the upper mustang trekking from pokhara nepalthe upper mustang trekking from pokhara nepal

Upper Mustang Trekking

  • Duration18 Days
  • Max Altitude 4015 M (13,205 ft)
  • Group Size Minimum 2 People
  • Starts Kathmandu
  • Ends Kathmandu

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.

Upper Mustang Landscapes phography

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.

Itinerary

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Kathmandu is Nepal's capital and a city of World Heritage sites. Our team will be waiting at the airport to transfer to your hotel. Day Tours Nepal Tour officer will meet you and greet you at the hotel for further plans and trek preparation. We will collect your original passport to issue the Upper Mustang Trek permits. We have to show an original passport at Immigration to get the RAP (Permits)

  • Max. Altitude: 1,350 M (4,428ft)
  • You will visit: Kathmandu

Day Tours Nepal Cultural tour expert will meet you at 9; 00 am in your hotel to explore the ancient’s kingdoms of Kathmandu. A sightseeing tour will be 5 hrs and after returning back to the hotel Day Tours Nepal Trekking guide will meet you. The trekking guide will give you a briefing about trek plans and a short introduction about the places you will be visiting. Evening welcome dinner with Day Tours Nepal Team.

This day we will issue your Upper Mustang Trek Permits. We need 1 full day to issue all the trekking permits. 

  • Max. Altitude: 1,350 M (4,428ft)
  • You will visit: Kathmandu Heritage Sties
  • Walking Hour: 2

Day Tours Nepal hiking guide will meet you at your accommodation in a private car. After breakfast, we'll take a picturesque drive and stop for a rest along the route. If you choose to raft (optional), we will pass across the most popular Trishuli River. Traffic may make your journey lengthier at times, but once you leave Kathmandu, the road to Pokhara will be smooth. Check into your accommodation and spend the evening wandering around Fewa Lake. Our guide will assist you and show you around. It's excellent to stay near Fewa Lake to enjoy the mountains, sunset, and evening views.

  • Max. Altitude: (827m) 2,713ft
  • You will visit: Pokhara

We take an early morning flight to Jomsom, where we will start our trekking. The flight offers stunning views of the Himalayas, including Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni, an ancient trade post with a Buddhist monastery. Kagbeni is just south of the restricted area of the Upper Mustang.

  • Max. Altitude: 2,800 M (9,500ft)
  • You will visit: Kagbeni
  • Walking Hour: 4

We start our trek early in the morning from Kagbeni to Chuksang. We follow the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki River to avoid the afternoon wind. On the way, we see Mt. Nilgiri glowing orange from the early sun rays. We pass by the unique red sandstone pillars and rock formations of Mustang and reach Tangbe Village. Tangbe is a pretty village with red and whitewashed houses, apple orchards, and barley fields. We then follow a narrow canyon to Chele, a small town along a ridge. The views from Chele are other-worldly.

  • Max. Altitude: 3055 M (10,025ft)
  • You will visit: Chele
  • Walking Hour: 5-6

Today's trek is challenging as we gain around 800 meters in altitude. We climb a steep spur, then continue up a steep canyon to Eklo Bhatti. We ascend to Taklam La (3,625 m/11,940 ft), a high pass, and cross it to reach Samar. We can see Mount Nilgiri from Samar, and this is a common place for horses and mule caravans to rest. We then descend to a large gorge past Rangchyung Chorten and reach Syangboche.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,930 M (11,400ft)
  • You will visit: Syangboche
  • Walking Hour: 5-6

Today's trek begins with an ascent to the Yamda La pass 3,845 M (12,655 ft). We then descend to a wide barley field at Gelling, a village with mud and stone houses painted white and ochre. We continue to Tama Gaun, where we climb the Nyi La pass 4,015 M (13,205 ft) and descend to Ghami.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,520 M (11,535 ft)
  • You will visit: Ghami Village
  • Walking Hour: 6

Today's hike takes you into Mustang's driest region. The environment is austere and arid, yet the neighboring mountains provide spectacular views. After a difficult ascent, you will arrive in Tsarang, a little settlement of about 1,000 people. Tsarang is home to the Tsarang Monastery, an important 17th-century Buddhist monastery in Mustang.

The monastery is built on a mountaintop overlooking town and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The monastery is a collection of structures that includes a major temple, a library, and several smaller shrines. The main temple is dedicated to the Buddha and houses several Buddhist relics. The library includes an extensive collection of ancient Buddhist writings, while the shrines honor numerous Buddhist deities.

Tsarang Monastery is a well-known tourist attraction and a must-see for anyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it serves as a cultural and religious hub for the Mustang people.We start our trek on flat land and ascend to the Lo La Pass (3,900 m/12,800 ft). From the top of the pass, we enjoy stunning views of the valley below, including Lo Manthang, the former capital of Mustang. We descend from the pass and enter Lo Manthang from the north.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,505 M (11,500ft)
  • You will visit: Tsarang
  • Walking Hour: 6

We start our trek on flat land and ascend to the Lo La Pass (3,900 m/12,800 ft). From the top of the pass, we enjoy stunning views of the valley below, including Lo Manthang, the former capital of Mustang. We descend from the pass and enter Lo Manthang from the north.

Lo Manthang is a fortified city with a fascinating history and culture. It is a renowned tourist destination with several Buddhist monasteries and temples. In addition, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We'll have some time to explore Lo Manthang after we arrive. We may explore the monasteries, temples, and stores, as well as soak in the ambiance of this old city.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,810 M (12,135ft)
  • You will visit: Lo Manthang
  • Walking Hour: 5

Today, we will explore the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang. This 14th-century city is home to around 150 houses, whitewashed mud-brick walls, gompas, and a royal palace. The palace is a nine-cornered, five-story structure built around 1400, and it is the oldest existing structure with such architecture. The city is also home to four major temples: Jampa Gompa, Thubchen Gompa, Chodey Gompa, and Choprang Gompa. Jampa Gompa is the oldest and is also known as God's house. Choprang Gompa is also known as New Gompa. Tourism to Upper Mustang remains limited, even today. The Nepal government opened the region to foreigners in 1992.

    After exploring the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang, we head south towards Kagbeni. We will not take the same route we took to arrive at Lo Manthang, as we will be passing through Drakmar. In Drakmar, we will visit the famous Ghar Monastery, which is decorated with beautiful wall paintings. 

    We continue our trip after viewing the Ghar Monastery till we reach Ghami. Ghami is a small Tibetan village notable for its traditional architecture. A variety of monasteries and temples can also be found in the hamlet.

    Ghami is a popular trekking destination since it is a lovely and relaxing area to spend a few days. The town is also an excellent area to acclimate before traveling to higher elevations.

    • Max. Altitude: 3,520 M (5,577 ft)
    • You will visit: Ghami
    • Walking Hour: 7

    We continue our Upper Mustang Trek through the remote and arid landscape, carefully enjoying the magical views all around the path. We ascend to reach the Chemi La (3,660 m/11,975 ft) and Yiy La (3,845 m/12,655 ft) passes, and then descend steeply to reach Geling. After Geling, the descent eases as we reach Syangboche, but our destination lies further at Samar.

    Samar is a traditional Tibetan town with mani walls, a monastery, and terraced farmland. The mani walls are built of stones etched with mantras and are thought to bring good fortune. The monastery is a famous tourist site as well as a place of worship for the locals. Crops such as barley and wheat are grown on the terraced fields.

    • Max. Altitude: 3,700 M (12,139 ft)
    • You will visit: Samar
    • Walking Hour: 7


    We join the regular trekking track to Chhusang from Samar. We follow the trail to the Kali Gandaki riverbed, which we cross via a rock tunnel. We continue our journey to Chhusang on the other side of the river. 

    Chhusang is a small village in Nepal's Upper Mustang area. It sits at a height of 3,530 meters (11,582 feet) above sea level. The town is surrounded by mountains and is a famous trekking and hiking destination.

    Chhusang is a traditional Tibetan village with whitewashed buildings and narrow streets. A variety of monasteries and temples, notably the Chhusang Gompa, can be found in the area. The Chhusang Gompa is a Buddhist monastery dedicated to Tara, the goddess of compassion.

    The majority of the residents in Chhusang are farmers who raise crops such as barley, wheat, and buckwheat. There are also yaks and animals in the village.

    • Max. Altitude: 2,980 M (9,776 ft)
    • You will visit: Chhusang
    • Walking Hour: 6

    We will cross the Gyu La Pass (4,077m) today and arrive at Muktinath. The pass provides breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks, including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Muktinath is considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. A Buddhist monastery, several Hindu temples, and 108 bathing spouts are all part of the temple complex. 

    Before reaching Muktinath, the trek goes through various old settlements. Tibetan-style residences and Buddhist monasteries can be found throughout the villages. We'll spend the night in Muktinath and have the chance to explore the temple complex and learn about its history and significance.

    • Max. Altitude: 3,760 M (12,335 ft)
    • You will visit: Kagbeni - Muktinath
    • Walking Hour: 7

    Our final day on the Upper Mustang trekking route is here. We descend to Jharkot and Khingar, where we can explore the beautiful monasteries. We gradually lose elevation as we approach Jomsom, which sits at the bottom of the Kali Gandaki River Valley. The market area in Jomsom is a stark contrast to the serene trails and remote villages we visited earlier.

    • Max. Altitude: 2,720 M (8,915ft)
    • You will visit: Jomsom
    • Walking Hour: 5-6

    Early morning we will take a 15 - 20 min flight to Pokhara. Free time in the afternoon in Pokhara to explore around the city. If the flight to Pokhara canceled then we will take a Jeep drive to Pokhara.

    • Max. Altitude: (827m) 2,713ft
    • You will visit: Pokhara

    In the morning, we will transfer you to Pokhara Airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. After your arrival, our staff will transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu. You will have some free time to explore the city or relax at the hotel. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner to reflect on your incredible experiences.

    • Max. Altitude: (1,350m) 4,428ft
    • You will visit: Kathmandu

    Transfer to the airport on your flight schedule.

      Cost Details
      Includes
      • Full Board (breakfast, lunch and Dinner) in Trekking
      • Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara Flights Tickets
      • Accommodation during the trek (local lodge)
      • Government-registered local expert guide,
      • Porters to carry trekking bags.
      • Annapurna Conservation Park, Upper Mustang Fees (500$).
      • In cities, accommodation includes breakfast.
      • Guided tour of the city.
      • Welcome and farewell, dinner.
      • equipment and clothing for porters and staff.
      • Insurance for all staff and porters.
      • Transportation as per itinerary
      • First Aid Kit For Upper Mustang Trek
      • Updated Upper Mustang Trekking Map.
      • Salary, allowances, expenses and insurance for all staff, including porters
      Excludes
      • Nepal visa: Multiple Entrée 30 Days, USD 40
      • Lunch and dinner during hotel stay in Kathmandu
      • Personal gear and clothing (available on hire)
      • Tips for guide and porters
      • Table drinks, snacks, personal insurance, and medical evacuation in case of emergency
      • Expenses incurred due to accidents, landslides, strikes, political unrest, etc.
      • International airfare and airport taxes, excess baggage charges, etc.
      • Entrance fees during the sightseeing in the city

      Dates & Prices

      Book your trek in advance. The Upper Mustang is popular, and it is necessary to schedule your vacation ahead of time so that we can book an experienced guide for this trek. If you are traveling during the peak season (March to May or September to November), it is best to book hotel reservations in advance.

      Pack the necessary equipment. Trekking boots, trekking poles, warm clothing, sun protection, rain gear, a first aid kit, toiletries, a water bottle, snacks, a sleeping bag, a tent, and backpack are all required for the trek. However, you can get a basic notion from the Nepal Trek Gear list.

      Be prepared for altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is a relatively low risk on the Upper Mustang Trek. Symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue. Yoga, breathing, swimming, cycling, and running will help, and you should start preparing before 3 to 6 months, depending on your personal physical activities.

      Be adaptable. Because the weather in the Himalayas is unpredictable, it is critical to be flexible with your plan. Be ready to alter your plans if required.
       

      Select a Departure Month
      Trip Dates
      Availability
      Space Left
      Price
       
      Trip DateJul 06, 2024 -Jul 23, 2024
      AvailabilityAvailable
      Space LeftCash Back Trip
      PriceUS$2350
      Trip DateJul 22, 2024 -Aug 08, 2024
      AvailabilityAvailable
      Space LeftCash Back Trip
      PriceUS$2349
      Good to know

      Nepal Festivals and Events

      Tiji Festival Dates: 2024

      The Tiji Festival is a three-day colorful festival celebrated in Lo-Manthang.  If you have the chance to participate, you should! The purpose of the festival is to pray that peace on Earth prevails.  The festival is celebrated to mark the victory of Buddha’s incarnation over the demon that had been wreaking havoc in the region during ancient times.  During the festival, Buddhist monks in the monastery perform an entertaining dance ceremony.  The 2024 Tiji Festival takes place on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of May.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so hopefully you can make it!

      tiji festival trek dates and events

      Upper Mustang is a RAP-protected area, meaning that you need a special permit to enter.  The cost of the Upper Mustang Trek Permit is $500 for the first 10 days and $50 per day after that. The cost is included in the price of the package.

      I don’t have a friend, but I want to trek to the Upper Mustang. How is it possible?

      • Join group departure trips or let us know your travel date, and we will arrange a Mustang trek permit.
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