Upper Mustang Trek - 17 Days

Trekking, Hiking, Sightseeing, Pony Ride, Cultural Insight, Food and Cuisine, Photography Tour, Meditation Tour, Pilgrimage, Festival Celebration, Conservation Area Exploration, High altitude desert experience, and many more
Country
Region
Activity
Group size
1
Duration
17 Days Days
Mode
Tea-House/Lodge
Max-Altitude
3,840m/12,600ft
Daily Walking
5-6hrs
Grade
3
Culture
Tibetan-Influence Culture
Best season
Summer, Autumn and Spring
Best season
Summer, Autumn and Spring

In one of the least developed and most remote regions in Nepal, the Upper Mustang trek offers a great opportunity to explore the unique culture, lifestyle and traditions of the local population, bringing you into the hidden world of the Buddhist Kingdom. It was a restricted location until 1991, after which the government opened it for tourists. Ancient architecture has been well preserved in the area, with monasteries, caves and the spectacular palace of the ancient king being highlights of the trek. The region offers the opportunity to see the culture and lifestyle of different tribes in Nepal. It attracts ordinary people who are looking for an exciting trek in the region, as well as archaeologists, geologists and anthropologists who wish to take in the distinct geographical and cultural features. 

1. Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)

  • Meals:Lunch / Dinner
  • Transportation:Private Vehicle
  • Accommodation:Hotel

  • Kathmandu
  • Tribhuwan International Airport
  • Thamel

Highlights:

  • Tribhuwan International Airport
  • Evening Walk at Thamel

2. Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

  • Duration:Half Day
  • Meals:Lunch , Dinner , Breakfast
  • Transportation:Private Vehicle
  • Accommodation:Hotel

  • Thamel
  • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Boudhanath
  • Pashupatinath

Highlights:

  • Sightseeing at Kathmandu
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Introduction with group members and trekking crew
  • Equipment checking and briefing about the trek

3. Kathmandu to Pokhara(823m/2,700ft)

  • Duration:5-6hrs (200Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
  • Transportation:Private Vehicle
  • Accommodation:Lodge/Hotel

  • Kathmandu
  • Muglin
  • Pokhara

Highlights:

  • Scenic Drive
  • Trishuli and Marshyangdi River
  • Small Settlements
  • Unique Lifestyle
  • Hills
  • Fishtail Mountain

4. Fly to Jomsom(2,720m/8,925ft) and Trek to Kagbeni(2,800m/9,186ft)

  • Duration:25mins flight and 3hrs Walk(7-8Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
  • Transportation:Domestic Flight
  • Accommodation:Lodge/Hotel
  • Ascend:80m/262ft

  • Pokhara
  • Jomsom
  • Ekle Bhatti
  • Kagbeni

Highlights:

  • Scenic Flight
  • Snow-Capped Mountain
  • Lofty Massif of above 8,000m
  • Kali Gandaki River
  • Clustered Village
  • Ancient Monasteries
  • Thakali Culture
  • Salt Trade Route  

5. Kagbeni – Chele (3,100m/10,170ft)

  • Duration:5-6hrs(9-10Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:300m/984ft

  • Kagbeni
  • Tangbe
  • Chusang
  • Chele

Highlights:

  • Tibetan Culture
  • Complex Trails
  • Whitewashed Settlements
  • Cultivations
  • Apple Orchards
  • Nilgiri Mountains
  • Kali Gandaki River Bank

6. Chele – Syanboche (3,800m/12,464ft)

  • Duration:6-7hrs(8-9Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:700m/2,300ft

  • Chele
  • Taklam la Pass(3,624m/11,888ft)
  • Dajong La Pass(3,660m/12,005ft)
  • Samar
  • Bhena La Pass(3,830m/12,563ft)
  • Syanboche

Highlights:

  • Steep Ascend Westwards
  • Deep Crayon
  • Gorge
  • Rocky Trail
  • Steep Descend on some section
  • Red Painted Cave Monastery or the Rangchyung Chorten, believed to have hosted the famed Buddhist saints Padmasambhava and Atisha centuries ago
  • Forests and gouges with a high vertical wall

7. Syanbochen – Ghyami (3,520m/11,546ft)

  • Duration:5-6hrs(8-9Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:220m/725ft
  • Descend:500m/1,640ft

  • Syanbochen
  • Tamagaon
  • Chhungar
  • Jhaite
  • Nyi La Pass(4,020m/13,190ft)
  • Ghami La Pass(3,765m/12,350ft)
  • Ghyami

Highlights:

  • Cross one of the three passes – the Yanda La Pass
  • Distinctive Chortens painted with Buddhism’s auspicious symbols
  • Gompas
  • Sparsely Settled Village
  • Terraced Valley
  • Nyi La Pass
  • Ghami La Pass
  • Deserted Landscapes
  • Hills
  • Ghaymi village – the third largest settlement in the Mustang valley

8. Ghyami – Charang (3,560m/11,680ft)

  • Duration:4hrs(5Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:350m/1,150ft
  • Descend:310m/1,020ft

  • Ghyami
  • Chinggel(Tsarang, Choya)La Pass(3,870m/12,695ft)
  • Charang(Sarang)

Highlights:

  • Visit to Mustang’s longest Mani wall adorned with the carvings accompanied by the group of Chortens that mark the end of the valley

9. Charang to Lo-Mangthang (3,840m/12,600ft )

  • Duration:5-6hrs(7-8Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:390m/1,280ft
  • Descend:110m/362ft

  • Charang
  • Sungda La Chorten
  • Lo(Day) La Pass(3,950m/12,957ft)
  • Lo Mangthag

Highlights:

  • Famous Settlement of LoMangthang
  • Caharang Chu Canyon
  • Climb Steeply after Crossing River
  • Palace and Gompas
  • Barren Land
  • Ancient Fortress and Monasteries
  • Windy Pass
  • Small Bridge  

10. Explore Lo-Mangthang

  • Duration:Whole Day
  • Meals:Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel

  • Places nearby Lo-Mangthang

Highlights:

  • Rich Culture
  • Sound Architecture Settlement
  • Well Preserved Legacy since the 14th Century
  • Walled City
  • Four Major Ancient Shrines
  • Brick-Red Jampa Lhakhang – the oldest Gompas
  • 50 Foot Large Clay Statue of Lord Buddha
  • 15th Century Old Thubchen Gompa and Choprang Gompa
  • Royal Palace of the Mustangi King
  • The Tall Champa Lakhang
  • Red Thugchen Gompa and Entrance Hall
  • Cave Village of Chosar
  • Deep Red Nyhu Gompa
  • Ancient Cave-Dwelling Sire of Jhong Cave
  • White-washed Villages
  • Old Fortress
  • Ruins of Ancient Palaces and Monuments
  • Teje Festival (End of March)

11. Lo-Mangthang to Dhakmar(3,810m/12,500ft)

  • Duration:5-6hrs(9-10Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:390m/1,280ft
  • Descend:410m/1,345ft

  • Lo-Mangthang
  • Marang Chongo La Pass(4,230m/13,875ft)
  • Ghar Gumba
  • Muila Bhanjyang(4,170m/13,680ft)
  • Drakmar
     

Highlights:

  • Forbidden City
  • Uphill Climb
  • Downhill to the Settlement of Drakmar
  • Ghar Gumba – Pure Virtue of Lo Nyingma Sect Scriptures of Padmashamva
  • Beautiful Rock Paintings
  • Myth(Local People Believe that the prayer in this shrine is surely heard)

12. Dhakmar – Ghiling (3,570m/11,710ft)

  • Duration:5-6hrs(8-9Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:200m/656ft
  • Descend:450m/1,476ft

  • Dhakmar
  • Ghami
  • Ghami(Ghemi) La Pass(3,765m/12,350)
  • Nyi La Pass(4,020m/13,190ft)
  • Ghiling

Highlights:

  • Expedition
  • Villages
  • Impressive Old and Ancient Chortens and Monasteries
  • Gorgeous Landscapes

13. Ghiling – Chele (3,100m/10,170ft)

  • Duration:6hrs(10-11Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Ascend:260m/853ft
  • Descend:740m/2,428ft

  • Ghiling
  • Bhena La Pass(3,830m/12,563ft)
  • Samar
  • Dajong La Pass(3,660m/12,005ft)
  • Taklam la Pass(3,624m/11,888ft)
  • Chele

Highlights:

  • Unique and Desert-Like Landscapes Decorated by Cultural Legacies and Glorious Mountain
  • Breathtaking views of the Himalayas
  • Scenic Diversity
  • Interaction with the locals

14. Chele – Jomsom(2,700m/8,856ft)

  • Duration:7hrs(13-14Km)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Descend:400m/1,315ft

  • Chele
  • Tangbe
  • Kagbeni
  • Ekle Bhatti
  • Jomsom

Highlights:

  • Strenuous Physical Walking
  • Reach the Settlement in Kagbeni(Special Permit Exit Point)
  • Mark the end of the Upper Mustang Trail and Join Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trail
  • Historical Essence
  • Exotic Arts and Sculpture which is renowned as Bamfu Culture
  • Pony Ride

15. Fly back to Pokhara and Explore

  • Duration:25mins Flight
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transportation:Domestic Flight
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Descend:1,877m/6,157ft

  • Jomsom
  • Pokhara

Highlights:

  • Scenic Flight
  • Lake City
  • Hotspot for Adventurous Activities and Gateway for Several Trekking Expeditions in and around Annapurna

16. Pokhara to Kathmandu

  • Duration:200Km (5-6hrs)
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transportation:Private Vehicle
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Descend:710m/2,329ft

  • Pokhara
  • Malekhu
  • Dhading
  • Kathmandu

Highlights:

  • Scenic Drive
  • Farewell Dinner in the evening

17. Departure Day

COST INCLUDES

  • Airport pickup and drop service
  • 4 nights Hotel in Kathmandu(Hotel Horizon Kathmandu)
  • All lodging and foods during the trek (B, L, D included)
  • Transportation costs: Drive or take a domestic flight in (Kathmandu-Pokhara- Kathmandu) route as per itinerary
  • Also another flight or drive in (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara) route as per itinerary
  • Professionally trained and highly experienced English speaking trekking guide, assistant trekking guide and a porter (1 porter for 2 trekkers with a max load of 30kg) along with their salary, lodging, foods and insurance
  • Trekking permits: Upper Mustang Special Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area(ACAP) fees
  • First aid medical box
  • All required trekking gears like Sleeping bags and Down jacket made available on rent
  • 13% VAT and 10% service charge

COST EXCLUDE

  • Visa fee to enter Nepal (Visa Information)
  • International flight tickets and extra baggage charges
  • Extra night accommodation and meal costs in Kathmandu due to any change in the scheduled itinerary
  •  Travel insurance/ Rescue operation costs
  • All personal expenses
  • Tip for guides and porters is expected but not mandatory

Photo Gallery here
Video Gallery here

“Namaste” is the common form of greeting in Nepal which is often spoken as Namaskar. It is a traditional Hindu greeting and it is used both for salutation and valediction. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest.

While you are on Upper Mustang Trek, you can get access to electricity or solar energy for charging your electronic devices at lodges and tea-houses but you might only get access to the two-pin adapter so you should bring conversion plug or another converter if your device is not suitable with two-pin plug.

Yes, you can certainly get access to WiFi in lodges and also mobile data during Upper Mustang Trek for the Internet and to communicate with your friends and family.

The trekking trails of Upper Mustang Trek is mostly less crowded during the off-season but during the trekking seasons, the trails get flooded with the number of tourists which result in making the trails busy. But since they are all trekkers, it would be fun joining along your trek and it won’t affect your trekking experience at all because of the pace of each trekker/groups.

 

Well, the tip for guide and other trekking staffs like porters and drivers is not mandatory but since they contribute their time apart from family to make you enjoy the best of your trip ensuring your safety and satisfaction, we recommend you to contribute some amount of tip for them. In Nepal, it is practiced that 10% of the total amount you pay for your trek and tour is contributed as a tip.

ATMs and credit cards are accessible only on the major cities of Nepal, so during your Upper Mustang Trek, you can use ATMs and credit cards only while you are on Kathmandu or Pokhara.

There is a possibility of getting altitude sickness during Upper Mustang Trek but with proper acclimatization and health care as well as the guidance from trekking staffs, you shouldn’t face the trouble of altitude sickness.

The herbs and vegetations preserved at Annapurna Conservation Area are Silver firs, Birch, Rhododendron and Juniper trees whereas the wildlife inhabitant at Annapurna Conservation are Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Ghoral, Serow, Wolf, and even the Himalayan Black Bear and if you are very lucky you can also spot snow Leopard, Red Panda, two varieties of dazzling Pheasants – the Crimson-horned and the Impeyan Pheasants(national bird of Nepal), Marmots, Pikas, and Marten as well.

The Annapurna Region lies at the border of Nepal and Tibet and is highly influenced by the lifestyle and culture of Tibetan people. There are mostly Sherpa people, who are often considered as “the born Mountaineers”, as well as Gurung, Magar, and other ethnicities like Tamang, Brahmin and Kshetris etc and almost everyone in this region practices Buddhism which is the reason you can see Monasteries, Chortens, Prayer flags, Prayer wheels, Mani walls and Mani Stones abundantly along the trails. In a nutshell, there is a mixed culture in the Annapurna Region of Nepal.

Yes, you will need a special permit for Upper Mustang Trek because it is a restricted area and also because of its existence within the Annapurna Conservation Area, you would need to request for Upper Mustang Special Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS).

Of course, since Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most accessible treks and very popular among the trekkers, one can go for solo trekking without any worries. Because the people in there are very friendly and co-operative and you can also meet other trekkers along the way so that there won’t be any risk for solo trekkers or solo female trekkers to go for Upper Mustang Trek. Furthermore, our trekking staffs (guides) are highly experienced and dedicated to their job, so our company will be fully responsible for that note.

Yes, of course, with Nepal Mountain Trekkers you can customize/personalize the trek itinerary and services to be provided according to your requirements.

Yes, it is possible to get hot showers during Upper Mustang Trek on the lodges you would be staying overnight or during acclimatization.

Well, it is not compulsory to be insured but as we already know “Prevention is better than cure”. If you are insured then you can have a relaxed trip without worries and enjoy with a free mind.

Since the trail of this trekking is mostly rural, the drinking water available during this trek would be tap water, well water or hand pumps and should be purified prior to drinking them. Hence, you should buy bottle waters or should have a water purifying pills or any other equipment to ensure drinking safe water.

It is necessary to take a highly experienced and licensed guide to instruct you and help you explore the best of this trek as well as to take care of you during the trek. If you go trekking without a guide then you won't get to know the things you ought to explore as well as there might arise several problems on the trail. On the other hand, to enhance the comfort of trekking, you might need porters to carry your loads. 

Nepal Mountain Trekkers is a travel agency formed with the involvement of highly experienced and professional trekkers with an experience of more than two decades in trekking in the Himalayas. Moreover, we do have staffs from all the special parts of the country to provide you with the proper and adequate information and make you enjoy the best of your trip. In our years of experience, none of our clients had any complaint or dissatisfaction from our company and till now all our previous clients highly recommend our team to their friends and family which is the reason behind our dedication and diligence. Once you trek with our team, you will surely think of visiting Nepal time and again with us as our other clients.

During Upper Mustang Trek, you would be staying overnight at tea-houses or lodges and you will be served with traditional Nepali dishes like Dal-Bhat.

In the case of emergency, our highly experienced and determined trekking staffs and guides who are the inhabitants of this region and are professional in these fields would guide you with the best instruction according to the situation. They are well aware of every kind of risks and the solutions and they would be in touch with the company along with your trekking session, so there is no reason to worry about, just enjoy the trek.

Though Upper Mustang Trek could be embarked anytime around the year since it is fertile and rain-shadow area which doesn't receive much rainfall even during monsoon, the best time to go for Upper Mustang Trek would be autumn or spring because the weather would be clear and the sceneries are vivid under the clear blue sky and lush greenery everywhere. Moreover, the blooming of rhododendron forest and other herbs and vegetations would be the major attraction of being there during autumn and spring as well it will reduce the risk of natural calamities and blockades from snowfalls; though not in Mustang but maybe on the trail up to there.

The earthquake of 2015 had an adverse effect on the trekking trails and the local inhabitants back then but now after the patience and positive attitude of the people along with their effort and collaboration from several donors, the trails are totally recovered and fine for trekking again. Though the lifestyle of people is somehow still lagged behind in some reasons because of trekkers and their contributions, they’ve got a light of hope that they will rise again.

Upper Mustang Trek is available in both adventurous as well as moderate difficulty according to the requirement of the clients. However, you must be physically sound enough and could be able to walk moderately about 5-6 hours each day during the trek.

Upper Mustang Trek is an off-the-beaten-path adventure that offers a wonderful chance to explore the unique lifestyle, culture and tradition of local inhabitants (referred to as highlanders); along with awesome views and spectacular landscapes. The Upper Mustang region is close to Tibet and there are many cultural and geographical similarities between the local Mustangi people and their Tibetan neighbours. The major highlight of this trip includes Lo-Manthang and the surrounding areas and gives a powerful insight into this isolated, picturesque and enthralling region of Nepal. 

Generally, Upper Mustang Trek is 14-17 days long but you can customize/personalize the trekking days and the itinerary according to your requirement with Nepal Mountain Trekkers.

Reviews
Thomas S
Thomas S
Source:Trip Advisor

We did a 10 day trek in the Upper Mustang area of Nepal through Nepal Mountain Trekkers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our guide, Min, was excellent, really friendly with very good English. The organisation pre-trek was very smooth and we had an unusually tight schedule which Ramesh, the owner of the company, went out of his way to accommodate. We would definitely recommend using the company as they charge competitive rates but also really care that you have the experience you want and can personalise arrangements when necessary.

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