An escape into the remote trans-Himalayan mountain area, Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most adventurous trekking in Nepal. The entire region stretching from Kaligandaki, a deserted region, to Kagbeni in the Tibetan south border is known as Upper Mustang.
A combination of scenic beauty and religious monastery that age more than thousands of years, Upper Mustang Trek is an ideal experience for all adventure seekers. The route starts from the world’s deepest gorge, Kaligandaki Region, into world’s highest regions of Lo-Mangthang Valley. The Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of the upper Mustang Region. Follow the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream to get to Lo-Mangthang, the capital of the upper Mustang. The route offers panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek also passes through high peaks, passes, glaciers, and alpine valleys.
Influenced by the Tibetan Culture, the entire region has its own unique tradition and culture. The thousand years of isolation have kept the culture, lifestyle, and heritage uncorrupted by modernization. A majority of the settlements is made up of stone and sun-baked mud bricks. The city-wall and the four storied palaces in Lo-Manthang are some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang region. Polyandry, a type of marriage where all the brothers of a family marry the same woman, is a common practice.
The Trans-Himalayan Mustang Region is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom. The Upper Mustang region was restricted to outsiders until October 1991. The people of Mustang call themselves Lobas. There is a strict control in obtaining a special permit from the department of immigration to protect their tradition from outside influence as well as to protect their environment.
Upper Mustang Trek Highlights
- Scenic drive to Pokhara
- Spectacular Mountain flight Pokhara/ Jomsom via Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range
- Explore the hidden kingdom of Lo Manthang
- Unique culture and lifestyle of Managis
- Walk through the Kaligandaki river
We will fly to Jomsom, the district headquarters of Mustang, from Pokhara. The 20 minutes’ flight over the mountains offers a splendid view of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Range. Jomsom is a large village linking the age-old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. We will trek from Jomsom along the riverbed of Kali Gandaki until we reach Ekley Bhatti. We will head towards Kagbeni which is an interesting windswept village situated on the main age-old Trans-Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. Overnight in Kagbeni.
The journey begins from the riverbank of Kaligandaki. Our first destination in this journey is Tangbe village which is characterized by whitewashed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. Our route will lead us to Chhusang before we reach Chele. Overnight in Chele.
We will trek to Syanbochen which is about 6-7 hours from Chele. The route passes through Eklo Bhatti and climbs towards Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft). The journey is through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, and Damodar Danda. Through the Samar village, the trial will lead us to Syanbochen. We will come across a cave famously known as Ramchung Cave. Overnight in Syanbochen.
On this day we will trek to Ghaymi, the third largest village in the Lo region. Ghayami is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren. Through chorten and Tibetan cultured villages, we will trek towards Yamda La. We will cross mountain passes, and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley. The climb to Nyi Pass (4,010m/13,193ft) would be a little longer. Overnight in Ghaymi.
After crossing Ghaymi Khola, the trail ascends towards a plateau and passes beside a very long Mani wall, a sacred stone wall made by the Buddhists. The trail heads east to the village of Charang characterized by maze fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls. There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa. Overnight in Charang.
Lo-Mangthang offers magnificent views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Charang Chu Canyon. Further the trail ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where the entire Lo-Mangthang Valley comes to sight. It will take us about 5-6 hours to reach our destination. Overnight in Lo-Mangthang.
On this day, we will explore Lo-Mangthang. We can visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa is situated on a hilltop. It serves as an important monastery for the local community. It is also a local court. We can otherwise visit Tall Champa Lakhang ,”God house” ,the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall all of which happen to be major attractions of this town. Overnight in Lo-Mangthang.
We will trek to Drakmar via Gyakar. Gyakar houses Ghar Gompa which is more than 1200 years old. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes one wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is fulfilled. Overnight in Drakmar.
We will trek back to Ghiling which is about 5-6 hours away from Dhakmar. Upon arrival, we will explore the area. Ghiling offers panoramic views of the green hills against the snow-capped mountains. The village is beautiful and the prevailing culture is adopted from the Tibetans. Overnight in Ghiling.
On this day we will trek to Chhuksang. It will take us about 5-6 hours to reach the destination. Most of the route is narrow that encircles around green hills. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey of the Himalayan range. Overnight in Chhuksang.
The last day of the trek has the longest walk of 6-7 hours from Chhuksang to Jomsom. The trail passes through Ekli Bhatti and Kagbeni. After walking along the river bed of Kali Gandhaki River, we will enter the village of Jomsom. Overnight in Jomsom.
On this day we will fly to Pokhara. The 20 minutes’ flight over the mountains offers a splendid view of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Range. Upon arrival at Pokhara, you will be transferred to your respective hotels. You can spend the rest of the day exploring the beautiful and vibrant city as you please. Overnight in Pokhara.
On this day we will drive to Kathmandu. The journey to Kathmandu is pleasant and offers views of green hills, silver-river running along most of the route, pretty settlements and terraced farms. Once we arrive in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your respective hotels. You will have the rest of the day to yourself. You can either rest or go shopping and exploring the city. Overnight in Kathmandu.
FAQs on Trekking in Nepal
Nepal is a paradise filled with natural flora and fauna. From the plain lands of Terai to the high Himalayas, there is diversification and singularity in every aspect. This is what makes Nepal so unique.
Due to variation in the topography and altitudes, Nepal has been famously spotted as a diverse Trekking Region. Nepal offers normal trekking routes starting from 2000m (Dhampus Trek, Ghandruk Trek) to 5500m (Everest Base Camp). And I can tell you that every single trek has its own peculiarity and adventure.
You may have a lot of queries regarding trekking in Nepal. In this article, I have tried to answer some of them.
Is it safe to travel in Nepal?
After the devastating earthquake in 2015, every visitor has had this common question in mind. And the answer is yes, it is safe to travel in Nepal. You can come here and enjoy without any hesitation or second thoughts.
After the quake, numerous reconstruction activities have been done and many are even going on. So, you will be witnessing a different outlook of the country. If you are willing, you can even lend a hand financially or through volunteering for reconstruction in the remote areas.
How is the current political scenario in Nepal?
The political situation in Nepal is facing a transitional shift. Nepal is in the process of adopting a federal structure of governance form. From the political view, there are not many obstacles as you might think.
How can I get a Nepal visa for arrival?
You can get your arrival visa at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Most of the people can obtain a visa on entry to Nepal. Some countries’ visa will need to be arranged prior traveling.
The price of visa depends on the number of days you will be staying. $25 is for 15 days from the date of issue, $40 for 30 days and $100 for 90 days tourist visa. You will need two passport size photos. Other documents are not required.
You can apply for an online visa through (http://www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/ ).
Do you have any pickup facility from the airport on arrival and departure?
Yes, our company has a pick-up facility as a complementary policy. At your arrival, our agency airport representative will pick you up from the airport. You can recognize us at the spot easily through our company’s name card.
And when you complete your trip, we will drop you back.
What type of insurance should I get? How can I get it?
We advise you to get your general travel and medical insurance cover from your respective country. In Nepal, you should buy medical and mountain evacuation insurance for traveling. But, we don’t offer mountain rescue insurance here.
Who can go on the trips?
Our trips are designed for everyone who has a love for outdoor adventure and cultural experience. Of course, some trips may be a bit difficult for people who are physically unfit.
In such cases, you need to choose only those trips that suit you best. Please contact for prior management.
What if I am a solo traveler? Is there any supplementary service for singles?
Not a problem at all. Many of our customers are traveling single. You also have the option to join a small group or another solo traveler.
Even if you are a single traveling woman, you need not worry. You will not face any kind of awkwardness.
Yes. There is an extra charge for traveling alone. Please contact us to find out more.
Do I really need a trekking guide?
According to recent changes in policy, trekking guides are almost mandatory for trekking in Nepal for everyone. It is to ensure safety and protection of all visiting tourists.
Plus, the journey will be a lot more informative and memorable with guides. S/he will be your friend and company during the journey.
But if you are well experienced and have trekked before as well, you may not require one. But if you are with a guide, it will be easy for you to tackle any problems during the trek.
Do I need a porter?
This part completely depends on your choice. If you think you are able to carry backpacks on your own, you can avoid them. If not, it is better to hire one.
You can have double benefits as well. As porters may have knowledge about the trails and settlements, you may not even require a guide.
Do you have tailor-made trips?
Yes. If there is any specific place that you want to visit that is not on our itinerary or if you want to combine trips or do multiple treks, we can surely arrange that. Send us your ideas and we will work with you to put together a customized trip of a lifetime.
When is the best time to visit Nepal for trekking?
Spring and Autumn season can be considered as the best time for trekking in Nepal.
October to November is the most popular time for trekking in Nepal. As it is the post monsoon period, the climate is clear and the mountains have an amazing view.
After that, March to May is the second most popular time. This pre-monsoon time has warmer weather with good visibility.
Besides, short tea house treks can be done during the winter season as well. I suggest you guys not to make plans for treks during monsoon and winter as far as possible.
How difficult is trekking in Nepal?
Nepal is known worldwide for its adventurous and interesting trekking spots. You certainly need to keep in mind that the journey will be challenging.
The toughness of the trekking depends on its altitude, grade, and location. There are different gradings for trekking such as; easy, medium, challenging, and demanding. You can make your choice depending on these grades.
Regarding time, you will be trekking 5 to 7 hours per day for altitudes ranging from 3000m to 8848m. But again, it will depend on the type of trek.
So no need to be afraid! You will enjoy extreme wilderness untouched by modern development. You will be grateful for the thrill and adventure of exploring the exotic nature.
How long will be the trekking period?
The period of trekking will depend on its type and grades.
As I have already mentioned about the grading of trekking, the most challenging treks will be for more than 4 weeks. The easy type of trek completes in about 1-3 days whereas the moderate will take about a week. The days taken cannot be exactly calculated as it might depend on weather conditions and other emergencies.
How fit should I be for the trekking?
You should be mentally and physically prepared for the trekking. The success of trekking wholly depends on you. We suggest you choose the trekking routes that suit your fitness level. Obviously, shorter treks are easier than longer ones. The longer treks will require a better standard of fitness.
So, be in your best physical form. Believe in yourself and move on!
What are tea houses and camping trekking? Is it possible here?
Teahouse trekking and camping trekking are the two general types of trekking in Nepal.
Teahouse trekking is the most popular type of trekking in Nepal. It is available in the trekking regions of Annapurna, Everest, Langtang, and Manaslu.
In this type, you will get good accommodation and fooding with a variety of items in the menu including Nepali Dal Bhat.
Camping trekking means making a full camp, carrying everything for the whole trip and getting along for the destination. In this type, you will fully cater for camping. You (or porters or packed animals) will carry all the camping gears including food, tents, sleeping bags, medical kits, etc.
You will be pitching your camps wherever suitable. You will be accompanied by a guide, cooks, porters, and sometimes a packed animal.
As compared to the tea house trekking, camping trekking is a bit difficult.
What types of food will be served during the trekking?
All kinds of food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food will be mostly available. But, I recommend you to eat vegetarian during the trekking period. It will be more hygienic and physically helpful.
About food standards in tea houses, the fruit and vegetables are hygienic and well soaked in iodine before cooking. Food will be simple and homely reflecting the Nepali culture. Continental and international cuisine can be also served (depending upon the places).
Most of the lodges serve boiled and filtered water, safe for drinking. If you want, you can buy bottled mineral water as well.
Will there be any telephone/internet facilities at higher altitudes?
Most of the villages along the popular trekking routes have good coverage of cell phone and internet.
The Wi-Fi service is slowly becoming popular. You can also find telephones for international calls. But, these extra services will cost you extra money.
What do I need to carry on the trek?
If you hire a porter, he will carry your luggage and belongings. A porter will carry up to 50 kg of load.
You should remember to carry a small day-sack, fleece jacket, waterproof clothes, warm hat, sunhat, sun-cream, water bottle, first aid kit and water purification kit. Besides, you can carry any other stuff you think is important.
What is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)? Can I suffer from AMS?
Altitude sickness is one of the major problems you may face during trekking in higher altitudes. It is also referred to as AMS. AMS is a kind of dizziness due to failure to adapt to the surrounding.
A severe headache, nose bleeding, rapid heartbeat, instant respiration, nausea, vomiting, coughing etc. are the common symptoms of AMS. Your lungs and brain will be the most affected during AMS. If you get any such indications, you have to be immediately moved to lower altitudes.
The chances of AMS cannot be predicted exactly. It sometimes depends on the surrounding and on your diet as well.
I recommend you to take proper advice and medication regarding AMS before you hit the road.
What happens in the case of emergency?
If you get in an emergency, we are ready to reach out and help you anyhow. Plus, our guides are properly trained to tackle such situations.
In the case of physical problems, the guides will help you out with their basic knowledge. If a serious emergency occurs, rescue operation by helicopter is available. Their expenses will be recovered from your insurance company.
Additionally, you have to be mentally and physically prepared for everything that might come on your way.
What currency should I bring?
We advise you to bring US dollars/British pounds/Euros to pay for your visa, trip cost, and other expenses. Almost all the major currencies are usually accepted. But, it is always better to travel with US dollars.
What essential documents/items do I need to bring along with me?
You must bring a valid passport, a copy of your travel insurance, cash, necessary tickets, emergency contact numbers of insurance and family members and the required medications you will/might need.
Are your staffs fully insured?
Yes! Our guides, cooks, Sherpas, and porters are fully equipped and insured as well. They are all experienced and have adequate knowledge about trekking. You will surely have a great time with them.
Can I extend the period of trek?
The itinerary that we provide you is a type of guideline and a standard pattern only. So, the schedule can be modified according to your time and requirements. We provide both types of trekking, tea house, and camping.