Upper Mustang Trek

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Duration: 17 Days

Upper Mustang Trek
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Upper Mustang Trek Overview

Upper Mustang Trek is an adventure that entirely embodies the term "exotic", presenting one of the unique trekking experiences on the planet. A relatively lesser-known region of the country, the Upper Mustang is a perfect destination for off-the-beaten-paths trekking in Nepal. The Upper Mustang Trek also provides trekkers with a medley of natural and cultural aspects, unlike other trekking destinations in the country.

The 17 Days Upper Mustang Trek itinerary begins in Kathmandu, the valley that provides unreal diversity and richness in terms of religious and cultural origins. After exploring the city and its most intriguing sites, we head to Pokhara, also known as the ‘City of Lakes’. The trek continues to Kagbeni following a flight to Jomsom. Slowly making way towards Lo-Manthang, you notice the change in vegetation and landscapes with barren yet spectacular settings replacing greenery and lush biomes. Lo-Manthang was the capital of the once-promising kingdom that can be considered as an important repository of Tibetan Buddhism tenor where the ancient practice still flourishes and is devoutly nurtured. The trekking adventure is an exploration of this kingdom as much as it is an exploration of the desert-like terrain shadowed by the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri Himalayas. The Upper Mustang offers cultural observations on arid terrains that are adorned with many historically significant hallmarks. The wind-eroded hillsides of Mustang are naturally sculpted into the most wonderful rock formations in the world and yet the idiosyncratic landscape of the region is shrouded in a religious and traditional ambience. Situated in the rain shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs, the Mustang valley is the embodiment of rich culture and charming landscapes.

Join us for the Inclusive best Upper Mustang Trek Package experience. Our professional team members and staff are always working towards providing our customers with the best trekking experience at all times, and our enthusiasm shines through our devotion to our customer's satisfaction with our services. 


Why do you have to trek Upper Mustang?


Explore the Last Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang.

The Upper Mustang trek takes you to the last forbidden Kingdom of the Annapurna region, Lo Manthang. It is an isolated Tibetan settlement that was founded in 1380 and is the capital ancient city of the Upper Mustang. There is no other settlement like Lo Manthang when it comes to preserving ancient culture and traditions as it still marks itself as a secluded area from modern society. 

Experience the unique Tibetan culture and lifestyle.

As a result of being closer to the Tibetan border, the trek gives you an insight into the unique Tibetan culture and practices. You can observe and experience the ancient traditions first-hand during this trek. 

Visit ancient monasteries and caves. 

Upper Mustang is well known for having several ancient monasteries and caves. During this trek, you get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness and visit the monasteries and caves that have been protected for centuries now. 

 Traverse through mystic villages and diverse landscapes. 

The Upper Mustang trek takes you through the diverse landscape ranging from the dry lowlands to the snowy villages at the high altitude. This probably is the only trek offering such a diverse range of topography and landscape to the visitors.

Start At Kathmandu Airport
End At Kathmandu Airport
Transportation Plane, Private Car and Tourist bus
Trip Grade Moderate

Travellers should be comfortable with somewhat-demanding activities.

Accommodation 3 Star Hotel and Tea house
Tour Type Private

Upper Mustang Trek Highlights

  • Discover the hidden Kingdom of Nepal, Lo Manthang.
  • Explore the diverse topography of the Annapurna region.
  • Visit ancient monasteries, Gompas and Caves.
  • Experience the authentic Tibetan culture and lifestyle.
  • Get majestic views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other mountain ranges.
Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

You will be welcomed at the airport upon your arrival by one of our staff members and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Our airport representative will also explain further details of the program. Overnight at the Hotel.

Things to look out for:

  • Meet and greet at the airport.

Today, we will start our sightseeing tour in the Kathmandu Valley which includes cultural heritage sites such as the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Pashupatinath Temple. The four heritage sites are located within Kathmandu city and hold religious and historical importance in the context of Nepal. The guided tour will include excursing these sites and enjoying the art and architectural beauty of each destination. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Things to look out for:

  •  Stroll around the Kathmandu Durbar Square.

  • Visit Pashupatinath temple.

  • Swyamnbhunath stupa exploration.

Keep in mind:

After your city sightseeing, you'll have a short briefing about the trek with our guide. You can ask questions regarding the trek if you have any confusion during this session.

You will be met by your guide early in the morning for the drive to Pokhara. The drive is long but very scenic and interesting; it gives you fleeting glimpses of the countryside life of Nepal. The road winds through the verdant hills and alongside rivers and terrace farms of rice and wheat. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to a Pokhara hotel for your check-in. In the evening, you can also enjoy boating on the Phewa Lake and you might also wish to photograph Mount Machhapuchhre (6997m) and the Annapurna Range that can be seen from the city. Overnight at the hotel

Things to look out for:

  •  Scenic drive to Pokhara.

  • Diverse landscapes and villages are on the way.

  • Boating on the Phewa lake.

Keep in mind:

The drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara is long but very smooth and enjoyable. You can enjoy the scenic views of hills, rivers, and small settlements on the way during the drive.

Early in the morning, we will fly over the snow-covered peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges to Jomsom. At Jomsom, we will start our Upper Mustang Trek to Kagbeni. This is the main gate to the Upper Mustang, situated at an altitude of 2,800 meters. The village of Kagbeni dates from around the 14th century when it was a check post for traders from Nepal. Overnight at a guesthouse at Kagbeni.

Things to look out for:

  •  Scenic flight to Jomsom.

  • view of snow-peaked mountains during the flight.

Keep in mind:

It is a day filled with exciting elements from the scenic flight to Jomsom to entering Kagbeni which is the gate to the Upper Mustang region.

The trail takes us to the east bank of the Kali Gandaki River. Traversing along several ridges, we will reach the Tangbe village. Beyond Tangbe, we will reach the Chhusang village after about one and a half hours of walking. We continue ahead and leave the Kali Gandaki valley to climb steeply up a rocky gully towards Chele. Overnight at a guesthouse at Chele.

Things to look out for:

  •  Traverse through small villages.

Ascending along the treeless, waterless terrain, we will trek along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to pass a rock cairn at 3540 meters. The trail then makes a long gradual descent to Samar village. The trail continues through another valley field, crosses a stream, and climbs up to a ridge. The route traverses through another pass, follows a ridge, and descends to Syangmochen. From here, we will gently climb to a pass and descend into Gelling Village. Overnight at a guesthouse.

Things to look out for:

  •  The trail through a diverse topography.

  • Traditional villages on the way.

Keep in mind:

As you move to a higher altitude, you can notice the change in the landscape and the walk may get a little more challenging. But make sure to take it slow and enjoy the serene trail.

Leaving the beautiful barley fields in Gelling, we begin our trek to Charang. The trek follows ascents and descents as we make our way through the beautiful barren hills. We reach Ghemi region which boasts incredible Buddhist influence. Passing the longest Mani wall in Mustang, we reach Charang. We can also see blue sheep along the way if we are fortunate enough. Overnight at a guesthouse at Charang.

Things to look out for:

  •  The longest Mani wall on the way.

We begin the trek with short ascends to reach Lo-Gekar. Following a short walk, we reach Ghar Gumba and explore the area. After the short side-trip, we trek to Lo-Mangthang after passing through the Chogo La pass (4280m). Lo-Manthang was the capital of the ancient kingdom and the trade hub between Nepali and Tibetan traders. Overnight at a guesthouse at Lo-Manthang.

Things to look out for:

  •  Ancient Gompas and monasteries on the way.

  • The ancient Kingdom, Lo Manthang.

Keep in mind:

Finally, today you'll make your way to the ancient Kingdom of Lo Manthang. On the way, you can notice several ancient Gompas and monasteries.

Today, we fully explore Lo-Manthang and get insights into the culture, heritage, and history of the area. We hike to Namgyal Gompa which is a monastery and also serves as a local court. This monastery is embellished with great architecture and Buddhist background. We hike further to Thinggar where we get views of the Annapurna range and Nilgiri (7061m). after enjoying the gorgeous view, we return to Lo-Manthang. Overnight at a guesthouse at Lo Manthang.  

Things to look out for:

  •  History and culture of the area.

  • Panoramic view of several ranges of mountains.

  • Ancient monasteries and Gompas.

Keep in mind:

It is an acclimatization or exploration day at Lo Manthang. You can explore several treasures of this ancient kingdom today.

We ascend on today’s trek to a ridge and then climb to Chogo La pass (4280m). We retrace our steps back to Lo-Geker and arrive at Ghar Gompa. We will then climb the ridge, cross a valley. We cross the Gyung Khola and the trail then drops down a steep eroded path to Dhakmar. Overnight at a guesthouse at Dhakmar.

Things to look out for:

  •  Climb Chogo La Pass.

Keep in mind:

The walk today can get a little long and strenuous as you'll be crossing a pass above 4000m.

The trail now descends, passing the stone walls and fields of Dhakmar before climbing to a ridge. It further descends to the lower part of Ghami and then to Jaite, dropping again to Chhung-Kah. From here, we will continue to Tama Gaon and down to Syangmochen. Overnight at a guesthouse at Syangmochen.

Things to look out for:

  •  Continous downhill walk. 

Our long hike now follows a stream down to Chhusang. We begin the trek with a walk to Ghami and continue to descend as we occasionally get views of Annapurna I (8091m) and Nilgiri (7061m). Following the trail through Syanboche and past numerous passes we reach Chhusang. The green barley and potato farms contrast quite amazingly with the colourful arid cliffs that tower the village. Overnight at a guesthouse at Chhusang.

Things to look out for:

  •  Spectacular views of mountains along the trail. 

  • Traditional villages on the way. 

Leaving Chhusang, we follow Nari Khola for a while and continue the walk along Dhingklo Khola. After walking on the path for some time, we reach Gyu La pass (4077m). The pass also offers a terrific panoramic view of the Annapurna (8091m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), and Tukuche Himalayan ranges. Descending along the path leading to Muktinath, we slowly notice thickening human settlements. Overnight at a guesthouse at Muktinath.

Things to look out for:

  •  Panoramic ranges of mountains.

  • Crossing Gyu La pass. 

Our trip begins with a visit to a Hindu pilgrimage site, the Muktinath temple. The temple is also renowned to be a revered Buddhist religious site. The temple f Muktinath has its unique origin story which can be learned on the visit there. After a quick visit, we descend to reach Jomsom. We can rest or explore the areas around the area on the final day of our trek in the Mustang region. Overnight at a guesthouse at Jomsom.

Things to look out for:

  •  Morning visit to Muktinath temple.

  • Exploration around Jomsom.

Keep in mind:

Today, you'll have a morning visit to the sacred pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists, Muktinath temple. It is believed that the place provides humans with salvation for all their past sins. 

Early in the morning, we will take the return flight to Pokhara. Upon your arrival at Pokhara, you can spend exploring this picturesque lakeside city. There are many tourist attractions in the city that you can visit, like the Davis Fall, the Mahendra Cave, and the World Peace Pagoda. Overnight at a hotel.

Things to look out for:

  • Scenic flight to Pokhara.

  • Stroll around Pokhara city.

Keep in mind: 

After you arrive in Pokhara, you'll get to explore around the city as there are many attractions to look forward to. If you feel tired and want to spend the day resting then, you can do so as well.

We will say goodbye to the Annapurna Mountains and have a scenic drive back to Kathmandu. The drive back to Kathmandu will be joyous as the rural setting slowly changes into an urban atmosphere. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you can relax or explore the local marketplaces and shop for souvenirs. Overnight at a hotel

Things to look out for:

  •  Drive to Kathmandu.

  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu.

Keep in mind: 

After your arrival in Kathmandu, you'll have a farewell dinner with our team as it is your last day in Nepal.

Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from our company will bid you farewell after taking you to the International airport.

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Upper Mustang Trek Map
Upper Mustang Trek Includes / Excludes
  • All ground transport in a private vehicle, including airport transfers

  • Three nights accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu

  • Two nights accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara

  • Kathmandu city tours, including tour guide, and private transportation

  • 3 standard meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) during the trek

  • Snacks of seasonal fruits during the trek

  • Best available twin sharing lodge for accommodation during the trek.

  • Air fair for Pokhara to Jomsom to Pokhara

  • Himalayan Recreation’s experienced, government licensed, English speaking trekking guide during the Upper Mustang trip.

  • Porter to carry your baggage (1 Porter = 2 Trekkers)

  • All costs of staff which includes food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment’s and medicines.

  • Pokhara to Kathmandu by Tourist bus and other place Private transports

  • Duffel bag use while trekking, Trekking map, Himalayan Recreation's T-Shirt and trip achievement certificate

  • Required Annapurna Permit fee and TIMS Fee including Upper Mustang Special Permit (500 USD)

  • First aid medicine Kit

  • Farewell dinner with Cultural show in a fine restaurant on second last day.

  • Government taxes & office service charge

  • Meals not specified in the 'Meal Inclusions' in the above itinerary

  • Personal Travel insurance

  • Alcoholic drinks and beverages

  • Personal trekking equipment or expenses

  • Tips for trekking guides, porters and drivers (tipping is expected)

  • Any other expenses that are not mentioned in the 'Price Includes' section.

Before You Go

Best time to Trek Upper Mustang

Weather plays a vital role in determining how your trek will unfold as it is very crucial to choose the right season for your trek to any destination. In the case of Nepal, it is one of the essential factors to determine the trekking destinations. It is possible to trek in Nepal throughout the year, as there are different perks with the distinct beauty of trekking in different seasons. Spring and autumn are the two seasons considered best to trek in Nepal as these seasons offer a lot to the visitors. 

As Upper Mustang Trek is one of the restricted regions of Nepal and is a challenging long trek, it is most secure when trekked in the spring and autumn seasons. These seasons are the most suitable time to enjoy the diverse range of landscape and scenery that the trek offers without much hazard. The spring season offers very delightful weather with clear skies and an average temperature. Similar to the spring season, autumn is another perfect season to trek Upper Mustang. The weather is very clear with moderate temperatures in the autumn as well. It can be trekked in other seasons like winter and monsoon as well, but requires a lot more preparations and can be troublesome at times. 

Food during Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang region is one of the secluded regions of Nepal which is also listed as the restricted region. Thus, the food during the trek is very simple without many options. The menu generally includes traditional village foods that consist of traditional bread, eggs, potatoes, and soup for breakfast while lunch and dinner items include Dal Bhat (lentil soup, rice, and veggies), fried rice, noodles, etc depending on the lodge and destination. Given the remoteness of the region, it is the best you can get. 

Accommodation during Upper Mustang Trek

For the accommodation facilities, During the beginning few days of the trek, you may be able to enjoy the hotel rooms with in-room showers, western-style flush toilets, a Free WIFI connection, and in-room plugs to charge your stuff. But as you ascend to a higher elevation, electricity is scarce and there won't be the availability of Wifi connections, and hot water showers. The rooms in higher elevation come with general facilities like warm Beds and sheets. 

Upper Mustang Trek difficulty

The Upper Mustang Trek falls under the difficult grade trek that is also known as adventure trekking. This grade of trekking is comparatively harder than moderate level trekking and involves walks at a high altitude. Trekkers must be physically fit and have some previous trekking or hiking experience for this level of trekking. The duration of this grade of trek ranges from two weeks to a month-long. It is most suitable for trekkers looking for a challenging and exciting trek of more than two weeks long in a remote part of Nepal.

Permits required for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Unlike other trekking regions of Nepal, there are a few regions that are restricted from trekking independently and require a special permit to enter. Upper Mustang falls among the restricted region of Nepal. There are a total of two permits you need to issue to the trek Upper Mustang which is listed below; 

  • Restricted Area Permit for Upper Mustang

The restricted area permit for the Upper Mustang costs USD 500 per person for 10 days. After 10 days, an additional USD 50 per day is charged. 

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)

The price for an ACAP permit is USD 30 per person. And, there is no change in price with a change in the number of days.

Upper Mustang Trek Equipments

Here we have prepared the list of all necessary trekking gears & equipment for Upper Mustang Trek, Most of the equipment can be purchased easily in Kathmandu. You can either buy or rent the equipment & gear.  Also, don’t forget that it is very important to purchase good quality and reliable clothes and footwear as you will be facing very cold conditions on the trek. Below Here is the packing list for Upper Mustang Trek.

Clothing -Baselayer -Insulation layer -Third layer 

General Trekking gear -Trekking trousers & shirts -Trekking shorts -Waterproof shell jacket & trousers -Underwear 

• Headwear -Hat -Beanie -Neck gaiter 

Handwear & Footwear -Inner Gloves -Outer insulated gloves -Hiking boots -Trekking shoes/sandals -Hiking socks -Warm thermal socks -Gaiters 

Bag & backpackers -Duffel bag -Backpack -Day back -Raincover -Drybag 

Sleeping gear -Sleeping bag -Liner -Earplugs 

Poles & Headgear -Trekking poles -Sunglasses -Headlight 

Important accessories -Water bottle/Hydration bladder -Towel -Pee funnel -Lock -Waterproof bag 

Extra accessories -Camera -Portable charger -Books -Cards -Passport, Money 

Medications & Toiletries: Water purification tablet, Isotonic powder, Diamox, Common Medications, First aid kit, Sunscreen, Baby wipes, Toiletries, Plasters, Oximeter, Hand sanitiser. 

Upper Mustang Trek FAQs

It might come off as unexpected, but one of the best times of the year to trek to Upper Mustang is during monsoon season. It is because Upper Mustang is known as the Himalayan High Alpine desert that lies in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan range. Compared to other parts of the region, it gets very less rainfall even in the Monsoon. Therefore, June to August is the best season for Upper Mustang Trek. Autumn and spring are the other two best seasons to trek to Upper Mustang. You can enjoy the moderate temperature with the clear skies and sights of mountains during these seasons. 

There are two permits you need to issue for the Upper Mustang trek. The first one is the Annapurna conservation area project (ACAP) entry permit which costs $30 per person. After the ACAP permit, you also need to issue the Restricted Area permit as the region is listed as the restricted region of Nepal. The restricted area permit costs $500 per person for the first 10 days and an additional $50 per day after 10 days. 

One of the main reasons why the Upper Mustang is restricted is because of its closeness to the Tibet China border. For border security reasons and to reduce the illegal activities on the border between two countries, the upper mustang is restricted. Another reason can be because of the history and remoteness of the region.

The first point you need to reach is the Upper Mustang trek in Pokhara. You can either catch a flight or bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. From Pokhara, you'll first need to get to Jomsom in Lower Mustang, for which again, you can either book a flight or ride. After arriving at Jomsom, the real trek on foot begins taking you through Kagbeni, Chele, Zhaite, and Charang before reaching Lo Manthang.

The total road distance from Kathmandu to Mustang is 206 km, while the road distance is 422.5 km. You first need to get to Pokhara, which takes 30 min by flight and 7-8 hours on a ride. From Pokhara, it is another 30 min flight or a 7-8 hours ride to Jomsom. It takes a total of 5 days to reach the Upper Mustang from Jomsom on foot. 

The Upper Mustang trek is a moderate-grade trek. Compared to other long treks in the Annapurna region, the trek is relatively not as strenuous, but it is also not as comfortable as the leisurely treks. Anyone in good physical condition with the ability to walk several hours a day can complete the trek. Even better if you have previous trekking or hiking experience.

Along with the proper weather-friendly clothing, there are some gears you should not miss for your Upper Mustang trek. The gears are listed below;

  • Personal medical kit

  • Water purification tablets

  • Power bank

  • Camera

  • Water bottles

  • Multi-purpose soap

  • Face and body moisturizer

  • Sunscreen

  • Trek route map

  • Tissue / toilet roll

  • Anti-bacterial handwash

The word 'Mustang' originally came from the Tibetan word 'Muntan' meaning fertile plain. Mustang is the district located in the Kali Gandaki valley of the Himalayan region of Western Nepal, which is also known as "Land beyond the Himalayas".

No, you compulsorily require a guide to trek to the Upper Mustang as it is a restricted region. It is not prohibited to trek to the Upper mustang without a guide. 

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