Caves, extraordinary rock formations, and a desert landscape surround the unaltered land of the former Lo Kingdom. This place is truly like no other place on Earth. It is a dry, desolate land, yet full of character. From desert caves to snowy peaks to pockets of green oases, the landscapes seem surreal. Local people carry out the traditional practices of Tibetan Buddhism and live very simple lives. The forces of modernization have not yet overcome the area.
New York Times 52 Must-Go Travel Destination in 2024: " Upper Mustang Valley, Nepal"
This ‘off-the-beaten-path’ trek begins in Jomsom, which is considered the headquarters of the Mustang region. Heading north through the upper Kali Gandaki River Valley, we find ourselves in Kagbeni. Depending on the time of the year, we may find bright green agricultural fields next to the brown sands of the desert. After passing several villages, we reach Lo-Manthang, the capital of Upper Mustang and the main attraction of the trek. Within the long stone walls, ancient monasteries and elegant palaces are preserved. Trekkers will find stupas, mani walls, chhortens, and other monuments to Tibetan Buddhism. After the exploration in Lo-Manthang, we trek back to Jomsom and fly to Pokhara. Few trekkers experience this otherworldly place, full of extraordinary rock formations, white Himalayan peaks, and a virtually undisturbed cultural heritage. The Upper Mustang Trek gives us a feeling of peace and joy that fills our hearts and minds.
The Upper Mustang Trek is connected to the Tibetan terrain, just north of the Annapurna massif. The area, which used to be the caravan route to trade with Tibet, was opened to foreigners in 1992. Even today, the requirements to trek here are a bit strict to preserve the historic, religious, and geologic treasures of the area.
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- The historic city of Lo Manthang is filled with monasteries and structures designed in a traditional Tibetan manner.
- Hindus and Buddhists revere the Kali Gandaki Gorge, one of the world's deepest canyons and a holy place.
- The Tiji Festival, a vibrant and exuberant celebration held in Lo Manthang each year, is regarded as one of the most significant cultural occasions in Mustang Valley.
- The stunning natural surroundings of Mustang Valley feature rocky mountains, narrow valleys, and vibrant rock formations.
- The opportunity to explore the local Tibetan culture and meet the people of Mustang Valley, who are known for their hospitality and friendliness,
How is the Upper Mustang Completely Different from the Trek Package from Other Treks?
In the past, Upper Mustang, a distant and enigmatic region of Nepal, was a prohibited kingdom. Modernization is gradually destroying its distinctive culture and customs. Although the residents of Mustang are battling to protect their culture, the area is still a fantastic site to learn about Tibetan history and culture.
Although the terrain in Upper Mustang is rugged and dry, it is also wonderfully beautiful. It is one of the best treks in Nepal during the monsoon season because of the area's low rainfall. The rivers are pristine, and the mountains are always covered in snow. The Upper Mustang Trek is the ideal option for you if you're seeking a journey that will take you off the beaten track. Although it is a difficult journey, the benefits are worthwhile. You will have the opportunity to take in breathtaking landscapes, discover a distinct culture, and unravel the mystery of the Mustang.
Accommodation and Food During The Upper Mustang Trek
Travelers staying on the Upper Mustang Trek stay in modest but adequate lodges run by local families. However, some locations have extremely opulent rooms with internal bathrooms. The lodges contain bedrooms, each with two beds, mattresses, pillows, and blankets, as well as a central communal space with a stove. However, if you have your own sleeping bag, it's better to bring it.
The lodges include western toilets and gas-powered showers. Western cuisine is mixed with regional Nepali and Tibetan cuisine while on the hike. Rice and dal bhat are typical dishes. Along the way, you can find additional supplies.
The Upper Mustang Trek Length and Terrian
The Upper Mustang Trek is approximately 100 kilometers long. The trek is slow-paced and allows for excellent acclimatization. The terrain is along well-trodden paths that can be sandy, rocky, or desert-like. There is no need for crampons or technical equipment. The Mustang is a cultural gem with a rich Tibetan heritage. If you love landscape photography, then this is the perfect destination for you. The valley is dry and in the Himalayan monsoon shadow, so it is possible to visit for most of the year. However, we recommend avoiding mid-winter and going from late November to mid-March.
How difficult do the trekkers find this Upper Mustang Trek?
The proper level of fitness is necessary for all treks, including the Upper Mustang walk. Any level of hiker can travel to Mustang because the Upper Mustang route is considered moderate. There will be challenging ascents and descents as you travel across high passes. You will see beautiful mountains with vistas that will lift your spirits. There will be the kingdom of Lo to make up for your exhaustion. If you don't want to trek but want to explore the Upper Mustang, check out our Upper Mustang Jeep Drive Tour Itinerary.
We suggest working out more intensely or going on a hike before you arrive. Exercise your legs and heart. Don't forget to mention the high-altitude excursions when purchasing travel insurance, to boot.
Best Time to Travel To Upper Mustang
The Upper Mustang Trek is situated in a rain shadow. For this reason, the monsoon season is also a suitable time to trek in the Upper Mustang. Trekkers can enjoy the beauty of Upper Mustang throughout the year, though the best times are during the spring and fall, as they provide the clearest skies. To make your journey simple and cheaper, there are fixed departure dates for the Upper Mustang trek.