Upper Mustang is the former Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang, also known as Lo and is an arid and starkly beautiful and mysterious land. The isolation of the region from the outside world has kept it unspoiled and one of the most well preserved ancient Tibetan cultures in the world. The rough landscape of Upper Mustang lays in the shadows of the humbling massif Dhaulagiri and offers a rugged and stunning landscape with rocks of all colors and shapes as well as settlements smothered with white washed houses and stupas festooned with colorful prayer flags. One of the main goals of the Upper Mustang Trek is the destination of Lo Manthang, the original capital of the Kingdom of Mustang. Entering Lo Manthang is like entering another world of rich ancient Buddhist culture adorned with walls of prayer wheels, hidden stupas and herds of farming animals taking refuge in their city sheds from the scorching sun. The Upper Mustang restricted area is located in the central-western part of Nepal and up until 1992 foreign visits to the “Kingdom of Mustang” has been forbidden. Today foreigners are welcome for a permit fee of 500 US dollars lasting 10 days (with a minimum of 2 people in a group and arranged by a licensed trekking agency). The additional day cost is 50 US dollars. Nepal Trekking Experts advice to plan for additional days as it provides more time to explore the many unique features of the trek, as well as to avoid the bad weather just in case.
The most convenient way to reach the Upper Mustang is by flight from Pokhara to Jomsom from where we will start our trek. The flight itself is an adventure as we fly through the deepest gorge of the world, the Kali Gandaki river which runs between the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I above 8000 plus mountain. In Kagbeni we get our permits checked and begin our trek on a trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River passing through sandy landscapes amidst strong winds before ascending. The following days we will be heading towards Lo Manthang, crossing numerous mountains passes all towering above 3500 m. Upon reaching Lo Manthang we can explore the ancient capital of the kingdom and visit the royal palace or the mystical amchi (traditional Tibetan doctor) museum, school, amazing caves, Tibet border etc. On our journey back, we come to Dhakmar, home of one the oldest Tibetan monasteries in the world, Lo Gekar Monastery, built in the 8th century by the Tibetan Guru Rinpoche. The story goes that the red rocks surrounding Dhakmar were painted red with the blood of a powerful demon defeated by Guru Rinpoche. The remaining of the trek goes down through dry plateaus with strong winds, spectacular mountain views of the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains and fascinating local settlements. However, if you have time a visit to the renowned pilgrim destination of Muktinath is definitely worth it.
The incomparable Upper Mustang Trek is a great option during the rainy summer months of Nepal as the region is not affected by the monsoon, which commonly affects most trekking-routes in the summer. This is a great opportunity for people looking for a trekking adventure in Nepal in their summer vacations!
Day 01: Welcome at Tribhuwan international airport and transfer to the hotel.
Day 02: Free day for trekking Preparation and sightseeing around the valley.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara (823m,6 hrs drive)
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2,858m, 3-4 hrs)
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele (3050m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 06: Chele to Syanbochen (3475m, 6-7 hrs)
Day 07: Syanbochen to Ghami (3520m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 08: Ghami to Charang (3500m, 4-5 hrs)
Day 09: Charang to Lo-Mangthang (3700m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 10: Explore Lo-Mangthang
Day 11: Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar (3810m, 6-7 hrs)
Day 12: Dhakmar to Ghiling (3806m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 13: Ghiling to Chhuksang (3050m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 14: Chhuksang to Jomsom (2700, 6-7 hrs)
Day 15: Fly back to Pokhara
Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 17: Join next program or transfer to the international airport according your next destination.
Note:- Above itinerary is just a guideline. If you are not satisfied please feel free customize your own.
Welcome at airport and transfer to the hotel.
Free day for final trekking preparation and enjoy with cultural diversity Kathmandu
Early morning drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara along with Trishuli River and reaches in stunning lake city Pokhara. We can have quick sightseeing around popular Phewa Lake and overnight in Pokhara.
After 20 minute of scenic mountain flight, our trip will begin from Jomsom. The trail leads through bank of massive Kaligandaki River and reaches Kagbeni via Ekle Bhatti. During trek we encounter strong wind towards to the village every afternoon. The beautiful Kagbeni is known as gateway of autonomous Upper Mustang which is sacred place of Hindu people and also offers unique experience of Buddhism.
This is an easy and relax day of the trek. After breakfast we checked in our special and Conservation area permits then continue towards to white washed village called Tangbe. The village offers interesting Chortens of different colors such as black, white and red. Then we carry on towards to our final destination Chele passing by amazing landscape, natural caves and suspension bridge.
Today we encounter some of stunning passes such as Taklam La 3624m, Dajori La 3735m, Bhena La 3624 m, Yamda La 3860m beautiful viewpoints and reaches to Syanbochen passing by another beautiful village Samar. We have great opportunity of avoiding trekking through the bumpy road and choosing alternative scenic trail which invites us exploring life time experience via breathtaking Chungsi Cave. The legend says Guru Ringpoche was meditated on this cave and we can see his footprint over here.
After ascending more or less 10 minute, the trek descends gradually towards to Ghiling village. We can have cup of tea/coffee break if you wish and exploring surroundings. Then we encounter challenging ascending all the way to the 4025m pass. From the pass we can explore Nilgiri Himal and immense of bare rolling hills then the trail descends to Ghami. Ghami offers beautiful accommodation, apple pie, dramatic landscape, it’s unique color and rich cultural aspects.
This is one of the most thrilling days of the trip. The trail continues short descends and crosses suspension bridge. After crossing suspension bridge we encounter steep ascending and let us exploring the longest Mani wall in Mustang. Then the trail still continues ascending and reaches at the top of the ridge. The pass invites us stunning landscape and descends towards to Charang where we stay overnight. Charang is an interesting historical village of the region which offers amazing palace, museum and ancient monasteries.
This is our final destination of the trek and capital of Upper Mustang. Trekkers will be greeted by spectacular natural and cultural treasure surroundings. Lo Mangtang still has King Palace and live king. The village is surrounded by ancient monasteries, stupas, chortens, museum, prayer wheels and prayer flags. Most of the trekkers spend at least 2 night or more as per their holiday and interest. Horse riding and exploring up to Tibet border put extra value on our journey.
Lo Mangthang is the main highlight of the entire trek of Upper Mustang which offers an amazing side trips including natural caves, Tibet border, monasteries and pure Buddhism. It is also known as little Tibet and let us similar experience of trekking in Tibet. It will fully compensate our effort so far.
After exploring unspoiled Tibetan tradition and culture, we will return back to Drakmar via alternative trail. On the way we will explore one of the oldest monastery of the Upper Mustang and continues to Drakmar for overnight.
We will return back same way which refresh our memory.
Same way back
Final opportunity of exploring Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himalaya surroundings and staying overnight in the Himalaya.
Early morning we will fly back to Pokhara and explore beautiful city.
Drive back to Kathmandu same way