Upper Mustang Trek

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Starts at: Jomsom Ends at: Jomsom
Trek Region: Annapurna Transport: Flight
Duration: 14 Days Trip Grade: Moderate
Max Altitude: 4010 m / 13156 ft (Nyi La Pass) Accommodation: Teahouse

Upper Mustang Trek Highlights

  • Walk back to the history of Lo Manthang after exploring the palace of king
  • Walk freely without worrying about the rain as the region lies in the rain shadow area
  • Spiritual feel walking through many Gompas, chortens, flapping prayer flags, and caves
  • Catch a live glimpse of Tibetan influence on the everyday activities and culture of the locals
  • Enticing views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other chains of mountains
  • Breathe the spirituality of the Tibetan like people and monks with their prayer flags
  • Witness everyday life and culture of the local people who live closely like Tibetan

The Upper Mustang trek winds its way to the hidden Buddhist world of the Kingdom of Mustang, also known as Lo. This remote trans-Himalayan mountain area borders Tibet and has a distinct Tibetan feel, both in its people and culture and in its arid landscape of high cliffs and rocks of unusual formations and colour.

The trek visits Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang, then through a stark landscape in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif to Lo-Manthang, the seat of past Kings of the Kingdom of Lo.

Explore caves, rock paintings, monasteries, and gompa and learn something about the culture of this area. Panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and others, are very much part of this exciting trip!

Within Lo Manthang itself, a visit to Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, the last main village in the northwest of the area, as well as the King’s palace, brings a further cultural understanding of the area.

There is also an amchi (traditional Tibetan doctor) museum and school where visitors can learn about this ancient healing art and how it is being adapted to meet modern-day situations.

A few hours’ walk from Lo Manthang is Gyakar, with its famous Gompa. Ghar Gompa is over 1,200 years old, is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, who traveled these areas then.

The Gompa is famous for its rock paintings and the fact it is believed that if you make a wish here, it will come true. So make a wish at the Ghar Gompa, and hope to return again someday!

The trek is at a relatively high altitude (3,000m to 3,800m), intensified by the dry air.

While it is no problem for those born at this altitude to travel at speed, visitors will be more leisurely in their hike to avoid any altitude-related problems. On average, walking takes 5 to 7 hours a day, and some paths are particularly windy and dusty.

But this trek into the restricted area of Upper Mustang, which in part follows the ancient salt route, will remain in one’s memory forever.

Difficulty Level of the Upper Mustang Trek

Due to the altitude and dry atmosphere, there is considered a challenging trek. While you watch the locals whizz past you at speed, you are working hard to catch your breath and wonder ‘why?’

Remember that they were born at altitude. Like the Sherpas living in the Khumbu (Everest) Region, the Tibetan Buddhist origin locals of Upper Mustang were born to less oxygen content and the dryness of the air.

Like all treks in the Nepal Himalayas, there are ups and downs to challenge you. High passes to cross and steep descents to negotiate.

But then there are the wonderful mountains and the fact you are in the stunning Kingdom of Lo to compensate for you.
As far as weather is concerned, being that this trek is in the rain shadow, you can do this trek almost year-round.

Although we don’t recommend doing it in the winter when the snow is deep, and many locals leave for Pokhara or Kathmandu to ride out the winter. You can do this trek in the monsoon (June – September) without fear of rain and muddy trails.

Like all treks in Nepal, we recommend you have a good fitness level and put in a bit of extra gym or hiking time before you come! Work on both cardio and those leg muscles! And don’t forget to mention high-altitude trekking when arranging your travel insurance.

Trekking Permits Required for the Upper Mustang Trek

Due to the fact Upper Mustang lies near the border with Tibet, it is considered a Restricted Area. This means that the cost of the permit to enter the area is high at $500 per person for 10 days and $50 per day after that.

This Restricted Area Permit (RAP) runs from when you leave Kagbeni (on this trek) to when you re-enter Kagbeni again. Therefore on this Magical Nepal Upper Mustang Trek, you only need the 10 days RAP.

Restricted Permit Cost: $500 per person for 10 days. $50 per day if the trek is longer than 10 days (within the Upper Mustang area proper)

In addition, each trekker needs to pay $20 for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). This permit is valid for however long the trek takes.

** Please note that you cannot do this trek alone. You need to be a minimum of two trekkers traveling with an authorized trekking company.

A Typical Day on the Upper Mustang Trek

When you arrive at Jomson airport, you are already in the heart of the Annapurna Mountain Range.  You are in the Lower Mustang district.  It is only on Day 3 that we enter Upper Mustang, where the landscapes become more barren, and the lifestyle reflects the Tibetan Buddhist influences of the area. 

Each day the trek starts early to make the most of the daylight.  Breakfast is taken in the teahouse (trekking lodge) you will have slept in, then it’s off for the day’s adventure.  The mountains surround us as we take in the desert-like landscape with gompas (Buddhist shrines), mani walls (Buddhist scriptures carved into stone walls), and prayer flags.  

As well as the stunning mountains, there are unique caves to explore.  No one knows why the caves are here and set so far into the cliffside.  There is also the old palace in Lo Manthang to see, and some ritual dances will be in the ancient royal city. 

Normally lunch is taken on the trail in a small restaurant designed to refresh travellers, pilgrims, and trekkers.  If necessary, we may take a packed lunch with us on some days.

Dinner is taken in the teahouse you will be staying in that night.  It allows you to get to know your trekking companions and guide. The guide will explain what you will see the next day at dinner. Please order your breakfast before heading to bed, so there is no delay in the morning.

What to Expect in a Teahouse

A teahouse is like a simple guest house on the mountain trails.  It provides trekkers with accommodation, meals, and a place to socialize.  On the whole, these provide pretty basic accommodation, either in twin rooms or in dormitories.  Toilets and bathrooms are shared, with either a Western-style toilet or a squat style.  Showers normally only have cold water; you will be expected to pay for it in those with hot water on offer.   The sleeping rooms consist of beds, blankets, and not much else.  Bringing your own sleeping bag is always recommended.  There are no ‘single rooms’ unless it is off-season, and you are lucky. Sharing a room is perfectly normal. There is no heating in the sleeping rooms.   

Some sort of stove usually warms the dining area. Light is provided by solar or electricity.  Most teahouses have the ability to charge your gadgets, for which you have to pay. Breakfast and dinner are taken in the teahouses at communal tables where you can discuss the day’s journey with others.  Some menus offer a variety of food.  Boiled water is usually available, rather than in plastic bottles, which hurts the environment. There is a small charge for boiled water.  Bringing your own sterilization tablets/ life straw is a good idea.

What to Expect in a Teahouse

The towns in Lower Mustang, namely Jomson and Kagbeni, see many trekkers; therefore, their menus are quite extensive compared to teahouses in more remote areas.  In Upper Mustang, the menu will reflect the Tibetan culture, with a few Western and Nepali dishes. Tea and soft drinks are widely available at the teahouses.  There will be coffee, hot chocolate, and alcohol too.  You might want to try salty Tibetan tea.  The best way to drink that is to consider it a ‘soup’ rather than a tea!

Food on the Upper Mustang Trek 

Breakfast at your overnight teahouse on the Upper Mustang Trek:

Spicy Nepali omelet with chili, onion, and tomatoes or piping hot porridge with milk

Toast  or Tibetan bread with jam or honey

Nepali spiced tea, salty Tibetan tea, or coffee

Lunch on the Upper Mustang Trek: 

Dal bhat (rice, curry, lentils) or thukpa (Tibetan noodles)

Nepali tea  or a soft drink 

Dinner at your overnight teahouse on the Upper Mustang Trek:

A variety of soups


Tibetan bread 

Momos (packets of vegetables or meat Tibetan style)

Fried macaroni with vegetables


Dal Bhat 

Fried rice


Rice pudding

Stewed apples or apple pie (in season)

Beer/ spirits (we recommend you limit your consumption while on the trek) tea/ coffee/ Tibetan salted tea 

Are There Hot Showers on this Trek?

Yes, hot showers are available, but you might be asked to pay for them.  Why? Gas canisters are brought in from nearby cities and carried to teahouses in Upper Mustang.  That is an expensive journey.  You will be expected to pay around $1 to $2 per shower, depending on the height of your lodge. We recommend you conserve energy (and your money) and don’t shower too often.  And the effort to take off and put on clothes might be too much in the cooler weather. In Jomson and Kagbeni, you may have an attached bathroom with piped hot water.  This will depend on the demand for rooms at the time of your travel.   

What Kind of Accommodation Will I get in Pokhara?

Two nights in Pokhara at a 3-star hotel are included in the price of this trek.  If you require something more luxurious or have a particular hotel in mind, please let us know in advance, and we will ask about availability.  There will be an extra charge for this. 

How High Will I go on the Upper Mustang Trek?

This is a relatively high-altitude trek, although it may not be considered so in the Himalayas! There are some passes to cross, the highest being Yamada La Pass at  3,850m.  

Trek Difficulty and Physical Fitness Required for this Trek

It is considered a moderate trek, but a good fitness level is still required.  Particularly as you will be walking at altitude.  Cardio exercises and walking at home will help you prepare for your trip.

Will I Suffer from Altitude Sickness on this Trek?

Going above 3,000m-3,500m can cause some people to feel some effects of altitude.  However, with plenty of time to acclimatize, there should be no problems. The first two trekking days are done at relatively low altitudes, giving our bodies time to adjust.  

All Magical Nepal guides are well experienced (with an average of 7 years of trekking experience each) and know what to look for and do if anyone is feeling unwell.  Please tell your guide if you feel unwell at any trek stage.

Extending your Stay in Nepal 

As you trek ends at Pokhara (before you are transported back to Kathmandu), you may wish to extend your stay there.  You can ask us about reserving a hotel for you or arrange your hotel booking. 

We can also arrange your trek so that you continue in Mustang after this trek ends – that would be walking down from Jomson rather than flying down, adding another 3 or 4 days to your trek. Please ask us about this before you arrive in Nepal.  

If you are interested in staying longer in other parts of  Nepal, we can organize that for you too and make recommendations for the best treks and trips to suit your time and budget.  Please ask us.  

If you would like to visit another part of Nepal, we can recommend both Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park.  Or if your time is short, we can provide Kathmandu Heritage sightseeing with a guide, taking you into a fascinating ancient world and culture. 

Trip Extension National Parks

Both Chitwan and Bardia are beautiful national parks in Nepal.  But both are different regarding location, difficulty getting there, facilities, and, to some extent, wildlife. 

Chitwan is very close (around 5 hour drive or a short flight) from Kathmandu and has been established as a national park open for visitors for decades. It is easy to spend 2 nights in Chitwan with little difficulty because of the distance to Kathmandu.  As a result, there is a wide range of accommodations, some quite luxurious.  There is also a range of restaurants and bars in the tourist town of Sauraha for those who would rather party the night away.  The wildlife guides provide walking safaris, jeep safaris, and short canoe rides.  The main animals of interest are rhinos, deer, leopards, monkeys, and smaller mammals. Tigers do live here but are quite difficult to spot.  

Bardia National Park is situated at the other end of the country and takes around 12 hours to reach by road or 1.5 hours flight then 2 hours drive. We recommend staying at least 3 nights to enjoy the ambiance here fully.  It is less busy with tourists and more rustic in terms of accommodation and local villages.  Wildlife here consists of tigers, elephants, leopards, monkeys, and deer.  Like Chitwan, there is a huge range of bird life for those interested in bird watching. Jeep and walking safaris are offered, and rafting on the river with perhaps fishing.   Nightlife here is more confined to your lodge. 

There are now options for wildlife spotting between these two parks.  The village of Megauli, which is really in Chitwan District, is an up-and-coming place in terms of luxury lodges. Currently, it does not see a lot of visitors but offers the same safari options of the jeep and walking safaris.  It is more difficult to get to than Chitwan and requires either a private vehicle or to be collected from the nearest big town by the lodge vehicle. 

Cost and the Booking Process for the Upper Mustang Trek 

You can book your trek and other trips via our booking system, which will collect all the necessary information from you.   You can pay the deposit or the full amount via credit card. 

At the time of booking, we require a copy of your passport to book the domestic flight. 

Do I Need a Porter for this Trek?

The cost of this trek does not include a porter.  Should you require a porter, there is an extra charge of around USD 256 per porter.  If you hire a porter, please be considerate.  Porters cannot carry everyone’s pack!  The weight limit they can carry is 20kg.  Or one porter for two clients.

These amazing people are used to walking at altitude and on these rough trails, so they walk faster than the average trekker.  As they will head off ahead of you and reach the teahouse first, where they will deposit your bag, please ensure you carry what you need for the day with you. 

Charging Your Equipment on the Trail

Many teahouses on this trek have electricity or solar-powered electricity.  But as almost everyone carries some chargeable device these days, the teahouse owner will pass the cost to the visitor.  

Generally, teahouses will charge you $2 to $3 for your phone or camera.  This can become expensive as there are so many wonderful things to photograph.  We recommend you carry a power bank or a small solar charger to avoid paying too much.  There are some great solar chargers that clip onto your day pack.

Will I be Able to Communicate with Those at Home During Trek?

Yes, there is Wi-Fi and cellular signals at all stages of this trek except while going over some high passes.   

Group Size for the Upper Mustang Trek 

Your trekking group is generally 8 people, but it is often smaller.  If you require a tailor-made private trek, you can choose this option at no additional cost during checkout. 

We have found that trekking with a group makes the trip more fun, especially during the evening relaxation. 

How do I get from Kathmandu to Pokhara?

We will pick you up at your hotel in Kathmandu, take you on the tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and then transport you to the hotel in Pokhara.  The following morning, we will go by bus or car to the start of the trek.

If you wish private transport to/from Pokhara, please ask us about this price. 

Arriving in Kathmandu

We will pick you up at the airport in Kathmandu and take you to your hotel.  If you are late (flight delay etc.) and have been unable to contact us to let us know, please make your way to the hotel. There are pre-paid taxis at the exit of the airport, which will cost you around Nrs600 – Nrs800 to Thamel. A few people might come up to help you with your bag and later ask for money. Ignore them.

Travel Insurance for your Trek

While our insurance covers our team, you are not covered by this.  Please ensure you have the correct travel insurance before leaving home.  

Safety and Security in Nepal and on the Upper Mustang Trek

In general, Nepal is a very safe country.  But please check your home government’s website for the latest information.  There may be demonstrations – if you see one, please avoid it.  Theft is unusual, but it does happen.  Ensure all your valuables are hidden from sight.  You can leave any valuables in our office locker while on your trek.  

It is unlikely, but if there is any landslide, avalanche, flooding or earthquake on the mountain, please follow instructions from your guide.  Similarly, if you feel unwell at all, please advise your guide. 

Tipping Culture in Nepal

It is expected in restaurants and cafes to tip 10% of the bill.  Tipping your driver, porter, guide, and another staff on your trek is also normal. Please tip drivers of private vehicles separately.  $1 to $5, depending on the length of the journey.  Normally tips for the trekking crew are given as a group and depend on the group’s satisfaction.  

How Much Cash Should I Take on the Trek?

We recommend you carry between USD10 to USD15 per day on the trek.  This will cover things like hot showers and charging batteries.  It also will cover the occasional soft drink or beer.  It will not cover tipping your crew/guide on longer treks.  

Local Dress and Culture in Nepal

 Please respect the local culture.  For example, when entering someone’s house, please remove your shoes and leave them outside.  This does not apply to trekking lodges.  Please dress conservatively.  Please do not wear short shorts or skirts when trekking in the warmer lower altitudes.  Aside from upsetting some of the locals (who most likely will not say anything to you but are thinking it), there are mosquitos and can be sharp vegetation.  Long or cropped trekking pants are best. Please dress respectively when visiting religious sites of any kind.  Public displays of affection between men and women are still rare in Nepal. Whatever you may witness in the bars of Thamel is not common outside in rural areas, even the more popular ones.  

Money Exchange in Kathmandu and Pokhara

There are plenty of ATM machines in Kathmandu which provide Nepali currency.  There are also ATMs in Pokhara.  The ATMs accept Visa and Mastercard and have a limit on each withdrawal.  Some shops accept Visa and Mastercard also, but there will be a 3 or 4% charge for each transaction.   The rate of exchange varies daily at both ATMs and money changer booths.  Money changer booths will only change hard currency into Nepali rupees.  They do not accept cards. Often it is easier to bring some US dollars, Pounds, Australian Dollars, Singaporean Dollars, Malaysian Ringgit, and Euros with you. 

Why Do I Need to Pay for a Restricted Permit?

This area is considered restricted because of its close proximity to Tibet.  That is why foreigners need to pay $500 per person for 10 days and $50 per day for treks longer than 10 days.  This does not apply to the lower area such as Jomson and Kagbeni.

Feedback on the Upper Mustang Trek

After your trek, we would love to hear from you about how you enjoyed the trip and any suggestions on improving the experience for others.  

Important Notes on the Upper Mustang Trek

  • Transport is by tourist bus and public bus.  Please ask us if you wish to use private transport, which will involve an additional fee. 
  • There is no extra charge for a solo traveler.  But please note it is highly unusual you will be able to get a single room on the trek.  Expect to share with someone (of the same sex).  Let us know if we can arrange a single room for you in Pokhara. 
  • This trek does not include any accommodation in Kathmandu.  If you would like us to book this for you, please let us know in advance. 
  • Porters are not included in the package price.  Please ask us before the trek if you wish for a porter to carry your gear.  There will be an additional charge of for this of USD256.
  • If you hire a porter, the maximum he can carry is 20kg.  Please be respectful of this. 
  • Meals on the trek are included in the price.  This does not include hot or cold drinks, alcohol, snacks, or extra food.
  • Breakfast is included in Pokhara, but lunch and dinners are not.  There are plenty of restaurants around your hotel to choose from.   
  • There are extra charges for hot showers ($3 to $5), and charging your battery ($1 to $3), payable direct to the teahouse on the trek. 
  • Always listen to your guide.  He has experience in this area, and if sudden changes are to be made (because of weather or landslides), he will be responsible for making decisions.
  • It is extremely windy in Mustang and Upper Mustang.  You might want to bring a face covering to protect you from sand and wind.
  • Drones are not permitted unless you have a special permit to fly them. It is tricky to obtain permission, so leave it at home unless you need a drone. 
  • Please arrange trekking insurance before leaving your home country. We do not provide insurance for our clients.  
  • And finally, enjoy this unique experience in the former Kingdom of Lo.

Upper Mustang Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara (Drive)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 7 hrs

Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom (Flight) to Kagbeni

Kagbeni – 930 m / 9186 ft – 3 hrs

Day 3: Kagbeni to Chele

Chele – 3050 m / 10006 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Chele to Syangmoche

Syangmoche – 3475 m / 11400 ft – 6 hrs

Day 5: Syangmoche Ghami

Ghami – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Ghami to Charang

Charang – 3560 m / 11679 ft – 4 hrs

Day 7: Charang to Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang – 3770 m / 12368 ft – 5 hrs

Day 8: Day Trip to Chhoser Cave

Lo Manthang – 3770 m / 12368 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9: Lo Manthang to Dhakmar

Dhakmar – 3800 m / 12467 ft – 7 hrs

Day 10: Dhakmar to Ghiling

Ghiling – 3860 m / 12664 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Ghiling to Chuksang

Chuksang – 3050 m / 10050 ft – 6 hrs

Day 12: Chuksang to Jomsom

Jomsom – 2715 m / 8907 ft – 5 hrs

Day 13: Jomsom to Pokhara (Flight)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 15 min

Day 14: Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 8 hrs

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara

  • Drive time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, we set off early to drive to Pokhara. The road winds its way out of the Kathmandu Valley along the Trishuli River until the point we stop for lunch when the road becomes flatter.

On the way, we can watch rafters tackle the rapid on the river (your next trip perhaps?), and catch glimpses of mountains in the distance. On arrival in Pokhara, there are even more stunning mountains to see. In fact, you cannot escape the gaze of Machhapucchre (also known as Fishtail) which towers over the city at 6,993m.

After checking into your hotel you have time to explore the lakeside area, boat on Fewa Lake, visit one of the many lakeside bars before dinner or simply relax.

*Note we normally use tourists buses which are to a high standard. But if you would like to hire a private vehicle please let us know.

Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom to Kagbeni

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This morning we get up even earlier to check-in to catch the short flight from Pokhara to Jomson. Sightseeing by plane! This amazing short flight takes through the mountains to the interesting market town for the Mustang area.

Set off through the town, over a small bridge then hit the trail proper to take an easy yet interesting hike to Kagbeni.

This afternoon there is time to explore the small and very unique village of Kagbeni with its walled passages and strange clay effigies decorating the walls.

If you like you can hike up the nearby hill to get a good view up the Kali Gandaki River to Upper Mustang and map out the zig zag trail that leads over the opposite hill to Dolpo.

Day 3: Kagbeni to Chele

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast, we set off to enter Upper Mustang! The trail takes us along the Kali Gandaki River where the wind will challenge us as it whistles up the valley gorge. At Tangbe Village we notice how the houses are white-washed, set among fields of buckwheat and barley. Apple orchards also dot the landscape. Following a ridge, we reach the village of Chele.

Day 4: Chele to Syangmoche

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today the hiking becomes a bit harder as we cross the Taklam La pass (3,624m) and the Darjori La pass (3,735m). But there are amazing mountain views and intriguing caves along the way to keep our minds off our hard-working legs. The trail descends into Samar Village from where we walk to a ridge and down another steep trail on to Syangmoche.

Day 5: Syangmoche to Ghami

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today there is another big pass, the Yamada La, to cross (3,850m) as well as chortens and interesting villages with their barley fields to peek at. Trekking through forests we then have another pass to cross. Nyi Pass is 4,010m but from here we descend down to Ghami where we spend the night. Ghami is a large village for this area and is beautifully located and surrounded by fields.

Day 6: Ghami to Charang

  • Trek time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today’s trek starts off over rough and sometimes slippery ground as we descend to a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola. The trail takes us passed mani walls (stone-built walls with Tibetan mantras carved into the stones) and over the Charang La Pass (3,870m).

At the top of the Charang Chu canyon lies the village of Charang. This village also has a fortress and red gompa to the east of it. There is plenty of time to explore after lunch!

Day 7: Charang to Lo Manthang

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Dropping down into a canyon we cross a river and ascend to the Lo La pass (3,950m). From the pass we get our first look at the historic and beautiful village of Lo Manthang.

This walled village is the traditional home to the King of Lo and is still the scene of many interesting and colourful Buddhist festivals. The surrounding mountains – Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti Peak at to the atmosphere of the place.

Day 8: Day Trip to Chhoser Cave

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we get to explore some of the mysteries of Upper Mustang. A short trek to the area of Chhoser is the beginning of a day you will not forget! Here we find what is known as the Jhong Caves or even Sky Caves.

What these are five-storey high caves built into the side of cliffs. Researchers are still puzzling as to who built these caves and why. It is assumed they were used as burial chambers, hiding places, places of meditation and later, monasteries.

But no one really knows the origins of these amazing caves. We can explore some of these caves, taking a packed lunch with us so we can enjoy the atmosphere of the caves, lunar-like landscape and mountains while relaxing also. Then we head back to Lo Manthang were we overnight again.

Day 9: Lo Manthang to Dhakmar

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today is a longer trekking day but as usual, there is plenty of interesting things to see on the way! Gyakar Village is home to the century-old Ghar Gompa which has stunning rock paintings. Here you must make a wish, as is tradition. We have time to explore the gompa before heading on to Dhakmar.

Day 10: Dhakmar to Ghiling

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

There are normally very strong winds on this part of the trail so we start early in the morning to descend through a dry plateau and some agricultural fields to reach the village of Ghiling. Although a challenging and tiring day because of the wind, we get great views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri to compensate.

Day 11: Ghiling to Chuksang

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we pass through small villages, have time to observe how the local people live and take in the mountain views.

Day 12: Chuksang to Jomsom

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we say goodbye to Upper Mustang and enter the lower regions (or Lower Mustang as it is also called) of the district at Jomson. On this, our final trekking day, we will have lunch at Kagbeni and perhaps this time explore the little monetary and look fondly up the Kali Gandaki gorge to where we have spent the last 10 days – the Kingdom of Lo. Our trek has in fact, rejoined the Annapurna Circuit Trek as we head from Kagbeni to Jomson.

Day 13: Jomsom to Pokhara

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Today we rise early to catch the morning flight to Pokhara. The mountains seem to have taken on a new meaning to us now that we have seen them from all angles.

After checking into the hotel in Pokhara you are free to enjoy the city and do a bit of shopping at Lakeside. With its vibrant bars and nightlife perhaps you wish to celebrate the end of your trek with a few drinks and a bit of dancing – Nepali or Western club style! Or simply enjoy the lights over Fewa Lake.

Day 14: Pokhara to Kathmandu

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Say goodbye to Fishtail and the Annapurnas as we begin the drive back to Kathmandu. Catch up on your sleep on the way as you will want to join us for an end of trek dinner tonight! Before that you have time to explore Thamel, do some more shopping, revive your body with a massage or sip coffee in one of the many cafes and restaurants in town.

Not satisfied with this Itinerary?

Are you interested on planning custom trip? It only takes 2 minutes.

Plan Your Trip


  • 11 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 2 nights accommodation in Pokhara (Kuti Resort or similar)
  • Guide for 14 days
  • Kathmandu Pokhara Kathmandu tourist bus
  • Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight
  • Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 12 x breakfast, 11 x lunch and 11 x dinner while on the trek
  • One Porter for 14 days USD 256
  • Lunch and dinner in Pokhara

Upper Mustang Trek Map

upper mustang trek

General Information About Upper Mustang Trek

What is the Upper Mustang Trek?

The Upper Mustang Trek is a journey through the ancient Kingdom of Mustang, located in the northern part of Nepal, bordering Tibet. This trek showcases unique Tibetan culture, medieval villages, rare medieval Buddhist arts, and exotic landscapes.

Where does the Upper Mustang Trek start?

The trek typically starts in Jomsom, which you can reach after a short flight from Pokhara.

How long does the Upper Mustang Trek take?

The trek usually takes around 14 days, depending on the specific itinerary and pace of trekking.

What is the best time to go on the Upper Mustang Trek?

The best months for the Upper Mustang Trek are from March to early November, with peak times in spring and autumn due to more favorable weather conditions.

Is a permit required for the Upper Mustang Trek?

Yes, trekkers need a special trekking permit to enter the Upper Mustang region due to its status as a restricted area.

What are the major attractions of the Upper Mustang Trek?

Major attractions include the walled city of Lo Manthang, ancient monasteries like Thubchen and Jampa, and stunning views of the Himalayas.

What type of accommodation is available during the Upper Mustang Trek?

Accommodation typically includes teahouses and guesthouses that provide basic amenities and meals.

How difficult is the Upper Mustang Trek?

The trek is considered moderate in difficulty. It involves some long trekking days but does not require technical climbing.

What is the highest altitude reached on this trek?

The highest point reached is Lo Manthang, which is around 3,840 meters above sea level.

Are there any cultural etiquettes I should be aware of?

Yes, Upper Mustang has deep-rooted Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Respecting local customs such as not touching someone’s head, taking shoes off before entering a monastery, and clockwise circumambulation of religious sites is important.

Can I trek independently in Upper Mustang?

Independent trekking is not allowed in Upper Mustang. You must be part of an organized trek through a registered agency with a guide.

What languages are spoken in Upper Mustang?

The locals speak Tibetan and Nepali, but trekking guides will usually speak English as well.

Is there internet access on the Upper Mustang Trek?

Internet access is limited and not very reliable. Some guesthouses may offer Wi-Fi for an additional charge.

What wildlife might I see during the Upper Mustang Trek?

The region is home to wildlife such as blue sheep, snow leopards, and various bird species.

What are the key festivals in Upper Mustang?

Tiji Festival in Lo Manthang is the most prominent festival, occurring usually in May and featuring religious rituals and traditional dances.

Preparation and Packing

What should I pack for the Upper Mustang Trek?

Essential items include warm clothing, a good quality sleeping bag, hiking boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a first-aid kit.

Do I need special insurance for this trek?

Yes, you should have travel insurance that covers high altitude trekking and emergency evacuation.

How physically fit do I need to be to undertake the Upper Mustang Trek?

A moderate level of fitness is required, as you will be trekking for multiple days in high-altitude conditions.

What kind of food is provided on the trek?

The food on the trek is mostly simple and includes items like rice, noodles, potatoes, vegetables, and occasionally meat.

Are there any specific medical precautions I should take?

It is advisable to consult with a doctor regarding altitude sickness and get any recommended vaccinations.

How do I handle altitude sickness?

Acclimatization days are included in the itinerary, and it’s important to stay hydrated and inform your guide immediately if symptoms appear.

What type of clothing is suitable for the trek?

Layered clothing that can handle cold and windy conditions is ideal. Ensure you have a waterproof jacket and thermal layers.

Should I bring my own medical supplies?

Yes, it’s advisable to bring a personal medical kit as well as any personal medication you require.

Is it necessary to bring water purification tablets?

Yes, bringing water purification tablets or a water filter can be very useful as bottled water is expensive and not environmentally friendly.

Can I charge my electronic devices during the trek?

Charging opportunities are limited and often come with a small fee at teahouses. Bringing extra batteries or a solar charger is recommended.

What kind of bags should I carry?

A comfortable backpack and a daypack are essential for carrying your gear and daily necessities.

Is there a weight limit for luggage on the flight to Jomsom?

Yes, there is usually a 15 kg limit per passenger, including hand luggage.

Can I hire trekking gear in Kathmandu or Pokhara?

Yes, you can rent trekking gear in both cities. It is often cheaper than buying new equipment.

Sturdy, waterproof trekking boots are essential for the rough terrain and variable weather conditions.

Should I bring snacks for the trek?

Yes, bringing your own high-energy snacks like bars, nuts, and dried fruit can be helpful for long trekking days.

Itinerary Details

What does a typical day on the Upper Mustang Trek look like?

A typical day starts early with breakfast at the teahouse, followed by 4-6 hours of trekking with lunch breaks and rests. Evenings are spent at the next teahouse where you’ll have dinner and rest.

Are there any rest days during the trek?

Yes, the itinerary usually includes a few acclimatization days, particularly in places like Tsarang and Lo Manthang.

What are the key stops along the trek route?

Key stops include Kagbeni, Chele, Syangboche, Ghami, Tsarang, and Lo Manthang.

Can the itinerary be customized?

Yes, many trekking agencies offer customizable itineraries based on the trekker’s needs and interests.

How long do we spend in Lo Manthang?

Typically, trekkers spend at least two days in Lo Manthang to explore the city and its surroundings.

Are there any side trips from Lo Manthang?

Yes, you can undertake several side trips, including visits to Chhoser Cave, Namgyal Monastery, and the border areas overlooking Tibet.

What cultural sites will we visit during the trek?

You’ll visit numerous monasteries, ancient caves, and scenic viewpoints that offer insights into local culture and history.

Is there a possibility to extend the trek to other regions?

Yes, it’s possible to extend your trek to include other areas such as Annapurna or Dhaulagiri regions.

How are emergencies handled during the trek?

Emergency situations are handled by your guide, with support from the trekking agency. In severe cases, emergency evacuation by helicopter may be arranged.

What is the daily altitude gain during the trek?

The daily altitude gain varies but is generally kept to a reasonable level to aid acclimatization.

Are there any days with particularly long or challenging hikes?

Yes, some days involve longer hikes or more challenging terrain, particularly as you approach higher altitudes.

What scenic views can I expect during the trek?

Expect stunning landscapes featuring desert-like terrains, deep canyons, and high mountain vistas.

How much time is spent walking each day?

On average, you will spend about 5-7 hours walking each day.

Are there any opportunities for wildlife spotting?

While wildlife is sparse, there are chances to see some species native to the area, particularly birds and smaller mammals.

What are the photographic opportunities on the trek?

The trek offers incredible photographic opportunities, from vast landscapes and ancient architecture to vibrant cultural scenes.

Safety and Regulations

What safety measures are in place for the Upper Mustang Trek?

Safety measures include having an experienced guide, adhering to a well-planned itinerary, and access to communication devices in case of emergencies.

Are there any specific rules I need to follow while in Upper Mustang?

As a restricted area, you must adhere to rules such as staying with your guide, following the designated paths, and respecting local customs and religious sites.

What should I do if I feel unwell during the trek?

Notify your guide immediately. It’s important to manage symptoms early, especially if they relate to altitude sickness.

Is it safe to trek in Upper Mustang during the monsoon season?

Trekking during the monsoon can be done but is not advisable due to slippery paths and reduced visibility.

What should I be aware of regarding local wildlife?

While encounters are rare, it’s important to maintain a safe distance from any wildlife you might encounter.

What are the most common health issues on this trek?

The most common issues are altitude sickness, dehydration, and minor injuries like sprains.

How do I ensure my own safety during the trek?

Follow your guide’s instructions, stay on the path, keep hydrated, and wear appropriate gear.

What emergency services are available in Upper Mustang?

Basic medical facilities are available in larger towns, but serious cases require evacuation to Pokhara or Kathmandu.

Are there restrictions on photography in Upper Mustang?

Yes, some areas, especially inside monasteries or religious sites, may restrict photography to preserve sanctity and privacy.

Can I use a drone during the trek?

Drone use is restricted in Nepal and requires special permits. It is often not allowed in restricted areas like Upper Mustang without prior approval.

What are the guidelines for interacting with local communities?

Show respect, seek permission before taking photos, and always follow your guide’s advice when interacting with local communities.

What should I do in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster?

Follow the instructions of your guide and local authorities. Nepal has protocols in place for such events.

Are there any specific laws I should be aware of in Upper Mustang?

Yes, due to its special cultural and historical significance, there are strict regulations regarding behavior and movement within the area.

What travel documents will I need for the trek?

You’ll need your passport, the special trekking permit for Upper Mustang, and any other documentation required by the Nepali government.

How can I minimize my environmental impact during the trek?

Follow eco-friendly practices such as disposing of waste properly, using water sparingly, and avoiding plastic.

Cost and Payment

How much does the Upper Mustang Trek cost?

The cost can vary widely depending on the length of the trek, the agency, and the services included, but generally ranges from $1,800 to $3,000.

What is included in the cost of the trek?

Typically, the cost includes permits, accommodation, meals during the trek, transportation, and guide services.

Are there additional costs I should be aware of?

Additional costs may include personal gear, travel insurance, tips for guides and porters, and any personal expenses.

What currency is accepted for payments?

While Nepalese Rupees are the local currency, US Dollars are also widely accepted, especially for larger payments like trek fees.

Can I pay with a credit card?

In Kathmandu and Pokhara, credit cards are widely accepted. However, it’s best to have cash in smaller denominations once on the trek.

Is tipping expected? How much should I tip?

Tipping is customary and greatly appreciated. A general guideline is 10% of the trek cost, to be divided among the guide and porters.

What payment methods are available for the trekking permit?

The trekking permit must usually be paid in cash through the trekking agency arranging your trip.

Are there any refunds if I cancel my trek?

Refund policies vary by agency but generally involve a cancellation fee. It’s important to understand these terms before booking.

Should I carry extra money for emergencies?

Yes, carrying extra cash for emergencies or unexpected expenses is advisable.

What financial preparation should I consider before the trek?

Ensure you have budgeted for all known costs, including unexpected expenses, and have access to additional funds.

How can I get the best deal on a trekking package?

Compare offers from multiple trekking agencies and check reviews to find the best package that suits your needs and budget.
But Magical Nepal offer you at only $1,615 for 14 day trek.

Is there a deposit required when booking the trek?

Yes, most agencies require a deposit to secure your booking, typically 20-50% of the total trek cost.

What should I know about the cost of accommodations during the trek?

Accommodations are usually included in the trek price and consist of basic teahouses and lodges.

How are payments handled for meals during the trek?

Meals are typically included in the trek cost. However, you might need cash for additional snacks or special beverages.

What are the typical costs for snacks and drinks along the trek?

Prices for snacks and drinks increase as you go higher due to transportation costs. Budget for slightly higher prices than in cities.

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