‘Forbidden’ Upper Mustang & Lo Manthang Adventure
The most incredible mountain biking adventure! Challenge yourself with this breathtaking journey through the timeless Kingdom of Lo, a remote Tibetan Buddhist enclave inside Nepal that was, until recently, forbidden to foreigners
People have inhabited this harsh region for thousands of years, some of the early dwellers living or meditating in ancient caves, rich in unique Buddhist art, which pepper the bizarre rock formations. This mythical land north of the 8000 metre peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri still requires a special restricted area permit to enter, and numbers are limited, thus helping to preserve its unique heritage. The ancient, walled city of Lo Manthang is described by UNESCO as having no place of comparison!
This region is characterised by incredible sculpted canyons with ancient cave monasteries dug into the wild rock formations; fortified, medieval villages offering oases of green fields in the arid landscape of the ‘Tibetan’ Plateau; and wild trails over high passes and along stark ridge-lines, all set against the backdrop of the soaring snow-peaks of the Himalayas.
Lo, in the Upper Mustang region, is a remote and starkly beautiful section of the Tibetan Plateau, the high altitude desert bordered to the south by some of the Himalaya’s highest mountains. The fact that it now lies in Nepal rather than Tibet has enabled the people of the region to preserve their unique and fascinating Tibetan Buddhist culture and lifestyle; which now enables intrepid visitors to learn and experience this ancient way of life
Our exploration of Upper Mustang takes us on some of the less travelled routes through this sun-drenched region; sometimes following the Kali Gandaki river-bed, other times biking on spectacular trails to passes high above it, and descending on awesome trails through incredibly sculpted gorges, wondering at the ancient cave dwellings and monasteries we see carved into the rugged mountainsides.
Now is the time to visit Mustang while it is still pristine, intriguing and with a sense of the forbidden. These newly opened up trails have to be biked to be believed!
NOTE: The riding on this adventure is incredible. We have some rough and ready jeep tracks and these are fun enough, but we also have some simply unbelievable single trail riding. The trails take us over high passes and on long sweeping downhills, through crazy canyons and along wild ridgelines – all the while looking out to the Himalayan Range.
Itinerary in brief:
Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 Drive to Pokhara
Day 3 Fly to Jomsom, bike to Kagbeni
Day 4 Bike to Muktinath and return to Kagbeni (multiple trail options)
Day 5 Bike to Tsaile
Day 6 Bike to Ghemi
Day 7 Bike to Lo Manthang via Chharang
Day 8 Explore Lo Manthang & Chosar Valley
Day 9 Bike via Lo Gekar to Jaite
Day 10 Bike to Chuksang
Day 11 Bike to Jomsom
Day 12 Fly to Pokhara & fly to Kathmandu
Day 13 Depart