A hidden and mysterious kingdom, Upper Mustang is a wonderful trekking destination of Nepal. This heavenly place was unknown for a long time. Upper Mustang Trek was officially opened in 1992. Still, only a limited number of trekkers can visit the place each year here. It is also a restricted region where you cannot visit without trekkers.
The Upper Mustang trek completes within 17 days out of which 11 days will be for trekking. Our ultimate vantage point is Lo Manthang. There are very few settlements in this area. Local people here follow Tibetan Buddhism and celebrate festivals like Tiji. They are religious with their own unique culture and way of living. There are four major castes; the royal caste, the everyday folk, the blacksmiths, and the butchers & millers.
Talking about the Upper Mustang region, it is a dazzling creation of nature. It is the place different from the rest of the whole planet. This trek allows you to explore ancient villages like Kagbeni, Jomsom, Chhuksang, Chele, Lo Manthang. They all are such remarkable places with peculiar antiquity.
The stunning vista, promising artworks, crafts, unseen culture, tradition, unique way of lifestyle are the major highlights. The arid landscape with gritty brown cliffs, the seasonal flowers and bushy vegetation will make your trip outstanding.
With awestrucking landscape and cultural diversity, there are numerous gompa and chortens on the path. Every single day of the trek is an adventure in itself. The overall combination will give you an unique and worthwhile feeling.
There are several gateways to trek Upper Mustang so you can add other additional treks too. As there are no major effects of April 2015 earthquake in the whole Mustang region, this region is totally safe for trekking.
This Upper Mustang trek is peculiar from other treks in Nepal because you can opt to walk to this region even in Monsoon. As this region lies in the rain shadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges the region is least affected by monsoon. Plus, spring and autumn are the best time for trekking in Nepal. And the same is the case in Upper Mustang.
Highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek
- Experience the wilderness and wonders of the hidden kingdom; Upper Mustang
- Witness panoramic views of the Himalayas
- Explore the deepest gorge and valley of the world; Kali Gandaki.
- Close view of culture, tradition, and remote lifestyle of locals
- Fabulous contrast of wind eroded cliffs, colorful gullies, and snow-capped mountains; giving a spectacular scenery.
- View of dazzling Himalayan peaks like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nilgiri, Tukche, Thorang and other high peaks.
- Crossing over some of the passes, you will reach the stone-walled town of Lo-Manthang, another remarkable destination.
|Day 01||Arrival in Kathmandu||1,338m, Kathmandu||-|
|Day 02||Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Trek preparation||1,338m, Kathmandu||-|
|Day 03||Drive to Pokhara||910m, Pokhara||6-7 hours in tourist bus|
|Day 04||Flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni||2,743m( (Jomsom), 2,804m (Kagbeni)||25-30 minutes of flight and 4-5 hours of trek|
|Day 05||Trek from Kagbeni to Chele||3,050m, Chele||6-7 hours|
|Day 06||Trek to Syangboche||3,800m, Syangboche||6-7 hours|
|Day 07||Trek to Ghami||3,500m, Ghami||5-6 hours|
|Day 08||Trek to Tsarang (Charang)||3,570m, Charang||5-6 hours|
|Day 09||Trek to Lo Manthang||3,840m, Lo Manthang||4-5 hours|
|Day 10||Acclimatization Day and Exploring Lo Manthang||-||-|
|Day 11||Lo Manthang to Drakmar||3,810n, Drakmar||6-7 hours|
|Day 12||Drakmar to Ghiling||3,750m, Ghiling||5-6 hours|
|Day 13||Ghiling to Tetang/Chhuksang||2,980m, Chhuksang||6-7 hours|
|Day 14||Trek to Muktinath and drive to Jomsom||3,710m, Muktinath & 2,743m, Jomsom||4-5 hours of trek and 2-3 hours of travel|
|Day 15||Flight back to Pokhara and Sightseeing-tour||910m, Pokhara||25-30- minutes of flight|
|Day 16||Drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu and farewell dinner in the evening||1,338, Kathmandu||6-7 hours in tourist bus|
|Day 17||Final Departure||-||-|
Upon your arrival, our company representative will receive you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu. Then, they will transfer you to your respective hotel.
On the same day we will brief you about our entire plans and itinerary for the trip. You also get to meet your trek leader/guide this day.
Also, you will get your travel permits and TIMS card. Make sure you have all the necessary documents like passport, copies of passport-size photos, and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy.
Moreover, you can spend the spare of this day. You can take round visit of your surroundings. According to your taste, there are varieties of pubs, cafes, and traditional restaurants.
Kathmandu is remarkable destination to experience the true cultural beauty. Among the 10 UNESCO World Heritages sites, seven are in the Kathmandu Valley. And all of them belong to the cultural world heritage sites. They are Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Changu Narayan temple.
Thus, this day is full of exploration on the religious and cultural significance. The artistic crafts of ancient tribes are unique and eye-pleasing. The tale behind every monument is interesting and different from one another. You will totally enjoy them all.
After the mini-tour, the rest of your time is free. This is the best time to do some last-minute trek shopping. Thamel is the place where you get every piece of trekking gear.
Altitude: Pokhara, 910m
Travel Distance: 200 kilometers
Travel Duration: 6-7 hours of drive
This day you along with your whole team will take off to Pokhara. Mainly there are two options to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu. Either you can take a flight or go by a tourist bus. The flight will take you to Pokhara within half an hour.
And by the later means, it may take more than 6 hours as you have to cross 200 kilometers. The advantage here is the glorious changing views of green hills, constantly flowing Trishuli river, and the beautiful local villages.
Besides the tourist bus, you can even go via private transports like car, van, etc. You can visit several places of Pokhara at the evening. You surely will have a good time here.
Altitude: Jomsom (2,743 m), Kagbeni (2,804 m)
Travel Duration: 25-30 minutes of flight
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
This day, you will be flying to Jomsom, northwest of Pokhara. Within half an hour you will reach the land on the lap of the Himalayas. Here, you will enjoy the breathtaking view of soaring massifs like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Also, you encounter the deepest gorge of the planet, Kali Gandaki!
After breakfast at Jomsom, our trekking officially commences. Following the trail of the river side of Kali Gandaki, you will walk along the barren land. You will see few settlements, ethnic people and their rural lifestyle.
On walking about 4-5 hours, you will reach the traditional village of Tibetan impression- Kagbeni. Kagbeni is also the main gateway to Upper Mustang. And the checkpoint of the restricted permit for entrance. Here, you will visit ancient monuments, gumbas, and old monastery constructed over 500 years ago. This place simply will blow your mind.
Overnight at the guesthouse or teahouse at Kagbeni.
Altitude: Chele, 3,050 meters
Trek Distance: 15.3 kilometers/ 9.5 miles
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
This day of trek from Kagbeni to Chele is via Tangbe and Chuksang. After the formal permit check, our journey continues again alongside the riverbank of Kaligandaki. The trail is full of sandy and windy uphill-downhill with picturesque sceneries. The majestic view of Nilgiri and Tukuche are awesome.
First, you encounter Tangbe village where you can see the crops fields. Tangbe is the valley of narrow lanes with red-white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, and apple orchards. The land here is flat, dry, and desert-like. The caves and high vertical walls will awestruck you as they were once used by the locals in the past.
After trekking for about half an hour from Tangbe, you reach forward to Chhuksang. This day, the lunch will be either at Chhuksang or Tangbe.
Along the way, you explore kalobhir, sky caves, eroded rock tunnel, red sandstone pillars, organic apple farm, various chortens and gumbas. The river-bed along the way is well-known for its fossils.
Then on heading to small ridges, you will reach at Chele village. Chele is a small beautiful settlement with good Himalayan ranges. Chele village has great Tibetan influence. You get to soak into the amazing culture, traditions, and lifestyle of the folks.
Altitude: Syangboche, 3800 meters
Trek Distance: 11.5 kilometers/ 7.1 miles
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
This is another exciting day of our trek yet a little hard and adventurous. Afterall, you will ascend the significant altitude of 800m. There are two magnificent passes along the way, Taklam La Pass (3,624m) and Dajori La Pass (3,735m). You will climb plateaus and narrow stretches to pass these elevations.
In total, you cross four passes with major ascents and descents into the hills. The views of Tlicho, Yakawa Kang, Damodar Danda, Chungsi cave, and Ramchung cave along trail will sure be exciting. All of them are the sacred places of Mustang. And they are existing for centuries.
On the narrow gorge within the trail, you witness forest with small trees and green bushes. This surely will give you the feeling of oasis in the dryland. You experience the wide range of flora and fauna. After the valley broadens, you may even see the rare blue mountain sheep in this area.
Descending towards the Samar village and following the steep trail to a stream, you will reach the destination of the day- Syangboche. Syangboche is a small village at 3,475 meters with extraordinary topography. There is also another pass at Syangboche called Syangboche Che La at 3,800m by the side of Syangboche river. There are several lodges and guesthouses where you can spend the night.
Altitude: Ghami, 3500 meters
Trek Distance: 9.3 kilometres/ 5.7 miles
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
You will start this day of trekking by passing the first of three high passes, Yanda La and a beautiful ancient chorten. Then, you will trek along the terraced valleys and village of Ghelung. Unlike other villages, Ghelung has widespread settlement with affluent community.
Next passes you cross is Nyi La Pass and Ghami La Pass. The landscape becomes more rugged on the way and villages more deserted. You witness significant gompas, groups of yellowish trees, and barren-brown hills there.
The extraordinary views of mountains, deep valleys, and wind eroded gorges will lure you. The colorful ravine, enormous sand-dunes, and uneven geography is something out of imagination. Everything you witness will blow your mind.
After few short climbs, the valley broadens with beautiful scenery. And there you reach Mustang’s third largest town, Ghami. Ghami is the ancient village with many antique monasteries, chorten, and mani (prayer) walls. It locates high above the river and encircled by several types of fields.
Altitude: Tsarang (Charang), 3,570 meters
Trek Distance: 10.7 kilometers/ 6.6 miles
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
After morning breakfast, we leave Ghami and take the uphill trails along several passes. Crossing the passes, the trails are mostly flat. This day you explore some of the best scenery of your trip. The glistening view of mountain range above the sandy valley with bright colorful fields. You will view Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri, Thorang peak, and many more.
On the trail lies the 1000m long Mani wall decorated with simple carvings. This is Chinggel la, also the longest mani wall of Mustang. The group of chortens and the surrounding scenery within the valley are charming. The natural architecture is awe-striking.
Legends enclose a story between the famous Guru Rinpoche and a demon in this area. And people believe that the traces of demon are still under mani walls and monasteries. The soaring red cliffs somehow give an intriguing thrill to the story.
Then, you climb a 3820m Choya La Pass which looks completely like a desert. It is also the most difficult part of this day. There is no life here, only barren hills and flat dry lands. Though you will never forget this creepy beauty.
Afterwards, you reach Tsarang, the “Land of Chortens”. Tsarang is also Mustang’s second town with broad road and around 1000 inhabitants. Here, you will also visit the red-painted stupa, the Tsarang chorten. Further, you will see other monasteries and the ancient palaces of Tsarang. Charang dwells 400 years old Gulpa Sect Monastery, an ancient masterpiece.
Altitude: Lo Manthang, 3840 meters
Trek Distance: 11 kilometers/ 6.8 miles
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
This is the major day of the trek as you head to the ultimate point of trek, the walled kingdom of Lo Manthang. There are several other routes to reach Lo Manthang. Most of your walking trail for the day is flat and wide. Thus, comparably this day is easier. The remote trail from Charang to Lo Manthang is full combo of adventure, scenic beauty, and charming culture & tradition.
You also cross several plateaus and villages. You ascend about 125m from Tsarang, cross the Tsarang chu. And follow the track towards Tholung village, at 3580 meters. From the plateau, the view of Lo Manthang is spectacular.
Also, you cross the ‘windy passes’ of Lo La at 3,950 meters. There, you get the eye-catching view of Himalayan range including Mount Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
On the way, there is a solitary ancient chorten too. It is spectacular piece of artistic creation. You also will view many historical ruined forts on the high hills.
Finally you will reach Lo Manthang; the capital city and the plain of aspiration of Mustang. This walled city has so much to offer.
You also have the option of ride to arrive in Lo Manthang. The total riding distance would be 25 kilometers.
Altitude: Lo Manthang, 3840 meters
Trek Distance: -
Trek Duration: -
As the altitude is undoubtedly high, a day break for acclimatization is necessary. Also, you get to explore this antique kingdom.
Lo Manthang is the capital city of Mustang with about 150 houses. It has some of the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhism gompas of Nepal. Also, there are four major ancient monasteries and other fascinating gumbas as well. In the center of the city, a 14th century palace of 4-storey rests. This gives an impressive evolutionary significance of Mustang.
Other remarkable places at Lo Manthang are Nyphu cave (constructed at a soaring cliff), 2500 years old Jhong Sky cave (with 44 compartments indicating the prehistoric human settlements). Plus, Thinkar summer palace, Konchok Ling cave, Ritseling cave, and many exceptional monasteries.
You have the option to take the side-trip to Chhoser and Gharphu along the Kali Gandaki. You can get there either by walking or jeep safari or horse riding. The surrounding is totally dominated with Buddhism and Tibetan culture.
This day, you explore the remote and isolated area and get close with the local lifestyle.
Altitude: Drakmar, 3,810 meters
Trek Distance: 17.2 kilometer/ 10.6 miles
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
The route of returning is different from Lo-Manthang. You will take the trail from Drakmar to reach Jomsom.
The trail towards Drakmar will pass through Gyakar village. This amazing village has a century-old Ghar Gompa, an amazing rock painting. According to the legends, any wish you make at this Gompa turns true some day. The gompa about 1200 years old.
You will also pass through the highest plateaus like Marang La Pass (4,300m) and Muila. You also witness many gumbas and chorten around the way.
The steep and down-hill terrain offers fantastic views of landscape and the mountain ranges. This day will be sure a memorable one as you get to lunch at 7th century monastery.
Overnight at Drakmar!
Altitude: Ghiling, 3,750 meters
Trek Distance: 14.3 kilometers/ 8.8 miles
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
On this day, you have to wake up and trek little early to avoid strong winds while descending. The trail mainly passes through a dry plateau and sandy fields. It can be a difficult day as the wind blows directly at your face.
Walking on the trails towards Ghiling is truly a thrilling experience. The tracks are high above the canyons and eroded hills.
Ghiling is a good choice as the trail from Drakmar are quite windy and challenging. A day rest at Ghiling will solace you. Ghling is dry village with good views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. You can tour other parts of the village around the evening like Ghami La and Ny La.
Altitude: Chhuksang, 2,980 meters
Trek Distance: 17.2 kilometers/ 10.6 miles
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
Walking through steep ridges of hills, the fine views of carved hill will blow your mind. First, you encounter Tetang. Tetang village is the upper village of Chhuksang between two hills. As it is at the base, it is safe place to avoid the strong wind.
Following the south trail, you will also visit the marvelous Chungsi Cave Monastery. This is one of the fabulous creation of Mustang. Here, the saint Padmasambhava meditated around 7th century.
At the pass, the mountains seem really close. Thorung, being the lowest peak looks impressive and a large glaciers along the steep flanks are also seen.
Chuuksang is the ultimate destination this day. It is another ancient village between Mustang and Kagbeni, full of apple orchard. This place is fully Tibet influenced. Moreover the pious local inhabitants embellish their culture and tradition.
Altitude: Muktinath (3,710 meters), Jomsom (2,743 meters)
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
Travel Duration: 2-3 hours
This day after quick breakfast, you head back to the Annapurna region. This is also the last day of the trek where you follow village trails with scenic Mani walls. You also cross through different plateau and ascend till you catch the view of holy Muktinath temple.
This day is a moderate day regarding trekking. You will pass across various Mustangi villages. You may try the delicious apples dishes. Also, you get to see the traditional back-loom weaving techniques by the local women. Descending down the Chhuksang, you also exit from the restricted area of Mustang.
Then, you reach the Kani gate, the entrance to Muktinath temple.
Muktinath is temple with great religious significance. It is a holy place to wash out all your sins and pave way towards “mukti” in heaven. Also, there are 108 holy springs around the temple. Taking bath here, as people believe, gives you salvation.
Muktinath also has the legendary flame coming out of a rock. There is a Buddhist temple built around this flame. You will explore more about the surroundings and also rest for sometime.
From Muktinath, you drive back to Jomsom by a local jeep. It will take around an hour to reach there. Overnight at Jomsom!
This is the returning day to Pokhara. You will take early morning flight back to Pokhara, probably after the breakfast. After half an hour, you will reach at Pokhara airport and will drive to a hotel.
The rest of the day is free so you will take a round tour around Pokhara valley. Fewa lake, Peace pagoda, Davis Falls, Mountain Museum, Tibetan refugee settlements, Gupteshwor cave are the major attraction. Further, you have the options of paragliding, zip-flying, kayaking, boating, cycling, etc.
And at night, you can celebrate you trek accomplishment in some good cafes or pubs. You will find plenty of great places to enjoy and relax.
After the great day at Pokhara, it is time to return back to Kathmandu. There are both options available again i.e you can take a scenic drive or a short flight.
As there are no further plans for the day, you are free to create your own. There are a lot of things to do in Kathmandu like shopping, archery, rock climbing, small excursion, etc.
And at evening, there are pubs, clubs, and traditional restros for celebration and enjoyment! After relaxation you will join us for the farewell dinner and final meet-up session.
The whole trip officially ends this day. Our representative will drop you back to the Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight departure. We look forward for your positive response in the days to come.
If you want to extend your journey, we will be more than happy to customize the itinerary. Also, if you have any type of query regarding this or any other trekking routes, just feel free to contact us.