Upper Mustang Trek
At a Glance
  • Duration18 Days
  • Trip Grade Moderate
  • Country Nepal
  • Starts Kathmandu
  • Ends Kathmandu
  • Max. Altitude 4320m
  • Activity Trekking
  • Trip Type Tea House
  • Group Size 1-20
  • Guiding Method English
  • Best Season Spring and Autumn

The Upper Mustang Trek is a captivating journey through the ancient and restricted kingdom of Upper Mustang, situated in the rainshadow region of Dhaulagiri in Nepal. Until the early 1990s, Upper Mustang remained off-limits to foreigners, contributing to its mystique and preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture. This trek offers a unique opportunity to explore a trans-Himalayan landscape, witness centuries-old monasteries, and immerse oneself in the rich traditions of the region. This pristine and restricted enclave is situated along the deepest river gorge, offering a trekking experience that allows travelers to immerse themselves in the trans-Himalaya region and witness the rich tapestry of Tibetan Buddhist culture and tradition. The journey includes exploration of secluded valleys like Lo Manthang and visits to centuries-old monasteries.

Embarking on a trek to Lo Manthang and other villages of Upper Mustang is a unique and unforgettable odyssey, catering to those who have a penchant for delving into medieval Buddhist culture and arts. The region has admirably preserved its cultural heritage, resisting the influences of the outside world and steadfastly maintaining its traditions.

The trek provides an immersive experience in medieval Buddhist culture and arts. Travelers have the opportunity to witness traditional ceremonies, festivals, and interact with the local communities that have preserved their cultural heritage. This trek is ideal for those seeking a culturally enriching and off-the-beaten-path adventure in the Himalayas. As regulations and permits are required due to the restricted nature of the region, it's advisable to plan the trek through reputable trekking agencies that can provide the necessary support and guidance.

Various routes lead to Upper Mustang, with options to fly to Jomsom and commence the trek or follow the Kali Gandaki Valley trekking route. Alternatively, one can extend the Poon Hill trek through Tatopani and Jomsom to reach Upper Mustang.

The 18-day Upper Mustang Trek with Himalayan Joy Adventure begins with your arrival in Kathmandu on the first day. After a day of sightseeing in Kathmandu, you embark on a drive to Pokhara on the third day. The following day involves a flight to Jomsom and a trek to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang.

As you enter the restricted Upper Mustang Region, a four-day trek through challenging uphill and downhill rocky trails leads you to the enchanting Lo Manthang. Along the way, you traverse numerous passes, rivers, and villages in the barren landscape, spending nights in the picturesque villages of Chele, Syangboche, and Tsarang. Finally, you arrive at the capital of the forbidden Mustang Kingdom, Lo Manthang.

Permit and Regulation for Upper Mustang Trek

The trekking permit for Upper Mustang is relatively costly compared to permits for other trekking regions in Nepal. Given the restricted nature of this region, an entrance fee of USD 500 per person is required for access to Upper Mustang. Additionally, there is the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) fee, which amounts to USD 20.

It's important to note that individual trekkers are not permitted to enter Upper Mustang independently. To facilitate the acquisition of your trekking permit for Upper Mustang, Himalayan Joy Adventure is available to assist you. Furthermore, a guide and/or porter is mandatory to accompany you during the entirety of your trek in this region.

Best season for Upper Mustang Trek

It is recommended to plan your visit to Upper Mustang between February and November. Due to its location in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, Upper Mustang remains accessible even during the monsoon season from June to August, which is typically considered the off-season for trekking in many other parts of Nepal.

However, it is advisable to avoid visiting Upper Mustang during the winter months of December and January. The climate during this period is extremely cold, prompting even the local residents of Lo-Manthang to migrate to warmer areas to escape the harsh conditions.

For those seeking a vibrant atmosphere and the experience of local festivals, the second or third week of May is an excellent time to visit Upper Mustang. This is when Lo Manthang celebrates the Tiji Festival, featuring monks performing traditional dances and commemorating the incarnation of Buddha.

The Upper Mustang Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering nearly two weeks of exploration in the semi-desert region of Mustang. Interactions with the warm and hospitable local people, accommodations in villages with distinctive stone structures, and days spent hiking in secluded areas contribute to the unique charm of the journey.

The trek provides breathtaking views of distinctive landscapes and magnificent mountain peaks, creating lasting memories. The pristine aura of Lo Manthang and its surroundings imparts a sense of mystery to the forbidden towns. If this adventure appeals to you, now is the perfect time to plan your visit to Upper Mustang.


Expand all Collapse all

Himalayan Joy Adventure representative will pick you up from the Tribhuvan International Airport terminal. Then you will travel with him to a star hotel. On the way, you can introduce and have some talks. Then, you can rest in your hotel room or explore this beautiful city of Kathmandu.
In the evening, our team will host you a welcome dinner and make you comfortable with your stay in Kathmandu. You can enjoy a typical Nepali food and then cultural dance in a typical Nepali Restaurant.
Altitude: 1350 m

  • Max. Altitude: 1300 m.
  • Duration: 20 Minutes
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

It’s the day 02. You will sightsee some major UNESCO-listed heritages of Kathmandu. The major heritages include Swayambhunath, Pashupati, and Boudhanath. After sightseeing, we will return you back to your hotel. You will have some free time to prepare yourself for the trek.
Altitude: 1350 m

  • Max. Altitude: 1300 m.
  • Duration: 4 Hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

In the morning, you will catch a tourist bus to Pokhara. The 6 hours drive through beautiful countrysides is sure to make the start of your Upper Mustang Trek an enjoyable one. You will travel along the famous Trishuli River and stop at Kurintar for the lunch. Then, you will continue your journey to Pokhara.
After reaching Pokhara, you can spend the rest of the day sightseeing Pokhara. In the evening, make sure to experience the lively environment at the Lakeside. Overnight stay in Pokhara.

  • Max. Altitude: 827 m
  • Duration: 6-7 Hours
  • Accommodation: HOTEL

In the early morning, you will fly to Jomsom. The 20-minute scenic flight rewards you with majestic views of Dhaulagiri Mountain, Annapurna massif, Fishtail Mountain and dozens of other mountains of Himalayas.
After landing at Jomsom, you will have breakfast and meet your porters and helpers. Then you will complete your trekking permit paperwork and then begin your trek by trekking to the famous village of Kagbeni. Kagbeni has Kag Choden monastery and is a gateway to Upper Mustang. It takes about 3 hours to reach Kagbeni from Jomsom.
Altitude: 2,810 m
Travel and Walking Hours: 25 minutes flight, 3-4 hours walk
Distance: 11.4 km

  • Max. Altitude: 2,810 m
  • Duration: 25 m. flight/ 3 hours trek
  • Accommodation: Tea-House

The next day, you begin the trek by walking right up the river valley combining your high trail and pathways on the bank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail gradually begins to widen. You may also meet trains of mules carrying gods from Mustang and Tibet during the trek.
After passing through several caves and Kang monastery, you find your lunch spot - the village of Tangbe. This small settlement has several chortens and whitewashed houses built closely. There are buckwheat and barley fields and apple orchards. Nilgiri is seen towering on the southern skyline.
After your lunch, you trek further to cross the Kali Gandaki River and the uphill climb begins. The steep and rocky climb has the village of Chele waiting for you at the top.
Overnight stay in Chele.
Distance: 15.3 km

  • Max. Altitude: 3,050 m
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea-house
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today, you walk for about 6-7 hours. As you start your trek, you will have to cross a steep path and move up through the steep canyon. The trail takes you to a pass from where the descent begins. You make your way down through the pleasant trail to Samar.
You then make your way across the village to a ridge. Then once again, you begin moving down into a huge gorge. The gorge welcomes you to a valley full of juniper trees. You then cross a river and do a final ascent of the day to a pass. Then, the downward walk brings you to a small hamlet of Syangboche.
Overnight stay in Syangboche.
Distance: 11.5 km

  • Max. Altitude: 3,440 m
  • Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea-house
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

In the beginning, you will have a short climb to a pass before climbing down with amazing views of Kali Gandaki gorge. There are several routes. But, you will choose a trail that passes through small settlements of Tamagaon and Chhunggar. This trail connects with the traditional route at Jhaite.
Passing another pass with a long and pleasant downward trail takes you to Ghami - the lunch stop. Rest your tired legs and fill your stomach with a warm meal. About 250 meters long prayer wall is the highlight of this village.
After the meal, you will descend to cross a river and then walk upward to Tsarang La Pass. From there, it’s only downhill through a pleasant trail leading you to Tsarang. Tsarang is a silent village with mountains on all its sides.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,490 m
  • Duration: 7 -8 Hours
  • Accommodation: Tea-House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 11 km
The day 08 begins. After your morning breakfast, you begin the 11 kilometers walk that will take you about 4 to 5 hours. Most parts of the trail are wide and open and go gradually up. Walking in this remote and pristine reason is sure to turn into pleasant and unforgettable moments. Majestic views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri and Annapurna is just going to make this trek more pleasant.
You approach Lo Manthang by a beautiful red and white painted Sungda Chorten. Lo Manthang - the capital of former Kingdom Lo is a walled town that houses ethnic Lobhas. Lo remained a kingdom until 2008 when Nepal began its republican government.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,730 m
  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea-house
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 4 km
Today, you have a couple of options available. You can hike or take a horse ride to Chhosar. In the beginning, the trail slightly drops down to the river. After crossing the river, you begin ascending up for a while before walking on a flat trail leading to Chhosar. Chhosar has a popular cave and monasteries as well. After spending some hours exploring Chhosar, you can retrace back to Lo-Manthang.
Overnight stay in Lo-Manthang

  • Max. Altitude: 3,700 m
  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Altitude: 3750 m
Lo-Manthang is the major attraction of Upper Mustang. Lying somewhere about 50 kilometers from Tibetan border, it still remains the major salt and cloth trading route between Nepal and Tibet. As it used to be hundreds of years ago, mules still bring goods from Tibet.
The major attracting feature of this isolated settlement is the 6-meter wall. There are towers in each corner and within those enclosed walls lies the compact settlement of Lo-Manthang. There are many attractions within those walls. The major attractions are King’s palace, Thubchen Monastery, Jampa Monastery, museum, Thangka painting places are more. About 900 Lobhas live in this inner city.
This unique settlement has no comparison to any other parts of the world. Those Lobhas do not migrate and marry within their community. They practice the Bonpo form of Tibetan Buddhism.
The city remained restricted to visitors until 1990s. Although the city is opened to visitors, only about 1000 visitors can explore this enclosed city per year. The permit is limited to trekking agencies and rules are strictly applied.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,750 m
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Altitude: 3820 m
Walking Hours: 6-7 hours
Distance: 17 km
After spending two days in the amazing medieval city of Lo-Manthang, it’s time to ascend further up to Chogo La (4,230m). The views are amazing from the pass.
After that, you will walk through the trail that drops down to Lo Gekar. Ghar Gompa of Lo Nyingma sect - a unique monastery is the attraction of Lo Gekar. Then a lovely trail takes you to Muila Bhanjyang rewarding you with a majestic view of surrounding landscapes. Then, you will trudge down to a beautiful village of Dhakmar.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,820 m
  • Duration: 6 Hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Altitude: 3,800 m
Walking Hours: 6 hours
It’s the twelfth day of your Upper Mustang Trek. You will begin the trek and trek down to Ghami Village. From here, it’s the same trail that you had walked while ascending up. Now, retracing back through the same path, you will walk uphill to Nya La Pass and trek down to Jhaite for lunch. After your lunch, you will continue to trek until you reach Shyangbochen.

  • Max. Altitude: 3, 800 m
  • Duration: 6 Hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Altitude: 3,050 m
Walking Hours: 6 hours
On your way to Chhuksang, you will come across Ranchung Chungsi Cave before reaching Samare. This popular cave is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage of Upper Mustang. Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated in this cave in around 8th century.
After visiting this cave, you continue your journey and cross Taklam La and Dajong La Pass. You then descend down to the river and walk through an uphill trail to finally arrive at Samare for lunch. As the meal reinvigorate your body, you will descend all the way down to arrive at Chhuksang Village.
Overnight stay in Chhuksang.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,800 m
  • Duration: 6 Hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Altitude: 3,800 m
Walking Hours: 7 hours
Wake up, freshen up and have your morning breakfast. Today, you will trek to the holy region of Muktinath. The trail to Muktinath passes through apple orchards, crops fields, and small and beautiful settlements. After about 6-7 hours of trek, you reach Muktinath.
Muktinath is the holy temple of Hindus and Buddhists. Thousands of Indian and Nepalese pilgrims come to Muktinath every year. The temple premises also has 108 stone taps to take holy baths.
You can then march to the town area of Muktinath.
Overnight stay in Muktinath.

  • Max. Altitude: 3,800 m
  • Duration: 7 Hours
  • Accommodation: Tea-House
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Altitude: 2,743 m
Walking Hours: 6 hours
This is the last trekking day of your 18 days Upper Mustang Trek Package. You trek for 5-6 hours through fields, villages and a newly topped road to finally arrive at Jomsom. The majestic view of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri will energize you throughout the walk.
In the beginning, you descend down Jharkot and Khingar. You will find several monasteries and chortens. You then walk alongside Kali Gandaki River to rest your backpack at Jomsom. You can explore the town and buy souvenirs as well.

  • Max. Altitude: 2,743 m
  • Duration: 6 Hours
  • Accommodation: Lodge
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

An early morning flight will bring you to Pokhara. After your lunch, you can wander around the town and visit some attractions. Pokhara is the touristic center of Nepal. There are various attractions including Phewa Lake, Devis Falls, World Peace Stupa, museums, and much more. In the evening, make sure you enjoy the time experiencing the lively environment of Lakeside. There are high-end lodges, hotels, restaurants, and clubs at the Lakeside

  • Max. Altitude: 820 m
  • Duration: 25 minutes
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 200 km
You will travel back to Kathmandu by tourist bus. The 6 hours journey is full of scenic views of landscapes. You will travel alongside Trishuli River and pass through several towns and village. You will finally arrive at Kathmandu at the late noon. You will then travel to your hotel and you can spend the free time as you like.
Our team will give you a farewell dinner in a typical Nepali Restaurant in the evening. You can share about the experience you got in your trek to the restricted region of Upper Mustang.

  • Max. Altitude: 1300 m
  • Duration: 6 Hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

It’s the last day of your trip. We will transfer you to Tribhuwan International Airport terminal with sufficient time to check in for your flight. We hope that you had an incredible time in Nepal and encourage you to share your experiences with us on TripAdvisor or email. We welcome all feedback and hope that you had an experience of a lifetime with us! Have a safe flight!

    Upper Mustang Trek Route Map

    Upper Mustang Trek map

    Service Details

    What's Included
    • 3 nights Hotel in Kathmandu
    • 2 nights hotel in Pokhara
    • Flight Pokhara- Jomsom- Pokhara
    • One day Kathmandu valley tour
    • Food and accommodation during trekking (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
    • Transportation Kathmandu- Pokhara- Kathmandu (By flight or drive)
    • Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP) Permit
    • Restricted Area permit for Mustang
    • English Speaking Nepalese guide certified by Nepal Tourism and NATHM
    • Porter for your luggage
    • Insurance for Himalayan Joy Adventure staff
    • Himalayan Joy Adventure Duffel bag (Returnable after trip)
    • Himalayan Joy Adventure T-Shirt
    What's not Included
    • Nepal entry VISA ( You can obtain your visa upon your arrival in Nepal Immigration )
    • Your travel insurance ( Most Required) 
    • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara
    • Alcohols and beverages
    •  Bars bill such as Mars, Sneaker, Bounty chocolate etc
    • Personal trekking and climbing Equipment
    • Tips for trekking staffs and driver
    • If incase flight delay or Cancel,  extra expenses such as staying extra nights in hotels and food.
    • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on 'Price Includes' section

    Useful Information

    About culture of Nepal

    Nepal stands out as a globally diverse nation, showcasing a rich tapestry of ethnicities, religions, and cultures. With around 60 distinct ethnic groups, each preserving its unique religious beliefs, dialects, traditions, and customs, practically every household functions as a place of worship, whether it be a temple, church, monastery, or a festival venue. The intricate customs often find their origins in Hindu, Buddhist, or other religious traditions. Particularly noteworthy are the intriguing traditional marriage arrangements, where parents negotiate unions when their children reach a marriageable age.

    The veneration for the cow is a significant aspect of Nepalese life, leading to the avoidance of beef consumption due to the cow's status as the national animal. Moreover, cow dung is considered pure and is utilized for cleaning purposes, enhancing the sanctity of Nepalese households.

    The concept of "Jutho," signifying impurity, extends to food or water touched directly or indirectly by another's mouth, reflecting a cultural sensitivity.

    Nepalese customs and etiquette set themselves apart from European norms. The preference for the traditional greeting "Namaste" over handshakes symbolizes a cultural embrace, while the use of the right hand for giving and receiving is customary. Specific guidelines include men refraining from walking bare-chested, and women opting for long skirts to avoid unnecessary attention. Public displays of affection between men and women are generally considered unacceptable in Nepalese society.

    Nepal's secular status, declared by the Parliament in 2006, underscores its commitment to religious harmony. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Bon, and ancestor worship coexist in this multicultural tapestry. The majority follows Hinduism, rooted in Vedic principles expressed in the Vedas. Hindu worship centers around deities such as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, with the Shiva lingam representing Lord Shiva in temples. Buddhism, with its focus on the worship of Buddha, also holds significance in Nepal.

    Culinary practices in Nepal vary by region, influenced by Indian and Tibetan styles. The staple dish, Dalbhat, consists of lentils, rice, vegetable curry, pickles, and meat curry. Momos, or dumplings, enjoy widespread popularity as a snack. Rotis (flat bread) and dhido (paste) contribute to the diversity of meals, with many Nepalese preferring to eat with their hands rather than using forks and spoons.


    Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS)

    High-altitude sickness typically begins at an elevation of 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) above sea level. The manifestation of physiological responses to decreased atmospheric oxygen pressure includes a decrease in exercise performance and an increase in ventilation. While there is minimal impairment in the primary transport of oxygen, arterial oxygen levels see a significant reduction. Given the considerable number of individuals ascending rapidly to altitudes ranging from 2,400 to 4,000 meters, high-altitude illness is prevalent within this altitude range. The combination of reduced air pressure and lower oxygen concentrations at elevated altitudes results in the onset of acute mountain sickness. The faster the ascent to higher altitudes, the greater the likelihood of experiencing Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

    Signs & Symptoms

    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Chest tightness or congestion
    • Dizziness or light-headedness
    • Fatigue
    • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
    • Headache
    • Gray or pale complexion
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Shortness of breath with exertion:
    • Blue color to the skin (cyanosis)
    • Confusion
    • Cough
    • Coughing up blood
    • Decreased consciousness
    • Shortness of breath at rest


    • Eat usual meals, elevated in carbohydrate
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Avoid alcohol and smoking
    • Ascend slowly
    • Keep body warm

    Things to remember

    • Trek with guide and porter, do not trek alone
    • Use Kerosene for cooking, do not campfire
    • Take permission before taking pictures of people and religious sites
    • Bring back garbage, buried or disposed in selected areas.
    • Entering any protected and protected areas without permit is prohibited
    • Do not disturb animals and not remove plant
    • Respect to the local cultural heritage
    • Avoid the kissing in open place


    Similar Trips
    You May Also Like
    24/7 Customer Support