The Kingdom of Lo in the Mustang Region of Nepal is one of the most remote kingdoms on earth. One of the few remaining authentic Tibetan cultures still left in the world, the northern part of this astounding kingdom is open to a small number of fortunate permit holders each year. For the adventure of a lifetime, join us as we explore the dramatic landscape and ancient culture of this isolated region.
Sheltered by massive Himalayan peaks as Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, Mustang is a rugged moonscape of walled monasteries, windy plains and towns that time forgot. The temple of Lo Gekhar that still stands today, surviving along with an unadulterated Tibetan culture that cannot be found elsewhere.
This Biking trip gives you the different perspective of the area and you can also explore the side valley instead of just walking on the main trail, there are so many challenging routes and beautiful hidden places can ride and explore.
This trip can combined with Bike Annapurna Round for further info contact us.
- Destination:Nepal, Annapurna Region
- Trip Grade:Moderate
- Total Duration:15 days
- Best Time:Sept- Dec & Feb- April
- best views of Annapurna:5 star and challenging
Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu airport, our staff will be there to pick up and transfer to the hotel in Kathmandu. Depending on your arrival and time: if you have arrived early we can arrange half day sightseeing or just relax and rest before the trip and last minute shopping for the trip.
Day 2: Day ride in Kathmandu, check our bikes need any services or changes parts and pre for the trip.
Day 3: Fly to Pokhara 25 minutes transfer to the hotel, boat cross the Phewa lake and ride to the peace stupa and ride all the way to Davis fall and back to the hotel at Lakeside and stay in Pokhara.
Day 4:- Jomsom to Kagbeni.
After Breakfast in Pokhara and fly to Jomsom with wonderful glimpses of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna range and Nilgiri mountains range and land at the Jomsom and start biking, bike to Kagbeni and stay at Kagbeni, altitude 2800m. its gradual ascent and bike along the Kali Gandaki River.
Day 5: Kagbeni to Chele (3050)
From here we then enter the restricted area climb up on the deserted jeep trail to Chele that we already needed to have a special permit.
There are 140-degree panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains Thorong peak, Mt. Nil Giri, Mt. Annapurna and Tukuche where no require skills of taking the pictures of them .just click it heaps of snaps on desert and Mountains and bicycles.
Day 6:- Chele to Samar (3660m)
An opposite river bank where the river passes through a rock tunnel and then a steady climb steep up to cliff route to Taklamla and Dajori La that quite often requires to get off from the bike and walk .comparatively hard and shorter than other days then have a look around or rest as half day off .for sure the view and enjoyments will be continue every single day.
Day 7:- Samar to Ghami (3520m)
A demanding day of riding, leaving behind the river bed climb in to the hill 2oo mt up to Bhena La pass (3838m) ,Soi Pass (Yamada La 3860m )and Syangmoche La( 3830m) up and down in and out ,up Nyi La (4010m) Jhiate pass , a stunning viewpoint of Mustang region . After the pass we super head down secret trails via Ghemi La. then the bike will only halt at Ghami for a night. Ghami is one of the most beautiful villages situated on the riverside with fertile land ripe for growing Phapar (a Local wheat ). Nearby the village is an old Monastery that we take you to visit as well as the local hospital which is supported with aid from Japan.
Day 8:- Ghami to Charing (3560m)
As usual right after Breakfast and look around and taking the pictures of Mustang’s largest Mani wall(308m) start one of another great day of riding, one steep climb for the first hour 300m up to Tharsang Choyla Pass ( 3870m). From this pass, 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.
Charang is the village with a really Gorgeous 400 years old Gulpa Sect Monastery filled with friendly Monks we see and chat and hang out and snap some breathtaking pictures on your life to take a look later.T he Monastery is also home to the oldest Library in the region of Lo.
Day 9- Charang to Lo- Manthang (3809m)
A dramatic scenery day to go ahead. From Charang got to climb 300m and have to cross Lo La Pass 3810m, just before Lo- Manthang. This pass is known as “Windy Pass” and from here you can see the walled city of Lo- Manthang.
This is a tantalizing view of this kingdom lost in time and your penultimate destination. the captivated landscapes are scattered with fields of vibrant green and gold rolling with the wind under the vivid blue sky high up on the Himalaya, you realize what you paid for.
About 25 km all total day riding distance including some little bit climb in between the jeep track will be great and happy time to be there. Visiting Royal palace here you will have the privilege of having tea, maybe dinner with the King of Lo is an experience and worthwhile for the Lifetime memory.
Day 10:- Day trip up to windy pass and Lo La (3950m) area
Making the Lo- Manthang our as the base camp, we explore around Lo region. aa steady and easy climb from the walled city and up to a mesmeric viewpoint Windy pass, halt for heaps of pictures we then discover one of the best downhill track that takes 800mt descent to the river. many of skilled riders would be so happy on this natural single track in the gorge, ride down to Dhi gaun and have lunch and ride back to Lo Manthang.
Day 11:- Day Trip to Ghom and Garphu (3897m)
From our Base Lo-Manthang, ride up to Garphu and Ghom towards Kaligandaki river upper section, crossing other streams quite often.Ghom is the place to see a cave that is tunneling into the mountainside which is historical cite of the monastery and the cave of one thousand windows. Yet an isolated culture make your day worthwhile when you see the ancient architectures around.
Day 12: Lo man thang to Ghami starts to return down.
Day 13: Ghami to Samar
Day 14: Samar to via Kagbeni Jomsom 2720m.
Day 15: fly to Pokhara and have lunch and fly to Kathmandu later flight and transfer to hotel.
Day 16: final departure, airport transport.
- Three meals a day during the trekking and biking as per menu
- Hot drinks tea, coffee
- Flights to Pokhara – Jomsom- Pokhara – Kathmandu return
- 3night hotel in Kathmandu, & 1 night in Pokhara
- Restricted upper Mustang special Permit
- Accommodation on the biking.
- Guide and porter as well as their Salary, insurance for the guide and porter for upper Mustang and road support lower Mustang biking.
- Bike and Helmet.
- Bus ticket for Pokhara Kathmandu.
- Bike repair kit and spare parts
- Group First Aid kit.
- Visa fee
- International flight/airport tax
- Mineral Water and Alcohol and all bottle beverages
- Personal Expenses (e.g. snacks, chocolate during the day etc)
- Personal biking clothing i.e. shoe, gloves, wind shirt, biking shorts etc.
- Travel, accidental/ health insurance (mandatory)
- Guides/ Porter’s tip.
- Emergency evacuation.
Journeying a river: Jai Karnali, January 2020
How did river Ganga come to be?
Mythology says that there was a noble King who requested that Ganga descend from heaven to bless humanity and quench the thirst of the land and its people.
Pleased to shower the world with blessings, Ganga rushed down with such gusto that people feared that all that came in the way would be washed away. The God Shiva came to the rescue and stopped the momentum of the water with his long thick long hair. Because of this, Ganga flowed smoothly and satiated the thirst of all beings and showered blessings on the land with each drop of precious water.
Ecologists interpret this myth as a metaphor- Shiva’s thick long hair is synonymous with dense jungles that help check the floods and stop the land from washing away as the river accelerates down the slopes from the melting glaciers.
Rafting down the river Karnali in Western Nepal last month, it felt as if the myth was true! In our group of 11 people were some seasoned sailors, kayakers, river guides, and rafting experts, but a few like me had never been on a raft. I am also not a strong swimmer; so, it was an act of faith and surrender to the river and expertise of our leader Mani, and river rafting expert Manu to go on the trip.
We put the rafts in the river after about 4 hours drive up the town of Surkhet at an altitude of about 800 m. The rafts and the equipment, including the tents and rations, were supplied with the generous support of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in the States.
This expedition was conceptualized and planned by Ravi, NOLS India Programmed Director, and Mani ( #navigateoutdoor Nepal) NOLS senior Instructor and who co-led the expedition. The two kayakers, Ganesh and Nanu Kayaks and were in the tumultuous waters of Karnali watching and guiding our rafts at each and every rapid that came along. They were plenty of challenges to varying degrees!
For the next seven days we were out on the river, and camping at some of the most beautiful banks. We witnessed a vast expanse of pristine natural habitats along the way both on land and in the waters. We parked the rafts often to take a walk over to beautiful villages and bought fresh vegetables, fish, milk and yogurt, etc. from the villagers. We savored some delicious meals in cottage eateries that you can find along the traditional walking routes of the shepherds, traders, and village folk, that connect the plains with the high Himal region in the kingdom of Nepal and beyond on the Tibetan plateau. The river crisscrossed some of the most wonderfully crafted hanging bridges on these routes as well.
We saw how the simple and rich life of fishing communities sustainably harvest the bounty of fish from the river. They fish in their dug up canoes made from tree trunks. The fish from Karnali is famous across the region and fetches amongst the highest price in Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu. High value and low volume seem to be the guiding factor – it can be 2-4 days walk to sell and transport the fish, so, the fish is dried or smoked creating a very special, niche type of produce from the villages along Karnali.
Agriculture and livestock rearing is still flourishing in the villages. It was amazing to see some of the most appropriately designed dehusking, pounding, and winnowing equipment still in use – that has perhaps not changed in the last thousand years.
It is indeed a living culture that uses and maintains the landscape, in harmony with nature, using indigenous knowledge to enhance biodiversity and what we call ecosystem services. Our faith in the concept of the Gross National Happiness index was further strengthened. The common Human Development indices merely emphasize infrastructure and access to institutions such as hospitals and schools- but there is so much to be taken into account for true sustainability. While the intent is not to romanticize the old, biocultural heritage, the wisdom of the old seems to be working harmoniously and should well complement human development in a more meaningful way.
Some of the big questions being discussed in conferences and seminars across the world could be answered in a much more eco-friendly and happy way by experiencing the life and values of the community here and of other indigenous peoples across the world.
The modern idea of development as highly individualistic has become increasingly crippled with outdated notions of competition, rather than collaboration, also creating massive disparities in income and consumption of natural resources.
We could learn from the communities here, and take lessons from the past into the future: the dignity of physical work, interdependence, and interconnectedness are three principles that need to be central to human endeavor- there is no sustainability without equity and dignity.
Gradually, we descended down with the flow of the river, as it slowly calmed down in the Terai region. It’s a rich habitat for tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, and another charismatic megafauna. The very sight of these deep jungles invokes awe. We got off the banks of the mighty Karnali at the little town of Chiso Pani.
We deflated the rafts, packed the gear, washed, and rushed to one of the many restaurants in this little town. Some of us relished the delicious fish from Karnali to their heart's content! For others like me, the restaurant served fabulous fresh greens with dal-bhat; as they say in Nepal “Dal Bhat power, 24 hours!”
May the river Karnali have a long life and continue to bless humanity as the King had anticipated in the ancient times. May present-day leaders start to wake up to the wisdom in conservation and sustainable utilization of the river, rather than damning it and threatening the sheer existence of these communities. May we all learn from the life of the people here; all the wonderful ways to weave a close-knit community and flourish together with nature.
Thanks for the whole team Chura Mani Aryal, Manohar, Nanu and Ganesh river experts, and beautiful Karnali River, and people from the river corridor.
"I want to thank you and your guides and employees again for the wonderful memories I have of the Manaslu trek and the lovely side trip into the Tsum Valley. The scenery and experiences were great and I especially loved the variety of forests, the wildlife, and of course the incomparable mountain scenery. I want to add a special thank you to you for the special care you gave me when my foot and leg became very swollen. Your help and knowledge allowed me to complete the trek with minimal discomfort. I still experience the problem to a minor degree but still, look forward to further adventurous travel when the situation allows in the future. Conversations with you about Nepalese history were also an enjoyable and informative aspect of the trek".
I would like to thank Navigate Outdoor for organizing such a joyful and safe trip to the Tsum and Manaslu region. I'd like to thank Mani and his entire team to make our trip such memorable and extra care to all of us on the trekking. I really enjoyed having my own personal time exploring the side valley taking pictures and interact with local people on the trail. Mani is an experienced leader who allows space while trekking. He helped, and always available for other trekkers they need medical attention. I saw him support others and interact with them in a really professional way. I appreciated and enjoyed the 24 days trekking in the Tsum valley and Manaslu round trekking.
Nick Green Australia 2018
I appreciate your attitude "Anyway life comes first and business comes second and other things." I can see you are really living that motto when you tell us of the wonderful time you are having with your family.
Dane, and I really enjoyed the trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary. While I have been trekking in the Himalayas a number of times it was nice to do a trek with my son. Dane was very impressed to see the high mountains. Thanks for organizing Annapurna Base Camp trekking for me and my son Dane. Mani, I really appreciated sharing your previous experiences and telling stories about your own life and adventure career. We'll do another trip in the future. We'll share our experiences with our friends and recommended Navigate Outdoor. I can't express the joyful moment I had on the Annapurna Base camp trip you with, and felt 100% safe, thanks for taking care of us in the trekking.
Malcolm and Dane Dwyer Australia 2019
Karnali River Experience.
They say that the journey is better than the destination. That all the experiences along the way are like an accumulation of rocks along a riverbed. This story is another stone in a river.
I have known Mani Aryal for several years, meeting him in the United States, in the state of Utah. Mani and I were both on a work contract to take a group of students down Desolation & Gray Canyon on the Green River. After spending three weeks with Mani I knew that I made a paddling adventure buddy and that he would be a person that I actively stay in contact with. The years have a way of floating by with adventure and intentions. Every time I spoke to Mani he persistently invited me to Kathmandu to see his home and to float the rivers. Three years after saying “no”, I finally could say “maybe”.
Kathmandu is large in legend and small in structure. The shuttle ride from the airport is an example of whitewater: dodging potholes, must-make moves, and pure adrenaline. It’s best not to watch.
There are two options to get to the river when signing up for a Karnali River Expedition trip: 1) take the plane or 2) ride with the guides and gear on public transport. I was on a tight budget, so option #2 was the only way to go. Putting together a multiday river trip is always difficult, especially when you start combining buses, shuttles, and rendezvous. The first leg of the journey was via public transportation to Koholpur. The guides and I, hanging out at the main bus depot, loading all of the gear we would need for the next 12 days was a new experience indeed.
You see a lot of different people and livestock on the long-distance buses. Chickens and goats are not uncommon. If a woman is standing with a baby, it’s a norm to hand a baby to you, a seated passenger, to hold the child in order to give her a break.
The second half of the shuttle was a private bus to the put-in, the small village of Dungeshor that is located straight down a canyon. The route our bus driver picked was shorter to save fuel but longer because of road conditions. Our bus rocked, creaked and moaned down the road for 8 hours only to cover 85km. “Singletrack” may be a better description than “road” as there were only inches to spare between rock walls and open air.
Sideswiping other buses, scouting rock gardens, and pushing our transport were common occurrences that quickly become norms. We reached Dungeshor after 10 pm to hastily inhale some food and beer from a generous restaurant owner who opened his doors after hours. Afterward, we set up our tents on the riverbank to welcome a solid, unwavering piece of ground to usher in some sleep.
The next morning, the guides were in their prime, having already started getting breakfast ready for everyone. Mani was no exception, greeting me with a great, white smile and a coffee to help orient my mind back to my body. The biggest surprise was all of the children hanging about camp. We were all warned not to leave our gear unattended. Later that day, I realized a carabineer walked off to hang out with the children. The guides seemed to include me that much more by laughing and sharing stories of gear gone lost.
Throughout the six days, Mani and his guides were exceptional hosts. It seemed as if they never stopped moving. Always quick to put a coffee in your hand, help you set up your campsite, or to offer a meal. Every morning they would barter with local fishermen to add an extra flair to the menu. On the water, I felt safe and involved in risk management. All ideas were heard until a plan formed to be implemented with everyone on board. The standard followed by Mani was professional.
Six months after this trip, the strongest memories I have are of traveling to and from the river. Once I had oars in my hand and a blue sky above me I knew who I was and how I got there.
The total trip duration from Kathmandu to Kathmandu was 10 days included the bus journey.
Dan Colorado USA.
Thank you, Mani. I look forward to our next adventure.