Upper Mustang Trek

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 18 days

Mustang is a rugged mysterious arid and haunting wilderness region set amid a lunar landscape of wind eroded hills and cliffs. It is a part of Dhaulagiri Zone with Jomsom as its headquarters and extends northward onto the Tibetan plateau. Upper Mustang was a lost kingdom of Tibet, and although it is now part of Nepal, traditions remains purely Tibetan in the former Lo Kingdom.

The fabled medieval wall city of Lo Manthang, unofficial capital of Mustang, was forbidden to foreigners until 1992. It remains a controlled region, which very few people visit, a deliberate policy of cultural and environmental preservation. There is a King’s Palace, surrounded by a maze of gompas and private houses all enshrined within the city boundary walls. Unmolested Mustang is frozen in time; it remains one of the ultimate journeys ever likely to be done in one lifetime.

Trek Profile:
Grade : Moderate
Average walking per day : 6 hrs
Maximum altitude : 4,100 m
Best seasons : Mar-Nov
Type of Trek : Camping
Starting Point : Jomsom
Ending Point : Jomsom

Standard Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m)
Upon arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport, meet our airport representative who will be displaying our company’s placard just outside the airport terminal. Then, get transferred to the respective hotel in a private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu

Day 02: Pre-trip Meeting; Kathmandu Valley sightseeing
After breakfast, at around 07:30 AM, pre-trip meeting is hosted in your hotel in Kathmandu in order to introduce the trek leader/guide. It is recommended to seek this opportunity to ask any question relevant to the trek. Please remember to bring the passport, 3 copies of passport-size photos, and a copy of the travel insurance policy. In any case that you will be arriving late and therefore are unable to attend the meeting, please inform in advance.

After that, get ready for the sightseeing tour that will start at around 09:30 AM. A private vehicle and professional tour guide is provided to guide you through the Kathmandu Valley including Bouddhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. A full-day sightseeing takes no more than 8 hours to complete including the lunch time and rest of the time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (827 m)
After early breakfast, leave for Pokhara, situated around 200 km west from Kathmandu. Pokhara is a beautiful valley with Phewa Lake in the west and stunning view of the Annapurna mountain range at the north. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2,710 m) & trek to Kagbeni (2,885 m)
From Pokhara, take an early flight to Jomsom that takes up through the Kali Gandaki Gorge between the towering snow-capped peaks of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Jomsom at Lower Mustang.

Upon arrival, meet the rest of the trekking staff, do equipment packing and start walking towards Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. Overnight at tented camp, Kagbeni

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3,050 m)
The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kali Gandaki River climbing over many ridges as it heads north and reaches Tangbe Village. The town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. The Nilgiri Peak dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni all the way by different shapes. Beyond Tangbe, walking for about half an hour, reach Chhusang Village. Then after, cross the river which continues north climbing up to a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel that the Kali Gandaki flows. Afterwards, leave the Kali Gandaki Valley and climb up a rocky gully to Chele. Overnight at tented camp, Chele

Day 06: Trek to Geling (3,500 m)
From Chele, the climb is up a steep spur to a cairn at 3,130 m; there is a view of the village of Gyagar across a huge canyon. A long wall of packed earth encircles Gyagar and its field. The climb continues along the side of the spectacular steep canyon to a pass and the cairn of rocks. Here, the trail makes a long gradual descent to some chortens on a ridge, then descends further on a pleasant trail to Samer. Climb above Samer to a ridge, and then descend into a large gorge passing chortens painted in red, black, yellow and white. Along the way, the Annapurna Himal is still visible far to the south. From here, descend to Geling with its extensive field of barley. Overnight at tented camp, Geling

Day 07: Trek to Charang (3,620 m)
From Geling, the trail climbs gently up to an interesting pass, Nyi La (3,950 m), and descends below the blue, grey and red cliffs. After crossing a steel bridge over Tangmar Chu (river), you will arrive to a Mani Wall, perhaps the longest and the most spectacular Mani Wall in Nepal. Climbing over another pass at 3,600 m, the trail makes a long gentle descent to Charang Village. Charang is a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the large Charang Chu Canyon. The huge 5-storied white dzong and red gompa are perched on the edge of the Kali Gandaki Gorge on the east end of the valley. Overnight at tented camp, Charang

Day 08: Trek to Lo Manthang (3,840 m)
The trail descends about 100 m from Charang, crossing the Charang Chu, climbing steeply up a rocky trail to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village, entering the Thulung Valley. The trail turns north and climbs gently as the valley climbs to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. Continue climbing the trail that crosses a stream then becomes a grand wide thoroughfare, travelling across a desert-like landscape painted in every hue of grey and yellow. Finally, from a ridge, there is a view of the walled city of Lo. After a short descent and crossing a stream, climb up into the plateau of Lo Manthang. Overnight at tented camp, Lo Manthang

Day 09: Rest day for exploration
The village is noted for its tall white washed mud brick walls, gompas and the King’s Palace, a 9-cornered, 5-storied structure built around 1400 AD. There are four major temples within the city walls of Lo Manthang: Jampa Gompa, the oldest one that was built in the early 15th century and is also know as the ‘God House’; Thubchen Gompa, a huge red assembly hall and gompa built in the late 15th century and located just southwest of Jampa Gompa; Chodey Gompa, now the main city gompa; and the Choprang Gompa, popularly known as the ‘New Gompa’. Overnight at tented camp, Lo Manthang

Day 10: Rest day for exploration
Another day to explore Lo Manthang and a hike to Namgyal Gompa and Tingsar is worthwhile. Namgyal Gompa is situated on a hilltop, which serves as an important monastery for the local community, also serving as a local court. It takes around 2 hrs to reach there. After visiting the gompa, continue walking to Tingkhar, a village of around 40 houses, the last main village to the northwest of Lo Manthang. After visiting Namgyal Gompa & Tingkhar, return to Lo Manthang. Overnight at tented camp, Lo Manthang

Day 11: Trek to Dhi (3,410 m)
From Lo Manthang, the trail is straight till Dhi Pass (4,100 m) and descends down to Dhi Village. The village is one of the best villages of whole Lo Manthang and it seems more prosperous and it is settled in a very suitable place. Overnight at tented camp, Dhi

Day 12: Trek to Tange (3,370 m)
From Dhi, follow the route to Tange that goes through the river for around 2 hrs and crosses a river from Damodar Kunda, one of the sacred lakes. After crossing the river, the trail climbs up till high above a pass at 3,850 m; goes through a grassless and treeless bare hill; and finally drops to Tange Village. Tange is a small village of around 30 houses but most of the houses are attached to each other. Overnight at tented camp, Tange

Day 13: Trek to Tetang (3,022 m)
The trail goes through a steep ridge of hills providing some fine views of the wind carved hills. Tetang is a village formed between two hills; people should have found it a safe place to avoid the strong wind that hits the entire Kali Gandaki Valley. It is the upper village of the Chuksang that has been visited on the first day entering to Mustang from Kagbeni. Overnight at tented camp, Tetang

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom
The trail goes through the village of Jharkot, where one can visit the many attractions such as the Jharkot Monastery, Tibetan Herbal Medical Centre and the old fortress of Jharkot which once served as a palace. Continuing the trek towards Jomsom, enjoy the views of the Kali Gandaki Valley and Kagbeni. Overnight at tented camp, Jomsom

Day 15: Fly to Pokhara
Take a 30 minute morning flight to Pokhara; get transferred to the hotel and rest of the day in Pokhara at leisure. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara

Day 16: Free day in Pokhara
After breakfast, relax and enjoy the day on your own. It’s also spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara

Day 17: Drive back to Kathmandu
After breakfast, drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu

Day 18: Departure
After breakfast, free till check out time; get transferred to Kathmandu International Airport for your final departure.