Upper Mustang Trek is the ultimate journey to one of the most isolated regions of Nepal untouched by any kind of modernization. Nestled in the rain shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna, Upper Mustang will present you arid landscape, surrounded by rocks in all kind of colors and unique formations. Upper Mustang Trekking will take you to the hidden valley, the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang also known as Lo. The region was forbidden to traverse for many years, which also played a prominent role to preserve the distinctive culture and rich traditions of the locals residing here. Today, everything is still the same as it used to be centuries back. People here are also called themselves descendants of Tibet. Moreover, the lifestyle, culture, tradition, practices, beliefs of the locals here are highly influenced by Tibetans. You will find ancient monasteries, gompas, mani walls, and prayer flags throughout the trail.
Mustang region has dry, barren and arid land alike the Tibetan plateaus. The region doesn't have any kind of vegetation except a few plants that grow in the place like this. However, all these features work well together and present spectacular dry scenery.
Imagine high mountains, large colorful meadows, unique rocks with a few plants and scattered stone houses under the bright blue sky. What could be more beautiful than this?
During the Upper Mustang Trek, you will explore many mysterious places and caves. The aridity of this region makes it prone to windy storms in the afternoon. Talking about the difficulty level of Upper Mustang Trekking, it is tagged as the moderate. The trail is not so difficult in term of technical climbing and includes a few steep section & landslide areas, however, you have to walk in a desert-like area where the food and accommodation are quite distinctive. And, all these do make the trail tough. Upper Mustang Trek is perfect for you to taste your endurance and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You will get to witness a completely new lifestyle as well as a new turn to your travel stories. If you have got extra time on your hand then we also recommend you to check our professionally designed Nar Phu Valley Trek as well as Gurung Heritage Trail Trek.
Upper Mustang Trek begins with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the second biggest city of Nepal. From here, you will fly to Jomsom, one of the most beautiful regions of Nepal. The flight will present you stunning views of Himalayas. Jomsom is the starting point of your trek. You will trek to Kagbeni. Spending a night here, you will ascend all the way up to the Lo-Manthang going through several small and fine villages like Chele, Syanbochen, Ghaymi & Charang. You will take a day off in Lo-Manthang. Further, the trail will take you to Ghar Gompa and then to Ghiling. The trail from here onwards will take you back to Jomsom via Chele, and you will fly back to Pokhara.
We, Mountain Rock Treks & Expedition has professionally designed our Upper Mustang Trekking itinerary to let you encounter the best of Upper Mustang region. We assure you that with us you will go back to your home with lifelong memories. For any information regarding Upper Mustang Trek itinerary or Upper Mustang Trek cost, feel free to contact us.
How do we get to Upper Mustang?
Generally, travelers fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and trek from there. The flight will present you gorgeous landscape views along with the deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki. This gorge runs between the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. From Jomsom, you will ascend following the Kali Gandaki River upstream and reach Kagbeni. Here onwards, the restricted area of Upper Mustang begins. Trekking in the north, the trail will take you to the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal, Lo-Manthang in a few days. On the way, you will cross many beautiful villages and several passes. You will visit Ghar Gompa, one of the oldest gompa and significant gompas of this region. Further, you will gradually descend through Ghiling and Chele to reach Jomsom.
Why Upper Mustang is restricted?
Upper Mustang is located between the rain shadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. This is one of the most secluded regions of Nepal extremely rich in tradition, culture, and its outstanding barren landscape. The entire region is still living back in hundreds of years. To protect its raw nature and prominent lifestyle of locals, this region was closed until 1992 for foreign visitors. However, even after that, one needs to get several permits to trek to Upper Mustang. And, not only this, every year only a limited number of foreign visitors are allowed to traverse in this region.
Upper Mustang Trek Permit Cost and how we get a permit?
Upper Mustang region is one of the restricted regions of Nepal. Similarly, many parts of the trekking trails also come inside the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP). Therefore, non-Nepalis are mandatorily required to get the following permit to trek in this region:
Upper Mustang Trek Permit for all foreigners: USD 500 per person for the first 10 days and USD 50 per person per day thereafter.
ACAP entry permit fee for SAARC nationals: 200 NPR
You can get these permits from Nepal Tourism Board Office on Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu, Tel: +977 1 4256909.
*If you are traveling with an agency then they will arrange these for you.
Lo-Manthang is part of Nepal?
Yes, Lo-Manthang is part of Nepal. It is a rural municipality in Mustang district in Gandaki Province. Also, known as the walled city of Upper Mustang, Lo-Manthang is situated in the rain shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. As the region successfully managed to keep Chinese outside its borders over the past century, the entire region has preserved Tibetan culture for years.
What are the major attractions of Upper Mustang Trekking?
There are a lot of things that can be done in Upper Mustang, however here are our top five things that everyone should do while visiting Upper Mustang:
Explore amazing wall and sky caves in Chhusang
Chhusang is a small village located between Tangbe and Chele on the trekking route of Upper Mustang. You will get to see colorful cliffs around the village. Similarly, this place has also got the remnants of cave homes high above on the cliffs and hills.
Walk past the Deepest Gorge
Kali Gandaki is the deepest gorge in the world, and the origin of this gorge is Mustang District. Kali Gandaki River makes this gorge. During the Upper Mustang Trek, you will pass by this gorge while enjoying its unique ambiance and beauty.
Mustang is the most famous place in Nepal for adventurous sports like rock climbing, cycling, horse riding, mountain biking, and jeep safaris. Because of expensive permits, only a handful of travelers visits this region every year making the trail perfect for such outdoor sports activities. Among all mountain biking is the most popular one.
Celebrate Tiji Festival
Tiji festival is the most important festival in Upper Mustang. This festival is highly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. During the festival, you will get to experience their rich cultural dance and art. The festival lasts for three days. If you want to be part of this amazing event then travel in the month of July. Confirm with your travel agency beforehand so that you don't miss the exact date.
Explore Lo Manthang city, and its monasteries
Lo-Manthang is the main attraction of Upper Mustang. Here, you will see the royal palace and ancient monasteries built in the early 15th century. You will get to visit monasteries like Dragkar-Thegchen Ling Monastery, Ngonga Chode, Jampa Gompa, Thupchen Gompa, etc.
One of the restricted zone in nepal, tibetian platinum of nepal, Dry and windly valley in nepal, Lomangthang monstry, they have thier own kingdom, tibetian monastry in each village.
Day 01:Arrival in Kathmandu.
Day 02:Free day in Kathmandu & trek preparation.
Day 03:Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara valley: 7-8 hrs drive
Day 04:Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni, 3-4 hrs walking
Day 05:Kagbeni to chele, 5-6 hrs walk
Day 06:Chele to Syanbochen, 6-7 hrs walk
Day 07:Syanbochen to Ghaymi, 5-6 hrs walk
Day 08:Ghaymi to Charang, 4-5 hrs walk
Day 09:Charang to Lo-Mangthang, 5-6 hrs walk
Day 10:Explore Lo-Mangthang
Day 11:Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gompa, 4-5 hrs walk
Day 12:Ghar Gompa to Ghiling, 5-6 hrs walk
Day 13:Ghiling to Chele, 5-6 hrs walk
Day 14:Chele to Jomsom, 6-7 hrs walk
Day 15:Fly back to Pokhara & Free relax day in Pokhara
Day 16:Drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara (884m)
Day 17:Departure from Kathmandu:
Airport Pick up and drop off service by Private Coach.
2 night's accommodation with breakfast at standard Hotel in Kathmandu.
2 night's accommodation with breakfast at deluxe Hotel in Pokhara.
Three time food in a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while you are on trekking.
Tea House accommodation during the trek.
Bothway Flight ticket from pokhara - jomsom - pokhara.
Professional English speaking trekking guide (trained by Ministry of tourism) his food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipments etc.
Deluxe Tourist Bus Ticket to Pokhara then Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Annapurna conservation permits & TIMS Permits
Tourist service charge, Vat.
One map of Ghorepani mustangTrekking for the group
International airfare and Nepal Visa Fees.
Nepal Travel insurance.
Food in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Travel/Medical insurance and Emergency evacuation cost if needed.
Personal expenses such as phone call, drinks, donation, souvenirs etc.
Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Tips for guide, porter (it is expected).
Day 01Arrival in Kathmandu. Our airport representative will greet you at the Tribhuvan International Airport. A drop to the Hotel by a private tourist is arranged. You can either take a rest or meet us at our office to know about the details of the arrangements. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 02Free day in Kathmandu & trek preparation. You will get the chance to sightsee inside the Kathmandu valley after having breakfast. The city sightseeing tour will lead you through various landmarks consisting of Durbar Square, Syaymbhunath, Bouddha & Pasupathinath, among others. Later, we will brief you about the trek and provide discussion for exciting queries regarding the trek. Breakfast at the hotel.
Day 03Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara valley: 7-8 hrs driveDrive from Kathmandu to Pokhara which is around 7-8 hours with an elevation of 823m (2700 ft). We will drive off on a tourist bus early in the morning. The scenic countryside and famous mountain ranges accompanies us through the journey. Pokhara is renowned for views of mountain peaks in the Annapurna range. Pokhara is also attributed with beautiful lakes like Fewa, Begnas, Rupa and Rara. Overnight stay at a lakeside hotel.
Day 04Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni, 3-4 hrs walkingOn the fourth day, we will fly to Jomsom on an early morning flight. During the 20 minutes flight, the beauty of the 8000ers is sure to delight you. Jomson valley is a major junction for salt trade route and serves as headquarter of Mustang region. Following the trails along the Kali Gandaki River and the trail passes through Ekley-bhatti village, and hour walk from here leads to Kagbeni. Kagbeni holds special importance as it links Kak Khola with Mustang Khola and forms the great Kal Gandaki river. Overnight stay at Kagbeni.
Day 05Kagbeni to chele, 5-6 hrs walkThe next day is from Kagbeni to Chele which takes around 5 to 6 hours of walking. We need to show the permit to move upwards along the Kaligandaki. The trails are windy and sandy, but provide opportunities to view absolute aesthetic sceneries. The uphill and downhill trail will lead us to Tangbe village. The village landscape features white washed houses, narrow alleys, orchards of apple and fields of wheat and barley. Moving on, we reach to Chhusang, and cross the river. We then see a huge conglomerate tunnel through which Kaligandaki flows. Our day ends with arriving at Chele village after passing small ridges.
Day 06Chele to Syanbochen, 6-7 hrs walkAfter a short walk, the trail reaches Eklo Bhatti and ascends to Taklam La Pass (3624m). During the climb, views of Tilicho Peak, Damodar Danda and Yakawa Kang accompany us. The village of Samar lies a little downhill along the way. The trail passes through juniper forests, and the famous Ramchung Cave to reach Syanbochen after about three hours. Overnight stay in a lodge.
Day 07Syanbochen to Ghaymi, 5-6 hrs walkWe climb through a few teahouses and chortens and along local villages to the Yamda La pass (3850m). Houses along the way are built in the Tibetan architecture. Passing through Poplar trees and barley fields along the way, the trail leads to Nyi Pass (4010m) where climbing becomes quite strenuous. Down the pass, Ghaymi village is the third largest in Lo region, our stay for the night.
Day 08Ghaymi to Charang, 4-5 hrs walkAfter a pleasant walk, we cross the Ghaymi Khola and climb to a plateau embellished with a long Mani wall. We follow this wall made by Buddhist followers to head east to Charang, a village with maize fields and stone walls separating houses. Overnight stay at a teahouse.
Day 09Charang to Lo-Mangthang, 5-6 hrs walkDropping to the Charang Chu Canyon, the trail then takes a steep climb which becomes gentler towards the Lo pass (3850m) where views of Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Bhrikuti and Tilicho peak are magnificent. The valley of Lo-Mangthang looks outstanding from here with hills towards the Tibetan end. Overnight stay at a lodge.
Day 10Explore Lo-Mangthang We spend this leisure day exploring Gombas and viewpoints in the periphery. Namgyal Gompa, a notable monastery that also functions as a local court, is situated atop a hill. The village of Tingkhar lies northwest and is the last major settlement. the Tall Champa Lakhang "God house" the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, the Raja’s four storey palace, the Entrance Hall and Champa Lakhang are other attractions of this town.
Day 11Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gompa, 4-5 hrs walkToday, we take an early walk from Lo-Mangthang as the route is mostly dusty with the afternoon wind. The Ghar Gompa is more than 1200 years old and is famous for its rock paintings. The presence of Guru Rinpoche along with legends that wishes made here come true also make this place well known.
Day 12Ghar Gompa to Ghiling, 5-6 hrs walkAgain, we take an early hike to Ghiling as afternoon are windy and dusty. After lunch, you can rest and explore the area towards the evening when the wind gets low. Overnight stay at Ghiling.
Day 13Ghiling to Chele, 5-6 hrs walkThe trail back to Chele is a pleasant one with wonderful views of the snow peaks passing along small hills and villages. Overnight stay in a teahouse.
Day 14Chele to Jomsom, 6-7 hrs walkEarly in the morning we start our walk to Kagbeni where we stop for lunch. Further on, we join the Annapurna circuit trek trail to reach Jomsom. Muktinath, a popular pilgrimage destination of the Hindus is close by where you can visit if you have a day to spare. Overnight stay at a lodge.
Day 15Fly back to Pokhara & Free relax day in Pokhara The early morning flight back to Jomsom is a scenic one and passes between the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri. Check in on a lakeside hotel upon arrival in Pokhara. The day can be spend either resting or exploring and taking part in some activities in the beautiful city of Pokhara.
Day 16Drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara (884m) A 5/6 hours bus ride from Pokhara gets us to Kathmandu. The end of the journey is celebrated with a farewell dinner. You can spend your time strolling around Thamel or getting some souvenirs for your loved ones. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Day 17Departure from Kathmandu:Departure from Kathmandu. A drop from the hotel to the airport 3 hours before the scheduled time of flight is arranged in a private tourist vehicle.