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The 5 Best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary for 2021

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Thu Jan 7, 2021
  •   2
 Best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary for 2021

Upper Mustang is one of the most popular trekking destinations traversing to the northern part of the Mustang District in Nepal. There are many Upper Mustang Trek itinerary ranging from a minimum of 8 days to a maximum of 18 days commencing from Kathmandu and navigating back. These itineraries have a lot to offer in terms of the radiating history of the former Kingdom of Lo, distinct geography, and remarkable rituals.

Tourism in the forbidden Himalayan Kingdom began in 1992. Ever since then, the arid land has seen a surge in trekkers from all around the world. Trekkers pursue the best itinerary to experience the unparallel vistas of ancient caves in high cliffs, some of the world's highest mountains, and the ethnic Tibetan Buddhist and Thakali who have accomplished in preserving their imperial culture, primeval Goempas, and temples.

Among many variations of Itinerary, the following four best Upper Mustang Trek itinerary are suitable for all kinds of tourists from thrill seekers, nature lovers, trekking enthusiasts, to admirers of culture and religion.

The list of 5 Best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary


1. Upper Mustang Overland Tour 8 Days Itinerary

Upper Mustang Overland Tour 8 Days itinerary

Upper Mustang Overland Tour Itinerary offers a jeep ride into the forbidden kingdom of Upper Mustang's trans-Himalayan landscape. It is one of the shortest itineraries that commences from Kathmandu, traverse through Upper Mustang, and returns to Kathmandu in 8 days. The tour begins with a flight to Jomsom Domestic Airport then takes a drive across Ghami, Lo Manthang, Syangbochen, and Muktinath then back to Jomsom.

Unlike another itinerary, it is best for those tourists who prefer to explore Upper Mustang in minimal days with ease. Despite the short tour, you will have a fascinating experience passing through the dusty roads to the home to the former monarch of Mustang.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1        

Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) - 6 to 7 Hours, 200 km/ Optional: Flight – 35 minutes

Day 2 

Fly to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) - 25 minutes, then drive to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft) - 5 to 6 hours

Day 3

Drive from Ghami to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) – 5 to 6 hours

Day 4

Exploration at Lo Manthang

Day 5

Drive from Lo-Manthang to Syangbochen (3,475m/11,398ft) – 6 to 7 hours

Day 6

Drive from Syangboche to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft) – 6 to 7 hours, then drive back to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft)

Day 7

Fly back to Pokhara (800m/2,635ft) - 25 minutes

Day 8

Drive from Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) – 6 to 7 hours, 200 km/Optional: Flight (35 minutes)

Where to travel next?

Get help from our travel specialists for holiday ideas that matches your interests.

2. Upper Mustang Trek And Return By Jeep To Jomsom 10 Days Itinerary

Upper Mustang Trek and Return by Jeep to Jomsom 10 days itinerary

Upper Mustang Trek and Return by Jeep to Jomsom 10 days itinerary are preferable for trekkers who seek to experience the trek partly on foot and partly through a jeep ride for ease. Trek begins from Jomsom to Kagbeni then heads to villages of Chele, Syangboche, Drakmar into Lo Manthang. From thereon the itinerary is shortened through a drive back to Jomsom. The trek is thus made easier with a ride back.

You will get to interact with the residents of the villages that seem to be stuck in time. The trek makes a stop at ancient Goempas, some built 500 years ago, surrounded by the Buddhist mythology depicting spiritual leader Guru Rimpoche, who is believed to have led the establishment of many monasteries in the area.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1       

Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) / Options: Flight - 35 minutes

Day 2

Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) - 25 minutes, then trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,217ft) – 3 to 4 hours

Day 3

Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft) – 5 to 6 hours

Day 4

Trek from Chele to Syangboche (3,475m/11,398ft) – 6 to 7 hours

Day 5

Trek from Syangboche to Dhakmar (3820m/12,532ft) – 7-8 hours

Day 6

Trek from Dhakmar to Lo Manthang (2810m/12,500ft) – 9 to 10 hours

Day 7

Excursion at Lo Manthang

Day 8

Return to Jomsom by Jeep

Day 9

Flight to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) - 25 minutes

Day 10

Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - 6 to 7 Hours, 200km/ Optional: Flight – 35 minutes

3. Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek 13 Days Itinerary

Upper Mustang Lo Manthang trek 13 days itinerary

If you want to experience the true beauty of Lo Manthang and the remote villages while walking through high passes in Upper mustang, then 13 days Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek is best suited for you. The 14 days Upper Mustang Trek itinerary begins with a trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni then heads to villages of Chele, Syangboche, Tsarang then makes a stop at Lo Manthang. From thereon, the trail retraces through the same route back to Jomsom.

Regarded as the best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary, it is a complete trek past ancient settlements with houses made of mud-bricks and residents engaged in cattle grazing and apple farming. The trek gets even more exhilarating as you cross through the high pass of Nyi Pass at 4010m/13,156ft. The arid land and caves on the high cliffs are a testament to the early settlers in the Kali Gandaki valley.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1       

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (800m/2625ft, 200km, 6 to 7 hours) / Optional: flight (35 minutes)

Day 2

Fly to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) - 25 minutes, then trek to Kageni (2810m/9217ft, 3 to 4 hours)

Day 3

Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3050m/10,004ft, 5 to 6 hours) 

Day 4

Trek from Chele to Syangbochen (3475m/11398ft, 6 to 7 hours) 

Day 5

Trek from Syangboche to Tsarang (3620m/11874ft, 8 hours)

Day 6

Trek from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3730m/12,235ft, 3 to 4 hours) and excursion 

Day 7

Excursion Day at Lo Manthang

Day 8

Trek from Lo Manthang to Dhakmar (3810m/12,500ft, 6 hours) 

Day 9

Trek from Dhakmar to Syangbochen (3500m/11,482ft, 6 hours)

Day 10

Trek from Syangbochen to Chhusang (2980m/9,776ft, 6 hours)

Day 11

Trek from Chhusang to Jomsom (2720m/8,923ft, 6 hours)

Day 12

Flight to Pokhara (800m/2625ft, 25 minutes) and sightseeing tour 

Day 13

Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1400m/4592ft, 6 to 7)/ Optional: flight (35 minutes)

4. Upper Mustang Trek With Return Via Muktinath 15 Days Itinerary

Upper Mustang Trek with Return via Muktinath 15 days itinerary

Maximum Elevation: 4210m/13,812ft at Pa Pass

Upper Mustang Trek with Return via Muktinath 15 days itinerary is one of the most revered trek itineraries by many trekkers because it takes you on a round trip through Jomsom and back. The trek commences from Jomsom to Kagbeni then heads to villages of Chele, Syangbochen, Ghami, Tsarang and halts at Lo Manthang. From there the itinerary expands to Tangbe, Tetang, the holy Hindu and Buddhist Muktinath temple then back towards Jomsom.

Along the trail, views of snowcapped Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Bhrikuti, and Tilicho Peak will never leave your sight. The trail crosses many villages and high passes making the trek even more exciting. You can observe the vast difference between the livelihood of the ethnic Tibetan Buddhists living in the rural settings of Upper Mustang from that of the residents living in commercial hubs of Lower Mustang.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1           

Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) – 6 to 7hours, 200 km

Day 2

Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) - 25 minutes, then trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,217ft) – 3 to 4 hours 

Day 3

Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft) – 5 to 6 hours 

Day 4

Trek from Chele to Syangboche (3,475m/11,398ft) – 6 to 7 hours 

Day 5

Trek from Syangboche to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft) – 5 to 6 hours

Day 6

Trek from Ghami to Tsarang (3,620m/11,874ft) – 5 to 6 hours trek

Day 7

Trek from Tsarrang to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) – 3 to 4 hours 

Day 8

Excursion to Lo Manthang

Day 9

Trek from Lo Manthang to Yara (3,838m/12,589ft) – 6 to 7 hours 

Day 10

Trek from Yara to Tangbe (3,240m/10,628ft) - 7 to 8 hours

Day 11

Trek from Tangbe to Tetang (3,067m/10,060ft) - 8 to 9 hours

Day 12

Trek from Tetang to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft) - 7 to 8 hours 

Day 13

Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) - 5 to 6 hour 

Day 14

Flight to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) - 25 minutes 

Day 15

Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - 6 to 7 hours, 200km/ Optional: Flight – 35 minutes 

Where to travel next?

Get help from our travel specialists for holiday ideas that matches your interests.

5. Mustang Tiji Festival Trek 18 Days Itinerary

Mustang Tiji Festival Trek 18 Days itinerary

Mustang Tiji Festival Trek (3 days for the festival) in Upper Mustang is a very popular festival in Buddhism that mainly happens in Lo-manthang. Tiji meaning "Prayer for World Peace," is an annual three-day festival observed in Lo-Manthang, Upper Mustang. This festival is celebrated to honor the victory of Lord Buddha's incarnation Dorjee Sonnu over a demon called Man Tam Ru. The festival is organized by the Choedhe Monastery in the courtyard of Mustang Royal Palace.

On the first day, the monks perform the Tsa Chaam dance that depicts the story of the birth of Dorji Sonnu. On the second day, Nga Cham is performed and on the final day, 'Rha Chham' dance is presented, portraying the victory of Dorji Sonnu over the devil.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1        

Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m/4592ft)

Day 2

Free Day in Kathmandu

Day 3

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (800m/2625ft, 200km, 6 to 7 hours) / Optional: flight (35 minutes)

Day 4

Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft, 25 minutes) and trek to Kagbeni (2810m/9217ft, 3 to 4 hours)

Day 5

Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3050m/10,004ft, 5 to 6 hours)

Day 6

Trek from Chele to Shyanbochen (3475m/11398ft, 6 to 7 hours)

Day 7

Trek from Shyanbochen to Tsarang (3620m/11874ft, 7- 8 hours)

Day 8

Trek from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3730m/12,235ft, 3 to 4 hours) and excursion

Day 9

Attend the first day of the Tiji Festival in Lo-Manthang

Day 10

Attend the second day of the Tiji Festival

Day 11

Attend the final day of the Tiji Festival

Day 12

Trek from Lo-Manthang to Dhakmar (3810m/12,500ft, 7-8 hours)

Day 13

Trek from Dhakmar to Shyanbochen (3500m/11,482ft, 6-7 hours)

Day 14

Trek from Syangbochen to Chhusang (2980m/9,776ft, 6-7 hours)

Day 15

Trek from Chhusang to Jomsom (2720m/8,923ft, 6-7 hours)

Day 16

Flight to Pokhara (800m/2625ft, 25 minutes) and sightseeing tour

Day 17

Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1400m/4592ft, 6 to 7 hours)/ Optional: flight (35 minutes)

Day 18

Final Departure from Kathmandu

Upper Mustang Permits

Upper Mustang permits

A part of the Upper Mustang trail falls in the Annapurna Conservation Area hence tourists are required to process the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit. Moreover, Upper Mustang is classified as a restricted area in Nepal, to preserve the ancient religion and for border security as it borders Tibet.  

The following permits are required by non-Nepalese for the Upper Mustang trek:

  • Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for Foreign Nationals worth USD 500 per person for first 10 days and USD 50 per person per day thereafter
  • ACAP permit of USD 30 approx. per person, for foreign nationals
  • ACAP permit costs NPR 200 per person for SAARC country nationals.  

The permits will be checked at the Chele checkpoint in Upper Mustang. You can reach out to Third Rock Adventures to manage your trekking permits.

Best Time To Visit Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang is situated in the northwestern region of Nepal straddled amidst the high Himalayas. The topography is very arid and is different than most parts of Nepal. A visit to the Upper mustang can be enjoyed in the four different seasons, namely, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. Amidst them, Spring and Autumn seasons are regarded to be the best time to visit Upper Mustang. During these peak seasons, it is advised to book your flights and accommodation early on.

Spring Season:

Spring season falls in March, April, and May in Nepal. During this time Lower and Upper Mustang experience a stable weather condition. The temperature during this time is between 16 to 22 degrees Celsius. Also, in the middle of May, Lo Manthang village in Upper Mustang celebrates the amazing Tiji Festival to spread peace in the world and relive the mythical history of the festival. You might get a chance to interact with the former royal family of Upper Mustang during the festival.  

Autumn Season:

Autumn season falls in September, October, and November. During this time, the weather is cool and dry so it is also regarded as one of the best times to go on a tour or trek in Upper Mustang. You will get to witness the mountains and will not have to bear the hot sun in the lower Mustang region. The temperature ranges from 12 to 20 degrees Celsius. 

Monsoon Season:

Monsoon season in Nepal falls in June, July, and August. Although one might correlate rainfall to monsoon season, it is not so in Mustang. As Upper Mustang falls in the rain shadow area, it does not experience rain in the Monsoon season making it ideal for trekking. The temperature ranges from 13 to 20 degrees Celsius. The views of panoramic Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Annapurna I, are seen clearly with the blue sky.

Winter Season:

The Winter season in December, January and February months are the coldest among all seasons. As seen in the Upper Mustang trek map, the trail takes you from 2000m/6,561ft to 4500m/14,763ft so the temperature can fall up to -22 degrees Celsius. The Upper Mustang Trek difficulty is amplified during this season as you have to be burdened with wearing extra-layered warm clothes and might have to walk through slippery snow.

Upper Mustang Trek Cost

The Upper Mustang trek cost depends upon many factors including duration, season, mode of transportation, accommodation and food facilities utilized, and permit costs.

In general, the Upper Mustang trek Cost ranges from US $1500 to US $3000 for a complete Upper Mustang Package. The cost depends on the travel agency that you choose.  If you wish to go for an International tour agency then the cost is higher than that of choosing a Nepali agency to manage your trek. The benefit of having your trek planned by a travel agency is that in this package they include all the basic trekking necessities. It includes food, accommodation, internal transportation fare, rescue kits, guide fares, and entry permits.

Upper Mustang trek cost for Nepali nationals is generally lesser than that for foreign tourists, as Nepalese do not have to bear the cost for the permits.

If you are opting for budget travel then you can travel during the off-season when accommodation prices are a little cheaper. Also, you can travel on foot rather than in a jeep in Mustang. You can also opt to travel by a four-wheeler to and from Kathmandu rather than taking a flight. However, if you prefer ease over anything else, then taking a flight is a better option.

Most of the accommodation is in tea houses, lodges or guesthouses, which have all the basic necessities. You will be offered humble food in Upper Mustang’s remote villages, particularly their local food. However, in commercial areas like Jomsom and Muktinath, you can opt to eat other delicacies at your own expense. Generally, it is a good practice to tip your guide and/or porter anywhere from US $5 to US $15 per day, but you can decide to give on your own accord. You will have to bear the tipping cost separately along with your other personal expenses during the trek, not included in the trek package.

If you wish to follow the above Upper Mustang itinerary or prefer a customized itinerary then feel free to reach out to Third Rock Adventures for one of the best trekking experiences of your lifetime.  


  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Thursday Jan 7, 2021
Naba Raj

About Author - Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996. He is Founder and Managing Director of Third Rock Adventures.

Beginning his journey in the tourism industry as a humble Porter Guide to founding hospitality establishments and an adventure travel company, he has come a long way.

In a career spanning more than two decades, he has achieved more than anybody dreams of achieving. Along with his professional achievements, his selfless contribution towards his community and society has won him a lot of accolades and praises.

Having dedicated more than two decades in the tourism and hospitality sector, he has amassed a wealth of experience.

After passing high school, he began helping out some trekking guides and was soon recruited as a porter guide at a reputed trekking agency. Within a short time, he was individually guiding clients across the well-known trails of the Himalayas.

He went on to lead tour groups on multi-country tours to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Being a part of mountain climbing expeditions familiarised him with expedition logistics and operations. Later on, he went to become the Executive Director and took over the reins of Operations, Sales and Marketing departments. Spending several years in the tourism field has made Naba Raj Amgai a destination expert.

Travelling is his passion and he has been to many countries across the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Austria and many parts of Asia.

His journeys to different parts of the world have enriched his travel experience and knowledge. This experience has been instrumental in planning and organizing successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed travel companies, hotels and restaurants are under his leadership. A dynamic and proactive leader, he continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

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Recent Comments

 Best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary for 2021
Kamala Tamang | Mon Mar 8, 2021

I am from Nepal and I loved this article, specially the Tiji Festival Trek. I think I will be going with my friends to enjoy the festival and explore the beauty of Upper Mustang. Thanks for this blog. Love from Nepal

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 Best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary for 2021
Georgina Fraser | Mon Mar 8, 2021

The small and extra details in this blog are so handy. I finished this article and read again. Loved to get the best itinerary for my trip to Upper Mustang.

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