4 Best Routes to Upper Mustang Trek

There are many routes that take you to the mystical land of Upper Mustang. Depending on your preferences of start-end points, time, mode of transport, and level of physical difficulties, Upper Mustang Trek can be of six to fifteen days. These itineraries let to explore different settlements, landscapes and take to Lo Manthang, the main highlight of the trek. Explore the centuries-old caves, monasteries, rock paintings, and rich cultural heritage.

If you visit Upper Mustang in May, you will enjoy one of the oldest festivals called Tiji, a three day festive consisting of Tibetan rituals. Also, visit Muktinath temple which is the sacred temple for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Upper Mustang, also well-known as the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal, is a remote Himalayan village. Trekking in the Upper Mustang is an unique privilege to explore the preserved culture, heritage, and the lifestyle of the people.

Visiting is accessible to tourist and only 1,000 trekkers are allowed to enter the area each year. Upper Mustang is about mystical red mud cliffs, oldest monasteries, isolated caves, colorful fields, majestic peaks, and people who are not in touch with the world.

Trekking to Upper Mustang is a rare honor that let you explore the lifestyle, culture, and tradition of the ethnic Himalayan people along with beautiful mountains and landscape on the background. It is a restricted area that goes through the ancient salt route and gives you an unforgettable experience.

Main Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek

1. Jomsom:

Jomsom is the entryway to Upper Mustang. With the elevation of 2800m, it consists of a Buddhist Monastery, museum and is home to the Thakali people. With gaining popularity across the world, Jomsom has become a hub for tourists and trekkers. You can get an amazing view of the Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri.

2. Kagbeni Village:

Kagbeni is one of the gorgeous villages, located in the valley of Kali Gandaki River. You can explore the area and encounter packed mud houses, narrow alleys, monastery, and apple farming. Views of Kali Gandaki valley, Nilgiri, and Annapurna are the major attractions here.

3. Muktinath Temple:

Muktinath temple (3,800m) is the sacred temple for the Hindus and the Buddhists. It is the home of Lord Vishnu and a place to attain salvation. You can encounter the holy 108 water spouts and a great view of the surroundings.

4. World’s Deepest Gorge:

Kali Gandaki Gorge is the world’s deepest gorge that is estimated to be deeper than 6000m. It is surrounded by the mighty peaks of above 8,000m such as Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. This place attracts people from all around the world to discover its depth and enjoy the natural landscape.

5. Lo Manthang:

Lo Manthang is the main highlight of Upper Mustang Trekking. Founded by Ame Pal at 1380 AD, this place is a restricted area where only 1000 tourists are allowed to visit every year. Surrounded by monasteries, caves, cliffs and the majestic peaks make Lo Manthang incomparable. Here, you can discover the lifestyle of isolated Himalayan people and explore the rich cultural heritage.

6. Tiji Festival:

Tiji translates Tempa Chirim in the Tibetan language meaning “Prayer for the World Peace.” It is an annual three day festival for the myth of the son who saved Mustang from destruction. It is a lovely event where monks from monasteries of Lo Manthang organize ritual dancing. Tiji festival usually is celebrated on the 2nd week of May but can change as per the Buddhist calendar.

7. Choser and Monasteries:

Situated north of Lo Manthang and a part of Upper Mustang, Choser is known for its cultural sites. You can explore different monasteries such as Nymphu gumba in Choser along with the villages, landscapes, and ancient caves.

8. Tibetan Culture:

Mustang is all about Tibetan Buddhist culture preserving their culture, tradition, and ethnicity. Here you can explore the teachings of Buddhist Culture and its language, art, and cultural practices.

Different Trek Routes to Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang is the mini Tibet consisting of ancient caves, monasteries, culture, and a great natural view. You can choose the best itinerary from the following that fits your preferences.

1. Upper Mustang Overland Tour from Pokhara – 6 Days

Trip Facts:

πŸ’  Activities: Trekking & Hiking
πŸ’  Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
πŸ’  Maximum Altitude: 3,800m/12,464ft
πŸ’  Start From: Pokhara
πŸ’  Finish At: Pokhara

Upper Mustang Overland Tour from Pokhara lets you explore the isolated area and stand tall against the grandiose mountains.

Take a picturesque flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and drive from Ghami to Lo Manthang. Here you get to experience the Tibetan culture, ancient monasteries, caves, and ethnic culture of Himalayan people along with the views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri on the background.

Drive to Muktinath and visit the holy temple for Hindus and Buddhists. Take a flight back to Pokhara and enjoy the day.

Outline Itinerary:

DayActivities
Day 1Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft), drive to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft)
Duration: 25 minutes flight, 5-6 hours drive
Day 2Drive from Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft) to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours drive
Day 3Spend the day and explore Lo Manthang
Day 4Drive from Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours drive
Day 5Drive from Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft) to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft)
Drive back to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours drive
Day 6Flight back to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Duration: 25 minutes flight

2. Upper Mustang Overland Tour – 8 Days

Trip Facts:

πŸ’  Activities: Trekking & Hiking
πŸ’  Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
πŸ’  Maximum Altitude: 3,800m/12,464ft
πŸ’  Start From: Kathmandu
πŸ’  Finish At: Kathmandu

Upper Mustang Overland Tour is a beautiful package that takes you on a jeep ride to a remote place of the Himalayan region, Lo Manthang.

It is suitable for adventurous people and comfort seeker who can skip the trail and explore the stunning views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Tibetan cultural lifestyle.

Take a lovely ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara and flight to Jomsom. Drive to Lo Manthang via Ghami. After spending a day and exploring Lo Manthang, drive to Muktinath to explore the sacred temple. Later, take a flight back to Pokhara.

Outline Itinerary:

DayActivities
Day 1Scenic Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Duration: 6-7 Hours (200 km) Drive
Day 2Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft), drive to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft)
Duration: 25 minutes of flight, 5-6 hours drive
Day 3Drive from Ghami to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours drive
Day 4Stay the day and explore at Lo Manthang
Day 5Drive from Lo Manthang to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours drive
Day 6Drive from Syanbochen to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft) & drive back to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours drive
Day 7Flight back to Pokhara (800m/2,635ft)
Duration: 25 minutes of flight
Day 8Scenic Drive from Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft)
Duration: 6-7 Hours (200 km) Drive

3. Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek From Pokhara – 13 Days

Trip Facts:

πŸ’  Activities: Trekking & Hiking
πŸ’  Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
πŸ’  Maximum Altitude: 3,838m/12,589ft
πŸ’  Start From: Pokhara
πŸ’  Finish At: Pokhara

Enjoy the package that takes you to Upper Mustang Lo Manthang from Pokhara and explore the fascinating landscape of the forbidden kingdom.

Enjoy the scenic trek to the mystical land and encounter the cultural lifestyle, monasteries, caves, and landscapes along with the view of the stunning mountains on the backdrop.

Starting with the scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, trek to Kagbeni, Syanbochen, Ghami till Lo Manthang. Spend the day to explore the breath-taking landscape and hike to Muktinath via Yara, Tangbe, Tetang.

Muktinath is a holy temple for both Buddhists and Hindus and is known to attain salvation. Retrace to Jomsom and fly back to Pokhara.

Outline Itinerary:

DayActivities
Day 1Scenic Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,217ft)
Duration: 25 minutes flight, 3-4 hours trek
Day 2Hike to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft)
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 3Ascend to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft)
Walking Distance: 6-7 hours hike
Day 4Hike to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft)
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 5Ascend to Tsarang (3,620m/11,874ft)
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours hike
Day 6Hike to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft)
Walking Distance: 3-4 hours trek
Day 7Spend the day exploring Lo Manthang
Day 8Hike to Yara (3,838m/12,589ft)
Walking Distance: 6-7 hours trek
Day 9Hike to Tangbe (3,240m/10,628ft)
Walking Distance: 7-8 hours trek
Day 10Hike to Tetang (3,067m/10,060ft)
Walking Distance: 8-9 hours trek
Day 11Trek to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft)
Walking Distance: 7-8 hours trek
Day 12Descend to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) via Lubra Pass
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 13Flight back to Pokhara (800m/2,635ft)

4. Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek – 15 Days

Trip Facts:

πŸ’  Activities: Trekking & Hiking
πŸ’  Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
πŸ’  Maximum Altitude: 3,838m/12,589ft
πŸ’  Start From: Kathmandu
πŸ’  Finish At: Kathmandu

A 15-day Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek offers you a chance to closely experience the Tibetan Buddhist culture, centuries-old monasteries, caves, tradition of a forbidden kingdom of Nepal, Lo Manthang. The sacred land lets you explore the natural landscape with the stunning beauty of the mountains in the backdrop.

Start a beautiful ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara and fly to Jomsom. Trek to Kagbeni, a beautiful village in the area, and reach Lo Manthang via Chele, Syanbochen, Ghami, and Tsarang.

Explore the day by strolling around the restricted and forbidden area of Lo Manthang and trek to Muktinath. Muktinath is home to Lord Vishnu and holds cultural significance to both Hindus and Buddhists. Retrace back to Jomsom, take a scenic 25-minutes flight to Pokhara, and drive back to Kathmandu.

Outline Itinerary:

DayActivities
Day 1Scenic Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Duration: 6-7 Hours (200 km) Drive
Day 2Flight to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,217ft)
Duration: 25 minutes flight, 3-4 hours trek
Day 3Hike from Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft)
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 4Ascend from Chele to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft)
Walking Distance: 6-7 hours trek
Day 5Hike from Syanbochen to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft)
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 6Hike from Ghami to Tsarang (3,620m/11,874ft)
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 7Ascend from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft)
Walking Distance: 3-4 hours trek
Day 8Spend the day exploring Lo Manthang
Day 9Ascend from Lo Manthang to Yara (3,838m/12,589ft)
Walking Distance: 6-7 hours trek
Day 10Descend from Yara to Tangbe (3,240m/10,628ft)
Walking Distance: 7-8 hours trek
Day 11Descend from Tangbe to Tetang (3,067m/10,060ft)
Walking Distance: 8-9 hours trek
Day 12Ascend from Tetang to Muktinath (3,800m/12,464ft)
Walking Distance: 7-8 hours trek
Day 13Hike from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) via Lubra Pass
Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Day 14Flight back to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft)
Duration: 25 minutes of flight
Day 15Scenic ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft)
Duration: 6-7 Hours (200 km) Drive

Upper Mustang Trek FAQs

1. Why should I visit Upper Mustang in Nepal?

Nepal has eight out of fourteen mountains that exceed 8,000m. Trekking to Upper Mustang lets you explore the natural wilderness, ancient Buddhism, centuries-old monasteries, caves, traditional culture along with the warm hospitality of the ethnic groups. You can experience the lifestyle of isolated Himalayan people living in a restricted area of Lo Manthang.

2. How hard/difficult is the Upper Mustang trek?

The trek is easy to moderate graded with a couple of days of continuous walking. You have to ascend and descend through the Himalayan trail that takes you a higher altitude of 3,838m. If you are moderately fit, then trekking can be done at ease.

3. Should I worry about altitude sickness?

You will be below 4,000m that means that some people may feel altitude sickness. But there are fewer chances of severe difficulties by altitude. However, precautions and medicines should be ready and packed for uncertainties and let your body acclimatize properly.

4. How many hours do I have to walk per day?

It depends on the itinerary you select. Normally, trekker trek for 8-9 days on average from Jomsom with a day rest at Lo Manthang. You have to walk for about 6-8 hours each day.

5. Can I drive all the way to Lo Manthang?

Yes, you can hire a private vehicle. Also, if walking is not favorable to you, then you can pick an itinerary that takes to the destination on a jeep.

6. Can this trek be done solo?

No. Since this trek is in a restricted area you need special permit. You need at least two applicants to register or issue the permits. But if you are ready to pay the amount of two applicant solely, then this rule can be waived.

7. Do I need a guide for the trek?

Yes. This trek is in the restricted area of Nepal, thus hiring a guide is mandatory.Also, getting a licensed guide can assist you and provide safety from getting lost, misleading information, and help in communicating with the locals. You can hire a guide and a porter that can contribute to the development of the local people and the area.

8. Do I need any permits?

Upper Mustang is a restricted area. So you must require permits and go through authorized trekking offices to get them. You must have an Upper Mustang Restrict Permit and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit. TIMS (Trekker Information Management System) card is not necessary for the restricted area.

9. How is the food and accommodation at Upper Mustang trek?

On the classical route to Upper Mustang, you can find lodges that provide basic food items and accommodation facilities. However, based on your budget, you can receive extra benefits of hot showers and internet.

10. What is the best season for Upper Mustang trek?

The best time to trek Upper Mustang is during the spring season ie March to May and autumn season ie. September to November. Since this place lies in the rain shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Range; it rarely gets rainfall, even in the Monsoon.

Trekking is possible in winter as well, but make sure you carry warmer clothes as the temperature drops below zero degree Celsius. Thus, You can trek to Upper Mustang at any time of the year.

11. Can I use gadgets that need electricity to charge in the trek?

Yes. Most of the places along the trails provide electricity in the lodges. But, you may have to pay a certain amount to use the amenities.

12. Are ATMs available in the trekking trails?

Credit card facilities and ATM are accessible in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Jomsom. However, if you go further, you must pay everything in cash for the services you use.

13. How can I go to Pokhara from Kathmandu?

There are different options to reach Pokhara depending on your budget and availability of time. You can ride via a tourist bus that leaves for Pokhara every morning at 7 from Thamel, Kathmandu. You can book a reserved jeep or car or van for more flexibility to stop anywhere you like during the journey. Also, you can also take a 25-minutes flight to Pokhara that is available every day.

Conclusion

Upper Mustang trek is identified as the desert in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is a flawless place to discover the oldest Buddhist monasteries, caves, ethnic culture, heritage, and natural beauty of the surrounding.

Journey to the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal offers you a barren yet beautiful landscape, a panoramic view of mountains above 8000m, and the chance to experience the lifestyle, culture, and cuisine of the ethnic people. Experience the unforgettable trip to the restricted area and fascinatingly beautiful landscape of Upper Mustang.

For more information or any queries on the trip, please fill out the form below. You can also contact us in the number given on the site.

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Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996.

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 period of 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 organising successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed trekking agencies, 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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