The 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 neighbors. The major highlight of this trip is Lo-Manthang and the surrounding areas and gives a powerful insight into this isolated, picturesque, and enthralling region of Nepal. It is truly an amazing experience trekking on the trails of Upper Mustang Trek.
Our Upper Mustang Trek begins after we drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara and take a short flight to Jomsom. Then we set off towards Kagbeni, the entry point of the upper Mustang Region. Kagbeni is blessed with natural beauty and spectacular landscapes which the locals sometimes compare to heaven. Following the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream via Chele, Syanbochen, Ghyami, and Charang, we reach the capital of Upper Mustang (Lo-Manthang). There are several thousand-year-old Buddhist monasteries like Lo-Gekar Gompa and Samye Gompa which are a major attractions for trekkers in this region. They still have a tribal head whom they honor as a king.
Upper Mustang Trek gives us an opportunity to explore the unique local lifestyle, for instance, polygamy is still widespread here. Upper Mustang Region was forbidden to visitors until 1991. But now this hidden kingdom is open to all travelers from all around the world. Most of the houses are made of stone and sun-baked mud bricks. The celebration of the Tiji festival is another major attraction during the month of March on Upper Mustang Trek. Our trekking trail further heads towards Ghiling and Chhuksang towards Jomsom from where we take a morning flight to Pokhara. And drive back to Kathmandu afterward.
The Upper Mustang Trek is possible during any time of the year because this place lies in the rain shadow area. And receives much less rainfall, even during the monsoon season. You do not require previous trekking experience for trekking in Upper Mustang. However, you need to possess sound physical fitness with a passion for exploring new places, environments, and cultures. Join this trek with Nepal Mountain Trekkers and have authentic trekking in Nepal experience. Simply fill the Inquiry form and let us know about your interest. Or you can contact us directly by sending us an email in order to join this trek.
You can check this article to discover the reasons Why you must visit Upper Mustang?
If this itinerary doesn’t suit your requirement or if you want to customize it, please feel free to contact us. This trek could be customized as per your required time-frame and budget limits.
Day 1 : Arrive in Kathmandu [1,300 m / 4,264 ft]::
As you arrive at the medieval city of Kathmandu in the Tribhuwan International Airport and complete the formalities in the customs, you will be greeted by our representative with the proper identification. You shall then be transferred to the respective hotel of your stay. The rest of the day is up to you wherein you may rest in the hotel or explore the surrounding areas. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2 : Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation::
Today we shall have sightseeing of the historical and cultural heart of Nepal, the Kathmandu valley. It hosts several outstanding heritages also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exploring the valley presents visitors with a mix of Hinduism, Buddhism, and western influences. We pay a visit to the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, Buddhist shrines of Boudhanath stupa, and Swayambhunath stupa(also called Monkey Temple). We also explore the well preserved Durbar squares along with other heritages as possible. We shall also have a pre-trip meeting for the trek starting the following day wherein we discuss the required documents and guidelines besides getting introduced to the trek guide. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 3 : Kathmandu to Pokhara [823m/2,700ft]: 6 hrs drive::
We leave the ancient capital city of Kathmandu and proceed to one of the most beautiful Pokhara valleys. Along the journey to the Lake City, we drive along with the twists and turns of the Prithvi Highway, the hub of Mugling, lying in the point of confluence of Trishuli and Marshyangdi River, small settlements in between that displays the unique lifestyles of the locals in the hills. The green hills, rivers flowing deep down from the road, views of the mountain peaks occasionally, and the rural setting make the drive an enjoyable one. Fishtail Mountain is the first mountain to welcome you to the scenic city. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 4 : Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2,858m/9,375ft]: 3-4 hrs::
Today we shall start the trek after our flight to the beautiful Jomsom. We fly northwest from Pokhara towards the gateway between the snow-clad mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The lofty massif of above 8000 meters and the deep gorges en route is sure to give chills to the travelers. Our trek starts from Jomsom. Starting from the banks of Kali Gandaki River, we reach the settlement of Ekle Bhatti after a couple of hours’ trek and an hour trek leads us to Kagbeni. Kagbeni is an interesting village on the ancient trade route to Tibet and also serves as the entry point to the restricted Upper Mustang Trekking. Kali Gandaki is formed by the confluence of Mustang River and Kak River, two small rivers. This clustered village has ancient monasteries as well. Overnight in Kagbeni.
Day 5 : Kagbeni to Chele [3,050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs::
We proceed to our overnight destination from Kagbeni passing through the settlements of Tangbe, Chhusang and reach to the Tibetan culture dominated Chele village. Towards the east bank of Kali Gandaki River, we traverse ahead over ridges, towards the north, and reach the Tangbe village. This village is marked by the complex trails amongst the whitewashed settlements, cultivations, and apple orchards. We are looked over by the Nilgiri Mountain all along our way. After the village, we move further along to Chhusang village then cross the river to move ahead, out of the Kali Gandaki valley we climb up to Chele village. This marks the end of the influence of Manangi culture and the beginning of the Tibetan culture of Lo. Overnight in Chele.
Day 6 : Chele to Syanbochen [3,475m/11,398ft]: 6-7 hrs::
From the village of Chele, we have a steep ascend westwards, opposite to the village of Ghyakar and along the deep crayon turning right and following the gorge. On along the rocky trail, past the steep descend on some section of the trail, we reach the top of the pass with the view of Kali Gandaki River and mountains in the distance along with the view of Samar village. Descending from the pass, past a creek, we reach a red painted cave monastery or the Rangchyung Chorten, believed to have hosted the famed Buddhist saints Padmasambhava and Atisha centuries ago. Through the forests and gouges with high vertical walls, we reach an area where walls with temporary homes for herders. With a constant and relatively easy climb, we reach Syanbochen, a village with a cluster of homes. Overnight in Syanbochen.
Day 7 : Syanbochen to Ghaymi [3,520m/11,546ft]: 5-6 hrs::
The initial phase of today’s trekking consists of crossing one of the three high passes to be crossed today, the Yanda La pass. We move past distinctive Chortens painted with Buddhism’s auspicious symbols. We march through the terraced valley to the village of Ghelung above which we have two red Gompas. Through this sparsely settled village, we have Nyi La Pass ahead. The path further descends gradually and leads us to the Ghami La pass past the villages and deserted landscapes which shall be further rugged as we move along the trail. Further, ahead we have a village above the river and surrounded by fields and by hills bit further. This is Ghaymi village which is the third-largest settlement in the Mustang valley. Overnight in Ghaymi.
Day 8 : Ghaymi to Charang [3,500m/11,480ft]: 4-5 hrs::
Today we shall have a shorter trekking journey as compared to the previous day. We start with paying a visit to Mustang’s longest Mani wall, adorned with the carvings, accompanied by the group of Chortens that mark the end of the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche destroyed a demon whose intestine landed at the present location of the Mani wall, its lungs near the red cliffs behind and its heart at the spot of current Lo Gekar monastery, the oldest monastery in Mustang. We ascend gradually up to a pass and move ahead through barren lands to reach Tsarang Chorten and the palace of Tsarang. Along the broad road, we reach the destination of today’s overnight stay, the settlement of Tsarang (Charang). Tsarang was the capital of the ancient Lo kingdom in the 14th century. Overnight in Charang.
Day 9 : Charang to Lo-Mangthang (3,700m/12,136ft): 5-6 hrs::
Our destination for today will be the famous settlement of Lo Manthang. We pass through the Caharang Chu canyon initially and climb steeply after we cross the river as we leave the palace and gompas behind. We trek for few hours along with the barren lands, through valley bed, past the ruins of ancient fortress and monasteries, and have the famed walls of Lo Manthang ahead in the trail, and before that we cross the windy pass of Lo. Trekking along the southern walls of the surrounding city we reach the small bridge and walk into the closely guarded town. The residence to King Jigme Palbar Bista, his four-storied palace inside the city walls, and the ancient legacy of the dynasty ruling the Mustang region since ages ago make this walled city that neighbor the Tibetan border. Overnight in Lo-Mangthang.
Day 10 : Explore Lo-Mangthang::
Lo-Mangthang is a beautiful, culturally rich, and architecturally sound settlement with well-preserved legacy since the 14th century. Inside the walled city, we can explore four major ancient shrines, brick-red Jampa Lhakhang (the oldest gompa), a 50-foot large clay statue of Buddha, 15th century-old /Thubchen Gompa, and Choprang Gompa. Besides the Royal Palace of the Mustangi King, Mustang has an interesting village with unique cultural values and lifestyle that may be alienly natured to the outsiders. The Tall Champa Lakhang, red Thugchen Gompa, and the Entrance Hall are some of the other main attractions of the town. Besides the cultural richness, we can also explore the cave village of Chosar with deep red Nyhu Gompa, which reached past two bridges. We can also wander around to Harphu Gompa on the east ban of Mustang River, the ancient cave-dwelling site of Jhong Cave, the Nyamdo Gompa, Namgyal Gompa in the village of Namgyal, and other villages such as the Phuwa and Chosar valley as a part of our exploration in and around the walled city of Lo-Mangthang. White-washed villages, an old fortress, ruins of ancient palaces and monuments, and the most famous palace of Mustangi King are the other highlights in the valley. Overnight in Lo-Mangthang.
Day 11 : Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar [3,810m/12,500ft]: 6-7hrs::
After the exploration of this unique and interesting walled city of Lo-Mangthang, we take a different rail than the original trail we followed on our way into this Forbidden City. We trail back to Chogo La pass on an uphill climb and further on the trail becomes easier which leads us downhill to the settlement of Drakmar, our overnight stay for today. We explore the Ghar Gumba that falls past the halfway of today’s trail. The Gompa has beautiful rock paintings and locals believe that the prayer in this shrine is surely heard. After we have a break at the spot, we trail ahead for a couple of hours to reach the Drakmar. Overnight in Drakmar.
Day 12 : Dhakmar to Ghiling [3,806m/12,484ft]: 5-6 hrs::
We are already on the second half of the trekking expedition. Today we shall aim for our overnight stay in the village of Ghiling after a tiring walk of around 5-6 hours. The exploration of Ghiling is advised to be done in the evening as the windy afternoon makes it difficult for the trekkers to look around. The trek to Ghiling takes the trekkers on the encounter with villages, impressive Chortens, monasteries, and amazing landscapes. Overnight in Ghiling.
Day 13 : Ghiling to Chhuksang [3,050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs::
Today is another day that takes us further towards the end of the trekking experience through these unique and desert-like landscapes decorated by cultural legacies and glorious mountains. On our way to the village of Chhuksang, we have breathtaking views of the Himalayas, scenic diversity, and interaction with the locals that make you ponder on the resilience and hospitality of the locals along the trail. Overnight in Chhuksang.
Day 14 : Chhuksang to Jomsom [2,700/8,856ft]: 6-7 hrs::
This is the last section of this trekking trip that shall have strenuous physical walking. We shall have longer trekking and start early to reach the settlement in Kagbeni. This also marks the end of the Upper Mustang trail and the joining of the Annapurna circuit trekking trail. Kagbeni is a historical village and the Door to the Kingdom of Mustang that still retains the medieval charm to date. Having rested in Kagbeni we shall move towards the beautiful Jomsom. The district headquarter of Mustang, Jomsom has almost everything needed for tourists, from hospitals to airports, from excellent hotels to delicious cuisines and spectacular views of Mount Nilgiri. Overnight in Jomsom.
Day 15 : Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara::
Today we shall leave the amazing Mustang after an interesting and unique trekking experience. The short flight from Jomsom takes us to the scenic city of Pokhara, a city full of lakes and a hotspot for adventurous activities and gateway for several trekking expeditions in and around the Annapurna region. Flying in a small plane between the massifs of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna South is a marvelous experience that adds another memory for the trekkers. The trekkers may explore the beautiful Pokhara city and collect souvenirs for the near and dear ones from the Lake City of Nepal. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 16 : Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu::
We end our exciting and memorable tour today. We drive back almost around 200 km to Kathmandu that mesmerizes us as strongly as it attracted us for the first time we drove along this route. Sitting on the left pane of the vehicle from Pokhara to Kathmandu shall give us a good view along the journey. After getting ourselves rested in Kathmandu, our representative shall drop you at the Tribhuwan International Airport on the day of your departure. Hope the tour was an amazing experience with cultural diversity, the Himalayas with a sense of achievement. We expect you to be back in this marvelous nation on other adventurous and tour expeditions.
Day 17 : Departure Day::
Today will be your final day in Nepal, as we drop you at International Airport for your scheduled international flight towards your onward destination.