Upper Mustang Lo Mangthang Trek offers you one of the best trekking experiences in the Himalayan region. A protected region which was closed to outsiders till recently, Upper Mustang is one of the hidden gems of Nepal.
Ed Barren hills, arid lunar landscape, flat-roofed mud houses, colorful prayer flags, green patches of barley fields and people with customs and traditions from another time and era – Upper Mustang trekking will leave you spellbound.
Experience the rich Tibetan Buddhist culture and visit ancient monasteries and meditation caves of Buddhist saints.
This land is sacred and has been blessed by Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava, the Second Buddha. The erstwhile kingdom of Lo-Mangthang known as the ‘Last Forbidden Kingdom’ with its old palace, traditional buildings and ancient way of life will give you a new perspective and enrich your Himalayan experience.
The city of Lo Mangthang is the only walled city in Nepal. The old palace courtyard serves as the site of the grand ‘Tiji’ festival celebrated for 3 days in the month of May. Masked dances, skits, prayer services and purification rituals by the monks are the highlights of this festival. Locals from other villages congregate at Lo during this time and Tiji festival trekking may offer you a golden opportunity to interact with locals and immerse yourself in local culture.
Located in the Trans Himalayan region, Upper Mustang and Lo-Manthang lies in the rain shadow making trekking possible even during the monsoon or off season. The mountains serves as a wall protecting the region from the monsoon winds and precipitation. So, if you are looking for a ‘monsoon trek’ trekking to Upper Mustang maybe a great idea.
Upper Mustang Lo Mangthang Trek Route
Your Upper Mustang Trek from Kathmandu starts with a delightful drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The hills are green and lush and the road winds on the side of a pristine Himalayan river.
Enjoy panoramic views of some of the highest mountains in the world as you fly into Jomsom. This could well be one of the highlight of your Upper Mustang Trekking itinerary.
Begin trekking from the Thakkali town of Jomsom and enter the Kali Gandaki Valley.
Upper Mustang’s terrain and the landscape will remind you very much of Tibet. Walk past Kagbeni, Chele, Syanbochen, Ghami, Tsarang and finally Lo Manthang, the ‘forbidden kingdom’. En-route you encounter ancient cave burial sites and dwellings, meditation caves turned into shrines and people who still follow an ancient way of life.
During your Upper Mustang Lo Manthang Trek you encounter one of the longest ‘Mani walls’ in Nepal at Ghami.
Spend an extra day at Lo exploring its palace and monasteries dating back to 14th and 15th centuries. The frescoes and Buddhist art at these monasteries will leave you mesmerized.
From Lo you make your back to Jomsom via ancient settlements of Yara, Tangbe, Tetang and the sacred Hindu and Buddhust pilgrimage site of Muktinath.
Your trek to Upper Mustang from Kathmandu comes to an end with a return flight to Pokhara. The final leg of your journey, ie the drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, brings you once again to the capital city.
Upper Mustang Lo Mangthang Trek Difficulty
Trekking to Upper Mustang is graded easy to moderate. The highest point this Upper Mustang trek itinerary will take you is 3,838m at Yara.
Though dusty, the trail is relatively easy. Beginners as well as experienced trekkers can make this Kathmandu to Lo Manthang trip. What you need is good health, fit body, strong legs and lungs and positive attitude.
On a tough day you may have to walk 9 hours max and on an easy day you put in a minimum of 3 hours’ walk. On average you will be spending 5 to 6 hours on the trail each day.