Upper Mustang trek is a doable trek for those individuals who want to escape the everyday hustle and bustle of city life. Located up north near the border between Nepal and Tibet, Upper Mustang trekking destination is sure to give you a journey of a lifetime.
The environment and atmosphere of this place is very unique and refreshing.
The Upper Mustang Trek allows you to experience new and hidden parts of Nepal. You get an exposure into the places isolated and untouched by modernization.
Here you will get to witness the fascinating views of the snow-capped Himalaya, barren high plateaus, deep canyons and, gorge. An ocean of exposed hills and the colors of a desert sunset also add to the beauty.
You walk across the treeless landscape with a steep rocky path up and down the hill. Its geographical areas are much like the Tibetan plateau where beauty and happiness prosper. Upper Mustang Trek is underneath the rain shadow area of the Annapurna range making treks possible even during monsoon.
During the trek, we must follow the famous Kali Gandaki river upstream and then move further to Kagbeni. Upon reaching Kagbeni, trekkers will start to feel the intensity of Upper Mustang. As the restricted zone of the Upper Mustang region starts from this very place.
So, let us guide you through the details of Upper Mustang itinerary starting from the day of your arrival till the day you leave.
Table of Contents
- Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- Detailed Upper Mustang trek Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
- Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
- Day 3: Ride to Pokhara
- Day 4: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
- Day 5: Trek to Chele
- Day 6: Trek to Syanboche
- Day 7: Trek to Ghaymi via the Nyi La Pass.
- Day 8: Trek to Charang
- Day 9 & 10: Destination Lo- Manthang, Exploration day
- Day 11: Trek to Charang
- Day 12: Trek to Tange
- Day 13: Trek to Tetang
- Day 14: Trek to Muktinath
- Day 15: Trek to Jomsom
- Day 16: Flight to Pokhara
- Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu
- Day 18: Goodbye and farewell from Nepal!
- Last Say,
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- The walled city of the hidden kingdom of Lo-Manthang
- Prayers walls, hundreds of years old monasteries and interesting villages
- Stunning scenes of the upper Mustang
- Mesmerizing view of Nilgiri Peak, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and several others peaks
- Caves and geographical configuration
- Walk past the deepest gorge
- Knowing the lifestyle of real mountain families
- See Tibetan culture beyond Tibet.
- Visit the holy Muktinath temple
- Explore the peaceful and beautiful lake city Pokhara
- Sightseeing of historical and religious sites such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Durbar square, Boudhanath.
Detailed Upper Mustang trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
With your arrival, your journey in Nepal begins today. Our representative will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel in a private vehicle.
After you have your time to settle in, relax and freshen up after your long flight, the remaining day is at your disposal.
If you arrive early you can stroll around the streets of Thamel, one of the most happening places in Kathmandu for tourists.
There are an array of restaurants, bars, and shops that you can take a look at.
Overnight at a 3* hotel, in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Today after your breakfast in the hotel, you will have a meeting with your trekking guide. We will discuss about the equipment needed for the trekking and will do some last minute shopping for your trek.
We will also help the processing of other necessary items such as permits (it shouldn’t be Saturday or any public holiday).
After that, you will leave for a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You will visit cultural and historical sites like Pashupatinath Temple and Swayambhunath. They are also enlisted in UNESCO world heritage sites.
At Pashupatinath, you will get to see the carved statues and idols of Hindu deities, a long row of Shiva-Linga and series of a small temple.
Added, you will also witness the Hindu death ritual at Aryaghat Pashupatinath. After that, you will walk the streets of Kathmandu to Boudhanath.
Boudhanath is the largest dome-shaped Buddhist stupa. You will see many people including monks with red robe circumambulating Boudhanath.
After lunch, the sightseeing continues to the fine and historical architecture of Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is also a prominent place of attraction for tourists.
And the final destination for Kathmandu sightseeing takes you to Swayambhunath. A Buddhist stupa that lies on a hilltop overlooking Kathmandu. The view of Kathmandu city from above is great.
On return to your hotel, you can rest for a while, have dinner and later take a stroll through the popular streets.
Overnight at the same hotel.
Day 3: Ride to Pokhara
Travel hours- 6 to 7 hours
After spending a day in Kathmandu exploring the city, you will head to the lake city Pokhara. Pokhara is a beautiful city and the start point of many treks.
You will leave early in the morning after breakfast in Kathmandu. A Guide will pick you from the hotel and transfer you to a tourist bus. It is a 6-7 hours drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
The drive will take you through beautiful forests, deep gorges, and some rural settlements. Upon reaching Pokhara, a guide will pick you and escort you to the hotel.
In the evening after some rest, you can take a walking tour exploring the scenic and ever buzzing life around Lakeside in Phewa Lake.
Stay overnight at hotel in Pokhara.
Day 4: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni
Travel hours– 30 minutes flight and 3-4 hour trek
After breakfast in Pokhara, you will head towards Pokhara airport for an early morning flight to Jomsom.
During the flight, you will enjoy the spectacular views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains.
Once you reach Jomsom and after a little rest, your trek towards Kagbeni starts. The trail is mainly flat over rocky and sandy barren landscapes.
Along the trail, you will get to witness the spectacular and picturesque view of Mt.Dhaulagiri, Mt.Nilgiri, Mt.Tukuche. You will also see the entire Annapurna massif to the south and south-west until you reach Kagbeni.
Kagbeni is an immensely pretty village. It has medieval looks and consists of interesting alleys, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and large red Gompas.
The rest of the day you will explore the village visiting area like Yak cheese factory, Kyanjin Monastery and local houses etc.
Overnight at a tented camp in Kagbeni.
Day 5: Trek to Chele
Travel hours-5 to 6 hours
The trek today starts with a special permit check onwards to the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki river.
You will then climb over several ridges to the north through the scenic wasteland landscape. Following up and down hills to Tangbe village.
The village leads through the complex trails amongst the whitewashed settlement. There are artistically made buckwheat, barley, and wheat fields as well as the apple orchards.
After trekking for almost 30 minutes you will reach Chhusang village. Then you will cross the river to ascend up to a huge red hill accumulated with composite rocks.
Finally, you will leave Kali Gandaki behind and climb along the steep gully of rocks to Chele.
Chele is the first village of Upper Mustang where you will see the Tibetan culture of Lo people.
Day 6: Trek to Syanboche
Elevation reached– 3475m
Travel hours– 5 to 6 hours
Difficulty-Moderate to difficult
After breakfast, the trek continues as you climb to Taklam La Pass. The trails pass through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, and Damodar Danda. The climb continues along the steep, treeless, and dry terrain.
Then the trail makes a long gradual descent to some Chortens on a ridge and descends further to Samar. The Annapurna Range, dominated by Nilgiri stands magnificently in the far south.
Here you will relax and then descend into a large gorge and go into another valley. Streams and Juniper trees surround this region. Later you will climb up to a ridge at 3800m.
Then you will walk further to reach Syanboche. You will also pass by a cave with self-emanating statues of Guru Rinpoche and Padmasambhava.
The Tibetan name translates it to “self-produced place of Promenade”. There is a belief that if any part of the statue breaks off it will grow back by itself. Fascinating, isn’t it ?
Overnight at a tented camp in Syanboche.
Day 7: Trek to Ghaymi via the Nyi La Pass.
Elevation reached-3520m at Ghaymi and 3950m on the pass.
Travel hours– 5 to 6 hours
Difficulty-Moderate to difficult
After breakfast, the trails ascend gently to Yamada La (3850m). Further, you will descend through an astonishing landscape of desert and few remote settlements.
The trail then climbs up from Syanboche leading up to a large valley then descends to a wide barley field at Geiling.
The houses here a painted white and ochre and made of mud and stones. You will also see many Buddhist Chortens.
Later you will go up the settlement of Tama Gaun and make your way to unrelenting climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La Pass 3950m.
Nyi La Pass is the highest point of the trek by far and southern boundary of Lo. Take a moment to grasp the amazing view of the valley below and up-close views of the Himalayas from the pass.
The trail then drops to the whitewashed buildings of Ghaymi. The surrounding of Ghaymi has large fields most of which are barren.
The afternoon is perhaps the driest part of Mustang. The views of the countryside are magnificent with the rugged mountains to the east and west.
Overnight stay at the tented camp in Ghaymi.
Day 8: Trek to Charang
Elevation reached– 3540m
Travel hours-4 to 5 hours
The trail descends below the blue, grey, and red cliffs across the valley to a large steel bridge across the river Tangmar Chu.
Then you will climb to a plateau and pass the longest and most spectacular Mani walls in Nepal.
Towards the end of the wall, the trail heads east to the village of Charang. With a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Charang Chu Canyon.
At the end of the village, there are huge Dzong ( Fortress) and red Gompas. These consists of an excellent collection of statues and Thangkas( rolling painting).
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Charang.
Day 9 & 10: Destination Lo- Manthang, Exploration day
Elevation reached– 3700 m
Travel hours– 6 to 7 hours
Difficulty– Moderate to difficult
After breakfast, your trek descends about 125m from Charang and crosses the Tsarang Chu. You will then follow the track to a pile of stone opposite the village at 3580m entering the Tholung Village.
Then the trail further ascends to the windy pass of Lo (3850m) and from there you will get the first glimpse of the walled city Lo-Manthang at 3700m.
A short descend from there leads to the plain of aspiration and then the trail crosses a stream and climbs up on to the plateau of Lo-Manthang.
Overnight stay at tented camp here.
The following day is for exploration.
Lo- Manthang is an outstanding historical and cultural center. Namgyal gompa serves as an important monastery of the local community and also a local court.
You will then hike to Tingkhar, a village consisting of around 40 houses which is also the last main village to the northwest of Lo- Manthang.
In the eastern valley rests the village of Chosar. This village is also rich in Gompas and is the valley that leads the main trading route to Lhasa.
Here you can visit the tall Champa Lhakhang ‘God house’ and the red Thungchen Gomba. Chyodi Gompa and the entrance hall are also some of the major attraction of this small town.
To enhance the architectural beauty of the place, there is a magnificent four-storied building of the Royal Palace. Here the Mustang king offer you Tibetan tea as his hospitality.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Lo-Manthang.
Day 11: Trek to Charang
Travel hours– 5 hours
Today after the breakfast in the morning you will have little time to embrace the tranquility and inhale the fresh mountain air of Lo-Manthang one last time before you head back.
As you leave Lo Manthang you walk to the pass Lo in a gradual ascent. From here follows the comfortable and broad path that descends along the deeply cut riverbed.
In the distance, you can see the steep walls below which flows unstable waters of Kali Gandaki.
From here, only the notch of Charang Khola separates us from Charang. From here you are going down to the river and then head towards the final ascent to the Charang village.
After a comfortable and not so demanding journey through the Upper Mustang brings you back to today’s destination i.e Charang.
Unlike Lo-Manthang, Charang is a quiet place. Overnight stay at a tented camp.
Day 12: Trek to Tange
Elevation reached– 3370m
Travel hours– 6-7 hours
Today after breakfast you will hike for an hour until you reach a highly deserted flat land. From here you can enjoy the stupendous view of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himal.
Further, you will continue the flat trail for about 2 hours then descend down for about half an hour to Dhe Khola (river).
You will then be crossing this river and will climb up for about 2 hours leading to the top of the ridge. Here u can see the river, grazing yaks, and the panoramic view of the hills.
Gradually you will descend down to follow the flat trail for an hour. Then again walk downhill to reach Tange.
Here you will find caves, and colorful Chortens around the village.
Overnight stay at a tented camp.
Day 13: Trek to Tetang
Elevation reached– 2940m
Travel hours -7 to 8 hours
Today you will start the trek early morning because it’s going to be long hours of walk. After leaving Tange you will cross the suspension bridge and follow the flat trail and cross the river bank.
Later you will ascend uphill for about 4 hours to Cacho La Pass. Here you can view the picturesque landscape and terraced view of Upper Mustang Valley.
You can also enjoy the views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche, Tilicho and Thorong Peak.
Further you will hike down gently for an hour then gradually uphill for an hour and a half.
After that, you will walk down through the wind-carved hill till you reach Tetang.
Overnight stay at a tented camp.
Day 14: Trek to Muktinath
Elevation reached– 3800m
Travel hours– 6 to 7 hours
The trail ascends gradually to Gyu La pass (4077m). It is one of those beautiful days when the walk is easy. The Top of Gyu La offers stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
The trail then takes steep descends to the village of Chyangur and continues to go downhill to Muktinath.
Upon reaching the holy place of Muktinath, you can explore and visit Muktinath temple. It is one of the most sacred sites for both hindus and Buddhists and attracts thousands of people each year.
There are 108 waterspouts in the backyard of the temple called the Muktidhara. The frozen water continuously flows from the bullhead and two Kunda (ponds in front of the temple).
Taking bath in these 108 waterspouts and two Kunda believes to bring salvation.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Muktinath valley.
Day 15: Trek to Jomsom
Elevation reached– 2720m
Travel hours– 3 hours.
The trail goes downhill walking through the beautiful Jharkot village. Here one can visit various attraction of Jharkot such as the Shakyapa Monastery, Tibetan herbal medical center. Not to forget, the old fortress of Jharkot which once served as a palace.
As you continue to trek towards Jomsom you will enjoy the views of the Kali Gandaki valley and Kagbeni village.
Kagbeni is the gateway to discover Upper Mustang or Lo-Manthang city. After Kagbeni, you will head through the windy Jomsom valley following the Kali Gandaki river bank.
From there you will continue the trail down on the stony path facing Tukuche, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri. Explore the headquarter city and overnight stay at Jomsom.
Overnight stay at a tented camp.
Day 16: Flight to Pokhara
Travel hours– 30 minute flight
Accommodation– 3* hotel
After the breakfast at Jomsom, you will check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. It is a roughly 30 minutes scenic flight to reach Pokhara. This flight will take you between the gorge of two huge mountain i.e Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
On arrival at Pokhara airport, a guide will transfer you to one of the lakeside hotels. After resting for a while, you can spend your afternoon to discover the beautiful Pokhara valley.
There are various things you can do like taking a boat ride, visiting Devi’s fall, Gupteshwor Mahadev cave, and Tibetan refugee camps etc.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Pokhara.
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu
Duration: 45 minutes.
Accommodation: 3* hotel in Kathmandu.
Today you will fly back to Kathmandu which will take about 45 minutes.
Depending on the flight time and how early you reach Kathmandu. You can have the rest of the time shopping or buying souvenirs for your family and friends back home.
This will be your last night before you bid goodbye until your next visit. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 18: Goodbye and farewell from Nepal!
A member of the Mosaic Adventure team will come to your hotel. We will then accompany you to the airport and bid you farewell in traditional Nepali way and wish you a safe flight.
So with this, the Upper Mustang trek Itinerary comes to an end.
Note: If you wish to modify the trek duration according to your preference, feel free to let us know.
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Upper Mustang trek is a beautiful destination that is gaining popularity among both national and international tourists. It is a moderate trek which is possible even with a little bit of preparation and determination.
Moreover, Upper Mustang is safe in terms of high altitude sickness, in comparison to other mainstream high alpine trek.
For further question and queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you.