Key Information

  • Destination:
    Nepal
  • Accommodation:
    3 Star Hotel + Tea House Lodge
  • Trip Style:
    Trekking and Hiking
  • Foods:
    Breakfast in City + BLD in Trek
  • Transportation:
    Private Vehicle + Domestic Flight
  • Min Person:
    2

About Upper Mustang Trekking

Trekking to Upper Mustang is unlike trekking to any other part of Nepal. The climate, culture, traditions, and landscape you will encounter during the Upper Mustang trek unique to this region. This adds a unique touch to the Mustang trek in Nepal.

The altitude of the Mustang region also varies greatly from 1,372 meters to 8,167 meters. So while trekking in Mustang, you will be able to see several peaks that are well over 7000 meters

Mustang trek will also give you a feel of how it will feel like to trek in Tibet as the some of the routes of the Mustang trek is a part of the Tibetan plateau.

Upper Mustang also preserves its rich heritage of the many ancient traditions and culture of the region. This is due to the fact that the Mustang trek was open to foreign trekkers only in 1992.

One of the most popular places in the Mustang region trek is the ancient city of Lo Manthang. It is a walled city that has its own charm, which is largely down to the customs, traditions, as well as the mystery surrounding this city.

Mustang trek starts after a sightseeing tour in Kathmandu. You will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and then drive to Pokhara. From there, you will take a scenic flight to the wonderful valley of Jomsom and start your trek.

The trek will take you along some of the most beautiful villages in this region like Kagbeni, Chele, Syanboche,  Ghaemi, Charang, and finally reach Lo Manthang. You will explore this wonderfully walled kingdom that has an arid landscape as well as some of the most sumptuous mountains that surround it.

On your trekking trail to Upper Mustang, you will be able to see the mountains of Annapurna as well as Nilgiri range. Dhaulagiri at 8167 meters (26,795ft) and Annapurna I at 8091 meters (26,545ft) are the highest mountains visible during the Mustang region trek. In addition, 35 mountains over 6000 meters (19,680ft) high surround Mustang.

Upper Mustang Trek Highlights

Scenic Flights

You the first glimpses of the Nepalese Himalayas during a scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The flight is merely 25 minutes long. But in this flight, you will be able to see the various mountains of the Annapurna as well as the Dhaulagiri region.

Annapurna Conservation Area

You will be trekking in the Annapurna Conservation Area region quite a lot. This conservation area houses a lot of exotic plants and animals of Nepal. You will also be able to see various birds and mammals. The rhododendron forests in the conservation light up the trekking trails in lush red color.

Explore the ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang is a walled city that has a history that dates back to 1380 A.D. There is also a royal palace in this ancient kingdom where the local king of Mustang resided until a few years back. The panoramic views of mountains that you get from the walled kingdom of Lo Manthang are simply stunning.

Wonderful Mountain Views

You will become mesmerized by the 35 mountains that surround Mustang including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. During your trek, you will also be delighted to see the deepest gorge in the world- Kali Gandaki Gorge. This gorge is carved out by the Dhaulagiri as well as the Annapurna Ranges.

The thrilling exploration of the sky caves

There are hundreds of sky caves located in Upper Mustang. These sky caves can be seen on the lofty hills that surround the Upper Mustang. There are 10000 man-made caves in Mustang. These caves were found to harbor mummies that dated back some thousands of years back.

 

Upper Mustang Trek itinerary

Day 01: Arrival

Day 02: Sightseeing around Kathmandu valley and preparation for the trek

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2858 m) - 4 hours of trek

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3050m) 5-6 hours

Day 06: Trek to Syanbochen (3475m) 6-7 hours

Day 07: Trek to Ghaymi (3520m) 6 hours

Day 08: Trek to Charang Trek (3500m)- 5-6 hours

Day 09: Trek to Lo-Manthang Trek (3700m) 6 hours

Day 10: Exploration of Lo-Manthang

Day 11: Trek to Drakmar (3810m) 6-7 hours

Day 12: Trek to Ghiling (3806m) 6 hours

Day 13: Trek to Chhuksang (3050m) 5-6 hours

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom Trek (2700m) 7 hours

Day 15: Flight back to Pokhara

Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu

Day 17: Departure

How to reach upper mustang trekking?

The Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom. But in order to reach Jomsom, you need to first head out to Pokhara. There are two ways of reaching Pokhara. You can either take a flight to Pokhara. This is the swiftest way to reach Pokhara. You also have the option of taking a bus to Pokhara. The bus ride to Pokhara is around 6 to 7 hours long.

From Pokhara, you can either take a flight to Jomsom or head out on a bus. The flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is also 25 minutes long. The bus ride from Pokhara to Jomsom is also around 6-7 hours long.

You can also take a bus that runs directly from Kathmandu to Jomsom. The bus leaves Kathmandu at 2:30 pm in the evening. The bus will go through via Munglin, Pokhara, Beni, Tatopani, Ghasa, Kalopani, Marpha, and finally to Jomsom.

Upper Mustang trek permit

You will need two different permits for the Upper Mustang trek. One of them is the permit to trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). This will cost US$ 20. Another permit you will need is the Restricted Area Trek permit. This will cost US$ 500 for the first 10 days of the trek If you are looking to stay longer, you need to pay an additional US$ 50 per day.

In order to get a permit, you need a passport that is valid for at least six months. In order to obtain the permit for ACAP, you will also need one printed passport sized photograph.

In order to trek to Upper Mustang, you will need a minimum of two trekkers in the group. All trekkers who want to trek to Upper Mustang must go with a registered guide.

If you are looking to trek in the lower regions of Mustang, you can obtain all the permits yourself in the office of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. But you can’t obtain a Restricted Area Permit yourself. You need to get it by consulting a registered trekking company.

Important places in upper mustang trekking

Lo Manthang

The ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang is one of the best places you will get to see in the Upper Mustang trek. The kingdom has a history that dates back hundreds of years to 1380. The settlement of Lo Manthang is a beautiful one that oversees hills and mountains draping it. The Royal Palace of Lo Manthang is a place of equally rich history.

Jomsom

Jomsom is the starting point of your trek and it is a scenic valley. It is surrounded by lofty mountains. From Jomsom, you can go to Kali Gandaki River, which forms the deepest ravine in the world.

Best time for upper mustang trekking

Autumn (September, October, and November) is the most popular time to trek in Nepal. Spring (March, April, and May) is the second most popular trekking season. These seasons are characterized by a mild amount of sunshine and low probability of rainfall.

Apart from these seasons, Summer (June, July, and August) is also popular for trekking to Upper Mustang. This is because the trekking trail to Mustang is quite rocky and devoid of rain. The arid climatic conditions of Upper Mustang is one of the reasons it is also popular in the summers.

If you pack appropriately, you can also complete the Upper Mustang trek in the winter season as well. Mustang region is not as cold as other high-altitude treks in Nepal like Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Base Camp. So with appropriate packing, you can complete the trek to Upper Mustang in all seasons.

Mustang weather and climate  

Mustang is one of the driest parts in Nepal. The lofty hills that surround Mustang block much of the clouds that bring about the onset of monsoon. It is one of the reasons why the Mustang trek is a popular one even in the summers. This is despite the summers being the wettest season in Nepal.

There are four seasons in Mustang- summer, autumn, spring, and winter. Summer, Autumn, and spring are the most popular months for trekking to Upper Mustang. But winter trekking in Mustang is also possible as the highest point along the Upper Mustang trek is merely 3800 meters.

The amount of sunshine received in Mustang region is also quite significant. Sun beats down almost all year round. So the days are long and perfect for trekking. This is because you can also explore the villages you will trek to in the evening after you have completed your trek.

Mustang trek difficulty

Upper Mustang treks start from the lower altitudes of Jomsom. This means that you will start your trek from an altitude of 2743 meters. The highest point along your trek to Upper Mustang is the village of Drakmar, which lies at an altitude of 3800 meters. So the trek to Mustang is moderate in terms of the altitude you will encounter.

Mustang trek has a moderate amount of difficulty in terms of the number of walking hours and days. During most days, you will trek for an average of 6 hours. So trekking to Upper Mustang is quite moderate.

Mustang’s terrain is mildly difficult. There might be daily ascent and descent but with enough physical preparation, you will be able to complete quite comfortably.

People and culture of upper mustang trek

Upper Mustang is a trek that lies in the Himalayas of Nepal. As with all other Himalayan areas of Nepal, the trek to Upper Mustang is also full of the culture of Tibetan Buddhism from Sakya lineage. This region also has a sect of the rare Bon religion. The Bon priests along with Tibetan Lamas organize various festivals and rituals in this region.

 

The ethnic people of Upper Mustang region are called Loba (Lo Pa). If you are a student who wants to learn subjects like religion, anthropology, Asian studies, mythology, art or antiquity, Upper Mustang can provide you with a wonderful opportunity for a field study.

Mustang trek Distance

You will cover a total of 75 miles while trekking to Upper Mustang. This is equivalent to 125 kilometers. Since you will trek for 10 days, you will cover around 12.5 kilometers in a day. The trek does take you along some uphills and downhills.

In these 10 days, you will trek for almost 6 hours a day. When the trails are too steep, you might trek for more than 6 hours a day depending upon your strength and stamina.

Upper Mustang Trekking Itinerary & Map

DAY 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport
  • Picking you up at Tribhuvan International Airport
  • Transferring you to a three-star hotel

You will arrive in Nepal as you land in the Tribhuvan International Airport. You will see that our representative is already there to pick you. You will then be taken to the hotel where you can rest or freshen up. Now, you can go out and spend some time in restaurants trying new food or just stroll around the city. You can also go to bars, spas, etc. or get a massage. You will stay overnight at the hotel in Thamel.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel 
Elevation: 1345 m

 

DAY 02: Orientation and Sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley
  • Explore the Kathmandu City
  • Visit 5 of the UNESCO world heritage sites ( Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple)

Waking up your first morning in Nepal, you will have your breakfast and head to view important cultural and religious sites in Kathmandu. Our tour guide will take you to all of the UNESCO world heritage sites; Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple. You will also get to listen to the myths and stories related to all those sites. You will go to other historical places as well. Returning, you can also buy the equipment or gears you may have missed. You will have a tour briefing and then you can go out to have some food and chill around.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: 3-star hotel 
Elevation: 1345 m

 

DAY 03: Drive/Flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Have a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Explore the lakes (Phewa, Begnas), caves and vibrant streets of Pokhara
  • Enjoy the  spectacular sunset from Sarangkot

You will leave Kathmandu as you take a bus to Pokhara. This ride can take from 6 to 7 hours during which you will get to view beautiful landscapes, rivers, green forests, etc. Reaching Pokhara, you will check into a hotel and rest for a while. After you relieve your fatigue, you will go out to explore this lake city. You can visit lakes, temples and caves like Mahendra cave and Bat cave. If you have time, you can go to Sarangkot to view the sunset. In the evening, you can enjoy places like restaurants, live music, bars etc. You will stay overnight at the same hotel.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: 3-star hotel
Elevation: 820 m

 

DAY 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2750 m) and Trek to Kagbeni
  • Have your breakfast in Pokhara and fly to Jomsom
  • Enjoy the aerial views of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri range
  • Walk an almost flat trail along the Kali Gandaki river 

During this 25 minutes flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, you will get outstanding views of mountains of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri range. After landing, you will walk easy and almost flat path along the Kali Gandaki river for about 4 hours to reach Kagbeni. After reaching, you will get views of beautiful fields of wheat and barley and peaks like Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri, etc. To go beyond Kagbeni, you will need a permit for restricted area of Upper Mustang. You will stay overnight here.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 2858 m
Trek Duration: 4 hours approx.

 

DAY 05: Trek to Chele
  • Enter the Upper Mustang Restricted Area with a permit
  • Walk along the banks of the river
  • Walk past villages like Tangbe and Chusang
  • Cross the river and climb a steep uphill to reach Chele

When you leave Kagbeni and move ahead, you will enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang. Your path will be a river bank with some caves and a Gompa. You will first reach a village, Tangbe. You will continue your trek after your lunch to get amazing views of Buckwheat and Barley fields. Then, you will reach another village, Chusang. You will cross the Kali Gandaki river and climb a steep uphill to get to Chele after almost 6 hours of trek. You will have your dinner and stay at a  tea house in Chele.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3050 m
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours approx.

 

DAY 06: Trek to Syangboche 
  • Climb a steep trail to reach Eklebhatti
  • Continue the ascent to get to the Taklam Pass
  • Get amazing views of Tilicho and Damodar peaks
  • Descend towards Samar and cross it 
  • Reach Syangboche and visit Ramchung cave

Climb a steep uphill alongside a canyon. First, you will reach Eklebhatti and rest for a while. Then, you will continue your ascent to get to the top of Taklam Pass. From there you can get amazing views of  Tilicho and Damodar peaks. Walking downhill on an easy and beautiful path, you will get to Samar. You will again ascend and then descend into a gorge and reach a valley. You will then cross a stream and after another subsequent ascent and descent, reach Syangboche. You will stay there overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3475 m
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours approx.

 

DAY 07: Trek to Ghami via Yamda La (3850 m) Nyi La (4010 m ) and Ghemi La (3765) 
  • Walk past villages like Tamagaon, Ghiling, Chhunggar and Jhaite
  • Cross three passes Syangboche (Yamda) La, Nyi La and Ghemi La
  • Get amazing views of mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri
  • Enjoy the green fields of barley and buckwheat and the desert like terrain

You will ascend for a while and get to a valley. From there you will descend to Ghiling. You can see green fields of barley and you will move towards Ghami by climbing gently to a valley. You will again ascend across the valley to get to the Nyi La. You will descend for about 2 hours and walk towards the left trail to get to Ghami. You can see many sky caves from Ghami, you can go to one of those if time permits.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3520 m
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours approx.

 

DAY 08: Trek to Charang via Tsarang La Pass (3870 m)
  • Descend through a rough rocky trail and cross the Ghami Khola
  • Cross Tsarang La Pass and reach the top of Tsarang Chu Canyon
  • Explore the huge fortress and a red Gompa

You will leave Ghami and descend through a rocky trail. You will cross the Ghami Khola over a suspension bridge and walk through probably the driest part of the Mustang. But the views you will get will be astounding as you can see mountains in East and West and beautiful villages in the North.  You will walk uphill to cross the Tsarang La Pass and reach Charang (Tsarang ) village which lies on the top of Charang Chu canyon. You will stay there at a tea house.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3500 m
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours approx.

 

DAY 09: Trek to Lo Manthang
  • Explore the village of Charang, the Gompa and 700 years old palace
  • Leave Charang and make a gentle ascent towards a Chorten
  • Get the first view of the walled city of Lo Mathang
  • Get amazing views of mountains like Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I

You will wake up and have your breakfast and explore the village. You will go to the Gompa and the 700 years old palace. Leaving Charang, you will walk a gentle uphill towards the boundary between Charang and Lo Pass. Continuing your trek, you will find that the trail broadens and reaching the top of Lo Pass, you will see the beautiful village Lo Manthang. You will then descend to get to the village. You will stay overnight in Lo Manthang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3700 m
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours approx.

 

DAY 10: Exploration of Lo Manthang
  • Visit amazing Gompas like Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda
  • Explore the palace of the former king of this ancient village
  • Walk up to the village of Tingkhar
  • Shop for souvenirs 

As you are crossing another high altitude, you will spend this day acclimatizing. Today you will spend yet another day at Lo Manthang. You will walk around the village exploring several gompas like Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda. If you want, you can also walk up to the village of Tingkhar or you can just stroll around the village to visit some other monasteries. Amazing places around this village also includes the palace of the former king of Lo Manthang, you may go there too. You can buy some souvenirs and rest. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3700 m

 

DAY 11: Trek to Drakmar
  • Ascend a large cairn to reach Marang La Pass (4230 m)
  • Descend the plateau and climb a steep trail to reach Ghar Gompa
  • Get to Lo Gyakar and view the beautiful rock paintings
  • Ascend up to another ridge and descend to a cairn and to a steep gully
  • Reach Drakmar and explore around the village

Today you will return from Lo Manthang taking a different route. You will wake up and start your trek early. Walking a crisscrossed trail to get to a ridge and ascending, you will reach Marang La Pass. Then you will reach Ghar Gompa also known as Lo Gyakar. This gompa is known for its beautiful and ancient rock paintings and it is also believed to fulfil your wishes made inside it. After few hours of trek, you will reach Drakmar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3810 m
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours approx.

 

DAY 12: Trek to Ghiling
  • Start your descent towards Ghami and then Ghiling
  • Pass through dry plateau and fields fighting strong winds
  • Enjoy the views of mountains like Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri 

Today we will walk towards Ghiling and we will join the same route we took earlier after getting to Ghami. Ghiling is surrounded by barren land and is prone to strong winds. Waking up early, we start our trek by descending towards Ghami. Our trek is almost descent and enjoying the outstanding views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri, we walk past fields and plateau to reach Ghiling. In the evening, you can roam around the village and stay at a teahouse overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3806 m
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours approx.

 

DAY 13: Trek to Chhuksang
  • Return to Chuksang the same route
  • Enjoy the ease due to the decreasing altitude
  • Walk past villages like Syangboche and Chele
  • Get the wonderful views of Himalayas

Returning the same route, you will head towards Chhuksang. The altitude drops gradually as you walk and will make your trek easier. You will walk past the same villages you stayed in while you trekked upwards and continue to walk towards Chhuksang. The views of the himalayas will be better here than your previous day’s. After total of 3-4 hours of trek, you will reach your destination. This will be the last day you will spend in the restricted area of Upper Mustang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 3050 m
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours approx.

 

DAY 14: Trek to Jomsom
  • Walk towards Kagbeni and exit the Upper Mustang restricted area
  • Continue your trek towards Jomsom

Today is the last day of your trek in Mustang region. You will first reach Kagbeni and have your lunch and report your exit from the Upper Mustang restricted area. After walking for about 7 hours, you will reach Jomsom. Jomsom is a village cut in two halves by Kali Gandaki gorge, you can go to view the majestic gorge which is the deepest in the world. You will stay overnight in Jomsom.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tea House
Elevation: 2700 m
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours approx.

 

DAY 15: Fly back to Pokhara
  • Have your breakfast in Jomsom and fly back to Pokhara

During your 20 minutes flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, you can enjoy the scenic aerial landscapes. After reaching Pokhara, you will find that you are away from the desert-like terrain and have come into a busy city. You can find green trees, lakes and temples around you. You can also find several restaurants, bars and spas where you can go to erase the fatigue from your trek. You can go sightseeing to places like Mahendra cave, Bat cave, Begnas lake, Phewa lake, Tal Barahi Temple,  etc. if you didn’t have time the first time you stayed here.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: 3-star hotel
Elevation: 820 m

 

DAY 16: Drive Back to Kathmandu
  • Scenic ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu 
  • Stroll around the streets of Kathmandu and shop souvenirs and handicrafts
  • Explore the cafes, restaurants and bars

Waking up and having breakfast in Pokhara, you will take a bus ride to Kathmandu. After this 6-7 hours of ride, you will reach Kathmandu. You can go shopping for souvenirs to take back home. Sublime Trails will have prepared a farewell dinner for you where you can have cultural dishes and enjoy dances. You can either go out for other fun activities or just rest and prepare for your departure.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: 3-star hotel
Elevation: 1345 m

 

DAY 17: Departure

Today, you will either return home or move to your next destination. If you are planning to stay a few more days in Nepal then we will be more than happy to help you. Else, we bid you farewell and wish you luck. After you’ve managed all your documents and packed your bags, we take you to the airport and wish you goodbye. 

Meals: Breakfast

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Departure Dates

Sort Date
Dates Status Price Notes  
20 Jul, 2019 - 05 Aug, 2019 Available $1700 USD
25 Jul, 2019 - 10 Aug, 2019 Available $1700 USD
30 Jul, 2019 - 15 Aug, 2019 Available $1700 USD

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