18 days Upper Mustang Trekking
Upper Mustang Trekking a mysterious trekking region, for sure amazes any trekker and visitor. Either, it is a cultural-religious aspect or fascinating landscape. The place came in the light only after 1992 government allowed the foreigner to visit issuing the special permit.
Popularly known as the hidden kingdom of Nepal, it was an independent kingdom from the 15th century until it was annexed by Nepal at the end of 18th century granting independent monarch to this state. Although monarchy ended in Nepal on 7th October 2008 and became the Republic of Nepal officially, sill the resident of Upper Mustang trekking and Lo-Manthang recognizes monarchy on this region.
Upper Mustang trekking region has Trans Himalayan climate with minimal or no rain due to the ranges of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain. The interesting climatic zone starts as soon as you land at the Jomsom. The natural wind erosion makes the landscape more hostile, rocky, windy and barren. Upper Mustang trekking is great alternative to explore the landscape that is similar to Tibet.
Due to isolation from the outside world, most of the people practice Tibetan language and culture. The culture and traditions of people provide an alternate way to experience Tibet. Most of the people practice Buddhism. Moreover, in 2007 a shepherd discovered 55 cave paintings explaining the life of Buddha. This explains how rich is upper Mustang trekking with ancient monasteries stupa and artifacts, which needs more recovery and restoration. Tourism is one of the good sources of income for the people, beside negligible crop cultivation and animal farming.
These days the starting Upper Mustang trekking has become much easier to start and end trek due to road access all along the trekking route. Trekker also can drive through Kaligandaki valley and start trekking. This is the best alternate way, in case flight to Jomsom cancels or delays. Some people visit Upper Mustang & Lomanthang (capital of Mustang) in Tiji Festival which generally falls in the month of May.
Day 1 International Arrival in Kathmandu(1300m)
Day 2 Sightseeing in Kathmandu,Permit preparation day, briefing by official executive, handing assignment to guide
Day 3 Drive/ Flight to Pokhara(850m)
Day 4 Short flight from Pokhara to Jomsom(2715m) and trek to Kagbeni(2810m)
Day 5 Trek from Kagbeni to Chele(3080m)
Day 6 Trek from Chele to Ghiling(3570m)
Day 7 Trek from Ghiling to Charang(3560mm)
Day 8 Trek from Charang to Lo-Manthang(3810m)
Day 9 Reserve day for Exploration around Lo-Manthang(3810m)
Day 10 Reserve day for Exploration around Lo-Manthang(3810m)
Day 11 Trek from Lo-Manthang to Dhakmar(3820m) via Ghar Gompa
Day 12 Trek from Dhakmar to Syangbochen(3800m)
Day 13 Trek from Syangbochen to Chhusang(2980m)
Day 14 Trek from Chhusang to Muktinath (3760mm)
Day 15 Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom(2800m)
Day 16 Short flight from Jomsom to Pokhara(850m)
Day 17 Drive/Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu(1300m)
Day 18 International Departure
Note: This is a standard itinerary proposed for general trekkers which can be modified until then, that do not violate our business ethics and norms. We will always seek verification from our field experts before approving your itinerary.
Detailed Day to Day Itinerary
We will drive you straight to your hotel in private vehicle as soon as you land at Tribhuvan International Airport at Kathmandu. We will give you short briefing on our final agreed program. And if you are the first time traveler in Nepal we will give information about restaurant, ATM, money exchanges and other useful information until we meet for next day.
There are various major cultural historical and religious places around Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur for sightseeing. Pashupatinath, Bauddhanath, Swayambhunath, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar square are our top lists. Most of them are listed on UNESCO world heritage sites. Later in the evening we will arrange dinner with your trekking guide so you can know each other and talk about your trekking itineraries.
If you want to drive to Pokhara it is always better to start in the morning after your breakfast, it will be little tiring day due to 6-7 hour drive. Driving from Kathmandu offers you to enjoy interesting zigzag road of hilly part of Nepal along with diversified culture, landscape and people all the way to Pokhara. The flight is short from Kathmandu to Pokhara but you can have leisure time to spend around lake-side of Pokhara, which is always a happening place for the visitors.
20 min flight from Pokhara and you will reach Jomsom, headquarter of Mustang. The trans Himalaya climatic landscape appears as soon as you land at Jomsom. Mount Annapurna,Mount Dhaulagiri,Fishtail & Nilgiri could be noticed from your aircraft window. All the administrative and government work in the Mustang district is operated from here. As far you trek forward from Jomsom the landscape becomes more barren and isolated.The bank is widely eroded due to the Kaligandaki river.The afternoon is really windy and dusty as your trek start.After couple of hour easy walk and you will reach Kagbeni.
The trekking trail stretches vividly by the bank of Kaligandaki river. We ascend and descend proportionally and climb a northern ridge just before reaching Tangbe village. The only greenery seen around are the seasonal crop fields mainly buckwheat, barley and potatoes accompanied by few backyard apple garden. An hour walks from Tangbe then we reach to another settlement of Chhusang. Cross a suspension bridge and climb steep up to reach interestingly located human habitat at the top of cliff;Chele.
Today we climb three different passes Taklam La(3625m) Dajori La(3735m) and Yamda La (3850m) which offer magnificent landscape of Mustang region. The trail is steep up from Chele and the trail flattens up just before descending down to rocky river canyon to reach another settlement of Samar village then we climb rocky canyon to reach Syangbochen .From Syangbochen we again ascend to Yamda-La and gradually descend down to reach Ghiling which takes little more than an hour.
We visit a monastery at Ghiling which has nothing much special but has some nice paintings of Shakya Buddhism.From Ghiling we climb up the valley to reach Nya-La pass (4010m) from where beautiful Annapurna, Nilgiri and Mustang ranges are seen .The trail descends further more to reach another big and beautiful village of Mustang region Ghami. By the afternoon the cloud may block the mountains that surround the village.The trail further descends from Ghami and after crossing suspension bridge, we can see the long and beautiful manis wall, the path gradually ascends to reach another pass Charang-La(3870m) . An hour walks from the pass to reach Charang.
After visiting few interesting old gompas and Chortens in Charang ,our trek descend steep down cross suspension bridge and again climb steep up. The trekking path is fairly easy and gentle as it ascends to another pass Lo-La(3950) from where you can see beautiful Lo-Manthang for the first time. Nilgiri,Tilicho and Annapurna I are also visible from the pass. Descend down to reach hidden kingdom of Nepal Lo-Manthang.
Lo-manthang is itself very rich in ancient architectural designs whether it is about chortens or monasteries or even houses. All of them represent unique historical norms and values even in this modern era.Thanks to the hard work of all those specialists who are trying to preserve and restore all those heritages. Today we do village tour and visit three significant gompas Chhoeda, Jhampa and Thupchen each has own history and story .Numeorus ancient mandalas,statues,Thangkas and painting decorates the Gompas extensively.
Today we explore much more deeper and northern side of Lo-Manthang to visit Garphu Gompa in Garphu village and mysterious and ancient Chosser caves. We cross river from Lo-Manthang and continue northeast. It will take around 2 hr to reach Garphu village and on the way we can see beautiful Tilicho and Nilgiri peak.Numerous man made caves are seen on the other side of the valley which are believed to be 2000-3000 years old. Numerous investigation and studies are ongoing about these caves but no conclusion has been drawn why they were built and who built them .After visiting few caves and monasteries we head back to Lo-Manthang.
Today we head southwest of Lo-Manthang enjoying the high mountains and deep gorges. The trail gradually climbs up to reach the highest point of Mustang trek Marang-La (Chogo-La) 4230m and an hour descend from the pass to reach Ghar Gompa. The Gompa dates back to 8th century and is believed to be built by Guru Rinpoche(Padmasambhava). The trail ascends further and gradually descends towards narrow valley of Dhakmar surrounded by huge eroded cliffs with numerous caves on them.
Our trek further descend south to reach one of the biggest and beautiful village of Mustang region Ghami. From Ghami we retrace the same path we had taken earlier and head to Nya-La pass (4010m) from where beautiful ranges of Annapurna,Nilgiri and Mustang ranges are seen .Descend to Ghiling, and again we climb Yamda-La to reach Syangbochen.
Basically we retrace the same path we took to reach Lo-Manthang. Trekking in between all those rocky canyons and passing by numerous villages we reach Chhusang village the habitat in between Tangbe and Chele. The village is located by the bank of Kaligandaki River surrounded by numerous eroded colorful cliffs. People here are actively engaged in farming.
We head south east from chhusang to reach Muktinath. The steep short ascent takes you at the top from where you can see beautiful Muktinath valley accompanied by beautiful mountain ranges of Nilgiri,Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. We drop down to Jhong Khola cross suspension bridge and make short climb to reach holy site of Muktinath.
Muktinath is holy site equally important to Hindu and Buddhist piligrims.It is worthy to visit the Muktinath temple in the morning before descending Jomsom.Lot of Hindu and Buddhist people take bath in icy cold water. The medical herb centre and Jharkot monastery accompanied by old Jharkot fortress is the centre of attraction while descending down to Jomsom. You can see massive Mount Dhaulagiri (8167m) dominating the Kaligandaki valley.You can enjoy the last trekking dinner with your guide and porter as a tribute for their hard word work for making your trekking successful.
20 min flight from Jomsom and you will reach Pokhara, a tourist hub for all the trekkers trekking around the Annapurna trekking region.Mount Annapurna Mount Dhaulagiri Fishtail & Nilgiri could be noticed from your aircraft window during the flight.
From Pokhara either you can take a short flight or take a private transportation to Kathmandu accordingly to the agreement we made before the start of trek.
Our office representative will be in your hotel 3 hour prior your flight time to drop you at Tribhuvan International Airport.
- All Airport Transfers.
- Accommodation in Kathmandu & Pokhara with Bed and Breakfast.
- Tea House Accommodation during Trekking.
- 3 Meals in Trekking Breakfast Lunch & Dinner.
- Air and Road transportation as per the agreement made.
- All the necessary trekking staffs and porters for the trekking including 1 English speaking guide.
- All the paper works and documents required for the trekking including all the permits.
- Sleeping Bag.
- Salary, wages, food, accommodation and transportation of all the Nepalese staffs during trekking.
- Insurance of all the Nepalese staffs during trekking.
- First Aid Kit Bag(specially for Nepali staffs).
- All local taxes and fares.
What's not included?
- International Flight Fare.
- Visa fees.
- Travel Insurance (mandatory) of all the clients that needs to cover medical and Helicopter evacuation.
- Expenses of Personal nature (Laundry bill/Telephone bill/Equipment Charging Bill/Bar bill etc).
- Expenses incurred due to the unexpected situation (Strike/Natural calamities).
- Tip to trekking staffs.
- All Expenses not mentioned on Cost Includes section.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Upper Mustang Trekking
1. What is Upper Mustang trekking?
Mustang is a remote district west north of Nepal which holds the legacy of Annapurna trekking regions. As well, particularly upper Mustang is old mysterious Trans Himalaya village of Nepal where we explore the possible cultural and ecological mysteries.
2. How can I go to Upper Mustang trekking?
You can drive or take short flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. You can drive on gravel road for 2 extra days through Kaligandaki valley or take short flight from Pokhara to reach Jomsom from where the trekking starts.
3. What is the landscape features Upper Mustang trekking in general?
Most of the trekking days end on beautiful Trans Himalaya villages. The little or no vegetation seen around is due to poor rainfall combined with huge erosion.You can expect fraction of Tibetan landscape mostly barren and windy.
4. Why Upper Mustang Trekking is so popular?
The remote and beautiful Trans Himalaya villages around this region that resembles with Tibetan landscape are the main sight of attraction among the trekkers. Some mysterious cultures and traditions people follow in this region has many different speculations till date. Tiji festival is the most awaited time among trekkers to visit Upper Mustang trekking. Moreover, less or minimal rainfall in the region makes this off-season trekking in Nepal.
5. What kind of weather and temperature can I expect during trekking?
The weather and temperature is highly unpredictable on mountain but generally during March April May (spring) and September October November (autumn) you can expect clear warm and windy day while evening will be cloudy and cold. The temperature is freezing cold in night and morning while tolerable cold during the day time.Afternoon remains windy.
6. What equipments do I need to trek to Upper Mustang trekking?
Good pair of trekking boots, thermal wear, fleece jacket, Down jacket, light weight wind cheater, trekking pants and shorts, long sleeve and short sleeves T-shirts, rug sack or duffel bag, personal day bag, gloves, enough pair of socks, sunglasses, headlight, woolen beanie caps, water bottle, personal toiletries , gadgets and depending on number of days.
7. I am amateur trekker in Nepal, is this trekking suitable for me?
Yes amateur trekker can trek to Upper Mustang under our strict guidelines without any difficulties.
8. How flexible is Upper Mustang trekking itinerary?
The access of gravel road to Upper Mustang makes trekking short. But you need to get mandatory 10 days of expensive special permit from the Department of Immigration to trek around this region. So we want you to take full advantage of paid price and follow the agreed itinerary.
9. What if I finish Upper Mustang trekking before schedule date?
We strongly advise you to follow the agreed final itinerary since we do not refund the trekking money, but somehow if you finish earlier we will always try our best to adjust the reservation of your accommodation and flight but cannot be guaranteed.
10. What permits and documents do I need to trek to Upper Mustang trekking?
Special permit issued by the Department of Immigration, Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card is required to trek on this region.
11. What kind of food and Room can I expect during Upper Mustang trekking?
Generally the food is fresh, tasty and can choose wide range of dishes from menu cooked by moderately professional cooks. You will get comfortable and clean common twin bed room throughout trekking . Tiji festival is the busiest time in this region so might be really difficult to find the comfortable and good rooms.
12. What about drinking water during trekking?
Plastic water bottle are available in tea houses but it is highly recommended to avoid plastic bottles and use boil water instead. As well you may buy high grade water purification tablets on your home country or in Nepal.
13. What can I expect from Nepali staff?
Guide speaks good English so there will be no any problem for communication while porter might or might not speak English but you can always speak with your guide to know more about the porter. Nepalese trekking guide are friendly and responsible with good sense of humor so you can open up for any conversation you like.
14. Do I need to buy Medical and evacuation Insurance?
Yes this is mandatory. You can purchase the insurance policy on your home country or we can assist you to buy the policy in Nepal.
15. Do I need special vaccination or Medical assessment before starting Upper Mustang trekking?
Generally any kind of vaccination is not required. But,if you have long term health problem and under regular surveillance of your doctor it is recommended to consult your doctor. Though we provide basic medicines to our Nepalese staff but for you we advise to bring the general medicine from your own country.
16. Is there risk of Acute Mountain sickness (AMS)?
Yes there is moderate risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) especially for amateur trekkers if you choose random trekking itineraries. Furthermore, do not follow the standard itinerary but we always provide you the best and safe itineraries to avoid this deadly situation.
17. What should I do if I get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)?
We are always concerned with your safety. We suggest talking with your guide ASAP and descend to safe altitude. And if the situation doesn’t get any better we evacuate you immediately with helicopter.Hence, take you for further medical examination in designated hospitals and clinics.
18. What is the price of Upper Mustang trekking?
We have provided you various options on our website homepage to know approximate price regarding the trekking in Nepal; however there is always room to reach final agreement through private emails if there is any. And we assure you there will be no any extra cost once we reach the agreement.
You are always welcome to send us private messages for the information that you could not find in this section regarding Upper Mustang Trekking. We will always provide the accurate information within 12 hours upon receiving your messages.
Free cancellation up to 60 days prior departure, after which the deposit becomes non-refundable.