Upper Mustang Trek

Trip Highlights

  1. On the Far North West of Nepal Himalaya, close to Tibet with typical Tibetan religion, culture & tradition,
  2. Ancient Bon (pre-Buddhist) way of life,
  3. Part of Tibetan plateau in the forbidden area till last decade, dramatic landscapes,
  4. Warm-friendly locals,
  5. 500 hundred years old walled city of Lomanthang enclosed with high mountains of Dhaulagiri, Bhrikuti Damodar and Annapurna range.          
Upper Mustang Trek
Photo Stunning view of landscape and snow capped mountains from Muktinath
Trip Duration: 18 days(s) / Trek Duration: 13 days(s) Trip Grade: 5
Lodging: Camping or Lodge
Transportation: Private vehicle & flight
Communication: Yes
Group Size: Any

Trip Overview

An adventurous scenic trekking in the remote corners in the North West of Nepal Himalayan range of mountains to Upper Mustang with Adventure Mission Nepal Treks & Expeditions, a panoramic journey combines the taste of Nepali and Tibetan culture to alpine and arctic zone of climate, with diverse landscapes, vegetations and culture, a windswept remote treeless valleys, to high snow crested ridge. This trip offers amazing rare views of both Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range of peaks.
Journey begins with an interesting drive to one of the scenic spot in the Himalaya at Pokhara a picturesque place with its pristine lakes with reflection of Annapurna-Manaslu and Mt. Machhapuchare (Fish Tail) in its clear lakes, from here a short flight to Lower Mustang at Jomsom town headquarter of Mustang district where this classic journey begins towards the high terrain and landscapes crossing few passes through traditional culturally rich villages and enchanting valleys, and then ending this memorable journey back at Jomsom with a visit at holy Muktinath area from Jomsom a sweeping scenic flight brings you back to Kathmandu via Pokhara after an overwhelming adventure with Adventure Mission Nepal Treks & Expeditions.

Note on Upper Mustang:

Located to Far North West between Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna geographically part of Tibetan plateau with vast high valley, arid and dry, characterized by eroded canyons, colorful stratified rock formations and has a barren, windswept desert like appearance.
Mustang is the old kingdom of Lo. Actually the capital of the Mustang district is Jomsom, but the real Tibetan style district lies north of Kagbeni and is usually referred to as Upper Mustang.
One of the most fascinating features of Mustang is literally thousands of cliff dwellings, some of which look completely inaccessible. The most recent theory is that they may date 8-10,000 BC when Mustang was a much greener land.
Naturally, most of the history is now a matter of legend rather than recorded fact, but it seems clear that Lo was once part of Ngari, part of Tibet and a rather loose collection of feudal domains. It was incorporated into the Tibetan Empire under the most famous of the Tibetan kings Songtsen Gampo. It was an important means of crossing the Himalaya from Tibet to Nepal, and many of the old salt caravans passed through Mustang.

Outline

Day 01: Arrival in kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: in kathmandu with half day sightseeing tour.
Day 03: Drive to pokhara and transfer to hotel by the lake side.
Day 04: Fly to jomsom 2,713 m trek to KAGBENI 2,810 m 04 hrs.
Day 05: Trek to chussang 2,920 m   06 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Samar 3,290 m. 06 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to ghiling.3, 600 m 6 hrs.
Day 08: Trek to Tsarang 3,520 m 6 hrs. 
Day 09: Trek to Lo Manthang 3,780m 05 hrs.
Day 10: Rest day for hike around Lo Manthang. 
Day 11: Trek to Ghami 3,440 m 06 hrs.
Day 12: Trek to Samar 05 hrs.
Day 13: Trek to Yak Kharka 3,845m 06 hrs.
Day 14: Trek to Muktinath 3,710 m 4 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Jomsom 04 hrs.
Day 16: Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara.
Day 17: In Kathmandu at leisure.
Day 18: Transfer to airport for international departure.

Service includes

  • Arrival and Departure transfers as per the Itinerary.
  • Standard Accommodation in the cities and tea houses in the trek.
  • Full day guided tour of Kathmandu.
  •  3 meals a day during the trek.
  • Guide, porters and other support staff as per your requirement and out agreed price.
  • ACAP Permit fees.
  • Upper Mustang Special permit.
  • Trekker’s information management system (TIMS) card fee.
  • Necessary equipments during the trek.
  • All taxes and fees required for the program.

Service does not include

  • Meals in the cities.
  • Personal expenses (Laundry, bar bills, water etc)
  • Travel Insurance (Essential).
  • Personal trekking gears not mentioned in the contract.
  • Tips for staffs.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Adventure Mission Nepal guide will meet on arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and with complimentary transport transfer you to respective hotels, then AMN guide will brief of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Trekking, do's and don'ts related information that you might require while in Nepal with Adventure Mission Nepal.

Day 02: In Kathmandu a half day sightseeing tour.
On the first day or night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed regarding the time for your sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest.

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 5-6 hrs of scenic journey.
Morning and interesting drive through the mid hills of Nepal with views of mountain range from Langtang-Ganesh Himal-Manaslu-Annapurna, on reaching at Pokhara transfer to hotel by the pristine Phewa (Fewa) lake side, with time for walk around this scenic place.

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom 2,713 m begin trek to Kagbeni 2,810 m 04 hrs.
Starting this high beautiful trekking with morning short flight to Jomsom with awesome views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range of mountains, hills and valleys, on reaching at Jomsom AMN trekking guides will receive for the short trek to Kagbeni and onwards.
From Jomsom, walk leads on Kaligandaki River banks with few ups and down to the place of Ekale Bhatti (lonely inn) with 5-6 lodges, from here path splits into two ways the higher up leads straight to Muktinath and the other leads to Upper Mustang and Tibet via Kagbeni. AMN trekking leads towards North West, walking on the gradual winding route on the river bed towards the windswept village of Kagbeni for the overnight.

Day 05:  Trek to Chussang 2,920 m  06 hrs.
After the first day trek, trail leads uphill for half an hour leaving the Kali-Gandaki River behind for a while. The path leads towards barren terrain passing few small villages coming to Tangb village from here another hour of good walk brings to the overnight stop at Chusang with few Poplus and Willow trees amidst the red earth surrounding. Chusang lies at the confluence of the Narsang stream and the Kali Gandaki River.

Day 06: Trek to Samar. 3,290 m.    06 hrs.
From here trek leads first to Chele village after crossing the stream through broken canyons and ruin castle walls of the near cliffs, from Chusang onwards are interesting red eroded cliffs above the mouths of inaccessible caves, on crossing a small bridge uphill walk for an hour reaches at Chele village. From Chele village the walk gets steeper for an hour up the ridge at 3,130m, here a good view of Gyagar across a huge canyon. Trek continues with a slow climb on the windswept terrain till the pass is reached at 3,540m. From here a gradual descent leads to Samar for the overnight stop.

Day 07: Trek to Ghiling 3,600 m. 06 hrs.
Trek today leads to a short ascend above Samar village to a ridge, then  descending to a large gorge past a chorten painted red, black, yellow and white-all the colors are made from local rocks. Journey continues into another valley with juniper trees, after crossing the stream walk follows uphill path to a ridge at 3,800m, then the trek climbs over to another pass, from here the route descends to Shyangmochen, a small settlement with few tea shops at 3,710m. Trek continues to a gentle climb to a pass at 3,770m entering towards a huge valley, from here walking on the right downhill path towards overnight stop at Geling with large fields of barley on the outskirt of the village.

Day 08: Trek Tsarang 3,520 m  06 hrs. 
Geling onwards route climbs gradually through fields in the centre of valley, passing the Tama Gung settlements below, walk continues a long climb across the valley to the Nyi La pass 3,950m, highest point of this trip.
From here trail descend for half hour to the junction; the right path leads direct to Tsarang while the left leads to Ghami village one of the main major of Lo region. AMN route drops below the blue, grey and red cliffs across the valley to a steel bridge across the Tangmarchu River, the path climbs past to long and interesting stretch of Mani (Prayer) Wall. From here today’s final climb brings to 3,600m pass, after this pass a gentle descent leads to overnight stop at Charang, an interesting village with a maze of fields, willow trees and a huge five storey white Dzong and a red gompa perched on the edge of the Kali Gandaki gorge. Tsarang has its own electricity system.

Day 09: Trek to Lo Manthang 3,780m 05 hrs.
Today towards final destination leads to Lo Manthang, walk begins with a short descend crossing Charangchu river with a steep climb then through Tholung valley. The trail divert north with gentle climb to a large Chorten, which marks the boundary between Tsarang and Lo, walk follows the stream, coming to a great wide windswept landscape, finally reaching the ridge at 3,850m a grand view of the walled place of Lo Manthang, a short descent brings to the stream that outlines the walled village, from here a short up on the plateau leads to the southern wall of Lo Manthang village.
The only entrance to this village is from the North East side, so a short circuit to the main entrance gate.

Day 10: Rest day for hike around Lo Manthang. 
This large village with about 150 houses and number of resident for the monks and lamas, the houses are closely packed; the palace and monasteries are in the bottom portion in this vertical part of the L shaped houses.
The school, health post, police post and several important chortens are located outside the walls to the north of the gate and east of the monastic part of the city; this village is quite prosperous and maintains strong community bond. People here call themselves Lobas, people from Lo, they are very much Tibetan and practice a practical culture economy. Before strong trade with Tibet was disrupted, all of the salt and wool trade on the Kali Gandaki passed through Lo Manthang, and this brought a substantial amount of money to this great village town. The Mustang raja's palace stands an imposing 4 storey building in the centre of the city. It is the home of the present raja, Jigme Parbal Bista, and the Rani (queen), who is from the noble family of Shigatse on route Lhasa.

Day 11: Trek to Ghami 3,440m 06 hrs.
Walk today is more descend with few ups all the way to Ghami, once outside the walled Lo Manthang village-town the path leads to a steady climb to the pass offering the last glimpse of Lo Manthang, the walk from here on is more or less gradual on the downhill path most of the way to Ghami village. Ghami is another important village of this region.

Day 12: Trek to Samar 05 hrs.
Morning trek follows straight route to Nyi La, with a climb to the ridge and then contouring upwards and then to the road from Tsarang. From the top of the ridge a steep descend leads all the way to Geling Valley. The trail continues bypassing Geling to a lone teahouse and then a gentle downhill to a small settlement of Tama Gung. A steep switchbacks trail leads to a stream; walk climbs to a large painted chhortens, from here it is straightforward route to the overnight stop at Samar village.

Day 13: Trek to Yak Kharka 3,845m.  06 hrs.
From this village route diverts to isolated area, first hour walk leads down hill on the same trail for 2 hours through Chele village and then reaching to the Mustang Khola, from here trail leads uphill for another two hours towards the remote village of Chhomang at 2,940m, walk climbs further up to the ridge, on leaving the village walk is on the gradual uphill trail, then reaching to the overnight stop at the bottom of pass at Yak Kharka.

Day 14: Trek to Muktinath 3,710m.  04 hrs.
After Yak Kharka leaving Upper Mustang meeting more trekkers coming from the other region of northern Annapurna via Thorang-la and from Kagbeni onwards, morning walk leads to a slow climb for an hour towards the pass at 3,970m, after the pass downhill trek most of the way to Muktinath on much wider trail overlooking superb views of the Mt.Nilgiri's and Tukuche peak in the far eastern and plain of Kali Gandaki Valley, walks gets much better to holy Muktinath for overnight stop with time to visit holy premises of Muktinath and its 108 ancient water spouts, believed to be the very source of the Kali-Gandaki River.

Day 15: Trek to Jomsom 04 hrs.
From Muktinath a pleasant walk following an easy descend towards Kaligandaki River Valley passing through the old village of Jharkot after an hour of this good, then reaching river bed at Eklebhatti, from here onwards gets windy in the afternoon, walk follows the gentle trail for another two hours till large town of Jomsom is reached for the overnight stop. Jomsom with a small airstrip just above by the river Kaligandaki, here time to celebrate with the local apple products like cider, brandy and juice this area from Kagbeni to Larjung is famous for delicious apples and its product.

Day 16: Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara.
The flight normally in morning because of the wind in the afternoon, sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather, depending upon the flight time this scenic flight from Jomsom takes about 25 minutes to Pokhara, a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks can be seen from the plane. From Pokhara half hour flight brings you back to Kathmandu.
Arriving at Kathmandu air terminal, AMN staff meets and transfer you back to hotel.

Day 17: Free day at leisure.
A free day in Kathmandu, inform Adventure Mission Nepal staff for short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley.

Day 18: Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
Today as per your international flight time, AMN staff transfer you to airport for your final departure from this high magic Himalayan country, Nepal.

Trip FAQs

How fit do I have to be?
The Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate and slightly challenging trekking. Some of the portion of the trek is difficult with steep inclines. Even though you don’t need any special skills for the trek we recommend you to do this if you are active in your daily life. You should be in proper health conditions so a check up with your doctor is advised before starting the trek. We advise you to do some light exercise for some time before undertaking this trip. You should be fit enough to walk 4-7 hours a day. But there will be plenty of rest and we can customize the trip as per your speed and requirement so that you can enjoy it much more.

How are the hotels in the cities and during the trek in Nepal?
In the cities especially in Kathmandu and Pokhara there are hotels of all kinds ranging from Back packer’s accommodation with basic facilities to luxury five star accommodations. You can choose from the various types available. Even the budget hotels have Wi-Fi, neat and clean rooms and attached bathrooms. The hotels that are star categorized have special amenities but the standard of hotels in western world can’t be compared with Nepalese standards. We would say a 5 star in Nepal would have the same kind of services like a 3 star or a 4 star hotel in North America/Europe.
The accommodations during the trek are basic and may not have attached bathrooms most of the time. You must share the toilets and bathrooms with fellow trekkers. Even though hot showers are not available you can get buckets of hot water for 1-2 USD depending upon how high you are in the mountains. The tea houses have restaurants with limited options but the foods they prepare are really delicious. The tea houses are often managed by individual families and are very welcoming and friendly. They are neat and clean and not bad for a single night. 

Is enough drinking water available? How many liters of water shall we carry in our day pack?
We advise our guests to bring water bottles with them so that they can refill the bottles at the tea house rather than buying everyday as water prices go proportionately higher with the altitude in the Himalayan region. Carrying purification tablets is also recommended. We advise you to drink atleast 4-5 liters of water every day during the trek to avoid dehydration. Trekking in Nepal is fun but only if you are careful about your health.

Where can I keep my extra luggage during trekking in Nepal?
While you are in the trek you can store the extra luggage at our office or at the hotel without paying anything extra either in Pokhara or Kathmandu.

Do I need to take walking sticks?
It depends on you but it is advised to carry them as they help you to balance in the small trails while walking in the mountains. They observe the pressure on your legs (quad muscles) while going up and down. Since they are not heavy you can easily tie them in your day pack and walk while you don’t use them.

Can I buy/rent any equipment in Kathmandu before the start of the trip?
Kathmandu, especially Thamel has lots of places to buy and rent equipments for trekking.  If you want to buy things at home it might be expensive compared to home. The things you buy or rent here will be cheaper but the quality is not the same. Things such as trekking shoes, jackets etc you can buy from home but petty things such as sun glasses, walking sticks, sleeping bags can be bought here.

Is there electricity to charge iPod, batteries, cameras etc… while on the mountain?
Yes you can charge the electronic stuffs at the tea houses during the trek but some tea houses charge you for that. The cost would be around 1 USD for a single device. You can charge them in your rooms in the cities.

Can we take showers during the trek?
It depends a lot I where you are. Usually below 3000m there are common bathrooms in the tea houses where you can take a shower and after you go high you might not want to shower often because of the cold weather. Some tea houses charge you for the hot water they provide in the buckets for Shower.

How much money per day do you think I will need? What currency should I take?
Local currency in Nepal is rupees. We recommend you bring US dollars with you to Nepal and exchange them here as this is easily done and is a widely accepted currency. Although you may get a lesser rate on traveler’s cheques, we suggest you carry a mixture of both depending on your needs. The amount of money you will need on a daily basis depends on your spending habits. A guide would be $10 per day for extra drinks and bar bill during your trek and $20 per day to cover lunch/dinner whilst in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

What do I have to carry with me on trek?
Try not to make the day pack very heavy but don’t miss essential things such as personal items, water, camera, snacks, sunscreen, hat, a fleece jacket and gloves for higher altitudes. You will have a porter helping you will most of the things besides the day pack when you are trekking in Nepal. The porters carry maximum 15 Kgs (can be little more or less depending upon the nature of trekking).

What if I get sick while on trek?
It depends on the seriousness of the health issue. If you have problem with altitude or cramp or something small we will take time and provide basic first aid in the place in case of emergency we will arrange for a helicopter or a horse to bring you to the nearest possible hospital.

Do I need to buy compulsory travel insurance for trekking in Nepal? Where do I buy?
Insurance is a must while going for a trek in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. You can get an insurance that covers health issue, rescue and evacuation and cancellations due to bad weather. We advise you to buy insurance at your home country before coming for trekking in Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan as buying insurance here will be twice as expensive.

Is there any compulsory tipping for Guide/Porters/Drivers etc?
Tipping is completely your personal choice. In Nepal there is no any hard and fast rule for tipping but usually the staff working in tourism gets tips from the guest. You can consult with us regarding the tipping. If you are happy with the services you are most welcome for the tipping.

Are there any communication facilities during this trip?
Most of Nepal is nowadays well connected with cell phone networks. There are cyber café or Wi-Fi in all cities and during the trek even the tea houses have internet services below 3000m but places like Manang, Jomsom, Muktinath etc are exceptions with internet facilities.

Useful Info

Reviews

  • Simply the Best Czech Republic I am traveling around the world since 1996 and it was the best experience with Asian travel agency I have ever had. Their work doesn't end with my payment but from this point starts long term cooperation and every day work. We had a lot of changes and rebooking on our trip and Mr. Raj was every hour prepared to help us. Unbelievable kind and funny! I have to say that the guide Mr. Bickie /Bal Krishna/ becomes our good friend and we never forget him.

    Thank you so much Mr. Raj and Mr. Bickie.

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