Upper Mustang Trek - 16 Days

  • Duration:16 Days
  • Destination:Nepal
  • Trip Grade: Moderate
  • Max. Altitude: 3810 Meters
  • Max Group Size: Min 2
  • Starts at: Kathmandu
  • Ends at: Kathmandu
  • Best Time: March-May, September-November
Highlights
  • The hike offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Lo Manthang, the center of the former Lo Kingdom.
  • Getting to visit many Buddhist religious sites such as Ghar Gumba, Chungsi cave, Tashi Kabum, etc.
  • You will get the opportunity to gather Shaligram, a prized ammonite in Nepal, on this hike. Only the banks of the Kali Gandaki contain these Shaligram. They are revered by Hindus as a manifestation of Bishnu.
  • The Dhaulagiri (8,167 m/26,795 ft), Annapurna I (8,091 m/26,545 ft), Tilicho (7,134 m/23,406 ft), and Nilgiri (7,061 m/23,166 ft), and may all be seen during this walk.

Upper Mustang Trek is a place that still features the ancient Tibetan way of life in a trans-Himalayan setting that is rich in medieval arts and architecture. If this strikes your fancy, then Mustang Trek is the one for you.

So, in this day and age, how can a place be so preserved?

Well, Upper Mustang, also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, had been cut off from the outside world until 1992. Even now, specific permits are needed to enter this area.

Up until 2008, the area was ruled by a titular monarch but even now people's continued faith in their King is evidence that long-standing traditions are still strong in this place.

Add to that the desert's natural splendor, which includes a red copper canyon and sheer faces. And the icing on the cake, you still get to view the wonderful snow-covered mountains including Dhaulagiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I, and Nilgiri.

With these features, Upper Mustang is begging to be visited.

People and Culture

The ethnic group known as Lobas, who have Tibetan heritage, live in Upper Mustang. They are extremely devout individuals, and prayers and celebrations are a regular aspect of their life.

The celebrations here are distinct from those in the rest of Nepal. Only in Lo Manthang is the Tiji Festival, in particular, celebrated. In Upper Mustang, Tibetan Buddhism is widely practiced.

Likewise, the Bon religion is also practiced here which predates Buddhism. Tantric, Shamanic, and old Bon religious elements are used in Tibetan Buddhism to teach Mahayana Buddhism.

In Upper Mustang, Tibetan Buddhism is practiced in numerous small to major monasteries. The routes that depict Tibetan Buddhism are decorated with Mani Walls, Chorten, and prayer flags.

Ancient Buddhist artwork can also be found in the caves of the Upper Mustang. It served as a venue to practice Tibetan culture by housing entire communities and monks.

 Caves, Monasteries,  

In the Upper Mustang, the top spot to visit goes to Lo-Manthang the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lo. It is a walled city that was constructed in the 15th century. A 6-meter-high earthen wall with dzongs (square towers) at each corner surrounds this ancient settlement.

The structures are crammed tightly together behind the fortifications. The city features a palace and monasteries such as the Jampa Lakhang and Thupchen Lakhang. There are also Chortens and numerous rows of Mani walls.

Likewise, Kagbeni is another spot that will certainly engage your fancy. It is believed to be one of the oldest Himalayan communities in the world. The streets are surrounded by lovely mud and brick homes. Hindus use this location as a significant part of their Pitri-Puja "ancestor-ritual."

Besides, there are roughly 10,000 man-made caves collectively known as the Mustang Caves or Sky Caves. It was created by cutting into the walls of the narrow valley. It is estimated to be older than 3000 years.

Who erected them or why is unknown but is believed to be a place for human burial according to artifacts at least 2,000–3,000 years old. It was utilized in the 10th century as a shelter from battle. It started as storage facilities, military lookouts, or meditation rooms in the 1400s.

Upper Mustang Trek route

Your adventure trip starts as you drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then on a flight to Jomsom the next day. Jomsom is the starting point of the actual trek, which continues through Kagbeni and down the Kali Gandaki River to Chele.

Over the next few days, you will trek through Syanbochen and Tsarang to reach Lo Manthang where you will take an exploration day. Then over the next few days, you will trek to Dhakmar, Ghiling, Samar, and Kagbeni to reach Jomsom.

After that, you will take a flight to Pokhara and rejoice in the incredible adventure you have had. The next day, you will drive to Kathmandu and explore the historical city.

Itinerary

Namaste and welcome for finally arriving in Kathmandu. The members of our team will be waiting to welcome you at Tribhuvan International Airport. Please get plenty of rest as tomorrow the adventure begins.

  • Max. Altitude:1300m
  • Accommodation:Hotel

Off to Pokhara, today! The drive though long will be a treat as you gaze at Nepal’s hilly landscape driving along the Trishuli river. Upon arrival, an exploration along the beautiful Phewa Lake and an evening walk to lakeside streets is a must.

  • Max. Altitude:820m
  • Time:6-8 hours
  • Accommodation:Hotel

Today we fly to Jomsom (2720m.) and then a brief hike to Kagbeni. Kagbeni is an important religious and cultural town in Nepal as a place of worship for the ancestors.

  • Max. Altitude:2810m.
  • Time:3-4 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today marks the start of long treks on this trip as you hike along Kali Gandaki and past fields of barley and apple orchard. The mountains will also accompany you, especially the towering Nilgiri.

  • Max. Altitude:3050m
  • Time:5-6 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you pass two passes - Taklam La pass and Dajori La pass at 3,624 m and 3,735 m respectively. The route follows Ramchung Hermitage Cave and provides the most stunning views of Tilicho and Damodar Danda. Passing Samar Village after the second pass you will continue along the riverbanks to reach Syanbochen.

  • Max. Altitude:3800m
  • Time:7-8 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we pass three passes the Yamada La Pass, Nyi Pass, and Tsarang La Pass all lying between 3,850 and 4,010 m. Though the ascent to the two former passes can be difficult, the rest of the trek is a steady descent to Ghami. Crossing the Ghami Khola suspension bridge and walking past Mani walls you will take a small ascent to Tsarang La Pass to reach the town of Tsarang

  • Max. Altitude:3560m
  • Time:6-7 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, we take to the much-awaited Lo-Manthang featuring first descent from Tsarang and then climbing up the opposite side of Lo. Then it is only a short distance down the slope from the pass to Lo-Manthang

  • Max. Altitude:3810m
  • Time:4-5 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After leaving Lo, the route leads to the Tibet border, and your first drop to cross a river. From here, the trails are flat and take you to the well-known cave settlements of Niphu and Garphu. 

  • Max. Altitude:3810m
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The return journey from Lo Manthang follows a different route, passing Gyakar Village, home to the Ghar Gumba. It is believed to be a wish-granting monastery so wish away. The journey to Drakmar takes a few hours once you've explored the gompa.

  • Max. Altitude:3820m
  • Time:6-7 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Strong gusts today make it difficult to descend, which involves crossing a tiny, barren plateau and walking through fields to the settlement of Ghiling.

  • Max. Altitude:3570m
  • Time:6-7 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, we will explore Chungsi Cave and then cross two passes: Dajong La and Taklam La. You may see stone carvings of numerous gods inside the Chungsi cave. Of note is the one of Padmasambhava.

  • Max. Altitude:3660m
  • Time:5-6 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we pass Chhuksang using a path that descends and crosses the Kali Gandaki on a suspension bridge. You may see apple orchards and natural vegetation as you stroll along the Kali Gandaki riverbank.

  • Max. Altitude:2810m
  • Time:6-7 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you can either directly descend to Jomsom or take a detour to Muktinath and then descend. Muktinath an important temple in Nepal features 108 taps that offer pilgrims a shower of clean, fresh water thought to wash away all of life's sins. After this holy experience, you can gradually descend to Jomsom during the day.

  • Max. Altitude:2720m
  • Time:3-4 hours
  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a leisurely breakfast, proceed to the airport for a flight to Pokhara. Today, a well-rounded tour of Pokhara is a must. Top of the list is normally boating in Phewa Lake, visiting the Peace Stupa as well as sightseeing in Davis Falls.

  • Max. Altitude:820m
  • Time:25 min
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast

More of Kathmandu's lovely city today! You will depart Pokhara, a flight will take about 7 hours while a flight takes approx. 30 minutes. Once in Kathmandu, you might also like to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, or Boudha. Likewise, buying a souvenir at Thamel is also a great option. It's also a fantastic time to enjoy some of the regional Newari food.

  • Max. Altitude:1300m
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast

Today, we bid adieu to this extraordinary journey. Cherish these wonderful memories as you make it to the airport

    Route Map

    Upper Mustang Trek - 16 Days map
    Cost Details
    What is Included
    • All ground transfers as per itinerary
    • 3 Night Accommodation in Kathmandu,
    • 2-night accommodation in Pokhara 
    • Sightseeing in Kathmandu with a professional English-speaking guide & Private vehicle
    • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) during the trek
    • Lodge or Tea House accommodation during the trek
    •  Upper Mustang Restrict Area Permit
    • Annapurna Conservation Area entry permits
    • TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) fee
    • An experienced English-speaking trekking guide
    • Porters to carry luggage (1 porter for 2 trekkers)
    • Staff food, accommodation, salary & insurance
    •  Farewell dinner
    • All governmental procedure
    What is not Included
    • Your Travel insurance
    • Your Nepal visa.
    • You will require 2 passport size photos
    • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry
    • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara
    • Personal trekking Equipment
    • Tips for trekking crews
    • Sightseeing and Monuments fees
    • Any other expenses which are not mentioned on the price include sections
    Useful Information

    Permits for Upper Mustang Trek

    Upper Mustang needs two different types of permits. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permission and the Restricted Area permission (RAP).

    The Tourism Board Office issues the first and Immigration Office issues the second. For ten days, RAP costs USD 500 per person, plus USD 50 for each additional day. ACAP permits cost about USD 30.

    Due to the receipt of the Restricted Area Permit, the Trekkers' Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card necessary for all other treks in Nepal is not required here.

    For the Upper Mustang trip, there must be a minimum of 2 participants, and they must travel with a trekking organization that is authorized to operate in Nepal.

    Transport

    To reach the starting point of the Upper Mustang Trek, Jomsom, there are two main transportation options. The most convenient way is to take a 25-minute domestic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom Airport.

    Alternatively, you can opt for an overland journey by taking a bus or private vehicle from Pokhara to Jomsom. The road journey can take around 8-10 hours.

    Once in Jomsom, the trekking adventure begins, and the trail takes you through picturesque landscapes and ancient villages. However, you can take a jeep throughout the journey as well. A jeep trip takes 7 days to complete from and to Pokhara.

    Accommodation

    Although the accommodations in Upper Mustang are relatively basic, they are adequate. The majority of the hike will take place through teahouses, which offer lodging along the villages' walking routes.

    Similar to huge family homes that have been opened to receive visitors, tea houses are. Typically, a room will include two small cots, each with a mattress, blanket, and pillows. However, if you feel cold, you can ask for an extra blanket.

    The majority of the toilets have a western flush design and can be either public or private. There may also be cheap options for dorm rooms. It will have a shared restroom. For a hot shower and electricity, there is a fee.

    Some areas, like Lo-Manthang, have good hotels that offer rooms with attached bathrooms.

    Meals 

    Although the food during the Upper Mustang walk is traditional and distinctive, it is also possible to find Western food, traditional Nepali food, and other options. Three meals are provided each day. Throughout the day, dal bhat – lentils and rice with curries and pickles can be consumed.

    However, during breakfast, you can also have oatmeal, cornflakes, milk porridge, and tea. For lunch, one can have dal bhat, a traditional dish, or something else like pizza, noodles, or sandwiches.

    When eating dal bhat, there is the chance for a free refill, and it offers a lot of the energy needed for the hike.

    Weather in Upper Mustang

    Upper Mustang has incredibly erratic electricity. In places like Kagbeni and Lo Manthang, where there are frequent power outages, solar energy is used. Wind power generation is expanding, and there are micro-hydro plants at Lo-Manthang.

    Most of the time, the teahouse owner turns on the electricity at predetermined times of the day, usually in the evening. At that time, you can charge your devices. A minor fee is also associated with this. Therefore, it might be wise to have power banks with you when hiking in this area.

    What are the best seasons for the Upper Mustang Trek?

    Upper Mustang Trek is one of the few locations in Nepal where you can hike year-round. This is a result of its location in a rain-shadow area meaning monsoon does not impact this area.

    However, trekking in Mustang might be logistically challenging in winter as even locals undergo seasonal migration downstream. Between March and the beginning of November is the ideal period for trekking in Mustang.

    Since visitors can experience springtime celebrations in the area, spring is most preferred. Notable festivities during this time include Tiji a unique festival celebrated only in Lo-Manthang.

    Since visitors can experience springtime celebrations in the area, spring is most preferred. Notable festivities during this time include Tiji a unique festival celebrated only in Lo-Manthang.

    Phone and Wifi

    Cellular reception can be found primarily along the trails on clear days. Particularly good mobile reception can be found in Jomsom, Muktinath, and Lo-Manthang. Even 4G services can be run in these areas.

    Another telecommunications provider, Ncell, is expanding its footprint in Upper Mustang. While several localities have landline telephones. To ensure communication when cell receptions are unavailable, satellite phones are even in use in some areas. But comes with a hefty price tag.

    The Upper Mustang trail has extremely irregular and unstable internet service. Fewer teahouses are offering Wi-Fi after Jomsom. In Upper Mustang teahouses', Wi-Fi is available but is intermittent and normally costs extra money. However, with local sim cards, internet packages can be bought easily.

    Upper Mustang Trek Tips for Beginners

    As a beginner, you must heed these tips for enjoyable and safe trekking in Upper Mustang. You must give regular exercise a priority. Getting some hiking experience perhaps to the nearby hills can help you take on the Upper Mustang trek with ease.

    Likewise, you should also schedule plenty of rest days in your trip with buffer days for acclimatization.

    Hiring a trekking company and trekking guide is a must for assistance and guaranteeing safety so be sure to hire a good company with due diligence.

    Carry only the needed hiking equipment and layers of clothing. Heavy baggage can easily make your trekking experience unhappy. Likewise, always stay hydrated and well-fed.

    Besides, you must process permits well beforehand. Overall, beginners can accomplish this amazing trek if they prepare, have a positive outlook, and are eager to embrace the experience.

    How to prepare for Upper Mustang Trekking

    Physical and emotional adaptability to the trek serves as the first step in preparing for Upper Mustang. Physical activity is required so that daily trekking for about 6 hours won't be too taxing. Additionally, it is important to remember that medical services are rudimentary on the hiking paths.

    Therefore, it is essential to maintain composure in the event of difficulties and take organized action, such as returning to Jomsom or hiring a rescue aircraft. This is why hiring a Local Reliable Tour trekking company is essential and their guides are well-versed in such incidents.

    The weather in Mustang is trans-Himalayan, with cool summers and harsh winters. There is relatively little possibility of getting altitude sickness as the elevation does not rise over 4000 m. Resting during the days of trekking is crucial to allow for acclimatization. If there are any problems during trekking, more days must be added to prevent altitude sickness.

    It's essential to have the proper supplies and gear when getting ready for the Upper Mustang Trekking in Nepal. Sturdy trekking boots; layered clothing –consisting of a good warm jacket, and warm trousers; a roomy backpack, toiletries, water bottles, and purification systems are all necessary equipment. 

    A warm sleeping bag would also be comforting. To make the walk more pleasant, it's crucial to bring simple, lightweight items. Your safety and comfort on the Upper Mustang Trek will be ensured by the right supplies and gear.

    Is Upper Mustang Trek for You?

    Adults and senior citizens alike are being able to complete the Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal. Adults must be in good physical condition, have a moderate to high degree of fitness, and have previous hiking experience.

    Seniors should be in good physical shape, engaged in physical activity, and skilled in high-altitude trekking or hiking.

    It is crucial to seek the advice of medical professionals while evaluating one's fitness and health. The hike includes strenuous parts, elevation changes, and long walking days normally 6 hours per day.

    It is advised to move slowly, allow for rest days, and practice adequate acclimatization, especially for senior citizens. A successful and pleasurable Upper Mustang Trek depends on individual skills, appropriate planning, and necessary safety measures.

    Ace Vision Trek’s expert team & similar trekking packages recommendations

    A local reliable tour trekking company working in the tourism industry of Nepal since 2018 legally. Our expert team is, Professional, cooperative, and friendly. You have no issue trekking in Nepal with Ace Vision Treks.

    As well, we organize similar travel packages, check out: Manaslu Circuit Trek, Everest Gokyo Valley Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, and Mountaineering: Mera Peak Climbing.

     

     

     

    Upper Mustang Trek - 16 Days FAQs
    • Forbidden Kingdom Nepal's Cultural, unique history, oldest Monastery, desert territory, and cave mustang are Important.

    • Mustang Trek's height point is 3810 m. which is not that difficult for senior citizens, adults,s and kids.

    • Upper Mustang offers basic teahouse accommodation during trekking if you need luxury! contact us for more details.

    • 10 days of Mustang trekking and transport, so altogether 2 weeks of your vacation is enough Nepal trekking.

    • Yes, Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista is Mustang's king and local people obey.

    • yes, the Mustang is a restricted trek route so a trekking guide is mandatory.

    Client Reviews

    • Trek to Upper Mustang en visiting National Park Bardiya.

      Ace Vision Treks & Tours made us an marvelous trek in Upper Mustang and Bardiya National Park everything was taken care of. An excellent Guide Krishna and an joyful PorterBizé who was a graet help during or trek.
      My wife and I enjoyed the beautiful landscape end the people very much.
      The attentive owner of Ace Vision Ganesh had teken care of everything.
      We have to rhank him very much and we van recomment his company to everybody visiing Nepal to make a Trek

      T
      Theo de WaalNetherlands,November, 2022
      TripAdvisor
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