Upper Mustang Trek - 15 Days

Upper mustang
Mustang
Mustang treks
Duration15 Days
Trip GradeModerate
Maximum Altitude4000 M
ActivitiesTrekking
Group Size2
StartsKathmandu
EndsKathmandu
Best TimeSep to Nov and March to May

The Upper Mustang Trek is a captivating journey into the heart of the Himalayas, offering trekkers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and spiritual exploration. Located in the remote region of Mustang in Nepal, this 15-day trek takes adventurers on a mesmerizing odyssey through ancient Tibetan villages, rugged landscapes, and sacred monasteries.

The trek begins with a scenic flight or drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, followed by a flight to Jomsom, the gateway to Upper Mustang. From here, trekkers embark on an exhilarating adventure through the mystical landscapes of the Mustang region, gradually ascending to higher altitudes and immersing themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of the area.

One of the highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek is the opportunity to witness the vibrant Tiji Festival, a three-day annual celebration that showcases traditional Tibetan rituals, masked dances, and religious ceremonies. This cultural extravaganza provides a fascinating glimpse into the unique heritage and spiritual traditions of the local Tibetan community.

Throughout the trek, trekkers are treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, deep gorges, and dramatic cliffs, as well as encounters with friendly locals who warmly welcome visitors into their homes and monasteries. The journey also offers insights into the ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang, with its impressive mud-brick structures, ornate palaces, and labyrinthine alleys.

As trekkers traverse the rugged terrain of Upper Mustang, they have the opportunity to explore ancient cave dwellings, hidden gompas (monasteries), and sacred pilgrimage sites, gaining a deeper appreciation for the region's rich history and spiritual significance.

The Upper Mustang Trek is suitable for trekkers of all levels, with moderate trekking conditions and well-defined trails. However, it's essential to be adequately prepared for the challenges of high-altitude trekking, including acclimatization and proper gear.

Highlights

The Upper Mustang Trek is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and unique trekking experience. Here are some major highlights of this iconic trek:

  • Forbidden Kingdom of Lo Manthang: Explore the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang, the capital of the former Kingdom of Lo, which remained closed to outsiders until 1992. Discover its labyrinthine alleys, ornate palaces, and centuries-old monasteries, offering a glimpse into a bygone era.
  • Scenic Landscapes: Traverse diverse landscapes ranging from barren deserts to lush valleys, with stunning views of snow-capped peaks, rugged cliffs, and deep gorges. The ever-changing scenery of Upper Mustang captivates trekkers at every turn.
  • Tiji Festival: Experience the vibrant Tiji Festival, a three-day annual celebration held in Lo Manthang, featuring colorful masked dances, ancient rituals, and religious ceremonies. This cultural extravaganza provides insight into the rich Tibetan heritage and spiritual traditions of the region.
  • Ancient Cave Dwellings: Discover ancient cave dwellings carved into the cliffsides, some of which date back thousands of years. These remarkable structures serve as a testament to the region's long history of human habitation and provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
  • Sacred Monasteries: Visit sacred monasteries and gompas scattered throughout the Mustang region, including the revered Thubchen Monastery in Lo Manthang. Explore their intricate murals, colorful prayer flags, and serene meditation halls, soaking in the spiritual atmosphere.
  • Local Culture and Hospitality: Interact with the friendly locals known as Lobas, who warmly welcome trekkers into their homes and monasteries. Learn about their unique way of life, traditional customs, and Tibetan Buddhist beliefs, gaining insight into the rich cultural heritage of the region.
  • High-altitude Trekking: Challenge yourself with high-altitude trekking through the rugged terrain of Upper Mustang, reaching elevations of over 3,000 meters. Acclimatize to the thin air as you ascend gradual slopes and mountain passes, surrounded by panoramic Himalayan vistas.
  • Remote and Untouched: Explore one of the most remote and least-visited regions of Nepal, where traditional Tibetan culture and way of life have remained largely unchanged for centuries. Experience the tranquility and serenity of the Mustang region, far from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Itinerary
Trip PlanExpand all

Your journey begins with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal's picturesque lake city. Departing from Kathmandu Valley, you'll traverse winding roads that offer glimpses of terraced fields, traditional villages, and lush forests. As you descend towards Pokhara, the landscape transforms, revealing panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. After a 6 to 7-hour drive covering approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles), you'll arrive in Pokhara, where you'll check into your hotel and rest for the night, preparing for the adventure ahead.

Max Altitude: 800 m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 6-7 hrs

After an early breakfast, you'll take a thrilling flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, a scenic town nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Upon landing in Jomsom, you'll commence your trek towards Kagbeni, a charming village located at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Jhong rivers. The trek, lasting approximately 3 to 4 hours, introduces you to the rugged beauty of the Mustang region, with its barren landscapes, traditional Tibetan houses, and ancient monasteries. As you ascend to an altitude of 2,810 meters (9,217 feet), take in the awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding Himalayan peaks before settling in for the night in Kagbeni.

Max Altitude: 2,810m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 3-4 hrs

Today's trek takes you deeper into the heart of Upper Mustang as you journey from Kagbeni to Chele. The trail winds along the Kali Gandaki River, passing through barren landscapes dotted with occasional green patches and ancient settlements. As you ascend to an altitude of 3,050 meters (10,004 feet), you'll encounter stunning rock formations, traditional chortens (Buddhist shrines), and panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. After a 5 to 6-hour trek, you'll arrive in Chele, where you'll spend the night, surrounded by the tranquility of the Himalayan wilderness.

Max Altitude: 3,050m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 5-6 hrs

Embark on a challenging trek from Chele to Syanbochen, traversing high mountain passes and rugged terrain. The trail ascends steadily, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and deep valleys below. Along the way, you'll pass through quaint villages, lush meadows, and ancient monasteries, immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. As you climb to an altitude of 3,475 meters (11,398 feet), take time to acclimatize and enjoy the serenity of the Himalayan landscape. After a 6 to 7-hour trek, you'll reach Syanbochen, where you'll rest for the night amidst the beauty of the Mustang region.

Max Altitude: 3,475m Duration: 6-7 hrs

Today's trek takes you from Syanbochen to Ghami, following a trail that meanders through picturesque valleys and traditional Tibetan villages. As you ascend to an altitude of 3,520 meters (11,546 feet), you'll encounter ancient cave dwellings, sacred monasteries, and colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. The landscape gradually changes from barren terrain to fertile fields, with views of towering cliffs and distant snow-capped peaks. After a 5 to 6-hour trek, you'll arrive in Ghami, where you'll spend the night, surrounded by the tranquility of the Himalayan wilderness.

Max Altitude: 3,520m Duration: 5-6 hrs

Continue your journey through the Mustang region as you trek from Ghami to Charang (Tsarang), a historic village renowned for its ancient Tibetan architecture and cultural heritage. The trail winds through rocky terrain, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks. As you ascend to an altitude of 3,620 meters (11,874 feet), you'll pass by traditional Tibetan houses, fertile farmland, and ornate monasteries adorned with intricate carvings and murals. After a 5 to 6-hour trek, you'll reach Charang, where you'll spend the night, immersed in the rich cultural tapestry of the Mustang region.

Max Altitude: 3,620m Duration: 5-6 hrs

Today marks the culmination of your trek as you make your way to Lo Manthang, the ancient walled city and capital of the former Kingdom of Lo. The trail leads through barren landscapes and windswept valleys, with views of towering cliffs and distant snow-capped peaks. As you ascend to an altitude of 3,840 meters (12,596 feet), the imposing walls of Lo Manthang come into view, signaling your arrival in this historic enclave. Spend the afternoon exploring the narrow alleys, ornate palaces, and sacred monasteries of Lo Manthang, immersing yourself in its rich cultural heritage. Enjoy a well-deserved rest and prepare for the adventures that await in this mystical Himalayan kingdom.

Max Altitude: 3,840m Duration: 3-4 hrs

Today is reserved for exploring the enchanting city of Lo Manthang and its surrounding attractions. Visit the majestic King's Palace, a sprawling complex of ancient buildings and courtyards that offers insight into the region's royal history. Explore the ancient monasteries of Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen Gompa, and Chode Monastery, each adorned with intricate murals, statues, and religious artifacts. Wander through the narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses, traditional chortens, and prayer wheels, soaking in the timeless ambiance of this historic city. As you delve deeper into the cultural treasures of Lo Manthang, you'll uncover a wealth of history, spirituality, and architectural marvels that make this Himalayan enclave truly unique.

Leaving Tangge, the trail ascends gradually, offering captivating views of the surrounding landscapes adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the Himalayan breeze. Trekking through barren terrain and rocky paths, you'll reach Yara, a picturesque village nestled amidst towering cliffs and rugged terrain. At an altitude of 3,838 meters (12,589 feet), Yara offers a serene ambiance and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Mustang region.

Max Altitude: 3,838m Duration: 6-7 hrs

The trek from Yara to Tangye is a challenging yet rewarding journey through remote valleys, ancient villages, and dramatic landscapes. As you traverse rocky terrain and narrow trails, you'll encounter traditional Tibetan settlements and ancient cave dwellings carved into the cliffsides. Tangye, situated at an altitude of 3,340 meters (10,958 feet), welcomes trekkers with its rustic charm and panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Max Altitude: 3,340m Duration: 7-8 hrs

Today's trek takes you from Tangye to Chhusang, descending through picturesque valleys and terraced fields adorned with colorful prayer flags. Along the way, you'll pass through traditional villages and ancient monasteries, gaining insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Mustang region. Chhusang, located at an altitude of 2,980 meters (9,775 feet), offers a peaceful retreat amidst lush greenery and serene surroundings.

Max Altitude: 2,980m Duration: 8-9 hrs

Leaving Chhusang behind, the trail ascends gradually towards Muktinath, a sacred pilgrimage site revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Trekking through barren landscapes and rocky terrain, you'll pass by ancient chortens, prayer wheels, and monasteries adorned with colorful prayer flags. Muktinath, situated at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,464 feet), is renowned for its holy temple and natural springs, offering trekkers a spiritual respite amidst the majestic Himalayas.

Max Altitude: 3,800m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 7-8 hrs

Today's trek takes you from Muktinath to Jomsom, descending through picturesque valleys and winding trails. As you descend, the landscape gradually transitions from barren terrain to lush greenery, with stunning views of snow-capped peaks in the distance. Jomsom, located at an altitude of 2,700 meters (8,856 feet), is a bustling town and the administrative center of the Mustang region, offering trekkers modern amenities and comfortable accommodation.

Max Altitude: 2,700m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 5-6 hrs

Bid farewell to the majestic landscapes of Mustang as you board a short flight back to Pokhara. Enjoy aerial views of the Himalayas and lush valleys below as you descend to lower altitudes. Upon arrival in Pokhara, transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring this beautiful lakeside city.

Max Altitude: 800m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 25 min

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, winding through picturesque countryside and charming villages. Enjoy breathtaking views of terraced fields, rushing rivers, and distant mountain peaks as you journey back to the capital city. Upon reaching Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel and bid farewell to the enchanting landscapes of Nepal's Mustang region, filled with unforgettable memories of your Himalayan adventure.

Max Altitude: 1400m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 6-7 hrsDistance: 200 km
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Cost Details
Included
  • Airport Transfers: Arrival and departure transfers from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to your hotel, ensuring a hassle-free start and end to your journey.
  • Accommodation: Accommodation in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and along the trekking route in teahouses or lodges, providing comfortable lodging with basic amenities during your stay.
  • Meals: Full board meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek, ensuring you are well-fed and energized throughout your adventure. Meals will be served at teahouses or local eateries along the trekking route.
  • Transportation: Ground transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back, including a scenic drive through picturesque countryside and charming villages.
  • Domestic Flights: A thrilling flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and back, offering stunning aerial views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges.
  • Experienced Guide: An experienced, English-speaking trekking guide who will accompany you throughout the journey, providing valuable insights into the local culture, history, and geography of the Mustang region.
  • Porter Service: Porter service to carry your personal belongings and equipment during the trek, allowing you to trek comfortably with only a daypack.
  • Permits: TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) permit and necessary permits for Upper Mustang Trek, ensuring legal compliance and access to restricted areas.
  • Trekking Equipment: Basic trekking equipment such as sleeping bags and trekking poles, ensuring your comfort and safety during the trek.
  • Medical Kit: A comprehensive medical kit carried by the guide, including essential first aid supplies and medications to handle common altitude-related ailments.
Excluded
  • International Flights: International airfare to and from Nepal is not included in the package. Travelers are responsible for arranging their own flights to Kathmandu.
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance covering emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation, and other unforeseen expenses is not included. It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance before embarking on the trek.
  • Personal Expenses: Expenses of a personal nature such as beverages, snacks, souvenirs, laundry, telephone calls, and tips for guides and porters are not included in the package.
  • Additional Meals: Meals not mentioned in the itinerary, as well as any additional snacks or beverages during the trek, are at the traveler's own expense.
  • Optional Activities: Optional activities such as sightseeing tours, cultural performances, and adventure sports in Kathmandu and Pokhara are not included in the package.
  • Extra Accommodation: Additional accommodation before or after the trek, as well as any accommodation upgrades or changes, are not included in the package and will be at the traveler's expense.
  • Emergency Evacuation: Costs associated with emergency evacuation or rescue operations due to unforeseen circumstances such as altitude sickness or injury are not included in the package.
  • Trekking Gear: Personal trekking gear such as trekking boots, warm clothing, and rain gear are not included in the package and should be arranged by the traveler before the trek.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits, are not included in the package and should be purchased separately at teahouses or lodges along the trekking route.
  • Tips: Tips for guides, porters, and other staff are not included in the package and are at the discretion of the traveler. It is customary to tip your guides and porters as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
Essential Information

Equipment List for Upper Mustang Trek:

Trekking Boots: Sturdy and waterproof trekking boots with ankle support to provide stability and protection on rugged terrain.

Trekking Socks: Moisture-wicking and comfortable trekking socks to prevent blisters and keep your feet dry during long hikes.

Trekking Pants: Lightweight, quick-drying, and durable trekking pants with zip-off legs for versatility in changing weather conditions.

Base Layer: Moisture-wicking base layer tops and bottoms to regulate body temperature and keep you dry and comfortable during trekking.

Insulating Layer: Insulating fleece or down jacket to provide warmth during chilly mornings and evenings at higher altitudes.

Shell Jacket and Pants: Waterproof and windproof shell jacket and pants to protect against rain, snow, and strong winds in mountainous terrain.

Trekking Shirt: Lightweight and breathable trekking shirts for comfortable layering and sun protection.

Warm Hat and Gloves: Insulating hat and gloves to retain heat and protect against cold temperatures at higher altitudes.

Sun Hat: Wide-brimmed hat or cap to provide shade and protection from the sun's UV rays during sunny days on the trek.

Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from glare and harmful sun rays at higher altitudes.

Daypack: Lightweight and comfortable daypack with a capacity of 20-30 liters to carry essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, camera, and rain gear during daily treks.

Sleeping Bag: Warm and compact sleeping bag rated for temperatures below freezing to ensure a comfortable night's sleep in teahouses or lodges along the trekking route.

Trekking Poles: Adjustable trekking poles with shock absorption to reduce strain on knees and provide stability on steep ascents and descents.

Headlamp or Flashlight: Compact and lightweight headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries for evening and early morning hikes, as well as in case of power outages.

Water Bottle or Hydration System: Insulated water bottle or hydration system with a capacity of at least 2 liters to stay hydrated during long treks.

First Aid Kit: Basic first aid kit with essential supplies such as bandages, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, blister treatment, and any personal medications.

Toiletries: Travel-sized toiletries including biodegradable soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and toilet paper.

Sunscreen and Lip Balm: High SPF sunscreen and lip balm with UV protection to prevent sunburn and chapped lips at high altitudes where UV exposure is intense.

Personal Identification: Photocopies of your passport, travel insurance, and emergency contact information stored in a waterproof bag or pouch.

Trekking Permit: Valid trekking permits and necessary documentation required for Upper Mustang Trek, including TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) permit and restricted area permits.

Camera: Lightweight and durable camera or smartphone with a waterproof case to capture stunning photos and videos of the breathtaking landscapes along the trekking route.

Travel Towel: Quick-drying and compact travel towel for personal hygiene and bathing in teahouses or lodges along the trek.

Snacks and Energy Bars: High-energy snacks and energy bars to refuel and replenish energy levels during long treks between meals.

Cash: Sufficient Nepalese rupees in small denominations for purchasing snacks, drinks, souvenirs, and tipping guides and porters along the trekking route.

Durable Backpack: Durable and waterproof backpack or duffel bag to transport your belongings during the trek, preferably with a rain cover to protect against moisture.