Upper Mustang Trek

Trekking and Walking

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  • Transparent Price
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  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 2,099 P/P

Trip Info

  • Duration

    18 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    Lo-manthang- 3840 M m

  • Difficulty

    moderate

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Kathmandu

  • Transport

    Private Car & Flight

  • Region/Type

    Annapurna Treks
  • Best Season:

    • Summer (May,Jun)
    • Autumn (Mid-Sep - Mid November)

Upper Mustang Trek is the ultimate off-the-beaten-track gateway to the mysterious Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang called Lo. The journey is a spectacular walking through a striking semi-arid desert with colorful rock formations, deep gorges, and ever-stretching gorgeous scenery.  

For decades, this trans-Himalayan region was restricted and secluded from the rest of the world, but it was able to develop its own distinct culture and rich traditions similar to Tibet. This region, which borders Tibet, has a particular Tibetan flavor to it, both in terms of people and culture, as well as in terms of terrain, and it once had its kingdom, with Lo Manthang as its capital.

The ancient monasteries, traditional villages, and architectural caves aboding high up on the cliffs are the prime highlights of the walled city of Lo Manthang. 

Upper Mustang is rich in mythical and profound legends, strong Buddhist culture, thousands of years of protected historical sites, and open-hearted locals. Even though modernization has had an impact on the area, visitors are nonetheless surprised by its unique culture and traditions. We can feel the spirit of the real mountain people in their natural habitat battling to keep ancient history and culture alive.

This 18 days journey traverses through one of the driest places in Nepal and offers the uniqueness of the treeless terrain, rocky routes, and views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other peaks. Despite being the driest and receiving the least amount of rainfall, it is alive with life and awe-inspiring grandeur. This vast land is quenched by the majestic mountain rivers that pour from the highlands.

The Upper Mustang Trek here is unlike any other in Nepal, embracing cultural exploration as well as breathtaking landscapes. It is all about delving into the mysterious world of Mustang's ancient Buddhist monarchy. The trip is the ideal blend of culture and trekking, as it was designed to be. In the heart of the forest, far away from the bustling world. Allow the Himalaya to hug you and immerse yourself in the Mustang's magic.

Major attractions of Upper Mustang Trek

  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Tibetan-influenced culture and tradition
  • Semi-arid desert with steep ravines and rock shelves bordered by snow-capped peaks
  • An excellent excursion to escape the summer monsoon, lying in the rain shadow
  • View of Annapurna, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri 
  • Visit Amchi Museum and Amchi School (traditional medicinal school)
  • Chhoser Cave, a four-story structure with 50+ private rooms and a communal kitchen
  • Trek through a barren desert terrain dotted by spires and cliffs
  • Feel the spiritual feeling from the Gompas, chortens, flapping prayer flags, ritual chanting, caves, rock murals, and century-old monasteries there

Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty 

Upper Mustang Trek is considered moderately a difficult one. The trek is, nevertheless, achievable if you are physically healthy and eager to see the trans-Himalayan terrain. It is appropriate for people of all ages, especially families with children and seniors. Most walkers will be able to complete the Upper Mustang journey without any restrictions or limitations. This walk, however, necessitates a respectable level of fitness.

The walk-in Upper Mustang is deemed difficult due to the altitude and arid environment. There are ups and downs on this walk, like on many treks in the Nepal Himalayas. High passes must be traversed, as well as steep descents. In terms of weather, because this hike is in the rain shadow, you can do it virtually any time of year.

The average number of walking hours per day is 6-7. Both novice and experienced trekkers can complete the Upper Mustang trip. However, to complete this expedition, you should have a decent level of fitness. So, put in some extra gym or trekking time before you arrive, like with other treks in Nepal. Work on your cardio as well as your leg muscles. 

AMS During Upper Mustang Trekking 

While trekking to Upper Mustang, altitude is not a concern as you will be constantly below 4,000 m during the trekking period, which means that even if you get symptoms of Altitude Sickness (AS), such as headache, nausea, or vomiting, there is a lower risk of serious altitude consequences.

However, at such a great altitude, you must be cautious about following acclimatization measures. Altitude sickness has the potential to be lethal. Anti-altitude sickness medication, such as Diamox, is beneficial. Also, descending at a lower altitude is the ideal strategy. To take the appropriate measures, one should always seek assistance from the guides or team leaders.

Also, it is always best to consult with the doctors before embarking on a higher altitude trek. 

Best Season for Upper Mustang

A trip to Mustang's unique lands is doable at any time of year. The greatest time to visit Mustang, Nepal, depends on what you want to get out of the trip. Every four distinct seasons in Mustang has its own set of benefits and a distinct aesthetic offering a unique terrain, natural setting, and trekking experience. 

Spring (March, April, May) Season

In Mustang, spring is when everything comes to life when fresh plants emerge and flowers flourish. As you walk to Mustang, you will be surrounded by the enormous splendor of nature. This is an excellent time to explore both lower and upper Mustang, as the weather will be warmer and the rivers in the lower parts will be brimming with snowmelt.

If you want to traverse high passes or go climbing in Upper Mustang, this is the finest time of year. The Tiji Festival takes place in Lo-Manthang in the middle of May. This three-day celebration is a compelling reason to visit in May.

Summer (June, July, August) Season

Upper Mustang is located in the Annapurna range's rain shadow. As a result, summer trips to Upper Mustang are pleasant, dry, and well-lit. The weather is perfect, and the trails are in excellent condition with long, warm, and sunny days, and stunning visibility. Upper Mustang's rivers and fauna are at their peak during the summer. 

Though you may encounter damp weather in Lower Mustang in summer/monsoon, making your trails muddy and slippery, Mustang's natural beauty gets enhanced by the little rainfall.

In conclusion, Upper Mustang Trek is one of Nepal's most beautiful summer treks.

Autumn (September, October, November)Season

Autumn is one of the best and busiest times of year to trek to the Mustang in Nepal. During the autumn months, you may need to book things ahead of time. 

The weather in Mustang is usually dry and cold in the autumn with clearer skies, and you will be able to see different mountain ranges along the paths. 

Winter (December, January, February) Season

With heavy snowfall, the winter in Mustang is one of the coldest of all seasons. For your protection, some of the high passes and small peak climbs may stay blocked. This is the greatest time to visit Mustang for trekkers who want solitude and tough treks and searching for a more intimate Upper Mustang trek experience.

The hiking pathways are snow-covered and many Mustang residents retreat to a lower altitude during this season due to harsh cold. To make a successful winter trek to Upper Mustang, you should have the proper equipment, gear, and clothing.

Permits for Upper Mustang Trek 

There are two types of permits required for the Upper Mustang Trek. We, Himalayan Trekkers will take care of all permits. 

  1. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation) Fees: NPR. 3000 (Approximately USD 28.00) per person
  2. Restricted Area Permit (RAP): USD 500 per person for 10 days. However, if you spend more time than that, you will require an additional USD 50.00 per person for each additional day.

Note: Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) is not required for this journey since Special Permit is required.

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 M

A Himalayan Trekkers’ representative will greet you at your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport and accompany you to your designated hotel. 

The remainder of the day is for you to unwind and prepare for the incredible journey ahead. In the evening, you can take a walk around the streets and corners of the famous tourist hub, Thamel. 

Meals: Welcome Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 2: Kathmandu City Tour & Trip Preparation

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 1350 M

The second day will be spent touring the many historic sites in Nepal's capital city, Kathmandu. A full-day tour of Kathmandu will take you to some of the city's most iconic sights, including Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, and Pashupatinath Mandir.

The evening will be free of such visits, so you may spend it exploring Kathmandu's nightlife at your leisure. You can also go to the Thamel market to get the necessary trekking supplies and equipment.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara

🕑 7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 850 M

We will drive to the lovely valley of Pokhara through the Prithvi Highway early in the morning. During this picturesque 6- to the 7-hour bus ride, you will experience the Western Himalayas.

You have time after settling into your hotel to explore the lakeside area, take a boat ride on Fewa Lake, stop by one of the many lakeside bars before dinner, or simply relax.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Pokhara

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom & Trek to Kagbeni

🕑 20 Min Flight & 3 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 2810 M

Today we will fly to Jomsom (2720m) in the early morning, which is known for its apples, strong winds, and beautiful scenery. Then our trekking journey begins on an open trail that runs alongside a gorgeous valley. We walk past Eklo Bhatti village, which is situated on the banks of two rivers before we make it to the village of Kagbeni, the gateway to the Upper Mustang. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 5: Trek to Tsele

🕑 6/7 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3050 M

We leave Kagbeni after breakfast to enter Upper Mustang. The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River, where we will be tested by the wind as it whistles up the valley gorge. We note how the cottages in Tangbe Village are white-washed and placed among buckwheat and barley fields. Apple orchards dot the terrain as well. We will also see the gradual transformation from Manangi to Tibetan culture. After that, we will trek along a ridge before arriving atTsele Village.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 6: Trek to Syangbochen

🕑 5/6Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3475 M

Today's hike takes us through a steep, bleak landscape that runs alongside a copper-red canyon. As we cross the Taklam La pass (3,624m) and the Darjori La Pass (3,735 m), trekking becomes a little more difficult. En route, we get to enjoy great views of Tilicho, Yaskawa Kang, and Damodar Danda and pass by Ramchung Cave. After a slow descent to several Chortens on a ridge, we'll arrive in the lovely village of Samar. From here we climb a ridge and descend into a massive gorge. Finally, we cross another valley, stream, and walk downhill until we reach Syangbochen. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 7: Trek to Ghami

🕑 5/6Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3520 M

We will go gradually uphill from Syangbochen till we reach Yamda La Pass at 3850m, then descend to Gheling settlement. We make uphill walk from Gheling through fields to the valley's center. Then we ascend a difficult terrain through the valley's head to the Nyi La Pass (4010 m). From there, we descend for about half an hour till we reach a trail junction, where the right path leads to Tsarang and the left trail travels to Ghami, one of the biggest in the Lo region. It is a town of whitewashed mud and stone dwellings under the protection of an overhanging rock.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 8: Trek to Tsarang

🕑 5/6Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3620 M

Today, we will hike to the driest region of the Mustang. As we cross the Tsarang La Pass at 3870 meters, it will be a strenuous hike through fairly tough terrain. However, once we get to our destination, we will be rewarded with spectacular views of the rural countryside, with mountains visible in all directions. We're due for a stop at this huge settlement at the summit of the Tsarang Chu Canyon. A medieval fort and a red Gompa to the east of the village host a remarkable collection of statues and thangkas.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 9: Trek to Lo Manthang

🕑 3/4 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3840 M

After breakfast, we will walk to Lo Manthang, which is one of the key attractions. The walk today is quite straightforward. We trek up a small pass called Lo Pass at 3950 meters, from where we have views of the walled capital of Lo Manthang. After a short descent, we reach the destination where the King of Lo used to live, which is currently the site of many unique and colorful Buddhist events. The surrounding mountains, which include the Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I, and Bhrikuti Peak, contribute to the atmosphere of the area.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 10: Explore Around Lo-Manthang

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3840 M

Starting with a 2-hour visit/hiring and riding a horse to the Namgyal Gompa, we will explore the magical settlement of Lo-Manthang. This lovely Gompa, which functions as a local courthouse and is set on a hilltop, is of great social, religious, and legal significance. After that, we'll go to Tingkhar, a settlement with 40 homes northwest of Lo Manthang. We will also stop by Champa Lhakang, where we can see a big Buddha statue and exquisite Mandala paintings on the walls.

An alternative could be a short trek that leads us to the Jhong Caves, also known as Sky Caves, in the Chhoser area. These are five-story high caves carved out of cliff faces. They were most likely used as burial chambers, hiding places, meditation centers, and, later, monasteries. We can visit several of these caverns and take in the ambiance of the caves, lunar-like terrain, and mountains.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 11: Trek to Dhakmar

🕑 6/7 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3810 M

We will set off from Lo-Manthang on the upper highland trail. Today is a longer trekking day, but there are plenty of interesting sights to see along the way, as always. The century-old Ghar Gompa in Gyakar Village is home to magnificent rock paintings. We will pass the Dhi Pass at 4100 meters and arrive in Dhakmar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 12: Trek to Ghiling

🕑 4 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 3570 M

We set our early in the morning to avoid the high winds and descend via a barren plateau and some agricultural fields to reach Ghiling village. Despite the wind making it a difficult and exhausting day, we are rewarded with spectacular vistas of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 13: Trek to Chhuksang

🕑 6/7 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 2900 M

After breakfast, we continue our trek toward the village of Chhuksang. Our journey will take us over rugged mountains and hills. We will hike to Tetang, Chhuksang's higher town nestled between two peaks. It is sheltered from the ferocious winds that rage across the Kali Gandaki valley on regular basis.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom

🕑 7 Hours Walk

Max Altitude: 2720 M

We bid farewell to Upper Mustang and enter the lower Mustang today. We will pass via Jharkot village, where we will pay our visits to a local monastery, the majestic Tibetan Herbal Medicine Center, and an ancient fortification that was once a palace. We will enjoy the scenery of the Kali Gandaki Valley and Kagbeni Village, our lunch stop, and descend to Jomsom. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Guest House

Day 15: Fly to Pokhara & Stay in Pokhara

🕑 20 Minutes Flight - Full Day in Pokhara

Max Altitude: 850 M

We will get up early today to catch our morning flight to Pokhara. After a 20-minute flight to Pokhara, we will spend the remainder of the day exploring and relaxing in the city. We get to go boating in the exotic Phewa, Rupa, and Begnas Lakes, see the gorgeous hilltop monastery or explore the magical caves if you haven't already. You will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs and experience the vibrant city's nightlife.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Pokhara

Day 16: Drive Back to Kathmandu

🕑 7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 1350 M

After breakfast, we depart Pokhara and drive to Kathmandu via the Prithivi Highway.

Once in the city, you have to explore Thamel, do some more shopping, relax with a massage, or enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the towns’ many cafes and restaurants. In the evening, we will enjoy a farewell meal to commemorate the successful conclusion of our voyage.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Airport

Carry great memories of Lo-Manthang and Nepal with you as you travel back to your home today. A representative from Himalayan Trekkers will escort you to the airport and bid farewell about three hours before the scheduled departure. 

Meals: Breakfast

Upper Mustang Trek Map

Includes

  • All Transfer to/from International Airport
  • All Domestic Airport Transfer as per Itinerary
  • 3* Standard Category Twin/Double Sharing Accommodation in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Daily Breakfast at Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Guided City Tour in Kathmandu and Pokhara as Mentioned in Itinerary
  • All Entrance fees for Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu Transfer by Comfortable Tourist Bus 
  • Annapurna Conservation Fees
  • Upper Mustang Restricted Permit( For 10 Days/USD 500 P/P Included)
  • Pokhara - Jomsom - Pokhara Airfare, Taxes, and Luggage 
  • All Grund Transfer as per itinerary
  • An Experienced Trekking Guide and Required Number of Porters as Per Group Size
  • Best available Local Lodge/Tea House accommodations during the trek 
  • Meals -  Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Tea/Coffee During the trek
  • A comprehensive First-Aid Kit
  • All Wages, Fees, Equipment, and Travel Insurance for Guide and Porters
  • Welcome/Farewell Dinner
  • All government/applicable taxes and surcharges

Excludes

  • International airfare to/from Kathmandu and Departure tax
  • Nepal  Multiple Entry Visa Fees
  • Meals - Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Your Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, internet/Wifi, and Phone Calls. Any Kinds of Beverages, etc. 
  • Extra night stay accommodations in Kathmandu/Pokhara because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Personal Gear/Clothing 
  • Tips and gratitude to Guide/Porters
  • Expenses that are caused by unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslide, strike, political condition, etc. 
  • Any other expenses not mentioned in the ‘Cost Includes’ section

FAQ'S

Q. Where is Upper Mustang located?

Upper Mustang is located in the Trans Himalayan Region behind the Himalayas. It lies in western Nepal north of Pokhara and covers two-third northern land of the Mustang district. 

Q. How high is Upper Mustang Trek?

Lo Manthang stands at an elevation of 3,800 meters however, some of the high passes during the Upper Mustang Trek lie at 4,000 meters above sea level. 

Q. Can I trek Upper Mustang in winter?

Since Upper Mustang lies in the rain-shadow area of Nepal, it is the best destination for Summer trekking. 

Upper Mustang has amazing weather, clear views, and can be trekked all-round year except for December to March due to harsh winter and no availability of accommodation because the inhabitants migrate to the lower regions during these months. 

So winter may not be your cup of tea!

Q. Is Upper Mustang Trek difficult?

Upper Mustang Trek is considered to be a moderate trek. You may need to hike 5-7 hrs everyday.

Q. What permits do I need to enter Upper Mustang?

Yes, three permits are strictly mandatory for Upper Mustang Trek. Those permits include Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS), and a special permit issued from Nepal Immigration that can be only issued by Government Authorized Trekking Agency like Himalayan Trekkers. 

Q. Is trekking safe to Mustang after Covid-19?

Upper Mustang is one of the least affected areas for Covid-19 in Nepal. So, trekking to Upper Mustang after Covid-19 is very safe. 

Q. Do I need to be vaccinated for this trek?

As per Nepal Government travel policies, it is mandatory to be vaccinated and have negative CPR reports for Upper Mustang Trek. 

Apart from the Covid-19 vaccine, we highly advise trekkers to consult with a medical advisor and your local trek organizer for other medications/vaccines.

Q. Is trekking guide and agency mandatory for Upper Mustang?

Upper Mustang is a very protected and restricted area of Nepal.

So, traveling to Upper Mustang via an authorized trekking agency and with at least one authorized guide and permits are mandatory. 

Q. Can I do solo Upper Mustang Trek?

Solo Upper Mustang Trek is not permitted by the Nepal Government. To trek to Upper Mustang, you will be requiring a group travel permit of at least two. 

For the lodging facilities in Kathmandu and Pokhara, you will be offered 3*  standard Category Accommodations on Twin/Double sharing Room. However, these cities provide a wide range of housing options, from the most basic to the most luxurious. You can spend extra to upgrade the amenities to your liking. 

Upper Mustang is a rather remote part of Nepal featuring a large number of tea houses and homestays. As a result, throughout our walk, you will be staying in simple but pleasant lodges managed by native Mustang families. Each lodge includes a central public space with a huge stove that provides warmth and ambiance.

Meals During The Upper Mustang Trek

Except for lunch and dinners in Kathmandu and Pokhara, all the food costs are included in the package cost. You can find eateries with menus from all across the world in Kathmandu and Pokhara. We can recommend you one that matches your taste and budget.  

The food on the Upper Mustang trip is of excellent quality and consists of a mix of indigenous Nepali/ Tibetan and western cuisine. Dal Bhat (Rice & Lentil) is a popular, flavorful, and basic local dish. Breakfast and dinner will be served at the teahouse or on the menu of the lodge where we will be staying the night, while lunch will be served on the way to the next destination.

 

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