Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek: Discover the Hidden Nature & Culture of Mustang

  • Destination
    Nepal
  • Region
    Mustang
  • Duration
    14 Days
  • Transportation
    Flight/Drive
  • Max Height
    3800m.
  • Activity
    Trekking
  • Trip Grade
    Moderate
  • Accomodation
    Sep-Dec & Mar-May
  • Group Size
    Mini. 2 Pax
  • Best Season
    B.L.D.
  • Meals
    B.L.D.
  • Start / End Point
    Pokhara to Pokhara

Trip Overview

Nepal is a secular federal state as of 28th May 2008. The name of this country used to be the Nepal Kingdom before as it was ruled by the Shah dynasty king. Interestingly, Upper Mustang still practices the monarchial system at least in its area. Therefore, the place is also famously known as the forbidden kingdom of Nepal.

Trekkers who visit the region can experience the contrasting diversity of landscape, nature, and culture. Relish the chance to experience the Himalayan desert, caves, and the last village of Nepal bordering China. Upper Mustang Trek can be a splendid walking trip so far in your life as it endows attractions ranging from cultural to natural aspects with the mountain vistas as some added incentives.

The Upper Mustang region of Nepal is a mythically and naturally significant area. It is under a restricted trekking zone. Earlier, foreigners were not allowed to enter the place. Nowadays, people can visit the place only after getting a special permit. Trekkers have to fulfill certain requirements.

What are the requirements for Upper Mustang Trek?

Unlike regular trekking destinations in Nepal, in order to do the Upper Mustang Trek, trekkers have to fulfill certain requirements. Solo trekking is prohibited. For the trekkers to do the trekking, they must be in a group of at least two trekkers. The trekking has to be operated by the trekking agency.

You can’t go drifting in the area. A special immigration permit will be issued by the immigration department of the Foreign Ministry of Nepal. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit and TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card is also required. Only the Nepal Government licensed trekking guide can take the trekkers to the region.

Lomanthang (Kingdom of Himalaya)

The capital of the Upper Mustang region of Nepal is the city of Lomanthang. In the Tibetan language, Lomanthang refers to the walled city. Yes, the place is surrounded by walls. Travelers can feel the mythical power within the city. The old houses and the monasteries make the city spiritual. There is still the provision of a king in the city and people have been following their traditions to date. The Namgyal Monastery is the iconic monastery present in the area. This spiritual place hosts the famous Tiji Festival of the region as well.

Ancient Hill Caves and Mountain Vista on the South

The village of Upper Mustang is called as the village beyond mountains (Himal Paari ko Gaon in the Nepali Language). Trekkers can see the mountains in the southern direction. Most of the mountains are in the northern direction. However, you can see the mountains on the south side which is so peculiar to the region.

Hill Caves are the cultural and natural attractions of the region. There are numerous habitable caves on the hills. It is believed that during times of famine and war, people took shelter in those mountain caves. Moreover, holy gurus and rinpoches also meditated in these caves.

Tiji Festival

The biggest festival of the Upper Mustang region of Nepal is the Tiji Festival. The festival falls normally in the month of May every year. The exact dates of the festival are changed every year. If you would like to observe this festival, do the Short Upper Mustang Trek at this time.

The festival is celebrated to mark the victory of truth and good deeds over evil. According to the myth, the demon was about to destroy the whole region. His son Dorje Jono summoned the gods and destroyed demons in order to protect the land. Therefore, people celebrate with colorful dances and recite many mantras during this festival. Relish the chance to understand the rituals and traditions of Tibetan origin Nepalese people.

Upper Mustang Trek is an Ideal Monsoon Season Trekking Route

An ideal time to do trekking activities in Nepal is during the months of spring and autumn season. However, you can do the Upper Mustang Trek in the monsoon season as well. The place is the rain shadow area. Therefore, the region experiences very less rainfall and it is possible to do trekking during this season. Besides the individual Upper Mustang Trek, you can visit the place during the Annapurna Circuit Trek as well. Either you can visit the region after crossing the Thorong La pass or after visiting the Upper Mustang, you can do the Annapurna Circuit Trek from the anti-clockwise direction.

Overland Jeep Tour vs Trekking

The road network has stretched up to Lomanthang from Jomsom. Therefore, lots of people do the overland jeep tour as well. The road is graveled and bumpy though. Travelers need to do the road trip in either motorbikes or the four-wheeled jeep. Lots of Indian travelers prefer to do the jeep or bullet bike tour in the region. Nowadays, people prefer to do cycling in the region as well.

Some of the adventurous cyclists do the Annapurna Circuit cycling tour and add the Upper Mustang region as well. The risk of altitude sickness is very high while doing the overland jeep tour. The gain in altitude is rapid during the road trip. Therefore, people prefer to do trekking as well. Either way of traveling can endow the breathtaking experience of the region.

Kaligandaki River, Gorge, and Fossil (Shaligram)

The Kaligandaki River and the gorge are very famous across the globe. In fact, the gorge is the deepest gorge in the world. The holy fossil which is regarded as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu can be found in the shores of the river. These stones are sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. During the Upper Mustang Trek, you can bless your soul with the spiritual awakening experiences both the Buddhists and Hindus way.

The cost of the Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal ranges from 1750 USD to 3400 USD. You can customize the itinerary as well. With us, you can get the updated itinerary of Upper Mustang Trek. Moreover, our experience in the field of Nepal Trekking helps to complete the legal and administrative formalities before the trip. Therefore, book the Upper Mustang trekking in Nepal with us and trek to this mythical place hassle-free.

Details Itinerary

After landing your flight at TIA, representative of Nepal High Trek & Expedition Pvt. Ltd. will warmly welcome you to Nepal. Then we will shift you toward your Hotel. In the evening our guide will meet you for the discussion of Upper Mustang trek with a delicious dinner.

We will spend our second-day sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley. Pashupatinath, regarded as the holiest temple of Lord Shiva, Bauddhanath was known as Little Tibet and Swayambhunath knew as Monkey Temple will be our main sightseeing destination. Then we will enter Basantpur Durbar Square. After visiting Kathmandu valley we will return back to the hotel and make preparation for tomorrow.

From today our journey starts. Early morning we will drive to Pokhara after having our breakfast. It takes us about 7 to 8 hours. In our journey toward Pokhara, we will be enjoyed with the spectacular scenery of roadside houses and forests. After reaching Pokhara we will spend our leisure time visiting the beautiful area of Lakeside.

We will catch the early morning flight over to Jomsom. From the flight magnificent view of mountain ranges with snow, a cap can be seen. After reaching Jomsom we will carry our bag and start our trek which leads us to Kagbeni (desert of Nepal).

After check our special permit at Kaagbeni we will continue our journey toward Chele. We will unknowingly picturesque desert valley of Nepal which will be so much interesting. We will walk in sandy and windy trails with up and downhill. Slowly walking we will reach the small ridges at Chele Village where we will spend our night.

From Chele, we will continue our walk toward Syangboche. We need to walk through Ekle Bhatti. After crossing Taklam La pass (3624m) we almost complete today’s walk. We need to walk on plateaus and narrow stretches. The panoramic scene of Tilicho Peak, Damodar Danda, and Yaskawa Kang will be so much memory.

After having breakfast we resume our trekking to Ghaymi. Walking uphill to Yamada La (3850m) our journey starts. Many teahouses and local villages with Tibetan culture and traditions can be seen during our walk. Climbing the Nyi Pass (4010m) and descending for a while lastly we will reach Ghaymi village.

Early morning we walk toward Charang. First of all, we need to cross Ghaymi Khola to start our journey. Ascending on the plateau and passing beside a very long Mani wall (a sacred stone wall made by the followers of Buddhism) we will Charang village of a maze of fields for our cool night.

After having breakfast we trek toward Lo-Manthang. We need to walk through the main trail. Magnificent views of Tilicho, Annapurna I, Nilgiri, and Bhrikuti Peak can be seen through our trial. Finally, we will be at Lo from where we can observe the panoramic view of Lo-Mangthang valley.

Today we spend our whole day exploring at Lo-Manthang. First of all, we will visit Namgyal Gompa (situated on a hilltop considered as an important monastery in the local community) and Tingkhar (the last main village to the northwest of Lo-Manthang). In this way, we will spend the whole day.

From Lo-Manthang our returning journey starts through different parts. Our walk goes through Gyakar with Ghar Gompa (more than 1200 years old) with Guru Rinpoche as the primary figure. We continue our trek by exploring the local area and at the end of the day, we will reach Drakmar.

Early morning after having breakfast, we return back to Ghiling. At midday, we will reach Ghiling. We will spend our remaining day exploring the area. But it’s more likely to get the dusty wind in the afternoon. It is better not to walk in the evening time. After exploring we will return back to our place for a night.

After having breakfast, we will continue our walk toward Chhuksang. We need to walk through the main trail. We will be pleased with the beautiful scenery which will be so much impressive. Walking slowly on Humpty Dumpty way we lastly reach Chhuksang where we will spend our night at a lodge.

From Chhuksang we will move toward Jomsom. Panoramic view of all around the surrounding with giant mountains can be seen in our way. A beautiful glimpse of great ranges of giant mountains will be joyful. We will be moving until we will reach to the Jomsom where we will stay our night.

We will catch the early morning flight over to Pokhara. From the flight magnificent view of mountain ranges with snow, a cap can be seen. After reaching Pokhara we will view and visit the local market at Lakeside in our leisure time. Then we will return back to the hotel to stay at our memorable night.

Waking early morning we will again view the rising sun piercing the white snows. After having breakfast we will return back to Kathmandu. It will take us about 7 to 8 hours. After reaching Kathmandu we will be shifted toward the hotel.

After spending last night at Nepal, we will pack our luggage to march ourselves towards TIA. We have to reach at the airport 3 hours before the flight. Before that, we will attend a small farewell program organized by Nepal High Trek & Expedition Pvt. Ltd.

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick up & drop off by private vehicle.
  • 2-night hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast.
  • 2-night hotel in Pokhara with breakfast.
  • Full board meals throughout the trek (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
  • Hot beverages (3 Cups per day).
  • Domestic Airfair (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara)
  • An experienced government license holder guide from Kathmandu to Kathmandu.
  • Special Mustang Permit (USD 500)
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)
  • Both-way tourist bus ticket (Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu)
  • Trekking gear down jacket, sleeping bag, and duffle bag.
  • Seasonal fruits during the trek.
  • Emergency Medical kit bag.
  • Complimentary farewell dinner.

Cost Excluded

  • Nepalese visa fee.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara (and also in the case of early return from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottled or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Tips for trekking crews.

Upper Mustang Trek Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions

The difficulty level of Upper Mustang Trek is graded as moderate and easy. If you are fit physically and can walk for about 5 – 6 hours continuously at a normal pace, then you can do the trek pretty much easily. There is very less vertical steep uphill. The altitude gain is also below 4000 m from sea level. There is an alternative way to drive to the Lomanthang areas.

Upper Mustang Trek is a restricted destination in Nepal. However, foreigners should need a special permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit as well. A special permit cost is US$ 50 per day and you have to pay for 10 days. Without a special permit not allowed to go around the Upper Mustang.

Single or individual trekker is not allowed trek to Upper Mustang. However, two people should be in a group. Besides, if you buy two special permits you can trek in Upper Mustang.

Yes, you will have to do some cardio exercises at least 2 weeks before the trekking. These cardio exercises include running, walking, cycling, and simple gym work. If you adopt healthy food and drinking habits along with some regular cardio exercises, it won’t be hard for you to do the trekking.

You can fly or drive from Pokhara to Jomsom. After then you can drive to Lomanthang as well. If you flew from Pokhara the trek would be quite shorter than the drive. The trek can be completed within 9 to 15 days from Pokhara.

Yes, it is possible for both kids and elderly citizens. Nepal High Trek employs highly experienced trekking guides and porters. They will assess the ground situation and help you overcome any kinds of hurdles along the way. We had successfully completed the Upper Mustang Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, and Jomsom Muktinath Trek for both the kids and the elderly citizens.

You will have to reach as high as 3800 m at Lomanthang. The risk of altitude sickness is in places beyond 3000 m from sea level. Therefore, there is a risk of altitude sickness. However, we always adopt altitude-friendly itineraries and trekking practices. So far, we have zero incidents and a 100 percent success rate. You will have to take travel insurance though. Please buy the policy which has helicopter rescue, medical expenses, and accidents.

Yes, all our trekking crew members are fully insured. The company does all the insurance for its staff. The normal weight that a porter carries is about 15 to 25 kg. For every two trekkers, one porter is assigned.

Accommodation during the Upper Mustang Trek is in tea houses/lodges. However, along the trail, you will get good and comfortable accommodations. Nepal High Trek always ensures the availability of rooms to our guests. Food is on the menu which consists of both local and western cuisine foods.

Yes, you can get internet and hot showers throughout the trekking. However, you need to pay extra for these services. Until Chhomrong, you don’t have to pay for the internet. Beyond this place, you might have to pay nominal fees for internet services.

When completing the trip the trekking crew appreciates and expects the tip. Therefore, the tip is not fixed and it depends upon the trip days and services. You must give a minimum of 10% of the total cost you paid.

Normally, altitude sickness occurs in places beyond 3000 m from sea level. Therefore, there is very little risk of altitude sickness on this trail. However, Nepal Trekking routes of any region require you to have travel insurance. For safety, you must get travel insurance which covers emergency rescue from helicopters, medical expenses, and accidents.

Client Reviews

Rick Hollaryas

Los Angles USA

Upper Mustang Trek

I would 100% Recommendation for Nepal High Trek & Expedition Team !!! My wife and I are booked for the 14-day Upper Mustang Trek with this team. Begging of our trip we got everything is very customized and free of hassle. Anjan has made the trek itinerary according to our holiday length and preferences plan. He did respond to us very quickly with an affordable package. Communication was clear and professional from the outset, and we felt reassured before we left that we were in safe hands and wouldn’t have to decipher and possibly risk choosing from the multitude of trekking companies in Kathmandu. Our guide Dawa and porter Ram were very helpful and friendly. Dawa has explained very well about the trail, accommodations, mountains, and local cultures.

Moreover, in May weather was perfect and we had an excellent time despite the cold. If you are planning to trek to Mustang Valley to explore the natural cave and historical Buddhist monastery. We would like to thank the entire Nepal High Trek team and we will be back again with you.

Guided by: Dawa Sherpa

Rodney Wikcham

Australia

14 Days Upper Mustang Trek

Excellent experience from start to finish! I had a last-minute change of plans and contacted Anjan with less than 24 hours to go. He put together a 14 day Mustang trek for my wife and me without missing a beat. We had an excellent guide (Buddhi) who took incredible care of us.

Reasons I would book with Anjan: personalized itinerary, experienced planner (Anjan used to be a guide himself), great guides, flexible planning, great value. Our 14-day itinerary included two private shuttles, 3 meals a day, lodging, a porter, and a guide for about a grand. On the trek, I didn’t have to worry about anything. If I felt like I could walk further, our guide knew the best place to stay at each stop and had the valley memorized like the back of his hand.

This trek would’ve been stressful (or impossible) to plan myself and Anjan and Buddhi made my life easy and made my wife happy. Worth every penny. I would book with these guys again next time I’m in Nepal. If you are willing to see the stunning Himalayas of Nepal highly recommend the Mustang Trek for an unforgettable memory.

Guided by: Buddhi Tamang

Rob Brown

United Kingdom

Mustang Trek

My wife and I did a 12-day Upper Mustang Trek with Pawan as our guide. The company picked us up from the airport and booked us a great room at a hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Our hotel was fantastic, with great breakfast, clean room and a rooftop restaurant. The guide and owner were both available for any questions we had and gave us great tips for things to see while in Kathmandu. They then got us a jeep and driver to take us to the start of the Mustang Trek. We had a great lunch halfway through our drive and our guide helped us through all the police checkpoints along the way. The hike itself was absolutely incredible! Our guide was very knowledgeable about the area, where to stay, the history of all the towns, the wildlife, and even the many plants we saw along the way.  If you are looking for a reliable company with friendly, knowledgeable guides who truly care and will help you out through anything, then this is it. We could not recommend Nepal High Trek enough and definitely plan on booking another trip with them in the future!!

Guided by: Pawan Tamang

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