Nepal, Trekking around Annapurna - the Jomsom side
Annapurna Circuit: on this page you will find information and pictures of the
trail from Kagbeni to Jomsom on the dirt road along the river bed of the Kali Gandaki River.
you can enlarge most small pictures by clicking in on of the corners.
If you want to see a picture in full sizze, click additionally on F11
53. Kagbeni to Jomsom the standard route on the road
2.5hrs...In this part of the valley of Kali Gandaki you will face a very strong wind
blowing up the valley every day starting around 10 a.m. and becoming by late afternoon to a real wind storm. This is why you should start from Kagbeni by 8 a.m.
at the latest. After 12 AM the wind may grow to a storm, not only blowing sand from the dry riverbed into your face, but even little stones. And it is very hard and
exhausting to walk against the wind. If you can only leave later, you might arrange a jeep ride to avoid this hard and dusty stretch.
Only Sometimes this special trail is feasible
Directly after the bridge in Kagbeni you can see a faint path turning to the left. You can follow it and join the main trail crossing the river at the long
suspension bridge in Ekhlebhatti or continuing the high route. In 2012 this little fainth path was very small and rather dangerous so that you first should try it without backpack and be
very cautious. I don’t recommend it for normal trekkers.
The standard route through the Kali Gandaki valley
Start from the southern end of Kagbeni and leave along the scarcely used road.
After 20 min you can descend to the right on a nicer trail (look for the red/white marks) on which you will reach Eklebhatti, a small settlement of 4 lodges including one named the Hilton hotel!
Hotel Hilton in Eklebhatti ;-)
Short after Eklebhatti there is a long suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki and leading to the villages of Pakling, Phalyak and Dhakarjhong. (NATT 54) Continue on
the road till you reach old Jomsom, where the jeep parking station welcomes you. Going along a small lane with shops, restaurants and some lodges, you reach the
first wooden bridge over the Kali Gandaki. Just before the bridge, a signpost is pointing to Thini, the next destination of NATT trail on the way to Marpha. If you start
in early the morning you can reach Marpha on the NATT trail in the afternoon.
Jomsom (2720 m)
Old Jomsom (Jeeps to Muktinath): Jomsom is located on both sides of the Kali
Gandaki. Coming from Kagbeni you will first enter Old Jomsom on the left side of the river. ont the parking lot you will see many Jeeps waiting to bring indian tourist up to Muktinath.
When a jeep arrived, 15 ! people were coming out of it and i think the 16th was still sitting inside.
Most people will not even realize how big old Jomsom is as they will continue along
the lane leading to the bridge and pass by several shops and some restaurants and lodges. In fact, Old Jomsom is not that interesting, so you will not miss a lot. The
reason is that most houses are hidden behind high walls to protect them from the wind. Old Jomsom ends near the northern wooden bridge. Further south on this side
of the river you will find many governmental offices, since Jomsom is the headquarters of Mustang district. There are two basic lodges close to the bridge, in
one of which Jimmy Hendrix once stayed. It is there that the NATT- trail turns left to Thini and Marpha. If you don’t need anything in New Jomsom, you can just stay on this side.
New Jomsom: (ACAP office, Police check post, safe drinking water station, internet, airport)
Crossing the Kali Gandaki wooden bridge you are at the Bus station where the buses depart for Ghasa and Tatopani. One bus leaves at 9 a.m. and others during
the day when there are enough passengers. From 15th March 2015 a direct bus service Jomsom to Pokhara will start, but I guess that it will be a very hard journey.
New Jomsom has a big military training centre and many hotels were built near the
busy airport. Because of the strong winds flights are often delayed so it is wise and good for the nerves to leave at least three days in reserve.
If one is only trekking in the Mustang
area it’s better to take the flight to Jomsom and walk back as you can much better control your time schedule, but nowadays one can also reach Pokhara from Jomsom in two days by
bus. All companies flying Pokhara to Jomsom have an office in Jomsom. (There are no flights from Jomsom to other destinations than Pokhara.). New Jomsom has greatly benefitted from the
growing numbers of Indian pilgrims. They fly in, go to Muktinath the next day by jeep and return to Jomsom that night. As flights are very often cancelled, this means
additional days staying in the lodges. Hoteliers like this very much and earn a lot of money. They also like Indian tourists because they visit throughout the year and not only in the peak trekking season.
in 2007 there no buses, so public transport was by tractor.
At the south end of New Jomsom you find the Mustang Eco Museum and a 5 star Hotel with its own swimming pool.
in the backround one can see New jomsom with the airport. in the foreground is thini, the village were the new NATT trail to Marpha ia going, avoiding the road which is on the other rieverside. Photo Prem Rai
Overview Annapurna region
Kagbeni to Muktinath (anti clock wise)
NATT 54 Kageni to Jomsom high route
NATT 55 Jomsom to Marpha by road
NATT 60 Jomsom to Marpha Natt route by Thini and Dumba lake
To the page
NATT- guidebook and maps