Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary with Cost - Best Guide

Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang trek is the ultimate gateway to the mysterious world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. Once forbidden and isolated from the rest of the world for decades, the area was able to evolve within its own distinctive culture and rich traditions closely tied to Tibet. This moderate, lesser-known trek passes through one of the driest regions of Nepal and provides spectacular mountain scenery.

To trek in Upper Mustang is a rare privilege. Here you will experience a way of life of true mountain people, who for hundreds of years, had very little contact with the rest of Nepal and retained their rich cultural heritage. Until recent times their king was officially recognized by the Government of Nepal.

In many ways, a trek into Upper Mustang is similar to trekking in Tibet, as geographically it is a part of the Tibetan plateau. The district of Mustang was, until 1950, a separate kingdom within the boundaries of Nepal. The last king, the Raja of Mustang, still has his home in the ancient capital known as Lo Manthang.

Table of Contents

Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek

  • You will walk back to the history of Lo Manthang after exploring the palace of king Lo.
  • You can walk freely without worrying about the rain as the region lies in the rain shadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
  • You will have a spiritual feel walking through many Gompas, chortens, flapping prayer flags, caves, rock paintings, and century-old monasteries.
  • You will catch a live glimpse of Tibetan influence on the everyday activities and culture of the locals there.
  • You will be proceeding further on the trip with the enticing views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other chains of mountains.
  • Breathe the spirituality of the Tibetan-like people and monks with their prayer flags, mani walls, and ritual chanting.
  • You will witness of everyday life and culture of the local people who live closely like their Tibetan neighbors.

Trek Length And Terrain

The main itinerary above is approximately 100 kilometers but as mentioned this can also be adapted if you prefer. Each day the trek starts after breakfast at about 8.30 am and there are many opportunities to stop, absorb the views, take photos or have a cup of tea along the trail. The pace is slow and the itinerary allows for excellent acclimatization through the beauty of this trek is that we don’t go to any particular height. Most days trekking is for 6 or 7 hours and generally finished by mid-afternoon.

The terrain is along well-trodden and defined paths which can be sandy and desert-like in places and at other times rocky. There is no need for crampons or any technical equipment or skills, it is purely a trek. The Mustang is un-spoilt with a rich Tibetan culture due to it having been closed to the rest of Nepal and elsewhere until the early 1990s, however, you will find a warm and friendly welcome. The valley is essentially a large dried-up ravine that is also in the Himalayan monsoon shadow, so it is possible to visit for most of the year, however, we would suggest you avoid mid-winter and consider any time from March through to late November.

People who enjoy hill-walking, trekking, stunning scenery, fascinating cultures, and who are moderately fit will love this adventure.

Upper Mustang Trek Map

Upper Mustang Trek Map
Upper Mustang Trek Map

Altitude Profile For The Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek Altitude Profile
Upper Mustang Trek Altitude Profile

Permits for the Upper Mustang Trek

Restricted Permit Cost: $500 per person for 10 days. $50 per day if the trek is longer than 10 days (within the Upper Mustang area proper).

ACAP Permit: $20 per person.

Note: You cannot do this trek along. You need to be a minimum of two trekkers traveling with an authorized trekking company.

Best Time for Upper Mustang Trek

If you are looking for the perfect option for trekking in Nepal during the summer months, the Upper Mustang will automatically come on your radar. Thanks to the Upper Mustang being in the rain shadow of the Annapurnas, you can experience crystal clear days and dry weather this time of the year. Interestingly enough, the summer months are also relatively quiet. The best teahouses will be yours. The most popular times of the year are Spring and Autumn.

In May, the Tiji Festival is held. Many trekkers like to combine their adventure with this traditional festival. The three-day festival takes place on the premises of the former king of Mustang’s palace. The locals from far and wide visit Lo Manthang (Upper Mustang) to participate in the festival. You can also go trekking in the Upper Mustang in winter, but you will have to make sure you are bringing the right gear.

Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

It can be hard to choose a fitting Upper Mustang Trek. If you want to do the Upper Mustang the right way, you try to take as much time for it as possible. As transfers from Kathmandu to Pokhara are usually included, you want to spend some time in Pokhara as well. The town is just too pretty to simply skip it. Besides, you will be traveling quite a bit to get there, so you might as well stretch your leg a little.

Our trekking experts agree that the below 14-day itinerary will give you the best bang for the buck:

Day 01- Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara

Maximum Altitude: 1,400m at Kathmandu/ 830m at Pokhara
Driving Hours: 6-7 hours

After breakfast, we set off early to drive to Pokhara. The road winds its way out of the Kathmandu Valley along the Trishuli River until the point we stop for lunch when the road becomes flatter.

On the way, we can watch rafters tackle the rapid on the river (your next trip perhaps?), and catch glimpses of mountains in the distance. On arrival in Pokhara, there are even more stunning mountains to see. In fact, you cannot escape the gaze of Machhapuchhre (also known as Fishtail) which towers over the city at 6,993m.

After checking into your hotel you have time to explore the lakeside area, boat on Fewa Lake, visit one of the many lakeside bars before dinner or simply relax.

Note: We normally use tourist buses which are to a high standard. But if you would like to hire a private vehicle please let us know.

Breakfast Included
Overnight in Pokhara

Day 02 – Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2800m)

Maximum Altitude: 2,743 at Jomson
Flying Time: 20 minutes
Trekking Time: 2 – 3 hrs

This morning we get up even earlier to check-in to catch the short flight from Pokhara to Jomson. Sightseeing by plane! This amazing short flight takes through the mountains to the interesting market town for the Mustang area.

Set off through the town, over a small bridge then hit the trail proper to take an easy yet interesting hike to Kagbeni.

This afternoon there is time to explore the small and very unique village of Kagbeni with its walled passages and strange clay effigies decorating the walls.

If you like you can hike up the nearby hill to get a good view up the Kali Gandaki River to Upper Mustang and map out the zig zag trail that leads over the opposite hill to Dolpo.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.
Overnight in Kagbeni

Day 03 – Trek to Chele (3050m)

Maximum altitude: 3,050m at Chele
Trekking hours: 7 hrs

After breakfast, we set off to enter Upper Mustang! The trail takes us along the Kali Gandaki River where the wind will challenge us as it whistles up the valley gorge. At Tangbe Village we notice how the houses are white-washed, set among fields of buckwheat and barley. Apple orchards also dot the landscape. Following a ridge, we reach the village of Chele.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.
Overnight at Chele

Day 04 – Trek to Syangbochen (3800m)

Maximum altitude: 3,735m at Darjori La pass
Trekking hours: 6 hrs

Our trek today goes along a steep barren land, alongside the copper-red canyon. We will make a gradual descent to some Chortens on a ridge, and after hiking downhill for some more time we will reach the beautiful village of Samar. From there, we will climb a ridge and descend into a giant gorge.

We will keep trekking through another valley and cross a stream and before we will climb up a ridge which lies at 3,800m. We will climb yet another pass, go through another ridge before we can finally descend to Syangbochen.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight Syanboche


Day 05 – Trek to Ghami (3520m)

Maximum altitude: 4,010m at the Nyi Pass
Trekking hours: 5 hrs

From Syangbochen, we will gently hike uphill until we reach a pass at 3770m and trek downhill to reach the village of Geling. From Gehling, we will go uphill passing through fields to the center of the valley. Then we will climb a tough terrain across the head of the valley to the Nyi La pass (3840m).

From there we will descend for half an hour until we reach a trail junction, the right trail is a route to Charang while the left one leads to Ghami. It is a village of clustered whitewashed mud and stone houses canopied by an overhanging cliff. This is a great place to spend the night.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Ghami

Day 06 – Trek to Charang (3560m)

Maximum altitude: 3,870m at Charang La Pass
Trekking hours: 4 hrs

Today’s trek starts off over rough and sometimes slippery ground as we descend to a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola. The trail takes us past mani walls (stone-built walls with Tibetan mantras carved into the stones) and over the Charang La Pass (3,870m).

At the top of the Charang Chu canyon lies the village of Charang. This village also has a fortress and a red gompa to the east of it. There is plenty of time to explore after lunch!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Charang

Day 07: Charang to Lo Manthang (3840m)

Maximum altitude: 3,560m at Charang
Trekking hours: 5 hrs

Dropping down into a canyon we cross a river and ascend to the Lo La pass (3,950m). From the pass, we get our first look at the historic and beautiful village of Lo Manthang.

This walled village is the traditional home to the King of Lo and is still the scene of many interesting and colorful Buddhist festivals. The surrounding mountains – Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I, and Bhrikuti Peak at to the atmosphere of the place.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Lo Manthang

Day 08- Day trip to Chooser Cave/Exploring Lo-Manthang

Maximum altitude: 3,770m at Chhoser Caves
Trekking hours: 3 hrs

Today we get to explore some of the mysteries of Upper Mustang. A short trek to the area of Chhoser is the beginning of a day you will not forget! Here we find what is known as the Jhong Caves or even Sky Caves.

These are five-story high caves built into the side of cliffs. Researchers are still puzzling as to who built these caves and why. It is assumed they were used as burial chambers, hiding places, places of meditation, and later, monasteries.

But no one really knows the origins of these amazing caves. We can explore some of these caves, taking a packed lunch with us so we can enjoy the atmosphere of the caves, lunar-like landscape, and mountains while relaxing also. Then we head back to Lo Manthang where we overnight again.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Lo Manthang
Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 09 – Trek to Dhamkar (3820m)

Maximum altitude: 3,880m at Dhamkar
Trekking hours: 6 – 7 hrs

Today is a longer trekking day but as usual, there is plenty of interesting things to see on the way! Gyakar Village is home to the century-old Ghar Gompa which has stunning rock paintings. Here you must make a wish, as is tradition. We have time to explore the gompa before heading on to Drakmar.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight at Drakmar
Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 10 – Descend to Syangbochen

Maximum altitude: 3,860m at Ghiling
Trekking hours: 5 – 6 hrs

There are normally very strong winds on this part of the trail so we start early in the morning to descend through a dry plateau and some agricultural fields to reach the village of Ghiling. Although a challenging and tiring day because of the wind, we get great views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri to compensate.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight at Ghiling
Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 11 – Trek to Chhusang (2980m)

Maximum altitude: 3,860m at Ghiling/ 3,050m at Chuksang
Trekking hours: 5 – 6 hrs

We will continue our trek over steep ridges and hills. We will trek to Tetang, the upper village of Chuksang which lies between two hills. It is a safe escapade from the fierce wind that hits the Kali Gandaki valley frequently.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight at Chuksang

Day 11 – 12 Chuksang to Jomson

Maximum altitude: 3,050m at Chuksang/ 2,715m at Jomson
Trekking hours: 5 – 6 hrs

Today we say goodbye to Upper Mustang and enter the lower regions (or Lower Mustang as it is also called) of the district at Jomson. On this, our final trekking day, we will have lunch at Kagbeni and perhaps this time explore the little monetary and look fondly up the Kali Gandaki gorge to where we have spent the last 10 days – the Kingdom of Lo. Our trek has in fact, rejoined the Annapurna Circuit Trek as we head from Kagbeni to Jomson.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Jomson
Accommodation: Guesthouse


Day 13 – Flight to Pokhara and Exploring the City

Maximum altitude: 2,715m at Jomson/ 830m at Pokhara
Flying hours: 20 minutes

Today we rise early to catch the morning flight to Pokhara. The mountains seem to have taken on a new meaning to us now that we have seen them from all angles.

After checking into the hotel in Pokhara you are free to enjoy the city and do a bit of shopping at Lakeside. With its vibrant bars and nightlife perhaps you wish to celebrate the end of your trek with a few drinks and a bit of dancing – Nepali or Western club style! Or simply enjoy the lights over Fewa Lake.

Breakfast included
Overnight in Pokhara
Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 14 – Drive Pokhara – Kathmandu

Maximum Altitude: 830m at Pokhara/ 1,400m at Kathmandu
Driving Hours: 6-7 hours

Say goodbye to Fishtail and the Annapurnas as we begin the drive back to Kathmandu. Catch up on your sleep on the way as you will want to join us for an end of trek dinner tonight! Before that you have time to explore Thamel, do some more shopping, revive your body with a massage or sip coffee in one of the many cafes and restaurants in town.

Breakfast included.
Overnight in Kathmandu

Trekking Checklist: What to Bring on Upper Mustang Trek?

Bag pack For Trekking

Your gear is your best friend while being out in the mountains. It, in fact, doesn’t matter where you are going, your equipment is key. In extreme cases, gear can make the difference between life and death. In every case, the right equipment can make the difference between you having a good time and ending up miserable.

You have booked your tickets, your guide in Nepal is waiting and now you rock up with a too-heavy backpack, a jacket that is not thick enough, and shoes that are very likely going to give you blisters. What a waste. Pack the right gear and make more of your trip to Poon Hill. Before we start, note one important thing. We are trekking, not climbing. Hence, you can leave the ropes, the chalk, and the carabiners in your closet.

Below we present you a basic comprehensive packing list suitable for any trek in Nepal including the Upper Mustang Trek:

– Duffel Bag
Rucksack with Rain Cove Daypack
– Hiking Boots
Sandals or Shoes
– Hiking Socks
– Trekking Poles
Inner Socks
– Thermal Baselayer
– T-Shirts
– Fleece Pullover or Jacket
– Light Weight Thermal Tops
Waterproof Jacket
– Sports Bra for Her
– Hiking Shorts
– Hiking Pants
– Waterproof Pants

Obviously, there is more you can pack and bring along. Everyone is different, so everyone has their own needs. If you want the ultimate packing list, you can simply go here. Click Here

Upper Mustang Trek - Accommodation

Accommodation throughout our trek is in basic but comfortable lodges which are run by local Mustang families. Each lodge has a central communal area with a large stove that provides heat and a cozy atmosphere. The bedrooms are unheated and generally have two beds with mattresses, pillows, and a blanket. You will need to bring a sleeping bag (3 seasons is fine) and we’d recommend a pillowcase.

The lodges generally have showers that are powered by gas and they mostly use sit-down flush toilets (some lodges do also have squat toilets). Food on the Upper Mustang trek is very good quality and a mixture of local Nepali / Tibetan and western food. A common, tasty, and fulfilling local meal is dal bhat with rice.

We don’t provide hotels in Kathmandu as there is such a huge range available but of course happy to recommend or book hotels if required. We do provide accommodation in Pokhara and Jomsom on a twin room basis.


More Information About Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang has opened to non-Nepali trekkers only some fifteen years ago and even today, access is still highly restricted. To enter Upper Mustang, that is to travel further north of Kagbeni, trekkers need a special trekking permit and must be accompanied by a government-appointed official.

Upper Mustang, being in the Himalayan rain shadow, is one of the regions in the country suitable for trekking even during the monsoons. During this time, the upper Kali Gandaki valley is still quite dry with only occasional rainfall.

The Mustang trek is not particularly difficult, the highest point reached being only 3,800 meters, but the conditions at times can be arduous. Mustang is cold in winter and is always windy and dusty throughout the year. Winter treks are best avoided due to harsh weather.

There are few accommodation facilities available above Kagbeni, so groups must be fully self-sufficient, especially in fuel. While porters are available in Jomsom it is preferable to use mules to carry the loads up to Mustang. These pack animals are available locally and are more economical, and certainly more environmentally friendly than porters.

The rugged desert terrain of Upper Mustang is complemented by splashes of green vegetation for agriculture and pastures.

Book Upper Mustang Trek with Us

It is easy to book Upper Mustang Trek with Us. Please follow the instructions properly to reserve your spot. Advance Booking will ensure your early Shift and Guaranteed Spot as you wanted. There are limited seats for the Bungee and Swing. So, We always recommend booking in advance.

Step 1: Call us or send us a message at +9779863655576 or Click on Whatsapp Icon to get information about availability.

Step 2: Pay Us NRS 1,000 Booking Fee either Via Esewa/Khalti or Bank Account. 

E-Sewa/Khalti: +9779863655576

Step 3: Send us a Receipt or Call Us acknowledging Payment.

Scroll to Top