Upper Mustang Trek - 16 Days

Exploration of Once Forbidden Wall Kingdom of Lo-Manthang
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Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang Trekking
Journey to Upper Mustang
Trip Photos
At a Glance
Duration16 Days
Trip GradeModerate Plus
Maximum Altitude3,850 m
Best TimeMarch to Nov

Mustang Trek: Exploration of the Walled Kingdom

Mustang Trek explores the concealed valleys of the restricted region of Mustang. Upper Mustang unfolds the mystery of the walled kingdom of Lomanthang. This region showcases the deserted canyons and grassland amid the snow-capped peaks. The upper Mustang region is nestled between Tibet and the Himalayas. Arguably, a place different from the rest of the world once forbidden by the Buddhist Kingdom in Nepal. This Lomanthang was a part of the Tibetan kingdom of Gungthang until the 1830s.

The early history of Lomanthang is embellished with myths and legends rather than recorded facts. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche fought and killed the demons. He scattered the demon's body parts across the Mustang Valley. Consequently, its blood formed the towering red cliffs. Demons' intestines tumbled near Ghami. It is where people later built the stone prayer wall, the longest in Nepal.

Lomangthang on the Verge of Change

There are around 275 houses in Lo Mangthang, having four castes. The royal castle, the everyday folk, the blacksmiths, and the butchers and millers. The whole of Lo Manthang village has solar electricity nowadays. Decorative style small herb garden of various holy decorations, flapping flags, and stacked firewood. At a time, certain families needed to supply firewood for the royal family. Sky burial and polyandry remain in practice in this upper Mustang region.

Even though it is changing, it still surprises visitors with its stunning vista and its stubbornness to its unique culture. Indeed the culture is fighting back, and crumbing artworks are restored. Crumbing monasteries have been rebuilt and refilled with the sound of bald children in robes studying the ancient Buddhist ways.

Upper Mustang Trek- Restricted Region in Nepal

Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal was officially opened in 1992. However, minimal numbers of trekkers are only allowed each year. Thus protecting and conserving the local Tibetan tradition and the fragile environment of Mustang. It unfolds the fabled forbidden kingdom's vast, arid valleys, eroded canyons, and yak caravans. Furthermore, the mysteries of hidden sky caves in Mustang bewilder the visitors. The colorful-painted mud-brick houses are set next to the majestic mountains. We witness the stunning peaks of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri ranges.

Interestingly, we can do this Upper Mustang Trek even in monsoon. It lies in the rain shadow, north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. This completely sheltered the upper Mustang from the monsoon. The whole region is in bloom in monsoon, contrasting with the wind-eroded hills, red cliffs, and snow-capped mountains in the background. Similarly, we see the local people busy with their everyday work.

Trek Booking open for Spring, Fall, or Monsoon in 2023 and 2024

Upper Mustang being on the rain shadow, we run the Monsoon trekking. August and September to witness the green pack works of vegetation amid the wind-eroded hill. Of course, Spring or Fall is the ideal time to go for the Mustang trek. We have our set group departure trip dates for 2023 and 2024 to join it. With a group of family and friends, we can customize the trip.


Mustang Trip Itinerary:

Guideline details Upper Mustang Trek itinerary:

Tour PlanExpand All
Day 01

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

  • Pick up from the International Airport.
  • Transfer to the hotel by your Group Leader.
  • Trek briefing and equipment distribution.
  • Arriving early allows you time to explore Kathmandu
Day 02

We explore Boudhanath and Pashupatinatha and then drive to Pokhara. W

  • Cultural Tour in the morning
  • 6/7 hours drive to Pokhara
  • Explore the lake city of Pokhara
Day 03

A short morning flight to Jomsom, Mustang's district headquarters. We fly over the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge. The flight offers a glorious view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

  • Twenty minutes of breathtaking flight to the windy valley of Jomsom
  • Great view with dozens of Himalayan giants poking into the sky.
  • Witness the Kali Gandaki River, which dates back to 80 million years ago, flowing from the Tibetan Plateau.
  • After the morning tea, we walked to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang.
  • Easy walk, lunch at Kagbeni itself. After lunch, an excursion around the antique village of Kagbeni - to attend.
Day 04

Having completed the permit formalities today, we entered Mustang's restricted area. 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 simply incredible mirage.

  • Walking on the extended trail with Kagbeni and Nilgiri mountains as the backdrop is dazzling.
  • Witness the different parts of the world, the land of Ammonites (prehistoric stone), with striking views.
  • The stretch of the Kali Gandaki river bed gives us 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 beautiful small settlement from where you can overlook the valley's picturesque setting.
Day 05

Today's walk is more into undulating trails with steep climbs and descents. The fantastic canyons, with their unusual color open out, are extraordinary. In this bizarre place, the farming fields with rich red buckwheat and brilliant green and the south view offer you a panorama of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tilicho Peak, and YakawaKang, adding to its magnificence.

  • The initial steep walk through the hill-cut trail in one of these fantastic canyons is remarkable.
  • You would witness the sky caves dating back more than 3000 years. It is used as human settlements, burial chambers, and now lama hermit retreats.
  • Climbing up to the pass before dropping to Syangboche. Remarkable for its incredible views.
  • Syangboche is a small settlement deep in the valley with a theatrical setting.
Day 06

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

  • Endless colorful gullies to the north, east, and west are outstanding.
  • The soaring peak of Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Annapurna still dominates the South.
  • Explore Ghami, the ancient village with a time-honored monastery, Chortens, and Mani (prayer) walls.
Day 07

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). He is known as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. He created a fusion of Buddhism with the original Shamanistic religion of Tibet. It is called the Bon religion, and it is still in practice.

  • Half an hour from Ghami, we see Mustang's Longest ancient Mani wall.
  • The soaring red cliffs to the west that tell you Padmasambhava's legends are intriguing.
  • Four hour's walk brings you to the picturesque, fascinating big village of Tsarang.
  • Visits the ancient Monastery and the white palace of Tsarang, which is their heritage.
  • Self-exploration around maze-like Tsarang is worth it.
Day 08

Finally, we get to the plateau of Lo Monthang. This is ‘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 last king, “Lo Gyelbu,” named Jigme Palbar Bista, died recently.

  • Fascinating solitary ancient Chorten in the middle of the road after an hour and a half walk from Tsarang.
  • There is a spectacular view of Lo Manthang, the valley of Thinkar, and Chhosar from the 4000 m pass of Lo-La.
  • View of various historically ruined forts on the high hills is one of the highlights.
  • After lunch, an exploration into the legendary walled city of Lo.
  • Your group leader will organize various thrilling side excursions.
Day 09

Lo Manthang, the capital city of Mustang, contains about 150 houses. It has some of the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhism Gompas in Nepal. The town is fascinating, with four major ancient Monasteries, which are impressive. The enormous 14th-century palace is an imposing 4-story building in the city's center.

  • After breakfast, your leader will organize a jeep for the Chhosar excursion.
  • Nympho Cave monastery was built into the side of a soaring cliff.
  • Explore the two-thousand-five-hundred-year-old Jhong Mustang Sky Cave. It has more than 44 compartments and gives you the prehistoric settlement of humans.
  • If you are not exhausted in the afternoon, you can walk to Thinkar Summer Palace—alternatively, an exploration of the ancient monasteries Lo, which is exceptional.
Day 10

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

  • We take a different trail that leads us to the world’s oldest monastery, Ghar Gompa.
  • The views of the landscape and the mountain in the south are mesmerizing.
  • The walk to Dhakmar is thrilling, with different trails high above the canyons and eroded hills.
  • Dhakmar, a land of red cliffs, is one of its kind where overnight is worth it.
Day 11
  • We trace back to the village of Syanboche.
  • You have ample opportunity to look back into the missed-out views.
Day 12

We again trace back our trail towards the south. We start early today to visit the Chungsi Cave Monastery. This is one of the most attractive cave monasteries of Mustang. It is believed that Saint Padmasamvaba meditated here around the 7th century. But be prepared for all the steep ascent.

  • Take an early trek to visit the legendary Chungsi Cave Monastery. It is on the side of the vertical canyon wall. Padmasambhava meditated with a vision to bring Buddhism to Tibet.
  • Descending the Chhusang with a great view of Nilgiri. The vast stretch of Kali Gandaki is significant.
  • Chhusang is another pretty old village with an apple orchard.
Day 13

We again trace back our trail towards the south.

  • We retrace our way to Chuhusang. Once again, the stunning Nilgiri peak rises from the Kali Gandaki.
  • We exit from the restricted area of Mustang and stay overnight in Jomsom.
Day 14

We take an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara—a fantastic way to round off the trek. We have time to explore the peaceful lake city of Pokhara.

Day 15

Today we take the scenic drive back to Kathmandu, which takes around 6 hrs.

Day 16

It is time to fly back home, and we customize the airport transfer.

Cost Details
  • All domestic and International airport transfer
  • Kathmandu Pokhara Kathmandu transportation.
  • Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight with airport taxes
  • Twin Share Standard Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara is on the itinerary.
  • Group welcome dinner on arrival in Kathmandu
  • City tour to world Heritage sites
  • Full board meals on the trek (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
  • Upper Mustang special Trek Permit worth US$ 500 PP
  • Tims and Trekking Permit of Annapurna region
  • Reliable guide and trek crew with medical kit
  • Free use of company gear like a sleeping bag and warm jacket
  • Complimentary gear trek duffle bag and T-shirt
  • Your travel insurance of any kind
  • Drinks and main meals in cities.
  • Horse ride and jeep drive as required
  • Beverage Drinks on a trek
  • Tips to Trek crew
  • Items of personal nature like laundry, a hot shower, internet, etc.