Nepal Trailblazer Trekking offers 26 tours across Nepal including a 15-day adventure trek in the Upper Mustang. The trips range from low activity sightseeing trips to hiking, camping treks, backpacking, rafting and climbing adventures. Groups are small, ranging from 2 to 14 people, for an immersive and unforgettable active experience.
Nepal Trailblazer Trekking provides an expert guide, transportation, food, accommodations (on some trips and on other trips you will need to supply your own backpacking gear.) Check out their answers to the most frequently asked questions about traveling in Nepal.
Nepal Trailblazer Trekking is a fully certified tour operator in the Himalayas run by professional guides with many years of experience.
Photo of the Annapurna Range from the Mustang by François Bianco.
Enjoy these 2013 reviews from people who visited Nepal with Nepal Trailblazer Trekking, from all over the world. These stories give you a detailed view of what to expect from these trips and this tour operator.
The Upper Mustang is one of Nepal’s true hidden gems. Nested under the shadow of the majestic eight-thousander Annapurna, the Upper Mustang still preserves the ancient customs of Nepal and Tibet’s traditional culture. Indeed, until very recently any foreign visit to this corner of Earth was completely forbidden, and access is still limited to a chosen few to this day.
A trek through the Upper Mustang unites the natural beauty of this rarely-visited visited part of the world’s highest mountains, the Himalayas, with a rich diversity of cultural attractions: picturesque villages, old monasteries and proud palaces, of which the Royal Palace in the walled city of Lo Manthang stands out.
The region of Upper Mustang lies in the north-central part of Nepal, adjacent to the Tibetan Plateau on the mountainous border with China. The area is sparsely inhabited due to the rough terrain, with a population no greater than 15,000 people living in three towns and a few dozen villages. The traditional inhabitants of Upper Mustang include the Thakali and Gurung people as well as Tibetans.
The Upper Mustang is a climatically dry region, which explains its bizarrely eroded landscapes of various shades, ranging from brown, yellow and red to blue.
Nepal’s Upper Mustang is a perfect location for adventure travel. If you’re excited about hiking and trekking and have a taste for the Himalayas’ traditional culture, then you should visit this relatively unknown part of the world.
A 15 day trek with Nepal Trailblazer Trekking will take you to 500 year old villages, monasteries that until recently had been untouched since the 15th century and to the final destination of Lo Manthang, home of some of the most exquisite Buddhist artworks in the entire Himalayas.
An adventure trip to the Mustang begins with a scenic westward drive from Kathmandu to Nepal’s third-largest city, Pokhara. Pokhara is a popular travel destination because of its proximity to the Himalayas. Three out of the ten highest mountains in the world —Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and Manaslu — are situated within 30 miles.
You will be amazed by the ever-snowy peaks of the “Top of the World” towering above, as you follow the valleys of the Trishuli and Marshyandi rivers.
The 5-6-hour drive to Pokhara is followed by a short but breathtaking flight, for the next destination is Jomsom, an entrance point to the ancient Kingdom of Mustang. The brief 20-minute flight will take you over the deepest river gorge on Earth, that of the Kaligandaki, an important tributary to India’s sacred river, the Ganges. Indeed, the vertical difference between the Kaligandaki Gorge and the eight-thousanders surrounding it, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri, is difficult to fathom. From the top of Annapurna I to the bottom of the gorge, there’s a vertical gap of 18,278 ft (5,571 m)!
It is from Jomsom that the trekking begins. Himalayan trails will take you to traditional Mustang villages such as Tangbe, Chhusang (with its cave gompa), Chele and Samar, all with a backdrop of Himalayan peaks, as you gain elevation, hiking uphill into the Upper Mustang.
Following the Kaligandaki River in its upper course, you will delve into the upper reaches of the Mustang, gradually ascending to heights well above 3,000 m (10,000 ft). Another day on the trail will take you to the village of Geling, famous for its two 15th-century gompas (Buddhist religious sites). The next day of this adventure crosses a scenic mountain pass just above 4,000 m (13,000 ft) to give you a mesmerizing view of the Annapurna massif. The trail then leads you to the Mustang’s longest wall of mani prayer stones and then through another mountain pass to an ancient capital of the region, the village of Tsarang.
From this ancient capital, the trek continues on to the more recent capital of Mustang and the region’s prime cultural attraction. The famed fortress city of Lo Manthang, its strong walls and main buildings dating to the 1400s, lies on the Tibetan Plateau, just north of the highest parts of the Himalayas.
The trail descends from the mountains down to the city, allowing for almost a bird’s eye view of its six-meter-high earthen fortifications, its dzong towers and its massive palace, all sticking out among the arid brown hills surrounding Lo Manthang. Founded in 1380, the city continued to be a true royal capital of the Mustang up until more than 600 years later; the monarchical order in Nepal was abolished as late as 2008, taking with it the Kingdom of Mustang.
Yet signs of royal power abound in Lo Manthang, which is dominated by the imposing 15th-century white palace of five stories and nine corners. And with as many as four major gompas to discover around the valley, Lo Manthang is by all means the highlight and zenith point of any adventure trip to the Upper Mustang.
Nepal Trailblazer Trekking offers 15-day adventure trips in the Upper Mustang. Groups are small, ranging from 2 to 14 people, for an immersive and unforgettable active experience. The journey is perfectly suited for avid hikers and photographers with a taste for culture and history Nepal Trailblazer Trekking is a fully certified tour operator in the Himalayas run by professional guides with many years of experience. All this naturally sets the stage for your trek to remember through the Upper Mustang’s picturesque villages and deep mountain valleys and onto the ancient walls of Lo Manthang.
By far the most convenient way to reach this mesmerizing area is to fly to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and head to the Mustang from there. From California’s Bay Area, for example, Numerous Asian-based airlines offer connecting flights from San Francisco International to Kathmandu. Due to the necessary one or two layovers, usually in China or India, the journey from San Francisco to Kathmandu often takes upwards of 28 hours.