Upper Mustang Trek

  • Duration: 17 Days


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

Mustang: Then and Now

Upper Mustang Trek is an exploration of the concealed valleys of upper Mustang in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. Interestingly upper Mustang is nestled between Tibet and the Himalayas - a place different from the rest of the world, once forbidden the Buddhist Kingdom in Nepal. The walled city of Lomanthang used to be a part of the Tibetan kingdom of Gungthang until the 1830s. The early history of Lomanthang is embellished in myths and legends rather than the recorded facts. Even though the upper Mustang is changing it still surprises the visitors with its stunning vista and the stubborn way it clings to its unique culture. Indeed the culture is fighting back, crumbing artworks are being restored. Crumbing monasteries have been rebuilt and refilled with the sound of bald 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 castle, the everyday folk, the blacksmiths, and the butchers and millers. The whole Lo Manthang village has solar electricity nowadays. Decorative style small herb garden of various holy decorations, flapping flags, and of course stacked firewood. There was a time when certain families needed to supply the firewood for the royal family. Sky burial and polyandry remain to practice in this upper mustang region.

It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had fought with demons 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 the Mustang valley. Consequently, its blood formed the towering red cliffs and its intestines tumbled near Ghami where people have later build the stone prayer wall. Thus the longest prayer wall in Nepal, on top of the demon’s intestines.

Upper Mustang Trek - The Once Forbidden Kingdom

Mustang Trekking 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. Furthermore the colorful-painted mud-brick houses next to a majestic mountain of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri ranges.

Surprising this Upper Mustang Trekking is one of the best treks 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 the Annapurna region. The best advantage of doing this cultural Mustang trek in monsoon time is that the village is full of local people busy at their everyday works. Furthermore, the whole region is in bloom which makes really a fabulous contrast with the wind-eroded hills, red cliffs, and snow-capped mountains in the background – 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:

Here is the guideline day to day details Upper Mustang Trek 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 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.
    • Welcome dinner and getting to know each other.

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

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

    • We explore the sights and sounds of world heritage sites in Ktm in the 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 (2,725 m/ 8,940 ft) and hike to Kagbeni (2,810 m/ 9,219 ft). 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.

    • 20 minutes of 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 flowings 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
    Trekking to Chele (2,920 m / 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 simply incredible mirage.

    • Walking on the extended trail with Kagbeni and Nilgiri mountain at the backdrop is dazzling.
    • Witness the different parts of the world, the land of Ammonites (prehistoric 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
    Hiking to Syangboche (3,800 m/ 12,467 ft) 5-6 hrs.
    • Tea house
    • B, L, D, Tea, Coffee & Drinking water
    • 3800 m
    • Hiking

    Today’s walk is more into undulating trails with a couple of steep climb and descents. Despite 6 hour walk the tremendous canyons with its unusual color that opens out are 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.

    • 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 settlements, 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 a small settlement deep into the valley but has a theatrical setting.

  • 6 Day
    Hike to Ghami (3,520 m/ 11,548 ft) 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 3,800 m/12,467 ft 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.

    • Endless colorful 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-honored monastery, Chortens and Mani (prayer) walls.

  • 7 Day
    Trekking to Tsarnag (3,560 m/11,679 ft) 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 Indian Buddhism makes Tibetan Buddhism so fascinating.

    • 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 Padmasambhava are intriguing.
    • 4 hours' walk brings you to the fascinating big village of Tsarang that just looks dramatic.
    • After lunch visits 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 (3,800 m/ 12,467 ft) 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.

    • Fascinating solitary ancient Chorten in the middle of the road after an hour and a half walk from Tsarang.
    • The spectacular view of Lo Manthang, the valley of Thinkar and Chhosar from 4000 m 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 excursions.

  • 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 a 4-story building in the center of the city.

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

    What u see in Chhosar:-

    • Nympho Cave monastery built into the side of a soaring cliff.
    • 2500 years old Jhong Sky Cave has more than 44 compartments and gives u the prehistoric settlement of humans.
    • During the 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
    Hiking to Dhakmar (3,800 m/ 12,467 ft) 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 a few steep downhill trials. 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.
    • Lunch at a 7th-century monastery is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
    • 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.

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

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

    • Early trek to visit the legendary Chungsi Cave Monastery built on the side of the vertical canyon wall, this is where Padmasambhava meditated with a vision to bring Buddhism to 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 an apple orchard, there are too many Nepali and Tibetan songs sung portraying the beauty of Chhusang.

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

    We again trace back our trail towards the south. 

    • We retrace our way to Chuhusang and once again the stunning Nilgiri peak rises from the Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world. 
    • We exit from the restricted area of Mustang and stay overnight in Kagbeni.

  • 14 Day
    Walk 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 and stay at hotel
    • 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 the scenic drive back to Kathmandu which takes around 6 hrs. There is an option to have a flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara at an added extra cost as required.

  • 17 Day
    Trip ends / Airport transportation.
    • Breakfast
    • car
    • Airport transfer

    It is time to fly back home keeping all the exhilarating experiences of Nepal in mind. Please make sure that you have collected any valuable deposits from the Mountain Monarch security department. Those people traveling by aircraft to the 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 the itinerary.
  • Private transportation to and from the starting and endpoints 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 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 required gear and proper insurance
  • Complimentary 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 a Mustang trip.
  • Drinks and main meals in cities.
  • Horse ride and jeep drive as required
  • Tips and Items of a personal nature like postage, laundry, a hot shower, internet

Cost and Dates

Mustang Trip Dates

We offer many groups joining trip departure dates for the year 2021 and 2022  to join the trip to Upper Mustang. Here are the Upper Mustang trek departure dates and all-inclusive trip cost.

Start DateEnd DateStatusPrice 
05 Sep, 202121 Sep, 2021AvailableUS$2150
19 Sep, 202105 Oct, 2021AvailableUS$2150

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