It’d be a big waste for trekkers to visit Nepal without scrambling the way up from Upper Dolpo to Mustang. The trek is incredibly adventurous whilst the place absolute heaven with raging rivers and glacial lakes
Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek epitomizes thrill to the deserted ravine of Kang La and Nangdala’s arid steppe. Its classic trail is a moving portrait of dramatic landscapes, epic valleys, and wilderness.
So many places near and far from Mustang are abandoned with no human settlements and still, it looks wonderful. Navigating the trails is more like playing with a daredevil stunt, given the narrow canyon, and rock cliffs.
Trails clambering the hills are jagged and meanders through hills and rocks so get ready to be challenged. After every successful trek, trekkers will stop at the most angelic places that have spectacular scenery to offer.
Like most hikes to the Himalayas, Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek also starts with a short flight to Nepalgunj. We’re still short of a 45-minutes flight to Juphal before starting the trek, so we do that first and then make our way to Dunai.
Taking steppe routes that winds up and down, we reach Chhepka and gradually move to Sumduwa. Walking on a trail with small but sharp stones, we arrive at Phoksundo Lake which defines the beauty of nature.
After a day of acclimatization, we carry on with the trek, heading to Sallaghari. The dramatic walk to Upper Dolpo will see us crawling Nangdola High Camp and almost a thousand years old Namgong Gompa.
The trail from Saldang to Sangda runs through high cliffs, multiple passes and remote settlements including Thinje and Chharka. Walking downhill to the Phalek Village, we trace our steps back to Jomson and then Pokhara through a scenic flight. Finally, on the last day before you catch our international flight, we’ll fly you back to Kathmandu.
Highlights of Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek
1. Shey Phoksundo Lake
It’s hard to resist the elegance of Shey Phoksundo Lake when on a trip from Upper Dolpo to Mustang. The lake is a pure joy to ease off after all those strenuous walks and ascends up to the destination.
There’s such utter silence in the place that you can even hear the moving air and even your own breath. Resting at a surface elevation of 3589 meters in a stunning national park, Shey Phoksundo is an oligotrophic lake. It’s a chosen Ramsar wetland with turquoise water that’s delightful to see.
2. Lo Manthang
Natives of Mustang know how incredible Lo Manthang is, given they are just a minute away. But for trekkers, it’s 135 miles far-off from Kathmandu through a mix of a well-paved road and cragged surface.
Moving through an arid region and desert, the trail is definitely not a piece of cake. Still, it keeps people occupied with mesmeric plateaus, red cliffs, and mud walls. Not too far, Lo Manthang is stacked with ancient palaces, Chortens, and sacred temples including Jampa Lakhang.
3. Muktinath and Jomsom
No hiker can afford missing Jomsom and Muktinath while trekking Upper mustang. It’s a fabulous place to be with all exciting sites and sceneries. Jomsom has a wild forest with animals for nature lovers while Muktinah gives secluded places to people looking for alone time.
Both the places have got everything from rock cliffs to eco museum, Buddhist monastery and scenic mountain view. Devotees visit Muktinath, a sacred pilgrimage to Hindus and Buddhists at the foot of Thorong La Pass.
4. Tshowa Gompa
Tshowa Gompa has become a symbol for Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek. It’s a glorious monastery with more than 800-years-old history and Tibetan line art. Carved idols and paintings in the monastery will take you back in the time. Continuous chants, flapping prayer flags and rotating wheels compel the visitor to immerse in Buddhist culture.
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