Upper Mustang Trekking - 18 Days

Trip Facts

  • Tourist Bus-Jeep-Car
  • 2 to 8
  • 3840 meter/12595 feet
  • Hotel-Lodge-Homestay
  • Less Active
  • Kathmandu
  • Kathamndu
  • Autumn (March to May) & Autumn (Aug to Nov)
  • In Person
  • Restricted Region Trek
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • English/Chinese/Hindi
  • 5
  • 78
One of the trekking destinations behind the Himalaya of Nepal, Upper Mustang Trek is trekking to the forbidden kingdom of Nepal. Mustang is a famous hidden kingdom behind the Himalaya, in the land of the federal republic of Nepal. The people, their lifestyle, culture, tradition, cave on the trail and the surrounding nature gives, trekker plenty to see in their trekking to Upper Mustang. Daily life of people living there is simple, unique and interesting for trekkers; herd of cattle coming back home in the afternoon, yaks grazing In the field, horses and mules carrying supplies up and down the trails.

This part of Nepal is geologically located in the Tibetan Plato, a completely deserted area within Nepal Himalaya – resembles Tibetan Landscape. If you want to explore the lifestyle of people living in the upper Mustang region of Nepal, and if you are interested in the culture, different side of Nepalese nature and outstanding scenery rather than just the tall mountains of Nepal, Upper Mustang is the perfect destination for you.

Relationship between Tibet and Upper Mustang

As famous Dalai Lama said, Mustang is one of the good reflectors of Tibetan culture and landscape, in Nepal – we completely agree with this statement. Visiting Tibet may be challenging and expensive, but Upper Mustang Trekking offers an easier opportunity to experience similar landscape. Local people and culture and their welcoming hospitality inside their own kitchen area with dry mountain views from their windows – makes every trekker happy. Getting towards Korola border (border with China) during the sightseeing tour around Lo Manthang, visiting Choser cave and multiple forts in the area will give you a real taste of Tibetan paradise, in Upper Mustang.

History of Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang was a part of the Tibetan Kingdom of Gungthang until 1830’s, and thus it has a lot of interesting history and antique cultural traditions preserved by then. Today you can also pay a visit to the four storied building at Lo Manthang where the king used to live. Until very recent, King of Lomanthang used to be recognized by government of Nepal. The prince, however, is in hotel business at present and King is no more alive. Walking around the kings palace and the whole village will be an awesome experience during Lo Manthang village tour.

The King of Lho

The king of today does not have the power to rule the people anymore, but his people still love and respect him. Apart from the king and his palace, trekkers doing the can visit many monasteries and Gomba along the trail; for instance Gomba Thungsen that was built on the 15th century B.C., and Ghar Gompa that was built in the 7th century B.C. are iconic among many of the Monastery in Upper Mustang.

Ghar Gomba is regarded as one of the oldest in the region and is believed to be built for successful construction of Potola palace in Tibet.

As told in this statement “Mustang is one of the few places in the Himalayan region that has been able to retain its traditional Tibetan culture unspoiled, authentic and alive. Tibetan culture now survives only in exile and a few places like Upper Mustang, which have had long historical and cultural ties with Tibet, are preserving culture of Tibet inside Nepal.” by (The Dalai Lama). The quote alone gives enough reason to go to Upper mustang trek to experience the secret Himalaya region of Nepal.

By the side of Kaligandaki river where we can still find fossils of ocean creature, the dry valley of Mutang is in Himalayan ran shadow zone. That is why this restricted trail of Upper Mustang is regarded as the best recommended trekking for Monsoon, in Nepal.

Best time for Upper Mustang Trek

This is a famous trekking as Monsoon season trek in rain shadow zone of Nepal. With that being said, best time for trekking to Upper Mustang is none other than rainy season of Nepal. Rainy season of Nepal starts from the end of May and last almost till the beginning of august. As Upper mustang is by the Kaligandaki River but behind the hills of Annapurna and Dhaulagiir Mountian range, this is rain shadow zone in Nepal Himalaya. People travel to Upper mustang almost all over the year except in the winters. Winter in upper mustang is not recommended for trekking.

Few reasons to justify; why upper mustang trek is recommended in the rainy season? Firstly, In the monsoon, people in upper mustang will be working in their field, they have family functions, community functions and festivals; because of all this happenings in upper mustang, it is better to travel this destination in the rainy season. Secondly, in the rainy season trekking to Langtang, Kanchenjunga, Annapurna & other trails of Nepal is not recommended; because of leech, cloudy sky and majorly the wet trekking trail with rain landslides or flooding. At the same time Upper mustang being famous as a dry part of Nepal Himalaya will be nice and dry.

For travelers from all around the world, who has time off in the month of May to August and looking for a trekking in Nepal Himalaya – trek to upper mustang in its best season; when the villages along the trekking route will be happening and rain shadow zone will serve your trekking with a best experience.

Difference in between Upper Mustang Trek vs. Upper Dolpo trek

  1. Physical Requirements/ Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty

Upper Mustang trekking is similar to Upper dolpo trek in many ways. Landscape, people, culture and tradition of people from Upper Dolpo and Upper mustang are similar. In the history – during 6th to 8th century, Upper Dolpo used to be a part of kingdom of Lho. Kingdom of Lho used to have its palace at Lo Manthang village and Upper Dolpo was once captured by King of Lho. This historical proof alone is enough to prove, why upper mustang and upper dolpo are similar?

Apart from similarity in between these 2 rain shadow zone of Nepal Himalaya, there are differences in between Upper Musntag trek and Upper Dolpo trekking. Firstly Upper dolpo trekking has high passes and it is physically demanding trekking Nepal, whereas Upper mustang is an easy flat trekking in Nepal. Altitude of Upper Mustang trek do not rise and fall quickly but it has a constant increase on ascend and similar in descend. In case of Upper Dolpo trek there are two high passes in route. Trekking to Upper dolpo need high pass trek over Saldang La pass (4,785m) and Jeng La pass (4,369m) whereas; highest altitude on trekking to upper mustang is 3840m.

One of the major differences in between these two famous trekking destination; Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo is trekking accommodation. Upper Mustang trek is a tea house trekking whereas Upper Dolpo trekking is mixed with Camping trek and home stays. Another major difference is the development of road and use of jeep in need. Upper Mustang has wide road for Jeep and if trekkers need to be rescued then it is not an issue, however the trekking trail has alternative route. In contrast Upper Dolpo trek is a remote trekking with no road facility.

As the trek to Upper mustang already start from 2600 meters and do not rise above 3840m above the sea level, clearly states its level of difficulty. In a day, trekkers trekking to upper mustang need to walk 5 to 7 hours in average, which means trekking is normally flat terrain thus is not challenging but outstandingly beautiful.

  1. Beauty of Upper Mustang Trek

In comparison to the rest of the trekking destinations in Nepal, Upper mustang is completely different trekking from many prospective. Geographically, Upper Mustang lies near to Tibet and it is a part of the Tibetan plate, thus the mountains of this region are similar to Tibetan dry mountains. Unlike to trail of Everest base camp, Annapurna Base camp and Langtang valley; Upper mustang has no jungle. But the dry landscape with brown mountains looks awesome.

But still, Upper mustang trekking also serves the beauty of snow-capped mountains to the far end. Trekkers can see Mt Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri mountain range, Annapurna mountain range as well. This combined view of dry landscape with White Mountain is admiring view. Upper mustang trek is not comparable with beautiful trail of Everest or famous Annauprna base camp trek. Landscape is different and the people we see in route to upper mustang are different. Sherpa’s of Everest are also Tibetans in the far history, but people from Upper Mustang have very young history to prove themselves in relation to their Tibetan ancestors. Also because of the isolated geological boundary, Upper mustang is still untouched and culture and tradition of the region is still preserved to its purity.

Solo trek

This is a restricted trekking trail in Nepal. To trek to the region, you must have to be 2 people at least, and then only the government of Nepal issue special trekking permits for Upper Mustang. As a restricted trekking destination, you must have to hire a trekking guide for this trekking.

Thus, solo trekking to upper mustang is not recommended and possible. However, some people pay for 2 special trekking permit and do solo trek to Upper Mustang. For your information, Special permit to Upper mustang is expensive – but if money is not an issue, there are benefits of solo trekking to Upper Mustang. With your guide, in this expensive trip to Nepal, you will have opportunity to visit as many monasteries as you want, visit more than hundreds of cave as per your choice, stay in the local village with exclusively welcoming people and trek off the beat or twist the destination as per interest.

Trek Altitude

Trekking is in between 2600 meters to 3840 meters above the sea level. This 1240 meter altitude does not fluctuate in high scale. Trekking trail of Upper Mustang is gentle and flat. Uphill and downhill are rare and trekking trail does not go higher than 3800 meters altitude. Neither high passes are involved in Upper mustang trail – nor the trails has straight uphill trekking, Upper Mustang is low altitude trek for easy going trekkers

The last and famous village of Upper Mustang trek is Lho Manthang and it is situated at 3800 meters above the sea level. In this altitude, trekkers need to spend 2 nights for rest and exploring different forts, Monastery, villages and caves. Highest altitude of Upper Mustang read as 3800 meters above the sea level proves Upper Mustang trek as fairly low altitude trek for the outstanding view in rain shadow zone of Nepal Himalaya.

Trek in December

Trekking in Upper Mustang is nearly impossible. Upper Mustang trekking in December is a big No. As a rain shadow zone of Nepal Himalaya trekking trail has no vegetation at all, it is a dry mountain & landscape is deserted. So imagine, what happened if it snows in the desert, you will get lost easily.

In December very few people of Upper Mustang stays in the village, whereas most of them migrate to the lower altitude and thus most of the tea houses in route of Upper Mustang trek will be closed. No tea house, no locals, nothing happening, snow covered dry mountains and extreme cold are supportive reasons for not recommending Upper Mustang in December.

Upper Mustang Trekking Cost

Cost of Upper mustang trek is not cheap and if you compare Upper Mustang trekking price with other regular trekking routes of Nepal, it will look even worse. Upper Mustang route has highest cost for its special trekking permit among all the restricted trekking in Nepal. Because of this reason, total trekking price for Upper Mustang is higher than other trekking package.

One person trekking to Upper Mustang must pay 50 US dollar per day for his/her special trekking permits to Upper Mustang. For a complete trekking experience of you must have, at least 10 days of Special permit for upper Mustang. This is the main reason for high cost of Upper Mustang trekking package in comparison to other trekking trail.

Apart from price for special trekking permit, guide and porter for Upper Mustang trek – cost of accommodation and food is higher than in other route. This is because of less trekker visiting this restricted trail. But this price difference has always kept Upper mustang trekking trail as the peaceful, less crowded and highly hospitable trekking.

Trek itinerary

Day to day itinerary for Upper Mustang has wide flexibility but the interest and number of holiday determines the trekking days for Upper Mustang trek. Our suggested Upper Mustang itinerary can always be customized according to the interest and time frame. Interest of visiting village, caves, Monasteries, spending time with locals, visiting to the boarder, visiting the fort of Upper Mustang and taking the optional trekking route change the itinerary of Upper Mustang.

In general people trek up to Lho Manthang via Charang Village and get back down to Chhusang via Dhakmar, visitng Ghar Monastery, Ghar Gompa is the oldest Monastery found in Nepal, so far. Apart from this famous route, trek trail has an optional itinerary. This optional itinerary takes you to hidden villages of Yara Ghara. This Yara Ghara trail of Upper Mustang can be an interesting experience but you must have fitness level to walk more than 10 hours from Yara village to Chhuksang, as there is no tea houses in between till 2021. Mustang trekking route with yara Ghara village is visited by very few people. The trekking trail is not marked properly and an experienced guide is in need.

Highlights

Upper Mustang trekking is famous for its geological location in the Tibetan plateu. Antique culture of Tibetan still preserved to its pure form, life of the locals and the tradition and cultural aspect of Lho village are major attraction of Upper Mustang trek. Apart from the contrast of dry Himalaya and White Mountains, Upper Mustang trekking is famous for caves, forts and fortifies villages. Monastery like Ghar Gomba built in the 7th century is archaeological proof of Upper Mustang and entire Nepal.

The hidden kingdom of Upper Mustang is famous for the existence of Kingdom and their sacred King, palace of sacred majesty of Lho Manthang recognized by government of Nepal; can still be visited in Upper Mustang Trek.

Trek in April

Trekking to upper Mustnag in April is not hard as trekking in December. April is spring season for Nepal and in spring, Upper Mustang trek is fairly okay but still is not the best season for trekking this hidden kingdom of Nepal. If you are trekking is spring it is better to keep mini spikes for downhill trek, in need. However, heavy snowfall might block the trail and alternative route could be used.

Below is a suggested itinerary for Upper Mustang Trek, it can be customized as per your wishes.

Please note! Upper Mustang is a restricted region; therefore, we need your original passport, to arrange for a special permit – prior to your Upper Mustang trip. Saying that, 2nd day in Kathmandu or early arrival on the 1st day is mandatory for upper Mustang Trek. For more Information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Overview

Are you looking for trek in Monsoon? Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow zone. Thus it does not rain when it is raining in the other part of Nepal. Restricted region of Nepal trekking trail, Upper Mustang is also famous as hidden kingdom of Nepal.

Close to Tibet, cultural and traditional bond with Tibetans, King of the region recognized by Nepal government, brown hills as well as the white mountains are major attractions of the trek. Are you wondering for your vacation in June/July? You got the right trek for Nepal.

Major things to see in route to Upper Mustang Trek

  • Jomsom Bazzar with the airport and big tourist coach
  • Kagbeni village walk
  • Mustang gate before Chaile
  • Cave near Syangboche
  • Charang village with school
  • Lo Manthang village & visit to the Kings Palace
  • Chhusang cave on sightseeing day of Lo Manthang village
  • Ghar Gomba (monastery) from the 7th century B.C.

Detailed itinerary for Upper Mustang Trek 18 Days

Day 1
Arrival

On arrival our company representative will greet you at the airport and transfer to you hotel, and tell you about Upper Mustang Trek meeting venue and time. Enjoy your free time tonight in Thamel. Thamel offers good selection of restaurants, cafés, shops and bars.

Day 2
Special Permit Preparation day

We need a special permit to enter the restricted Upper Mustang Region. To obtain the special permit we need to have your original passport. While our office staff will work on your permit, you will have a rest day or you can join our day tour activity.

Day 3
Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara

During the monsoon season, rain in Pokhara is common. This is a challenge to get out of the rain and into the rain shadow zone to Upper Mustang.

Day 4
Drive to Jomsom

Stay overnight at Jomsom and chill at the entrance of rain shadow region of Nepal, “Upper Mustang”.

Day 5
Trek to Kagbeni; 5 hours

Trekking from Jomsom to Kagbeni is dry mountain walking. We might need to face the wind and dust today, be prepared with mask or buff and sun glasses. Dry landscape of Upper Mustang region starts from here.
From today until the last day of the trekking you will explore villages, and stay at the local owned tea houses. There will be a menu at every eating place from which you will choose your lunch, dinner and breakfast (all included if you buy our normal package).
You will be following your trekking guide, who helps you in everything from choosing food to sleeping warm. You are free to decide on your own but listening to your guide’s recommendation is always wise. Your porter will be carrying your luggage and you only need to carry a small day-pack with drinking water, camera, sun screen and other things you’ll need during the day’s trek.
When traveling with Nepalgram Adventure you don’t need to worry about anything. Just take care of eating properly and staying hydrated.

Day 6
Kagbeni to Chele (3100m); 5 hours

Kagbeni is the gateway to Upper Mustang and the Muktinath temple is near this village. Kagbeni village also has its own monastery.

Day 7
Chele to Syangbochen (3780m); 6 hours

Chele to Syangboche is a gentle walk, but at the beginning we will walk uphill for about 30 minutes. We will pass by beautiful landscapes and one village during today’s hike. Glacial evidence from thousands of years ago is found in here.

Day 8
Syangbochen to Ghami (3520m); 7 hours

Syangboche to Ghami is a gentle and easy walk. We will pass by a beautiful landscape and many Chhortens today. These Chhorten are believed to exist since the 11th century B.C.

Day 9
Ghami to Charang (3560m); 6 hours

Ghami to Chharang is also an easy hike. Once we get to Charang it feels like being in a city from the 14th century. This small valley of Charang on the side of river has a nice location and view. Walking around the village of Charang is a day well spent.

Day 10
Charang to Lo Manthang (3840m), Lo was a state of Tibet centuries ago.

Charang to Lamantahng has a few uphill, but mostly a gentle walk. Lo Manthang is the place where the king of the region lives. These villages still have a practice of King, but nowadays king is just an emblem, after democracy in 1950AD. We will visit the palace of king which still exists. Lo Manthang is a nice historic village.

Day 11
Rest, sightseeing day at Lo Manthang, visit different Monasteries.

Lo Manthang, kingdom of Upper Mustang King is a historic place. We still can see numerous forts on the top of the hills in Lo Manthang. We will go to Chusang Cave, local monastery, or drive to Korolla Border. Korolla is the Nepal-China Border to Tibet. Lo Manthnag is such a beautiful place that will be lots to marvel about.

Day 12
Lo Manthang to Dhakmar (3820m); 7 hours

Now descend begins, after a small uphill we will get to Ghar La. Today we will hike downhill, mostly. We pass by a monastery at Ghar called Ghar Gompa. This Ghar Gompa is built by Guru Padhmasambhav in the 8th century B.C., and this monastery has Chhorten (the memorials) all around. You will see Charang village in the far distance, surrounded by a beautiful landscape.
Story behind the Ghar Gompa is that Guru Padhmasambhav tried to build one monastery in Tibet but he failed. Every night demons used to come and dismantle the construction. Then a Buddhist Shaman found a way, they found that if one monastery in Nepal (Ghar Gomba) will be built at first, demons will not demolish the structure in Tibet. And so they built this Ghar Gomba also called Lo Ghekar Gomba

Day 13
Dhakmar to Syangbochen(3780m); 6 hours

We will walk down to Syangbochen and spend a peaceful night at the local tea house. In the morning, we will go to see sunrise from one of the near viewpoints. There are mysterous caves at 1 hours distance from Syangboche, would be an interesting place to go, if we have enough time left.

Day 14
Syangbochen to Chhusang (2980m); 7 hours

Trekking to Chusang is downhill followed by flat walk. Chusang village is on the side of river, people search for Shalimar stones in this river.

Day 15
Chhusang to Jomsom(2720m); 6 hours

Trekking from Chusang to Jomsom is on the road, easy and flat. We will take the same trail we have walked on our first day. Trekking ends at Jomsom enjoy the night and celebrate your achievement with the team.

Day 16
Drive Jomsom to Pokhara.

Riding tourist coach from Jomsom to Pokhara gives a great view of the Annapurna range and nice view of the river valley. Scenery of villages and landscape during the bus journey from Jomsom till Pokhara changes dramatically. You can also choose a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom.

Day 17
Drive to Kathmandu by Tourist bus.

After 8 hours’ drive from Pokhara we will get to Kathmandu.

Day 18
Departure

Time has come to farewell you and wishes you a safe journey. Our vehicle will drop you off to the Kathmandu airport for your final departure. Looking forward to see you again on your next adventure in Nepal!

Have a safe travel back home.

Note: This itinerary and cost for Upper Mustang trekking is an example, we can always customize this trip according to your interest and length of the holiday.

Cost Details of Upper Mustang Trek - General Inclusions

  • Airport pickup and drop off by private car or micro bus (depending on group size).
  • Transportation from (Kathmandu - Pokhara) & (Jomsom - Pokhara) both ways
  • Standard Hotel in Kathmandu (2 nights) & Pokhara (2 nights) or according to the itinerary, B/B (bed and breakfast)
  • All your accommodation and meals (Breakfast with Tea or coffee, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek; with fresh fruit as dessert every night.
  • All necessary paper works (ACAP) entry permit (Upper Mustang special restricted region Permit) & Trekker`s information management system (Tims).
  • Fluent English speaking and trained, Government licensed guide including all his salary, food, drinks, accommodation, transport and insurance during the trekking.
  • A Strong, helpful porter with proper equipment (one porter for two people), if you need.
  • Card processing fee for online payable amount
  • Added Value - (1) Dawn sleeping bag, Dawn Jacket to be returned after the trek (2) Waterproof duffel Bag, Walking Poles, quick dry T-shirt, Cap - to take away (3) Oxymeter to check your oxygen saturation and Heart beat with medical kit box carried by Guide (4) Satellite Phone for extremely remote destination
  • All government taxes and office expenses.

Cost Details of Upper Mustang Trek - General Exclusions

  • Food while you are in Kathmandu.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (you may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at International Airport - Kathmandu). You need 2 passport size photos and $50 dollar.
  • Your travel and medical insurance. We will assist you with evacuation arrangement in case of emergency without any extra cost.
  • All alcoholic and non alcoholic hot and cold drinks, tea or coffee in breakfast is included, however.
  • Tips for the guide, porter and driver (Tipping is expected).

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Upper Mustang Trekking
Price From
$ 1,560 Per Person
$ 1,560 Per Service
$ 2,250 Per All Inclusive
$ 2,600 Per Comfortable
Add Travelers
Service
$ 1,560 Per Service
All Inclusive
$ 2,250 Per All Inclusive
Comfortable
$ 2,600 Per Comfortable
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Trip Facts

  • Tourist Bus-Jeep-Car
  • 2 to 8
  • 3840 meter/12595 feet
  • Hotel-Lodge-Homestay
  • Less Active
  • Kathmandu
  • Kathamndu
  • Autumn (March to May) & Autumn (Aug to Nov)
  • In Person
  • Restricted Region Trek
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • English/Chinese/Hindi
  • 5
  • 78

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