• 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15

Upper Mustang Trek

Trip Overview

Upper Mustang is a mysterious place and one of the least known kingdoms to the world. However, Mustang's status of the kingdom has ended in 2008.  After remaining isolated and forbidden to the rest of the world, this area was opened to the outsiders since 1992 A.D. Still, no foreign travelers can directly enter into this area without special permission. This has allowed this area to preserve its distinct Tibetan culture. Still, the majority of the population here speaks the Tibetan language.

Upper Mustang, also known as the rainshadow area, has very less rain which makes its land treeless and is a barren moonscape of eroded sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, which together present a colorful mosaic made of earthen reds, yellows, and browns. Stong winds generally howl across the area in the afternoon but subside at night.

Highlights

  • Walk the rain-shadow zone of Nepal at the time when rest of the trekking trail gets wet with the monsoon.
  • Experience the Tibetan Culture preserved with-in the walled city of Lo - Manthang.
  • Visit the Jhong Caves of Chhoser.
  • Visit the sacred temple of Muktinath

Itinerary


Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu.

Welcome to Kathmandu. You will be received by one of our office representatives at the TIA exit section and escort you to your hotel afterward.

Depending on your arrival time, you will have the chance to stroll around the places nearby your hotel on your own.

  Hotel

Day 02: Permits preparation and trip briefing day.

Today you will have a free day in Kathmandu while your specialist will take time to arrange permits for your trek (you will need to hand over your original passport to Trek Guider's representative after your arrival in Kathmandu in advance for restricted area permits preparation). You will have time to explore around the Kathmandu valley on your own or enjoy the cultural tour with an experienced tour guide arranged by Trek Guiders.

In the evening, you will be met by your specialist in your hotel lobby. S/he will introduce you to your guide for the trek and brief you shortly about your trek, things to do/ not to do, and any optional activities you may enjoy during the trip. You can ask any queries or share feelings with your specialist during the briefing.

  Hotel

  Breakfast

Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Depending on your flight time, you will be picked up by your trek guide in your hotel for flight to Pokhara. Starting driving from your hotel 1.5 hours prior to the flight time, you will need to report the domestic airport at least 1 hour prior to flight time to complete baggage checking and other formalities.

Upon reaching Pokhara, you will be directly transferred to your hotel where you can relax sometime and walk out to explore the Lakeside market and Phewa Lake. Enjoy some boating with your guide who can explain his experience of trekking and his numerous visits in Pokhara and other places. You may learn some Nepali phrases to greet the locals too from him.

  Hotel

  Breakfast

Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2720m). Trek to Kagbeni (2858m)

After an early morning breakfast, drive to Pokhara airport with your guide for your half an hour flight to Jomsom. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang District and is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local residents of the region, known as Thakalis. A company of the Nepalese Army is also stationed here. Jomsom can also be accessed by road which will be around 8 hours drive from Pokhara. Good to choose drive option if you have extra days for your trip.

From Jomsom, you will be walking just around 3.5 hours today to reach Kagbeni. Walking along the windy path of Kali Gandaki River, you will reach a small beautiful village named Ekle Bhatti where you can have some rest with lunch. Continue further for around 1 hour to reach Kagbeni, which is located on the bank of two rivers. Here you can see old houses, Buddhist monasteries, and some Hindu temples too.

 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3050m)

After breakfast, you will start your trek today with special permit checking after which you will enter the Mustang area. From here, the trail follows the east bank of the Kali Gandaki river with great views of Nilgiri and Tukuche mountains. Crossing the series of small ridges on the way, you will be passing by Buddhist monastery, chorten, and white washed houses. 

Crossing the Tangbe and Chhusang village, you will reach a steel bridge over the Kali Gandaki River. Crossing the river, you will need to climb steep up for around 35 minutes to reach the village of Chele.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 06: Trek from Chele to Syanboche (3475m)

Today, your trail will go with a series of large spurs. The first village you will be reached today will be Samar after crossing the Taklam La Pass (3624m). Enjoy the wonderful views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, Nilgiri, and Damodar Danda. After reaching above Samar, the trail goes into the valley filled with trees and come across a stream and moves up to the Bhena La and then eventually drop down to Syanboche which is a small settlement of local people.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 07: Trek from Syangboche to Charang (3500m).

Today is your long walking day for around 7 - 8 hours. After breakfast, you will start your trek with an uphill walk to Yamda La. Passing the Tibetan style villages of Gheling, houses, and Chortens, you will arrive in Nyi La pass (4010m) which is the highest point of your trip. From here, you descend to Ghami and pass series of Mani walls reaching Charang finally.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08: Trek from Charang to Lo-Manthang (3760m)

Today, you will start your trek with an easy climb to the ridge of Lo. Walking ups and down, you will get to see the far sight view of Lo-Manthang Village, which is a former kingdom secured by tall walls against robbers and brutal wind. Upon entering this village, you can relax enjoying the spectacular views or explore the temples and monasteries of the area.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09: Exploration day in Lo-Manthang.

Today, you'll have a full day to relax and explore the Lo-Manthang area. You can spend the day visiting the former King's palace and several monasteries located in this area. Enjoying the panoramic views of the Himalayas, you can meet the villagers, spend some quality time interacting with them and learn about the local lifestyle and Tibetan culture.

If you are willing to explore further, your guide can take you to a village of Garphu, located at the north of Lo-Manthang, to visit an old monastery. You can also take a hike close to the Tibetan border which has more fantastic views of mountains. 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Dhakmar (3810m)

Today, you will need to start walking as early as possible after your breakfast as the trail will be dusty and windy in this area. Instead of retracing the same route back, best to take an alternative route instead of getting back to Charang again. It is an easy walk descending down to Ghar Gompa, which is supposed to be 1200 years old village. The monastery here is rock painted making it quite attractive and it's said that if you make any wish in Ghar Gompa, it would be fulfilled. Give it a try !!

Continue the trip to Dhakmar. After the wind stops in the late afternoon, you can again walk around the village and explore something local.?

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Trek from Dhakmar to Syanboche (3475m)

It is going to be considerably a long walk today while trekking from Dhakmar to Syanboche passing through the Ghiling village. There won't be a lunch place in the middle. So, get a packed lunch from Dhakmar lodge.

There is nothing much to see along the trail as the terrain is entirely similar with past trip days. Best to start walking early today too as the trail will be dusty and windy today too.

 

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Trek from Syanboche to Chhusang (3050m)

After breakfast in Syanboche, you will continue back with the old trail to Chhusang passing by the village of Samar. The views will be much improved than the previous days as the Himalayas will enrich your sight experience again. Today will be the last night in the forbidden former Kingdom area and next day you have a big trip to Muktinath. Hence, upon reaching Chhusang, get plenty of rest or explore the village in the evening.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Trek from Chhusang to Muktinath (3800m)

Today, you will exit the Upper Mustang Restricted Area upon reaching Kagbeni where your guide will need to report to the permit checkpoint about the exit. 

You will then continue towards the trail to Muktinath, which is one of the toughest trails of your trip. This is a steep uphill climb to the pass followed by a descent to reach Muktinath village for the night. Muktinath is known for its cold springs, ancient fossils, and holy shrine—a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. In a temple called Jwala Mai nearby, you can view two tiny blue flames that burn incessantly from a hole that also emits water, believed to be burned by God.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom.

After breakfast at your teahouse, pay a visit to Muktinath Temple, an important place of worship for Nepalese Buddhists and Hindus. You will have the opportunity to visit the main temple and its surrounding area before you hit the trail.

From here, begin your trek back to Jomsom along an easy route that heads straight downhill. While you retrace your steps, you'll be able to enjoy good views of Mount Dhaulagiri. Pass through Jarkot where you can visit one more monastery, and take in the views of snow-capped mountains and ancient caves. Admire the signs of rich Tibetan culture
and keep an eye out for Mustang people who will come out and sell handicrafts to pilgrims.

  Tea House

  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.

Early morning, you will fly back to Pokhara. Upon reaching Pokhara, the day is free to be spent on leisure exploring the market or undertake some adventure activities like Paragliding (time and weather permitting). 

  Hotel

  Breakfast

Day 16: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

Sometimes, the weather in Jomsom won't be favorable to undertake flight to Pokhara. This is for the security and safety of the passengers. In case if you won't get to return back to Pokhara the previous day, today will have a good chance of having a flight without affecting your flight back to Kathmandu. That's the reason why your return to Kathmandu was not placed on the same day before. You will be catching the afternoon flight back to Kathmandu today.

Upon reaching Kathmandu, the day is free for last minute shopping or relaxation.

  Hotel

  Breakfast

Day 17: Final departure

You will be picked up from your hotel 3.5 hours prior to your international flight time by one of our office representatives to escort you to the TIA. Trip concludes !!

Commencing this trip

Starting from Pokhara (200m west to Kathmandu, flight time: 30 minutes/ drive time: 6-7 hrs), you can either take a direct flight to Jomsom or a jeep there, depending on your time, budget, and preference. The trail to the restricted former kingdom of Mustang starts by crossing Kagbeni where you will need to have a document of permission to enter this restricted area and accompanied by a government licensed trekking guide with you. No excuse is provided or entry allowed if the foreign travelers are not fulfilling these criteria. FYI, the restricted area permit cost for the first 10 days will be USD 500.00 (fixed) per person and an additional day will cost USD 50.00 per person per day.

Normally, you will have enough time to explore up to Lo-Manthang and get back to Kagbeni for exit report within ten trekking days unless you opt. to stay few more days longer paying extra cost for extra days permit fees and other logistics. Please note that in case any helicopter evacuation needs to be operated in restricted areas like this, it will take slightly longer time for operation due to all documentation procedures required to enter the flight into the restricted zone.

Best time to do this trip

Upper Mustang welcomes the visitors from March to late December. Being a rain shadow area, this region has very little or almost no rain. Hence, June to September is also the best time to do this trek if you have no choice of travel dates besides summer time in Nepal and no other treks are seemed to be appealing to you due to wet weather. Winter time in Mustang has very harsh weather and most of the locals migrate to either Pokhara or Kathmandu to avoid extreme cold. Hence, it's advised not to think about trekking to Mustang during Winter (January and February to mention).

17 days

Trip at a Glance

  •    Country: Nepal
  •    Trip grade: Moderate
  •    Destination: Mustang Region
  •    Activities: Trekking
  •    Accommodation: Hotel, Tea Houses
  •    Meals: City (B), Trek (B,L,D)
  •    Group size: 2 - 15
  •    Best Season: March - December

Similar Trip

Manaslu Circuit Trek
18 Days 17 Nights
Mustang Tiji Festival Trek
19 Days 18 Nights
Lower Dolpo Trek
18 Days 17 Nights