Upper Mustang Trek is a relatively new trek in Nepal as the region was opened to foreigners since 1992. The area developed a unique culture and tradition as it remained in seclusion for all these years. You will find a well-preserved Tibetan culture and get to witness the Bon religion, which predates Tibetan Buddhism. You will be visiting different Gompas and Chortens and walking on a bridge festooned with prayer flags.
Upper Mustang is culturally and geographically is more similar to Tibet. Savor the arid and dry valley’s stunning views with colorful rock formations and observe many caves and settlements high in the cliffs. Trek past Chortens, stupas, prayer wheels, and mani walls are important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism.
You will be trekking in one of the remote areas of Nepal, Upper Mustang Lo Manthang. Your trip of 15 days begins and ends in Kathmandu. You will be mostly trekking in a secluded area and will get to experience the joy of trekking in solitary. Moreover, navigate through Trans Himalayas; and the region's landscape will make you feel more like trekking in Tibetan plateaus than in Nepal.
After you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be driving to the popular touristy city of Pokhara, which lies in the lap of the Himalayas. The following day, you will be taking an early flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, the Mustang district headquarter.
Your trek starts from Jomsom, and you will be trekking to the beautiful village of Kagbeni. The village on the bank of Kali Gandaki River, Kagbeni, was a popular place for trade between Nepal and Tibet. You will be trekking past the quaint villages of Chele, Syanbochen, Ghami, Charang on your way to Lo Manthang.
Explore the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang for a day dotted with tall whitewashed structures with mudbrick walls. You will notice the influence of Tibetan Buddhism. Further, you will be visiting different ancient monasteries or Gompas, which houses centuries-old statues of Buddha, elaborate wall mandalas, and others. Also, visit the residence of Lamas and get an insight into their daily lives. After exploring Lo Manthang for a day, continue your trek past Yara, Tangbe, Tetang to Muktinath.
Muktinath is a holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists alike. Muktinath is referred to as Mukti Kshetra, which means the sacred place of salvation. Also, it is believed that bathing in the waters of Muktinath bestows salvation after death.
Buddhist refer to Muktinath as Chumming Gyatsa. Muktinath is a sacred place of Dakinis goddesses called Sky Dancers as per Tibetan Buddhism. Also, it is the place where Guru Rimpoche or Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, meditated on his way to Tibet.
This Upper Mustang Trek Package will take you to the less-trodden region. Also, you will get to see rich Tibetan culture at its best since the region remained in seclusion for centuries. Also, you will get a firsthand experience of local culture and traditions.
|Day 1||Take a drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) 6-7hours (200 km/124 miles)|
|Day 2||A flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) and hike to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,217ft) 25 minutes flight, 3-4 hours trek|
|Day 3||Trek to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft) 5-6 hours trek|
|Day 4||Trek to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft) 6-7 hours trek|
|Day 5||Trek Syanbochen to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft) 5-6 hours trek|
|Day 6||Trek to Charang (Tsarang) (3,620m/11,874ft) 5-6 hours trek|
|Day 7||Trek to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) 3-4 hours trek|
|Day 8||Excursion of Lo Manthang|
|Day 9||Trek to Yara (3,838m/12,589ft) 6-7 hours trek|
|Day 10||Trek to Tangbe (3,240m/10,628ft) 7-8 hours trek|
|Day 11||Trek Tangbe to Tetang (3,067m/10,060ft) 8-9 hours trek|
|Day 12||Trek to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft) 7-8 hours trek|
|Day 13||Trek to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) 5-6 hours trek|
|Day 14||Return back to Pokhara by flight (800m/2,625ft) 25 minutes of flight|
|Day 15||A drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) 6-7 Hours (200km) Drive|
You will be leaving for Pokhara from Kathmandu early in the morning. Enjoy a scenic drive on the hilly roads and cross two beautiful rivers Trishuli and Marshyangdi, on the way to Pokhara. It takes around 6 to 7 hours to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu, approximately 200 km or 124 miles apart.
Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
Wake up early to catch a flight to Jomsom from Pokhara, which takes around 25 minutes. Enjoy a scenic flight with incredible views of snowy mountains and verdant hills from your window. Jomsom is one of the most important villages of Kali Gandaki valley due to the presence of an airport.
Your trek begins from Jomsom, and you will be heading towards the village of Kagbeni. A walk on a dirt road leads you to the entrance of the lower mustang, Kagbeni. The Tibetan village of Kagbeni is located on the top of a cliff.
Overnight at Kagbeni.
With a trek to Chele, you will step into the restricted area of the Upper Mustang. Get your permits ready to be checked at the check post. Further, walk to the eastern side of the Kali Gandaki riverbank and ascend many ridges on your way to Tangbe village.
Hike past Chhusang village and cross the River Kali Gandaki on your way to Chele village. The village is perched on a hill, and you need to climb up a steep ascent to reach the village.
Overnight at Chele.
Today you will be walking on a trail with a steep barren land and a copper-red canyon. Moreover, you will be gradually descending and will also see some chortens on a ridge.
You will reach the village of Samar, and a trek past fields and ridges will take you to the village of Syangbochen.
Overnight at Syangbochen.
You will be ascending in and out of the big side valleys of the Kali Gandaki. A hike up the hill will lead you to a pass, and after crossing the pass, a descend will take you to the village of Gheling. A way ahead is a bit tough, and you will be traversing Nyi La Pass (3,840m/12,598ft).
Upon crossing the village of Charang, you will reach Ghami village. The village is dotted with whitewashed mud and stone houses canopied by an overhanging cliff.
Overnight at Ghami.
Today you will be mostly trekking in the arid part of Mustang. The rough terrain might be challenging but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views. The gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains are known to mesmerize its onlookers.
Moreover, you will be trekking to Charang village which is located on Charang Chu Canyon. The red Gompa of the Charang village has a wonderful collection of statues and thangkas. Moreover, you will observe a big medieval time fort towards the east of the village.
Overnight at Charang.
On this day, you will be trekking to Lo Manthang, which was once the capital of the Kingdom of Lo. You will be trekking past Lo Gekar on your way to Lo Manthang.
Enjoy the stunning views of towering mountains like Tilicho, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, and others. Visit ancient temples and monasteries of Lo Manthang and get an insight into their rich culture and tradition.
Overnight at Lo Manthang.
Today you will be exploring the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang, which was founded in the 1380s by Ame Pal. Lo Manthang has around 150 houses. Tall whitewashed brick and mud walls, gompas or monasteries, and King’s Palace are the main attraction of Lo Manthang. The five-story King’s Palace is the oldest structure of the walled city and was built around 1400. The King’s palace is situated in the middle of the city. The King and queen reside in the palace; despite mostly being ceremonial King, villages respect and consult the king on various matters. Further, you will be visiting ancient Gompas.
Visit the famous Champa Lhakang, which features a large statue of Buddha and walls are painted with Mandalas. Also, visit a beautiful hilltop Gompa called Namgyal Gompa. The monastery holds social, religious as well as legal significance. Namgyal Gompa also functions as a local courthouse. Visit the 15th-century Thubchen Gompa with a big red assembly hall.
Also, pay a visit to Choprang gompa, locally known as New Gompa, and get an insight into local culture and tradition. Moreover, Tsechen Shedrubling Monastic School, a part of the Monastic Museum, trains young monks of the area.
Overnight at Lo Manthang.
Today you will be climbing up a glacial valley that offers an amazing view of reddish-brown colored Lo Manthang. Enjoy the stunning view of hills with farmland on the riverside and stop for lunch at the Dhi village.
Further, you will be crossing a river and walking alongside the river on your way to Yara. If you trek in the dry season, you will get to enjoy the stunning natural sandy castle from the top of the Yara hills.
Overnight at Yara.
You will be walking away from the high winding path of Yara to Tangbe. The route leads you to Dhechaeng Khola, which originates from the Damodar Kunda. You will be walking on a path that will take you to a little stream of melting ice.
After crossing the stream, you will reach the DHI town and hiking further, and you will see centuries-old sandy precipices before reaching the Tangbe, a small town.
Overnight at Tangbe.
Today you will be trekking for a longer time than before. Rise early in the morning and prepare for a long trek. You will be climbing steps, crossing a suspension bridge, and following the right side of the trail on your way to Yak Khola.
Moreover, you will be crossing the PA pass situated at 4,210 meters or 13,812ft which is the highest point of the Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek. Savor the stunning views of the Himalayas from the top before heading down.
The trail descends, and you will be walking on rugged terrain, so walk cautiously to avoid injuries. Savor the stunning views of the valley with mud roof houses in the village of Tetang before reaching the village.
Overnight in Tetang.
Your trek for the day begins with an uphill climb, and also you will get to enjoy the view of Muktinath and red Buddhist monasteries from the hilltop. Further, you will be crossing Gyu La Pass (4,077m or 15,650 ft), which overlooks the stunning views of mountains, including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
Navigate your way through the pass, descend the stream and cross the suspension bridge before reaching Muktinath. En route, you will find Fossil stone locally known as ‘Saligram.’
Muktinath is an important religious place for the Hindus as well as Buddhists. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and you will see 108 water spouts with intricate carvings. Also, visit a nearby ancient temple of Jwalamai famous for its eternal flame of natural gas.
Overnight in Muktinath.
You will begin the day visiting the revered temple of Muktinath, and from here, you can savor the astounding views of Dhaulagiri. Also, you can visit a Buddhist monastery close by. Continue your trek to Panga Khola valley and walk through dense pine forest on your way to Lubra village.
Lubra village consists of around 20 houses, and you be walking past the 12th century Bon Punt Soling monastery. It is one of the few remaining Bon Monasteries of Nepal. Bon religion predates Tibetan Buddhism. You can see the pictures of four Lokapalas and Buddha Shakyamuni in the monastery.
The semi-arid Lubra village lies above Jomsom, and you can see a rural lifestyle untouched by modernization. You will notice colorful strings hung on the doorways called devil traps to catch the devil at night. Continue trekking back to Jomsom.
Overnight in Jomsom.
Wake up early in the morning to catch a flight back to Pokhara. Enjoy the stunning views of soaring mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri from your window.
Check into your hotel, and you will get the rest of the day to relax in the beautiful city of Pokhara. Indulge in an activity of your choice. Stroll around the lakeside, do some souvenir shopping or go on a sightseeing tour with a guide for an additional charge.
Overnight in Pokhara.
Take a scenic drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu via Prithivi Highway. Enjoy the wonderful views of verdant hills, rivers, and farms on the way.
Check into your hotel in Kathmandu and relax or explore Kathmandu for the rest of the day.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Upper Mustang Trek is enjoyable all around the year. The best time to trek Upper Mustang is from March to November. Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow region so, and you can trek here in the monsoon (June to August) of Nepal. It is best to avoid winter (December to February) trek to Upper Mustang as most regions migrate to lower regions to avoid the cold and snow.
Talking about the Upper Mustang Weather in Spring (April &May), the average temperature during the day is around 16°C to 22°C. At the same time, the temperature at night falls from -6°C to -2°C. You don’t need to worry about slippery trails and leeches during the monsoon of Nepal in the Upper Mustang, as it’s a dry time of the year here. It’s around 13°C to 20°C during the day while the nighttime temperature ranges from -3°C to 0°C. The temperature reaches the maximum in June, which is around 11°C.
During the autumn months (October and November), the temperature is around 12°C to 20°C, and temperatures fall around -8°C to -4°C at night. Avoid winter trekking in Upper Mustang as it’s the time of the year when residents of Upper Mustang migrate to lower altitudes due to extremely cold temperatures. The coldest month is January and temperatures is around 0°C to 5°C during the day while at night, temperature drops as low as -25°C to 20°C.
Upper Mustang’s weather is pretty windy and dusty afternoon, and also, it’s cold after the sunset. You are highly advised to start your trek early to escape the trouble of trekking in windy and dusty weather. Also, wear warm clothes, preferably windproof, to keep your body warm.
Since you will be trekking in a restricted area, you will need a special permit. Along with a solo permit, you need to trek in a group of at least two with a government-licensed guide. If you are trekking solo, reach out to a trekking company or agent. They can arrange a trekking partner or put you in a group. You don’t need to stress as your trekking company will easily arrange the Upper Mustang Permit for a trek.
Upper Mustang Trek is graded as an easy to moderate trek in terms of difficulty level. You will reach the maximum elevation of 4,210 meters at PA Pass. You will be walking for a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 9 hours in a day. On average, you will be trekking for around 3 to 4 hours a day. You need to be physically fit to do this trek, and it is suitable for both novice and experienced trekkers.