Trekking Jomsom: Adventures in Nepal's Windy Valley

Jomsom town is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal and the district headquarters of Mustang, one of Nepal's 77 districts. It is situated at an elevation of 2,710 meters (8,891 feet) and offers trekkers a unique and thrilling experience. This town lies in the heart of Kali Gandaki Valley and attracts adventurers who enjoy rugged landscapes and rich cultural tapestry. 

Famous for its dry climate and powerful gusts, Jomsom is affectionately known as the "Windy Valley." This town is a popular spot in the renowned Annapurna Circuit and the Upper Mustang region treks. It offers trekkers a glimpse into the remote and arid beauty of the Himalayas.

Jomsom is home to the Thakali people, where visitors can explore the Thakali architecture and Jomsom Monastery, and experience the local way of life. While trekking in Jomsom, you can find accommodations ranging from basic teahouses to more comfortable lodges and hotels. 

Local restaurants serve delicious Thakali cuisine and other amenities to trekkers and tourists. The strong winds that blow through the Kali Gandaki Valley can be challenging for trekkers. However, these winds also contribute to the unique landscape and the preservation of the region's arid environment, adding an extra layer of adventure to the experience.

Getting to Jomsom 

If you are outside Nepal, you must first arrive in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Most international flights land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. We recommend you explore the cultural richness of Kathmandu before heading to Jomsom. Fortunately, there is a domestic airport at Jomsom. Yet, you must travel to Pokhara before heading to Jomsom.


Reaching Pokhara

There are no direct flights from Kathmandu to Jomsom. So, if you plan to fly to Jomsom, you must head to Pokhara. You can either fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara or take a road transport. Both tourist and regular buses leave for Pokhara from Kathmandu every day. The drive will take around eight hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.

If you want to avoid the long drive to Pokhara, you can take a short (around 25 minutes) domestic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The flight offers stunning Himalayas views, providing a sneak peek into the grandeur that awaits you. Pokhara, known for its serene lakes and magnificent landscapes, is the starting point for the trek to Jomsom.

Once in Pokhara, you can either drive or take a short domestic flight to Jomsom, the initial point of the trek.

Fly to Jomsom

There are daily direct flights from Pokhara to Jomsom, provided the weather is favorable. The Jomsom Airport is at an altitude of 2,736m and has one asphalt paved runway. Almost all flights are scheduled from 6 a.m. to noon when the winds are not strong. 

Drive to Jomsom

You can drive for around seven hours from Pokhara to reach Jomsom. The road is challenging but takes you through diverse landscapes, charming villages, and lush forests. As you ascend, the views become increasingly mesmerizing, preparing you for the unique experience Jomsom offers. Should you decide to trek to Jomsom, you will need two additional days.

Jomsom is also a popular stopping point in several famous treks. Here are some of them.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

One of the classic treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit Trek begins in Besi Sahar and winds its way through diverse landscapes, including lush forests, terraced fields, and high mountain deserts. Jomsom marks a key point on this circuit, renowned for its unique culture and stunning views.

Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang Trek commences directly in Jomsom and takes trekkers into the mystical, arid landscapes of the former Kingdom of Mustang. This culturally rich journey explores ancient monasteries, caves, and traditional villages, offering a unique perspective on Tibetan-influenced culture.

Jomsom to Muktinath Trek

This is a shorter trek that begins and ends in Jomsom. The Jomsom Muktinath Trek route takes travelers to the sacred site of Muktinath. Along the way, travelers experience the distinctive charm of Jomsom and the spiritual ambiance of Muktinath, nestled at the foot of the Thorong La Pass. The area around Jomsom, along the Kali Gandaki river, is famous for special black fossilized stones, referred to as Shaligram, which reminds Hindus of lord Vishnu. 

Kagbeni to Jomsom Trek

This trek starts in the ancient village of Kagbeni, renowned for its cultural significance and medieval charm. The trail leads trekkers through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, passing through Jomsom and offering stunning views of the Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri mountains.


Exploring Jomsom

Jomsom is a small yet culturally rich town. Here's a glimpse into the experiences that await those who choose to wander through the charming streets and landscapes of Jomsom.

Cultural Heritage:
Jomsom boasts a unique blend of Tibetan and Nepali cultures, evident in its architecture, monasteries, and daily life. Houses in Jomsom are designed to withstand the strong afternoon winds that blow in this valley. The local houses have flat roofs and a central courtyard, where you can relax.

You can take a stroll through the town to discover ancient monasteries adorned with prayer flags, traditional houses, and intricate woodwork. The locals, known for their warm hospitality, welcome trekkers with open arms, offering a chance to savor local delicacies and witness age-old traditions.

Wind-Swept Beauty:
Jomsom is renowned for its brisk winds that sweep through the Kali Gandaki Gorge. While the winds can be strong, they add a mystical touch to the town, creating an atmosphere that is both invigorating and enchanting. We recommend you enjoy the wind-swept beauty as you explore the streets and surroundings.

Local Markets:
Visit the local markets in Jomsom to experience the vibrant colors and flavors of the region. You'll find an array of local products, including traditional textiles, handmade crafts, and fresh produce. We encourage you to engage with local vendors and immerse yourself in the daily lives of the locals.

Apple Orchards:
Jomsom is known for its apple orchards, and the town has lush fields of apple trees. During the apple season, which typically occurs in late summer and early autumn, savor the taste of fresh, locally grown apples and indulge in apple-based products like cider and jams.

Muktinath Temple:
A short trek from Jomsom leads to Muktinath, a sacred pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists.  It is one of the highest temples in the world. The temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Muktinath Temple is famous for its eternal flame (due to a natural gas jet) and the sacred 108 water sprouts fed by the Kali Gandaki River.  Hindu devotees believe that Brahma, the creator, lit this eternal flame. The Buddhists believe that Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), who introduced Buddhism to Tibet, meditated at this temple.

Panoramic Views:
You can enjoy panoramic views of the Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges from various vantage points in Jomsom. The town's elevation provides an excellent perspective of the surrounding peaks, creating a picturesque backdrop for your exploration.

As you ascend higher, the landscapes transform dramatically. The stark contrast between the arid terrain and the snow-capped peaks creates a visual feast that leaves an indelible mark on every trekker's memory.

Traditional Thakali Cuisine:
When you are at Jomsom, you should certainly delight your taste buds with the unique flavors of Thakali cuisine. From hearty dal bhat (lentil soup with rice) to local buckwheat pancakes, in the local eateries, you will get a chance to savor the authentic tastes of the Himalayas.

Hospitality of the Locals:
Nepalis are hospitable people, perhaps, because Nepal is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country. You can experience the warm hospitality of the local people. Hence, do not hesitate to participate in the conversations with the locals, learn about their way of life, and perhaps join in traditional festivities if your visit aligns with local celebrations.

When to visit Jomsom?

The best time to embark on a trekking adventure in Jomsom is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons, when the weather is mild and dry, offering clear skies and stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular routes that pass through Jomsom, offering breathtaking vistas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Alternatively, the Mustang Trek, also known as the Upper Mustang Trek, takes trekkers through the arid landscapes and ancient monasteries of the Mustang region, immersing trekkers in the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Whether you are seeking a challenging trekking experience, cultural immersion, or simply stunning natural scenery, Jomsom and the Kali Gandaki Valley offer an unforgettable adventure. With its rugged beauty, rich heritage, and welcoming locals, Jomsom promises to leave a lasting impression on every traveler who embarks on this extraordinary journey.



Trekking in Jomsom combines the thrill of adventure with the serenity of ancient landscapes. The winds of the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the cultural richness of Thakali villages, and the majestic views of the Himalayas make Jomsom Trek a truly unforgettable experience. If you seek a perfect blend of nature, culture, and adventure, Jomsom awaits with open arms, ready to unveil its wonders to intrepid trekkers. Should you want to explore Jomsom, you can contact us.

Paul Gurung

Paul has an extensive experience in the tourism industry. Through his blogs, he shares his deep knowledge about the stunning trek regions in Nepal, inspiring trekkers worldwide to explore these regions and enrich their lives. In addition to geography, his writings delve into the human side of the trek regions, including culture, traditions, religions, and etiquette, offering a comprehensive and enriching perspective on the Himalayan trekking and expedition experience.