Upper Mustang is a remote and isolated region located in the north-central part of Nepal, near the Tibetan border. It is a high-altitude desert area that was once an important trade route between Nepal and Tibet. The region was closed to foreign visitors until 1992, and as a result, its unique culture and traditions have been well-preserved.
The landscape of Upper Mustang is characterized by rugged mountains, deep gorges, and vast expanses of barren land. The area is also known for its colorful rock formations, which have been eroded over time into interesting shapes and patterns. The region is home to the Kali Gandaki River, which is the world's deepest gorge.
The people of Upper Mustang are predominantly of Tibetan origin and follow Tibetan Buddhism. The region is dotted with ancient monasteries and chortens, which are believed to be over 1,000 years old. One of the most famous attractions in the area is the walled city of Lo Manthang, which was once the capital of the Kingdom of Mustang.
The Upper Mustang mountain bike tour typically begins in the city of Pokhara and continues through several small villages and towns, including Kagbeni, Jomsom, and Lo Manthang. The tour offers a mix of challenging off-road terrain and scenic rides through the stunning Himalayan landscapes.
Along the way, riders will have the opportunity to visit ancient Buddhist monasteries, including the famous Lo Gekar Monastery, which is believed to be one of the oldest monasteries in the world. Riders will also have the opportunity to explore the unique Tibetan culture of the region, including its traditional dress, food, and music.
Scenic Views: The Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, with peaks like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri in sight.
Cultural Experience: The tour takes you through the heart of the ancient Tibetan culture, where you can see the traditional lifestyle of the Mustang people, their unique architecture and religion.
Historical Sites: Upper Mustang is rich in history and culture, and the tour includes visits to ancient monasteries, caves, and other historical sites.
Challenging Terrain: The mountain biking terrain in Upper Mustang is challenging and adventurous, with steep climbs, rough roads and technical descents, making it an ideal destination for experienced riders.
Off the Beaten Path: Upper Mustang is a restricted region, which makes it a less crowded and more peaceful destination, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty and local culture.
Remote Villages: The tour takes you through remote villages and settlements that are off the tourist trail, providing a unique opportunity to interact with the local people and learn about their daily lives.
Mustang Loops: The Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour includes several Mustang Loops, which are circular routes that take you through some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the region.
Camping Adventure: The tour includes camping under the stars in some of the most remote and beautiful locations in Upper Mustang, providing a unique adventure experience.
To get to Jomsom, you'll need to take a flight from Pokhara. Flights to Jomsom are operated by a few airlines including Yeti Airlines and Tara Air. The flight takes about 20 minutes and offers some spectacular views of the mountains.
Once you arrive in Jomsom, you can rent a mountain bike and begin your ride to Kagbeni. The ride is about 14 km and should take you about an hour and a half. The route is mostly flat with a few small hills and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Kali Gandaki River.
Kagbeni is a beautiful village located in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. It is a popular stopover for trekkers heading to Upper Mustang or the Annapurna Circuit. The village is known for its unique architecture, with narrow alleys and mud-brick houses. It's also a great place to explore the local culture and cuisine.
The trek from Kagbeni to Chele is approximately 6-7 hours long and covers a distance of around 15km. The trail starts by following the Kali Gandaki River and takes you through some beautiful desert landscapes. You'll cross several small streams and walk past some ancient caves along the way.
After a few hours, you'll reach the village of Tangbe, which is known for its traditional whitewashed houses and narrow alleyways. From Tangbe, the trail continues uphill, and you'll pass through some stunning red cliffs before reaching the village of Chhusang.
After crossing a suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki River, the trail climbs steeply up to Chele. Chele is a small village with a few lodges and guesthouses where you can rest for the night.
The journey starts in Chele, where you will begin a gradual climb up the Kali Gandaki River Valley, passing through small villages and ancient monasteries along the way. The terrain is rocky and uneven, so be prepared for some challenging riding.
As you climb higher, the landscape changes dramatically, with rugged cliffs and towering peaks dominating the skyline. The air gets thinner and the temperature drops, so make sure you have appropriate clothing and gear.
Eventually, you will reach the village of Syanboche, located at an altitude of 3800m. This is a great place to stop and rest, as the altitude can be quite taxing on the body. There are a few teahouses in the village where you can spend the night and enjoy some traditional Nepalese food.
The route from Syanboche to Dhakmar is quite challenging, as you will be riding through some rough and rocky terrain. You will also have to cross a few streams and navigate through some steep ascents and descents.
As you start your ride from Syanboche, you will first head towards Ghami, which is located at an altitude of 3,520 meters. Ghami is a small village that is known for its ancient Buddhist monastery and traditional mud houses. From Ghami, you will continue riding towards Tsarang, which is located at an altitude of 3,560 meters. Tsarang is another small village that is known for its ancient fortress and the Red Gompa.
After exploring Tsarang, you will continue your ride towards Lo Manthang, which is located at an altitude of 3,810 meters. Lo Manthang is the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mustang and is home to many ancient Buddhist monasteries, temples, and palaces. You can spend some time exploring the city and its surroundings before continuing your ride towards Dhakmar.
As you ride towards Dhakmar, you will come across some beautiful landscapes and stunning views of the Himalayas. You will also pass through some small villages and settlements where you can interact with the locals and learn more about their culture and way of life.
The ride from Dhakmar to Lo Manthang is about 19 kilometers and should take around 2-3 hours depending on your pace and any stops you make along the way. The route will take you through some stunning scenery, including deep gorges, rocky cliffs, and vast open valleys. You'll also pass through several small villages and settlements where you can take a break and rest your legs.
As you near Lo Manthang, you'll begin to see the towering walls of the ancient city in the distance. The city is surrounded by a high wall and contains many important historical and cultural sites, including monasteries, temples, and palaces.
Once you arrive in Lo Manthang, take some time to explore the city and its surroundings. You can visit the Jampa Lhakhang temple, the Thubchen Gompa monastery, or take a hike to the nearby Chhoser cave. And of course, don't forget to sample some of the delicious local cuisine, such as yak meat, Tibetan bread, and thukpa soup.
During your rest day, you can explore the town and its surroundings. Some popular activities include visiting the royal palace, the Jampa Lhakhang monastery, and the Thubchen Gompa monastery. You can also take a stroll around the town and soak up its unique atmosphere, or relax and enjoy the stunning mountain views.
It's important to remember to take it easy on your rest day and allow your body to recover from the physical exertion of trekking. Make sure you drink plenty of water and rest your muscles. It's also a good idea to do some light stretching or yoga to help ease any soreness or stiffness.
The journey from Lo Manthang to Yara is about 35 kilometers and takes around 4-5 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions. The road is mostly flat or gently sloping, with a few steep sections.
As you leave Lo Manthang, you'll follow the Kali Gandaki River and pass through several small villages, including Ghar Gompa and Dhakmar. Along the way, you'll see some of the ancient caves and monasteries that make this area so unique.
Yara is a small village located on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. It's known for its ancient caves and its beautiful scenery. After arriving in Yara, you can explore the village, take a stroll along the river, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas.
As you leave Yara, you'll follow the Kali Gandaki River northward, passing through small villages and fields of barley, wheat, and buckwheat. You'll cross a few suspension bridges over the river, and eventually come to the village of Ghuma Thanti, where you can stop for a rest and some refreshments.
From Ghuma Thanti, the trail climbs steadily up a steep hillside, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Keep an eye out for chortens (Buddhist shrines) and mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers) along the way.
As you near Tangye, you'll see the ruins of an ancient fortress perched on a hilltop overlooking the village. This fortress, known as Tangbe Dzong, was built in the 15th century to protect the region from invading armies. Today, it is a popular spot for visitors to explore and take in the views.
The ride from Tangye to Chhusang is approximately 17 kilometers and will take around 5-6 hours to complete. The route takes you through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is one of the deepest gorges in the world. The trail follows the river, which is a popular route for pilgrims and traders alike.
You will pass through several small villages, including the town of Tetang, which is famous for its apple orchards. Along the way, you will also get to see the stunning views of the Himalayas, including the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. Make sure to stop and take some pictures and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
As you approach Chhusang, you will cross a suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki River. Chhusang is a small village with traditional houses made of stone and mud. You can explore the village and its surroundings, or just relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
The distance between Chhusang and Muktinath is around 18 kilometers, and it takes around 5 to 6 hours to reach Muktinath via Gyu la pass. The ride starts from the village of Chhusang and follows the Kali Gandaki River for some time before turning towards the east and climbing towards the Gyu la pass.
As you climb towards the pass, you will be able to see the stunning views of the mountains, including Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. The Gyu la pass is located at an altitude of 4,077 meters, and you will have to cross it to reach Muktinath. The pass is quite steep, and you will need to be careful while riding your bike.
Once you cross the pass, you will start descending towards Muktinath. The road is quite rough, and you will have to be careful while riding. As you descend, you will be able to see the beautiful scenery of the Mustang region.
Muktinath is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists, and it is located at an altitude of 3,800 meters. It is famous for its temple and the natural gas fires that burn continuously. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and many pilgrims come here to take a dip in the holy water.
The ride starts early in the morning from Muktinath, a holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists. From there, you will descend through rocky terrain and cross the Kali Gandaki River on a suspension bridge. The river is known for being one of the deepest gorges in the world, and the views from the bridge are simply breathtaking.
As you continue on, the road will take you through the quaint village of Jomsom, which is famous for its apples and apple brandy. You will also pass through Marpha, another beautiful village that is known for its apple orchards and traditional mud-brick houses.
As you leave Marpha, the road will start to climb up again, and you will enter the dense pine forests of the Kalopani region. The road is narrow and winding, but the scenery is simply stunning. You will pass through several small villages along the way, where you can stop for a cup of tea and interact with the friendly locals.
Eventually, you will reach Kalopani, a beautiful village nestled in the midst of towering mountains. The village is surrounded by lush green forests and offers stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Kalopani is also a popular destination for trekkers, and you can expect to find several lodges and guesthouses where you can spend the night.
Starting from Kalopani, your ride to Pokhara will take you through some beautiful landscapes and stunning views of the Himalayas. You will begin your journey by riding along the Kali Gandaki River, which is the deepest gorge in the world.
As you move forward, you will come across small villages like Ghasa, Lete, and Tatopani, where you can take a break and explore the local culture and traditions. You can also take a dip in the hot springs at Tatopani to relax and rejuvenate.
Further ahead, you will cross the beautiful Rupse Chhahara waterfall, which is a popular spot for tourists. The waterfall is about 300 meters high and is a sight to behold. As you ride towards Pokhara, the landscape will start to change, and you will see more greenery and lush forests. You will also get a glimpse of the Annapurna range and the Fishtail mountain, which are some of the most popular trekking destinations in the world.
After a long and scenic ride, you will finally reach Pokhara, which is a beautiful city located on the shores of Phewa Lake. You can explore the city's many attractions, including the World Peace Pagoda, the Mahendra Cave, and the Bindhyabasini Temple. You can also indulge in adventure sports like paragliding, zip-lining, and bungee jumping.
Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is a cycling adventure that takes you through the remote and rugged landscapes of Upper Mustang in Nepal. It is an off-the-beaten-path journey that combines the thrills of mountain biking with the breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
The best time for Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is dry and stable, and the skies are clear, providing excellent views of the mountains.
Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is a challenging adventure that requires a good level of physical fitness and mountain biking skills. The route is rugged, and there are steep climbs and descents, rocky terrains, and narrow trails. However, with proper training and preparation, it is an achievable feat for experienced mountain bikers.
The highest point of Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is the Lo La Pass, which is situated at an altitude of 4,170 meters (13,680 feet).
The duration of Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is typically 10-14 days, depending on the itinerary and the level of customization.
Accommodation during Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is usually in basic lodges or teahouses that offer simple rooms with shared bathrooms. However, there are also options for more comfortable accommodation in guesthouses or hotels in larger towns.
Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour is generally safe, but it involves risks and challenges that require caution and preparation. It is essential to follow safety guidelines, use appropriate gear, and have a knowledgeable guide to lead the way. Moreover, it is advisable to have travel insurance that covers adventure activities and high-altitude trekking.
The best seasons for an Upper Mustang mountain bike ride are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).
During these seasons, the weather is generally dry and sunny with clear skies, making it ideal for biking. The temperatures are also pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C.
In the spring, the flowers are in full bloom, and the landscape is vibrant and colorful, while in the autumn, the scenery is stunning with the autumn foliage adding a splash of color to the already beautiful terrain.
It's important to note that Upper Mustang is a high-altitude region, with elevations ranging from 2,800 meters to 4,000 meters above sea level. So, regardless of the season, it's crucial to be well-prepared for the altitude and weather conditions.
The Upper Mustang region in Nepal is a remote and rugged area, and the availability of food and accommodations can be limited. However, there are a few options available for travelers on a mountain bike tour in the area.
Overall, it is important to be prepared and flexible when it comes to food and accommodation during a mountain bike tour in Upper Mustang. It is advisable to carry some extra supplies and be open to different options for food and lodging.
To undertake a mountain bike tour in Upper Mustang, you need to obtain certain permits. The permits required for the Upper Mustang Mountain Bike Tour are as follows:
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): ACAP is a must-have permit for the Upper Mustang region. It costs NPR 3,000 (around USD 25) per person and is valid for a single entry for the entire Annapurna Conservation Area.
Restricted Area Permit (RAP): Upper Mustang is a restricted area, and foreign nationals need to obtain a special permit called the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter the region. The permit costs USD 500 per person for the first ten days and USD 50 for each additional day. The permit is valid for a maximum of 30 days.
TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Card: TIMS card is mandatory for all trekkers, including mountain bikers, in Nepal. The card costs USD 20 per person and is available at the Nepal Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Note that you need to be a minimum of two people to obtain the permits, and you must obtain them through a registered trekking agency in Nepal. The agency will help you complete the necessary paperwork and arrange for the permits.
Appropriate clothing: You'll need breathable and moisture-wicking clothes for cycling, such as padded shorts, a comfortable jersey, and a windproof jacket. Don't forget to pack warm layers for colder temperatures, and rain gear for unexpected downpours.
Bike repair kit: You never know when you might need to make a quick repair on your bike, so it's important to bring along a bike repair kit. This should include a spare inner tube, tire levers, a pump, and a multi-tool.
Helmet: Safety should always be a top priority when mountain biking, so don't forget to pack a properly fitting helmet.
Water and hydration system: Staying hydrated is essential when cycling, so make sure you have plenty of water and a hydration system, such as a hydration pack or water bottle holder.
Snacks and nutrition: Pack energy bars, gels, and other snacks to keep your energy levels up during long rides.
Sunscreen and sunglasses: Upper Mustang can get very sunny, so make sure you bring along sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes.
First-aid kit: It's always a good idea to have a basic first-aid kit on hand, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
Maps and navigation tools: Make sure you have a detailed map of the area and a GPS device or compass to help you navigate the trails.
Cash and identification: Bring along some cash for emergencies and identification, such as a passport or driver's license, in case you need it.
Camera: Upper Mustang is a beautiful place, so don't forget to bring a camera to capture the stunning scenery and your biking adventures.
Get all the best deals, sales and offers from the best online shopping store in UAE. Sign up now !