Mustang Trek

Trip Overview

Upper Mustang trek is an exploration of the most isolated and unexplored corner starkly fascinating medieval Himalayan Kingdom.

Mustang: then and now

Mustang trek is an exploration of the concealed valleys of upper Mustang in Nepal, nestled between Tibet and the Himalayas – a place different from the rest of the world. The wall city of Lomanthang used to be a part of Tibetan kingdom of Gungthang until 1830s. The early history of Lomanthang is embellished in myths and legends rather then the recorded facts. Even though the upper Mustang is changing it still surprises the visitors with its stunning vista and the stubborn way it cling to its unique culture. Indeed the culture is fighting back, crumbing art works are being restored. Crumbing monasteries have been rebuilt and refilled with the sound of bald-headed children in robes studying the ancient Buddhist ways. There are around 275 houses in Lo Mangthang having four castes: the royal caste, the everyday folk, the blacksmiths and the butchers and millers. The whole Lo manthang village has solar electricity now, along with a small herb garden of various holy decorations, flapping flags and of course stacked firewood. There was a time when it was the mandatory of certain family to supply the firewood for the royal family. Sky burial and polyandry are still remain practice in this upper mustang region. Once Nepal got republic in 2005 the royal family is symbolic only. There is no any major effects or damage of April 2015 earthquake in the whole Mustang region – totally safe for trekking.

It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had fought with demon among the Mustang ‘s snow capped mountain, desert canyons, and grassland. Once Guru Rinpoche killed the demon, it is said he scattered the demon’s body parts across Mustang valley: its blood formed the towering red cliffs and its intestines tumbled near to Ghami where people have later on build the stone prayer wall, the longest in Nepal, on top of the demon’s intestines.

Upper Mustang trek

Upper Mustang trekking in Nepal was officially opened in 1992 and limited numbers of trekkers are only allowed each year in order to protect and conserve the local Tibetan tradition and the fragile environment. Mustang trek unfolds the fabled forbidden kingdom’s vast and arid valleys, eroded canyons, yak caravans, colorful – painted mud brick houses on the back dropped of majestic mountain of Nilgiri, Tukche, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

This Upper Mustang trekking is one of the best trek to do even in the monsoon time as the entire Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow, north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, completely sheltered from the monsoon downfall in Nepal. We take both ways of Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight on this Mustang trekking that does avoid the lower rainy section of Annapurna. The best advantage of doing this cultural trek in monsoon time is that the village are full of local people busy at their every day works and the whole region are in bloom which makes really a fabulous contrast with the wind eroded hills, red cliffs and snow capped mountains on the back ground – a great vista. Thus upper Mustang trek is once in a lifetime destination to explore the fascinating medieval walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01:
    Arrival in Kathmandu / Welcome dinner, O/n at hotel / trek preparation
  • Day 02:
    Cultural tour / trek preparation / drive to Pokhara
  • Day 03:
    Fly to Jomsom (2725m/ 8,940ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2810m/ 9219ft). walk 3 hrs
  • Day 04:
    Trek to Chele (2920m / 10,006 ft ) (enter into the restricted upper Mustang area) walk 7 hrs
  • Day 05:
    Trek to Syangboche (3800m/ 12467ft) 5-6 hrs.
  • Day 06:
    Trek to Ghami (3520m/ 11548ft) walk 5 hrs.
  • Day 07:
    Trek to Tsarnag (3560m/11679ft) 4 hrs.
  • Day 08:
    Trek to Lo Manthang (3800m/ 12467ft) 4 - 5 hrs.
  • Day 09:
    Explore day at Lo Manthang
  • Day 10:
    Trek to Dhakmar (3800m/ 12467ft) 7 - 8 hrs.
  • Day 11:
    Trek to Syanboche
  • Day 12:
    Trek to Chusang (3040m/ 9973ft) 5 – 6 hrs.
  • Day 13:
    Trek to Kagbeni (2810m) walk 4 hrs
  • Day 14:
    Trek to Jomsom (2720)
  • Day 15:
    Fly to Pokhara after the Upper MUSTANG TREKKING
  • Day 16:
    Drive to Kathmandu / PM free in Kathmandu
  • Day 17:
    Mustang trekking ends / airport transportation

    FAQs

  • About Upper Mustang and trip grading? Can anyone join?

    Mustang, the lost Tibetan Kingdom is one of the most astonishing valley hidden behind the soaring snowy range of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. This ancient kingdom was opened to the outside world only in 1992 which is still untouched by the outside civilization. A journey to Mustang is a remarkable journey into the timeless traditions. Mustang, a source to the world's deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki is challenging but not laborious. There is tremendous amount of undulating trail with ample passes ranging from 3500m to 4200m but the highest sleeping altitude is 3700m by which time you have sufficient time to acclimatize yourself. Anyone with reasonable fitness can join Mustang trek. Significantly you also have an option of either taking a horse or a jeep in any part of the trek in case if it's required.

  • Is flying to Jomsom dangerous? Is there any alternative

    Nepal air aviation is quite strict about these small planes flying high into the remote mountain airstrips like Lukla or Jomsom. There are possibility of flight delays and sometimes cancellation. Whenever there is a slightest weather chaos or high velocity winds these remote mountain airports would be momentarily closed. So there is no need to fear about flying to Jomsom. However, there is also an alternative of driving to Jomsom but that would be more of a peril in terms of road situation and time since you will be driving more than 9 hours where flying is only 18/20 minutes.

  • bout size of a group and permits for Upper Mustang trek?

    Minimum of 2 trekkers is compulsory for any restricted area in Nepal for issuing the special permits. A company and a local staff is must and in no way you can organize upper Mustang trek through independent guide or a porter. Special permits cost $500 per trekker for 10 days that’s the minimum number of days you can have as the permit validity and $50 per day if you wish to have couple of more day's extension. Besides special permit you would need an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit and TIMS trekking permits. However, with Mountain Monarch it's all set by the time you arrive in Kathmandu.

  • How many hours per day do you walk at Mustang trek?

    Usually not more than 5 / 6 hours excluding lunch. However, it also depends on your pace though we allow you enough time to set up your own pace to make everyday more entertaining. We usually start early so that you could reach the destination on time leaving you enough time to explore and enjoy the serenity of the place.

  • Is it doable in winter? What is the best time to do Upper Mustang trek?

    March till November is the best time to trek to upper Mustang trek when the view of exceptional landscape, gorges and soaring mountain are at its best state. Tiji or Tenchi Festival which is celebrated during the month of May happens to be one of the principal and most colorful festival for the people of Upper Mustang. During this time the capital, the walled city of Lo Manthang would be full of activity and chances of not finding the rooms may be possible.
    Winter trekking is not recommended for upper Mustang as there are chances of snow fall with temperature dropping far as - 25 ° C and significantly very few people stay back in the valley to watch over the property and their cattle's. Yet very few people still do winter trekking to upper Mustang with adequate winter equipments and carrying their own supplies.

  • Can we do this Upper Mustang trek in Moonson season?

    Yes you can absolutely to this upper Mustang trek in monsoon time. As the Upper mustang region is on lee wind side / beyond the Himalayas, it won’t rain much there so doing the upper Mustang trek in Monsoon June, July, August and September is fine. This one one of the few trekking routes good even in monsoon time in Nepal.

  • Why always opt for reputed company with professional leader for Upper Mustang trek?

    As per Nepal government rule it is mandatory that trekkers need to be affiliated with the trekking company accompanied by the local Nepali staff to do the restricted region trekking like to Upper Mustang. Considerably its hassle free in terms of issuing permit, hotel, flights, transportation etc and someone is always there to cater you in times of crisis and offering you necessary information and assistance. Reputed companies are there to provide you with quality service at a very competitive price and are there to guarantee your safety which I suppose is the biggest concern.

  • Do I need to do necessary groundwork for Upper Mustang trek?

    Mustang trek is more than a moderate trek not because of altitude but for the reason that of the undulating valley trail that has been fashioned by series of streams along the way. Nevertheless, for someone with very weak ankles or knee, heart or lungs problems are requested to have obligatory doctors advice. However, Mountain Monarch itinerary are so designed that the walks are challenging but not very exhausting. As for the preparation, doing some cardio walking prior to your travel to Nepal to make out how many hours or how much weight you can handle can give you loads of initiative to prepare yourself.

  • Is there any possibility to customize Upper Mustang trek?

    Yes as per the time convenient to you and the level of fitness you can always modify the Upper Mustang trek. Mountain Monarch has always been unbeaten in customizing trek for the clients as per their requirements. We also organize pony trek, jeep luxury safari, or semi jeep safari with walking and driving options to Upper Mustang trek.

  • What about charging facility and hot showers in Mustang trek?

    The charging privilege for any of your electronic devices may not be possible all the way around Mustang trek because of the high velocity wind in the valley of mustang most of the time hydro power is cut off to get away with any uncertainty. Some have solar charging facility which may not be very reliable. So it is always wise to carry some extra batteries or the fully charged power bank batteries. As for the hot showers some are run by solar, fire chimney or liquid petroleum gas and for solar showers days need to have a perfect sun - however, availability of hot showers may be on and off in the upper Mustang tea houses.
     

  • What if I am very slow in the group?

    Other than your group leader you will have assistant guides in your group. Your leader will sort out assigning each of his assistants in the group systematically while he takes responsibility for the slow walking people being at the tail of the group making it utterly non strenuous. Nevertheless, your leader would be counseling everyone in the group to stay together and walk collectively as a team.
     

  • What equipment do you provide for Upper Mustang trek?

    Mountain Monarch provides you with very warm sleeping bag and feather duvet jackets which people have used it even while climbing peaks which is the mother of all warm clothing's. We also provide you with duffle bag to fit all your gears in and very warm fleece liner that goes into your sleeping bag to keep you warm and cozy during night chill.

  • Will we be provided with drinking water facility?

    We very strongly oppose the use of plastic mineral water bottles for environmental concern. Instead our staff will supply you with appropriately boiled water every morning and evening. We suggest you to bring at least 2 metal or plastic Nalgene bottles so that you can have enough to last the duration of the day. Besides you can use the hot bottles in the night as hot pack in your sleeping bag and can still drink it during the day when it's still warm.

  • Do I need to have travel insurance for emergency for Upper Mustang trek?

    We strongly suggest you to have an all-inclusive travel insurance policy covering all the aspects of your adventure though we ensure you that there would be hardly any evacuations or any health catastrophe as your leader is medically trained and has ample knowledge to deal with any life threatening situation. But it's always wise to have insurance as your back up for just in any case.

  • What kind of food and accommodation are we to expect in Upper Mustang trek?

    Since Upper Mustang started tea house trekking only few years ago, the accommodation can be pretty basic except for few villages. However, we use the family oriented lodges with twin bed sharing rooms with clean common toilets and occasional rooms with attach toilet bathrooms. Despite being it relatively basic and electricity problem lodges in upper Mustang are at its best offering you with the comfort experience and its typical local environment. You have variety of choices for the food and basically Mountain Monarch sends a cook to assist the lodge owner in preparing variety of western food. So far there has not been any complaints whatsoever in regards to food and accommodation provided by us.
     

  • Is there any possibility to customize Upper Mustang trek?

    Yes as per the time convenient to you and the level of fitness you can always modify the Upper Mustang trek. Mountain Monarch has always been unbeaten in customizing trek for the clients as per their requirements. We also organize pony trek, jeep luxury safari, or semi jeep safari with walking and driving options to Upper Mustang trek.

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