Upper Mustang is an upper part of Mustang District, which is located in Nepal. The Upper Mustang was a restricted kingdom and demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetic languages.
The highest peak visited by trekkers on the upper mustang trek is Marang la, which is 4230 meters above sea level. With heights of 3810 meters and 3900 meters, respectively, Lo Manthang and Chhoser are the region's principal attractions.
Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, making it a great monsoon trek and open year-round for trekking. The main consideration is the winter, when most residents leave the capital to avoid the cold and snow. Generally, the best time to visit Upper Mustang is from March to early November.
Accessing this Trek
Jomsom is the starting point for almost all routes heading into the Upper Mustang region. Most people choose to fly between Pokhara and Jomsom (a 20-minute flight) to save time and to avoid the arduous bus or jeep journey by land. The official checkpoint for the restricted region is Kagbeni, just north of Jomsom.
Upper Mustang Trek
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu
After landing at the Tribhuwan International Airport, we will be greeted by a representative of Himalayan Guides who will drop us off at our hotel. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 02 Kathmandu: Sightseeing and trek Preparation
We tour Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa which are all world heritage sites. The Durbar Square reveals the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we are introduced to our fellow participants and discuss our trip at Himalayan Guides office. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03 Drive or fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara
We have breakfast then leave for Pokhara, also known as The Lake City owing to the large number of lakes in the city. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,794ft), Manaslu (8,156m/26,759ft), Machhapuchhre (6,993m/22,943ft), the five peaks of Annapurna and others. We then check-in to our hotel and take a rest. We enjoy boating in the Fewa Lake and stroll in the city’s quaint streets. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 04 Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
Today we will take an early morning flight to Jomsom which is famous for its apples, strong winds and the landscape. We begin our trek on an open trail alongside a beautiful valley. We pass through Eaklibatti village before reaching Jomsom which is ideally located at the bank of two rivers. The village is beautiful with flat-roofed houses and also has ruins of an old fortress. Overnight in Kagbeni.
Day 05 Kagbeni to Chele
We get our permits checked then begin our trek on a trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River. We walk on sand amidst strong winds before ascending on a hill. We reach the Tangbe Village and admire its narrow alleyways, white-washed houses, barley and buckwheat fields, and apple orchards. We continue our walk and pass another village and cross a river on our way. Next, we walk on a ridge before reaching Chele Village. Overnight in Chele.
Day 06 Chele to Syanbochen
Our trek from today will be a little hard compared to what we experienced before. Our walk today involves crossing two passes, Taklam La pass (3,624m) and Dajori La pass (3,735). On our way, we enjoy great views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda and pass by Ramchung Cave. We descend further and reach Samar Village. From here we walk on a trail above the village and reach a ridge. Next, we descend on a steep trail to a stream and continue our trek to Syanboche. Overnight in Syanboche.
Day 07 Syanbochen to Ghami
We ascend to the Yamda La pass at 3,850m. On the way, we pass by a few teahouses, chortens and beautiful villages. We trek through poplar forests and barley fields and reach Nyi Pass at 4,010m. From here, we descend to Ghami which is one of the biggest villages in the Lo region. The village is beautiful with fields surrounding the entire village. Overnight in Ghami.
Day 08 Ghami to Tsarang
Our trek today begins with a descent through a rough and often slippery trail. We then cross a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola and begin ascending. The pathway is beautiful with mani walls along the trail. Next, we cross the Tsarang La Pass at 3870m and reach Tsarang village. The village lies atop the Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east. Overnight in Tsarang.
Day 09 Tsarang to Lo-Manthang
We begin our trek by descending to a canyon and cross a river before beginning our uphill trek to Lo La pass which at 3950m. From the top of the pass we can admire the beautiful Lo Manthang village. From the pass we descend to Lo Manthang which is a beautiful walled village. From here the views of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak as well as Damodar Kunda (pond) is quite good. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.
Day 10 Explore Lo Manthang/ Acclimatization
Lo Manthang is a walled town of the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal. We spend the day touring three major gompas of the town namely Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda. All of these gompas have undergone expert restoration over the last two decades. We can also trek to Tingkhar which is a beautiful village located north-west of Lo-Mangthang. Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Day 11 Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar
We trek on a different route when returning from Lo-Manthang. Our trail passes through Gyakar village which houses a century old Ghar Gompa with beautiful rock paintings. According to a local legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Gompa will have it fulfilled. We explore the Gompa and continue our trek to Drakmar for an overnight stay.
Day 12 Drakmar to Ghiling
We start our trek early to avoid strong winds and descend for the most part of the trek. Our trail passes through a dry plateau and fields before reaching Ghiling. The walk can be relatively difficult as we are most likely to experience strong winds on our face. Ghiling is mostly dry, but we still get good views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. We can tour the village around the evening. Overnight in Ghiling.
Day 13 Ghiling to Chhuksang
We begin our trek after breakfast. We walk on the same trail as before going up to Lo Manthang. On the way to Chhuksang we can enjoy great views of the Himalayas and small villages we pass en route. Overnight in Chhuksang.
Day 14 Chhuksang to Jomsom
Today is the last day of our trek and it is a long one. After trekking for a while, we come to an end of our Mustang trails and join the trails of the Annapurna circuit. We stop for lunch at Kagbeni. After lunch, we continue our trek to Jomsom for an overnight stay.
Day 15 Fly back to Pokhara
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. The airplane passes through a gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains making the flight itself an amazing experience. After arriving in Pokhara, we can spend the rest of the day in leisure. Overnight in Pokhara.
Day 16 Drive or fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
After breakfast, we say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and drive towards Kathmandu. This will be a journey along river banks with wonderful views of terraced hills and the rural Nepalese lifestyle. After reaching Kathmandu, we take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 17 Final departure