Upper Mustang Trek is one of the preserved destinations of Nepal and was restricted to outsiders for years. In 1992, trekking in this region was officially opened for foreigners, but only limited numbers of trekkers are allowed to visit this place in order to conserve and protect the fragile environment and the local Tibetan tradition and culture. Mustang Trek features ocher and arid valleys, treeless barren landscape, yak caravans, colorfully painted mud-brick houses, and striking canyons. The stunning views of mountains like Annapurna (8091m), Nilgiri (7061m), and Dhaulagiri (8167m) makes the medieval walled Kingdom of Mustang more fascinating and gorgeous.
Mustang is considered as one of the most picturesque regions of Nepal because of its gorgeous colorful landscape: colored by natural earth pigments—red, blue, brown, and yellows—set opposite the backdrop of distant snow-capped Himalayas. The trail to Upper Mustang goes through high altitude desert, climbing along the huge valley of the Kali Gandaki River. The gorge from which Kali Gandaki River flows through is considered the world’s deepest gorge.
You will find some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist monasteries along with ancient and rustic villages with beautiful whitewashed houses during this trek. Later you leave Kali Gandaki valley and head higher into the tranquil environment of Upper Mustang, with its peaceful vibes enclosed by its many rocky and barren hills. Passing through the villages of Chele, Geling, Dhakmar, and Charang, you finally reach the walled capital of the Forbidden Kingdom, Lo Manthang. The colorful deserts of Lo Manthang shine brilliantly behind the whitewashed monasteries of the ancient kingdom, making it a treat for the eyes.
Apart from the breathtaking landscapes, the trek exposes you to the culture of the famous Thakali community and also to the unique culture of the Lhopa community in Lo Manthang. This area is considered as one of the most interesting and picturesque places in Nepal. The whole area has an isolated and mystical feel to it, enchanting and inspiring visitors to this region. Since Mustang is a rain-shadow area, one can go for this trek during any time of the year.
Upper Mustang Trek Altitude Chart
Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary
Upon arrival in Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, you will be warmly welcomed and picked by our representatives who will then drop you at the hotel. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Today you will meet your trekking guide who will brief you about the trek and help you prepare the equipment for it. You will then spend the free time sightseeing some of the prominent sites of Kathmandu city. You will visit the holy shrines of Pashupatinath and Boudhanath and later spend your time around the historic Kathmandu Durbar Square. If you wish, you can go to a traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Today you will take an early morning bus to Pokhara. (as an option you can take a 20 minute’s flight to Pokhara). Upon arrival in Pokhara, you will be transferred to your hotel. You can rest for a while and then wander around the Lakeside streets or do fun activities such as boating and cycling. Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
Another 20 minutes short flight will take you straight from Pokhara to Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang district and also the starting point of this trek. The flight takes you through the deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki Gorge, to reach the windy town of Jomsom. Shortly after arriving in Jomsom, you will ascend through the riverbed of Kali Gandaki River to reach Kagbeni, a beautiful village serving as the gateway to Upper Mustang. Overnight in Kagbeni.
After the permit check, you continue to move upstream through the Kali Gandaki riverbed, enjoying the picturesque sceneries along the trail. This route will first take you to Tangbe village with the white-washed houses, apple plantations, and buckwheat and barley fields. You then cross the river and walk gradually along the edges to reach Chele, where you can see beautiful houses made in Tibetan style. Overnight in Chele.
This is the day of crossing many small passes. The trek leads on a steep trail uphill to Dajori La (3735m) via Taklam La (3624m) taking you to the village of Samar. From there, the trail goes up and down over a gorge and crosses Bhena La (3860m) and Yamdo La (3860m) to reach Syambochen.
After crossing Syamgboche La (3850m) and descend steeply along the barley fields until you reach Geling. The trek from Geling to Charang climbs amid barren hills and is dotted with many small monasteries and Chortens, emitting peaceful vibes. You ascend on a quite path to reach the village of Ghami, and then you cross the longest Mani wall of Mustang before walking on a cliff above a stream to reach Dhakmar. The trail from Dhakmar to Charang is filled with colorful bare cliffs, and you may also notice few blue sheep grazing along the way. You can visit the 4 centuries old monastery of Charang after a short rest. Overnight in Charang.
From Charang, you move uphill over an edge before entering the Tholung valley where trek takes you to the dry scenery that is so often seen in the photos of Mustang. Except for a small Chorten and a few abandoned herders’ huts, the trail is quite as you climb uphill bounded by sand dunes on each side. You eventually reach Lo La (3950m) and get the first glimpse of your destination, the walled city of Lo Manthang. You will then descend along the picturesque trail until you reach the ruins of the ancient fortress protecting the hidden kingdom. Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Today you stay in Lo-Manthang discovering the majesties of the city adorned with ancient monasteries, traditional shops, and the king’s palace. You will visit the Monastery of Victory in Namgyal and also visit many other monasteries preserving the true virtue of ancient Tibetan Buddhism. The colorful deserts of Lo-Manthang accompany you as you explore this capital city of the former Kingdom of Lo. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.
Waving goodbye to Lo Manthang, you make a gradual climb to reach Chogo La (4280m), which serves the last view of the fortress city. Continuing to follow the trail, you first ascend and then descend along the grey mountains to reach Ghar Gumba. Ghar Gompa is one of the oldest monasteries in Upper Mustang which is still active till date and bears breathtaking rock paintings. From Ghar Gompa, the trail descends to Dhakmar, and then in a while, you will step in the vicinity of Ghami village where you will stay for the night.
Leaving Ghami, you ascend to cross Ghami La (3765m) and you continue the uphill climb until reaching Nyi La (4010m). An amazing view of Nilgiri (7061m) can be observed from the top of Nyi la (4010m). After spending some time at the pass, you descend past small villages until you reach Samar. Overnight in Samar.
You wake up early in the morning to trek back to Kagbeni. You head towards Mustang Khola and later walk above its gorge which leads you to Chele. You meet Kali Gandaki River once again and retrace your trail along the riverbed to reach the apple trees welcoming you to the familiar village of Kagbeni. Overnight in Kagbeni.
From Kagbeni, you trek back to Jomsom following the trails of Kali Gandaki River. It is a short trek today, so you will have plenty of time to explore the beautiful town. Just watch out for the tough winds that sweep around this mountain town. Overnight in Jomsom.
The days of tiring treks end here. Today, you will sit back in your airplane seat and enjoy the beautiful vista of the Himalayas passing by as your plane takes you from Jomsom to Pokhara. You can spend your time in Pokhara by visiting some of the prominent places of the city like Davis Falls, Mahendra Cave, Begnas Lake, and so on. Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
To return to Kathmandu, (as an option you can take a 20 minute’s flight to Kathmandu) take a 7-8 hour bus long drive. You will witness amazing landscapes either way. Upon reaching Kathmandu, feel free to stroll around the places of Kathmandu.. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Our representatives will drop you at the airport 3 hours before the scheduled time of your flight.