Tilicho Lake Mountain Biking (Tilicho Lake Bicycle Tour) is one of the most adventures in Nepal. Tilicho Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world. It is 4,949 m high in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas in Manang district of Nepal. Tilicho Lake Bike Tour attempting the Annapurna Circuit route (Marsyangdi Valley) usually cross the watershed between Manang and Kali Kandaki valleys over the 5460 meters high Sujena La pass. But it is an exciting and beautiful route, and one well suited to mountain biking for those with good bike skills.
Tilicho Lake is the highest lake in the world, at 5200m. The lake lies on the north side of the Annapurna Himal, just below Tilicho Peak (7134m). Reaching it is not easy as the route rises to the Mesukantu-La pass at 5300m. But it is an exciting and beautiful route, and one well suited to mountain biking for those with good bike skills. We first explored the route by bike in 2004 and are now very familiar with it.
It is very technical, particularly the downhill section from the Mesukantu-La, and we do not recommend it for beginners, but with views of peaks at over 8000m and a variety of landscapes, plants and animals, it is well worth the effort. At night we stay in either village lodges or camps.
Tilicho Lake Mountain Bike Tour route is more demanding and requires at least two night of camping. But there are no tea houses or lodges after the Tilicho Base Camp. Most groups spend two nights between these places. Sujan La pass (5460m) offer panorama views of Dhaulagiri range, Tilicho Peak and Upper mustang Valley.
Day 01: Pick up from the International Airport, transfer to hotel and welcome dinner. Hotel
Day 02: Sightseeing in the Kathmandu valley. visit Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Soyambunath Stupa and Kathmandu Durbar squre.Hotel
Day 03: We take a bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar (177 km, 5-6 hrs) taking lunch on the way and then staying overnight in a hotel at Besisahar. At Besisahar there are shops and a bank, and the entrance to the Annapurna Conservation Area. Lodge
Day 04: Our trek starts with a ride to Bahundanda (18km, 650m altitude gain to 1310m, but some covered by jeep). The biking includes single trails and a technical crossing of a river tributary on a bamboo suspension bridge. We then bike through extensive rice terraces with views of Himal Chuli, Buddha Himal and Manaslu, the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8156m. Lodge
Day 05: To Tal Manang (12km, 600hm, 1700m, about 40% ride-able). The first section from Bahundanda is a very technical trail with rocky ups and down. Several times you will need to push or carry your bike. But the journey is through a beautiful landscape of waterfalls, cliffs and gorges of the Marsyangdi River. At Tal there are lodges and shops. Lodge
Day 06: To Chame Manang (20.6km, 985hm, 2670m, about 55% ride-able). We continue uphill along a technical trail to reach Bagarchhap (about 8km), beyond which the trail heads through a fine area of jungle. Chame is a district headquarters of the Manang district and has offices, shops, and lodges. Lodge
Day 07: To Lower Pisang village (15.2km, 600hm, 3260m, 80% ride-able). The biking is easier today, following a trail beside the Marsyangdi River which goes through pine forest with views of the Annapurna Himal. We still need to push the bikes as we approach the Wave Rock, a huge rock weathered to look like a wave. Beyond it the going is easier along a lovely trail through pine forests. At Lower Pisang there are lodges and after a rest, and some tea or coffee, we can visit Upper Pisang which has a 15th century Monastery and amazing views of the Annapurna range and Pisang Peak. Lodge
Day 08: To Manang village (16.7km, 400hm, 3450m, 95% ride-able). A mostly flat trail, with more fine views of the Annapurna range and Pisang Peak. Lodge
Day 09: Today we rest at Manang to acclimatize, enjoying the village and perhaps visiting an old Monastery.Lodge
Day 10: (90% ride able). Today we bike past Braga, an unbelievably compact settlement where the old monastery has a marvelous statue of Buddha. Opposite the village are the glaciers from Annapurna III and IV, and the peaks of Gangapurna and Khangsar Kang. We continue on a broad, ride-able way to return to Manang. The village of solid stone houses is a real surprise in such a desert environment. Overnight accommodation in tents at 3500m. Lodge
Day 11: (50% ride able). We now leave the Round Annapurna trekking route and bike to Tilicho Base Camp. This route is rarely used by trekkers and the country is a little inhospitable, but offers an exciting tour. A super single-track trail leads past Kangshar (3770 m) to a desert landscape backed by high, snow- clad peaks. Now the way is rocky and sometimes narrow, and demands the highest concentration. Overnight accommodation in tents at Tilicho Base Camp (4200m). Camp.
Day 12: (50% ride able). Today we reach 5000m for the first time so we must take it slowly and concentrate: there must be no mistakes at this height. Suddenly the fairy-tale Tilicho Lake emerges before us. The lake lies in beautiful mountain country: the Cathedral Glacier flows straight into the lake. Tonight we camp on a meadow beside the lake at 5010m and enjoy the marvelous, changing colours of the mountains as evening approaches.Camp.
Day 13: (50% ride able). We cross a pass east of the lake. The ascent to the pass, at 5300m, is very steep and not ride-able. The pass is also sometimes snow covered, which makes for an exciting ride. We then descend to Tilicho Camp 2. where we overnight in tents at 5100m. Camp.
Day 14: (40% ride able). Today, after a short ascent (which is very rocky and cannot be ridden) we reach a unique lookout point, a 5200m pass from where we can see into distant Tibet and into the red landscape of Upper Mustang. We can also gaze at the enormous wall of Nilgiri and at Dhaulagiri, which, at 8137m, is the seventh highest mountain in the world. From the pass the way is downhill all the way to our overnight camp at 4300m. Camp.
Day 15: (90% ride able). Today the entire ride is downhill and not very technical. So it is a very pleasant day, and one with superb views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Our destination is Jomosom, the main town of the area. Jomosom is famous for its fruit orchards, the apples and apricots being the finest in Nepal. Jomoson has an airfield with daily flights to and from Pokhara, but these are usually only in the morning as in the afternoon the wind can prevent flying. After we arrive there is time to enjoy the town life, sauntering through the streets and lanes. We can also have a very welcome hot shower and a well-earned rest after the exertions of the last few days. Hotel accommodation at 2900m. Lodge.
Day 16: To Kalopani (24.8km, 2530m, 85% ride-able). At first we follow the Kali Gandaki river through the villages of Thakali, Marpha, Tukuche and Larjung. The next section is easy riding, following a jeep track to Kalopani, a beautiful village set below the Dhaulagiri Himal. From the village there is a panoramic view of Dhaulagiri, the Nilgiri peaks and Annapurna I. Lodge.
Day 17: To Tatopani, (23km, 1190m, 75% ride-able). Downhill at first, then a technical section where we cross a suspension bridge and ride through pine forest to reach Ghasa where there are several lodges. From here the trail goes steeply down to the Rupse waterfall, one of the biggest on the route, where we have lunch at a restaurant with a fine view of the falls. Beyond, the trail is much easier, going through Dana village and crossing rice paddies to reach Tatopani, a small town on the north bank of Kali Gandaki River. This is a great place to stay as there are hot springs and cold beer. Lodge.
Day 18: To Beni Baazar (24km, 830m, 90% ride-able). The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River through the world's deepest gorge to reach Beni. This is a fun day, with an excellent trail and a section of new road. Beni is the headquarters of Parbat District and has many shops and hotels. From here we take a bus for the 78km to Pokhara. Hotel
Day 19: A free day top explore fascinating Pokhara. We could even explore it by bike. Hotel
Day 20: We take the bus for the 200km drive to Kathmandu. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 21: Free day for shopping in Kathmandu. Hotel
How fit do I need to be for this biking trip? Is this trip for me?
Long cycling days and tougher terrain (for both on- and off-road trips) require a certain degree of experience of more demanding and technical riding for the upper mustang Biking Trip. Vehicle support may be limited. You should be very confident of your physical condition and bike-handling skills.
Will somebody come to pick me up at the Airport upon my arrival?
Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying an Glory Nepalsign-board. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
What sort of accommodation can I expect in Kathmandu, Pokhara and along the biking route?
We use standard rooms at three star hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast .
Along the biking route below Upper Mustang (Kagbeni, Muktinath, Tatopani), teahouses/lodges generally provide basic clean facilities with a mattress and a quilt or blanket. We usually provide single and double rooms, or occasionally a dormitory. Dining will be around a bon fire when possible. In tea houses, food will be prepared in the kitchen which you should not enter without permission. The toilets in tea houses provide essential and basic facilities.
While in camping in Upper Mustang area, we provide the best possible camping service complete with comfortable two person tents with good mattresses. A kitchen, dining, shower, toilet tents, chairs with tables are also provided. Refer to the equipment list for items you will need to bring. We usually camp in or near a village, which allows you to buy sweets and drinks, which we do not carry with us. We provide the best possible camping service complete with comfortable two-person tents with mattresses. A kitchen, dining, shower, toilet tents, chairs with tables are also provided. Refer to the equipment list for items you will need to bring. We provide toilet paper and other essential toiletries. You will also get a small bucket of hot water each morning in your tent for a quick scrub up.
What sort of food can I expect in trekking?
Most teahouses (lodges) below Upper Mustang (Kagbeni, Muktinath, Tatopani) cook a delicious range of mostly vegetarian fare. Pasta, tuna bakes, noodles, potatoes, eggs, dhal bhat, bread, soups, fresh vegetables (variety depends on the season) and even some desserts like apple pies, pancakes, and some interesting attempts at custard. You will find a lot of garlic on the menu because it assists with acclimatization – eat some every day. Each day dinner and breakfast will be at a lodge you'll stay at while lunch will be taken on the way to destination.
During the camping our expert cook can prepare specially requested food if you advise. In any case, you will have similar fare to teahouses. You can eat as much as you like. If you have any special dietary requirements please advise us in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
What mode of transportation do you use?
Glory Nepalis all about providing you with local insights, lifestyle as well as adventure. Depending on the nature of the travel, the transportation to and from the destination varies from domestic flights to vehicular transportation. You have the option of flying to Pokhara from where we again take a flight to Jomsom, which is the starting point of our biking trip. We provide you only those options, which enhance your local experience while allowing you to bike comfortably and efficiently. We use private tourist vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups. Depending on the group size we use cars, minibus, vans or alternatively 4WD SUVs, more maneuverable in travelling along the narrow and bumpy roads of Nepal. All the vehicles are usually air-conditioned unless we are travelling in cooler areas.
While in the mountain we use vehicular transportation whereas possible. We also use porters, Yaks and Donkeys to carry the equipment and meals during the camping trip.
We use our own Fleet service for Transportation...Click to know more about our fleet service!
What is the best season for this trip?
The best time for the Upper Mustang Mountain Biking is from March to November. It is not very advisable to bike during the winter season (December, January and February)
What type of bike is required for this trip and what brands are available for hire?
Either hard-tail or full suspension mountain bikes will do fine. In some parts of the routes, you can take downhill shortcuts for which we strongly recommend full suspension bikes. (Your guide will let you know if there are any shortcuts you can take.)
All the brands we provide are properly serviced and fully functional standard hardtail rentals best suited for the trips. We provide full suspension bikes (if preferred by our clients) for an additional charge.
Trek: 3-, 4-, 6- and 8-series
Cube: Comp, LTD, CMPT, Reaction
Giant: ATX, Tralon
Other brands: Capic and V-Ket
Are hired bikes guaranteed for the trip?
Bikes are hired at the time of booking, and are included in the price. The frame size of the bike has to be matched with your height, and since there is a limited number of each size, we strongly suggest you provide us with this information well ahead. In case of any damage incurred to the bike or the equipments, the client will be liable to pay for the repair and/or replacement, depending on the nature of the damage.
What equipment and tools are included with the bike hire?
We provide a helmet, a pump, a spare tube, a water bottle and a repair kit with a rental bike.
What additional equipment is available upon request for an additional cost?
Cycle computer and a GPS unit for USD 2 and USD 5, respectively, per day per person.
Can I bring my own bike and accessories?
You definitely can! It is highly recommended that you have your bike thoroughly serviced before coming on the trip. Spare parts are available in Kathmandu, but may not always be compatible with your bike.
Most airlines are quite used to people travelling with bikes, and if a bike is properly boxed and within the luggage allowance, it is a relatively hassle-free experience. On arrival at your destination you will be met by your leader, and you will just need a baggage trolley to take your bike as far as the transfer vehicle.
Make sure the bikes are properly packed. You may do it yourself (here's a guide or if you're not sure, you could have a local bike shop pack it for you.
We take every care to ensure your bike is well treated, but it is normal for a bike to sustain minor scratches, resulting during the daily ride as well as loading and unloading from support/transport vehicles.
What is the procedure of checking in with a bike and what luggage weight allowance do I have?
Your bike is part of your baggage allowance on the plane, details of which are shown on your flight ticket, and maximum weights are usually between 20 and 25 kgs. A boxed bike weighs around 16 kg, so you need to pack carefully. Put heavy items in your hand baggage, wear your heavy/bulky jacket when you check in. Glory Nepalwill not be liable for any excess baggage charges brought by the airline as a result of your exceeding the baggage allowance, whether you have a hire bike or take your own bike. In practice excess luggage charges are rare for those who pack sensibly, even if you are a little over the specified limit.
Few airlines impose specific standard bike carriage charges. All such charges are beyond our control, and to be paid by the client. Where we know of a bike carriage charge in advance, this will be added to the relevant trip notes. In the unlikely event of any of your luggage and or bike being misplaced or damaged while in the care of the airline, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline on arrival. This is essential if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.
Are there any bike maintenance and repairs while on the trip?
The support vehicle (where available) and the guide will carry the required repair tools and spares. We do recommend you carry some basic tools and spares (like a puncture kit and Allen keys). Our guides are also qualified mechanics and have ample experience maintaining bikes on the trips.
What cycling gear do I need?
Safety and comfort are what you're looking for here. Here's a quick list of what you'll need for the trip:
Cycling helmet (included with the bike rent)
Cycling shorts (1 to 3 pair)
Socks - wool or synthetic (2 or 3 pair)
Leg warmers or tights for riding
Short-sleeved shirts (2)
Light, long-sleeved shirt for layering and sun protection
Windcheater, rain gear, jacket and pants
Waterproof shoe covers
It is recommended that you carry a backpack with your valuables like camera and passport. Panniers are not suitable for the trips.
Can I bring my own saddle and pedals?
Yes. All the bikes are compatible with customized bike parts. The support team accompanying the group will be able help with any bike alterations or damage to the bike along the entire trip. Please inform us in advance if you plan to bring your own saddle and pedals.
Do we need to be experienced cyclists for longer tours?
No. The guide will carefully pace the ride to include rest and refreshment along the way. Where available, the support vehicle will accompany you and you can always hitch a ride if you need a break.
Can I charge my digital camera or other equipments on my trip?
These facilities will be available in most of the places in your hotel/lodge reception by paying some service charges. Remember to bring travel adapters!
There will be very limited charging facilities during your camping so please bring the enough spare batteries.
Are there any communication facilities during the trip?
There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. Internet and international calls are readily available in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Can I use credit cards in the places I visit in trekking?
In the cities, yes - to some extent. Once you are out of the cities, all you need is cash.
How much additional money do I need per day?
It depends on your spending habits. Generally, in Kathmandu and Pokhara, you can allocate USD 20 for a lunch and a dinner. USD 7 to 10 a day will be enough to buy bottles of water, chocolates and a few drinks during the trekking.
Do I need to tip my guide and porters? How much would that be?
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 1000 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide.
Is the water fine to drink? Do I need to bring purifying tablets/filter?
In most places below Upper Mustang, bottled water is readily available. If you wish to drink normal water, you need to use purifying aid, which you need to bring with you.
During the camping we will serve boiled and purify water to drink.
Are the Glory Nepal's staff insured?
Our company insures all our staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters. Please browse though Company Information pages to view insurance details.
What essential documents do I need to bring with me on tours?
Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you:
Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour, keep a separate photocopy.
Travel insurance, keep a separate photocopy
Cash and Traveller’s Cheques, keep numbers and proof of purchase separately
Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts.
Can I add extra days to my trip?
A holiday should never be about making it to the final point quickly. Along your trek we can add days at your request with additional costs to cover guides, porters, accommodation and food.
I would you like to extend my holiday, any recommendations?
Yes, there are a plenty of options and choices to extend your holiday before or after your main trip. Please go into our trip extension page for further information.
What immunizations will I need?
• All the entrance fees while sightseeing in the city.
• Guided Katmandu sightseeing tour by Car.
• All accommodation on B/B basis.
• 13% government tax where applicable.
• International flights, visa and departure taxes
• Airport pick up and drop.
• Personal expenses such as drinks, postage, laundry
• All the expenses in except mention in the include section
Domestic Airport Tax
• Domestic airport tax
Costs from unforeseen events
• Costs arising from unforeseen events outside our control
All the entrance feels for sight seeing in the city
International flights, visa and departure taxes
Tips for gratuities
Drink, Posatage, Laundry for Personal Expenses
Domestic Airport Tax