River, across which is colorful little village called Chaili. The trail then veers northwest along steep lines right up to the village of Samar, out campsite, making it a tough four hours walk. Samar is a very old and small village situated amongst a grove of trees with a stream running through the middle.
As in all desert lands, settlements in Mustang are in oasis village most houses are constructed out of mud and stones with roof cast out of twins, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles. The trail descends crossing couple of mountain streams followed by a fairly flat stretch of two hours before we arrive into a wide valley. The Gelling village is located an hour walk away to the right of the main trail and in a valley between two hills. North of the village lies a Buddhist Gompa, which, though new contains exquisite wall paintings.
At the place of Geling, the trail climbs gently through field up the centre of the valley; it passes above Tama Gaon and its imposing Chorten. After crosses Tangmar Chu River, with a short climbing enters Charang (3490m). Walking time takes about 5/6 hours, Overnight at Lodge.
Lomanthang is the capital city of upper Mustang. We will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner’s/N at Lodge
Today, you are free to explore the fascinating Village of Lo Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the village and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king’s palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues. It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys, but this short tour will incur extra costs./N at Lodge.
The trail from Lomanthang to Yara is moderate with slight up and down. You will see two villages on the trail before reaching Yara.
The journey between Yara and Tangee will be moderate
This is really nice view point on the way to chusang village. will proceed to Chusang for the night stop.
The walk to Jomsom via kagbeni will be enjoyable, you can get some teashops on the way.
Jomsom/Pokhara morning flight same day afternoon Kathmandu flight. Jomsom/Pokhara morning flight same day afternoon Kathmandu flight.
Nepal adventure pilgrimage Trek We will transfer you airport as per your flight time.
This Trek requires preparations and checklists of gears & equipment needed for the journey. It is always best to carry the essential clothing and accessories for the entire trek. We understand that you have your own preference for clothing but we recommend you to consult us before packing.