Upper Mustang Trek

17 Days
6 Reviews in TripAdvisor Recommended by 99%
  • Hotel & Guesthouse
  • English
  • March to May & Sep to Dec
  • 4010 M
  • Kathmandu
  • Eco-Tour, Hiking, Trekking
  • 2-20

Upper Mustang Trek Overview

The upper Mustang trek introduces you to the hidden kingdoms of Mustang. To protect and preserve its ancient Tibetan culture and stunning landscapes it’s restricted. The upper Mustang trek is an amazing journey through a remote and culturally rich region of Nepal. Immerse yourself in this unforgettable journey to Lo Mustang. Ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture and breathtaking Himalayan scenery will forever be in your mind. Discover unique villages and explore traditional Gopas (Monasteries).

 The best seasons to trek in Upper Mustang typically run from spring and autumn. The weather is mild and dry during these months. Experience the clear skies and comfortable temperatures, especially in the early spring and late autumn seasons.  

Starting from Pokhara, the upper Mustang trek routes range from 15-17 days depending on the fitness level. The official trek starts in Jomsom or Kagbeni which is accessible by flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The most popular routes of the upper Mustang follow the Kali Gandaki River throughout the trek. This trek is best for experts as well as for beginners. The Upper Mustang classical route has stunning Scenery including the walled city of Lo Manthang the ancient Tsarang Monastery and the dramatic Mustang desert.

The upper Mustang trek altitude reaches 5643 meters, with the highest point being Mustang La. Most of the trek takes place above 3000 meters. The starting point Jomsom sits at the stunning height of 2743 meters. Throughout the trek, routes range from 3500 to 3800 meters. The highest passes like Chogo La and Yara La require crossing above 4000 meters. The trek to Mustang demands extra strength, caution, and preparedness. 

Permits for the Upper Mustang trek are mandatory for all foreign citizens. Trekkers can collect permits in Kathmandu or online in advance. Restricted Area Permit (RAP), Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), and Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) Card

Invest in good quality gear and equipment for the upper Mustang trek. It required packing warm clothing, sturdy hiking boots, and essential trekking equipment. Remember, higher altitudes require additional layers and sun protection. Choose a guided trek for support and cultural insights, or plan independently for more flexibility and self-reliance.

Difficulty and challenges during the Upper Mustang trek

Altitude challenges in upper Mustang trek:  Elevation gain is the major challenge faced by trekkers. The highest point reached in Mustang La is about 5643 meters. Even lower reaches have higher elevations than sea level.  Good physical fitness and proper acclimatization are necessary to avoid altitude sickness.

Routes of Mustang trek

 the trek to Upper Mustang has different routes; the classical trekking routes are safer than via Chogo La Pass and the Tsum Valley. The steeper climbs and higher altitude trek offer a safe trekking environment for every level of beginner trekkers. 

Terrain: trekking routes in Nepal have a very diverse terrain. Constant ascending-descending and high passes are common in mountain regions. Depending on the season, Rocky paths, dust, and potential snow can impact your trekking experience.

Duration: the longer your days are the more you need to walk. The longer trek requires stamina and proper rest for a body to adjust to such an altitude. Remember; take your time reaching base camps. Listen to your body and acclimatize properly.

Level of Fitness: The level of your fitness defines your trekking experience. Ensure you’re comfortable with sustained walking, moderate inclines, and potentially challenging weather conditions.

Permits costs of Upper Mustang trek

Mustang Restricted Area Permit (SAP): it’s mandatory for foreign citizens. It’s nontransferable and needs to be sown in checkpoints. It costs around USD 500 for the first 10 days, and USD 50 per person for extra days.

Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP), is priced around USD 30 per person for foreign adults and USD 10 per person for children less than 12 years.

Trekking Guide costs: The guide is not mandatory but highly recommended due to the remoteness of the area. Expect daily rates of about USD 25 to 40, covering their food, accommodations, and salary.

Potters: Potters are optional but helpful for carrying heavy bags. Daily rates of potters are similar to guides, around USD 20 to 30, including their expenses.

Accommodation in Upper Mustang Trek

 Tea houses are the primary option, with costs varying based on location, facilities, and season. Expect to pay around USD 10-20 per night for basic amenities and meals. Luxury lodges offer higher standards but come with correspondingly higher prices.

Food: Meals while trekking are usually included in the cost of your guide or teahouse stay. Expect basic but hearty meals consisting of Dal Bhat (lentil soup and rice), vegetables, and occasional meat dishes. Snacks and bottled water are extra.

Tips: Tipping your guide and porter is customary. While not mandatory, consider 10-15% of their wages as a good starting point.

Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

One of our employees will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel so you can check-in. Our airport representative will go over the program's specifics in more detail. Spend the night at the hotel, which includes breakfast.

Our sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley includes important cultural and traditional sites like Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Explore the history, the sculptures, the paintings, and a quick overview of Nepal. Spend the night at the hotel in Kathmandu and have breakfast.

Get ready to meet Pokhara. Despite the lengthy route the journey to Pokhara is fascinating and scenic. Upon arrival, you will be taken to the Pokhara Hotel to check in. Enjoy a boat ride on Fewa Lake in the sunset, and consider taking a picture of the Annapurna Range and Mount Machhapuchhre. it reflects the calm water and beauty of nature. Spend the night at the hotel, which includes breakfast.

Passing across the snow-capped peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna we continue our morning flight to Jomsom. Witness the views of the deepest river valley, Annapurna massifs reaching over 8,000 meters, and breathtaking diverse landscapes. The trek to the Upper Mustang trip begins from Kagbeni in Jomsom. Situated at an elevation of 2,800 meters, Kagbeni hamlet is the primary gate to Upper Mustang. It was a checkpost for traders in the 14th century. A checkpoint is still in place to manage the people leaving for Mustang and Muktinath. Spend the night in a guesthouse, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Today’s trek Starts from Kagbeni, a gateway town to Upper Mustang. Following the Kali Ganda River, the deepest gorge in the world, witness the beautiful Nilgiri and tukche. The trek to Chele is mostly flat with some ups and downs. Enjoy the sight of traditional villages, mini walls, and shortens along the way. After hiking for several hours we finally reached Chele village. Spend the night at a guest house and enjoy the night with a tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Witness some dramatic scenery, and climb a dry, treeless landscape reaching a high point marked by a pole of rocks at 3540 meters. Slowly hike down to a small village called Samar and enjoy the mountain views along the way. Continuing the climb followed by steep we cross a beautiful valley of Shyangmochen at 3770 meters. This final push leads us to our destination Geling Village. Rest your legs and enjoy a delicious meal.

After a rest in Geling, we start the day with a gentle climb to the NYl La Pass. Witness the colorful cliffs and pass the steel bridge over the Tangmar Chu River. We'll tackle another pass at 3,600 meters before beginning a long, gentle descent to the village of Charang. Charang is a sight to behold! Its massive five-story white Dzong (fortress) and red Gompa (monastery) are truly impressive. Inside, you can discover fascinating collections of statues, colorful paintings, and even large images of the Buddha. Rest your legs in this impressive village.

Today's trek takes us on a steady climb up to Lo-Gekar. Take a moment and explore its history and soak in the atmosphere. We continue our journey towards Lo-manthang, the walled city. The trail to Lo Manthang is well-marked and involves some manageable climbs. While passing, keep an eye out for unique architecture. Make a short descent, cross a refreshing stream, and finally climb onto the Lo-Manthang. Rest a night at the guesthouse and refuel with the delicious, meal.

Get ready for your morning hike to Namgyal Gompa, perched on a hilltop. Our adventure continues to Tingkhar, known as the last village northwest of Lo-Manthang. With only around 40 houses, it promises a unique and intimate experience. Soak in the local atmosphere and discover what life is like in this remote village. Explore both Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar and head back to Lo-Manthang. Here our cozy guesthouse waits. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner included made with love.

Today trek ascends with a steady ascent, offering one last chance to admire the beauty of Lo-Manthang. Get ready to conquer Chogo La, and explore the highest point of our entire upper Mustang journey at 4210 meters. Enjoy the incredible panoramas from the top. The adventure continues with the walk across a beautiful valley. Finally, we’ll descend a steep to reach our destination for the night in Drakmar. Relax and refuel in a cozy hotel for the next day.

The trail hits down hills, passing Drakmar’s fields and stone walls. After climbing uphill, you reach a lower area called Ghani, then stop at Chhung-Kah passing Jaite. The trail continues until you reach Sgmochen. Rest a night in a guesthouse with food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) included.

Follow a refreshing stream down to Chhusang and enjoy the challenges throughout the trek. Trek walking among side with the water and listening to a gentle breeze. Take a longer route in just 30 minutes that leads to Samar. After the trek, rest in a comfortable guesthouse in Chhusang.

Today’s treks follow the short trek to Chhusang village. We keep ascending until we reach a small pass from where we can see Muktinath famous also for the red-painted Buddhist Monasteries. There will be a bit of an ascent as you make your way towards the villages leading to Muktinath. As you walk through these villages, keep an eye out for the "Saligrams," which are considered sacred by Hindus and Buddhists. It offers a terrific view of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Tukuche Himalayan ranges. Overnight stay at a guesthouse and enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Muktinath is one of the most holy places for Hindu pilgrims. It is an important place for both Buddhists and Hindus. We will visit Muktinath Temple and enjoy the magnificent views of Dhaulagiri Peak in the morning. The water spouts channeled into the stream running above the temple hold its importance. There is also a beautiful Buddhist Monastery near the Muktinath temple which holds its charm. Continuing the trek back to Jomsom, The views of the Kaligandaki Valley and Kagbeni village truly overwhelm you. We pass through the Ekle Bhatti and arrive at Jomsom. Celebrate the completion of the trek and enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with all the trekking staff.

Bid farewell to Jomsong and trek back to Pokhara. Enjoy the charming lakeside views in Pokhara. Spend your extra time and do whatever you desire. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel with breakfast included.

Today our trek ends here and we fall back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. Overnight stay at a hotel-breakfast included.

Day 17 :
Farewell

A representative from Tidy Himalaya will bid you, approximately 3 hours before your flight.

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers–pick up and drop
  • All ground transportation
  • Your accommodation in a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara with a breakfast plan
  • Your accommodation in the best guesthouses available (on a twin sharing basis) during the trek with breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the Upper Mustang trekking journey.
  • All paper works
  • National park and heritage sites entry tickets
  • Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) and trekking permits
  • A licensed, English-speaking, experienced guide along with a porter (1 for two clients)
  • All the costs of guide and porter, including accidental insurance
  • Duffel bag, and sleeping bags (to be returned to us after the trek)
  • T-shirts, route map, and a travel completion certificate
  • All applicable government taxes and service charges.
  • First aid kit

Cost Excludes

  • Meals (lunch and dinner) in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • International airfare
  • Nepalese Tourist Visa costs
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal refreshment items like cold drinks, snacks, etc.
  • Personal utility items like laundry, telephone expenses, electricity charges, etc.
  • Personal trekking gear.
  • Tips for guides and porters

Packing list of the Mustang Trek

When preparing for the Upper Mustang Trek, it’s essential to pack wisely to ensure you have the necessary items for a comfortable and safe trekking experience. Here’s a packing list to consider:

  1. Clothing:
  • Layers below: shirts and pants that are breathable and wick away moisture.
  • Layers of insulation: For warmth, wear down or fleece jackets.
  • Shell exterior: Pants and jacket that are wind- and water-resistant.
  • Trekking pants and shorts.
  • T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Warm hat, gloves, and neck gaiter.
  • Hiking socks and thermal socks.
  1. Footwear:
  • Sturdy and comfortable hiking boots with ankle support.
  • Lightweight trekking sandals or sneakers for evenings and rest days.
  • Extra pairs of socks for rotation.
  1. Gear:
  • Backpack (30-40 liters) for carrying your essentials.
  • Sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures.
  • Trekking poles for stability and reducing strain on your joints.
  • Headlamp with spare batteries.
  • Sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Sun hat and sunscreen.
  • Water bottles or hydration bladder.
  • Lightweight and quick-drying towel.
  1. Miscellaneous:
  • First aid kit with basic medications, bandages, and blister treatment.
  • Personal toiletries and wet wipes.
  • Snacks and energy bars for the trek.
  • Waterproof bags or dry sacks for keeping your belongings dry.
  • Cash for permits, snacks, and tipping.

It’s important to pack light and prioritize essentials while considering the weight restrictions for domestic flights and the limited space in your backpack. Layering your clothing is crucial to adapt to changing temperatures throughout the trek. Also, remember to check the weather forecast before packing to ensure you are adequately prepared for the conditions.

Upper Mustang Trek Map

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Upper Mustang Trek