Upper Mustang Trek

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Trip Overview
  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Trip Grade: Moderate
  • Trip Start and End: Pokhara
  • Trip Area: Mustang
  • Trip Style: Adventure/ Active Travel
  • Age Group: Open
  • Trip Type: Private & Group
  • Trip Method: Guided
  • Booking Type: Instant Booking
  • Max. Altitude: 3900m
  • Best Season: March-December
  • Foot Print:Carbon Neutralleaf

Long-standing medieval towns, Tibetan royal palaces, cliffside caves, and ancient monasteries like Lhakhang largely encapsulate the Upper Mustang Trek. But beyond the shadow of the walled city, there’s another Upper Mustang, where nature prevails. In this part of the town, you’ll witness a dramatic landscape that strikes a contrast between the vast Tibetan plateaus and splendid red cliffs. In the meantime, the Upper Mustang Trekking route unfolds a new hidden treasure and charming villages that cannot wait to be discovered.

  • Trek through the ancient marvels and iconic landmarks including Ghar Monastery, Kali Gandaki Gorge, Yama La Pass, and Lo Manthang Palace.
  • Insight into the Tibetan culture and their rural life in the charming villages of Chele, Charan, Dramkar, and Chhusang.
  • An idyllic escapade through the Mustang highlands, windswept landscapes, barren cliffs, and rugged terrain of Tibetan plateaus.
  • A once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend the most prominent festival in the Tibetan Calendar and interact with locals of the Mustang district.
  • Enjoy the mesmerizing view of pristine mountains, including Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Damodar Himal, and Annapurna North.

The trek to Upper Mustang is a journey through time, where each route unravels a layer of natural wonder and fascinating history. It offers trekkers a unique experience as they navigate the razor-edge trails surrounded by towering mountains and sheer cliffs of mixed colors. Although the jeep tour to Upper Mustang is garnering popularity, the trek to the high-altitude rain shadow has its unreplicable allure.

The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang also provides a glimpse into the ancient culture and traditions of Upper Mustang, which is deeply ingrained in Tibetan Buddhism. It allows visitors to watch the infectious chants of Tibetan monks, uncover holy fossil rocks, participate in local festivals, and observe customary rituals including the Tiji Festival, which contrasts Upper Mustang from Muktinath.

Your trek to Nepal’s Hidden Kingdom of Upper Mustang begins after a scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. This is followed by a quiet journey on a well-paved road beside the Kali Gandaki River, which makes for an easier walk.

Over the next days of your Upper Mustang adventure, you’ll travel to its lesser-known but timeless villages of Chele, Syanbgboche, and Ghami. For this, you’ll make a strenuous journey on a dirt road, passing through deep valleys and crossing Kali Gandaki River gorges, which not only elevates the adventure but also test your limits.

Despite this, the trek comes with a huge reward. Arriving at each of these beautiful settlements after a long day of trekking brings you a sense of fulfillment and relief. Comfortable local teahouses and warm hospitality with a unique cultural atmosphere enrich your Upper Mustang Adventure.

While Charang sets the stage for the historical understanding of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang lets you dive deep into it. The Kingdom of Lo gives you a closer look at the centuries-old history and customs of people living in the community like Thakali, Lopa, and Gurung.

The walled city of Lo Manthang, with its mud-brick houses and narrow alleys, displays a timeless allure and natural charm. Meanwhile, its historical landmarks, including the majestic royal palace symbolize the Tibetan heritage and its everlasting legacy.

In this serene village, you’ll discover numerous historic monasteries, colorful Chortens, and prayer walls with significance and architectural wonders. Moreover, these religious sites serve as spiritual sanctuaries for locals and pilgrims, cultivating a deep sense of devotion.

Coming out of Lo Manthang, you’ll continue the Upper Mustang Trekking Expedition and traverse Dhakmar. Dhakmar is a small village resting on a narrow valley together with red cliffs, which offer a stunning view.

The Upper Mustang hike continues with a gentle descent to Ghiling, where you’re met with a 15th-century monastery and rocky mountains. Besides that, you’ll see traditional mountain homes in Ghiling, which are simple yet imposing with deep cultural ties to Tibet.

On Day 10 of the Upper Mustang Trekking itinerary, you’ll return to Chhusang and further trek to Jomsom on the following day. Finally, you’ll fly to Jomsom on the last day of Upper Mustang Trek Nepal whilst enjoying the pristine views of snowcapped mountains.

Mustang’s Vibrant Tiji Festival

Lo Manthang is one of the few towns that doesn’t fool around when it comes to its festivals. It does know how to have fun, with the Tiji festival being an epitome of cultural reverence. Observed in spring, Tiji also known as Tenchi is an annual festival commemorating a victory of righteousness and collective spirit.

The festival recounts the tale of a mythical legend Dorje Sonnu (Vajrakila), who fought his evil father to end Mustang’s long drought. As a mark of respect to their savior and to protect the town from evil spirits, monks from the Choedhe Monastery burnt a wooden figurine of the demon.

For three days, they perform an intricate dance, depicting the battle between the demon and the lone warrior. Their main dancer Tsowo leads the event after completing his three-month retreat, which involves intense training and mental readiness.

To immerse himself in the character, Tsowo reinforces his spiritual connection to Dorje. He even engages in intensive meditation and a dance routine to enhance the role and bring the attendees to his transformative journey.

The festival sees the royal families and residents gather together to observe the formal ceremony and pooja. The locals make their presence known during the display of Thongdrel as well. This is a religious practice in which a painted Thangka is unrolled from the royal palace.

Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

  • Day 1:Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, Trek to KagbeniAltitude: 2858 m
  • Day 2:Trek to CheleAltitude: 3050 m
  • Day 3:Trek to SyangbocheAltitude: 3475 m
  • Day 4:Trek to Ghami via Yamda La, Nyi La and Ghemi LaAltitude: 3520 m
  • Day 5:Trek to Charang via Tsarang La Pass (3870 m)Altitude: 3500 m
  • Day 6:Trek to Lo ManthangAltitude: 3700 m
  • Day 7:Exploration of Lo ManthangAltitude: 3700 m
  • Day 8:Trek to DramkarAltitude: 3810 m
  • Day 9:Trek from Dramkar to GhilingAltitude: 3050 m
  • Day 10:Trek to ChhusangAltitude: 3050 m
  • Day 11:Trek from Chhusang to JomsomAltitude: 2700 m
  • Day 12:Fly back to PokharaAltitude: 820 m

Day 1:Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, Trek to Kagbeni

  • Max Altitude2858 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsLunch and Dinner

After leaving the hotel early, you’ll board a flight to Jomsom and remain watchful of the scenic marvel. Needless to say, the flight offers a breathtaking view of pristine mountains with verdant hills. It further treats you to the breathtaking view of the Kali Gandaki Gorge carved through the mountains.

Upon arrival, you’ll trek uphill to the parched plain of Kali Gandaki and through the Kalopani village, which offers a picturesque view. Finally, after three hours of trekking, you’ll arrive at Kagbeni, a small and secluded village immersed in nature.

Day 2:Trek to Chele

  • Max Altitude3050 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Today, you’ll trek east of the Kali Gandaki River then Tangbe in the north. Often considered one of the most charming villages, Tangbe is a web of hidden trails with mud-brick houses and apple farms. Once you leave the village behind, you’ll head to Chhusang, crossing the Kali Gandaki River and ascending steep rocks. After a short uphill trek, you’ll arrive at Chele.

Day 3:Trek to Syangboche

  • Max Altitude3475 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

The trek continues along the arid land and the canyon to Eklo Bhatti. Then you’ll cross the Taklam La Pass and head to charming Samar Village. From there, you’ll descend to a deep narrow valley and pass through Rangchyung Chortenn to reach Syangboche.

Day 4:Trek to Ghami via Yamda La, Nyi La and Ghemi La

  • Max Altitude3520 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Today will be a gentle uphill trek to Yamda La on a deserted terrain and through the remote village of Geling. Then you’ll gradually descend the barley fields before weaving to the Himalayan settlement of Tama Gaun. After arriving at Nyi La Pass, you’ll descend the trail to Ghemi.

Day 5:Trek to Charang via Tsarang La Pass (3870 m)

  • Max Altitude3500 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

From Ghami, you’ll make a steep uphill climb to the barren wasteland and continue on a high plateau along the mani walls. You’ll carry on a rough terrain before ascending to Charang La Pass. Perched on an uninhabited desert, Charang La Pass is one of  Mustang’s most stunning places.

If you gaze around, you can see the marvelous landscapes with rocky hills and mountains. Next up, you’ll descend to Tsarang, a tiny settlement above the Charang Chu Canyon. Take a stroll through the village to discover the medieval fort and red gompa which features a beautiful collection of thangkas and statues.

Day 6:Trek to Lo Manthang

  • Max Altitude3700 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Leaving Charang, you’ll set off on an arduous journey to the Tholung Valley and further up to the village. The views are marvelous as you ascend the trail, surrounded by dunes before arriving at Lo La Pass. After catching a glimpse of Lo Mathang in the distance, you’ll trek downhill to the ancient fortress and finally arrive at the ancient capital of Upper Mustang.

Day 7:Exploration of Lo Manthang

  • Max Altitude3700 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Take this day to explore the historical town of Lo Manthang and its underrated beauty. Visit the ancient monasteries such as Jampa, Chodey, Thubchen, and Choprang. You must spare some time to walk through the village and experience the unique Tibetan culture and lifestyle.

Other options include a visit to Square Tower or Dzong, which serves as an administrative center for Lo Manthamng. In the afternoon, you’ll return to the teahouse and spend the night there.

Day 8:Trek to Dramkar

  • Max Altitude3810 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Now that you’ve explored the Lo Manthang, it’s time to ascend to Chogo La Pass at 4,230m. Reaching the highest point, the trail offers you a breathtaking view of Chatarang Valley, while the spectacular mountains unfold before you. Once you cross the pass, the trail heads to Muila Bhanjyang and Dramkar, offering a magnificent view.

Day 9:Trek from Dramkar to Ghiling

  • Max Altitude3050 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

After having breakfast, you’ll start descending the rugged terrain, while enjoying the magnificent view of gigantic snow peaks. On the walk, you’ll arrive at Ghar Monastery which shines out from afar with its distinguishing red wall and colorful prayer flags.

Continuing onwards, you’ll pass the beautiful village of Ghami and then head to Chemi La through the arid flatland. From there, you’ll go steeply uphill to Yiy La Pass and slowly drop down to Ghiling. You’ll spend the night at a teahouse in Ghiling.

Day 10:Trek to Chhusang

  • Max Altitude3050 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

From Ghiling, the trek is easier and mostly downhill through a small Tibetan village called Samar. Walk further and, you’ll arrive at a sacred place where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) supposedly mediated. He’s a tantric Buddhist master who has contributed greatly to introducing Buddhism in Lo and Tibet.

From there, you’ll follow the trail to the Kali Gandaki riverbed before crossing it through a tunnel and climbing down to Chhusang. You’ll stay overnight in a teahouse in Chhusang.

Day 11:Trek from Chhusang to Jomsom

  • Max Altitude2700 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Having bid farewell to Chhusang, you’ll descend to Jharkot village. During your time here, you’ll visit the local monastery, and explore an ancient fortress along with a newly-built Tibetan Herbal Medicine Center.

You’ll follow the trail back to Jomsom while savoring spectacular views of Kagbeni village and Kali Gandaki Valley. After approximately 7 hours of trekking, you’ll arrive at this Tibetan-influenced village.

Day 12:Fly back to Pokhara

  • Max Altitude820 m
  • MealsBreakfast

This morning, you’ll catch a flight to Pokhara from Jomsom, which lasts 20 minutes or so. You’ll fly over the southern Kali Gandaki Valley and to the city of lakes, which charms you with a splendid view.

Love doing it your way?

Cost Details


  • Meals: 
    16 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • Accommodation: 
    3-Star accommodation in Kathmandu for 3 nights
    3-Star accommodation in Pokhara for 2 nights
  • Tea house accommodation along the way for 11 night
  • Transportation:   
    All land transportation with pickups and drops
    Domestic Flight to Jomsom from Pokhara and back
  • Guides and Porters:
    One guide and assistant guide between 6 people 
    1 porter for two people (A porter can carry up to 30 kg)
  • Entry Fees and Permits:
    Restricted Area Permit Fee
    TIMS Card
    Monument Entrance Fee
  • Miscellaneous: 
    Down jacket, a Sleeping bag which should be refunded to the company after the trip
    Necessary paperwork with the government of Nepal and Tax department
    First Aid service in case of minor injuries
  • One Day Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu


  • Any meals other than breakfast in Kathmandu
  • Rescue & travel insurance, trip cancellation costs, accident or health emergency, evacuation, loss, theft or damage to baggage and personal effects (We strongly advise you to take out personal travel insurance.)
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu due to any reason
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, cold drinks, bottled or boiled water, hot shower, etc.)
  • All the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including mineral water
  • Nepal entry visa fee
  • Tipping for the Sublime crew

Trip Essential Information

How difficult is the Upper Mustang Trek?

The Upper Mustang Trek may not be a high-altitude challenge, but it still presents its own set of difficulties. The trek isn’t arduous but also not a walk in the park. It involves several ups and downs at a sheer altitude. Some of its journeys are relatively more demanding than the other, involving steeper sections and rocky paths.

While trekking in Upper Mustang is mostly below 4000m, the elevation gain is rather continuous, prompting the risk of altitude sickness. The remoteness of Upper Mustang combined with rugged terrains doesn’t help it either, making the journey slightly challenging.

But don’t fear since the Upper Mustang Trek is pretty doable as long as you’re fit and mentally prepared. Acclimatization is a key to Upper Mustang Trek so you must rest well before any ascent to higher altitude.

Best time for Upper Mustang Trek

The busiest season in Upper Mustang is primarily Spring and Autumn as travelers flock to the town to enjoy good weather and cultural festivals. These seasons bear favorable weather conditions and a preferable temperature of around 10 to 15 Degrees Celsius -perfect for strolling the stone alleys and trekking rugged terrains.

However, the trekking season in Upper Mustang isn’t confined to it all since travelers can visit the walled capital in summer as well. The months between June and August witness warm weather and great visibility, making for a great trekking experience.

Meanwhile, winter presents significant challenges for trekkers. From December to February, the region experiences cold temperatures and snowfalls, making trekking conditions harsher than any other season.

Accommodation on the Upper Mustang Trek

The accommodation during the Upper Mustang Trek is in a simple mountain teahouse run by local families. They offer basic services with cozy dwellings, making your stay comfortable and restful.

The teahouses in Mustang provide a well-accommodated room of ample size that consists of warm bedding, mattresses, and pillows. Some teahouses even offer an extra duvet on request of travelers.

While the shared accommodation option is more prevalent here, you can still opt for a private room if you want. While they aren’t budget-friendly, private rooms provide a more personalized trekking experience than the group dwelling. They also cost a bit more.

Menu items include the classic Nepali Dal Bhat and other region-specific specialties.

Necessary fees and permits for Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang region is a restricted area in Nepal, meaning trekkers must secure the necessary permits before entering. They must obtain three permits: Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit, Restricted Area Permit, and TIMS Card.

For access, foreigners have to pay USD 500 per person for the first 10 days and an additional USD 50 for any extended time. They are further required to pay NRS 2000 for the TIMS Card, while the ACAP permit costs NRS 3000.

So that you know, Upper Mustang doesn’t permit solo trekking and requires at least two people to grant access. Hence, an individual trekker must join the existing group or travel in a close-knit to meet the requirement.


  • Yes, you can take a bus to reach Jomsom or trek in. Jeep and Buses are available to reach Jomsom. However, it may can an entire day. The road condition is not good so it can also be a bit risky. We recommend flight as the best option.

  • No, you can not do the solo trek to Upper Mustang. This region is listed as a restricted area by the Nepal Government. So, a guide is mandatory while trekking to this region.

  • The Upper Mustang Trek is moderately challenging so you need to have a good fitness level and strong stamina. To withstand the varied terrains, you must train well before, working on physical training and cardiovascular exercise.

  • The meal choices offered on the Upper Mustang Trek are a mix of Nepali and Tibetan cuisine. While, Dal-Bhat is the most common food served in teahouses, other Tibetan dishes like momo and Thukpa also make it to the table.

  • Yes, the internet service is available along the trekking route of Upper Mustang but its access is limited. Only in large settlements like Jomsom and Lo Manthang, you’ll find teahouses that provide wi-fi for a small fee. But even here, the network coverage is not strong so, it’s wise to bring a satellite phone in case of emergency.

  • As the trek to Upper Mustang starts above 2,500m elevation, the chances of altitude sickness remain significant. However, taking necessary precautions and allowing proper acclimatization reduces the risk. You must also stay hydrated and make a gentle ascent when trekking at higher altitudes.

  • Since the Upper Mustang lies within a rain shadow area, trekking in monsoon is quite feasible. The risk of heavy rainfall and flash floods is significantly lower as compared to other places, making it easy to travel.

  • Almost all teahouses in the Upper Mustang have solar systems to provide electricity and offer charging services for a small fee. Yet, we don’t advise you to rely on it fully and bring extra batteries and a power bank of your own.

  • It’s mandatory to hire a registered trekking guide to travel in restricted areas of Nepal like Upper Mustang. The Nepalese government placed the rule to ensure the safety of trekkers as well as to protect the culture and environment of the Upper Mustang. A professional guide is familiar with the trekking routes and local culture, making them vital for a safe trip.

  • Each porter on the Upper Mustang Trek carries a weight of 25-30 kg and they assist every two trekkers. It means each trekker can allocate only 12-15 kg of weight to the porter. But apart from that, any personal belongings or trekking essentials that you need on the route must be carried by yourself.

Upper Mustang Trek Reviews

5.0based on 1 reviews
  • Pierre Fortin
    Pierre FortinAugust 13, 2018

    Trekking to reach an Ancient City of Lo Manthang

    I knew Nepal was an amazing country but if somebody had told me this amazing then I would not waste so many years of my life waiting for a perfect time. When I was in Kathmandu on the first day, I thought oh well, it is a nice city, not like any place I have seen but as the trek started, I couldn't believe my eyes sometimes, I would see around and question myself, is this real? That's how incredible Mustang is.

    Yes, the trek was very hard and our guide did everything possible to make it less hard, they would crack jokes, they would tell stories and be the one to help us and the locals communicate. They answered all our silly questions with utter seriousness. I can't tell I have traveled to many places but by my experience, if you travel to such places, you will learn a lot about life beyond technology and modern facilities.

    Mustang was amazing, even if we travelled in monsoon, there was no rain unlike in Kathmandu. Some days were hard, some were fine but some were so beautiful that it is bound to make you want to come here again.

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