Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour
5 Ratings

Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour

Price: Price on request


calender icon Duration 13.0 days
accommodation icon Accommodation
season icon Best Season
hiking icon Hiking,Sight Seeing 13.0 days
transportation icon Transportation mountain bike days
altitude icon Max-Altitude 3840.0 m
meal icon Meal
difficulty icon Difficulty medium

Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour Overview

The Upper Mustang is a popular cycling path in Nepal. This program offers a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural immersion, and breathtaking natural beauty, all while lying in Nepal's rain shadow zone. You will find a land where ponies carry your stuff, yaks are herded by Nomads in the towering pastures, and rosy-cheeked inhabitants toil in the parched dirt to make a living. When you combine this with a culture that has been largely spared from modernization, you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

 More than just exhausting climbs and never-ending single-track descents, it's an exploratory journey into the captivating horse culture, breathtaking scenery, and friendly, welcoming folks. If you want to combine mountains and culture, May is an excellent month to visit, especially during the Tiji Festival. 

The Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour is an incredible off-road adventure for adventure seekers in the remote Himalayas. Nothing compares to the adrenaline of riding a bicycle through the forbidden areas of Upper Mustang to arrive in Lo-Manthang, the desert capital, while admiring the scenery of snow-capped peaks and bleak surroundings. 

The Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Trip is conducted by one of our experienced guides, with help from local drivers, porters, and horsemen. We also rely on our local support team for the most up-to-date information on weather and trail conditions. We can show you ways that others do not travel and enable you to fully immerse yourself in the warmth and culture of the region thanks to our deep local knowledge. 

The Upper Mustang, where the majority of people still speak traditional Tibetan languages, is one of the world's best preserved locations. It was a confined kingdom until 1992. Because of the area's relative isolation from the outside world, Tibetan culture has survived. The main industries in Mustang are trade, tourism, and animal husbandry. 

History of Upper Mustang

Although it is closely related to Tibet in terms of language and culture, Mustang was formerly a separate monarchy. Mustang's advantageous location allowed it to monopolize the trade between India and the Himalayas from the 15th to the 17th centuries. The kingdom was taken over by Nepal toward the close of the eighteenth century. The monarchy was formally abolished on October 7, 2008, by decree of the Government of Nepal, however many Mustang locals continue to recognize it.

Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista (born in 1933) is the current unofficial king (Raja or Gyelpo) and the final recognized ruler. He descended directly from Ame Pal, the warrior who established this Buddhist kingdom in 1380. Ame Pal oversaw the establishment and construction of a large portion of Lo Manthang, the capital of Lo and Mustang, a walled city whose look has remained mostly unchanged since that era. 

Culture and Religion

The upper Mustang is filled with sacred structures such as Chhortens, Mani-walls, and Monasteries, adorned with fluttering prayer flags transmitting mantras across the world. The Loba community strictly adheres to the Sakya-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, a practice that replaced the earlier prevalence of Bon and Ningma Pa Sects. Among the three revered Gompas, the Jhampa Gompa, constructed in 1387 AD during King Anguin Sangbo's reign, stands as an architectural marvel, echoing the Tibetan Ghangtse Jhampa Gompa. This Gompa, which has three floors is truly impressive. The walls are adorned with gold painted tantric Mandalas showcasing artwork that is an impressive 5 feet and 4 inches thick. Additionally Thupchen, the Gompa built in the early 15th century features vibrant wall paintings of Buddha and deities. Meanwhile Chhoede Gompa combines Choprang and Dhakar Thungling Gompas and houses sacred Thangkas while also serving as a school for monks to learn Buddha's teachings. The town's deep religious devotion is reflected in festivals, like Tenji, where colorful Thangka displays and dances take place. Other celebrations such as Mhane, Sakaluka and Loshar add to the vibrancy of the town. Traditional herbal medicine remains a method of healing, with local practitioners supporting an Amchi school that caters to the community's health needs.

Altitude changes in the trail

The Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour takes you through a captivating landscape that offers altitudes giving riders a journey, across different terrains and elevations. Starting in Kathmandu, which is nestled at an altitude of 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) you begin your adventure towards Pokhara descending to around 800 meters (2,600 feet). The expedition kicks off with a flight to Jomsom, where the altitude rises significantly to 2,700 meters (8,900 feet) marking the beginning of your ascent through the Mustang region. As you pedal through Kagbeni at 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) you'll be introduced to the landscapes and unique cultural tapestry of Mustang. Moving forward on this journey takes you through Chele at heights of around 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) where rugged terrains and breathtaking views test both your stamina and biking skills. The next stop is Ghemi at 3,520 meters (11,550 feet) offering a view of the majestic landscape and emphasizing how the increasing altitude impacts both the surroundings and your overall experience, as a rider. Finally reaching Lo Manthang stands proudly at 3,840 meters (12,600 feet). A haven steeped in history and surrounded by enchanting landscapes.

The return journey unveils a gradual descent, guiding riders through familiar villages, each descent marking a shift in altitude and a transition in scenery. After reaching Jomsom and then Pokhara riders experience a decrease, in altitude completing the circle of the expedition amidst a range of altitudes, terrains and cultural experiences. This highlights the importance of being mindful about acclimatizing to changes, in altitude and being prepared for the varying heights encountered during this biking journey.


Mountain Biking on one of the world's Longest Downhills

Exploring the Lost Kingdom of Lo Manthang

Journeying through the Deepest Gorge in the World

At 4,010 meters, Gyu La Pass offers breathtaking panoramas

Stay at local tea houses owned by heartwarming local people and use their foods.

Cycle with a professional cycling guide and get enough information about nature, culture, and local customs.

Marvel at the majestic peaks of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri, as well as the surreal beauty of the Mustang Valley that unfolds before your eyes.

Adventurous Cycling Tour to the Trans Himalaya Region, Upper Mustang

Explore Muktinath, a holy sanctum for Hindus and Buddhists.

Explore an Upper Mustang trekking experience​, delving deeper into the rich tapestry of local culture and the untouched beauty of nature.




From Kathmandu, you'll travel to Pokhara, a city surrounded by the beautiful Himalayas and peaceful lakes. Once you arrive take some time to unwind and enjoy the sights of the Annapurna mountains mirrored in Phewa Lake. Explore the area by the lake. Get ready for your biking adventure making sure all your gear is, in shape.


Start your biking adventure with an early morning flight, from Pokhara to Jomsom. As you ride your bike from Jomsom towards Kagbeni you'll witness a transformation of the landscape. Experience the beauty of the Kali Gandaki River valley, where you'll be amazed, by striking formations and catch glimpses of the Mustang culture. Finally arrive in Kagbeni a village situated at the entrance of Upper Mustang. Here you'll find yourself surrounded by monasteries and fascinating narrow streets to explore.


After enjoying breakfast you will embark on a journey, towards Muktinath. Muktinath holds significance for both Hindus and Buddhists as one of the revered Char Dhams in Nepal.

The route from Kagbeni to Muktinath primarily follows a track with a stop at Jharkot for lunch. During the ride, you can marvel at the breathtaking views of snow capped mountains, like Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.

After hours of riding you will reach your destination for the day; Muktinath. Take some time to have lunch and then proceed with your pilgrimage. Seek blessings here before returning to your hotel.


To make sure you get the majority of the breathtaking views, you will need to get an early start today. After departing from Muktinath, you will cycle past a picturesque settlement and begin the ascent to the 4066-meter-high Gyu La Pass a short distance away. You will descend roughly 1200 meters from the top of the Gyu La on a quick single track to Chhusang. After crossing the Kali Gandaki, you will begin to ascend in the direction of Samar, your last stop for the day.

You will climb steeply to the settlement of Chele for lunch after crossing the Kali Gandaki River. Chele is flanked by barley fields and willow trees. After that, in the afternoon, you'll ascend a cairn once more to a height of 3,310 meters to see the breathtaking Gyakar settlement.

The road narrows numerous times as it climbs continuously to a pass at 3,550 meters, offering breathtaking views of the southern Himalayan peaks, such as Niligiri and Tilicho Peaks. The trail then descends quickly to the village of Samar and a campsite near trees and irrigation channels. 

You're in Upper Mustang now, where the accommodations will be much more modest and the landscape more isolated.


The riding path now consists of five passes above 3,800 meters: Bhena La, Yamdo La, Syanboch La, Nya La, and Ghami La. Thus, a hearty breakfast in the morning is necessary.

The paths are a little more difficult than they were the day before, with a much easier climb that isn't steep. Yes, it's an uphill, but during the day there are some swift downhill stretches to make up for it.

After having lunch in Ghiling, you will ride to Ghami, which is a 5-kilometer ascent followed by a lengthy descent just before the teahouse.


Head toward Upper Mustang's walled capital, Lo Manthang. The trail offers amazing sweeping vistas of the Himalayas as it passes through high mountains like Nyi La and Tsarang La. 

Halfway during the day, you will travel through the charming village of Charang, where you can have lunch and take in the village's splendor before moving on to another ride.

Following this town, you will pass a solitary Chorten and amazing caverns carved out of the surrounding cliffs before reaching a crest at 3,850 m that offers your first view of Lo Manthang, Mustang Khola's stunning beauty, and snow-capped Mansail to the west.

As you descend from the ridge you will come across a brook. From there you'll need to climb a distance to reach the corner of the renowned walled city. The impressive walls of this age city and its ancient monasteries will greet you warmly as you approach Lo Manthang. Take your time to discover the palaces and monasteries immersing yourself in the tapestry of cultures that make this place truly magical.


Today's ride will take you to Kamaling, a town on the Chinese border and somewhat above Lo Manthang. This will provide you with an excellent opportunity to get some breathtaking landscape shots! Additionally, you will travel to Garphu to see the historic cave houses and monasteries that the Tibetan people once inhabited. You may enjoy an amazing view of the Annapurna Mountains and Nilgiri when the weather is clear. There's hardly much climbing throughout the day; the majority of the paths are flat. Riding through these seemingly time-forgotten towns will be an experience.

You may also refer to it as an exploration day. There are about 150 homes in the city, along with four monasteries, one of which is thought to be from the fifteenth century.

Numerous Buddha images and other religious paintings may be found inside the temples; however, taking pictures of these paintings is frequently forbidden. Remember also that the monasteries are guarded by Tibetan Mastiff dogs.

Before the invasion of Tibet, the city—which is dominated by the King's Palace buildings—was a major hub for the ancient salt and wood trade, making it one of the rich regions experiencing decline.


The monastery, which offers expansive views of the two nearby settlements, Marang and Charang, is 21 km away from the route today. There are two passes to cross: Mui La (4170m) and Chogo La (4280m), which is the highest point of the journey.

The day starts with a 6.5 km climb to a cairn-marked crossing through alpine meadows, then descends a reddish-purple gully worn by erosion to the settlement of Tanmar.

From here, the ride will be 15 km of lush fields that contrast sharply with the arid surroundings. You will also ascend more ridges before making a brief descent to the settlement of Ghami (93,440 m). You will arrive at your camping location when you continue past the settlement on the way to Nyi La (Nyi Pass).

It is advised that less technically proficient cyclists push over the steep and rocky single-track descents from the summit of both passes, which are only appropriate for experienced riders.


After you leave Ghami, travel 7 kilometers to the 4010-meter-high Niy La pass. Following the crossing, there will be a quick descent to Ghilling hamlet and a 4 km ascent to 3850-foot Syangboche La. It descends into the town for a few minutes from Syangboche and then climbs for 3km to reach Yamda Pass at 3850 meters. After that, the trail meanders for a while before dropping off significantly to reach Chele.

Though you will be taking some detours on your way down, you will still need to follow the same paths as the previous days. There are some incredibly fast and exciting downhill stretches with breathtaking vistas of the Annapurna and Nilgiri ranges.


This day, as you drop out of Upper Mustang, the air grows heavier and the riding is smoother, though there are still a few challenging climbs to overcome. To get to Chhusang, the first three kilometers from Chele are primarily flat or downhill.

Along the journey, there will be a metal bridge that you can cross to witness the river flowing through a natural tunnel. From Chhusang, the trails gently slope towards Kagbeni, where you will once more follow the Kali Gandaki riverside.

The riding from here is flat, but the weather in the mountains is usually very strong, so there's a chance of headwinds all the way to Marpha.


The tour's longest distance, largest downhill stretch, and most enjoyable riding occurs today!  

The first 20 kilometers of the trail meanders through a broad valley with patches of forest and a suspension bridge that crosses across to the Lete town. You will have a steep descent from Lete. On the descent, exercise caution and diligence since you may come across traffic!

Once you've reached Tatopani, you'll register at the hotel and head to the natural hot springs for some relaxation and recuperation.


The journey's final ride! Once the hard effort is done, the ride down to the trail's end is leisurely. The trail gently undulates all the way to Maldhunga, and riding will seem easy until you're back at lower elevations. There is a jeep track for the first 21 kilometers to Beni, after which there is a broken tarmac.

After the MTB-WW team receives you at Maldhunga, they will load your bags and bikes onto the car, and it will take about three to four hours to get you to Pokhara.

There will be lots of free time after you arrive in Pokhara and check into your accommodation for sightseeing and shopping in the tranquil lakeside town. Following their completion of "The Forbidden Kingdom," passengers and crew members can safely celebrate in a variety of hotels, restaurants, and pubs that meet international standards.


Following breakfast, you will take a 25-minute short plane ride or an 8-hour bus ride back to Kathmandu. After returning to Kathmandu, you'll have the afternoon to spend shopping for trinkets or visiting some of the city's numerous temples and interesting sites.

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Trip Information

Best Time to do Upper Mustang Mountain Biking

The optimal times for the Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour are during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Spring brings mild temperatures, blossoming landscapes, and clear skies, providing ideal biking conditions. The season offers stable weather, allowing riders to experience warmer days and pleasant temperatures, while the vibrant colors of blooming flora enhance the visual appeal of the expedition. Similarly, autumn showcases clear skies, stable weather patterns, and comfortable temperatures, making it another favored window for the biking tour. During this period, bikers enjoy excellent visibility of the Himalayas, stunning landscapes, and the cultural wonders of Upper Mustang. 

While the Tour is primarily recommended during spring and autumn for optimal weather and trail conditions, it can also be attempted in winter and summer with necessary precautions. Winter, marked by colder temperatures and occasional snowfall, offers serene conditions, especially at higher altitudes. Adequate winter gear and preparedness for shorter daylight hours are essential. whereas summer is manageable for mountain biking because the Upper Mustang naturally receives less rainfall because it lies in the rain shadow zone of Nepal. yet caution and proper rain gear are crucial.

Difficulty Level

A strenuous journey is offered by the Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour. The elevations along the course range from 2,800 meters (9,186 feet) to 4,200 meters (13,780 feet). Preventing altitude sickness requires altitude acclimation. There are multiple High Passes that you will traverse. There are difficult climbs and technical descents included in this. Bicycle handling skills and physical endurance are required for this. The trail passes through rural areas, so cyclists should be mentally prepared for solitary conditions. Technical abilities are beneficial, such as managing steep descents and traversing unpaved areas. The trail may be technical but with some prior riding experience and the help of our experienced guides, traversing Upper Mustang won't be a problem at all.

Advice on Altitude Acclimatization:

  • Stay Hydrated; 

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, water to keep yourself hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can dehydrate you.

  • Eat Healthy; 

Opt for light and easily digestible meals that are rich in carbohydrates but low in fats.

  • Gradual Ascent; 

Take your time when ascending to altitudes to allow your body to adapt. It's important to include acclimatization days, at altitudes in your itinerary.

  • Climb High, Sleep Low; 

During the day ascend to altitudes; however, for sleeping purposes descend to altitudes. This strategy aids in acclimatization.

  • Rest and Recover; 

Take it during the initial days at higher altitudes. Give your body the chance to rest and recover.

  • Consider Altitude Medication; 

It may be worth carrying altitude sickness medication like Acetazolamide (Diamox) as a measure. However, always consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication and be aware of side effects.

  • Monitor Symptoms; 

Be mindful of symptoms associated with altitude sickness, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms inform your guide away.

  • Stay Warm; 

Layer up, with clothing to keep warm since temperatures can significantly drop at altitudes— during nighttime.

Physical Preparation:

Physical preparation is essential, for the Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour considering the terrain and high altitude. Here's a breakdown of what you need to focus on;

  • Building Cardiovascular Endurance;

To improve your fitness engage in exercises such, as cycling, running, swimming or hiking. Choose activities that raise your heart rate and boost stamina.

  • Strength Training;

Focus, on building up the strength of your body to endure periods of biking. Include exercises such as squats, lunges, leg presses and core workouts to enhance stability and stamina.

  • Biking Practice;

Give priority to practicing mountain biking across terrains. Train on areas, rough trails and challenging surfaces to replicate the conditions you'll face during your expedition.

  • Flexibility and Stretching;

Incorporate stretching routines, yoga sessions or Pilates exercises to enhance flexibility and prevent muscle fatigue or injuries during rides.

  • Altitude Simulation;

If possible try simulating high altitude conditions through altitude training or by training in environments to those with reduced oxygen levels. This will help your body acclimate better.

  • Gradual Training Progression;

Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over weeks to build endurance while avoiding overexertion or injury.

  • Mental Preparation;

Develop resilience as biking at altitudes can be physically demanding. Practice techniques like visualization, positive self talk and mindfulness to cope with challenges effectively.

  • Rest and Recovery;

Make sure you have rest periods between workouts for muscle recovery and adaptation. Good quality sleep is essential, for recovery and overall well being.

  • Hydration and Nutrition;

Maintain a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats to provide fuel for your workouts.

Make sure you drink fluids before during and after your training sessions to stay properly hydrated.

Important Riding techniques

  • Uphill Climbing:

Maintain a steady pace and rhythm to conserve energy.

Use lower gears and distribute your weight evenly to maintain traction.

Shift your body weight forward to prevent the front wheel from lifting on steeper ascents.

  • Downhill Descents:

Keep your body loose and flexible to absorb shocks and bumps.

Shift your weight to the back of the bike for stability and to prevent going over the handlebars.

Use both brakes, but modulate them to avoid skidding. The front brake provides more stopping power but requires caution to prevent flipping.

When you are crossing obstacles, like rocks or small pits lift yourself off the seat to absorb impacts. 

  • Body Posture:

To absorb shocks it is important to keep a position, with bent elbows and knees. 

Always keep your head up. Look ahead to anticipate any changes, in the trail. 

Make sure to adjust your body position depending on the terrain in order to maintain stability throughout the ride.

  • Learning exercises:

To improve your skills it's important to practice these techniques, in various environments.

Consider participating in skills clinics or joining group rides where you can learn from other riders.

Essential Gear: 

When embarking on a mountain biking adventure, in Upper Mustang it is of importance to have the equipment to ensure safety, comfort and optimal performance. Here is a rundown of the gear needed;

  • Mountain Bike;

It is advisable to select a top notch mountain bike that can withstand the challenges posed by terrains and diverse surfaces encountered along the trail.

  • Helmet and Safety Equipment; 

Make sure to wear a fitted helmet that is certified for mountain biking. 

For added safety, in case of falls or accidents consider using knee pads, elbow pads and gloves. 

Opt for cycling gloves that have padding to provide a grip and protection.

  • Appropriate Clothing; 

Choose moisture breathable cycling jerseys, well as shorts or pants for comfortable rides especially on long trips. 

Invest in cycling shoes that offer pedal grip. 

Layer your clothing to adapt to temperature changes; don't forget a waterproof jacket.

  • Backpack or Hydration Pack; 

Bring along a backpack or hydration pack during your rides. These will allow you to carry essentials such as water, snacks, tools, spare parts and personal items.

  • Tools for Repairs and Maintenance; 

Carry tools like tool sets specifically designed for bike repairs; these may include Allen keys, chain tools, tire levers and a mini pump. 

Don't forget tubes, patch kits and a tire repair kit for fixes if needed.

  • Aid Kit;

It's always wise to have first aid supplies with you such, as adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary personal medications.

  • Bicycle Accessories;

Get top notch bike lights for visibility when riding in low light conditions or tunnels.

Secure your bike with a lock to keep it safe during stops.

  • Sun Protection;

Shield your eyes from the sun and flying debris by wearing sunglasses, with UV protection.

Don't forget to apply SPF sunscreen and lip balm to prevent sunburn.

  • Additional Items;

Consider bringing a GoPro or action camera along to capture the adventure.

Cultural Sensitivity to keep in mind:

It's important to show respect, for the customs, traditions and dress codes of the community. 

Always ask for permission before taking photos of people or any sacred sites you may encounter. 

It is recommended to engage with locals in a manner learn some greetings in the local language and be open, to cultural exchanges.

Travel Insurance:

Insurance is extremely important, for the Upper Mustang Mountain Biking Tour. It provides protection in challenging terrains. This expedition requires coverage for emergencies particularly altitude related illnesses since immediate medical care may not always be readily available. It's also essential to have insurance that covers evacuation expenses in case a helicopter evacuation is needed, as these can be quite costly in some areas. Gear coverage is necessary to safeguard against theft or damage to biking equipment while trip cancellation coverage ensures reimbursement for refundable expenses if unexpected circumstances arise. Given the nature of mountain biking, at higher altitudes it's important to have adventure activity coverage as well. Insurance gives riders a sense of security allowing them to fully enjoy their adventures without concerns, about financial difficulties, during emergencies or accidents.




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