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Horse Riding Trek to Upper Mustang

Horse Riding Trek to Upper Mustang

Trip at a Glance

  • Country

    Country: Nepal

  • Trip grade

    Trip grade: Moderate

  • Destination

    Destination: Mustang region

  • Activities

    Activities: Horse trek

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation: Hotels/Lodges

  • Meals

    Meals: Included on trek

  • Transportation

    Transportation: Private vehicle

  • Maximum altitude

    Maximum altitude: Lo Manthang (3730m)

  • Group size

    Group size: 2 pax min

  • Trip Start / End

    Trip Start / End: Kathmandu - Kathmandu

  • Best Season

    Best Season: Feb-Jun, Sep-Nov

Horse Riding Trek to Upper Mustang is an absolute journey exploring the astonishing landscapes of Mustang that truly blends adventure and excitement of horse riding high up in the Himalayas. Enjoy your ride as you move along stunning landscapes and traditional villages that seem frozen in time. Horse riding in Mustang adds a unique experience to riding in the only deserted and barren land of the Himalayas. It’s also the most convenient way for those who can’t walk for long hours but still wish to witness what Upper Mustang has to offer with it’s timeless beauty.

Witness the unique local culture heavily influenced by Tibetan culture and traditions as you travel along. Explore traditional villages and connect with the friendly locals to discover more about their culture and traditions which they have been preserving for centuries.

As you reach the ancient walled city of Lo-Manthang you will feel as if time has stood still for centuries. You can go on exploring it’s ancient walls and the monasteries, visit its mud-brick buildings, narrow alleys, and royal palace. Once in Lo-Manthang ride to the Mysterious Jhong Cave in Chhoser to learn more about the ancient culture and traditions of these manmade sky caves located near the Nepal-Tibetan border.

Horse riding trek to Upper Mustang is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the rich cultural heritage of this hidden gem in the Himalayas.

Upper Mustang by horse riding trek Highlights

  • Adventurous horse ride to the walled city of Lo Manthang through dry desert canyons.
  • Visit to long-lost Tibet home to magnificent, historic Buddhist monasteries.
  • Explore ancient man-made caves such as Chosar Cave, 
  • Spectacular High Himalayan views.
  • Explore the former Himalayan kingdom of Upper Mustang and its stunning vistas.

 

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)
Day 02: Drive or fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Day 03: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2720m/25 minutes) & ride & trek to Kagbeni (2810m/3-4 hrs riding)
Day 04: Ride & trek from Kagbeni to Tsaile (3050m/5-6 hrs riding)
Day 05: Ride & trek from Tsaile to Syangboche (3800m) via Rachung Cave, 6-7 hours riding
Day 06: Ride & trek from Syangboche to Drakmar (3820m/5-6 hrs riding)
Day 07: Ride & trek from Drakmar to Lo-Manthang (3810m) via Ghar Gompa, 6-7 hours riding
Day 08: Exploration Day to Chosar village and caves 6-7 hours riding
Day 09: Ride & trek from Lo-Manthang to Tsarang (3560m/3-4 hrs riding)
Day 10: Ride & trek from Tsarang to Syangboche (3800m/6-7 hrs riding)
Day 11: Ride & trek from Syangboche to Chhusang (2980m/6-7 hrs riding)
Day 12: Ride & trek from Chhusang to Jomsom (2720m/5-6 hrs riding)
Day 13: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (820m/25 min)
Day 14: Drive or fly back from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 15: Final Departure

Upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you need to accomplish your entry/visa formalities. You will then be received by a representative from Marron Treks and transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Welcome drinks will be served at the hotel and then we will have a quick pre-trip meeting. You can then spend the remaining time resting or as you please. In the evening you can stroll around the vicinity of your hotel just to get the feel of this wonderful city. 

Hotel

Flying is the quickest option, taking around 25 minutes compared to several hours by road. The flight offers stunning views of the Himalayas, including the Annapurna and Langtang ranges. The road journey is longer (6-7 hrs) but allows you to experience the scenic beauty of the countryside. The Prithvi Highway offers picturesque views. 

Hotel
Breakfast included

The day begins with an exhilarating 25-minute flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, situated at an altitude of 2720 meters. The flight treats you to breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Upon landing in Jomsom, the journey transitions to a combination of riding and trekking as you make your way to Kagbeni. Riding through picturesque landscapes, you’ll experience the unique blend of adventure and tranquillity that the region offers. The ride takes you to an elevation of 2810 meters, where Kagbeni awaits. This charming village, nestled at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Jhong Rivers, is renowned for its medieval architecture, narrow alleyways, and a palpable sense of history. The riding and trekking session spans approximately 3 to 4 hours, allowing you to immerse yourself in the Mustang region’s rugged beauty and cultural richness. As you settle in Kagbeni, you’ll have the opportunity to explore its cultural treasures and prepare for the days of adventure that lie ahead.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Experience a captivating ride and trek from Kagbeni to Tsaile, spanning 5 to 6 hours. Traverse diverse landscapes and follow historic pathways, unveiling the region’s charm.

Ascending to 3050 meters, Tsaile offers a gradual transition from lower terrains. Enjoy breathtaking views of Mustang’s unique barren hills, traditional villages, and the flowing Kali Gandaki River.

Tsaile’s serenity and vistas welcome you, providing insights into local life and culture. Settle in for the night, cherishing the memories of the day’s adventure. Exciting explorations await in this enchanting Himalayan realm.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Ride and trek from Tsaile to Syangboche, a village at 3800 meters. A 6-7 hour journey reveals captivating landscapes in Mustang.

Navigate rugged terrain, uncovering untamed beauty. A highlight is Rachung Cave, carrying historical and cultural significance as a resting place for ancient traders.

As you ride, elevation rises, offering panoramic views of mountains and valleys. Witness the Himalayan expanse.

Arriving in Syangboche, experience serenity and local warmth. Amidst mountains, gain insight into Mustang’s traditional life. Adventure and cultural immersion set the tone for further exploration in this captivating Nepalese corner.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Ride and trek from Syangboche to Drakmar, perched at 3820 meters. Expect 5-6 hours of riding, unveiling the Mustang region’s mesmerizing landscapes and cultural gems.

Leaving Syangboche, navigate a path blending challenges and rewards, from rocky trails to open valleys. Passing local settlements, glimpses of daily life in this rugged region.

Elevating, you’ll embrace the crisp air and awe-inspiring surroundings. Mustang’s unique geography and heritage shine through. Bask in Himalayan vistas and the tranquillity of remote landscapes.

Arriving in Drakmar, you’ll discover a village nestled in hills, boasting preserved traditional architecture and cultural value. As night falls, the journey’s memories persist, fostering a deeper connection to Mustang’s history and beauty. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Journey from Drakmar to Lo-Manthang (3810m) via Ghar Gompa (6-7 hrs). Explore the sacred Ghar Gompa en route and arrive in Lo-Manthang, a charming village with a rich cultural heritage

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Explore Chosar village and caves (6-7 hrs riding). Delve into the cultural and historical treasures of Chosar, experiencing its unique ambiance and ancient caves.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Ride and trek Lo-Manthang to Tsarang (3-4 hrs riding, 3560m). Traverse captivating terrain, arriving in Tsarang to explore its cultural richness and stunning landscapes. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

From Tsarang to Syangboche, continue on a captivating 6-7 hour ride and trek. Traverse diverse terrain revealing natural beauty, winding through valleys, hills, and ancient trade routes. Himalayan peaks enhance the scenery. Interact with locals, witness their traditions, and admire unique Mustang architecture. Reaching 3800m, Syangboche offers a tranquil mountain escape to immerse in local culture and marvel at nature. Memories of the day’s journey deepen your connection to Mustang’s enchanting landscapes. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Experience a day of dynamic adventure as you ride and trek from Syangboche to Chhusang. Anticipate a 6 to 7-hour journey that exposes a varied landscape and an array of experiences.

As you leave Syangboche, the terrain transitions frequently, revealing new facets of Mustang’s natural beauty. Navigate valleys, hills, and vistas of towering mountains along the trail.

Engage with locals, witnessing their lives and traditions, gaining a unique perspective on these remote communities.

Arriving in Chhusang at 2980 meters elevation, you’ll be enveloped by the village’s tranquil aura. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness and authentic architecture, exploring the streets and connecting with the community.

After a day of exhilaration, as night falls, cherish the memories of this journey, deepening your bond with the captivating allure of the Mustang region. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Continue riding and trekking from Chhusang to Jomsom, a 5-6 hour journey rich in experiences and landscape diversity.

Leaving Chhusang, navigate Mustang’s rugged terrain. Wind through valleys, Kali Gandaki River beside you, and be treated to mesmerizing mountain vistas. The ever-changing backdrop elevates your adventure.

As you journey, notice the subtle shifts in elevation and environment. The interplay of landscapes and altitudes immerse you in the region’s beauty.

Arriving at 2720 meters in Jomsom, embrace the blend of nature and culture. A gateway to Mustang, the town fuses modern comforts with traditional allure. As you settle in, reflect on the day’s achievements and anticipate the final stages of your remarkable Nepalese journey.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You’ll leave Jomsom behind and take a short flight to Pokhara. The flight itself will only last about 25 minutes, but you’ll experience a significant drop in elevation as you go from the higher altitudes of Jomsom to the lower elevation of Pokhara.

Hotel
Breakfast Included

After beakfast, either take a flight to Kathmandu or go for an overland drive back to Kathmandu.

Hotel
Breakfast included

On this final day, your remarkable journey comes to a close. You’ve traversed diverse landscapes, experienced the local culture, and embraced the challenges of the trek from Syangboche to Kathmandu. Take this time to reflect on the memories and experiences you’ve gathered before departing for your next adventure or returning to your home destination.

Breakfast included

What is included?

  • Airport pick-up and drop services.
  • Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu & Pokhara with breakfast.
  • Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu transfers by private vehicle or tourist bus.
  • Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara round airfares.
  • All trekking accommodations with Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at local lodges.
  • Four seasonal sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion) & Marron Treks duffel bags.
  • A comprehensive medical kit (will be carried by the trekking guide).
  • Experienced Government licensed English Speaking Guide & Porter (1 porter for two people) including their food, accommodation, salary & insurance.
  • 1 Horse per person and horse man including his food, accommodation, salary and insurance.
  • Personal insurance for crew members.
  • Permits for Annapurna Conservation Area, TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) & Special Upper Mustang Permit.
  • Farewell dinner with live Nepalese cultural program.
  • All government and local taxes.

What is not included?

  • International airfare.
  • Nepal entry visa fee – Visa can be obtained upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (USD30 for 15 days)
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (to be covered by the client's travel insurance).
  • Other expenses of personal nature (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, hot shower etc.)
  • Cost incurred due to the addition of extra days or change in the real course of the itinerary because of bad weather conditions, political turmoil or any other unforeseen contingencies.
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks & beverages.
  • Tips for guide, porters or horsemen.

Route Map

FAQ's

1. What is the Upper Mustang horse riding trek?
The Upper Mustang horse riding trek is a unique and adventurous journey to the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal, where you explore the stunning landscapes, ancient monasteries, and traditional Tibetan-influenced culture while riding on horseback.

2. How long does the Upper Mustang horse riding trek take?
The duration of the Upper Mustang horse riding trek takes 11 days to complete the trek.

3. What is the starting point of the trek?
The trek usually starts from the town of Jomsom, the gateway to the Upper Mustang region. Jomsom is accessible by a short flight from Pokhara.

4. Is horse riding experience required for the trek?
Horse riding experience is not necessary, but it can be helpful if you have some basic knowledge of riding. The local guides and handlers will assist you with the horses and provide the necessary instructions.

5. What is the best time to do the Upper Mustang horse riding trek?
The best time for the Upper Mustang horse riding trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather, clear skies, and pleasant temperatures, making the riding experience more enjoyable.

6. Are permits required for the Upper Mustang horse riding trek?
Yes, permits are required for the Upper Mustang horse riding trek, as Upper Mustang is a restricted region. The required permits include the Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP).

7. What are the highlights of the Upper Mustang horse riding trek?
The horse riding trek offers a range of highlights, including exploring the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang, visiting historic monasteries like Lo Gekar and Choser, witnessing the unique Tibetan-influenced culture and traditions, and enjoying the breathtaking landscapes of the high desert plateau.

8. What kind of accommodation is available during the trek?
Teahouses and lodges are available along the Upper Mustang horse riding trek route, providing basic accommodation and meals. The facilities may be more basic compared to popular tourist destinations, but they are sufficient for a comfortable stay.

Equipment

Below are the suggested items for the packing list and it also depends upon the season you are trekking. We shall provide 75 liters duffel bag and a sleeping bag. You can bring other items from your home country and if you are traveling light and don’t wish to overweight your luggage during international flights then many of them can also be brought in Kathmandu before the trek starts.

Clothing (Core & Lower body)
·         Water-proof (breathable fabric) jacket, Poncho or Umbrella
·         Hard shell pants (breathable fabric- 1 set), preferably that zips from top and bottom which can be worn over boots without getting undressed, in case of abrupt weather            changes
·         Fleece jacket or Pullover
·         Fleece windcheater jacket
·         Down jacket or a Down vest
·         T-shirts (2 – 3) and Long-sleeved shirts with collars ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Nylon (cotton ought to be strictly avoided) hiking shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Hiking trousers- one that is detachable from the knees so that they it can be folded up as shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Thermal underwear as well as synthetic underwear (3 -4 each – avoid cotton)
·         Synthetic sport brassieres for women (2 pairs- avoid cotton)
 
Head/Eyes & Hand Gears
·         Sun hat/cap
·         Woolen hat or Balaclava
·         Sunglasses/Goggles (preferably the ones with 100% UV protection)
·         Liner, Synthetic or Thin wool gloves (1 -2 pair)
·         Warm gloves (designed to shield the sub-zero temperatures)- 1 pair
 
Footwear
·         Trekking boots (1 pair) and spare laces
·         Running shoes, Sandals or Thongs (flip-flops)- 1 pair each
·         Hiking gaiters (1 pair) to do away the rocks, dusts and moist feet
·         Liner socks- preferably synthetic (3 – 4 pairs)
·         Heavy or wool blend socks (3 – 4 pairs)

Equipment
·         Backpack/Rucksack
·         Duffle bag (will be provided by Marron Treks)
·         Pack cover (to protect your gears from getting wet)
·         Day sack/Nylon stuff sack
·         Sleeping Bag/ Silk liner (will be provided by Marron Treks but should be returned after the trip)
·         Water bottle
·         Good head torch along with spare batteries and bulbs
·         Maps, compass and a guidebook
·         Trekking poles

Miscellaneous Bits
The items below could seem trivial, but if you don’t have them, you might just find yourself sticky and stinky, which isn’t actually good for you!
 
Toiletries
·         Quick-drying camp towel
·         Detergent powder/bar
·         Toilet paper
·         Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 20+) & Lip balm
·         Pocket knife
·         Sewing/Repair Kit (for tent & mattress)
·         Emergency kit including a whistle, waterproof match/lighter
·         Padlocks for bags and lodge rooms
·         Stuff sacks
·         Earplugs

Medicament
It is important that you include the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Below is just the generic list of medications. We advise you to always consult your travel doctor as you might be resistant or allergic to some medicines

·         Anesthetics (Ibuprofen/Aspirin)
·         Broad spectrum antibiotics tablets
·         Metronidazole and Antacids (for diarrohea /indigestion)
·         Broad spectrum ointments (Neosporin/ Clotrimazole/Gentamicin)
·         Antiseptic liquids (Dettol/Savlon)
·         Assorted band-aids
·         Small gauge pad
·         Roll of adhesive tape
·         Iodine tablets

Optional Carry
Nothing hard and fast about carrying the items on this list as they are not the basics. Yet, though not all, if you still manage to squeeze in some of these items on your carry, you will not regret it as they might just come in handy during the trek

·         Camera, memory card and battery charger
·         GPS unit Altimeters
·         Binoculars
·         Pee bottle for men (leak proof/wide mouth) & Pee funnel for women
·         Books and magazines

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