Upper Mustang Trek

based on 23 reviews
Trip Information
  • Trip Duration 17 Days
  • Trip Grade Moderate
  • Destination Nepal
  • Max. Altitude 4320m
  • Start/End Kathmandu/Kathmandu
  • Trip Type Trekking and Tour
  • Accommodation Lodge Trek(Tea House)
  • Transport Car + Flight
  • Best Season Sep-Nov and Feb-May

Upper Mustang Trek 17 Days Itinerary, Map, and Cost 2022/2023

Though Nepal abolished monarchy and followed the Republican State system Upper Mustang Region of Nepal is still known as forbidden kingdom even if the area is now open for all the people of the world to visit with special passes. Dance with the vibrant prayer music and feel momentous jubilation during colorful festival of Tiji. Socio cultural experience like Polyandry system which is about a single girl being wife of all brothers in the family too can become unusual experience for the foreigners to study. Have a wonderful Himalayan holiday during Upper Mustang Trekking with us.

The journey of Upper Mustang is as majestic as the splendid scenery that trekkers can savor in such a trans-Himalayan mountainous region having Tibetan origin culture. Himalayan barren land of Kaligandaki civilization is located in the south of Kagbeni. Various ancient gompas, caves and tribes including quintessential Himalayan scenery are definitely a photographer’s paradise. National Geography channel too has made documentary of Upper Mustang. It has featured world’s deepest gorge the Kaligandaki gorge, mysterious caves on hills, Tiji Festival and Polyandry system. Other interesting fact to excavate during this trekking holiday is the walled ancient city of Lo Manthang. The place is close to Tibet border than mainland of Nepal. Therefore, dialect is unique as well as the traditions. The flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and then trekking starts along the banks of Kaligandaki River. Various tranquil and some abandoned villages are witness of your Himalayan walking holiday. Stroll around Lo Manthang area and travel as far as Tibetan border during your Upper Mustang Trip. If you want to have more adventure then you can trek past the Thorongla Pass as well by meeting the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route once you have arrived in Kagbeni. The roaming around the Muktinath Temple too is bonus activity to do during this trekking in Nepal.

Book the Upper Mustang Trekking package with us and witness the unique world within Nepal. You will be amazed to very primitive cultural practices, mysterious caves, spiritual monasteries and deepest gorges together with stunning mountain vistas. 

Major Highlights

  • Tiji Festival, Yartung Festival, and Horse racing
  • The Last Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang
  • The ancient wall city of Lo-Manthang
  • Ancient Buddhist monasteries, caves, and palaces
  • Holy Damodar Kunda and pilgrimage site of Muktinath Temple
  • Breathe the spirituality of the Tibetan like people and monks 
Itinerary
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Welcome by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Briefs about the trip. Meet with guide. Overnight at 3 star hotel (Thamel Eco Resort or The address Kathmandu Hotel)

  • Accommodation:Hotel

In the morning after breakfast, we introduced your trek guide / leader. It will provide an opportunity to know your guide/leader and can ask questions about treks. After discussing with trek guide/leader, we start sightseeing tour. We provide private vehicle and guide for city sightseeing tour. We visit Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, patan durbar squire and Pashupatinath Temple. Rest of our time is for shopping in near your hotel. Overnight at 3 star hotel (Thamel Eco Resort or The address Kathmandu Hotel)

  • Accommodation:Hotel

If we fly from Kathmandu, your guide will come at hotel for transfer Pokhara. It will take 25 min by domestic airlines. If we go by drive it will take 7 hrs by tourist bus. Overnight at 3 star hotel (Hotel City INN or Mount view Pokhara)

  • Max. Altitude: 827m
  • Day tour time:5-6 hrs
  • Accommodation:Hotel

After taking breakfast, transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom of 20 minutes over the mountains with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. Jomsom is also major village on the KaliGandki area linking the age old trans-Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards it is very windy in the afternoon, continue on the path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for 3 hours and finally reached Ekle Bhatti village . In Kagbeni a major tributary , Kak Khola coming from Muktinath , meets Mustang Khola from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki . Overnight in Kagbeni at tea house lodge.

  • Max. Altitude: 2810 m
  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

After doing the formalities of showing your restricted area trekking permit in Kagbeni we start our trekking because in Mustang there is heavy wind which gets up later in the day, blowing dust and sand around.The climb from Kagbeni to Chele passes through beautiful village of Tangbe, which offers white washed traditional houses and fields of barley, buckwheats and apple orchards. On the way we enjoy good views of Nilgiri mountain .Passing several ridges we cross a stream after Chhusang village, leave the Kaligandaki valley behind and climb further to the village of Chele. From Chele we start observing the typical Tibetan settlements of Upper Mustang .Overnight in Chele at tea house lodge.

  • Max. Altitude: 3050 m
  • Day tour time:6 hrs
  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

From Chele (spelled as Tsele also), morning walk begins with a climb to Gyakar village, and from here trek around dry and barren landscapes to reach at Samar village, one of the lovely looking villages of Mustang area. After Samar village with short stops walk to Bhena and then leading with a steep climb to a ridge top of Yamda La pass at 3,860 meters high, offering grand vista of Mustang area with high mountains of Mt. Dhaulagiri. From here on down-hill to overnight stop at Geling village via Syangboche village.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,540 m
  • Day tour time:5 hrs

We see the Mustang’s longest Mani wall(1000m) long and decorated with simple in well with the surrounding scenery outside the Ghemi. There is also a group of chortens standing in front of the red wall which forms the end of the valley. The architecture here is like a carvings, blending organic extension of nature. According to legend when the famous Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) came to the area and fought and destroyed a demon, its intestines landed at the site where the Mani wall stands, its lungs near the red cliffs behind and its heart at the spot where Mustang’s oldest monastery, Lo Gekar, was built. A steady climb takes us up a 3820m pass, after which a lunar-looking desert stretches to the horizon. The first indication of human presence we see next is the Tsarangchorten – the large red-painted Stupa is in the middle of the landscape and further down the monastery and the palace of Tsarang can be distinguished in the fields. A broad road leads to Tsarang, Mustang’s second town. Overnight in Tsarang at tea house lodge.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,560 m
  • Day tour time:6 hrs
  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

After taking breakfast, trekking begins on flat terrain and the view, apart from a chorten and a few caves, is unrelieved barrenness. After crossing a pass and waking through two rocks forming a natural gate we have finally arrived at Lo Manthang. Overnight in Lo Mangtang at tea house lodge.

  • Max. Altitude: 3800 m
  • Day tour time:4 hrs
  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

After taking breakfast, we explore the surrounding areas, visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa situated on a hill top serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa , continue to the Tingkhar, the last main village of northwest of Lo- Mangthang and back to hotel. Overnight in Lo- Mangthang at tea house lodge.

  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

After an interesting time in Lo-Manthang morning walk starts on the same route back to Marang village, and then walk west using an old path to Dhakmar village for overnight stop.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,810 m
  • Day tour time:6 hrs

We continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, we walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami at tea house lodge.

  • Max. Altitude: 3060m
  • Day tour time:6hrs
  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

Slowly this fascinating walk comes to an end after a short climb to Syangboche village, and to Yamda La with grand views, then downhill to Bhena and Samar villages. Walk leads by a stream passing Gyakar and Chele villages and finally ending this nice walk at Tsusang village.

  • Max. Altitude: 2,980 m
  • Day tour time:6 hrs

Morning walk back on same trail to Kagbeni village after an interesting and exciting time around Upper Mustang, a nice and pleasant walk brings reaches at Kagbeni village before concluding the walk at Jomsom.

  • Max. Altitude: 2,830 m
  • Day tour time:5 hrs

It's a final day, passing back through beautiful village Jharkot and views of Kagbeni to Jomsom where we end our trek. It's now time for us to take a nice hot shower. In the evening, you celebrate with your guide and Sherpa and exchange your good experiences what you had on the trekking. Or you can visit Marpha village (near Jomsom), where you can see apple orchids. Overnight in Jomsom at tea house lodge.

  • Max. Altitude: 2,715 m
  • Day tour time:4 hrs
  • Accommodation:Tea House Lodge

We take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara and rest of the day relax in Pokhara .This day you be free or if you want you may do Pokhara valley sightseeing in Pokhara – Overnight at 3 star hotel (Hotel City INN or Mount view Pokhara)

  • Accommodation:Hotel

After a marvelous time on high mountains and hills of Mustang and Annapurna Himal, morning depart Pokhara after breakfast with overland drive back to Kathmandu. (Flying options 30 mins by air to Kathmandu)

    Our Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal comes to an end today! A representative from Welcome Nepal Treks  will take us to the airport approximately three hours before the scheduled flight. 

      Trip Map
      Upper Mustang Trek map
      What's Included
      • Airport pick up drop by private tourist vehicles by car
      • Ground transportation by private car/flight  from Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu
      • Domestic flights (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara) and airport departure taxes
      • Full board meal 3 times a day during the trekking (Breakfast, Lunch & diner)
      • Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara as per the itinerary with breakfast
      • Comfortable private vehicle as per itinerary
      • Professional tour guide on day trip in Kathmandu.
      • Monuments entrance fees in Kathmandu city tour
      • Government licensed English speaking Guide and Porters to carry your luggage during the trek (1 porter Between 2 Person basis), their food,     accommodation, salary, insurance, equipments, and medicine.
      • Travel & Rescue arrangement.
      • Upper Mustang special Permits
      • Annapurna Conversation Area Project (ACAP) permits.
      • Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card fees.
      • First aid medical kit.
      • Duffle bag, down jacket, sleeping bag and walking pole if necessary.
      • Farewell dinner in typical Nepali Restaurant with cultural dance show
      • All our government taxes, vat, official expenses & service charges
      What's not Included
      • International Flight, Airport tax and Nepal Visa fee
      • Major meals in Cities (Kathmandu and Pokhara)
      • All personal expenses such as bar bills, water, tea / coffee, snacks, shower, battery re-charge laundry charge etc.
      • Personal clothing and gears, sleeping bag and Down jacket for trek
      • Tipping (expected by guides and porters, but not mandatory)
      • Cost raised by flight cancelation, emergency rescue charges, landslide, weather, political unrest, illness, re-routing etc which are not under our control
      Useful Information

      Alternative Packages of Upper Mustang trek

      We have many Upper Mustang trek packages that you can check here. You can also tailor-made upper Mustang trek itinerary with us. We have opened the booking for Upper Mustang trek 2022 autumn along with advance booking for Upper Mustang trek 2023/2024. For more information about advance booking, you can talk to our travel consultant

      These are some other restricted area trekking packages in Nepal- Manaslu circuit trek, Kanchenjunga circuit trek, Makalu base camp trek, and Upper Dolpo trek. These trekking packages are very strenuous and only recommended for experienced trekkers. 

      Upper Mustang trek difficulty

      Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate trek, however the remoteness of the region makes the journey strenuous. During the trek, you will walk 6 to 7 hours a day, crossing several passes. There will be many landslide-prone areas and steep & rocky paths. Following off beaten tracks, you walk through meadows and gorges. You have to be physically and mentally strong to join Upper Mustang Trekking. As the altitude increases, the air will get thinner, which makes trekking more difficult. 

      Altitude sickness on Upper Mustang trek

      If your body does not acclimatize to the elevation during the Upper Mustang trek Nepal, there are chances of altitude sickness. But do not worry, we have added ample rest days to our Upper Mustang Trek itinerary. Likewise, we have also maintained a steady rise in elevation each day. And our experienced guide will take care of you during the trek. 

      Below are the symptoms of altitude sickness:

      • nausea

      • loss of appetite

      • headache

      • insomnia

      • shortness of breath

      Preventive measures:

      • do not climb more than 500 meters a day

      • have a rest day after walking every 3 to 4 days

      • drink plenty of water

      • no smoking and alcohol

      • avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours

      • eat a light but high-calorie diet

      Why is the Upper Mustang restricted?

      Several reasons have made Upper Mustang a restricted area. Read below to know more in detail about it.

      • The Upper Mustang trekking area has an open border with Tibet, and to maintain border security & decrease illegal activities between the two countries, the Nepal government has imposed restricted area permits over Upper Mustang.

      • Upper Mustang has the world's greatest concentration of human-craved cliff caves, which is yet to be explored. Moreover, a priceless ancient treasure has been found under the tunnel cave as well.

      • As most of the caves are located on high unstable rocks, it is impossible to reach there. The caves that are explored over the years are the homes of people thousands of years ago. Many antiques and old paintings on the crumbling walls are seen in those caves. 

      • Upper Mustang is also home to the most exceptional Uranium on Earth. Moreover, the region also has multiple sources of mine and other elements. 

      • The region has preserved the ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture and raw Himalayan nature. The Lo Manthang is the last Buddhist kingdom of Nepal. 

      • A fossil around 145 to 210 million years old is found in the Upper Mustang. It is called Saligram or Ammonites. 

      Best time to do trek to Upper Mustang trek

      The best time for Upper Mustang Trek is from March to April and October to November, which means spring & autumn. The weather is mostly stable, with bright days and clear views. There will be a little hint of coolness in the mornings and nights. Likewise, you can see numerous species of flowers and vegetation along the way in spring, whereas in autumn, you will be observing the biggest festivals celebrated in Nepal. 

      Upper Mustang trek in Monsoon during the Tiji festival

      May is another great time to go on Upper Mustang Trek 17 Days. The locals of Upper Mustang celebrate their major festival called Tiji in May. The festival lasts for three days, and you can see a very unique & vibrant practice. Likewise, the temperature ranges from 16 to 22 degrees C in May. 

      One of the best things about trekking in the Upper Mustang is that you can traverse the area in the monsoon as well. Upper Mustang falls under the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Therefore, the region receives almost no rain during the monsoon. You might face heavy rain in the first few days while moving through the lower Mustang, but other than that, monsoon is another great time of the year to go on this trek. 

      Accommodation during Upper Mustang trek

      Upper Mustang trek is a tea house trek. The trail has a good facility of teahouses to accommodate the trekkers. It's a simple accommodation service that comes with shared rooms and common toilets. Make sure to carry a sleeping bag because the blanket given in the tea house will not be enough to keep you warm. Plus, a sleeping bag will make it more comfortable for you to sleep.      

      Meals during Upper Mustang trek

      Unlike other trekking routes, the Upper Mustang trail offers mostly Nepali and Tibetan dishes on the menu. You'll have lots of meal options though, including the delicious dal bhat, Tibetan bread, a variety of stirred-fried veggies & curries, sandwiches, momo, noodles, etc. The snack options in the tea shops are limited and expensive, so stock enough to last you while trekking. 

      Drinking water is available in all the teahouses. You can refill your water bottle free of cost. Buying mineral water bottles every time will cost you an absurd amount of money and is also not good for the environment. Instead, carry water purification tablets to double purify the water. 

      Travel Insurance for Upper Mustang trek

      Travel insurance is a must for the Upper Mustang trek. This remote part of Nepal has not connected to any cities, nor the trail has good health care infrastructure. If you face any injury or altitude sickness that cannot be treated with first aid, the only option left with us is to air evacuate to a hospital in Kathmandu. Without travel insurance, it's difficult to convince the rescue provider to come and airlift you. 

      Trekking guide & team during Upper Mustang trek

      We have a solid team for guiding the Upper Mustang trek. Our mountain guides are very knowledgeable about the terrain and the Mustang region. They will not only show you the safest trail, but also add lots of value to your journey. You'll get to learn a lot from them about the region and the locals. Our trekking guides are certified in various remote survivals, which makes them highly reliable. They can tackle any adverse situation calmly. 

      General information for Upper Mustang trek

      Charging: You can pay a few bucks to charge your phone or camera in the teahouses. A solar charger, spare batteries, and power bank are some alternatives that will come in handy during the trek. 

      Internet: The internet facility on the Upper Mustang trail is not that great. A few villages have paid WiFi service, but then again, the internet connection may not be good. Better get a Nepali sim and use data. 

      Luggage: The duffel bag weight limit is 10 kg for each trekker. It is carried by a porter. You can carry another 5 kg of stuff in your day pack. Store the rest of the luggage in your hotel's locker room free of cost while trekking. 

      Permits: Upper Mustang trek needs RAP (Restricted Area Permit) from Kagbeni onwards. It costs USD 500 per person for the first 10 days and USD 50 per person each day after that. If you enter the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), then you'll also need an ACAP permit that costs USD 20 for a single entry. 

      Emergency contact: Contact us at [email protected] or give us a call at +977 9841767236 (Hari) for a quick response. You can also get in touch with us via Whatsapp & Viber on the same number. 

      ATM & money exchange: You'll get a chance to withdraw money in Jomsom. There is no ATM beyond this town. We suggest you get enough Nepali cash while trekking in Kathmandu or Pokhara. There are many ATMs in both cities on every corner that let you withdraw money using almost all kinds of cards. Similarly, there are money exchange centers in Thamel where you can exchange foreign currency or opt for the bank. 

      Nepal Visa: Nepal visa is given to people from all countries. Citizens of some selected countries can also get on-arrival visas in Nepal. You can get an arrival visa at all the entry points, including the Tribhuvan International Airport. If your country is not eligible for an on-arrival visa, then you can get it in your home country at Nepal's Embassy or consulate office. 

      FAQs
      • Q1. How hard is the Upper Mustang trek?

        Upper Mustang is one of the difficult ventures in the Himalayas. You trek in a not-so-developed part of Nepal, located far away from the main cities in the Himalayas. The trail is rugged and steep. You'll cross multiple passes and also deal with high elevation. Previous trekking experience is needed with good physical fitness for Upper Mustang trekking. 

         

      • You can do the Upper Mustang trek in two weeks to 17 days. Our itinerary is 17 days long and is customizable. Our 17 days Upper Mustang trek is perfect and has ample acclimatization days.

         

      • Upper Mustang has an open border with Tibet and many undiscovered archeological worths. The region protects the lost forbidden and its locals. Likewise, there are many undiscovered sky caves and artifacts in Upper Mustang. 

         

      • Our all-inclusive Upper Mustang trekking cost USD 2200. It includes the expense (USD 500) restricted area permit along with the necessary permits, overnight stays, meals, expenses of the guide & porter, and service charge. 

         

      • From Kathmandu, Mustang is 206 km away. The road distance is 422.5 km.

         

      • Mustang starts at Jomsom, located at 2,743 m (8,999 ft).

         

      • Mustang is famous for its rich ancient cultural heritage of the locals, sky caves, local wines, apple orchards, Muktinath temple, the walled city- Lo Manthang, Thakali meal, and arid landscapes. You cannot find these things anywhere else in Nepal. 

         

      • Yes, Upper Mustang is open and welcoming to people from all around the world. To book the Upper Mustang trek for 2022/2023, get in touch with us. 

         

      • Upper Mustang, especially Lo Manthang, is known as the lost forbidden kingdom. For centuries the entire region was close to any foreign visitors. Little to nothing was known about this place. A trade route between Tibet and India was only open to the outside world in 1991 under strict rules and special traveling permits. 

         

      • No, Mustang is in Nepal, however very close to Tibet. Mustang is located on the edge of the Tibetan plateau. The landscapes and customs followed by the natives both resemble Tibet. 

         

      • From Pokhara, you can drive or fly to Jomsom. From here, it's a few day's walk to Lo Manthang via remote villages. You can rent a jeep or a bike to Lo Manthang. It's an off road drive and very exhausting. 

         

      • You can visit Mustang throughout the year. The best trekking experience is from June to September in the monsoon/summer. Upper Mustang is a trans-Himalaya region and a part of the rainshadow area. Therefore, the trail receives less to no rainfall.

         

      • During the Upper Mustang trek, you can see many unique formations of rocks, barren hills, and snow capped mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche, Dhampus Peak, etc. 

         

      • Yes, you can drive to Mustang region from Kathmandu. It's a long drive with overnight stays in the beautiful villages along the route.

      • Yes, Upper Mustang sees heavy snowfall in the winter season. Some places get extremely cold, and the locals drop down to lower elevations to spend the winter. 

         

      • Yes, you can visit Mustang in December, but the journey will be extremely strenuous. The temperature falls below 0-degree celsius, making the trek tougher than it already is.

      What Our Clients Say
      • V
        Vanessa BelémNew Zealand Nov 18, 2021
        TripAdvisor

        Perfect Upper Mustang Trek

        Every time when I think of Nepal, it reminds me the guide Rajendra and Trek to Upper Mustang Trek. I am very glad to have a guide and now a close friend Rajendra for the beautiful guidance. He made my trek very awesome. The people of mustang is very friendly and the view of it is beyond imagination. Grab the package once to see its beauty. Thank you Mr. Rajendra for your assistance.

      • A
        Annabella PenAustralia Oct 16, 2021
        Google

        Upper Mustang Trekking

        All of our group member highly appreciate the journey to Upper Mustang trek. We wish to visit the valley again in Best season. So, that all of us could capture the beautiful scenic beauty of Himalayas during best season. We highly appreciates your guidance. Hope you visit with Welcome Nepal Treks.