Nar Phu, Teri La and Upper Mustang Trek
Naar Phu Valley, Upper Mustang, Ultimate Trans-Himalayan Trek
This is an adventurous trek and a fascinating journey through an area which was, until recently, closed to foreigners: it offers an introduction into the remote and widely unknown Damodar Himal Mountains and follows in the footsteps of the legendary Bill Tillman who explored this area in the 1950’s. It is Nepal’s most recent trekking challenge.
The first part of the trek, after a road journey from Kathmandu to Besisahar, follows the classic Annapurna Circuit route to Chame. After which the trail passes through the isolated village of Naar and then crosses the rarely-travelled Teri La pass (5,595m) to enter Upper Mustang.
An exceptional landscape, with terracotta rock walls, polychromatic canyons and dramatic forms of erosion, characterizes this desert- like alpine terrain in Upper Mustang, located on the border of Tibet; with its ancient villages, age-old castles, antique palaces and Tibetan monasteries, Upper Mustang affords a comprehensive insight into the centuries-old Tibetan-Buddhist culture.
The visit to Mustang is followed by a challenging crossing of the so-far, seldom-crossed Teri La pass (5’577m) to the hidden valleys of Naar Phu, a trekking area that was opened for foreigners only in 2002.
Seen from far away through the swirls of the mountain mist, the Himalayan Mountains appear remote, forbidding and awe-inspiring. Crossing over the Teri La pass affords the chance to see the splendour of some of these mountains, close up, and to enjoy the beauty of remote and sparsely populated valleys while getting an insight into the life and ancient culture of the mountain people.
Officially Mustang is the name of the entire district along the Kali Gandaki River, from the Tibetan border in the north, to Ghasa in the south. The district headquarters is located in Jomsom, a couple of miles south of Kagbeni, the access town to the restricted area of Upper Mustang, also called the Kingdom of Mustang. Its long, complex and rich history are a key element in making the “Forbidden Kingdom” one of the most interesting and picturesque trekking destinations in Nepal. The trek to the Kingdom’s capital Lo-Manthang takes us through a nearly tree less and barren landscape where strong afternoon winds are howling regularly across the wide open plateaus and through the small villages. Being located in the rain shadows of the Himalaya, Lo-Manthang gets considerably less rain than the rest of Nepal. Only during the monsoon season there is some slight rain fall with occasional cloudy skies. During the winter the ground of the Kingdom of Mustang is usually covered with up to 40cm of snow and the region suffers from freezing temperatures. The capital of Lo-Manthang and the whole area of Mustang looks like the Tibetan Plateau, characterized by endless expanses of grey rolling hills eroded by strong winds. Farming is the primary source of food and income for the people of Mustang, they herd yaks and raise sheep or goats, most families also tend their own fields of barley, wheat and mustard. Due to the harsh climate conditions cropping can be done only once a year with planting taking place in April and May. In September the whole region is busy with harvesting.!
After leaving Lo Manthang the trek continues down the Kali Gandaki valley, en route to Kagbeni, where the trail joins the Annapurna Circuit. Jomson, is the culminating point of the trek, and the onward journey to Pokhara may be taken by air, or on foot, where time allows.
A few days in Pokhara are an ideal way to unwind from the exertions of this exciting trek, after which a short flight to Kathmandu is taken.
Itinerary at a glance
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel, over night in hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu rest day, prepare for the trek, over night in hotel
Day 03: Drive to Syange (1100m) or Jagat (1310m), about 7 to 8hrs drive overnight at tented camp
Day 04: Trek to Dharapani (1860m), about 5 to 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 05: Trek to Koto (2600m), about 5hrs walk, Overnight at tented camp
Day 06: Trek to Dharmasala (3250m) or Meta (3360m), about 6 to 7hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 07: Trek to Kayang (3740m), about 5 to 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 08: Trek to Phu Village (4080m), about 3hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 09: Acclimatisation day at Phu village/optional exploration walk to Himlung Base Camp (4920m), overnight at tented camp
Day 10: Trek to Mahedra Pul (3490m), about 5 to 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 11: Trek to Naar Village (4110m), about 2 ½ hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 12: Trek to Yak Kharka (4400m), about 6 to 7hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 13: Trek to Lapse Khola (4500m), about 7hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 14: Trek to High Camp (4900m), about 5 to 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 15: Cross Teri La (5595m) and descend to Pasphu Khola camp (4730m), about 8 to 9hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 16: Trek to Yakpa (4300m), about 5 to 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 17: Trek to Tangga (3300m), about 5 to 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 18: Trek to Yara Gaon (3600m), about 7hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 19: Trek to Lo Manthang (3770m), about 6hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 20: Explore Lo Manthang (3770m), overnight at tented camp
Day 21: Trek to Ghami (3500m) via Tsarang (3650m), about 6 to 7hrs walk, overnight at tented camp
Day 22: Drive to Jomsom (2670m.) via Kagbeni (2800m), about 5hrs drive, overnight at tented camp or lodge
Day 23: Early morning, fly to Pokhara, overnight hotel in Pokhara
Day 24: Morning fly to Kathmandu, overnight hotel
Day 25: Transfer to airport for international departure
Date & Price
All ACCESS-HIMALAYA adventure travel trips are small group departures and therefore places can fill quickly. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you book your trip as soon as possible.
... in Restricted Area Camping TrekAccommodation in Kathmandu and elsewhere-apart from trek (see itinerary) bed & breakfast basis, (accommodation in twin room unless otherwise arranged) – accommodation facilities/details are outlined at 'Trip Notes'
All meals during the trek (all breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be hot and freshly prepared)
All internal transportation as stated in itinerary, including domestic flights (see itinerary) We use Tourist Bus/Privately hired vehicles/Domestic air transport - whichever is available, and viable
All Camping equipment [Large A-shape or D, two-man tents about 5’2”high internally, Mess tent, Kitchen tent, Shower tent (on request), Toilet tents, Mattresses (dense foam with removable cotton cover), Tables, Chairs with back support, Stainless steel plates and cutlery, and Kitchen gear]
Free hire of four season down sleeping bag and fleece liner for trek only (see individual trips)
Experienced staff - (cook, kitchen helpers, sardar, sherpa helpers, porters/animals for camping trek) as appropriate
Staff and porter insurance
Sightseeing in Kathmandu as stated in itinerary (guide and transport only)
Free gift of Access-Himalaya trekking kit bag for each member of group (to be distributed on arrival in Kathmandu)
Free airport pick and drop (usually international only)
Trekking and TIMS permits (as appropriate)
Restricted area permits (as appropriate)
... in Camping TrekYour personal equipment
Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond our control
Your travel insurance, (Make sure the policy covers helicopter rescue and evacuation service)
Medical examination and vaccination costs
Personal expenditure, including bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc.
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and elsewhere-apart from trek (see itinerary)
Heritage sights/Monastery/Temple entrance fees
Trek and Tour crew tips at end of tour
- A AVAILABLE - Trip date is available and open for bookings. Go for it!
- G GUARANTEED - Trip is reached minimum numbers and this is 'Guaranteed to Run'
- L LIMITED - Trip is 'Guaranteed to Run' and there are a very limited number of available places remaining. Immediate booking is recommended.
- C CLOSED - Trip has reached maximum numbers and it is unavailable. Please Contact Us to enquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as a private departure
Trip Info (Tour/Trek Styles) Explained
- PG Private Group: This style of trip is organized for specific groups of people (families, friends,school and college students, colleagues, business associates etc.), and is closed to outsiders. If you are interested in this particular trip departure date then please get in touch with us.
- OA Open to All: This trip departure is open to all. However, if you are interested in this particular trip departure date but want your own private group, then please get in touch with us.
- LT Lodge Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is lodge (teahouse) based. All accommodation, including food, is provided in local lodges. Occasionally however, where a large group is concerned we may choose to send our own cook along, as well, to take care of your food hygiene and to cook some special additional items.We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s) and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- CT Camping Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is camping (tent) based. We will provide one 3-man tent for every two people, also single tents, where requested, on payment of supplementary costs. All food and drinks are provided by our experienced cook and his kitchen team. We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s), cook, kitchen crew, food and drink, and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- GAP Guide, Accommodation & Porter only: In this trip neither food nor transportation is included. Clients are responsible for food and local transportation, and our responsibility is to provide insured guide, insured porter, and all necessary permits. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Clients pay for their own accommodation. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, We can arrange hotels and international airport transfer, on request.
- SG Self Guided/Budget Trip: This trip is specially designed for low-budget travellers who prefer fairly basic facilities with reduced services. It is a pre-requisite that a porter is hired for any self-guided trip, which is an ideal set-up for those who enjoy independent travel with minimum cost. We have added support to minimise the hard work of planning and costing, and we will be available to help in the unlikely event of an emergency. We will arrange all documentation (including permits), before you arrive in Nepal, so that you are free to get on with your adventure, relying only on your porter to help you on your way. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Hotel accommodation, local transportation and international airport transfers may be arranged, on request.
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- Accommodation in Kathmandu
It is our policy to use Nepali-owned accommodation, always, as we feel this is an aspect of fair trade, and the hotels we use in Kathmandu are comfortable, clean, efficient and friendly. Most hotels are also family-run; we visit, and stay in the hotels ourselves, to ensure that facilities are ... read more..
- Food on Camping Trek
Three meals a day, plus afternoon hot drinks with biscuits, are provided on our camping treks. We will provide a tasty, nutritious mixture of Nepalese, Indian and Western food prepared hygienically by our trekking Cooks who are masters at preparing foods under less then ideal conditions. As much as possible ... read more..
- Travel Insurance
It is a strict condition of joining an Access-Himalaya adventure holiday that you must be insured against all medical and personal accident risks, including repatriation if necessary. Helicopter evacuation, in the unlikely event of your being injured or taken seriously ill on trek, is very costly - an average rescue ... read more..
- Nepal Visa and Passport
All visitors to Nepal require a passport (valid for at least 6 months after your return to your home country) and an entry visa. A visa application should be obtained from the Nepalese Embassy, in London (click here to download Nepal visa application form ), or in your own country ... read more..
- Travel Money
You are advised to take travellers\' cheques with you for safety, and these should be American Express (preferred) or similar, as local bank cheques can be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to cash. ATM facilities are becoming increasingly available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other large towns, so a Visa, or ... read more..
- Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping is an entirely personal and optional matter and at the discretion of the individual. Should you wish to give a tip in a restaurant, if there is not already a service charge included you may consider a tip of 10%. Recently there has been a recommendation for 10% charge ... read more..
- Security and Valuables
We (Access-Himalaya) will arrange for your valuables, air ticket and passport to be kept in the safe of your hotel, together with all excess money, credit cards and travellers\' cheques, while you are away on trek. When on trek, your money, camera and binoculars should be kept with you at ... read more..
- Trekking Clothing & Equipment Guideline
The following is a guideline, not a prescription: we hope it will help you find your way through the minefield of items of clothing and equipment which fill the catalogues of outdoor adventure outfitters! Jacket x 1This should be breathable, wind-proof and waterproof (not showerproof), with attached hood. Suitable fabrics to ... read more..
- Accommodation on camping treks
Camping trek accommodation will be in A-shaped Vango-style spacious two-man tents (over 5’ internal height x 5’ width x 8’ long), or, for high pass/peak climbing expeditions and rafting, two-man dome tents. On trek, cotton-cased, thick, foam mattresses are provided (if you require additional comfort you might consider taking along ... read more..
- Accommodation in Pokhara
It is our policy to use Nepali-owned accommodation, always, as we feel this is an aspect of fair trade, and most of the hotels are also family-run.. The hotels we use in Pokhara are no more than 20 minutes away from the airport and are very close to the beautiful ... read more..
If our fixed departure dates are not convenient for you or your group, we can also arrange private departures on all of our small group tours. Private group departures will follow the same itineraries as our usual small group tours, or itineraries may be tailormade to suit your own convenient tour date/budgets.
Itineraries may be tailor-made to suit your dates. So if you can’t find a date to suit you or if you want to have your very own tour just with your friends or family then we can help you.
Customised Private Groups:
For most of our usual tours, or itineraries, where there is a group numbering 2 or more, we can customise and organise private group trip(s) where we design the itinerary and activities exclusively for you, according to your requirements and budgets, such as Honeymoon, Anniversary, Family, Scouts, School, College, Fundraising or Charity trips. Find out more about our private group tours.
To enquire about booking a private departure of this tour or about organising your own private group tour, please fill in the form below and we will get back to you shortly with details.