Upper Mustang Trek
- Ancient Tibetan lifestyle, cultures, and traditions.
- Fascinating mountains like Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri ranges.
- Painted mud-brick houses, Caves carved into the cliffs.
- Royal Palace, Buddhists Monasteries, Thugchen Gompa.
- Traverse to villages like Chhuksang Village, Ghame Village, etc.
- Vast and barren valleys, scattered valleys.
Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of Mustang. The Upper Mustang trek leads to the last forbidden kingdom within the country’s territory. It is the gateway to the mysterious world of the old Buddhist kingdom; Lo. Lo Manthang is the ancient capital of the Mustang. Upper Mustang was once restricted to average travelers until 1992 and to this day one must have a restricted area permit to enter this place. Because of that, it was completely isolated from the outer world. As of now restricted permits along with TIMS card and ACAP permits are required to explore the Upper Mustang of Nepal. Mustang is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. There is no technical climbing required for the Upper Mustang trek. Meanwhile, the difficulty level of the trek is moderate and beginners with normal physical fitness levels can easily complete the trek. Meanwhile, the highest altitude of the Upper Mustang trek is 3,730 meters above sea level. Similarly, the total walking distance of the Upper Mustang trek is 2010 kilometers and the walk can be completed in 16 days.
Tiji Festival in Mustang is one of the most unique festivals in Nepal, one of the prominent Himalayan festivals. It is a lifetime experience to visit the Upper Mustang of Nepal and witness the Tiji festival. To reach the Lower Mustang of Nepal both the roadways as well as airways are available. But compared with the Lower Mustang of Nepal, the Upper Mustang is rich in culture, tradition, amazing caves, monasteries, and many more. Upper Mustang carries a long history and it is also believed that the kingdom of Lo used to be a part of the Ngari area of Tibet. Along with the above highlights, you will traverse around the deserted valleys and watch yak caravans, eroded canyons, and extraordinary walled settlements. Arid beauty and harsh, cliff-face landscapes are other attractions. You will also see the nuclear settlement and little sign of cultivation. Moreover, The region reflects stunning vistas and the stubborn way of holding unique Tibetan cultures. Experiencing the ancient cultures of the forbidden kingdom is another memorable side of this trek.
Mustang - The Apple capital of Nepal
The Forbidden Kingdom Mustang region is Northern Nepal, which has a fascinating culture along with mind-blowing landscapes that are much more than just a trekking destination. It is a mounting of old cultural traditions and unique beauty that seems otherworldly. It is also the age-old trade route and some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on earth. It is inhabited by Gurung and Thakali ethnic groups, these ethnic groups still live in small villages along the foothills of the Himalayas.
The mysterious place is full of incredible attractions, and culture that is preserved for centuries. Mustang is a deserted area of land due to the Himalayan zone covering the valley. Not only landscapes but also hypnotic culture and history. Many attractions make the Mustang a great place to visit. The cliffs and caves, waterfalls, mountain sceneries, culture and lifestyle of locals, and the incredible arid landscapes are some of the major attractions to explore in Mustang.
Kagbeni is made of the two words “ Kag '' and “venue’’ where ‘’Kag’’ means crow and venue means junction of two rivers Kali Gandaki and Jhong rivers. Kagbeni is the stunning village that is the only gateway to the upper mustang. It is located in the valley of the Kali Gandaki river in the Mustang district. You can catch a glimpse of the local lifestyle village by visiting this beautiful village. This rustic village lies on the trail from Jomson and the royal capital of Lo Manthang. Kagbeni not only fascinates people with its beauty but also attracts people with its religious significance.
Kagbeni lies on the way to Muktinath and people usually stop by this interesting place to perform a final ritual for the departed souls of their ancestors. Besides the religious importance, this village is one of the most beautiful places to explore in this area. The iconic houses here are rectangular with flat mud-plastered roofs and are built adjoining each other. The worn-down prayer flags are believed to carry the blessings of the mantras. Places like these are typical for semi-desert, trans-Himalayas. According to the season, the dry land is filled with green agricultural fields that please one's eye.
Upper Mustang - The Mountain Desert
Upper Mustang is one of the most popular trekking trails in the Annapurna Region. The highest altitude of the trek is Lo Manthang which is situated at an elevation of 3,730 meters above sea level. The Everest region was first explored by trekkers during the 1950s. Meanwhile, the trek to Upper Mustang was opened for all after 1992. The trekking trails to Upper Mustang were once used as a salt trading route by the locals. The king still has his home there. Upper Mustang is located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Although the entire region is geographically part of the Tibetan plateau. Hence, the kingdom is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. Traveling to Upper Mustang is a real privilege. Upper Mustang Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime destination to explore the captivating medieval walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.
Upper Mustang trekking transits across the arid river valley that runs north-south of the Annapurna circuit. Trek to Upper Mustang passes through the driest region of Nepal. It certainly offers you a visit to the deserted valley rich in its ancient cultural heritages and traditions. It provides spectacular mountain scenery. Though trekking to this region has been open since 1992, trekkers must need a special permit to trek this region.
What is Upper Mustang trek?
Upper Mustang falls under a restricted area in Nepal. The travelers must require a special permit to travel to this region. Trekkers should pay a permit fee of US$ 500 (to be arranged through a trekking agency and valid for 10 days). Each additional day costs US$ 50. Meanwhile, ACAP permits which cost US$ 30 must be paid before traveling to Upper Mustang. Similarly, for the TIMS card, US$ 10 must be paid to the department of immigration.
With us, your journey to Upper Mustang starts from Kathmandu. Being the capital of Nepal recently Kathmandu holds the only international airport in the nation. Some other international airports are under construction and 40+ domestic airports are in operation. From Kathmandu, you can reach Pokhara by road or by flight. Flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu Takes about 7 hours. Similarly, a 25-minute scenic flight will take you to the beautiful lake city of Pokhara from Kathmandu.
A 20-minute flight from Pokhara will take you to Jomsom. After a 30-minute drive from Jomsom, you will reach Kagbeni. The trek generally starts from Kagbeni. From Kagbeni you will start the trek the very next day and take about 5 days to reach the capital of Mustang Lo Manthang. Situated at an elevation of 3,730 meters above sea level, Lo Manthang is the ancient capital of the Jomsom.
You will have an extra day to explore Lo Manthang. During the day you get to witness sky caves, ancient cave paintings, cultural practices, and many more. From Lo Manthang it takes 3 trekking days to reach Kagbeni. From Kagbeni you can trek to Jomsom. The trek distance is short and during the rest of the day, you can explore the lower Mustang. Meanwhile, Marpha Village and Dumba Lake are must-see places to visit during your stay at Jomsom.
Best Time to Travel Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang is cold in winter, windy, and dusty throughout the year. As the region falls under the rain shadow, it does not bear rainfall. So, trekking in Upper Mustang is also suitable during monsoon season. During the monsoon season of the year, amazing views of the landscapes, green fields, apple orchards, and many more can be seen. Rainfall only lasts for a few hours meanwhile in the evening clouds may cover the sky.
However, Summer, Monsoon, and Autumn are the best time to trek the upper Mustang. Mid-September, October November and Early- December is one of the best months of the year for the Upper Mustang trek. Mustang is situated at a low altitude compared with other trekking trails without any high passes. Because of that, the snowfall does not hamper the trekking trails. Similarly, February, March, and April are the second-best seasons for the Upper Mustang trek. During these months of the year, the sky is clear.
If our trip itinerary doesn’t suit your holiday schedule or you wish to modify the itinerary or combine it with any travel plans, then please let us know and we’ll be happy to create a tailor-made itinerary, designed especially for you. Also whether you are a student group/family group /corporate team please inquire with us. We offer you a variety of packages to Upper Mustang.
Welcome to Nepal! [1400m/4593 ft]
Your Arrival Time (?) Our office representative will meet and greet you at Kathmandu Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu.
At. 06:00 PM: In the evening we will meet for a coffee and will brief you on the details of your trek program. If your arrival is late after 5 PM we will meet the next morning during breakfast.
*Optionally you can add one additional night stay in Kathmandu to cover cultural sightseeing in Kathmandu as well for your trek preparation shopping.
Kathmandu Full Day Sightseeing: You will visit for a full day of sightseeing in Kathmandu of Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath Temple, and Boudhanath.
Fly to Pokhara, Trek Preparation. [822m/2696 ft]
At. 10:00 AM: Have your breakfast at the hotel and be ready for your flight to the beautiful lake city Pokhara. Our office representative will drop you off at the airport. (Flight duration from Kathmandu to Pokhara 20-30 mins)
The local representative in Pokhara will pick you up at the Pokhara airport and transfer you to your respective hotel. If needed, you can go shopping for trekking gear near the lakeside area. You will have a leisure day at Pokhara which you can utilize for exploring the surrounding area. (You can keep your extra baggage at the hotel in Pokhara which you don’t need on trekking days and collect it after you finish your trek.)
Fly to Jomsom, Trek to Kagbeni. [2810m/9219 ft]
At. 06:30 AM: Today is the first day of your trek and you will start by flying to the beautiful Jomsom town from Pokhara in the early morning. Jomsom lies in the lap of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains so the flights take place in the morning because in the daytime it’s windy.
(In case the flight didn't operate we will arrange your transfer by road which will take around 6-8 hours)
After reaching Jomsom you will start your trek toward the Kagbeni village. You will follow the bank of Kaligandaki river and pass by the apple and potato farms. Overnight at Kagbeni teahouse.
Trek to Chele. [3050m/10006 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: Kagbeni is the starting point of the restricted area. After checking your permits you will start your Upper Mustang trek. You will follow the upstream of the windy Kali Gandaki river reaching the Tangbe village. You will pass by the barley and buckwheat fields, and apple farms in between beautiful villages. Finally reaching Chele you will stop for the night here.
Trek to Syanbochen. [3475m/11400 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: After breakfast, you will start your trek. Today’s trek is comparatively hard among other days. You will cross two beautiful passes, the Dajori La pass (3,735) and the Taklam La pass (3,624m). The magnificent views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda, and Ramchung cave are seen from the trail. You will descend to reach Samar village before you further start the steep descent to reach Syanbochen. Overnight at the tea house.
Trek to Ghami. [3520m/11548 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: After early morning breakfast, you will be trekking towards the biggest village in the Lo region. You will start your trek ascending Yamada La pass (3,850m) through the teahouse, Chorten, and peaceful villages. Then you will trek through the poplar forest, and barley field to reach Nyi Pass (4,010m) from where you will descend towards the beautiful Ghami village.
In the evening you can explore the village or interact with the natives and know about the culture and the simple lifestyle of the locals. Overnight at Ghami village.
Trek to Marang. [3620m/11876 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: Today you will descend first to cross the Ghami Khola (river). After crossing the River you will start your uphill climb to reach the Mui-La Pass (4170m). You will pass through the beautiful Mani walls and Ghar Gumba to reach Marang village. Marang village lies at the top of Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east (Do explore the ancient attraction). Overnight at a tea house in Marang.
Trek to Lo Manthang. [3730m/12237 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: After breakfast, you descend to the canyon and cross the river before you start your climb towards Marang La Pass (4230m). Beautiful Lo Manthang village is seen from the top of the pass. You will then descend towards the astounding walled village. The breathtaking view of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak, and Damodar Himal can be seen. Overnight at Lo Manthang tea house.
Lo Manthang Exploration
At. 07:30 AM: Today you will explore the surrounding area of Lo Manthang. You will visit three gompas; Jhampa, Thupchen, and Chhoeda. You will explore the mysterious sky caves, ancient cave paintings, and experience the natural beauty along with local cultural practices. While you are in Lo Manthang you can learn about the ancient history, and lifestyle of the natives and simply get amazed by the unique and mysterious landscapes that attract thousands of people. Overnight at Lo Manthang tea house.
Trek to Ghami. [3520m/11548 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: After breakfast, you will descend the same trail as you came to Lo Manthang. The upper Mustang trail is up and down crossing the rivers and climbing the passes. Beautiful Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains surround you throughout the trail. Take beautiful pictures of the memories and cherish the moment.
In the evening watch the celestial sunset and evening view of the village and surrounding area while sipping on hot tea. The unique landscape will fascinate you. Stay overnight at Ghami at a comfortable local teahouse.
Trek to Samar. [3620m/11876 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: After breakfast, you will further follow the Kaligandaki river going back towards the Samar village. Samar Village is a stunning village with unique architecture and culture. Explore the rustic village and roam around if you wish to. The simplicity of the locals provides peace and satisfaction to one's heart.
In the evening have dinner at the local lodge/teahouse and sleep well for the upcoming day. Overnight at Samar teahouse.
Trek to Kagbeni. [2810m/9219 ft]
At. 07:30 AM: You will further follow the previous trail towards the Kaligandaki river going back to Kagbeni village. The border of the restricted area ends here in Kagbeni. You will check out after reaching the Kagbeni checkpoint. Kagbeni is a popular place not only in terms of trekking but religiously too. You can visit religious places and explore the area. Overnight in a comfortable lodge at Kagbeni.
Trek or Drive to Jomsom. [2700m/8858 ft]
At. 08:00 AM: Today is the last day of your trek. Have breakfast and start walking towards Jomsom. If you don’t want to walk and drive to Jomsom from Kagbeni. The trail is not as challenging as others so you can cover the distance of around 12 km (3-4 hours on foot) without any problem (however, if you don't want to walk you can drive to Jomsom which is optional it will take around 35-40 mins by drive)
Stay at a comfortable 3-star hotel at Jomsom and rest well. If you are a sky person then view the starry sky glittering with millions of stars.
Fly to Pokhara, Leisure Day. [822m/2696 ft]
At. 07:00 AM: Have an early morning breakfast and move towards Jomsom airport. Jomsom airport is the only airport connecting Mustang with other parts of Nepal. The flight to Jomsom and from Jomsom are operated until 11 AM only. (Flight time Jomsom to Pokhara 20-25 min) The aircraft passes through a gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains making the flight itself amazing.
(In case the flight gets canceled we will arrange your transfer by road which is equally rewarding.) The road follows the Kaligandaki River to Beni Bazar. You cross the Marpha, Kalopani, Ghasa, and Tatopani then reach Beni Bazar which is also the headquarters of the Myagdi district. After about 2 hours of the ride, you will reach Kushma which is the headquarter of the Parbat district. After Beni Bazar, the road is pitched and the drive will be smooth meaning you will reach Pokhara within 4-5 hours. Upon your arrival in Pokhara, transfer to the comfortable hotel in the LakeSide area where you can find several amazing restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can celebrate your successful trek.
(Collect the extra baggage from the hotel before you leave)
Fly to Kathmandu. [1400m/4593 ft]
At. 8:00 AM: Have your breakfast and get ready for your flight back to Kathmandu. Our office representative will pick you up from the hotel and drop you off at the airport. (Flight Duration from Pokhara to Kathmandu 25-30 mins) Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, your transportation will transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu.
On arrival in Kathmandu check in at your respective hotel and spend your leisure day as you wish. You can spend your time shopping for items such as handmade goods for souvenirs, explore the rustic beauty of the ancient city or treat yourself to a relaxing spa in Thamel after a week-long trek. Enjoy the leisure at Thamel as you wish, and in the evening, join us for a traditional Nepali Dinner (Thakali Cuisine) with a live performance of folk songs as a farewell (If you want to visit other places, we can arrange it for you with extra add ons)
You will be free until your flight time, we will drop you at Kathmandu airport 3 hours before your flight. you will get to the airport 3 hours before your flight time. Carry loads of souvenirs, memories, and lifetime experiences back home, and Have a safe home return! We hope you enjoyed the trip! If you plan to extend your stay, we (Altitude Himalaya) are more than happy to make your visit memorable and enjoyable.
The information about the Upper Mustang Trek is in-depth; feel free to contact us 24/7. We will be available on WhatsApp to assist you instantly. You can write an email if this trip doesn't fit your vacation schedule and requirements. Altitude Himalaya aims to offer the best possible travel experience to the customers. Depending on the needs of the visitors and the group size, we customize each vacation package. We will put together a bespoke itinerary just for your private group.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Upper Mustang located?
Upper Mustang is located 400 Km north west from Kathmandu in the Mustang district of Nepal. Upper Mustang is the upper part of Mustang district, which is bordered with Tibet.
What is Upper Mustang famous for?
Upper Mustang is the Upper part of the Mustang district and is mostly popular for centuries-old Buddhist monasteries, mysterious caves, intriguing local culture, and fascinating mountain desert landscapes.
What kind of weather is there in Upper Mustang?
The Upper Mustang area has a trans-Himalaya climate with a cool and semi-arid climate. Mustang is also called the mountain desert of Nepal as there are several unnamed majestic peaks with exceptional culture, history, and landscapes.
At what altitude is Upper Mustang located?
Upper Mustang is located north of Annapurna and it is situated at an average altitude of 4000m and is geologically and culturally part of the Tibetan plateau.
All arrivals and departures at Kathmandu airport as mentioned.
Domestic flight transfer (Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Jomsom, both ways) as mentioned in the itinerary.
A 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Lodge or Tea house accommodation during the trek.
Daily breakfast throughout the trip.
Lunch and Dinner from trek start day to trek end day.
All necessary paperwork. (Restricted Area Permit, ACAP permit, and TIMS Card)
An English-speaking experienced and licensed trek guide.
Porter during the trek. (A porter can carry 20 KG Baggage of 2 people)
One local SIM card (returnable) during your stay.
All government and local taxes.
Guide and Porter’s salary, food, and accommodation during the trek.
Arrangement of emergency helicopter service which will be paid for by your traveler’s insurance company.
Sleeping bags, duffle bags, and trekking route maps – if necessary.
A farewell Nepali cultural dinner on your last night in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu sightseeing entrance fee.
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Nepal visa cost. (You will require 2 passport-size photos and 40 USD for a 30 days Nepal tourist visa; visa forms can be filled online in advance.)
International flight ticket.
Travel health insurance. (highly recommended)
Tips for the guide, porter, and driver.
Sweet things like dessert/chocolate.
All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Hot shower/batteries charge/heater during the trek.
Any other expenses which are not mentioned in the included section.
Why Travel With Altitude Himalaya?
We believe in the quality services to accommodate our guests 360 degrees need with tour personalization and customization. Our dedicated and experienced team believes not only in arranging trips, but making creating life long memories. Our travel experience within the region of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet could make a memorable trip of yours.Confirm Your reservation Now
TALK TO AN EXPERT
we can help you find your perfect holiday
Mr. Kiran has experience of 10+ years in tourism across Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet holiday arrangements to thousands of travellers from around the world. He will help you to figure out the best possible vacation plan according to your choice and preference.
Nepal, Bhutan & Tibet Expert