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Upper Mustang Trek leads you to the hidden semi-independent kingdom of Nepal attached to the Tibetan Border. This region is also known as Lo. Hundreds of years back, Lo belonged to Tibetan rulers, hence the area is still highly impressed by Tibetan Buddhism. In many places, Mustang is described as a ‘Himalayan Cold Dessert’. Thousands of years old Buddhist monasteries, colorful rock formation, hundreds of caves and more are some areas of interests.
Mustang area was restricted for foreigners by the Government of Nepal until 1992, though the area is restricted even today for individual trekkers or backpackers and entering the area needs minimum 2 travelers traveling together through a Government licensed travel agency. The region lies in Dhaulagiri rain shadow area so June / July / August is the best months to visit as the area experiences less rain on those months. Until recently, Upper Mustang Trek was accessible only in the camping mode but things have gotten easier now and lodges are available for meals and accommodation. It is a perfect destination for an adventurer wishing to see Tibetan influenced traditions and cultures. It is spectacular Himalayan trekking behind the Himalayas which is perfect during monsoon season.
The huge, windy, cold and dry land further Kagbeni to Tibetan border is known as Upper Mustang which is a restricted area by Nepal government. A visitor must have an immigration entry permit issued by the Department of Immigration, Nepal government to enter the land. Upper Mustang area is popular for exploration of centuries-old caves, unspoiled cultures and hundreds of years old monasteries of the region. The trek is an adventure of a lifetime, it is a hidden gem. Upper Mustang area is also known as “The Last Forbidden Kingdom”. Trekking to Upper Mustang is much more similar to trekking in the high lands of Tibet, China.
Upper Mustang Trekking is less explored area of Nepal as there are several conditions of Nepal Government to protect the area. Individual trekking and backpacking is forbidden in this area and a Government licensed guide must accommpany the tour groups all the time. It’s a very beautiful trekking route, less explored and away from crowded routes of Annapurna and Everest.
In the total 17 days program, we will be in the mountains for 10 days exploring the beauty of Himalayan kingdom. The trek is easy to moderate level trekking, we will be walking about 6 – 7 hours everyday. Most of the part of the trek is gentle ascending / descending. The trek is suitable for people looking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of crowds in the popular and other easily accessible routes. Lodges are available for meals and accommodation thus it’s not necessary to carry any foods (carrying snacks recommended).
Welcome to the city of temples and the country of Himalayas. Our airport representative will be waiting for your arrival with a name card written your name. We will transfer you to the hotel. The day is free to explore on your own if time permits. (No meals)
We will collect your passports and photos to prepare your immigration permits. Original permits are needed to collect Nepal immigration permits. You can explore the town on your own. We will have a trip briefing and introductory program with your guide after the permits are collected. (Breakfast)
We will take breakfast at our hotel and catch our bus to Pokhara. This is approximately 8 hours drive through the beautiful hillsides, the towering Himalayas and thundering rivers, and pilgrimages alongside the road. In the evening, we will be visiting the lakeside area if time permits.
It is recommended to fly to Pokhara if you are looking for a comfortable way of traveling. It’s about 20-25 minutes of flight. (Breakfast)
We will drive to the airport early in the morning to board our flight to Jomsom. It’s 15 – 20 minutes scenic flight in between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayas. Jomsom is one of the biggest towns of the Kaligandaki valley. We will collect our baggage then start the trek to Kagbeni. It’s a pretty easy walk but can be a windy day. We will be walking next to the dirt road heading to upper Mustang. We will have some grand views of Nilgiri Himalayas. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We will complete immigration permit formalities in Kagbeni check post and start our journey heading to the northern side of Kaligandaki valley. It’s picturesque trail following the bank of Kaligandaki river. We will be passing through several caves, monasteries, beautiful fields of barley, buckwheat, apple and wheat near Tangbe village. Continuing through the windy valley we will reach Chhusang village. We will cross a small stream and leave the Kaligandaki valley before reaching Chele for overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Once we continue a bit we will cross the Kali Gandaki river and ascend towards the village of Samar. We will leave the chhortens behind before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We will have a great day followed by high altitude cold deserts in front and several panoramic white mountains behind. Continuing further we will descend to Shyangboche which is a small settlement of local people. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Once our breakfast in the lodge is served, we will start our hike to Ghami. Initially, we will start climbing to the Yamda La pass at 3,840M. Continuing further through poplar forests and barley fields will eventually take us to Nyi Pass at 4,000M. Further, from here, we will start descending to Ghami for overnight, one of the beautiful villages of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The day starts with a descent until we cross the Ghami Khola before we start ascending. The trail is often slippery with a loose mud. The trail is decorated with mani walls along the trail. We will cross Charang La Pass (2850M) before reaching Charang village. This is probably the driest day among the whole treks. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We will visit a monastery in Charang village before we commence our journey to Lo Manthang. The trail is spectacular with the views of various Himalayan peaks including Annapurna I, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, and Bhrikuti. Encountering with isolated Chhrotens will differentiate Charang and Lo Manthang. We will continue our journey along the southern walls surrounding the valley. Here we will reach Lo Manthang. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Our main destination; Lo Manthang is here. There are several things to explore around the town. We will be visiting a few monasteries and visit the royal family of Mustang. We have a whole day to rest, relax and explore the beautiful valley of Lo Manthang. In the afternoon, we will visit three major gompas of the town namely Jhampa, Thupchen, and Chhoeda. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We will use a different route to Drakmar than the one we took while coming to Lo Manthang. Following several ups and downs, we will reach Ghar where we will explore a monastery which is believed to be 1200 years old. Local people believe that any wishing made in the monastery is fulfilled. Continuing further will take us to Dhakmar village for overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Starting the trek earlier will protect us from heavy wind that is often experienced around mid-day. It is impressive as well as appealing. We will be crossing the longest Mani wall of Mustang and ancient Chortens. Ghiling is decorated with a monastery, sky caves, and buckwheat field. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We start our journey to Chele following the left side of the valley where we will meet flocks of sheep and goats grazing in the valley. We will follow the same trail used to go to Lo Manthang in the earlier days. We will pass through Syanboche, Samar, and Chele before reaching Chuksang for overnight stay. We will have beautiful Himalayan scenery along the way. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We will be following the Kaligandaki valley all the way to Jomsom. It will be a windy and dry day following the dirt roads in several places. As soon as we reach Kagbeni we will reach the popular Annapurna Circuit trail and continue towards Jomsom following the Kaligandaki river. It’s our final day walk so celebrating the end of the successful trek in Jomsom should not be missed. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
We will walk to the airport before catching our flight to Pokhara. The flight is beautiful beautiful and flies between the spectacular Himalayas. Once we complete 15- 20 minutes flight we will drive to the hotel. You can enjoy a free afternoon or go to explore some heritages of Pokhara valley.
There are some remarkable places in Pokhara like world peace Pagoda, Bindawasini Temple, Phewa Lake, Matepani Monastery, International Mountain Museum, Devi’s Falls, etc. Alternatively, you can go for boating in Phewa Lake. In the evening you can enjoy last night dinner with your staffs and make a celebration. (Breakfast)
We will follow the same highway through beautiful rivers, hills and small Nepalese settlements. The drive will take about 8 hours to drop us in Kathmandu. Form the tourist bus park you will be transferred to the hotel. In the evening you can explore the town probably buying souvenirs for friends and family members. (Breakfast)
We will drive you to the airport approximately 3 hours before your flight time. The airport is small and has only 1 terminal. It’s time to say goodbye until we meet again! (Breakfast)
Unfortunately, due to Nepal government rules, we cannot take solo traveler booking for Upper Mustang Trek. As per the Nepal government rules, we need a minimum of 2 people traveling together to obtain restricted area permit. We do not have group joining tours available for this route.
We accept all major currencies such as USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, SGD, MYR, GBP, THB, CHF, JPY, HKD, etc. Credit card payments are accepted only in USD. We also accept bank transfers, direct remittance services (Western Union, Moneygram), etc.
June – August (monsoon) is known as the best season for Upper Mustang Trek as the fields of buckwheat flowers make it a picturesque destination. March – May, and September – November are also considered the best months for this trek. Since it’s a low altitude trekking route, the trek can be done in winter season as well.
The trek has free cancellation 60 days before departure. Any cancellations received within 60 days of departure will incur 15% cancellation fees.
We will be eating and sleeping in the lodges for the whole trek (Day 4 to Day 14). Generally, rice, noodles, pasta, vegetables, curry, potatoes, eggs, sandwich, burgers, etc. are available.
The lodges will have twin sharing rooms. In most cases, we will provide you a private room however in rare cases you may need to share the rooms with other travelers (especially if you are traveling alone). In Dharmashala the lodge is very basic and foods are very basic as well.
In Kathmandu and Pokhara (Day 1 – Day 3 and Day 15 – Day 16), we will accommodate you at 3-star category hotel with complimentary breakfast.
Very good question. This is easy to moderate level trekking route. Travelers with an average fitness level can easily do this trek. Even though we will be walking in the low altitude most of the time, there involves lots of ups and downs. A person who can walk about 6 – 7 hours every day is welcome to join this trek. If you have previous hiking / trekking experience, it will be even better.
Yeah, the trek is doable with small kids however we recommend not bringing kids below 10 years on this route.
We have very experienced guides at the company. We have guides experienced for at least 7 years to 22 years. All our guides are Ministry of Tourism trained and licensed by Nepal Government.
This is completely tea house based trek hence we will be sleeping and eating in the lodges. In Kathmandu and Pokhara, we provide 3 start category hotel accommodation with breakfast and it will be standard lodges while on the trek. The lodges on the trek will be mostly shared bathroom / shared toilet while in 1/2 places we may provide you rooms with private toilet.
The meals on the trek will be mostly locally prepared using local ingredients most of the time. Kathmandu and Pokhara offers a wide selection of meals in basic to high standard luxury lounges. On the trek, the number of meal items will be limited to a small number.
This is a easy to moderate level trekking route. The trek can be done throughout the year however February – November is comparatively better than other months. The trek is even more beautiful during monsoon season June – August as the buckwheat flowers are blossmed at this time. In winter season (December – February), the pass will have some snow making it difficult to cross the pass. During best months the sky is generally crystal clear, the views are breathtaking and the weather is lovely as well. As this is the ultimate adventure of your life we recommend you to plan the trek properly and during best months though Himalayan Leisure, Inc. will be able to arrange your trip throughout the year.
Head: Sun hat or scarf – Light balaclava or warm fleece hat – Sunglasses with UV protection
Lower Body: Under Garments – Hiking shorts – Lightweight cotton long pants – Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms – Fleece or wool pants (seasonal) – Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
Feet: Thin, lightweight inner socks – Thick, warm wool hiking socks – Hiking boots with spare laces – Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp
Upper Body: T-shirts – Light and expedition weight thermal tops – Fleece jacket or pullover – Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional) – Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket – Down vest and/or jacket*
Hands: Lightweight gloves – Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)
Accessories: Sleeping bag rated to zero degree centigrade * – Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries – Trekking Bags/Duffel bag * – Basic First Aid Kit – Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag – Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches) – Trekking Poles – Water bottle (2) or camel bag – Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc) – Ear Plug (who know some people on group are snoring)
Toiletries: 1 medium sized quick drying towel – Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable) – Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable) – Deodorants – Nail clippers – Face and body moisturizer – Personal / Feminine hygiene products – Small mirror
Extras/Luxuries: Binoculars – Reading book – Trail Map/Guide book – Journal & Pen – Walkman – Pencils and small notebooks – Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble – Swimming customs (Kathmandu and Trek)