Upper Mustang trek takes you through some of the most preserved and isolated regions of Nepal.
This Upper Mustang Trek- 10 Days takes you to ‘Mini Tibet’ in Nepal. This region has similar topography, climate, and culture to that of Tibet. You can clearly witness it in the socio-cultural lives of the locals.
The Upper Mustang trek shows you a different trekking sight of Nepal. This region of Nepal has high altitude deserts, eroded sandstone pillars, red-rock cliffs, and caves.
You also pass through the deep river gorges of Kali Gandaki and get views of some of the highest mountain peaks of the world.
- Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek – 10 days
- Detailed Itinerary
- Best Season
- Physical Fitness
- Trekking Staff
- Accommodation, Meals, and Drinks
- Packing Essentials
- Final Say,
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek – 10 days
- Preserved ancient Tibetan Culture and lifestyle
- Explore the kingdom and palace of King Lo or King of Mustang
- Spectacular view of Mt.Annapurna, Mt.Dhaulagiri, and Mt.Nilgiri
- Chosar Caves and Monastery
- Kali Gandaki Gorge: the deepest gorge/canyon of the world
- Beautiful, quaint villages of Upper Mustang like Kagbeni, Jomsom, Tamagaon, Geling, Ghemi, Tsarang
Day 1: Fly to Jomsom, Trek to Kagbeni
Altitude: 2,800m / 8,960ft, Kagbeni
Flight duration: 30 minutes flight
Walking hour: 3 hours walk
Distance: 10.7 km
You will fly to Jomsom from Pokhara. This is usually a morning flight.
The 25-30 minutes flight offers an incredible view of the majestic mountains in the region.
On arrival, one of the tour representatives or trekking guide will greet you. Here, you will also go through the necessary pre-trek preparation.
Once you are finally done with the briefing, your actual trek on foot begins. You will start by crossing the suspension bridge at Jomsom.
You will follow the trail along the Kali Gandaki river. After around 3-4 hours of trek, you will reach the beautiful village of Kagbeni. You will rest for the night at Kagbeni.
Day 2: Trek to Chele
Altitude: 3,050m / 9,760 ft, Chele
Walking hour: 5 hours
Distance: 15.3 km
After breakfast in Kagbeni, you start with a steep climb. From the top, you get a great view of Kagbeni. Hereon, you will head towards the Chusang valley via Tangbe.
Today, some of the trails go by the side of the valley and others through the riverbed. The riverbed is easier and smoother.
Along the trail, you can enjoy the traditional red and whitewashed houses, Kalibiru, Sky caves, Rock tunnel, and organic apple farm. You can also see beautiful and old Buddhist monasteries and Chortens.
In Chusang, you will stop for lunch. After crossing several ridges and streams along the trail, you will exit the Kali Gandaki valley and Manangi culture. You will then enter Chele and start to see the Tibetan influence on the local culture and lifestyle.
Night at Chele.
Day 3: Trek to Geling
Altitude: 3,440m / 11,008ft, Geling
Walking hours: 5-6 hours
Today you will come across your first Pass, the Taklam La Pass. Once you cross this and pass through different terrains of Mustang, you will get views of Yakawa Kang, Tilicho Peak, and Damodar hill.
From here, you walk towards the village of Samar. Hereon, you descend down the ridge into the large gorge. You will pass through a forest of juniper trees and several chortens to reach Shyangmochen.
Shyangmochen is your lunch stop for the day. You can visit the Rang Byung cave nearby to see the natural stalagmites that have taken the form of a chorten.
From here, you descend down to Geling passing many gompas and fields of barley. Here you will stay for the night.
Day 4: Trek to Tsarang
Altitude: 3,490m / 11,168ft, Tsarang
Walking hours: 5-6 hours
Once you leave Geling, you will trek through the driest part of Mustang. From here, you pass through fields to reach Nyala at 4000m.
From there you cross a steep trail and reach Ghami. This is the largest barren field in the region of Lo.
After crossing the Ghami river, you will reach the longest mani wall of Lo.
The trails from here to Choya la 3870 m is the most difficult part of the trail. From here, you get an amazing Mountain View of Mt. Annapurna Dhaulagiri Tukuche, Nilgiri, Thorong peak.
After this, you descend down and pass the Chorten gate to enter Tsarang village. You can visit the old palace, and Tsarang monastery while in Tsarang.
Also, you will rest for the night at Tsarang.
Day 5: Trek to Lo-Manthang
Altitude: 3,730m / 11,936ft, Lo Manthang
Trekking Hours: 4/5 hours,
Distance: 11 km
Today is one of the shortest and easiest days for the trek. Once you reach Lo La (3960m), you will see the first glimpse of Lo Manthang.
From this pass, you descend down a short and dusty trail to reach Lo Manthang, the walled capital of Lo. Interacting with the locals here give you a unique experience of the ancient Tibetan culture and lifestyle.
Night in a tea house at Lo-Manthang.
Day 6: Exploration Day at Lo Manthang
Altitude: 3,730m / 11,936ft
Today is a rest/ acclimatization day. You can choose to rest or explore the region of Lo Manthang.
The latter can include a visit to Chosar town, religious communities, and chortens. Else you can visit the 4 major Gompas: Namgyal Gompa, Chamba Lhakhang, Thugchen Gompa, and Chiodi Gompa.
You can also visit the ceremonial King’s Palace a 4 storied building at the center of the city. Else you can visit Tingkah. This is the last village to the northwest of Lo Manthang and offers a panoramic view of the towering mountains.
Night in a tea house at Lo-Manthang itself.
Day 7: Trek Back to Ghami
Altitude: 3690m / 1210ft, Ghami
Walking hours: 6-7 hours
The return journey takes you across the highest pass of the trek, Lugri La Pass (4200m). You also get a last look at Lo Manthang before bidding farewell.
After the pass, you have a short but steep walk down the yellow canyon to Tamar. Here you will see numerous caves above the village accessible only to rock climbers. From here, you will climb a hill which brings you to the small town of Ghami and the long mani wall.
Day 8: Trek to Chele
Altitude: 3,050m / 9,760 ft, Chele
Walking hours: 6 to 7 hours
Distance: 20.5 km
The return journey to Chele is a direct route via Tamagaun. We will not go via Geling.
You begin with a climb to reach the top of Nyala.
From here, you descend down to the other side of the pass and walk towards Shyangmochen. There are lots of ups and downs on this part of your descend to Chele.
We will rest for the night at Chele.
Day 9: Trek to Jomsom
Altitude: 2720m / 8,704ft, Jomsom
Walking hours: 6-7 hours
Distance: 25.8 km
This is the last day of your actual trek. You will trek back tracing the same route you came. After breakfast, you leave for Chusung to the steep ridge to reach Tangbe.
From here, you descend into the river bed to walk to Kagbeni.
From Kagbeni, you walk through the Kali Gandaki to reach Jomsom.
Day 10: Fly to Pokhara
Altitude: 800m / 2,624ft, Pokhara
Flight duration: 30 minutes flight
After breakfast at the tea house or lodge in Jomsom, you will check out. From here, the local trekking staff will drop you to Jomsom airport to fly back to Pokhara.
This 25-30 minute flight gives you amazing views of the gorge between two high mountains, Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri.
Upper Mustang enjoys four seasons like the rest of Nepal. With the right preparation and packing, you can do this 10-day trek any time of the year. Each four season has its own perks and drawbacks.
Spring ( March, April, May)
The cool temperatures of 16-22 degrees Celsius during the daytime is perfect for treks. This season also sees clear skies. This season presents fantastic views of the Himalayas and surrounding landscapes.
The biggest festival of Upper Mustang, Tiji Festival takes place during spring.
Summer (June, July, August)
Unlike most parts of Nepal, upper Mustang enjoys a dry summer. Because it is on the rain-shadow area of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. You may face some rainfall in Jomsom and Kagbeni. Once you cross these, the days will be bright and sunny.
Autumn (September, October, November)
It is the best season to do treks here In Nepal. Upper Mustang is no different. This season offers stable, moderate weather conditions and great visibility.
Winter (December, January, February)
The whole of Upper Mustang goes into hibernation mode during winter. Make sure the tea houses you book are open. Else, come prepared with camping equipment. The average temperature is about 0 to 5 degree Celsius during the day. At night, it drops to -25 to -20 degree Celsius.
For Upper Mustang 10 days trek, prior experience in trekking is not mandatory. Yet, this is a short and rapid trek. So, it is good for potential trekkers to follow a fitness routine for a couple of months before the actual trek.
This can include exercises to increase one’s stamina, leg muscles, and endurance. Make sure to consult your doctor before going on this trek. This ensures prior knowledge of any complications you may face during the trek.
Let your trekking staff and partner know of any pre-existing medical conditions.
Treks to Upper Mustang falls in the restricted region trek of Nepal. Hence, having a registered licensed trekking staff is a must.
You can have a professional, licensed local guide, porter-guide or porter as your local, trekking staff. You can also hire more than one of them. Each of them can help enrichen your trekking experience of Upper Mustang.
Accommodation, Meals, and Drinks
As you trek higher, the choices for accommodation, meals, and drinks become more basic and expensive. The region of Upper Mustang is fairly remote.
The Upper Mustang area is a fairly remote area of Nepal. Because of this, the cost of food is generally more expensive in this area than in Kathmandu.
During the 10 days of your trek, you will stay in teahouses along the trails. This usually provides both your accommodation and meals.
Always pack for your high altitude treks with the weather conditions in mind. Depending on the weather or season you travel in, your packing essentials can differ.
The Upper Mustang trek- 10 days packing essential can include the following:
- Short and long sleeve shirts
- Half and full hiking pants
- Fleece shirt and pant
- Puffer Jacket
- A wide-brimmed hat and UV sunglasses
- Trekking Poles
- Hiking shoes and socks
- Sleeping bag
- Durable backpack, daypack
- Toiletries (Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, female hygienic products)
- Entertainment (cards)
- Documents (Passport, Permit)
The 10-day Upper Mustang Trek is a combination of beauty and nature in the rawest form. It is a great introduction to the beauty and magnificence of treks to Nepal.
It offers beautiful scenery, diverse culture and landscape and magnificent views of mountains.
You can customize the above itinerary to suit your preferences and needs. This short 10-day trek is specially designed for people who wish to trek to Upper Mustang but run in a tight schedule.
For more information on treks and tours in Nepal, feel free to contact us.
QNo. 1 How difficult is the Upper Mustang 10 day trek?
Upper Mustang trek is moderate grade trek in difficulty. As such, you should expect daily ascents and descents.
The trail is well marked and on most days you will avoid the motor road.
Upper Mustang Trek follows the trans-Himalayas salt trading route and crosses several passes.
However, the trek is absolutely doable if you are physically and mentally prepared for it.
QNo.2. What are the permits needed?
You need to have the right permits to do treks anywhere in Nepal. For Upper Mustang, it includes the following:
- Restricted Area Trekking Permit Upper Mustang
- ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit)
Note: You do not need to buy TIMS for this trek.
QNo.3 How long does Upper Mustang Trek take?
The Upper Mustang Trek 10 days trek is the shorter option of Upper Mustang trek. The average Upper Mustang takes around 17/18 days.
On most days of the trek, you will walk an average of 7/8 hours.