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Upper Mustang Trekking

Upper Mustang Trekking

Overview And Highlights

TRIP FACTS

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Accommodation Tea House
Max Altitude 3,950m / 13,035 ft
Best Season April to October
Trip Duration 14 Days
Trip Grade Adventurous.

" Explore the culturally vibrant Tibetan Buddhist heritage and journey back in time. "

Upper Mustang Trekking explores the isolated yet picturesque valleys and dry lands of Mustang, located far North West of Nepal’s Himalayan ranges. Upper Mustang is a restricted region that was closed off from the world and only opened to visitors in the last few decades.

Due to the fragile and pristine landscape along with the untouched and immense culture of the locals, the government of Nepal allows only a limited number of trekkers to visit the region. The number is regulated per year with the use of special permits, which are required for entry into the restricted parts of Upper Mustang and its former kingdom. The trek is a fascinating walk along the scenic high and dry terrain, which is actually an extension of the world’s highest and largest table-land, the vast Tibetan plateau.

Upper Mustang Trekking is a journey of great interest as it offers the chance to experience the colorful local Buddhist and Bon culture, which dates back to hundreds, if not thousands of years. The local culture is influenced by the Tibetan culture of Tibet-China, located not too far away past the ancient Trans-Himalayan Salt / Caravan Route

Our marvelous adventure starts with a swift flight from the popular tourist center of Pokhara to the airstrip at Jomsom, which is the headquarter town of the Mustang region. The trail leads us North West through areas of Lower Mustang, all the way to Lo-Manthang in Upper Mustang. The trek will be quite photogenic as you walk along the eroded canyons and high cliffs colored reddish-brown and grey.

After days of trekking, we have finally reached the highlight and goal of our adventure at the walled city of Lo-Manthang. Lo-Manthang, the capital of the former kingdom of Lo, is a large and interesting village with numerous archaic monasteries of great importance. On your day off, interact with locals to witness the traditional lifestyle of the Mustang people and also visit the former palace of late Mustang Raja / King. Also take the opportunity to learn about its fascinating history and explore the origins of Nepal’s longest mani wall through the myths and legends about Guru Rinpoche.

After the grand moment at Lo-Manthang, the trek leads us back to Jomsom. On our way, we will come across the various old monasteries, mani walls and prayer wheels once again. During our daily stops at different villages, we will also get to experience the local Buddhist culture and hospitality once again. Enjoy a scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara and catch aerial views of the whole region. Finally, our 18 Day Upper Mustang trekking adventure is finally completed as we drive / catch a flight back to the capital from Pokhara.

Highlights Of Upper Mustang Trekking

  • Trek through the high country of Upper Mustang, which is an extension of the vast Tibetan plateau
  • Witness the grand panorama of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Fishtail and various other peaks
  • Explore Manang-Mustang and various villages with their immense Buddhist culture Mustang and interesting old monasteries
  • Spend a day at Lo-Manthang, the capital of the former kingdom of Lo
  • Visit the ancient and mysterious sky caves at Choeser
  • Trek through the Kali Gandaki river gorge, the deepest canyon in the world

Best Season for Upper Mustang Trekking

  • As Mustang is located in the rain shadow of the Himalayas thanks to Dhaulagiri massif, Upper Mustang Trekking can be done all year long. It is one of the few treks in Nepal that can be performed with no issues during monsoon. Winter trekking might be the choice for you if you feel like enjoying the extra snow and mountain views, although the colder temperatures can be an issue for some. As usual, the spring (March – May) and autumn (September – November) seasons are very good periods as well thanks to their stable weather, moderate temperatures and clear views. What season you choose simply depends on your preferences.

Equipments

The next details will provide you with a basic understanding of what you should carry for the trek. It's crucial not to overlook the necessary items, as they will impact your comfort and safety during the hike. It's just as vital not to weigh yourself down with unnecessary gear during the trek.

  • A pair of Woolen shocks
  • A pair of half-golves
  • A wool jacket or pullover, Water and Windproof shell jackets
  • long sleeve t-shirts
  • Windproof and Waterproof Trousers (warmer), Comfortable trekking pants
  • Water Trekking Boots/  Pair of sandals
  • First Aid kits and Medicine
  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Water Bottle
  • Headlamp or torch
  • Sunscreen / Sunglasses / Sunhat
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Trekking Poles
  • Chapstick
  • Camera & Batteries
  • Power adapter and chargers
  • Travel Towel
  • Toiletries

Itinerary Expand All Close All

Morning traveling by coach or in private vehicles (depending upon group size), where drive leads on interesting and exciting highway, one of the busiest roads linking capital with other districts of Nepal.

Heading towards Nepal Mid West to reach at beautiful Pokhara city located on a green valley surrounded with rolling hills and snow capped mountains.

On reaching Pokhara transfer to respective hotels near calm and serene Phewa Lake with afternoon free for short walks.

(Flying options 30 minutes of scenic flight to Pokhara)

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
950

After a pleasant overnight in Pokhara, morning drive to airport for short scenic flight to Jomsom with close views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range of mountains as the flight touches at Jomsom airport located on the shelf of Kali-Gandaki River.

Jomsom, headquarter town of Mustang district, after Jomsom first day trek begins on Kali-Gandaki River valley around windswept country, few hours of good walk with great views of
Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiris then reaching Kagbeni village.

A nice Tibetan style village, this is a start and ending point of Upper Mustang area towards Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, on an old Himalayan Caravan trade route to Tibet.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2804

Morning walk starts with uphill climb into a canyon of high red eroded cliff edge, following upper upstream of Kailgandaki River, within unique landscapes of cliff walls, a nice walk with views brings you to our overnight stop at Chele, a moderate size village also spelled as Tsele.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3050

From Tsele or Chele, morning begins with a climb to Gyakar village, and from here walk 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.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3540

Morning with time visit to its old monastery with Buddhist mani prayer wheels propelled with water power, after monastery tour trek to Ghami village and then cross Ghaymi Khola (stream) walk leads following a long and interesting line of Mani walls (holy prayer stone) from here walk to Dhakmar village, after hours of pleasant walk reaching at Tsarang village surrounded by large fields of crops buck wheat’s with overnight stop and visit of Tsarang old monastery.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3560

Today a short walk to Lo -Manthang of few hours trek to reach our main destination of this great adventure to enter the wall city (actually a large village) the fort guarding the city / village surrounded by high wall. At one time stood as a forbidden kingdom after monarchy rule ended in Nepal few past decade, on the walk coming across several chhorten and mani stones, between Tsarang and on Lo Manthang trail with grand views of arid landscapes in the shade of Nilgiri’s, Tilicho and Bhrikuti peaks.

Walk leads to Lo La pass at 3,950 meters with views of Lo Manthang the walled city and then descend reaching a nice trail to Lo Manthang for two night stops.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3700

Lo Manthang highest overnight stop of this journey, with time to explore this fascinating village with old Tibetan like houses enclosed within great high wall, visit historical and cultural centre the main attraction of Lo-Manthang.

The four main monasteries are Namgyal Gompa, Champa Lakhang (God House), Red Thubchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the great Entrance Hall.
Advance permission required to enter king’s palace to visit interior of the old palace and to grant audience with former king or Raja of Mustang if possible.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3700

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.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3810

From Dhakmar village, morning walk heading on the same route with long series of Mani Walls, and then cross a bridge over Ghami Khola to reach at Ghami village for overnight, time permitting visit Geling monastery.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3806

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 Chusang village.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Tented Camp
Elevation
2980

From Chusang village rest of the journey is easier losing more altitude with moderate walks all the way with a big drop of 1,200m downhill to Kaligandaki river valley at Kagbeni for overnight stop with time to explore this interesting once again.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2804

After a pleasant and refreshing overnight at Kagbeni village walk leads to Kaligandaki river valley to reach back at Jomsom for last overnight stop of this marvelous adventure.

Jomsom headquarter town of Mustang area with small airstrip above Kaligandaki River and main place of local Thakali tribes the native of Kaligandaki areas interwoven with Buddhism religion.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2715

Early morning transfer to Jomsom airport where the flight times in the morning times before noon (due to heavy winds).

On boarding a small aircraft taking off for Pokhara with sweeping panorama of Dhaulagiri-Nilgiris and Annapurna range of mountains, on reaching Pokhara transfer to respective hotels for overnight stop by the Lake Phewa.

Pokhara, a popular touristic city, where the peaks of Annapurna Mountain range reflects on its beautiful serene lakes of Phewa and Begnas.

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
860

Morning a drive to Kathmandu after a wonderful experience on Upper Mustang trekking, on reaching Kathmandu transfer to your hotels with afternoon free at leisure for individual activities and shopping.

(Flying options 30 minutes of scenic flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara)

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

What Is Included ?

  • Accommodation at hotel in Pokhara
  • Kathmandu to Pokhara and Return by tourist vehicle
  • Pokhara to Jomsom by domestic transporatation (flight or bus/local jeep)
  • Upper mustang special permit 
  • All the ground transportation as per itinerary
  • Trekking equipment like down filled sleeping bag, walking poles and duffel bag
  • An experienced government license holder guide
  • Salary, Insurance, Equipment, Travel Fare, Food and Accommodation for guide and porter
  • Full meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) during the trek
  • Hot Drinks (Tea and Coffee)
  • All government and local taxes

What Is Excluded?

  • Lunch/Dinner in Pokhara
  • Boiled water
  • Tips for guide, porter and driver
  • Travel insurance and evacuation insurance
  • Personal nature expense – alcoholic beverages, laundry, hot shower, shopping etc.

Upper Mustang Trekking Altitude Profile

FAQs

As Mustang is located in the rain shadow of the Himalayas thanks to Dhaulagiri massif, Upper Mustang Trekking can be done all year long. It is one of the few treks in Nepal that can be performed with no issues during monsoon. Winter trekking might be the choice for you if you feel like enjoying the extra snow and mountain views, although the colder temperatures can be an issue for some. As usual, the spring (March – May) and autumn (September – November) seasons are very good periods as well thanks to their stable weather, moderate temperatures and clear views. What season you choose simply depends on your preferences.

The Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate to challenging trek that requires a good level of fitness and endurance. The trek involves long and steep ascents and descents, high altitudes, and unpredictable weather conditions.

The Upper Mustang Trek takes around 12-14 days, depending on the itinerary and the pace of the trekker.

The Upper Mustang Trek requires two permits: The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) issued by the Nepali government.

The maximum altitude reached during the Upper Mustang Trek is 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) at the Lo La Pass.

During the Upper Mustang Trek, basic teahouses and lodges are available for accommodation, offering basic facilities such as twin sharing rooms, shared toilets, and hot showers.

During the Upper Mustang Trek, you can expect to find a variety of dishes, including Nepali, Tibetan, and Western cuisines. Dal Bhat, a traditional Nepali dish, is a popular choice among trekkers, as it is a great source of energy.

Some safety precautions to be taken during the Upper Mustang Trek include acclimatizing properly to the high altitude, carrying enough warm clothing, carrying enough water and staying hydrated, and following the trekking guide's instructions.

Some essential equipment required for the Upper Mustang Trek include sturdy trekking boots, warm clothing, a backpack, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit, and a water bottle.

  1. The cultural and natural attractions of the Upper Mustang Trek include ancient Buddhist monasteries, barren desert landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and unique rock formations.

Yes, solo travelers can join a group for the Upper Mustang Trek through trekking agencies.

The cancellation policy for the Upper Mustang Trek varies depending on the trekking agency and the terms and conditions. It is advisable to read the cancellation policy before booking the trek.

US$1475pp
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