Forbidden Mustang and the Walled City
Destinations Destinations
Kagbeni, Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Jomsom
Activity Activity
Adventure, Culture & History, Trekking, Backpacking, Hiking
Tour Type Tour Type
Group tour
Physical Level Physical Level
Season Season
January - December

Good to know

  • Operated by Snow Cat Travel, part of Rural Heritage, the highly recommended Nepal adventure travel specialists.
  • Max 8 people with guest to guide ratio 1:4 for safety and risk management.
  • All camping and safety equipment provided (satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit).
  • Fully qualified expert mountaineering guides.
  • 24/7 support.

This trip opens up a different part of Nepal, where foreigners were forbidden for many years, and Mustang remains restricted. It’s for intrepid travellers with good fitness and previous experience at high altitude, to experience Tibetan culture and small villages. See unique rock formations and arid cliffs, as well as the legendary walled Lo Manthang. As Mustang isn’t affected by monsoons, this adventure is possible year-round.

Tour itinerary

What you'll see and do

Arrive Kathmandu

Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, where you’ll be met and receive a private transfer to the Hotel. Get a briefing and enjoy dinner in the city. A special permit ($500 USD) is required for this trek, so it’s required to present hard copies of your passport by 10:00hrs to the permit issuing office. The office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed Saturday/public holidays. This requires extra days in Kathmandu.

Where you'll stay
KGH Hotel

KGH Hotel

Fly to Pokhara

Take a private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara. You're met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the day in the sub-tropical climate, your opportunity to relax before the trek. There are many lakeside cafes and bars, as well as several options for food.

Includes: breakfast
Where you'll stay
Hotel Karuna Pokhara

Hotel Karuna Pokhara

Fly to Jomsom and Walk to Kagbeni

Take 18min flight to Jomsom (2736m). The Kagbeni walk only takes 3hrs so you can stop at one of the teahouses to enjoy views of the peak of Nilgiri South and the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley. It's mostly fairly level walking, with a few uphill and downhill sections. Outside Jomsom if you look back you'll see the white pyramid of Dhaulagiri.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Chukksang

At the edge of Kagbeni the police post checks permits to enter the restricted Upper Mustang area. You'll walk to the valley floor, with the Nilgiri Peaks behind you and distinct Mustang landscape ahead. You reach Tengbe with its typical colourful houses and timber log roofs. Next, you’ll ascend gradually and Chukksang (approx 3020m) comes into view. Walking time 4-5hrs.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Acclimatisation Day - Chukksang

As Mustang is part of the Tibetan Plateau and is relentless high altitude all the way, it's a good idea to have an acclimatisation day at just above 3000m. It’s not exactly a rest day, unless you choose that. You can take a short hike in the area, but avoid over-exertion. One suggestion is to visit the nearby Sky Caves.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Samar

Walking across the dry river bed of Kali Gandaki, ascend gradually to Chele (3100m). Looking back you'll see the summit of distant Annapurna 1. The trail after Chele rises steeply. There's a further ascent as you reach around 3600m and then you’ll lose a little height to reach Samar (approx. 3400m). A fairly short walking day, around 4hrs.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Walk to Geling

A longer day heading firstly up to a col and then ascending even higher to cross a 3900m pass. The views of the Mustang mountainscapes are particularly dramatic. Heading down a bit and then around you reach another great viewpoint and will see your overnight stop down below. The descent is straightforward to reach Geling (3570m). Walking time approx. 5-6hrs.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hike to Lo Manthang

Today there are passes as high as 4000m and stops can be made along the way at dramatic viewpoints. You’ll enter the 'Kingdom of Lo' and the fabled walled 'city' of Lo Manthang (approx. 3800m). Walking time around 8hrs. One option is to add more time in Lo Manthang, though it can be explored in a day, or visit the Chossar Caves or the border with Tibet in a chartered jeep.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hike to Yara

This is a walk that rises steadily and gains some 300m in height to reach the Dhi La (4100m), with great views of the Kali Gandaki and Himalayan peaks on the horizon. It's then a steep descent down to the valley floor and walking beyond the village of Dhi, with a final climb to Yara (3760m). Walking time 5-6hrs

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Walk to Tange

Today is a steady rise to a col followed by a descent into the Dechyang Khola Valley. You then ascend onto the broad Sertang Danda ridge and traverse the slopes, up to a 3850m pass. Below is Tange (3370m), and you walk down to the village. Sandals are suggested to ford a few small rivers. Walking time around 6hrs.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
A Long Walk to Chukksang

This is the hardest and longest day of walking. Crossing the Tange Khola (there's a bridge) there’s a long, steep trek to the Lelo La (4200m), with views over the Mustang landscape and Dhaulagiri. Below the pass are the springs at Phaand, the trail then follows the mountain side before a long, steep downhill to Chukksang. Walking time 9-10hrs. As it’s a custom/private trek, this can be split into two days.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Jomsom

Although you will be losing height very gradually today, there are still some sections of ascent and descent (but not particularly sustained). Walking to Jharkot you can visit the monastery and old fortress there before continuing across the valley floor to Kagbeni and the final couple of hours to Jomsom. Walking time approx. 6hrs.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

After the short flight back to Pokhara you’re in transit until it's time to fly back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you to the KGH Hotel. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency days for any delays/cancellations that can occur for internal flights, or any difficulties that may arise.

Includes: breakfast
Where you'll stay
KGH Hotel

KGH Hotel

Depart Nepal

A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

Includes: breakfast

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning    
16 Mar 2020 29 Mar 2020 Enquire
30 Mar 2020 12 Apr 2020 Enquire
13 Apr 2020 26 Apr 2020 Enquire
27 Apr 2020 10 May 2020 Enquire
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25 May 2020 7 Jun 2020 Enquire
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30 Nov 2020 13 Dec 2020 Enquire
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Looking for a different date?

Not sure when you're travelling yet? Looking for a different date? Contact Snow Cat Travel for more information.


Good to know

  • Operated by Snow Cat Travel, part of Rural Heritage, the highly recommended Nepal adventure travel specialists.
  • Max 8 people with guest to guide ratio 1:4 for safety and risk management.
  • All camping and safety equipment provided (satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit).
  • Fully qualified expert mountaineering guides.
  • 24/7 support.

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Accommodation

10 nights in teahouses (trekking lodges). Lodging on night 1 and 13 is at the 3* KGH Hotel in Kathmandu. Lodging on night 2 is the Hotel Karuna in Pokhara.

Included Guided excursions

All guides are english-speaking, professionals and fully licensed.
Also included: porterage on trek, permits and national park fees.

Included All meals

Meals in teahouses (trekking lodges) are usually taken in a communal dining area, rather like most Alpine Huts. What’s “on the menu” can depend upon factors like, what is available locally, how remote the teahouse is and even how busy the teahouse is. With limited cooking facilities, a busy teahouse may provide a set menu in order to be able to feed everyone adequately. Please note teahouses may not be able to provide dietary requirements beyond vegetarian options. While meals are included refreshments and snacks aren't, so budget accordingly.

For a general idea of the food provided, please see the below guide:

A typical breakfast will consist of porridge, pancakes, toast, muesli and other cereals, eggs (various ways), tibetan style bread, tsampa etc. Tea and coffee.

Some days this will be at a teahouse, other times it will be a picnic.
Dal Bhat lentil curry, fried noodles, noodle soup, rice, Tibetan dumplings, chapatis with a curry sauce, sandwiches.

First Course — Vegetable or noodle soup.
Main Course — Dal Bhat, noodles dishes, rice-based dishes, momo’s, chapati, spring rolls, stews, spaghetti, pizza, dhido, potato and buckwheat pancakes, chips.

Included Ground transfers

Includes all airport and land transfers and any internal flights in the itinerary.


What people are saying about Snow Cat Travel

Eileen H, UK

I waited 50 years to visit Upper Mustang Nepal and now thanks to Snow Cat Travel the dream has been realised. The journey was above expectation I will never find another one to equal the experience. As we travelled it was like peeling an onion each layer had a new adventure. The highlight was Lo Gekar gompa when I saw it tears came to my eyes. Mark took great care in planning the journey taking into account altitude, ages and any health issues. It paid off I never even got a headache even at 14000 feet at Lo Manthang. Thank you Mark I will always be grateful to you for arranging my Mustang Experience.

Paul Stiles - author, Lonely Planet Guidebook to Nepal (2018)

I am one of the authors of the forthcoming Lonely Planet guidebook to Nepal. Snow Cat handled the very complicated logistics of my recent month-long research trip to the country. They did so brilliantly. I would not hesitate to use them again and would advise anyone else to make them their first call.

Mike L, UK

We had very specific requirements for our trip to Nepal. We wanted to see wildlife including lots of birds, to see something of how people live in the rural parts of the country and of course to see the Himalayas. The trip that Mark put together ensured that all this was achieved, including about 240 bird species. This was due both to the itinerary and the superb guides that Mark found for us. This made it very special as it was probably not typical of the usual holiday to Nepal. Nothing was too much trouble in making the arrangements and the team in Nepal were also excellent. If you want a tailor-made trip to Nepal with some ideas of you want then Snowcat is the organisation that will ensure that you will have a wonderful holiday. Even if you want to see Nepal with no specific ideas then Mark has an excellent knowledge of the country and where you can go. I cannot recommend Snowcat too highly.

Chris D, UK

My friends and I have now been back from our amazing Nepalese trip for just over two weeks and we are still reminiscing virtually every day. Thanks again for your help with organising an extremely memorable holiday!



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