Upper Mustang Trek - 15 days

Things to Know
  • Duration15 Days
  • Difficulty Level Strenuous
  • Altitude 3,840m at Lo Manthang
  • Trip Type Trekking | Hiking
  • Start and End Kathmandu - Kathmandu
  • Best Time Feb-Jun, Sep-Nov
What You’ll Do
  • Sparkling views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other small ranges 
  • Muktinath - a holy site for both Hindus and Buddhists
  • Lo Manthang - the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mustang
  • Learn about the ancient and historical Lo Manthang
  • Spiritual visit to small Chortens, Gompas, caves, and prayer flags
  • Attractive Tibetan-influenced villages and the local community

The Upper Mustang Trek takes you to the hidden Kingdom of Mustang-Lo Manthang. Trek to Upper Mustang allows you to explore hidden valleys impacted between Tibet and the Himalayas. The trail to Upper Mustang was opened for trekking in 1992. Remoteness and the rugged landscapes with century-old monasteries, Tibetan Cultures, and trans-Himalayas make this trek special among travellers. This 15-day Upper Mustang Trek is a delightful walk with incredible scenery of landscapes and panoramic views of mountains such as Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna Ranges, and many others. Upper Mustang Trekking begins with the exciting fight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The flight delivers exotic views of the mountains from the air. After landing at Jomsom, the trek starts at Kagbeni and continues through Chele, Syangmoche, Ghami, and Lo Manthang. Likewise, after discovering Lho the trek goes passing Dhakmar, Ghiling, and Chuksang and ends at Jomsom. Between this start and the end of the trek, you will get to see caves, rock paintings, monasteries, gompas, and mountain views. Likewise, visit an ancient popular Ghar Gompa, which is over 1200 years old. Trek to the Mustang region is a perfect way to discover the magical and remote part of Nepal. Experience the traditional culture and lifestyle of a Tibetan-influenced community. People of this community follow the Buddhist religion which allows you to get close to Buddhist culture.

Iconic Holiday Nepal assures you of making your visit to Mustang with remarkable experience and adventure. Our professional trekking guides and staff have local insights and have good experience in this trekking trail. Likewise, we can make a flexible Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary that is ideal for our clients.

Why Upper Mustang Trek?

  • Excellent opportunity to learn and understand the lifestyle of the people from remote areas.
  • Encounter with Tibetan Plateau, barren land, striking landscapes, and gigantic mountains.
  • Century Gompas and monasteries with their significance.
  • Suitable to trek even in monsoon season.
  • Unique and mysterious architectures, caves, and carvings.

Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty Level

Trekking to the Upper Mustang is somewhat challenging because of its high elevation and dry environment. Just like other treks in Nepal, it requires decent fitness and trekking experience. However, the difficulty depends on each trekker. The physical ability, determination, mental ability, the walking pace, and the itinerary. Proper physical training and preparation give you an effortless and pleasant journey to the Upper Mustang.

Permit Requirements to trek to Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang lies near the Tibetan border, a restricted area. It means you need a special permit card to enter the restricted zone. The special permit card costs you USD 500 per person for the first ten days. Afterwards, it costs USD 50 per day. Likewise, trekkers need another permit card for the Annapurna Conservation area. It costs USD 25 per person, valid until the trek's end.

Note: There should be at least a minimum of two trekkers to trek in this region. Iconic Holiday Nepal can arrange the required permit cards for our clients.

Upper Mustang Trek in spring, autumn, and summer

The perfect time to go for Upper Mustang Trek is spring, autumn, and summer. Alternatively, you can say apart from the winter season (December –February), other nine months are possible to do this trek.

Spring: The time of spring is the perfect way to explore the Mustang region. In May, people celebrate the Tiji Festival, which lasts for 3 days. Cool weather, festival vibes, and mountain views make remarkable experience during the spring.

Autumn: With the clearest views of the mountains and warm temperature, the months of autumn is the best time to visit Upper Mustang. However, from late November, winter starts which makes trekking to Mustang challenging. People from Mustang migrate to lower regions and teahouses are closed. Therefore, trekking to Upper Mustang is not suggested during the winter season.

Summer or Monsoon: Being said that monsoon is a rainy season, the Mustang is a rain shadow region. However, you may receive some rainfall in lower regions like Pokhara. However, once you reach the Mustang, you will see a different world. There is less chance of rainfall in the Mustang region because of its driest atmosphere.

Things to consider before trekking to Upper Mustang

  • Altitude sickness or Acute Mountain sickness
  • Travel Insurance that covers the altitude and other rescue facilities.
  • Decent Level of Fitness
  • Trekking Gear and Equipment
  • Trekking Permit card.
  • Pick the best time to go for the trek.
  • Trekking Guide with Government license holder and well qualified.
  • Nepalese currency as there is no money exchange or ATMs along the trail.
Itinerary
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  • Altitude1,400m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time1-2 hours

The Iconic Holiday Nepal team will welcome you at the Tribhuwan International Airport terminal on your arrival day. You can see our team holding a play card with your and our company’s name. They will transfer you to the hotel and give you some information about your surroundings. A pre-trip meeting will be held and you will meet with your trip guide. Make sure to confirm your queries about trekking in the mountains.

  • Altitude820 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time7-8 hours

We kick off the trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara by Tourist Bus. The drive goes past the bank of Trishuli and Marshyandi River with views of the hillside. You will reach Pokhara in the evening. After checking in at the Hotel, you can relax or explore around the Lakeside.

  • Altitude2,800 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time20 min flight and Trek 4-5 hours

Getting up early in the morning, we catch up on the flight to Jomsom. The flight to Jomsom is amazing and scenic. After landing at Jomsom, we get together with our team and gear to begin the trek to Jomsom.

  • Altitude3,055 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time5-6 hours

After having breakfast, we will enter to Upper Mustang region trekking through the bank of Kali Gandaki River. Along the way, you can see the whitewashed houses and barley farmlands. Likewise, following the path of the ridge, we reach Chele to stay overnight.

  • Altitude3,930 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time5-6 hours

This day the trek is going to be a bit tough. You will cross Taklam La Pass (3,625 m) and Darjori La Pass (3,735m) above 3,500 meters. However, the difficult day gives you amazing views of mountains and caves. Next, the trek continues to Samar village ascends to a ridge, and descends to Syanboche. Overnight stay at Syanboche.

  • Altitude3,505 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time7-8 hours

Today, you will cross Yamada La Pass (3,850m), and come across Chorten and tranquil villages. Likewise, we reach the highest point of this trek while crossing Nyi Pass (4,010m) and descending to Ghami. The trip continues over other mani walls and steep passes before arriving at the town of Ghami, a sizable settlement surrounded by farms. At the apex of Charang Chu Canyon is the Charang hamlet. On the east side of Charang Village, you can see a red gompa and a castle. Stay the night at Charang.

  • Altitude3,810 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time5 hours

Today we will cross a river and climb to Lo La Pass (3,950m). Then, from the pass, you can see the first sight of the beautiful Lo Manthang Village. The traditional village is the home of King Lho. It carries historical importance with culture and traditions. Mt. Niligiri, Tilicho Peak, Annapurna I, and Khrikuti Peak are the mountains seen from Lho. Overnight stay at Lo Manthang.

  • Altitude3,810 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time4-5 hours

Today, you will have enough time to explore Lo Manthang. A hike to Chhosar cave will be your side trip today to explore around Lho. Likewise, discover the amazing caves that are edged with the cliffs. Carry some snacks with you so that you can enjoy your meals and the views of landscapes and mountains at the same time. After spending quality time at the caves, we will return to Lo Manthang overnight.

  • Altitude3,820 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time7-8 hours

Another long day of trekking awaits you but there are plenty of things to see along the journey. You will get to see the famous Ghar Gompa today. One more interesting thing is that you must take a wish as a belief and tradition of the Gompa. After exploring Ghar Gompa, the trek continues to Dhakmar.

  • Altitude3,570 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time6 hours

We leave Dhakmar early in the morning to avoid strong wind in the afternoon. The trail goes through the dry plateau and farmlands to arrive at Ghiling Village. The windy and tough trail offers beautiful views of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri. Overnight stay at Ghiling.

  • Altitude3,050 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time5-6 hours

From Ghiling, we will walk through small villages. During the walk, you will have enough time to witness the lifestyle of the local people. Overnight stay at Chuksang.

  • Altitude2,715 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • Time5 hours

At last, we will leave the Upper Mustang region and enter Jomsom again. Trek goes via Kegbeni exploring small monastery and Kaligandaki Gorge. We will rejoin the trail of Annapurna Circuit Trek again. Overnight stay at Jomsom.

  • Altitude8,20 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time25 min flight

We will wake up early morning to catch the flight to Pokhara from Jomsom. You can just enjoy the last views from the aerial route. Upon reaching Pokhara, check-in at the hotel and enjoy the hot shower with delicious meals of your choice.

  • Altitude1,400 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time8 hours

We will be driving back to Kathmandu in the morning on the Tourist bus.  If you are interested in continuing onto Chitwan Jungle Safari, River Rafting Adventure, Kathmandu Shopping Tour, or Scenic Everest Flight, you may opt for them.

    Today we conclude our Upper Mustang Trek. One of our airport representatives will accompany you to the International Airport for your flight back home. We bid you farewell and hope you’ll travel to Nepal again.

    Trip Map
    Upper Mustang Trek - 15 days map
    Useful Info

    Accommodation 

    Accommodation in the Upper Mustang Trek is a basic guesthouse. It offers accommodations and meals. Almost all teahouses have twin rooms on a shared basis. Likewise, the bathroom and toilet are also on a sharing basis. The bedroom consists of a basic bed with a pillow and warm blankets. However, we suggest to carry your sleeping bag too. Single rooms are rare, usually available only in the off-season. Sharing a room is typical, and there's no heating provided. Some sort of stove usually warms the dining area. Light is provided by solar or electricity.  Most teahouses have the ability to charge your gadgets, for which you have to pay. Breakfast and dinner are taken in the teahouses at communal tables where you can discuss the day’s journey with others. In the dining area, a stove provides warmth, and solar or electricity lights up the space.

    Water and Meals

    Although Upper Mustang is a dry region, there is no lack of drinking water. You can easily find access to safe drinking water in teahouses. However, a liter of water costs between $1 to $2. So, better to carry some Nepalese currency with you. Teahouses provide you with three meals at a specific time. Our guide will inform you about the time for each meal. There is a set menu and you can choose the meals you like from the menu.

    Breakfast: Masala Omelet, Scrambled eggs, Boiled eggs, Tibetan Bread, Toast with Jam and Honey, Hot Porridge with milk, Muesli with apple and milk, French Toast, Coffee, and Tea.

    Lunch: Lunch includes dishes like Pizza, Sandwiches, Rice, Curry, Lentils, Noodles, dumplings, Pasta, etc.

    Dinner: Potato items, Daal Bhat, noodles, spaghetti, pasta, vegetable salad, French fries, etc.

    Dessert: Pudding, chocolates, apple pie, and sweets.

    Note: we suggest having vegetable items throughout the trek for your sound health.

    Electricity and Internet

    Likewise, electricity can be a slight problem because people rely on Solar panels for it. Places like Kagbeni and Lho Manthang, use solar panels for electricity. Teahouses give you the time for power usage to charge your gadgets. Teahouses often offer charging facilities for gadgets, but there's a fee. Charging fees for gadgets vary depending on the guest house. In high-altitude areas, electricity is limited and usually provided by solar power. Weather is unpredictable and there is no sunlight for several days, relying solely on solar power may not be sufficient to charge your gadgets. In such cases, having a power bank becomes even more crucial.

    Internet connection in Upper Mustang is not that reliable. There is Wi-Fi available in places like Jomsom, and Kagbeni, but it is highly erratic. For a good internet connection, you can use a local SIM card that is more reliable than Wi-Fi.

    Gear List for Upper Mustang Trek

    For your trekking adventure, smart packing is essential. Here's a suggested list to help you get started. Keep in mind, extra layers of warm clothing are necessary during colder seasons. We offer a 75-litre duffel bag for your use, provided during your pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu.

    • T-shirts and shorts
    • Waterproof and windproof jacket.
    • Trekking Pants
    • Fleece Jackets.
    • Thermal inner wears.
    • Trekking Boot
    • Woollen caps and gloves.
    • Woollen socks.
    • Neck warmers
    • Sun Hat
    • Trekking Poles
    • Toiletries
    • Personal towel
    • Tooth Paste, and Tooth Brush
    • Sanitizer, sunscreen, and moisturizer.
    • Backpack (30L-40L)
    • Camera and its charger.
    • Power bank and extra batteries
    • Trekking Map.
    • Toilet paper.

    Trip extension Possibility:

    While doing a trip with us, there is always a possibility of extending the trip. Even while doing this trek, if you like to stay a few days more in the trek, we are flexible with it. In addition, if you like to go to other treks in the Annapurna region, you are just one call away. Moreover, after the trek, if you would like to discover the wildlife of Nepal, we organize a Chitwan National Park safari tour.

    Conclusion:

    The unique places of the Mustang Region are naturally and culturally decorated. Upper Mustang Trek leads you to the diverse terrain near the Tibetan Border. Filled with adventure, culture, and various landscapes, this trek is the perfect escape for adventure seekers. Feel free to contact us for more information regarding this trek.

    FAQs
    • There are many Upper Mustang Trek itineraries ranging from a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 18 days starting from Kathmandu and navigating back. These itineraries have a lot to offer in terms of the radiating history of the former Kingdom of  Lo Manthang, distinct geography, and remarkable rituals.

    • The best season for the Upper Mustang Trek is during spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). During these periods, the weather is relatively stable, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures, making it ideal for trekking in the region.

    • Yes, trekking solo without a guide is not allowed in the Mustang Region. Moreover, there should be at least a minimum of two trekkers to trek in Mustang.

    • Yes, you need to spend money along the trail for various purposes like Wi-Fi, snacks, hot showers, etc.

    • There is always the risk of Acute Mountain sickness trekking above 3000 meters. Therefore, travel insurance is your protection just in case you need medical emergencies. Moreover, travel insurance is helpful for your loss of property, thefts, damaged goods, etc. Having adequate air evacuation coverage in your travel insurance provides peace of mind, ensuring that you can receive prompt and appropriate medical attention in the event of a serious emergency, potentially saving lives in critical situations.

    •  

      For the Upper Mustang Trek, The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) area requires an entry permit which costs $20 per person for a single entry into the area but is valid for as long as the trek takes and  RAP (Restricted Area Permit). This costs $500 per person for 10 days. If longer is required, an additional $50 per day is charged.No TIMS or Trekkers Information Management System card is required for Upper Mustang as the Restricted Area Permit(RAP) is sufficient as it provides details of the trekker and his/her destination in case of an emergency or problem.

    •  For trekking in Lower Mustang, TIMs and ACAP permits are required and can be obtained by the trekker themselves from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu and the Tourist Office in Pokhara. For RAP (Restricted Area Permit) individual trekkers cannot obtain the RAP permit for Upper Mustang themselves. The special permits for restricted areas like Upper Mustang in Nepal are indeed issued exclusively through the Department of Immigration under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Trekking companies play a vital role in facilitating this process for trekkers. For more information please click the following link Permit .

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