Upper Mustang Trek - 17 DaysUpper Mustang Trek - 17 Days

Upper Mustang Trek - 17 Days

Key Information
  • Duration17 Days
  • Difficulty LevelDifficult
  • Max Altitude4,280m/14,042ft
  • Arrival CityKathmandu
  • Best TimeMarch-May/Sep.-Dec.
  • Group Size2-16

About The Trip

Upper Mustang is located in an arid river valley that runs north-south off the upper corner of Annapurna Circuit. Lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, this trek is one of the restricted trekking areas of Nepal and opened for tourists in 1992. This trek is renowned for the barren land beauty with harsh, cliff-faced landscapes. Upper Mustang is located in an isolated area and forbidden kingdom with historical importance. This trek is beautiful in both culturally and geographically way.

Overview

Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal carries you into the concealed universe of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang. This secluded trans-Himalayan mountain area border has a distinct Tibetan feel. You also experience the arid landscape of high cliffs and rocks, unusual formations, and colors. The walled city of Lo Manthang is used to be a part of Tibet until the 1830s. The early history of Lo Manthang is decorated in myths and legends rather than recorded facts. Even though this area is changing, you will still be surprised to see stunning vistas and the stubborn way it sticks to its unique culture.

Trek to Upper Mustang is a rare privilege where you will get to experience the way of life of faithful mountain people. They have little contact outside Nepal and retained their own rich cultural heritage. Until recent times, they have their own King, officially recognized by the Government of Nepal. Explore caves, rock formations, paintings, and gompas and learn about the culture of this area. The panoramic view of Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and other beautiful peaks excites you. Within Lo Manthang, you can visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, which are the last main village on the northwest of the area, as well as the King’s palace.

Situated in the grand rain shadow cast by the Himalayan ranges, mainly the Annapurna massif and Dhaulagiri, the Mustang region is a dry land of severe earthen colors. Upper Mustang Trek is best in monsoon season. We can take Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara to avoid the lower rainy section in the Annapurna region. The best advantage of doing this is, you can see the culture of Mustang, and also the region is full of the fabulous bloom of hills and cliffs. Despite harsh conditions, you may also witness wildlife like musk deer, wild ass, gazelle, and snow leopards thriving in the area.

Unlike the majority of the trek in Nepal, Upper Mustang Trek offers a rare glimpse into a regional capital of historical and cultural interest. This region was long the royal stronghold, and the monarchy has been abolished. The sturdy palace still remains behind the medieval walls. Most of its parts are damaged during the 2015 earthquake. You feel like as you are steeping through a window in time to an era from centuries ago. You will also get to know the Amchi (traditional Tibetan doctor), where tourists can understand the ancient healing art. Cave paintings, Buddhist manuscripts, sculptures, and many artifacts are slowly being discovered in this region. You will also see the sky caves into the cliffs above the village for burial purposes. Sky funeral and polyandry practice still remains in the Upper Mustang region.

In addition to this trip, other fantastic alternative trekking routes are seeking more significant challenges. You can choose any trip from Wilderness Region Trekking like Saribung Pass Trek via Upper Mustang. For more Annapurna Trekking Package, you can explore more exclusive Himalayan Odyssey tour packages.

Upper Mustang Trek Route

The Upper Mustang Trek route kicks off in Jomsom and trek to reach Kagbeni, a short walk from Jomsom, a large market with an airport connecting to Pokhara. Kagbeni is a charming small village with covered streets and strange clay figures. Climb up the Kali Gandaki River valley to the rid, barren landscape. The air and the land are dry and naked, with rock hills with puzzling high cave and rock paintings. Enter Lo Manthang, which is surrounded by a high stone fence, the seat of the King of Lo until lately when Nepal became a Republic. Immerse into Namgyal Gompa and the King’s palace within this walled city. Also, visit a few hours away, Gyakar with its famous monastery, Ghar Gompa, which is over 1,200 years old. Devoted to Guru Rinpoche, another traveling Buddhist teacher many centuries ago, the Gompa is renowned for its rock paintings.

After leaving this excellent village, we will go ahead to Yara. Today we will cross the Dhi La Pass (3,400 m) and reach Yara after 7-8 hours of trek. Early morning we will hike toward our next destination Luri Gumba. Then head towards the riverbed of Dhechyang Khola to Tangge. We will cross the river and then reach Tangge village. The next day we then head toward Chussang, traveling through the challenging trial of numerous small passes. Today we will trek to Muktinath from Chussang, which takes around 5-6 hours of trek. Our trek will ends after we head back to Jomsom, return to Pokhara, and then Kathmandu.

Upper Mustang Trek Weather

March to May

March, April, and May in Nepal are spring seasons, so it is greener than ever during these times. It is also the windiest season of all year in the Upper Mustang region. So wear more than one layer of clothing despite the warm weather. It is relatively warm during the days and cools during the morning and night.

Dust levels will be low, so you will see clear views of the mountains surrounding the region. Many trekkers come for the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek, which falls in the May season. All in all, it is one of the best times to visit the Upper Mustang.

June to August

June, July, and August are summer and monsoon in Nepal. Mustang lies in the rain shadow area. It infrequently encounters rain making it one of the suitable places even during monsoon. And the weather remains warm during the day and chilly at night.

On the whole, it is one of the auspicious occasions to trek in the Upper Mustang. Hot days may be uncomfortable, but overall it is an excellent time for trekking.

September to November

September, October, and November are autumn seasons in Nepal. This season is one of the best times to trek in Nepal. The weather throughout this season is excellent, and you will get to see clear blue skies and the crystal clear picture of the Trans Himalayas and Annapurna range along with Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Nilgiri. It is one of the most suitable climates for trekking in Nepal. It receives massive traffic amongst other seasons.

December to February

December, January, and February are the winter seasons in Nepal. Weather gets cold, people of the upper region descend to lower regions where the weather is at least tolerable. So, the cold season will be almost difficult to trek because of snow-covered trails and cold weather.

Therefore, Upper Mustang Trekking during winter is not recommended. The temperature ranges around 0- 5 degrees during daytime and drops to -15 to -20 degrees during night time.

Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty

Upper Mustang Trekking trails are wide and not that harsh. However, some sections on the trials are challenging because it is narrow and requires walking the paths created on the sides of the cliffs. The trail over the Kali Gandaki gorge is one of the complex paths on the entire trip.

Recurring wind during April and May will get challenging the people in moving forward in their journey. Some people may experience a new and fantastic experience, but we advise you to wear two or three layers of cloth.

Upper Mustang Trek Cost

When you are thinking about exploring the Himalayas like Upper Mustang, there will be many factors to consider. It includes the best route, best, how fit do we need to be? But one of the most important confusion will be, “How much does Upper Mustang Trek cost?”

The cost of the trek depends on the plan and route you are taking with. This trek can be done in a short or long time with the combined Annapurna and Manaslu area. The number of days and facilities you are taking in trek also determines the cost of the trek.

Upper Mustang Trek cost is a little higher than other normal trekking in Nepal. The area lies in a remote and restricted area, so we need a special permit. You need to travel with a registered company and need a guide this makes your cost a little high.

Upper Mustang Trek will generally be 15-19 days, and the cost is generally between $1600 to $1940. This price covers transportation, trekking permits, meals, professional trekking guides, porters, accommodation, entry fees, and others. You will get some discounts if you are in groups. The cost of the Upper Mustang Trek highly depends upon traveling in private or in a group.

Upper Mustang Trek Permit

Everyone entering the Upper Mustang area requires a special permit and conservation area entry fee. Entering the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) requires USD 20 per person for a single entry and valid as long as the trek takes.

In addition, if someone is planning to visit Upper Mustang (from Kagbeni), it requires a special permit for a restricted area. The cost of the special permit is USD 500 per person for 10 days. If you plan to stay more than 10 days, you have to pay USD 50 per day additional. You do not need a Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card as a special permit is sufficient.

Upper Mustang Trek Altitude

Highlights

  • Visit the classical Last Forbidden Kingdom of Lo Manthang.
  • Being in the rain shadow, a great trek to escape the summer monsoon.
  • You will walk behind to the history of Lo Manthang after traveling to the palace.
  • Tibetan and Loba people influence the day-to-day actions and culture of the locals.
  • Proceeding further on the trip with the allure views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other chains of mountains.
  • Breathe the holiness of the Tibetan-like people and monks with Gompas, chortens, flapping prayer flags, caves, rock paintings, and century-old monasteries.
  • Trek in the remotes trans-Himalayan region of Nepal.
  • Traverse the isolated trails through the barren landscapes.

Itinerary

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If you are willing to pay an additional charge, it is possible to take a flight to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu. By domestic flight, it takes only 30 min to reach Pokhara.

Abbreviation

B - Breakfast
L - Lunch
D - Dinner

The itinerary below of Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is tentative, and we are always there to change this itinerary according to your requirements. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you want to add or deduct your trek journey.

Note: All above trekking hours and distances are estimated, and it is undoubtedly for general ideas only.

 

Our representatives will be at the airport to welcome and take you to the hotel on your arrival. After freshening up and resting, you can explore the tourist hub of Thamel. We will meet our guide for the trek and prepare for the trek. If you have any last minutes shopping to do, this is the time.

  • Accommodation 3 Star Hotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1,300 m/4,264 ft.

On this day you will meet with your guide and talk about the trip. If you have any confusion regarding the trek, you can make it clear by asking your guide. We will also do any further paperwork for the trek, like permit work and others.

You can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Swoyambhunath Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Basantapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, and others during your free time. Upon the additional charge, we can manage you the city guide or transportation for the city tour.

  • Accommodation 3 Star Hotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1,300 m/4,264 ft.

We will head to Pokhara, which is a lake beautiful lake city. Our bus will leave at 7 in the morning, and we will experience the windy roads which take us through rural Nepal. You will also see the landscape drastically over the due course of time and rivers converging. We will reach Pokhara, and you can spend your evening in the Lakeside. Pokhara is one of the most beautiful cities in Nepal, thanks to its beautiful lakes and the view of mountain ranges. Also, on this day, you can opt for a flight too.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time5-6 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude822 m/2,697 ft

We will take an early morning flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The duration of the flight will be about 25 minutes. Enjoy the view of the mountain ranges and the beauty that it offers. After arriving in Jomsom, we will have our lunch and prepare for the trek. We will then head out of Jomsom and make our way to Kagbeni. We will reach Kagbeni, where we will rest for the night. Kagbeni is a small town that is considered the gateway to Upper Mustang. Make sure you try the Yak Burger at Yak Donalds.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time2-3 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude2,858 m/9,377 ft

We will head out of Kagbeni early in the morning and make our way to Chele. On this day, we will cross the 3000 meters mark. We will take the gorgeous trail that goes along the Kali Gandaki river. We will come across two villages on our way, the first one will be Tangbe, and the second one will be Chhusang. We will then reach Chele, where we will rest for the night.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time5-6 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3,050 m/10,007 ft.

On this day, the trek will get slightly more challenging as we make our way to Syanbochen. Our first stop of the day will be Eklebhatti, where we will rest. After Eklebhatti, we will head to the Taklam Pass. This pass offers a spectacular view of Tilicho and Damodar peaks. After we descend from the Taklam Pass, we will reach Samar and then make way to Syanbochen. On our way, we will also visit Ramchung Cave.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time6-7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3,475 m/11,400 ft.

We take the trail and head up to the Yamda La Pass, situated at an altitude of 3850 meters. We will come across a few beautiful villages which have teahouses. We will then trek through a rocky trail and reach the Nyi Pass, situated at a staggering altitude of 4010 meters. From here, we will hike down to Ghaymi, where we will rest for the night and prepare for the remainder of the trek.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time6-7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3,520 m/11,549 ft

On this day, we will be required to hike down the rocky and barren trail. After a while, we will cross a suspension bridge that goes over the Ghami river. Our descent will stop there as we head up the trail and through gorgeous alleys with mani walls. Then we will cross the Tsarang La Pass(3870m) and then head to Charang, where we will rest for the night.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time5-6 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3,500 m/11,429 ft

We will reach Lo Manthang on this day, but we need to trek for about 6 hours before we get there. In the morning, we will explore Charang and visit the monastery and a palace that is 700 years old. Then after breakfast, we will head to Lo Manthang. The trail will descend initially, and we will hike up to see beautiful mountains such as Tilicho, Bhrikuti, Neelgiri, Annapurna, among others. After walking for another 4-5 hours, we will reach Lo Manthang.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time6-7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3,700 m/12,140 ft

We will take the day to explore Lo Manthang. We will firsts visit three famous Gompas - Jhampa, Thupchen, and Chhoeda. The preservation efforts have made it possible for the gompas to still stay in shape. Lo Manthang is also called the walled city. Those walls were strategically placed these walls to ensure security in the olden times. We will also visit the palace of the former king of this region. Explore and interact with the local population and enjoy the local cuisine of this region. We will also visit Choeser, which is about one hour away from Lo Manthang. Here, you can see the sky caves and be mesmerized by their uniqueness.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • TimeRest Day
  • Maximum Altitude3,700 m/12,140 ft

While returning, we will take a different trail to get the whole Upper Mustang experience. The major attraction of this day would be the well-preserved and famous rock paintings of this region. We will also come across quite a few Gompas.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time6-7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3,838 m/12,591 ft

We need to start early in the morning as this region gets very windy later in the day. We drop down until the trail leads us to a dry plateau and fields. The trail will get quite challenging because of the terrain and the strong winds, which get stronger by the hour. After taking this trail, we will reach Ghiling. Ghiling is a small village surrounded by vast drylands, and from here, you can see the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time6-7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude3240 m/10,630 ft

We will continue making our return journey as we head to Chhuksang. The trail gets less challenging, and the altitude also starts decreasing. After walking for about 5-6 hours, we will finally reach Chhuksang. We will also be able to experience a fantastic view of the mountains. We will continue retracing our steps and make our way to Chhuksang. The trail becomes relatively easy, and the altitude starts decreasing as well. After taking the trail for about 5-6 hours, we will reach Chhuksang. From here, we will still be able to catch the view of several mountain ranges.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time5-6 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude2,980 m/9,776 ft

This will be the last day of the trek as we complete the last of the trek. We will head to Jomsom after walking through significant barren lands and gorges. We will stop in Kagbeni and carry on with our journey until we reach Jomsom. Jomsom is the place where the Upper Mustang Trek and the Annapurna circuit trek meet. We will rest in Jomsom.

  • Accommodation Teahouse Lodge
  • MealsB,L,D
  • Time7-8 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude2,700 m/8,859 ft.

On this day, we will take a flight early in the morning. The total duration will be about 25 minutes. After reaching Pokhara, you can rest for a while or go for a boat ride. Later in the evening, you can spend quality time around Lakeside, which serves delicious local food and a few restaurants have good live music. 

  • Accommodation Hotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Time25 min
  • Maximum Altitude822 m/2,697 ft

On this day, we return to Kathmandu via bus, and it will take about 6-7 hours to reach Kathmandu. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Nepali countryside. Later in the evening, you can go around Thamel, do your souvenir shopping and pack for your departure. At night, we will have our farewell dinner.

  • Accommodation 3 Star Hotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Time5-6 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude1,300 m/4,264 ft.

Time to head back to your home and share your wonderful experience in Nepal with your family and friends. Also, if you decide to extend your stay in Nepal, you can inform us. We at Sublime trails would be honored to be at your service. We provide various tour services. If you also want to trek in another region, we would be happy to guide you.

    Cost Details

    Included
    • Accommodation in Kathmandu with BB plan
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner during the trek
    • Annapurna Conservation Area entry fee and TIMS card
    • Restricted Area Permit
    • Experienced Himalayan trek guide and porter (2 trekkers: 1 guide and porter)
    • Tourist bus from Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu
    • Domestic flight from Pokhara - Jomsom - Pokhara
    • Arrival transfer from the international airport to your hotel
    • Tea house lodge during your trek
    • First Aid Kit during the trek
    • Staff Insurance
    • Salary, food, and accommodation of your staff during the trek
    • All ground transportation as per itinerary
    • Tour Certificate
    • Farewell Dinner
    Excluded
    • International flight ticket
    • International airport tax
    • Visa Fee
    • Other personal items. (Phone calls, snacks, hot and cold drinks, laundry, alcohol, extra porter, shower, etc )
    • Excess baggage cost during your domestic flight
    • Travel insurance
    • Tips for staff and guide
    • Private Travel Equipment
    • Excess baggage cost during your domestic flight
    • Anything that is not listed in the “PRICE INCLUDES” section above

    Good to Know

    Packing List for Upper Mustang Trek

    Every trekking requires certain preparation of gears and types of equipment for the journey to make your trip more comfortable. It is recommended to carry the necessary and light things so that it will be easy while you are walking. The following belongings are recommended that should be brought, although we concede that our clients have their own decision for the clothing. To know what to expect in the Upper Mustang Trek, we have prepared some useful clothing & gear during the trek.

     

    Travel Documents

    • Airline tickets (confirmation and itinerary)
    • Nepal Visa form (may be obtained at Kathmandu Airport)
    • Travel insurance policy documents
    • Valid passport
    • Copy of passport (2 copies, first page only)
    • Passport photos (4)

    Travel Equipment

    • Duffel bag (100 liters; no wheels or rigid handles)
    • Lightweight, duffel bag
    • Luggage locks
    • Travel wallet
    • Passport/money belt
    • Sleeping bag liner
    • Travel plug adapters
    • Electrical converter

    Travel Clothing

    • Quick-dry undergarments
    • Synthetic or wool T-shirt
    • Long-sleeve, travel-friendly shirt and pants
    • Casual shoes
    • Mid-weight wool or synthetic socks

    Trekking Equipment

    • Day pack (25–35 liters)
    • Sleeping bag comfortable to 0°F (dependent upon season, weather forecast and personal preference)
    • Waterproof hiking boots
    • Camp shoes (down booties or running shoes)
    • LED headlamp with extra batteries
    • Trekking poles

    Trekking Clothing

    • Wool or synthetic T-shirts (2)
    • Mid-weight fleece or soft-shell jacket (2)
    • Mid-weight down or synthetic parka with hood
    • Convertible hiking pants
    • Fleece pants or insulated pants
    • Lightweight waterproof/breathable rain jacket and pants
    • Mid-weight waterproof and fleece gloves or mittens
    • Sun hat
    • Midweight wool or synthetic socks (3 pairs)
    • Liner socks (optional)
    • Glacier sunglasses
    • Neck gaiter, balaclava, Buff or bandana

    Food

    • Energy bars
    • Electrolyte replacement drink mix
    • Snacks (cookies, GORP, Snickers, etc.)

    FAQs

    • Q1. Where is Upper Mustang?

      Upper Mustang is an upper part (Northern area) of Mustang District, located in Nepal. It comprises the northern two-thirds of Mustang District of Gandaki Pradesh, Nepal. It consists of three rural municipalities namely Lo Manthang, Dalome, and Baragung Muktichhetra.

    • Mustang is 53 km (33 mi) north-south at its longest, 60 km (37 mi) east-west at its widest, and ranges from a low point of 2,750 m (9,020 ft) on the Kali Gandaki River to 6,700 m at Khamjung Himal, a peak in southeast Mustang.

    • Upper Mustang is an amazing place to explore natural, historical, and religious monuments, natural and geographical diversity. Explore caves, rock formations, paintings, and gompas and learn about the culture of this area. The panoramic view of Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and other beautiful peaks excites you. You will still be surprised to see stunning vistas and the stubborn way it sticks to its unique culture.

    • The Upper Mustang Trek route starts with a scenic flight to Jomsom and treks to reach Kagbeni. The trail rises towards Lo Manthang, Yara, Dhi La Pass, Tangge village, and back to Muktinath, Jomsom, Pokhara, and Kathmandu.

    • The best time to trek Upper Mustang is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). The rainy weather stops, and thick sun-blocking clouds also decline. The clear skies provide the most spectacular vistas with those breathtaking views during those seasons.

    • It is a rare privilege and required a restricted area permit. Restricted Area Permit is USD 500 per person for 10 days (the above price includes 10 days valid trekking permit from Kagbeni to Kagbeni. extra days (USD 50 per day / per person).

    • Upper Mustang Trek is a Restricted Area and you will need to hire a guide to enter this area.

    • You will gain about 300 to 400 meters daily during Upper Mustang Trek.

    • It takes about 15 to 20 days to complete the Upper Mustang Trek.

    • The meal on this trek is somehow comfortable but not as in cities. The menu is a mixture of local foods, and western food almost everywhere but as we will go to high altitude, the menu list will be limited.

    • The Upper Mustang Trek is moderate to hard for trekkers with kids. This trekking is moderate and comfortable above 15 years old teenagers.

    • Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate to hard grade trek. To finish the trek, past hiking experience would be an advantage although no technical experience is necessary. The hiking is usually 4 to 7 hrs a day. 

    • If you are allergic to specific medicines, it is better to consult your doctor and bring your own. The Himalayan Odyssey will facilitate you with medical kits and other safety concerns to avoid altitude sickness and other sicknesses.

    • To accomplish this trek, past hiking experience would be an advantage although no technical skills are necessary. Novice trekkers can do this trek but should be able to walk 5 to 6 hours a day at a fair pace with a light day pack.

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