• Duration18 Days
  • Diffculty-LevelStrenuous
  • Max. Altitude4,010 m
  • Best SeasonSpring, Autumn & Monsoon

Overview

The lost forbidden kingdom and the hidden Buddhist world, Upper Mustang Trek, is all about exploring the mountain civilization of the northern part of Nepal which is still happily embracing its ancient lifestyle. It is an adventurous trek in the remote trans-Himalayan mountain area. The arid landscape, unique rock formations, high cliffs, canyon, and gorge are some of the exceptional Upper Mustang Trek highlights. 

Other than that, Upper Mustang Trekking offers breath-taking mountain views, ancient monasteries, high caves, colorful prayer flags, and intriguing stone carvings/paintings. As Upper Mustang has close ties with Tibet, the lifestyle, tradition, and culture of the locals resemble them. The locals here are very welcoming and kind.

The Upper Mustang Trek route goes through fine mountain villages, beautiful narrow pathways, apple orchards, and farming fields. You have to cross a handful of passes that offer spectacular views of snow-capped mountains like Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), Annapurna I (8,091 m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), etc. You will explore ancient monasteries like Namgyal Gompa, Ghar Gompa (1,200 years old), and other places like Tingkhar, Chhoser Caves along the trek.

Upper Mustang was closed for foreign visitors for a very long time. And now because of the strict rules and regulations imposed on trekking in the Upper Mustang by the government of Nepal, the region has successfully preserved its ancient values. The trail is less crowded and unspoiled. To be frank, the Upper Mustang trek is nothing less than a privilege that only a handful of people get every year. 

To know more about the Upper Mustang Trek package, you can read our useful information section. For more information regarding Upper Mustang Trek cost or Upper Mustang Trek cost for Nepali, feel free to contact us anytime. 

Also, check our other famous trekking packages- Everest Base Camp Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, and Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

This Upper Mustang Trek blog offers furthermore deep insight into what it's like to trek in Mustang Nepal. 


Upper Mustang Trek during the Tiji Festival

Upper Mustang Trek during the Tiji Festival is the best way to closely observe the vibrant cultural heritage of the locals of Lo Manthang. The spiritual values, traditional costumes, delicacies, divine chants, and colorful decoration adds up to the trekking experience and makes it a once in a lifetime event. 

Tiji is a three days festival celebrated in the month of May. It is a sacred festival that showcases ancient Tibetan culture. The festival means chasing off the demons. As per the legends, Dorje Jono must battle against his demon father to save the kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The entire festival revolves around it. There cannot be the best time to get blessed and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals.

Tiji Festival date 2022 started on May 27, 28, and end 29 May.

You'll see and experience

  • Adventurous journey in the western part of Nepal, explore the trans-Himalayan area
  • Arid desert-like landscapes and breath-taking views of mountain panoramas
  • Literally, travel back in time and enjoy ancient cultural heritage and simple lifestyle
  • Trek through fine mountain villages, apple orchards, and farming fields
  • Cross many passes along the route
  • Visit ancient monasteries, explore high caves, and witness intriguing stone carvings
  • Walk via canyon and gorge
  • Have intimate encounters with locals and enjoy their warm hospitality
  • Less-crowded and unspoiled trekking experience

Itinerary & Map

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  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Welcome dinner
  • Altitude:1,300 m

This is your arrival day in Kathmandu. Our airport representative will welcome you at the airport and help you with the check-in at the hotel. Nothing much is planned for your arrival day. You can take time to adjust to the air and the surroundings. In the late evening, you will meet the team members of Mystic Adventure Holidays over a welcome dinner.

 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast only

What can be a better way to know the city than visiting its popular monuments? Even though we will not be able to tour all the tourist sites in Kathmandu in one day, our tour guide will take you to the most popular ones. After having breakfast, you will drive to Swayambhunath, located on a hilltop, and continue the tour towards the sacred Pashupatinath Temple and the largest stupa of Neal, Boudhnath Stupa. 

The tour ends at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will be exploring centuries-old palaces, shrines, and courtyards. This one-day Kathmandu tour will offer you a good insight into the culture, art, and history of Nepal.

 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast & lunch

It takes around 6 to 7 hours of a long drive from Kathmandu to reach Pokhara. The good news is, you will be following a very scenic route that offers mesmerizing views of lush green hills, rivers, waterfalls, and a glimpse of mountains at a distance. In the evening, enjoy the bustle of Lakeside market and have dinner in your choice of restaurant.

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner

An early morning flight from Pokhara will take you to Jomsom. The flight will be approximately 20 minutes long and offers stunning views of snow-capped Himalayan mountains, lakes, and hills. From Jomsom, you will cross a small bridge and gradually ascend towards Kagbeni. 

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,050 m at Chele

The trail from Kagbeni goes along the Kali Gandaki river. You may face a strong wind on the way. While passing by Tangbe village, you can see beautiful white-washed houses, fields of barley & buckwheat, and apple orchards. The route to Chele involves pretty narrow passways. 

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,735 m at Darjori La Pass

Today, you will be crossing two passes- Taklam La (3,624 m) and Darjori La (3,735 m). It will be a tough day, but the spectacular views along the way are worth the difficulty. Following a downhill trail, you will descend to Samar village and walk to a ridge. The trail steeply descends one more time before taking you to Syangboche for the night stay. 

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:4,010 m at the Nyi Pass

It's only going to be tough, as you will gain elevation. With rugged, steep routes, you also have to deal with the thin air and remoteness of the region. The trail from Syangboche ascends to Yamada La Pass (3,850 m). You will further pass by fine villages and lush forests before crossing another pass- Nyi Pass (4,010 m). Both of the passes offer outstanding scenery. The trail then descends to Ghami. 

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,870 m at Charang La Pass

It is a short trekking day today. However, don't feel at ease because you will be crossing Tsarang La Pass (3,870 m) along the way. Trekking on rugged and slippery ground, you descend to a bridge that crosses Ghami Khola. The trail further passes by mani walls and crosses the pass. You will ascend to the top of the Tsarang Chu canyon, where the Tsarang village is located.

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,560 m at Tsarang

After having breakfast, you will get ready for the day. Dropdown into the canyon and cross a river. The trail gradually ascends towards the Lo La Pass (3,950 m). An amazing view of Lo Manthang is seen from the top of this pass. The trail then takes you to the village, where you will be spending the next two days. You can see mountains like Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), Annapurna I (8,091 m), Nilgiri (7,061 m), and Bhrikuti Peak (6,361 m) around you.

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,770 m at Chhoser Caves

Today is our first acclimatization day, very necessary to adjust the body to the altitude we have gained so far. To make the day exciting, we will be hiking to the Chhoser Caves (3,770 m). These are also known as sky caves, built into the side of cliffs. Even to this date, it is not sure who made these caves and why. Many people say it's burial chambers, monasteries, hiding places, etc. 

After coming back to Lo Manthang, explore the village and its ancient monasteries & palace. Spend time with locals and get to see their simple lifestyle.

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,880 m at Drakmar

Here comes another long trekking day from Lo Manthang to Drakmar. The trail passes through Gyakar village, where you will explore the century-old famous Ghar gompa. This gompa has fascinating rock paintings. Further, the trail descends to Drakmar for the night stay.

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,860 m at Ghiling

Today, the trail will be windy, therefore you will begin trekking early in the morning to avoid it. From Drakmar, the trail drops down through dry plateau and farming fields. You will soon reach Ghiling that offers excellent views of Mt. Nilgiri (7,061 m) and Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). 

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:3,050 m at Chhuksang

Wake up early and have a warm breakfast, enjoying superb views of mountains. The trail descends to Chhuksang today. You will be trekking through remote mountain villages, enjoying surreal sceneries throughout the route.

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:2,715m at Jomsom

It's time to say goodbye to the Upper Mustang and enter the lower Mustang. The trail today takes you back to Kagbeni. You will walk alongside the Kali Gandaki gorge and go through narrow gullies. Likewise, the route also passes by lovely apple orchards and small fine villages before you reach Jomsom. 

 

  • Accommodation:Teahouse
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Altitude:830 m at Pokhara

Another 20 minutes flight and you reach Pokhara, relishing the breath-taking aerial landscape. You will have an entire day in Pokhara to rest and visit tourist sites if you want. In the evening, don't forget boating on the tranquil Phewa Lake. End day enjoying the nightlife in Pokhara.

 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast, lunch & farewell dinner
  • Altitude:1,300m at Kathmandu

If you feel energetic, we can go on a short tour in Pokhara early in the morning before leaving the city. You can also do paragliding. Pokhara is known for its scenic paragliding. Later, follow the same route back to Kathmandu.

Today is your last day in Kathmandu, so don't forget to do window shopping in Thamel and enjoy its lively night ambiance for the last time. Farewell dinner with the team to celebrate the success of the trip and say goodbye to each other.

 

  • Meals:Breakfast only

Incase flight or weather change from Jomsom to pokhara need extra day

 

  • Meals:Breakfast only

Finally, the day comes when we will be saying goodbye to each other until next time. Our airport representatives will drop you at the airport.

Cost Details

Includes
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
  • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast
  • Teahouse accommodation during the trek
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek
  • All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
  • An experienced, English-speaking, and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
  • Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food, and accommodation
  • Down jacket and sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion)
  • Mystic Adventure Holidays trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map are yours to take
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
  • All government and local taxes
  • An achievement certificate and company souvenir
Excludes
  • Nepalese visa fee
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Domestic flight (Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and/or Pokhara
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara in case of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Tips for guide(s), porter(s) 10% of You Pay and driver(s)

Departure Dates

We organize private treks too. If you wish to tailor-made the Upper Mustang Trek itinerary, then contact us anytime. You can custom create the itinerary as per your time availability and requirements. 

 

Additional Info

Upper Mustang trek terrain & difficulty 

Upper Mustang Trek follows trodden and desert-like terrain. You will be crossing multiple passes along the way. Likewise, the route covers many narrow, rocky, steep & slippery pathways, a gorge, and a canyon. Every day requires 6 to 7 hours of ascents and descents. Besides that, the remoteness of the region, bare minimum tourist infrastructure, and high elevation adds up to the challenge. Overall, Upper Mustang Trek 18 Days is a difficult trek.

We do not recommend this trek to beginner trekkers unless you are extremely fit and can endure the challenges that come along the journey. Talking about altitude sickness, the astounding geography in this part of Nepal makes it easier for travelers to avoid AMS. 

You will be ascending at high elevation and spending the night in the lower elevation naturally during the trek, which will allow your body to acclimatize as you move further. Moreover, our Upper Mustang Trek itinerary has ample acclimatization day to give you a break during the trek.

You can check more about altitude sickness, its symptoms, and preventive measures on this page


Upper Mustang trek permit

You need to get two permits to trek in the Upper Mustang region- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit and Restricted Area Permit (RAP). 

The Restricted Area Permit comes under implementation from Kagbeni onwards. Trekkers or individual guides cannot get this permit on their own. This permit is only issued through a trekking agency registered in Nepal. Furthermore, there have to be two people in the group, not including the trekking guide.

Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit cost: USD 20 per person (single entry)

Restricted Area Permit cost: USD 500 per person for the first ten days and USD 50 per day thereafter


Best time to go on Upper Mustang trek

Upper Mustang is a huge arid dry ravine that lies in the Himalayan monsoon shadow, which means you can trek to Upper Mustang almost any time of the year. However, we suggest avoiding the mid-winter because it gets unbearably cold.

You can trek from March to November. Spring (March-April) and Autumn (October to November) is peak trekking season in the Himalayas. The lower part of the trail blooms in the spring, and dry autumn leaves along the way make the trip cozy. The weather remains stable and the climate moderate (16°C to 22°C) with fantastic views.

May to September (summer/monsoon) is another excellent time for Upper Mustang trekking because the upper part of the trail has little to no rain in the monsoon season. 


Food & Accommodation during Upper Mustang trek

The trail has basic tea houses where you will spend the night. Make sure to carry a warm sleeping bag with you because it can get cold in the morning and night. The rooms are commonly small with double beds and a shared washroom. 

The meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner will be provided during the trek. The meals are offered as per the menu of the teahouses. You can expect Nepali, Tibetan, and Indian dishes on the menu. Villages in the lower elevation may also offer Continental cuisine. 


Tips to make the journey smooth

  • Carry extra batteries or a solar charger to charge your electronic devices.
  • Get a Nepali sim card to use the internet on the way. You may not get a reliable connection all the time because of elevation.
  • Make sure to drink at least 2 liters of water every day and avoid alcoholic drinks/smoking to stay safe from altitude sickness.
  • Carry your favorite snacks and bars to munch on the trail.
  • Double-check all the gears and clothing before the beginning of the trek.
  • You can tip USD 100 each to the guide/porter, USD 2 to the driver, and USD 5 to the tour guide.
  • Make sure your travel insurance covers airlift and medical bills.

FAQs

  • Q1. How hard is the Upper Mustang trek?

    The Upper Mustang trek is a difficult to moderate level trek. It is neither easy nor strenuous. It all depends on your trekking experience, fitness, and endurance level. 

     

  • The biggest reason for the Upper Mustang being a restricted area is the open border between Nepal and Tibet. This restricted area permit and strict rules are to control the illegal activities and maintain border security. Likewise, the region also has many undiscovered caves, huge deposits of minerals, and ancient cultural heritage.

     

  • To reach Mustang from Kathmandu, you have to fly or drive to Pokhara. From there, you can fly/drive to Jomsom and trek to Lo Manthang, which takes 4 to 5 days.

     

  • On average, the Upper Mustang trek costs around USD 1800 to USD 2100 for 12 days. The price may change if your itinerary is longer. Check our cost include and exclude section for more information or talk to our representative here for detailed information regarding the Upper Mustang trek cost. 

     

  • Mustang is 8084 miles away from Pokhara.

     

  • Upper Mustang is 206 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Likewise, the road distance is 422.5 km.

     

  • Yes, we offer a private trek for Upper Mustang. You can contact us anytime for more information.

     

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