Upper Mustang Trek is a charismatic journey that takes you to the mystic land of Upper Mustang. Also regarded as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, the region was opened for trekking only in 1992. Though opened, the number of visitors is restricted only to 1000 visitors each year. The region has remained isolated from the rest of the world for a long; therefore, it is still able to maintain its originality in terms of natural glory, historical enigma, and cultural distinctiveness.
Upper Mustang Trek allows you to traverse into the old Buddhist kingdom Mustang, which is popular as Lo. This place is totally isolated from the rest of the world. As you go deep into the region, you will feel like you have traveled back in time. The old monasteries, classic & dry terrain, wild mountains, traditional people, their culture, lifestyle, etc, are the features that give the vibes of the Tibetan Buddhist lifestyle and culture. The upper mustang trek passes through some dry, arid, and isolated trails in the backdrop of wild landscapes and mountains.
The journey to the remote Trans Himalayan region of Nepal starts from the capital city of Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you drive to Pokhara and fly to Jomsom. A walk to the upper Mustang region then follows the Upper Mustang trek. On the way, you pass some villages like Chele, Ghiling, and Charang to Lo Manthang. The desert-like landscapes, hidden caves, ancient monasteries, etc, in the backdrop of majestic mountains, are some wonderful aspects of Upper Mustang Trek. You can experience the unique Tibetan Buddhist religion prevalent in Upper Mustang Trek. From Lo, you pass some remote villages to Muktinath and drop down to Jomsom for a flight back to Pokhara. Upper Mustang Trek concludes with a drive back to Kathmandu.
Upper Mustang Trek Map
Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate-level Trek. It might be difficult as you will have to walk through some remote desert-like places for more than a week. You require a certain level of endurance capacity to opt for this trek. Even accommodation facilities might not be available, and you may have to stay in a tent. Even if available, the lodging will be very basic. But the wonder of this trek is beyond any kind of stress and difficulty. All the difficulties for Upper Mustang Trek are worth it.
The first day marks your arrival day in Kathmandu. Clear all the visa requirements and customs clearance if any at the arrival section of the airport. As you come out, you will find a representative from World Alpine Treks waiting for you holding a board with your name. You will then be transferred to your hotel at Kathmandu. The representative will shortly inform you about the plans ahead.
The second day is a day tour just to warm up prior to your trekking journey. Kathmandu is a city enriched with artistic palaces, beautiful monuments, ancient temples and other constructions of historical and cultural importance. No wonder, the city has seven out of ten UNESCO listed world heritage sites. Today, you will be guided to the UNESCO listed heritage sites in Kathmandu. These heritages are perfect examples of rich history, fine culture and architectural treasures of Nepal. At first, you will be taken to Kathmandu Durbar Square. The art, crafts, and carvings in the palaces, temples and other monuments of the durbar square are excellent. After that, you will be escorted to Swayambhunath stupa (Monkey temple), Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa respectively. (Inclusive of breakfast)
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel for a drive to the lakeside city of Pokhara. Today, we take a scenic drive along the Prithvi highway for around six to seven hours to Pokhara. We pass through some amazing landscapes throughout the journey. In the first half portion, we will be able to get some stunning views of the Trishuli river along with hills and villages. In the second half, the countryside landscape and the greenery will keep you engaged. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to a hotel in Pokhara. Check in to the hotel and rest for a while. In the evening, we can walk down lakeside and enjoy some fascinating views of lakes and mountains. Tonight, we stay at a hotel in Pokhara (inclusive of breakfast and lunch)
Early in the morning, you will be escorted to the Pokhara airport for an early flight to Jomsom. The flight to Jomsom is fill of wonderful mountain views. You will be rewarded with the astonishing views of Annapurna massif that rise above eight thousand meters. Jomsom is a wonderful town popular for the apple orchards, picturesque landscape, and hostile people. We begin our trek today from Jomsom. We follow the trail that opens up to a Kagbeni. Kagbeni is a beautiful village and the main gate to upper mustang. In the 14th century, it used to be a checkpoint of traders. Now, there is a checkpoint that records the trekkers travelling to Muktinath and Mustang region. Tonight, we stay at a guesthouse in Kagbeni. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
After breakfast in the guesthouse, we follow a trail that goes through the eastern bank of the Kaligandaki River. We traverse through several ridges on the way to Tangbe village. It is a beautiful village with narrow alleys and traditional whitewashed houses. We walk through the fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, etc as we pass the village. The view of Nilgiri Himal from the village is stunning. Leaving Tangbe, we pass the village of Chhusang and climb up a huge rock. We ascend up to come out of the Kaligandaki valley and further climb up steep to Chele. Tonight, we stay at a guesthouse in Chele. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Following the trail to upper mustang, we leave the village of Chele and climb up towards Samar village. As we move ahead, we can notice a change in the atmosphere. As we move up, we traverse into a dry, arid and treeless area. We climb up steep to a rock cairn enjoying some wonderful views of the Mustang region. A long descend from the cairn leads us to Samar village. From the village, we climb up to a ridge enjoying the majestic views of Nilgiri Himal. Further we descend down and continue towards a valley. We follow a route that goes up to another ridge and descends down to Shyangmochen. We continue our walk until we reach the village of Geling. Tonight, we stay at a guesthouse in Geling. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Leaving Geling, we climb up to the pass of NYI and descend down to the cliffs. We cross a steel bridge over the Tangmar chu river and continue our walk until we come across a long mani wall in the Mustang. We ascend up to a pass at an elevation of 3600 meters and make a long descend down to the Charang village. In the village, we can visit an old five-story dzong and a red gompa. The collection of statues, thankas, and paintings in these dzongs and gompas are fascinating. Tonight, we stay at a guesthouse in Charang. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
From Charang, the trail ascends up steep to Lo Gekar. In Lo Gekar, there is an old gompa whose existence is older than the Samye Gompa in Tibet. We visit this old gompa and continue our journey up towards the upper Mustang. Today, we take a trail to Lo Manthang along a well-defined path with some minor climb on the way. Lo Manthang is marked by a long wall at the entrance. From the entrance, we take a short descent down and cross a small stream on the way. We further climb up to the plateau to Lo Manthang. Tonight, we stay at a guesthouse in Lo Manthang. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Today, we spend our day exploring around the village of Lo Manthang. After breakfast, we walk up to a hilltop to visit Namgyal Gompa. It is an important monastery in the village that serves as a local court. After visiting the gompa, we head towards Tingkar. It is the last village that lies northwest to Lo Manthang. The village has nearby about 40 houses. The villages resemble that of the Tibetan villages. Even we can notice the dominance of Tibetan Buddhist religion and culture in this place. Tonight, we return back to our guesthouse in Lo Manthang. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Leaving Lo Manthnag, we take a trail that ascends up steadily to Chogo La. As we climb up, we can enjoy some stunning views of the entire Lo Manthang. The Chogo La at an elevation of 4210 meters is the highest point of this trek. From the pass, we descend down to Charang river and cross a bridge over the river. We further climb up to Lo Gekar and head towards Ghar Gompa. It is a small old monastery on the way. We then climb up a ridge and cross a valley to alpine meadows. The trail further drops down along an eroded path to Drakmar. Tonight, we return back to our guesthouse in Drakmar (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
From Drakmar, we follow a trail that drops down and passes some stone walls and fields along the village. We climb up a ridge and again descend down to the lower part of Ghami and then to Jaite. We again descend down to Chhung Kah via Jaite. Finally, we start walking to Tama Gaon and continue our descend down until we reach Shyangmochen. Tonight, at a guesthouse in Syangmochen. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
After all the long day walks down, we follow a stream that flows all the way down to Chhusang. There is an alternative route to Chhusang via Samar village. You can take that route if interested. You will be able to visit a Ranchung cave if you take that route. However, you will have to walk more for around half an hour if you opt for that route.
Today, we ascend up to Muktinath. Muktinath is a very popular spiritual hub of the Annapurna region. The place holds a high value amongst Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. Many Hindu pilgrims visit this place early with high dedication and devotion. At first, we ascend up to Khingar and continue along with a fortress-like village to Jharkot. We further follow a trail that takes us to Muktinath. Tonight, we stay at a guesthouse/ lodge in Muktinath. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Early in the morning, we walk to Muktinath for amazing views of mountains in the Annapurna range. Appreciating the glories of the mountains, we descend down to Jomsom. Tonight, enjoy your time in Jomsom with the warm hospitality of the local people. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Today, we take an early flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel. Enjoy your time at the hotel in Pokhara. In the evening, you can walk to the lakeside and enjoy the serenity in the environment. (Inclusive of breakfast)
Concluding our trip, we drive back via the same route along the Prithvi Highway to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Tonight, we stay at a hotel in Kathmandu. (Inclusive of breakfast and lunch)
Before a few hours of your scheduled flight, you will be transferred to the international terminal of Tribhuwan International airport. (Inclusive of Breakfast)