Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang, also known as mountain Desert of Nepal,, where breathtaking landscapes and a rich cultural experience await you. This remote region was inaccessible to tourists until 1992, which has helped preserve its unique traditions and way of life.

In Upper Mustang, you'll have the opportunity to experience the authentic lifestyle of mountain people who have had limited contact with the rest of the world. With a population that primarily speaks Tibetan and Nepali, you'll find a culture that is largely unaffected by Western influence.

The trek begins with a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, offering an adventure in itself as you soar through the deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki. From Kagbeni, the journey takes you northward through a majestic and colorful formation of rock. The trek culminates in Lo Manthang, the capital of Upper Mustang, where you can find the oldest Tibetan monastery in the world, Lo Gear Monastery.

Upper Mustang is located in the Mustang district of Gandaki Pradesh, Nepal. The highest altitude of Upper Mustang is 3840m above sea level, and the overall area is 2020 km². Its capital is Lo Manthang. It lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif, creating a majestic view of the colorful and impressive rock formations. The unique formations of rock and landscape are a major attraction for trekking enthusiasts. Additionally, the whitewashed houses and prayer flags add a beautiful splash of color to the otherwise barren landscape.

Along the way, you'll encounter whitewashed houses and prayer flags that add a burst of color to the barren landscape. You'll also have the opportunity to stay in guest houses built in the Tibetan culture, where you can enjoy dinner with the owners.

While the monsoon season is the best time to visit Upper Mustang due to the region being in the rain shadow, any season offers exhilarating views of this incredible destination. However, it's worth noting that if you plan to visit in November, some residents from Lo Manthang and surrounding areas may have migrated to lower altitudes for the winter months, which may impact restaurant and accommodation availability.

Overall, Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique and unforgettable experience of natural beauty and cultural richness, attracting thousands of tourists every year.

Fees and Permits: Some trekking areas in Nepal require a special permit, especially if the area is an open border or has a connection with other countries. Similarly, Upper Mustang also requires a special permit before entering the area, as Mustang shares a border with China. For foreign tourists, obtaining a trekking permit can be a bit expensive. Tourists need two different types of permits - the Mustang Restricted Permit and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. The costs for these permits are as follows:

• Mustang Restricted Permit: USD 500 per person for 10 days and USD 50 per additional day.

• Annapurna Conservation Area Permit: USD 27.

Important Note: Itinerary can be customized according to the number of days you have available for your holiday in Nepal. Nowadays, jeep drives are also available as an alternative to trekking, so kindly let us know your specific requirements.

Trip Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang Trek is a unique journey into the remote and mystical region of Nepal, offering trekkers a glimpse into the preserved Tibetan culture and stunning landscapes. Here are the key highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek:

Scenic and Unique Landscapes

  1. Desert-Like Terrain: Experience the striking desert-like landscapes with dramatic rock formations, deep canyons, and wind-eroded hills.
  2. Panoramic Mountain Views: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
  3. Lush Valley of Lo Manthang: Explore the green oasis of Lo Manthang, the ancient walled city.

Cultural Immersion

  1. Tibetan Culture: Upper Mustang is known as the "Last Forbidden Kingdom," where Tibetan culture, language, and traditions have been well-preserved.
  2. Ancient Monasteries: Visit centuries-old Buddhist monasteries like the Thubchen Gompa and Jampa Lhakhang.
  3. Local Festivals: If timing allows, experience traditional festivals such as Tiji, a three-day ritual celebrated in Lo Manthang.

Historical Significance

  1. Lo Manthang: The ancient walled city of Lo Manthang is a cultural treasure, with its royal palace, monasteries, and unique architecture.
  2. Cave Dwellings: Explore ancient cave dwellings and monasteries carved into cliff faces, some dating back over a thousand years.

Restricted Area Adventure

  1. Special Permits: Upper Mustang is a restricted area, requiring a special permit to trek. This adds an element of exclusivity and adventure.
  2. Less Crowded: Enjoy a quieter and less crowded trekking experience compared to more popular routes in Nepal.

Trekking Experience

  1. Diverse Terrain: Trek through a variety of terrains, including barren landscapes, riverbeds, and lush valleys.
  2. Moderate Difficulty: The trek is moderately challenging, suitable for trekkers with a reasonable level of fitness.

Cultural Exchange

  1. Local Interaction: Engage with the local Mustang people, known for their warmth and hospitality.
  2. Homestays and Teahouses: Stay in traditional teahouses and homestays, offering a close-up view of local life.

Scenic Highlights

  1. Kagbeni: The trek typically starts from Kagbeni, a picturesque village that serves as the gateway to Upper Mustang.
  2. Chhoser Village: Known for its ancient cave dwellings and the Nyphu Gompa, a monastery built into the rock face.
  3. Tsarang: Visit the Tsarang Gompa and the old royal palace with its colorful prayer wheels and murals.

Flora and Fauna

  1. Diverse Wildlife: Spot unique wildlife adapted to the high-altitude desert environment, such as snow leopards, blue sheep, and various bird species.
  2. Unique Vegetation: Discover rare plant species that thrive in the arid conditions of Upper Mustang.


  1. Jomsom to Lo Manthang: The trek usually starts with a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, making the region relatively accessible.
  2. Well-Marked Trails: The trekking routes are well-marked and maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.

Photography Opportunities

  1. Stunning Landscapes: Capture the unique desert landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and panoramic mountain views.
  2. Cultural Portraits: Photograph the vibrant culture, traditional attire, and ancient architecture of the Mustang region.

Environmental Awareness

  1. Sustainable Trekking: Engage in eco-friendly trekking practices to preserve the pristine environment of Upper Mustang.
  2. Cultural Respect: Show respect for local customs and traditions to maintain the cultural integrity of the region.

The Upper Mustang Trek is a journey into a hidden world, offering a blend of cultural richness, historical depth, and natural beauty. It's an unforgettable adventure for those seeking to explore one of Nepal's most remote and culturally intact regions.

Outline Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Arrival to Kathmandu
  • Day 02: Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Day 03: Pokhara to Jomsom to Kagbeni
  • Day 04: Kagbeni to Chele
  • Day 05: Chele to Syanbochen
  • Day 06: Syanbochen to Ghami
  • Day 07: Ghami to Tsarang
  • Day 08: Tsarang to Lo manthang
  • Day 09: Lo manthang to Ghar Gompa
  • Day 10: Ghar Gompa to Gelling
  • Day 11: Gelling to Chhusang
  • Day 12: Chhusang to Muktinath
  • Day 13: Muktinath temple to Jomsom
  • Day 14: Jomsom to Pokhara
  • Day 15: Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Day 16: Farewell

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01 :Arrival to Kathmandu After getting at the flight from your local airport, you will enter into the beautiful and of Nepal viewing the best scene of mountains from the flight. The beautiful scenario will always be there to welcomes you along with the helpful members of the Destination Unlimited Treks and Expeditions. The representative will guides you towards the hotel room of the Kathmandu to spend the mean time in Kathmandu.
  • Day 02 :Kathmandu to Pokhara From Kathmandu, we will drive towards the Pokhara valley. The scenic drive will takes about 7 to 8 hours for us to reach at Pokhara. The leisure time can be spent in the Pokhara viewing the best scene of the surrounding. We can visit at the lake side and the beautiful caves around the valley. The night will be resting at the Pokhara at one of the best hotels of the city.
  • Day 03 :Pokhara to Jomsom to Kagbeni Early morning drive to Pokhara airport then flight to Jomsom. We can catch the flight over to the beautiful region of Jomsom from Pokhara. After spending some time at Jomsom, we will trek towards the beautiful region of Kagbeni. Kagbeni is at the altitude of 2800m which offers us glorious view of the surrounding. The night will be at Kagbeni enjoying the sight.
  • Day 04 :Kagbeni to Chele From Kagbeni, we will walk towards the beautiful region of Chele. We need to have the special permit while trekking at this region. The beautiful scene of the Kaligandaki River will obviously attract us. We will stay the night at Chele at the altitude of 3100m.
  • Day 05 :Chele to Syanbochen From Chele, we will walk towards the Taklam la at the altitude of 3640m and to the village of samara. We will continue our journey following the main trail to reach at the Syanbochen at the altitude of 3475m above sea level. We need to walk through the main trail for about 5 to 6 hours.
  • Day 06 :Syanbochen to Ghami From Syanbochen, we will walk toward the beautiful region of Ghami. We have to cross the Nyila pass at the altitude of 4020m viewing the monastery and few lodges of there. The overnight will be fantastic at Ghami at the altitude of 3520m after the trekking of 5 to 6 hours.
  • Day 07 :Ghami to Tsarang We need to walk shortly to reach at the Tsarang from Ghami. Tsarang is at the altitude of 3560m above sea level. The night will be beautiful at Tsarang. We can visit around the royal palace of the region which will be surely marvelous. The night will be fantastic at Tsarang.
  • Day 08 :Tsarang to Lo manthang We will trek towards the Lo manthang from the Tsarang which will provide us great view of the surrounding. We can get the magnificent view of the Nilgiri Tilicho Annapurna I and other beautiful peaks of the region during our trek. Walking for about 4 to 5 hours will lead us to the beautiful region of Lo manthang. The night will be spectacular at the Lo manthang at the altitude of 3840m.
  • Day 09 :Lo manthang to Ghar Gompa From Lo manthang, we will walk towards the Ghar Gompa viewing the great scene of the surrounding. The journey through the beautiful trail will be worth remembering. We need to walk for about 4 to 5 hours through the main trail to reach at the beautiful region of Ghar Gompa. Ghar Gompa is at the altitude of 3920m above sea level. The night will be better at one of the lodges.
  • Day 10 :Ghar Gompa to Gelling We will retrace our journey back to gelling following the same path. We will make our journey through the beautiful village of Ghami which will continues until we will reach at the gelling at the altitude of 3570 after walking for about 5 to 6 hours through the main trail.
  • Day 11 :Gelling to Chhusang From Gelling, we will walk towards the Chhusang. The trekking goes for about 5 to 6 hours through the main trail until we will reach at the Chhusang at the altitude of 2980m. The night will be splendidly beautiful at Chhusang enjoying with friends.
  • Day 12 :Chhusang to Muktinath From Chhusang, we will trek towards the holy region of Muktinath temple. The trail will offer us beautiful scenery of the surrounding. We will make our journey through the Gyu la pass situating at the altitude of 4090m above sea level. From the pass, the trail will begin to slope gently towards the Muktinath to the altitude of 3760m. The night will be at Muktinath temple.
  • Day 13 :Muktinath temple to Jomsom We will wake up early in the morning and move towards the Muktinath temple. We will worship the god at Muktinath and will walk towards the Jomsom after having the breakfast. We will be at Jomsom after the trekking of about 4 to 5 hours through the main trail. The night will be fantastic at Jomsom enjoying with the friends.
  • Day 14 :Jomsom to Pokhara From Jomsom, we will take the flight over to Pokhara the flight will takes about 20 minutes to reach at Pokhara. We can spend the whole day at Pokhara or can return back to Kathmandu the same day. But it will be better to stay a night at Pokhara visiting at the beautiful region of Pokhara and resting the full day. The night will be at Pokhara.
  • Day 15 :Pokhara to Kathmandu From Pokhara, we will catch the vehicle back to Pokhara viewing the best scene of the surrounding. The scenic drive continues for about 7 to 8 hours until we will reach at the Kathmandu. The night will be spectacular at the Kathmandu enjoying with friends in the hotel. We will have a delicious dinner at the hotel of Kathmandu.
  • Day 16 :Farewell From Kathmandu, after having the early morning breakfast, we will move towards the airport to catch the flight to our respective destination. The arrangement of your departure will be arranged by the company's representative. Destination Unlimited Treks and Expeditions wishes you all the best wishes for your further journey.

Cost Includes

  • All airport transfer by private a/c Car/van/bus
  • Pokhara—Jomsom- Pokhara flights
  • Kathmandu to Pokhara and back by tourist bus
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu & Pokhara standard Level with breakfast
  • Farewell Dinner.
  • Basic Tea-house accommodation
  • Licensed English-speaking guide, Experience knows about First Aid
  • Porters
  • Meals during the trek: basic food
  • Tea or Coffee 3 cup per day
  • All necessary documents and permits for Trekking.
  • Sleeping bags and other necessary equipments
  • Staff insurance, medication and equipment
  • All Govt. and Local Taxes
  • First Aid Kit
  • Trekking Certificate from Destination Unlimited

Cost Excludes

  • Travel/trekking insurance
  • Nepal entry visa fees/ Monastery visit entrance fees during the trekking
  • Mountain rescue charges or insurance
  • Drinks hot and cold. ( tea and Coffee) hot waters, Mineral waters
  • Bottled drinks on trek (cold and alcoholic)
  • Lunches and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Additional food or drink on trek in addition to three standard meals
  • Personal expenses, Emergency Expenses, road blocked, snakes, desert.etc
  • Special region permit and liaison officer fees (where applicable)
  • Tips(Tipping Recommended)

1. What is the Upper Mustang Trek?

The Upper Mustang Trek is a journey through the remote and ancient kingdom of Mustang, located in the north-central part of Nepal. It offers a unique combination of Tibetan culture, striking desert landscapes, and historical significance.

2. Who can trek in Upper Mustang?

The trek is suitable for moderately experienced trekkers with a good level of physical fitness. No technical climbing skills are required, but previous trekking experience at high altitudes is beneficial.

3. How difficult is the Upper Mustang Trek?

The trek is considered moderately challenging. It involves walking on varied terrain, including steep ascents and descents, with daily trekking hours ranging from 5 to 7 hours.

4. What is the best time to trek Upper Mustang?

The best times to trek are during the pre-monsoon (spring) season from March to early June and the post-monsoon (autumn) season from September to November. These periods offer stable weather and clear skies.

5. How long does the trek take?

A typical Upper Mustang trek takes around 12 to 16 days, depending on the specific itinerary and pace of trekking.

6. What permits are required for the trek?

Trekkers need the following permits:

  • Restricted Area Permit (RAP): Special permit required for Upper Mustang, costing around USD 500 for 10 days.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): Required for entry into the conservation area.

7. What equipment is needed for the trek?

Essential equipment includes:

  • Clothing: Layered clothing, thermal wear, waterproof jacket and pants, warm hat, gloves.
  • Footwear: Sturdy trekking boots.
  • Backpack: A daypack for essentials and a larger backpack for other gear.
  • Sleeping Bag: Suitable for cold weather.
  • Personal Items: First aid kit, water purification tablets, sunscreen, snacks.

8. Is acclimatization necessary?

Yes, proper acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude sickness. The itinerary typically includes gradual ascents and rest days to help trekkers adjust to the altitude.

9. What kind of accommodation is available?

Accommodation is primarily in teahouses and lodges, offering basic but comfortable lodging and meals. In Lo Manthang and larger villages, you might find more amenities.

10. Do I need a guide or can I trek independently?

A licensed guide is mandatory for the Upper Mustang trek due to its restricted area status. Guided treks ensure safety, local knowledge, and cultural insights.

11. What are the potential risks and challenges?

  • Altitude Sickness: Gradual acclimatization and monitoring symptoms are crucial.
  • Weather Conditions: Be prepared for rapid weather changes, including strong winds and cold temperatures.
  • Trail Conditions: Some sections may be rugged; proper footwear is essential.

12. How do I prepare for the trek?

Preparation should include:

  • Physical Training: Cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and endurance workouts.
  • Gear Familiarity: Practice using your gear before the trek.
  • Research: Familiarize yourself with the route, cultural norms, and local conditions.

13. What is the cost of trekking Upper Mustang?

The cost can vary widely, depending on factors such as guide services, permits, accommodation, and food. On average, budget around USD 2,000 to USD 3,000 for the entire trek, including permits, guide fees, and other expenses.

14. Is travel insurance necessary?

Yes, comprehensive travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking, medical emergencies, and evacuation is essential.

15. What should I pack?

A detailed packing list typically includes:

  • Clothing: Layered clothing, thermal wear, waterproof jacket and pants.
  • Footwear: Trekking boots, comfortable shoes for evenings.
  • Trekking Gear: Backpack, trekking poles, sleeping bag.
  • Personal Items: First aid kit, water purification tablets, snacks, toiletries.

16. What type of food is available?

Teahouses and lodges offer a variety of meals, including traditional Nepali dishes like dal bhat (lentil soup with rice), as well as Tibetan-style foods, momos (dumplings), noodles, and soups.

17. How can I communicate during the trek?

While connectivity may be limited, some villages offer Wi-Fi and cellular services. It’s advisable to inform family and friends about the expected lack of communication during the trek.

18. What is the cultural significance of the trek?

Upper Mustang is culturally rich, with well-preserved Tibetan culture, ancient monasteries, and traditional festivals like Tiji. The region's history as a forbidden kingdom adds to its allure.

19. What environmental practices should I follow?

  • Sustainable Trekking: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your environmental impact.
  • Cultural Respect: Show respect for local customs, traditions, and religious sites.

The Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique blend of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and scenic beauty, making it an unforgettable adventure for those seeking a less-trodden path in Nepal.

Trip Map

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Key Information

  • Trip Cost US$ 1860
  • Trip Duration 16 Days
  • Destination Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty Moderate
  • Trip Style Trekking
  • Accomodation Lodge to lodge
  • Max Altitude 4090m
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No of people Price P.P
1-1 Pax US$ 1860
2 US$ 1860
4-6 US$ 1690
8-10 US$ 1530
12-14 US$ 1490