Upper Mustang Trekking

Duration: 17 Days   |   Based on 1 Review

Upper Mustang trekking is a distinctive and eccentric trek to a rather isolated and untouched region of Nepal. Traverse through the Upper Mustang trek with us as your helping hand, this 15 days trek bestows you with an experience like never before into the remote trans-Himalayan mountain region. The high desert area highly influenced by Tibetan culture, Kaligandaki, from the Tibetan border south to Kagbeni is generally referred to as Upper Mustang Lo-Manthang.

Upper Mustang hiking is your golden ticket to explore the uniquely astounding thousands of years old monasteries, temples, deep-dived caves, ethnic tribes and breathtaking beauties of the different landscapes hidden in the barren land. Dare and undertake an adventure as you stride across the world’s deepest gorge, the Kaligandaki region and onto the world’s highest region of which it bears an almost barren by trees landscape, with a steep rocky trail up and downhill, accommodated by stunning views of Mt. Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and several other high mountain peaks!

Upper Mustang walking holidays is a treat to a wanderer and an explorer with its setting of typical Tibetan villages, exquisite and one-of-a-kind mountain passes, alpine valleys and the galore of high peaks. With modern culture being untouched for a thousand years, Upper Mustang has gracefully kept its ethnic culture, primitive lifestyle and age-old heritage intact for centuries and to date. Upper Mustang houses its locals in aesthetically pleasing stone and sunbaked mud bricks. The town wall and the four-story palace in Lo Manthang are two of the arresting architectures in Mustang that one should not miss out on. Yet another attraction is the Tiji Festival which is highly influenced by the rich Tibetan culture, which coincides with the end of the dry season. Do not be taken aback if you find a female from Mustang with more than 5 spouses! With an extremely unique and conflicting culture of different family life where all the brothers in the family are married to a single girl. Having half a dozen husbands isn’t something out of the blue for the locals at Lo-Manthang. This is what we may call a practice of Polyandry.

The Upper Mustang trekking tour was restricted only to locals until October 1991, which is from where it got its name The Last Forbidden Kingdom. The denizens of Mustang regard themselves as Lobas, and in their own unique way, have their own King or tribe-leader, Jigme Palbar Bista. However, when Nepal was declared as a republic country in 2007, the government of Nepal took back the official recognition of the Bista as the King of Mustang. Despite losing the tag of a King, the natives still give their utmost respect and consider him as their King or Tribe – leader. The people of Mustang have managed to collaborate with the government with strict control mechanisms to obtain a special permit from the Department of Immigration to protect their traditions and cultures from modern influences and to preserve their environment as well.

Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of the trek and follows the banks of Kaligandaki River upstream to get to Lo Manthang valley, the last destination of our Upper Mustang hiking holidays. 


  • Hike in the last Forbidden Land, explore barren landscapes, monasteries, caves and primitive lifestyle and culture of the Tibetan people and spiritual purity unparalleled elsewhere in the Himalayas.
  • Enjoy the views of a deserted wasteland dotted with sporadic settlements, and frequented by people who work hard in the dry soils to see out a living
  • Observe the rocks have been eroded into fascinating shapes by the wind and hermit caves are a testament to the dedication of many monks of the region
  • Observe how the wind plays as a messenger for the yak caravans up the valley and from the Buddhist monasteries, the prayer horns can be seen haunting in the thin air.
  • Explore a town with a royal palace, monasteries, temples, caves and a medieval culture i.e. Kingdom, Lo Manthang 

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01Arrive in Kathmandu 1,350meters:
  • Day 02Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation day:
  • Day 03Kathmandu to Pokhara, 840meters, 6 hrs drive:
  • Day 04Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni 2,860m, 3-4 hrs walking:
  • Day 05Kagbeni to chele, 3,050m, 5-6 hrs walking:
  • Day 06Chele to Syanbochen, 3,475m, 6-7 hrs walking:
  • Day 07Syanbochen to Ghaymi, 3,520m, 5-6 hrs walking:
  • Day 08Ghaymi to Charang, 3,500m, 4-5 hrs walking:
  • Day 09Charang to Lo-Manthang, 3,700m, 5-6 hrs walking:
  • Day 10Explore Lo-Manthang valley:
  • Day 11Lo-Manthang to Drakmar, 3,810 m, 6-7 hrs walking:
  • Day 12Dhakmar to Ghiling, 3,806m, 5-6 hrs walking:
  • Day 13Ghiling to Chhuksang, 3,050m, 5-6 hrs walking:
  • Day 14Chhuksang to Jomsom, 2,700m, 6-7 hrs walking:
  • Day 15Fly back to Pokhara:
  • Day 16Drive or flight back from Pokhara to Kathmandu:
  • Day 17Transfer to international Airport for your final departure:
Detail Itinerary


  • All the necessary airport pick up and drops.
  • Standard hotel in Kathmandu, and Pokhara with breakfast.
  • Sightseeing tour as per above program.
  • Necessary flights from Pokhara to Jomsom return trips.
  • Restricted area permits with the Annapurna conservation fee.
  • All meals (B/L/D) during the trekking period.
  • Accommodation (Teahouse) during the trekking period.
  • English speaking guide and highly experienced staffs.
  • Staffs food, clothing, salary and their insurance.
  • All necessary grounded transportation.
  • Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
  • Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service which will be paid by your Travel insurance company.
  • Fare well dinner in Kathmandu host by Ram Kumar.
  • Our service charges with VAT and Local / Government Taxes.
  • Personal nature expenses.
  • Bar bill and all kind of drinks.
  • Rescue & Evacuation.
  • Gratitude (tip) for staff.


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Useful Information

Upper Mustang lies in a trans-Himalayan region and is the former Kingdom of Lo. The historical region opened to tourists as recent as 1992. Lying close to Tibet in the north, Upper Mustang remains historically, culturally, and geographically close to Tibet. The region is marked as a restricted region for its sensitive cultural, archaeological, and historical riches.

It lies in the northern corridor of the Annapurna massif, which completely restricts the rain clouds from entering the region. Lying in the trans-Himalayan region, Upper Mustang enjoys touristic season throughout the year. Dominated by the mesmerizing view of Annapurna I (8091m) and Dhaulagiri peak (8167m), the scenery looks fantastic.

Upper Mustang Trek Grading

Upper Mustang Trekking is a remarkable journey into the Himalayas. There is a tremendous amount of undulating trail with ample passes ranging from 3,500 meters to 4,200 meters. Prior experience of trekking and sound physical fitness comes handy during this trek. Visiting Lo Manthang, Muktinath Temple, a Mukti Kshetra, and Jhong Cave remains the major highlights of the trek.

Is flying to Jomsom dangerous? Is there any alternative?

Although the flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is a trans-Himalayan flight, it poses less or no risk to passengers. Nepal’s aviation follows a strict modus operandi when it comes to the safety of both passengers and the crew. During bad weather conditions such as chances of rainfall or high-velocity wind, the flight delays until the weather stabilized. One must prepare to face delays or cancellations (in rare cases) when flying into or out of the remote Himalayan regions such as Jomsom, Lukla, Dolpa, etc.

As an alternative, tourists can take a road journey to Jomsom. A 155km long road journey begins at Pokhara and goes all the way through Beni, Tatopani, Kali Gandaki Gorge, and Marpha to Jomsom in Mustang.

Group size and permits for Upper Mustang Trek

Trekking in Restricted Regions requires a minimum of 2 trekkers. The special permit is generally shared between two trekkers. A maximum of 30 people can embark as a group in the trek to Upper Mustang. Trek Guide and crew must accompany trekkers in this trek. Due to the strict policy maintained by the Nepal Government, individual trekkers are strictly prohibited in the Upper Mustang region.

Special permit to enter Upper Mustang costs USD500 per trekker for the first ten days. One can trek inside the region for a minimum of ten days. Each additional day in the region costs USD50. Besides the special permit, one also needs to obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit. ACAP permit costs USD20 per person.

How many hours of walking a day at Mustang Trek?

Upper Mustang Trekking classifies as a moderate to arduous trek. The standard itinerary requires a five to six-hour-long trek excluding lunch. It also depends on the overall fitness and speed of the trekker. The trek offers enough rest, acclimatization, and sightseeing to keep it entertaining. The trek begins early so that trekkers can reach the day’s destination on time before nightfall.

Is it doable in winter? What's the perfect time to Trek Upper Mustang?

The best time to trek to the region begins from March and lasts until November. One can enjoy the spectacular sceneries of the exceptional mountains and gorges.

Winter trekking is not recommended for Upper Mustang as there are chances of thick snowfall with the temperature dropping as below as -25°C. Most high passes remain inaccessible during the winter season. One must purchase necessary winter gear and equipment for winter trekking in Upper Mustang.
Tiji Festival is one of the most sought-after events in Mustang celebrated every year during May. The festival sees a large influx of both locals and tourists in the walled city of Lo Manthang.

Can we do this trek in the Monsoon season?

Upper Mustang is a trans-Himalayan region, which makes it accessible throughout the year. The region remains easily accessible during monsoon. Monsoon in Nepal lasts from July until September. Upper Mustang region lies on lee wind side / beyond the Himalayas. Hence, the region rarely sees monsoon clouds. It is one of the few trekking routes that remain accessible even during monsoon.

Why always opt for a reputed company with a professional leader for Upper Mustang Trekking?

Nepal Government has made it mandatory for the trekkers to book Upper Mustang trips with only national and licensed trek agencies. Booking with a local, reputed company makes the entire trek a hassle-free experience in terms of issuing permits, and booking hotels, flights, and transportation. A reputed company like Alpine Eco Trek is more likely to assist you in the time of crisis by liaising with local government bodies and appropriate agencies. Booking your trip with reputed companies assures quality service at a very competitive price.

Do I need to do the necessary groundwork for Upper Mustang Trekking?

Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate trek because of the undulating valley trail that gets fashioned by series of streams along the way. The trekkers with weak ankles or knees and heart or lung problems must seek obligatory physician’s advice before embarking on the trek. Alpine Eco Trek’s itinerary makes every challenging trek a less exhausting experience. As for the preparation for the trek, trekkers can indulge in different cardio workouts and endurance building exercises.

Is there any way to customize Upper Mustang Trekking?

The trek itinerary is customizable as per the convenience of the trekker. One can choose to customize the trip according to time in hand, the level of fitness, and the budget. At Alpine Eco Trek, we make sure that you are comfortable with the itinerary.  We also provide alternative options like pony trek along with trekking in Upper Mustang.

In Mustang Trek, what about charging facilities and hot showers?

There is a limited supply of hydroelectricity in most parts of Upper Mustang. The electronic device charging privilege isn't available around the Mustang trek. The high-velocity wind in the Mustang valley often cuts off the hydropower. Many teahouses have solar charging facilities as an alternative. However, it may not be a reliable source of energy. The trekkers must carry extra batteries or fully charged power banks along the trek.

A hot shower facility is available in lodges by solar energy, fire chimney, or liquid petroleum gas. Most lodges equipped with solar panels offer hot shower at a cheaper price, but it may not be available throughout the trek. 

What if I am very slow in a group?

It doesn’t pose any problem. Other than the group leader, each person in the group gets an assistant guide. The group is generally classified into lots, and each lot gets an assistance guide. The group leader takes responsibility for the slow group. Nevertheless, the group leader will counsel everyone in the group throughout the trek.

Accommodation during Upper Mustang Trek

Since the Upper Mustang trail began offering teahouse trekking only a few years ago, the accommodation provided in this trek can be pretty basic except in some villages. Alpine Eco Trek liaises with the family-oriented lodges with twin bed sharing facilities with common toilets or occasional rooms with attached toilets.

Despite being relatively basic with limited hydroelectricity supply, Upper Mustang Trek offers an overall comfortable experience. The trekkers can enjoy a variety of choices of meals ranging from local, national, to international cuisines. Alpine Eco Trek assigns an experienced chef to assist the lodge owner in preparing a variety of western meals for the clients.

Drinking water facility in Upper Mustang Trek

Alpine Eco Trek strongly opposes the use of plastic mineral water bottles in the trek for various environmental concerns. The staff will ensure to provide appropriately boiled water every morning and evening to the trekkers. The trekkers should bring at least two metal or plastic Nalgene bottles to keep water safe for drinking throughout the day. One can use warm water bottles as a hot pack inside the sleeping bag during the night.

Equipment for Upper Mustang Trek

Alpine Eco Trek suggests you bring a warm sleeping-bag and feather duvet jackets designed for high-altitude trekking. A warm fleece liner goes into the sleeping bag to keep trekkers warm and cozy at night. The trekker must purchase or rent necessary trek gear and equipment such as trek boots, walking stick, warm clothes, glasses, gloves, etc. We provide a duffle bag to help keep all the gears and equipment in a safe place.

Travel insurance for Upper Mustang Trek

Alpine Eco Trek strongly recommends trekkers to obtain an all-inclusive travel insurance policy covering each aspect of adventure travel. There would be hardly any evacuations or any health catastrophe in this trek. The trek guide has the necessary experience in first-aid and other medical emergencies. They have ample knowledge in dealing with any life-threatening situation. As a precaution, the trekkers must obtain insurance before embarking on the trek.

Customize the Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang trek is customizable according to the client’s interest. One can choose to customize the trip according to time in hand, the level of fitness, and the budget. Alpine Eco Trek assures ease in customizing treks for the clients. As an alternative, trekkers can choose to indulge in pony trek, jeep luxury safari, or semi jeep safari with walking in Upper Mustang.

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Ram Kumar Adhikari
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Mr. Ram Kumar Adhikari

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