About Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang Trek is considered one of the best treks in Nepal because of the landscape, weather, tradition and more, which are completely unique to this region. This mildly difficult trek with several ascent and descent takes you to some of the most beautiful villages like Kagbeni, Chele, Syanboche, Ghami, Charang, and finally to Lo Manthang. These villages are surrounded by more than 35 mountains over 6000 meters, always ready to leave you awe-inspired. Lo Manthang is a walled ancient kingdom bound to make you feel like you travelled some hundreds of years into the past. This village is famous for the palace of the former king and outstanding views one can get from there. Several ancient sky caves (yes, sky caves) can also be seen.
Walking past rivers, streams, monasteries, chortens, forests, beautiful antique houses and caves you will finally complete this trek. Upper Mustang Trek takes you to the highest altitude of just 3800 meters in the village of Drakmar. This also makes this trek a moderately difficult one.
Some terrain in the Upper Mustang region makes you feel like trekking in Tibet due to it being a part of the Tibetan plateau. Hiking on the trail is also an amazing chance to observe the unique culture and traditions of people living in Upper Mustang. Some splendid views of snow-peaked mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges can be seen during this trek. For the Upper Mustang Trek, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and Restricted Area Trek permits are both required.
You take a plane flight from Pokhara to Jomsom from where the trekking starts. You will trek to Chele and Syangboche. The next day, you will reach Ghami crossing the Yamda La, Nyi La and Ghemi La pass. You will then cross Tsarang La Pass to reach Charang. Next day, you will reach Lo Manthang where you spend another day to explore the village and also as a part of acclimatization.
From Lo Manthang, you will trek further to Drakmar, Ghling, Chhuksang and finally to Jomsom. You will fly to Pokhara and finally to Kathmandu from there.
Weather and Best Time to Trek
Upper Mustang lies in the rain-shadow area so you can trek to this region in the summer (monsoon) season as there is little to no rainfall. In fact, some places of this region look so heavenly with the monsoon alpine flowers blooming. The average temperature of the region is about 10-degree celsius. However, it can get as low as -15 °C in winter making it almost impossible to trek.
All the major festivals, cultural programs are held in summer in this region. So trekking in summer provides you a great opportunity to explore the culture and lifestyle of local people. If you can endure the cold temperature, you can trek in other seasons as well.
The Upper Mustang Trek falls in Moderate Plus grading. You have to trek on terrains of high altitude regions. The trail might get difficult and steep in some places. You have to walk for 5-6 hours a day in barren rocky terrains. So, you need to be physically and mentally fit to do this trek.
- We highly recommend you to be involved in 45 minutes of cardio exercises (running, swimming, jogging, cycling) 3 - 4 times a week for a minimum of 3 weeks before your scheduled trip.
- If you are coming for trekking in Himalaya you should consider stair climbing for a week for three months prior to departure.
Food and Accommodation
Trekking in the remote area of Upper Mustang is also a chance to live a simple life away from worldly pleasures in the lap of the Himalayas. It is an experience in itself staying at tea houses providing minimalistic food like soup, noodles, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, dal bhat, fried rice, eggs, etc. and simple accommodation. Three meals are provided in a day. During this stay, the way of life and tradition of locals can also be observed.