Upper Mustang Trek

  • Duration: 17 Days

Overview

  • Difficulty LevelModerate
  • Trip ModeTea House
  • Best TimeMarch - Nov
  • Max Altitude3850 meter

Upper Mustang Trek: Then and Now

Mustang trek is an exploration of the concealed valleys of upper Mustang in Nepal. Interestingly upper Mustang nestled between Tibet and the Himalayas - a place different from the rest of the world, Buddhist Kingdom. 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.

Trek to upper Mustang - an exploration of the fascinating medieval Himalayan Kingdom.

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 a days. Decorative style 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.

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. Consequently its blood formed the towering red cliffs and its intestines tumbled near to Ghami where people have later on build the stone prayer wall. Thus the longest prayer wall in Nepal, on top of the demon’s intestines.

Upper Mustang trek in Nepal

Upper Mustang trek in Nepal was officially opened in 1992. Particularly limited numbers of trekkers are only allowed each year. Thus to protect and conserve the local Tibetan tradition and the fragile environment. Mustang trip in Nepal unfolds the fabled forbidden kingdom's vast and arid valleys, eroded canyons, yak caravans. Further more the colourful - painted mud brick houses next to majestic mountain of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri ranges .

Surprising this Upper Mustang trekking is one of the best trek to do even in the monsoon season in Nepal. Hence it lies in the rain shadow, north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, completely sheltered from the monsoon. We take return Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight to avoid the lower rainy section hike in Annapurna region. The best advantage of doing this cultural Mustang trek in monsoon time is that the village are full of local people busy at their every day works. Further more 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.

Mustang Trekking Itinerary:

  • 1 Day
    Arrival in Kathmandu / Welcome dinner, O/n at hotel / trek preparation.
    • Hotel
    • Welcome Dineer
    • 1340 m
    • car
    • Airport pick up

    Soon you land in Kathmandu airport your group leader will be there to greet you and transfer you to the hotel.

    Highlights:

    • Pick up from the International Airport.
    • Transfer to the hotel by your Group Leader.
    • Trek briefing and equipment distribution.
    • Arriving early gives you an opportunity to explore Kathmandu.
    • Welcome dinner and getting to know each other.

  • 2 Day
    Cultural tour / trek preparation / drive to Pokhara.
    • Hotel
    • Tour @ 9 am
    • Breakfast
    • 1340 m
    • Hiace
    • Tour and Trek Preparation

    • Visit to Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath.Flying or the other Today after the cultural tour in Kathmandu we drive to Pokhara fo the over night stay at hotel, Pokhara is the second biggest city of Nepal.

    Highlights:

    • We explore the sights and sounds of world heritage sites in Ktm in morning and later in the day we drive to Pokhara
    • 6 hours drive.
    • Very relaxing, fabulous scenery with multiple breaks giving you time to stretch and enjoy.
    • Being in Pokhara unlike Kathmandu will definitely add more excitement to your anticipation.

  • 3 Day
    Fly to Jomsom (2,725m/ 8,940ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/ 9,219ft). walk 3 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 2810 m
    • Plane
    • Flight and trek starts

    A short morning flight to Jomsom, the district headquarters of Mustang, through the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge with the glorious view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri is exceptional.

    Highlights:

    • 20 minutes breathtaking flight to the windy valley of Jomsom is unbelievable.
    • Great view with dozens of Himalayan giants poking into the sky.
    • Witness the Kali Gandaki river which dates back to 80 million old flowing from Tibetan Plateau.
    • After morning tea walk to Kagbeni, the gateway of Upper Mustang through the ancient salt trade trail is unique.
    • Easy walk, lunch at Kagbeni itself – and after lunch excursion around the antique village of Kagbeni which is not to be missed.

  • 4 Day
    Trek to Chele (2,920m / 10,006 ft ) (enter into the restricted upper Mustang area) walk 7 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 2920 m
    • Hike Upper Mustang

    Having completed the permit formalities today we enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang. As said to be the desert of Nepal the valley widens with barren and arid surroundings with green villages in the middle that appears more like a mirage which is simply incredible.

    Highlights:

    • Walking on the extended trail with Kagbeni and Nilgiri mountain at the backdrop is dazzling.
    • Witness the different part of the world, the land of ammonites (pre historic stone) with striking views.
    • The stretch of Kali Gandaki river bed gives u the ancient history of its existence.
    • The dramatic setting of the landscape with canyons and wind eroded hills is phenomenal.
    •  Lunch at Tangbe or Chhusang, another ancient village.
    •  Chele is a small beautiful settlement from where u can overlook the valley with its picturesque setting.

  • 5 Day
    Trek to Syangboche (3,800m/ 12,467ft) 5-6 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3800 m
    • Hiking

    Today’s walk is more into undulating trails with couple of steep climb and descents. Despite 6 hour walk the tremendous canyons with its unusual colour that opens out is extraordinary. In this bizarre the farming fields with rich red buckwheat and brilliant green and the south view offering you a panorama of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tilicho Peak, and YakawaKang adds up to its magnificence.

    Highlights:

    • The initial steep walk through the hill cut trail in one of these tremendous canyons is remarkable.
    • You would witness the sky caves which date back more than 3000 years that were used as human settlement, burial chambers and now lama hermit retreats.
    • Lunch at the small settlement of Bhena which is now a jeep station but with fabulous scenic beauty.
    • Climb up to the pass before dropping down to Syangboche is remarkable for its unexpected views.
    • Syangboche is small settlement deep into the valley but has a theatrical setting.

  • 6 Day
    Trek to Ghami (3,520m/ 11,548ft) walk 5 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3520 m
    • Trekking

    From Syangboche we climb gently to a small pass of 3,800m/12,467ft with extraordinary views of mountains and deep valleys into the wind eroded canyons. Today’s walk is effortless with few short climbs in between but beautiful scenery alongside would hardly allow us to realize the passing away of time and arrive at Ghami for lunch.

    Highlights:

    • Endless colourful gullies to the north, east and west which is outstanding.
    • South is still dominated by the soaring peak of Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna.
    • After lunch free afternoon to explore Ghami, the ancient village with time honoured monastery, Chortens and mani (prayer) walls.

  • 7 Day
    Trek to Tsarnag (3,560m/11,679ft) 4 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3560 m
    • Trekking

    This short trek to Tsarang takes us into the ‘Land of Chortens”. This trail marks the history and legend of the Indian saint Padmasambhava (750-810 AD), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism who created a fusion of Buddhism with the original Shamanistic religion of Tibet called Bon – whose influence upon the Indian Buddhism makes Tibetan Buddhism so fascinating.

    Highlights:

    • Half an hour walk from Ghami we see the Longest ancient mani wall of Mustang.
    • The soaring red cliffs to the west that tells you the legends of Padmasambhaba is intriguing.
    • 4 hours walk brings you to the fascinating big village of Tsarang that just looks dramatic.
    • After lunch visit to the ancient Monastery and the white palace of Tsarang which is their heritage.
    • Self exploration around maze like Tsarang is worth it.

  • 8 Day
    Trek to Lo Manthang (3,800m/ 12,467ft) 4 - 5 hrs.
    • Tea House
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3800 m
    • Trek to Lomanthang

    Finally we get to the plateau of Lo Monthang, ‘The Capital city and the Plain of Aspiration’ of Mustang. The fabled walled city of Lo, the kingdom with a single entrance is a welcome sight! The king, “Lo Gyelbu”, named Jigme Palbar Bista, still resides at his four-storied palace inside the walled city of Lo Manthang.

    Highlights:

    • Fascinating solitary ancient chorten in the middle of the road after hour and a half walk from Tsarang.
    • The spectacular view of Lo Manthang, valley of Thinkar and Chhosar from 4000m pass of Lo-La.
    • View of varied historical ruined forts on the high hills is one of the highlights.
    • After lunch exploration into the legendary walled city of Lo.
    • Your group leader will organize various thrilling side excursion.

  • 9 Day
    Explore day at Lo Manthang.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3800 m
    • Exploration day

    Lo Manthang the capital city of Mustang contains about 150 houses and has some of the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhism gompas in Nepal. The city itself is absolutely fascinating place with four major ancient Monasteries which are impressive and an enormous 14th century palace imposing 4-storey building in the centre of the city.

    Highlights and Excursions:

    After breakfast your leader will organize a jeep for Chhosar excursion.

    What u see in chhosar:-

    • Nyphu Cave monastery built into the side of a soaring cliff.
    • 2500 years old Jhong Sky Cave that has more than 44 compartments and gives u the pre historic settlement of humans.
    • During afternoon if you are not exhausted you can walk to Thinkar summer palace or explore the extraordinary ancient monasteries inside the walled city itself which is exceptional.

  • 10 Day
    Trek to Dhakmar (3,800m/ 12,467ft) 7 - 8 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3800 m
    • Hike and Explore

    Today we will walk different west terrain which offers you the most beautiful view despite few steep down hill trials. We visit the world’s oldest Tibetan monastery Ghar Gompa built around 7th century by the incarnated monk Padmasambhava.

    Highlights:

    • We take a different trail that leads us to the world’s oldest monastery, Ghar Gompa.
    • The views of landscape and the mountain in the south is mesmerizing.
    • Lunch at 7th century monastery is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
    • Walk to Dhakmar is thrilling with different trail high above the canyons and eroded hills.
    • Dhakmar, a land of red cliffs is one of its kind where overnight is worth.

  • 11 Day
    Trek to Syanboche.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3800 m
    • Trekking

    We trace back to the village of Syanboche where on the way back you have ample opportunity to look back into the missed out views.

  • 12 Day
    Trek to Chusang (3,040m/ 9,973ft) 5 – 6 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3040 m
    • Trekking

    We again trace back our trail towards south. We start early today to visit the Chungsi Cave Monastery which is one of the most attractive among all cave monastery of Mustang where the Saint Padmasamvaba meditated around 7th century. But be prepared for all the steep ascent.

    Highlights:

    • Early trek to visit the legendary Chungsi Cave Monastery built on the side of the vertical canyon wall, this is where Padmasambava meditated with a vision to bring Buddhism in Tibet.
    • We have lunch at a pretty village of Samar famous for its poplar grove.
    • Descending down to the Chhusang with a great view of Nilgiri and a wide stretch of Kali Gandaki is significant.
    • Chhusang is another pretty old village with apple orchard, there are too many nepali and Tibetan songs sung portraying the beauty of Chhusang.

  • 13 Day
    Trek to Kagbeni (2,810m) walk 4 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 2810 m
    • Descending

    We again trace back our trail towards south.

    Highlights:

    • Descending down to the Chhusang with a great view of Nilgiri and a wide stretch of Kali Gandaki is significant.
    • Chhusang is another pretty old village with apple orchard, there are too many nepali and Tibetan songs sung portraying the beauty of Chhusang.
    • We exit from the restricted area of Mustang and stay overnight in Kagbeni.

  • 14 Day
    Trek to Jomsom (2,720).
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 2720 m
    • Hiking out

    This morning we trek along the wonderful trail through more Mustangi villages, where we will feast on delicious apples and see the traditional back-loom weaving techniques being practiced by the local women.

    • Being it a last night fun activities follows with dancing, eating, drinking and tipping the local staff.

  • 15 Day
    Fly to Pokhara after the Upper Mustang Trekking.
    • Hotel
    • Breakfast
    • 820 m
    • Plane
    • Flight and explore

    We take an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara – a fantastic way to round off the trek, flying right along the Kali Gandaki Gorge between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Catch further flights to Kathmandu. Over night stay at Hotel.

  • 16 Day
    Drive to Kathmandu / PM free in Kathmandu.
    • Hotel
    • Breakfast
    • 1340
    • Hiace
    • Drive and Explore

    Today we take back the scenic drive back to Kathmandu which takes around 6 hrs. There is an option to have flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara on added extra cost as required.

  • 17 Day
    Mustang trekking ends / Airport transportation.
    • Breakfast
    • car
    • Airport transfer

    It is time to fly back to home keeping all the exhilarating experiences of Nepal in mind. Please make sure that you have collected all valuable from the Mountain Monarch security department. Those people traveling by aircraft to further destination will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check in procedures.

Trip Inclusion

  • Arrival and Departure transfers on both domestic and international flights.
  • Standard hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a twin share with breakfast.
  • Welcome dinner with ethno-cultural program as listed in the itinerary.
  • Half day guided city tour with entrance fees as listed in itinerary.
  • Private transportation to and from the starting and end points of the trek
  • Jomsom Pokhara Jomsom domestic flights and airport tax as listed in the itinerary.
  • Full board meals while on Mustang trek.
  • Accommodation at local teahouse on twin share bed while on Mustang trekking.
  • Upper Mustang special trekking Permit
  • Free use of quality trekking gear - sleeping bag, fleece liner, down jacket etc on Mustang trek.
  • Professional local trekking group leader trained in Wilderness First Aid and comprehensive first aid kit.
  • Trekking guides and other support staff with reqruied gear and proper insurance
  • Complementaty Mountain Monarch T-shirts, trek duffle bag and trip map
  • TIMS trekking permit and Annapurna conservation entry permit.
  • Nepal entry Visa fees.
  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance of any kind while on Mustang trip.
  • Drinks and main meals in cities.
  • Horse ride and jeep drive as requried
  • Tips and Items of a personal nature like postage and laundry

Cost and Dates

We offer many group joining trip departure dates for the year 2021 to join the trip to Upper Mustang. Here is the Upper Mustang trek departure dates and all inclusive trip cost.

Start DateEnd DateStatusPrice 
21 Mar, 202106 Apr, 2021AvailableUS$2150

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Faqs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.