Our Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek itinerary visits a remote region of Nepal, instead of following the more popular Dolpo Circuit we head further north to an area very close to the Tibet border and then walk out on the challenging trail to Upper Mustang thereby completing one section of The Great Himalaya Trail
One of the highest inhabited realms on the planet, Dolpo is also still a stronghold of the pre-Buddhist, shamanistic Bon-po religion as well as Tibetan Buddhism. It is a tough, mountainous region of fortified villages, ‘dzongs’, turquoise lakes, sacred mountains and high passes, susceptible to heavy snows which isolate it from neighboring regions for much of the year. And the rewards for trekking through it are immense!.
This is simply the ultimate Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek for the traveler who’s done it all and is still seeking a truly special and rewarding experience. Our trek takes us through a region north of the Himalayan Crest called the Dolpo District. It is bordered to the north by Tibet and is one of the last vestiges of pure Tibetan culture. At the core of the region Shey Phoksundo National Park contains what is known as the Crystal Peak, the “Mount Kailas” of Nepal. Each year hundreds of pilgrims kora around the Crystal Peak making this a culturally intriguing trek. To make this journey even more exciting, we are upping the ante: our trek will depart the regular routes and traverse over to the other also once “Forbidden” Kingdom of Mustang along the soon to be famous Great Himalaya Trail. This is a strenuous trek that takes us over nine high passes, including a pass over 18,000′.
To the east lies the Marsyangdi River and to the west lies the world’s deepest gorge, carved out by the wild waters of the Kaligandaki. The biodiversity of the region – entire hillsides swiped with pink and red rhododendron forests bursting with birdsong – is matched by its incredible cultural diversity. Cultural trails will take you right into the homes of Gurungs in the lowlands, and you can enjoy the hospitality of Thakalis around Jomsom, Manangis in the east and Loba and Tibetans in the arid north. Annapurna has been enormously popular with trekkers over the years and the new roads have actually opened up previously inaccessible areas.
Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang 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.