PRICE
From US$ 2750  pp


DURATION
18 Days (16 Days Riding)


DEPARTURE DATES
2022 –
 29th Sept, 21st Nov
2023 –
 14th Apr, 12th May, 27th Sept, 8th Oct, 1st Nov


GROUP SIZE
Min 2 – Max 12 

Mountain Bike Upper Mustang 

A Journey into the Himalayan Wilderness to the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo Mantang

Well let’s be honest, if it was truly forbidden we would not be riding here, but it makes the trip sound more magical!

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 a 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.

Each Upper Mustang Trip is guided by one of our experienced guides and supported by local Porters, Drivers and Horsemen which means some of the income goes directly into the local communities. Relying on our local support team means we also get up to date trail and weather condition information. Our intimate local knowledge means we can take you to trails others do not travel and you can immerse yourself in local cultural and hospitality. We pride ourselves on our local connections which means we can deliver to you a safe and unforgeable trip into the heart and soul of the Mustang Region.

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!

Highlights

 – The Stunning Panoramas along the way

 – Mountain Biking one Of the Worlds Longest Downhills

 – Exploring the Lost Kingdom of Lo

 – Journeying through the Deepest Gorge in the World

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:- 18 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


Day 01: Arrival in Nepal

Upon your arrival in Nepal, a member of our team will meet you at the Airport and transfer you to the Hotel. We have a meet and greet with the Guide/Trekking team for a trip briefing and gear check. We also treat you to a welcome dinner of Nepal’s Traditional dish Dal Bhart (Rice, Lentil Soup and lots of Yummy side dishes).

Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel (BB)

Meal Inclusions: Dinner

Day 02: Nagarkot Enduro Riding Day

Head to Nagarkot, without a doubt, Nagarkot is the best place to ride Enduro inside the Kathmandu Valley. The trails vary in difficulty and distance, but they are all fun. The tour includes a full-day shuttle, for as much single-track fun as you can handle. The trails run through the jungle and rural rice fields and villages and boast stunning views of the Himalayas. Trail rating would be blue and black, the rider needs some decent skills to enjoy these trails.

Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel

Included meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/Dinner

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara

After Breakfast we leave the hotel and drive to the airport, where we catch a 25 min flight to Pokhara. Pokhara is a chilled out lakeside town at the base of the Annapurna Himalaya. If time is sufficient, we ride to the Peace Pogoda, a 2 to 3 hour round trip with a short yet steep climb and a super nice single-track descent to the Lake. Stay overnight in Lakeside.

Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel

Included meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/Dinner

Day 04: Flying from Pokhara to Jomsom (2910m) and Biking to Kagbeni (2800m). Distance 14km

Wake up for sunrise and hopefully catch a glimpse of the mountains before we head to the airport. It’s about a 22 min flight to Jomsom, above the Pokhara valley and deep into the heart of the Himalaya, take a peek out of the window for fantastic views of Dhaulagiri and beyond. The flight is simply breathtaking as the plane’s wing pit almost touch the snow capped peaks, fly right between the Himalayan giants and you feel your adventure has really begun as the small plane banks left and touches down in Jomsom. In Jomsom, we have breakfast and spend some time getting the bikes ready for the journey. Enjoy an easy acclimatization ride of 14 km to the beautiful Tibetan village of Kagbeni. The road is mostly flat and traces the Kaligandaki River right up to the boundary of Upper Mustang. Stay overnight in Red House, one of the oldest Inns in the region

Accommodation: Teahouse

Included meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/Dinner


Day 05: Biking from Kagbeni (2800m) to Muktinath (3760m). Distance 18km

Get up early to see the sunrise and have breakfast. Today we cycle uphill for the most part. Leaving behind the beautiful village of Kagbeni, warm up your legs and start to climb. We follow the trail on the north side of the gorge and climbs up on a dusty jeep track towards the foreboding Throng La Pass. We stop and explore the ancient monastery at Jhong and have some lunch basking in the sunshine and enjoying the mountain Views. The final push after lunch is short and we should arrive in Muktinath around mid afternoon. Spend some time here exploring the Monastery and Temples, two of the holiest in Nepal. Stay overnight and enjoy the local culture of this bustling town.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Included meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/Dinner

Day 06: Muktinath (3760m) to Samar (3660m). Distance:- 32km

Today we enter the restricted region of Upper Mustang. It’s an uphill stretch from Muktinath through Chhyonggur and up to the GyuLa Pass at 4077 meters and is 80% rideable. Here there are panoramic views of the snow capped mountains. After a short section of steep downhill we follow an undulating ridge trail down to Tetang at 3040 meters, more than a 1000 meter descent on superb single track. Pass an ancient Mani Wall and cycle on down to Chhusang. From here there is a slight climb and river crossing to reach Chele on the opposite river bank where the river passes through a rock tunnel and then a steady climb up to Samar.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 07: Samar (3660m) to Ghami (3520m) Distance:- 23km

A hard day of riding, leaving behind the river bed we climb into the hills. Four passes lay between us and Ghami, so yeah there will be a few ups and downs today as we cross Nyila La at 4010 meters, Dajori La 3735 meters, Bhena La 3860 meters and finally Yamda La at 3860 meters. Nyila is one of the most scenic passes on the trip with stunning views of the entire Mustang Region and the Annapurna and Nilgiri Mountain Ranges. After the pass we head down a secret trail, known only to our guides that takes us to the Gami where we will stop for the night. Gami is one of the most beautiful villages, situated on the river side with fertile land ripe for growing Phapar (A local Wheat). Nearby the village is an old Monastery that you can visit as well as the local hospital which is supported with aid from Japan.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 08: Ghami (3520m) to Charang (3560m) Distance:- 27km

A great day of riding, with just one big climb up to Chinggel Tharsang Choyla Pass. From the pass at 3870 meters, there is some really nice single-track downhill riding along a little-known trail used by local people and their livestock. . The ride is a welcome change from the days of climbing and crossing passes. The scenery opens up and there are fields of mustard and barley in the right season which makes for lush pockets of greenery and grazing Yaks. It is also one of the most scenic days with the ever-changing colors of the landscape from yellow and browns to reds, grays and blues as the sun moves across the Himalayan sky. Charang is a nice village with a really beautiful 400 year old Gulpa Sect Monastery filled with friendly Monks who like to play football. The Monastery is also home to the oldest library in the region of Lo. Charang is a great village to hang out in and snap some photos.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 09: Charang (3560 meters) to Lo-Manthang (3810m) Distance:- 18km

From Charang we have to cross Lo La Pass at 3810 meters, just before Lo- Manthang. This pass is also known as “Windy Pass” and from here you can view the walled city of Lo-Manthang, your first tantalizing view of this kingdom lost in time and your penultimate destination. In June and July, the time when the crops are almost ready to harvest makes for the most dramatic scenery. The barren brown landscape is scattered with fields of vibrant green and gold rolling with the wind under the vivid blue sky of the Himalayas, a truly memorable scene. The ride is easy if a bit of a long climb, about 25 km total riding distance. You will enjoy the open jeep track trail and should arrive in Lo-Manthang by lunchtime. Lo-Manthang is perhaps one of the most interesting places in the Himalayas and a couple of days spent here sightseeing is well worth it. Visit the Royal Palace where you have the privilege of having tea or perhaps dinner with the King of Lo himself, what an experience! In the afternoon there are three interesting Monasteries to visit, one of them is over 900 years old and displays some of the most beautiful Thangka paintings found in Nepal. The intricate details and vivid colors of these paintings is a stark contrast to the wide-open spaces of the region.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 10: Rest Day in Lo Manthang or Exploration of Ghom

Today we ride up to Garphu. Follow the upper reaches of the Kali Gandaki River, crossing over several of its tributaries. Here you will find Ghom, a cave tunneling into the mountainside which is the historical site of a Monastery and the cave of one thousand windows. The beautiful scenery and isolated Tibetan culture make this day trip a worthy experience. The way back from Ghom is a beautiful single track through traditional villages. This truly is a place to lose yourself in history, rustic architecture and mind-blowing landscapes, one could easily roll back in time 100 years or more here.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 11: Biking Lo-Manthang (3810m) to Yara (4232m) Distance:- 18km

Today there is a super nice single track with mountain views and really steep and sandy single tracks. The ride takes us uphill through a canyon to Yara where we will have lunch. After lunch we ride loop out to Luri Ghumba and then return to Yara. The round trip is 50% uphill and 50% down, around 2 hours return, but Luri Ghumba is worth a visit, this tiny Monastery is nestled high into the cliff face. This is a challenging route for good riders with skill in loose trails with some exposure.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 12: Yara (4232m) to Tangbe ( 4840m) Distance:- 16km

The starts with some really nice single track and beautiful landscape. There is a long climb of about an hour and a half after crossing the river where you might have to push some. We finish our day as we roll into Tangbe, which is a simple and remote village. Tangbe is a tiny village with very simple accommodation. You can enjoy the feeling of being really remote and isolated.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 13: Tangbe (3240m) to Chhuksang (2800m) Distance:- 25km

To start the day we have to push and carry for about 2 hours 3 hours 1000m uphill to Pha totally pushing or carrying, followed by 2 to 3 hours of single track which undulates along the ridge line, before an EPIC descent down to Chhuksang. The scenery on this day is also Epic. It’s a ridgeline descent, with some short climbs, and amazing views. Some of the best views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri can be had on this day.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 14: Chhuksang (2880m) to Jomsom (2980m) Distance:- 38km

Leaving Chhuksang we have two small passes, Dajori La (3735M) and Taklam La (3624M). Along the way the route passes the sacred place where the ancient art of Sky Burial is carried out. Here you may see the rare Himalayan Vultures soaring in the sky. Continue cycling down to Kagbeni where we can enjoy a nice Illy Coffee, and get our permits checked for the last time. Ride on the last 11km to Jomsom.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 15: Jomsom (2980m) to Tatopani (980m) Distance 52km

Our day kicks off with some brilliant downhill and after yesterday’s challenge, you will welcome fun jeep tracks and trails with a mostly downhill gradient! We have to start early as the wind gets up after 11 am making riding a bit more challenging. Chill out on this section and enjoy the views. For experienced riders there are single track options. Savor the moment as you whizz past trekkers, the Himalayan wind in your face and miles of downhill before your wheels. The trail rolls into Tukuche, a lovely old village on the river side. Take some time to explore the cobbled lanes and explore the Thakali culture. We stayed overnight in the well furnished Dutch Bakery. Apple Brandy is a local product and a good after dinner nightcap to relax your mind and body after the day’s ride.

Accommodation: Teahouse

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner

Day 16: Tatopani to Beni and Transfer to Pokhara. Riding Distance 26km

From Tatopani we continue on to Beni where we meet the transport and return to Pokhara for some civilization.

Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu

Today we transfer you to the Pokhara airport for the short 23min flight to Kathmandu. A member of our team will collect you from the airport and transfer you to the Hotel. Take some time for last-minute shopping or exploring this vibrant city.

Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Departure from Nepal

Today we say farewell and transfer from the hotel to the airport for your outbound flight

Accommodation: None

Meals: Breakfast

VISA INFORMATION

Entry visa to Nepal can be obtained either from the relevant embassy or consulate prior to your departure or at the airport on arrival to Nepal.

Visa on arrival can be applied for via the Immigration website. Just fill in the details online and then print a copy and bring it with you. Payment is made on arrival.

Visa on Arrival Fees:-
15 Days – US$30
30 Days – US$50
90 Days – US$125 

ARRIVAL INFORMATION

The international airport in Kathmandu, Tribhuvan is located about 7km from the city center. Most of our package tours include an airport pick up. Other options are to get a pre paid taxi from the desk at the airport. The rates are fixed and fair.

INSURANCE

Travel Insurance that covers evacuation from above 5000m is required for this trip. The current entry rules to Nepal also require your insurance to cover Covid related issues. Personal travel insurance is compulsory for you to join this trip. You must present a copy of your policy upon arrival in Nepal. Two companies we recommend for travel insurance are World Nomads and Covermore.

BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE

On the Annapurna Trip, the trails are a mix of rocky sections and powdered dirt/sandy sections, the trails are generally very dry and abrasive in most places. There are long climbs on most days and some bike carry and push involved in some places. Along the trails there will also be some river crossings.

Days comprise of an average 4 to 5 hours riding and plenty of time to explore and take photos.

We recommend the following specifications:-

• Full Suspension 110mm to 130mm travel xc bikes are ideal for this trip.

• Tire recommendation is 2.2 to 2.3 something like a MAXXIS High Roller or Schwalbe Nobby Nic or equivalent is ideal for this trip.

• Tubeless is recommended and we also recommend you bring a little extra Liquid.

• Hardtails are also okay for these trip’s if that is what you ride.

You should provide for your OWN BIKE:-

Chain Links, Spare Chain

Dry Chain Lube

Mech Hanger or Drop Out for your model of bike

Brake Pads for your Model

Brake fluid for your Model of Brake

FOOD/MEALS

The food on the trail is pretty good. Menu items vary for the local staple Dhal Bhart (Rice, Lentils, Veg Curry, Spicy Pickle and optional Meat Curry) to Noodles, Pasta, Rosti, Eggs and all kinds of soups and locally made flat breads, Oats and Potato dishes. Fresh Fruit is generally limited in these areas.

Vegetarians and Vegans are not a problem at all, there are multiple menu items for both requirements that are filling, nutritious and high energy. Though we do recommend you to pack nuts, dried fruit and relevant energy items. If you have any dietary requirements, please contact us before the trip.

A note on food related Illness:- Most people coming to Nepal get some form of stomach upset. But there are ways to avoid this, in most cases it is not from the food in the teahouses, here are our tips to stay healthy:-

Stay away from oily food in the mountains. Most of us are not used to lots of oily food for every meal and combined with the physical exhaustion, cold and altitude it can lead to upset stomachs. Try and choose light options like Dhal Soups, Soups, boiled and poached eggs, hearty porridge, pasta and rice (non-fired) dishes. Be careful with your hands, wash, sanitize and wash again!

DRINKING WATER

This is an important topic, the tap water in Nepal is NOT SAFE to drink and mineral water bottles are an environmental hazard and we do not like our clients to use them. HST is trying our best to eliminate the need for disposable water bottles.

Our office in Kathmandu has free water refills. You should bring along some form of water purification. HST will not be purchasing bottled water for this trip.

ACCOMMODATION

During the biking leg of the trip you will be accommodated in TEA HOUSES which are a form of mountain lodge. Standard varies from place to place, rooms are simple in some cases we get attached bathrooms, in others bathrooms are shared. Rooms are not heated, but are clean and comfortable and have the following:-

• Limited Internet and 3G is available in 70% of the areas. The signal may not always be fast but it is there.

• Power and access to charging – All teahouse have this and you can charge phone, cameras and lights. In some teahouses a small charge is applicable for this (100nrs). But the electricity is very limited. Carrying a Power Bank or spare batteries is recommended on this trip.

• Hot water is available in all teahouses, but can vary depending on sunshine (some places is solar). Hot water is not automatic so please tell the guide you need it and he will make sure the hotel provides it.

Hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara are 3 star with all facilities.

CURRENCY

The NPR – Nepalese Rupee and it comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Notes with 1 and 2 paisa coins. Most places in tourist areas like Kathmandu and Pokhara will accept USD, EURO, POUNDS and other major currencies.

For travel in more remote regions like Annapurna and Upper Mustang you should carry local currency in smaller denominations.

ATM’s withdrawing up to 30,000nrs at a time can be found everywhere in the tourist centers of Kathmandu and Pokhara and also there is one ATM in Jomsom and Manang. Beware the local banks charge 300nrs to 500nrs per transaction above any charges your own bank may charge you.

MONEY EXCHANGERS

Can be found all over the tourist areas and you can negotiate a little for better rates. On The street money exchangers give a much better rate than banks and hotels.

CREDIT CARDS are accepted in bigger hotels and business, the local service charge is normally 4%.


What is the risk of Altitude Sickness?

Our itinerary is set up to allow for acclimatization. As long as the riders take it steady, most people only suffer mild symptoms which are manageable. 

How will my bike be transported?

Bikes are transported in our Twin Cab Bolero with a padded tail gate. Our drivers are all professional and caring when it comes to looking after bikes. When the bikes go on the mountain flights to places like Jomsom, the wheels are removed and the bikes padded and placed in the cargo hold. 


What Happens if I get Sick?

If you get sick, you have options that include, returning to either Pokhara or Kathmandu with a member of our support team, staying and resting in place for a day or using a support vehicle to travel to next destination. It depends on severity of sickness and options available to the group at the time. For serious illness or accident, immediate Helicopter evacuation will be undertaken. 


What level of training do the guides have?

All our guides hold the Government regulation trekking guide license as per the Law of Nepal. On top of this, as per our own company policy, Himalayan Single Track is the ONLY mountain bike company in Nepal to have international licensed mountain bike guides either through the MBLA Scheme or the MIAS Schemes. This is because to date Nepal Tourism sector does not have a safety regulation standard for mountain bike guides. On top of this all our guides have Valid wilderness first aid certification. 

Is tipping expected in Nepal?

Tipping is not compulsory but it is expected and very much appreciated. 

What sort of food is on offer in the guest houses?

Teahouses have a wide variety of simple and hearty foods like Momos, Chow Mein, Rice dishes, pasta, eggs, vegetables and curries as well as breakfast items, porridge, cereal, omelets and local breads. 

Do you cater for Vegetarian’s/Vegans and Specials Diets?

Yes we do. Options are many in Nepal. Please inform us prior to the trip so we can make sure your dietary needs are properly looked after.

Should I take Diamox?

Taking Diamox (medication for altitude) is a personal choice, though it is a good if idea you are worried about the affects of altitude. It should be taken in advance of the trip. Please consult your Doctor before taking any medications. 

What happens if my bike breaks?

Our guides will try their best to fix the bike. Where possible a replacement bike will be brought to you, though given the remote terrine of Nepal, this make take an extra day or so. 

Do you take pictures of the trip?

Most of our guides will take photos of the trip for you. We also have specialized photographers/Videographers you can book for the trip if you need to. (Extra Charges Apply)

What if the mountain flights don’t go?

All mountain flights are weather dependent. If the flight does not go, you will get the option to drive on the same day or fly on the following day. 

Do I need a sleeping bag?

In most cases a sleeping bag liner is sufficient. In the colder months its a good idea to bring one. Blankets will also be available at the teahouses. We will send you a packing list relevant to the trip with full details once you have booked.

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