An epic journey through remote and stunning stretches of the country. Upper Mustang Biking is a challenging ride, suitable for experienced riders. Upper Mustang is all about desert-like topography. Hence, the cycling experience on this region can be full of adventure. This Upper Mustang Biking Tour is designed in such a way that one can enjoy biking along with breathtaking sceneries.
Upper Mustang is one of the two major divisions of Mustang district in northwestern Nepal (the other division is Lower Mustang). Mustang boasts the presence of Muktinath, a popular pilgrimage among Buddhists and Hindus. This Challenging Upper Mustang Biking Tour will takes you to Pokhara from Kathmandu, then to Muktinath in Jomsom. Then, the main biking routes will follow, including Chele, Syangboche, Charang, Lo-Manthang, Kagbeni, to name some.
Our airport representative will receive you at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private tourist vehicle.
Either on this day or the next day, depending upon your arrival time, there will be a pre-biking meeting, where you are requested to bring your passport, 2 passport-sized photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance.
You will have a private tourist vehicle and a professional tour guide at your disposal. We visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks praying in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Boudhanath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We then head towards Swayambhunath – also called the Monkey Temple – a Buddhist stupa perched atop a hillock on the western side. You get a magnificent view of the valley from here.
In the morning, we will drive to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Pokhara lies some 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu and is a 7 hours of driving away.
On this day, we will take a morning flight to Jomsom from Pokhara. After reaching at Jomsom, the journey begins with a gentle two-hour ride that’ll take you to the first night’s stop at the Buddhist village of Kagbeni.
Today after breakfast, ride from Kagbeni to Muktinath. The landscape is extremely dry and desert like. You may come across a handful of trekkers and pilgrims, mainly from India, on their way to the holy temple with the eternal flame in Muktinath that burns from a natural gas source. Reaching the culturally and religiously site with stunning mountain views is quite an achievement.
Today is a mostly uphill ride along the jeep track to Muktinath, taking things slowly to get acclimated to the altitude, while allowing you to take in stunning mountain views of Upper Mustang, starting with an uphill climb to Gyu La (4077m). This involves carrying your bike at times, but you are rewarded with a 1000m descent along a single track. The final stage is a slight climb and river crossing to reach Chele (3050m), where you spend the night.
The next day is shorter but no less taxing, as you head up into the hills taking on no less than four passes, all exceeding 3600m. You’ll be following jeep and single tracks, with a mix of steep climbs and descents, and once again you’ll have to lug your bike uphill at times. Stop for the night below Syangboche La (3800m) on the Syangboche River.
While day five begins with more climbing, once you’ve cleared Syangboche La and Nyi La (4010m), rest assured the remainder of the day has mostly flat tracks. It also has some of the best scenery you’ll see on the trip, with great views of the Himalaya, valleys and bright-yellow mustard fields. Overnight in Charang (Tsarang), with its 400-year-old Gulpa Sect Monastery.
Today sets out to the crowning jewel of the journey, the walled kingdom city of Lo Manthang. You’ll catch your first glimpse of it as you cross the ‘Windy Pass’ of Lo La (3950m). Today is a bit of a climb, but riding is mostly easy along a jeep track, with a 25km total riding distance. Arrive in Lo Manthang at lunchtime, and take a well-earned break.
We will spend 2 days here taking in the atmosphere of this amazing medieval kingdom. An option for your ‘rest day’ is a side trip up to Garpu following the Kali Gandaki River to Ghom cave.
Another day for rest and exploration of Lo-Manthang. Explore its cultures, people and geography.
After giving your legs a day off, it’s time to leave Lo Manthang, starting with a challenging climb over Pangga (Samduling) at 4090m, a 75% rideable single track. From here it’s a thrilling downhill road to Dhakmar, with dramatic landscapes. Head on to Ghami for the night.
Heading back, on day nine you retrace the same trail with a single-track climb followed by a downhill to Syangboche, spending the night in Samar.
Day 14 takes you over Dajori La (3735m) and Taklam La (3624m), passing sky burials en route. Next you cycle downhill to spend the night in Chhusang.
From here you leave Upper Mustang and head back into the Annapurna region, a steady ride along the river taking you back to Kagbeni.
Today we have the longest ride of the entire tour. We’ll ride 74 kilometers, from Kagbeni to Tatopani. Tatopani lies above (1190m) from sea level.
Ride from Tatopani to Pokhara. It is an easy ride of about 18km. We’ll do sightseeing around Pokhara.
This day, we’ll visit Phewa Lake, Davi’s Fall and Mahendra Cave.
We’ll drive back to Kathmandu. In the evening, we host farewell dinner for you at a typical Nepali restaurant with cultural dance show.
The trip concludes. Our airport representative will drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your flight departure from Nepal.
During your biking tour all the heavy items are carried by porters, yaks or donkeys and personal belongings that you may need for the day like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. So you are briefed to pack items in two different bags.
- Bike gloves x 3 pairs
- Biking glasses
- Padded cycling shorts (to last at least 5 rides)
- Long-sleeved base layers
- Short-sleeved and long-sleeved cycling tops
- Biking socks (at least 5 pairs)
- Hat and non-biking gloves
- Head torch
If you’re bringing your own bike:
- Brake pads specific to your bike x 2 sets
- Rear mech hanger specific to your bike x 2
- Bottle of dry lube
- Four inner tubes, or spare bottle of fluid for
- tubeless tyres (two for each tyre)
- Quick link to suit your chain
- For 29” wheels bring extra spare tubes; these are more difficult to find in Nepal
- 4 seasons Sleeping bag (we can provide one if you need it but is to be returned after the trek)
- Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase
- Down Jacket only if you are traveling in the cold season i.e January, February, November and December (Optional/we can provide if you need one but is to be returned after the trek)
Upper Body - Head / Ears / Eyes
- Shade hat or baseball cap – some people drape a bandana down the back of their head and then put a baseball cap on to hold it. This can be a flexible alternative while keeping the sun off your ears and neck.
- Warm wool or synthetic hat that covers your ears (only if you are traveling in the cold season i.e January, February, November and December)
- Goggles or sunglasses for sunbeam, dust and wind.
- Headlamp – Black Diamond and Petzl both make several good ones. Make sure to bring extra batteries and that they are lithium batteries so that they will last in the colder temperatures. These are indispensable for getting around at night, reading, etc. so, don’t go cheap here.
- Some people like earmuffs; These are optional; a good hat, balaclava, and hooded jacket should really be sufficient, but this is a personal choice for some people.
- A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it and is for cold season.
- 1 pair liner gloves, thin wool or synthetic, useful alone on mild days or as a layer inside other gloves / mitts for additional warmth.
- 1 pair warm gloves (This is required if you are traveling in cold season i.e January, February, November and December).
- Instant hand warmers are always nice in a pinch, but really shouldn’t be necessary on the trek. Bringing appropriate hand protection as recommended above, should be sufficient (optional).
- T-shirts (2).
- Fleece jacket or pullover.
- Fleece Windstopper jacket.
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket.
- 2 women sports bras, Synthetic, no cotton!
Lower Body – Legs
- 2 pairs nylon hiking shorts – Quick drying type, not cotton!
- Underwear, stay away from cotton (4).
- 2 pairs lightweight long underwear – Capilene or other synthetic.
- 1 pair soft shell pants – synthetic, full zip from top and bottom preferable.
- 2 pairs trekking pants, preferably that zip on/off at the knees so they double as shorts..
- 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis).
- All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.
- 2 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or Capilene.
- 2 pairs heavy weight socks to be worn over liner socks preferable for cold season.
- 2 pair light weight socks, a good option for the lower / warmer parts of the trail.
- 1 pair light to medium weight waterproof hiking/trekking boots. Ensure a good fit with layered socks and you have worn them before to get used to it (otherwise you will get lots of blister).
- 1 pair light trekking shoes or sneakers. Good for around the camp/lodges and in Kathmandu.
- 1 pair hiking gaiters, good for keeping dust and rocks out of your shoes / boots as well as keep your feet dry as necessary.
- 1 pair sandals.
First Aid Kits
Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However, we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well.
- Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
- Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
- Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness. Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
- 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.
- Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
- Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
- Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
- Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
- Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its’ effectiveness over time.
- Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
- Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
- Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.
- 2 bandanas.
- 1 pair adjustable trekking poles. Although these are listed as optional, these can be of great assistance to people who may think of themselves and generally clumsy or with bad knees, ankles, etc, especially when going downhill
- Favorite snack foods, no more than 2 lbs
- Paperback books, cards, mp3 player (there are a couple of stops where you could recharge. Avoid players with moving hardware as it may not function.
- 1 light weight point & shoot camera or 1 large SLR. Digital cameras are ok, but you must keep the batteries warm when not in use
- Hydration bladder with the drinking tube and tube insulator
- A pee bottle for men and pee funnel for the women
- 1 small stainless steel thermos
- Twin sharing accommodation in a two three star hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara; Breakfast Included.
- Accommodation in different guesthouses during the biking trip below upper Mustang, with full board meal (Breakfasts, lunches and dinners).
- All your standard Meals prepared by our expert camping cook and kitchen team while in Upper Mustang (Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners).
- Tented accommodation and equipment during the camping. (We will provide two man tents, dining tents, kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent).
- Farewell dinner with cultural dance program in Kathmandu on the night before departure.
- Ground transportation to and from Kathmandu.
- Round trip air ticket from Pokhara to Jomsom including airport tax.
- Guided city tour in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a private tourist vehicle.
- Licensed English-speaking mountain biking guide(s). The number of guides and assistant guides is dictated by the group size.
- The required number of local staff, porters and mules to carry your luggage in the biking trip.
- Mountain bike for the number of days riding. The brands include Cube, Trek and Giant hardtail or full-suspension bikes, depending on your choice.
- Special Upper Mustang Permit US$ 700 per person for 10 days (the trip price includes 10 days valid trekking permit from Kagbeni to Kagbeni. If you wish to stay more than 10 days in restricted area, you are subjected to extra charge for extra days i.e US$ 90 per day / per person).
- Annapurna conservation permit, and all necessary permits.
- Entry permits and fees for all temples, parks, monasteries, and cultural and historical sites.
- All government taxes and official expenses.
- Travel insurance
- Nepal entry visa – you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days and 90 days can be obtained by paying US $40 and US $100 respectively. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos).
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara – about US $20 per person per day.
- All items of personal nature like drinks, laundry etc.
- Biking attire and other personal gears.
- Tips for biking guide.