The Forbidden Kingdom
Well let’s be honest, if it was forbidden we would not be riding here! Mountain Bike Upper Mustang is fast becoming one of the most popular cycling destinations in Nepal. It’s not just about the challenging ascents and endless single track descents, it’s about the journey of discovery of the nomadic horse culture, breathtaking scenery and friendly heart-warming people that inhabit the region. If you love both culture and mountain biking, a particularly good time to go is in May to coincide with the Tiji Festival.
Venture into a land where Nomads herd yaks in the high pastures, ponies carry your luggage, rosy cheeked locals toil the arid soil to earn a living, where Tibetan culture is almost untouched by civilization and add to this some of the BEST and most Challenging mountain biking terrain in the world and you have an unforgettable journey.
For most of our guides, this is our favorite ride in Nepal, especially now we have added in new single tracks out in the remote regions of Yara, Luri Ghumpa and Tangye. Put simply this trip showcases the very best Mountain Biking that the Himalaya has to offer!
Day 01 Arrival in Nepal
Day 02 Warm Up Ride and Introduction
Day 03 Travel to Pokhara
Day 04 Fly to Jomsom, Bike to Kagbeni. Acclimatize.
Day 05 Biking to Muktinath (3760m)
Day 06 Biking to Chele (3100m) via Gya La (4077m)
Day 07 Biking to Syangboche (3800m)
Day 08 Biking to Charang (3560m)
Day 09 Biking to Lo Mantang (3810m)
Day 10 Lo Mantang Sightseeing
Day 11 Biking to Yara (3520m)
Day 12 Biking to Tangya (3660m)
Day 13 Biking to Chuksang (2270m)
Day 14 Drive to Muktinath and Biking to Jomsom via Lubra Valley and Tinigoan (860m)
Day 15 Fly to Pokhara
Day 16 Fly to Kathmandu
Day 17 Departure from Nepal
Who’s it for? Fit mountain bikers. Trails can be tailored according to skill level, but you should be able to climb and descend with confidence. It’s also a tour for lovers of culture and it might help if you don’t have a fear of flying in small planes.
Length:- 17 Days from Kathmandu to Kathmandu.
Fitness Factor:- Good cardio fitness and hiking/biking pushing stamina required. Most of the trail is above 3000 meters altitude.
Skill Factor:- Confident on rocky descents, loose surfaces and some exposed single tracks
Comfort Zone:- Let’s say rustic, simple and homely Tea Houses, basic but good food, occasional hot water, no connectivity.
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Trail Notes for Upper Mustang
The initial flight to Jomsom takes 16 mins. For groups below 6 we will be flying with the bikes in the cargo hold of the plane, for larger groups, bikes will be sent overland the previous day to meet you in Jomsom, for this flight please pack your multi tools, sharp objects, bike pump and helmet in your main luggage because it will not be allowed in hand luggage.
There are some river crossing where you could possible get wet feet, so bring some lighter fast drying shoes as there is nothing worse than riding with cold and wet feet! Or pack some flip flops in your day pack.
The trail is a mix of rocky section and powdered dirt/sandy section, the trail is very dry and abrasive to bike.
Days comprise of long climbs and passes above 3500 meters and long descents, options for single track or road will be given by the guide each day.
This trip includes ponies to carry your luggage from Tea House to Tea House. We give you Himalayan Single Track water proof kit bags for your kit during the trip. This is easier for the porters to carry. The weight limit for the actual trip is 13kg. During the day you will have to carry a day pack with your daily needs in it.
When booking the trip with Himalayan Single Track, we offer full airport to airport service including all transfers, hotels and logistics for you and your bike. We are also happy to custom tours to suit your needs. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy your ride.
What is the average riding time per day?
During this trip you will riding between 4 to 6 hours per day with plenty of time for cultural site visits and photo taking.
Can this trip be shortened?
Yes in some cases this trip can be shortened, please do ask us. But we need to consider key points like proper acclimatization and also your personal riding fitness and skill level.
What sort of bike should I bring for this trip?
Depends on how you ride, but a good XC or All Mountain full suspension that is light will work best.
Can I hire a bike?
Yes Himalayan Single Track has a range of well-maintained and up to date full suspension and hard tail mountain bikes. Please visit the bike hire page of our website.
What spare parts can I get in Nepal?
We have a shop in Thamel where most spare parts for bikes are available, things like tubes, tires, chains, lubes and chain links can be brought. Specialist things like tubeless liquid, spare parts for 1 x 12 and brakes pads other than Shimano should be brought with you, or check with us first.
What is the accommodation like?
In Kathmandu and other major cities, the accommodation we use is 3 star with attached bathroom, hot water, WiFi and back up power. In the mountains we use simple yet clean Tea Houses. We try to get attached bathrooms in all places but in some more remote areas there might be common bathrooms, squat toilets and bucket hot showers only. But all in all staying in Tea Houses and meeting local families is often one of the highlights of the trip.
How do I pay for the trip?
If you decide to book this trip with Himalayan Single Track, we take 20% deposit at the time of booking paid by bank transfer. Balance should be paid on arrival by cash or credit card (3.6% service charge)
Is the pre-trip ride day in Kathmandu Compulsory? Yes we like to enforce this for two reason, to make sure the riders have the skill set to complete the journey safely and enjoy it and to also check the bikes are all in top working order. Also if it looks like we have a big division in rider levels in the group, it allows to choose to send a support guide to allow the group more freedom.
What is the US$500 Permit For? Upper Mustang is a restricted area, a rule passed by the Local Royal family to restrict visitors to the area for conservation and preservation purposes.
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