Upper Mustang Trekking - 13 days

Duration: 13 Days   |  
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Moderate
  • Style: Lodge to Lodge Trek
  • Transportation: Private Vehicle / Aeroplane
  • Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge to Lodge
  • Group Size: 2-20
  • Max Altitude: 3840m

Upper Mustang Trek: An Overview

The Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most beautiful and exciting treks in your lifetime. Upper Mustang has been on my bucket list for years now and is one of the favorite destinations among Nepalese and foreign tourists alike.

The trek begins with a journey to the remote trans-Himalayan mountain range of Upper Mustang, which Tibet borders. This remote and isolated region is characterized by a distinct Tibetan culture and a unique landscape of high cliffs, unique rock formations, and colors.

The Upper Mustang comprises three rural municipalities: Lo Manthang, Dalome, and Baragung Muktichhetra. The trekking route will take you through Kagbeni, which is the gateway to Upper Mustang, and then through the Dhaulagiri massif in the rain shadow to Lo-Manthang, the seat of past Kings of the Kingdom of Lo. On the trek, you reach the highest elevation at Nyi La Pass after Ghaymi, which is at 4010m (13,156 ft).

This trek is full of wonders and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will get to explore the ancient monasteries, charming hamlets, and the local villages of Upper Mustang. You will also pass through the wild and barren lands, dense forests, and beautiful villages of Mustang. 

The trek is full of thrills and surprises. The spectacular views of the Himalayas, the barren lands, and the rich cultural heritage of the people of Mustang will make this trek an unforgettable experience.

What To Expect on your Trek to Upper Mustang

The Upper Mustang Trek presents the rare opportunity to understand and experience the life of mountain people in their natural state. 

The Upper Mustang region is known for its extreme geographical features and its harsh climatic conditions. It is one of the driest places in Nepal and receives less to no rain throughout the year. Despite the barren landscape, the region is full of life and beauty. The unique tree-less landscape, rocky trails, and views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri are a sight to behold.

Furthermore, the region has earned its title as the Last Forbidden Kingdom due to its long-term geographical and political isolation from the mainstream. This has been vital in preserving its distinct culture, unexploited natural components, and ancient essences of the centuries-old monasteries.

The Upper Mustang trek allows us to experience the untouched beauty of this region, as well as interact with the locals who will share their traditional way of life. Get ready to experience the rustic villages, peaceful monasteries, and vibrant culture of the mountain people during this incredible journey.

The Upper Mustang Trek is a unique and unforgettable experience. From the barren landscape to the ancient monasteries and ruins, this region has much to offer an adventurous traveler. Whether you are looking for breathtaking views, exploring the traditional culture, or immersing yourself in this region's untouched beauty, the Upper Mustang Trek will not disappoint.

Best Time To Visit Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, making it a great destination for monsoon trekking, and open year-round for trekking. It is an area of unspoiled nature, with stunning scenery and unique culture, making it an ideal destination for those wanting to get off the beaten track.

The best time to visit this stunningly beautiful place is from March to early November. During these months, temperatures are generally moderate and the region is filled with lively and vibrant festivals. This is an ideal time to take in the breathtaking scenery, explore the unique architecture, and take part in the local culture. 

However, the winter months can be cold and harsh in this part of the Himalayas, and many of the villagers leave the capital to avoid the cold and snow. The winter months are ideal for a short trek, or for a leisurely stroll through the villages, as the winter landscape of Upper Mustang is especially beautiful. 

Whichever time of year you choose to visit Upper Mustang, it is sure to be an unforgettable experience. With its extraordinary landscapes and fascinating culture, the region will stay with you for years. 

Map, Accommodations, and Foods During Upper Mustang Trek

Our journey to Upper Mustang starts from Kathmandu and takes us to Pokhara, where we will take a flight to Jomsom. From there, we will embark on a trek to Kagbeni. This entire trip will take us around 14 days and promises to be exciting.

Once we reach Lo Manthang, we will explore the area and its surrounding villages. There are many interesting sights to see in this region including the ancient gompas, the palaces, temples, and the local markets. We will also get to take part in some of the traditional local cultural activities, including dances and music.

Finally, after a few days of trekking, we will make our way back to Jomsom and take a flight to Pokhara. The journey through the Upper Mustang region is sure to be one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of a lifetime.

Exploring the remote landscapes of Upper Mustang is an adventure that promises unique sights, unforgettable memories, and plenty of chances to bond with the local culture. But before you set off on your trip of a lifetime, it’s important to make sure you have the right accommodation and food arrangements in place.

All of our trek accommodation is in simple but comfortable lodges run by local Mustang families. The lodges have central communal areas with large stoves that provide heat and a cozy atmosphere. During your stay, it is highly recommended that you bring a sleeping bag and a pillowcase so you can make the most of your stay. The bedrooms are unheated and generally feature two beds with mattresses, pillows, and blankets. The lodges mostly use sit-down flush toilets (some lodges do also have squat toilets), and they generally have showers powered by gas. 

Regarding Food, The Upper Mustang treks offer a variety of food options, with fresh vegetables more readily available than high altitude treks. Since cross-border trade is increasing north of Lo Manthang, more food, fresh vegetables, and Chinese goods are likely to be available. Prices are also less fluctuating and less expensive than other treks.

The lodges, food, and other accommodations that we receive on our Upper Mustang trek are basic, but they are also comfortable and provide you with the necessary provisions to make our trip a truly unique one. As a result of staying in the lodges of local Mustang families, you will have a chance to learn about local culture and customs and know what everyday life is like here in this remote region.

Highlights

  • ​​​​​Kaligandaki River Gorge — The deepest canyon in the world.
  • Discover the history of Lo Manthang after exploring the king's palace and its surroundings.
  • A spiritual experience walking through many Buddhist temples, chortens, and caves.
  • Experience Tibetan influence on local activities and culture.
  • A breathtaking view of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other mountain ranges.
  • A scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom in the Himalayas
  • A desert-like landscape with white mountains in the background
  • Located on a rain shadow, you can hike without worrying about rain

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01 Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara - 7 to 8 hours

    Today marks the start of our journey. We will be traveling by tourist bus with an estimated drive of 7-8 hours from Kathmandu To Pokhara, winding through the valleys and changing landscapes as we travel. Once we arrive in Pokhara, you'll be transferred to our hotel. In the evening, you can enjoy the sunset by taking a stroll around the lakeside area.

    • Max. Altitude: 815m
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Food: Breakfast
    • Place: Pokhara
  • Day 02 Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni - 3 to 4 hours.

    The following morning, we’re taking an early flight to Jomsom, where we will be rewarded with incredible views as we fly between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. We’ll be starting our trek at this point, heading towards the northern valley of the Kali Gandakigorge.

    We’ll eventually make it to Kagbeni, our destination for the evening. Here, you can explore the clustered type of houses and walk around the village. It’s truly fascinating and a great way to spend your night.

    • Max. Altitude: 2800m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Kagbeni
  • Day 03 Trek from Kagbeni to Chele - 5 to 6 hours

    Today's trek heads towards the north valley of Kagbeni to the village of Chele. We pass through the photogenic village of Tangbe, with traditional houses, barley fields, buckwheat, and Apple trees. Take in the views of the magnificent Nilgiri peak and cross several ridges. After passing through Chhusang village, we cross a stream and leave the Kali Gandaki valley behind. Here we reach the village of Chele, where we stay for the night.

    • Max. Altitude: 3050m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Chele
  • Day 04 Trek to Chele to Giling - 5 to 6 hours

     We’re off on an exciting new adventure today, as we head out on a trek to Chele in the north valley of Kagbeni. On our way to Chele, we pass through the photogenic village of Tangbe with its traditional houses, fields of barley, buckwheat, and apple orchards. We make sure to take in the amazing views of the majesticNilgiri peak, which we get to admire on our way. We traverse several ridges, pass through the village of Chhusang and cross a stream before finally reaching our destination of Chele. 

    • Max. Altitude: 3800m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Giling
  • Day 05 Trek to Charang - 4 to 5 hours

    We get up the next morning, eat a filling breakfast, and set off for Giling. During our journey, we discover the village of Samar and descend into a large gorge. We pass a stupa before entering a valley of juniper trees. A climb follows this up to a pass and a descent along a ridge, and we find ourselves in Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops.

    Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites in the form of a Chorten or Stupa, which is said to be one of the holiest places in the Mustang. We head down to the village of Giling, passing through its extensive fields before finally reaching our destination. Giving is an amazing place. It has a rich culture and beautiful places that are sure to captivate any traveler. 

    • Max. Altitude: 3500m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Charang
  • Day 06 Trek to Lo Manthang - 5 to 6 hours

    Today we take advantage of the downhill trail from Lo Manthang to Chhuksang. Leaving the village, we follow a narrow path that winds through the hills, with the Annapurna range in the backdrop. This region is part of Upper Mustang, an area that is increasingly becoming popular for trekkers and mountaineers. We will have plenty of time to observe the local lifestyle and the stunning landscapes as we go.

    The trek to Lo Manthang from Chhuksang will take us through several villages. We will have plenty of time to explore these interesting places as we make our way back to Lo Manthang. As the sun sets, we will arrive at the ancient walled city and prepare for our night in Upper Mustang. 

    • Max. Altitude: 3700m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Lo Manthang
  • Day 07 Acclimation Day Lo Manthang and surroundings

    Today we will begin our day with a hearty breakfast and tour of Manthang and its surrounding highlands to the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghare Gompa. We will explore the historical and cultural area of Lo Manthang today. This is a great opportunity to learn about Tibetan culture and admire the snowcapped mountains of Lo Manthang.

    After some time spent at the monastery, we head back down towards Lo Manthang for lunch. After a delicious meal, we pay a visit to the royal palace, home of the former king and queen. On this acclimatization day, we are able to explore the town with its vibrant culture and visit the places that interest us the most.

    We can also explore some of the surrounding areas, such as the Cherang Valley or the Mustang River. This is a great way to connect with the local people and learn more about their culture and customs. As the day comes to an end, we make our way back to Lo Manthang and prepare for another day of exploring this unique area.

    • Max. Altitude: 3800m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Lo Manthang
  • Day 08 Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gumpa - 4 to 5 hours

    Today we leave the beauty of Lo-Mangthang and head towards the interesting village of Ghar Gumpa. After climbing the ridge, we'll take in your last view of the walled city and descend to the valley floor towards Ghar Gompa where we'll rest for the night

    • Max. Altitude: 3942m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Ghar Gumpa
  • Day 09 Ghar Gumpa to Giling - 5 to 6 hours.

    Our journey from Lo-Mangthang to Ghar Gumpa promises to be exciting, filled with beautiful scenery and intriguing culture. In just 4 to 5 hours, we’ll leave the ancient walled city behind and descend to the valley floor to make camp.

    As we make our way through the valley, the steady climb will provide us with a stunning view of the surrounding landscape. From the ridge, you’ll be able to view the whole city and Far West Nepal, with the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountains standing in the distance.

    As you descend further down the valley, the change of scenery will be quite the contrast. You’ll experience a different landscape and culture from the one you left behind. You’ll have the chance to pass through small villages, meet the locals and sample their traditional cuisine as you drive through.

    We’ll then reach Ghar Gompa, our destination for the night. Get some rest and be ready to explore the area in the morning. 

    • Max. Altitude: 3800m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Giling
  • Day 10 Giling to Chele - 5 to 6 hours

    The following morning, we’ll continue our journey with an estimated travel time of 5 to 6 hours. The journey includes a slow ascent back up to the ridge before reaching the village of Giling. With plenty of stops on the way and numerous chances to take photos, you’ll definitely want to fit plenty of memory storage into your camera.

    By late afternoon, we should have reached Giling, where you’ll be able to explore the area’s beautiful architecture and culture once again. Plus, once the wind and dust have settled, you’ll be able to take in some more amazing scenery in this amazing region.

    • Max. Altitude: 3050m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Chele
  • Day 11 Chele to Jomsom - 6 to 7 hours

    Today we will be trekking from Chele to Jomsom. As always, the morning starts off with a hearty and delicious breakfast at the Teahouse in Chele. All along the way, you can take in the energy of the mountain spirits that surround the environment and will eventually accompany you from start to finish.

    The trek is approximately 6-7 hours long and offers some of the most stunning landscapes you'll experience in the Upper Mustang. The track is narrow but steady and surrounded by hills and high mountains. Ribbons of terraced paddy fields wrap around the hills offering incredible eye candy.

    As you come close to Kagbeni, you may feel familiar and déjà-vu as you've already been here on your first night of the trek. 

    • Max. Altitude: 2700m
    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Place: Jomsom
  • Day 12 Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara - 30 minutes

    We continue passing by small villages as we get closer to Jomsom. Once we arrive at Jomsom, we can celebrate our accomplishments and reflect on all that we experienced. After breakfast, we will check in to the Jomsom airport for our flight back to Pokhara. This short flight will take us between the two huge mountain ranges, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. We’ll gather at the Pokhara airport for a transfer to our hotel before enjoying the rest of our time exploring the town and its surroundings. 

    • Max. Altitude: 815m
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Food: Breakfast
    • Place: Pokhara
  • Day 13 Return to Kathmandu - 6 to 7 hours

    After a week of trekking through Upper Mustang and enjoying the Himalayas, we'll finally travel from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus, which will take us approximately 7-8 hours

    Kathmandu offers visitors plenty of opportunities to explore, relax and shop away from the remote villages and majestic mountains. The city has grown rapidly in size and popularity, capturing both the tradition of Nepal and the modern version of it.

    Known for its ancient temples, vibrant markets, and exciting nightlife, Kathmandu is an exciting destination with a wide range of attractions. The Kathmandu valley has something for everyone, whether it's shopping at the popular tourist hot spots, sampling Nepalese cuisine, or experiencing some local culture.

    • Max. Altitude: 1340m
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Food: breakfast
    • Place: Kathmandu

Inclusion

  • All transportation by private vehicle including Airport transfers.
  • Three daily meals with tea/coffee (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
  • Best available tea houses lodge during the trek.
  • A highly Experienced professional trekking guide and porters (1 porter for 2 pax) with their food, accommodation, salary and insurance.
  • Sleeping bag and duffel bag (to be returned).
  • Trekking map for a group and trekking achievement certificate.
  • First aid medical Kit.
  • All required special papers and permit for trekking.
  • Government tax/vat and office service charge.
  • International Airfare.
  • Personal insurance.
  • Major foods ( Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara).
  • Nepal entry visa fee 15 days 30$, 30 days 50$ and 90 days 120$.
  • Soft drinks, hard drinks and drinking water.
  • Entry fees of Kathmandu world heritage sites.
  • Personal trekking equipment and expenses.
  • Hot shower, Battery charge, Wi-Fi during the trekking period.
  • Tips and gratitude for the staffs.
  • Kathmandu Hotel and Meals.
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