Upper Mustang trek

Upper Mustang Trek

Journey to the forbidden kingdom

  • Group Size:Min 2 Max 15
  • Duration:18 Days
  • Max Altitude:3,840m/12,599ft
  • Accommodation:Teahouse/Lodge
  • Activity:Trekking
Package difficulty Moderate
All inclusive cost$ 2,100.00
Based on 3 Review(s)

Trip Overview

  • Mysterious hidden kingdom/Last Forbidden Kingdom
  • Remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area
  • Barren landscapes, deep canyons, moraine valleys
  • Panoramic views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and several other peak

Upper Mustang Trek Overview

This venture takes us into the far-flung semi-independent Kingdom of Upper Mustang that sits north of Annapurna close to the Tibet border. On this trip your mind is naturally invigorated with the mysteries & history that blend into the geographical wonders of this once strongly independent mountain kingdom…

Our itinerary has been planned in a unique way that helps you discover lesser known areas away from the new roadways that have reached this area. We move toward Lo Manthang on the west side of the Kali Gandaki and descend on the less used east side of this valley.

Upper Mustang is perched north of Annapurna at a balanced altitude of 4,000m but is geologically and ethnically part of the Tibetan plateau. We come across valleys that are parched and barren with colorful rock formations where many cave dwellings are seen right up, cut out into the cliffs, inciting the interest of archeologists and anthropologists who seek to research on the existence of early human inhabitance in these areas.  The earliest trekking groups were first allowed into this secret kingdom only in 1992 and we still see fewer backpackers (something like 800 trekkers each year) hit the trails to Upper Mustang which is wonderfully pleasant for those serious trekkers who ‘like the trails all to themselves’; and this also finds the kingdom in a unique league of its own where its ancient Tibetan culture is virtually untouched and not influenced by the contemporary times we live in.

Mustang is remotely enveloped and semi-independent; its capital is hemmed in by a glistening white wall and famously known throughout the world as ‘Lo Manthang’. Upper Mustang traces its roots to Tibet and was a by-way for the salt caravans crossing the Himalaya into Nepal. Mustang became an independent kingdom in 1380 and the present royal family links their ancestry back to this period in time. In the 60’s Mustang’s geography became an ideal layout for a strong hold where Tibetan Khampa guerrillas were trained to fight invading Chinese forces. Highland Expeditions is one outfit that will escort you into this land of wonders for the trip of a lifetime.

Why trek with Highland Expeditions? 

At, Highland Expeditions it is our aim to provide a wonderful holiday in our part of the world and ensure that our clients enjoy the holiday as much as possible with minimized risks and worry-free trip should it be monetary, physical or emotional. All the logistical arrangements required for the trip will be done prior to your arrival providing you a hassle-free travel and on trek you will be led by experienced and medical trained guide/leader with high staff ratio. Considering safety our utmost priority, all our group are backed up with Supplementary oxygen system (In high altitude treks), oximeter and medical kit be it a group of 1 participant or 15 participants. On trek, all meals and accommodation are included too and we provide you an option of OPEN/CHOICE menu meaning you can choose your meal straight from the menu. Our itineraries are also devised keeping every aspect in mind such as acclimatization, good campsites, real life experiences etc. We also provide sleeping bag, down jacket and waterproof duffel bag to each participant. Last but not least, Highland Expeditions has been awarded as a trekking company of the year 2018/19 in Nepal by Travel and Hospitality Awards, USA.

Is this trek for you?

  Grade  Moderate
  Physical Rating   3-4
  Total Duration   17N/18 Days
  Trekking Duration   11N/12 Days
  Maximum Elevation   3,840m/12,599ft at Lo Manthang

Duration for treks of this grade stretches up to two (2) weeks. Trails generally go above 4000 meters and on a daily basis, you can expect to be walking for about 5 – 7 hours. Perfect setting of introduction to moderate & challenging trekking in Nepal. Activity level/physical rating is slightly harder than leisure and involves occasional difficult days. Expect ups and downs as well for there will be hills to climb as well and the well-known ‘Nepali flat’ – a little bit up and a little bit down.

Important Note: Your safety is of imperative concern while traveling with Highland Expeditions. Please take care to note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to your safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather or health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The trek leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Route Profile/Altitude Chart
Screenshot 2016-02-15 10.44.03

Trip Itinerary

  • Day 01 - Arrival in Kathmandu [1,350m/4,430ft]

    Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal. Upon completing the visa formalities and collecting your luggages in the airport, kindly proceed to the exit of the arrival hall. Your trip leader will await you just outside the arrival hall and will escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu. Please look out for a placard of Highland Expeditions at the exit of arrival hall. Welcome drinks will be served and after you’ve refreshed, your trek leader will brief you about your trip in the lobby of your hotel in the evening. Get familiar with your surroundings by taking a walk down the street

    • Meal: None
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Trekking Hours: 0
  • Day 02 - Exploration of Kathmandu and trek preparation [1350m/4455ft]

    After an early breakfast, we set out on a guided tour to the primary historical spots in Kathmandu. We will tour symbolic monuments, temples, monasteries, palaces and UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include: Boudhanath, and the temples of Pashupatinath. As we stroll along the exotic locales of Kathmandu, more diversified cultural settings in the valley welcome us with warm hospitality. At Boudhanath, one of the biggest stupas in Asia, we get deep insights into Buddhism. This may invoke your spiritual senses. There will be a brief orientation followed by trek preparation during late afternoon at the hotel lobby.

    • Meal: (B)
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Trekking Hours: 0
  • Day 03 - Drive to Pokhara [827m/2,714ft]

    After breakfast, we hop on a coach for 6-7 hrs drive to Pokhara. We reach our hotel, refresh & get familiar with our surroundings. We can go for a stroll down the Fewa Lake & also do some boating. We could also visit David’s fall and visit the peace stupa. The city of lakes – Pokhara is a wonderful city to explore around.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Trekking Hours: 0
  • Day 04 - Fly to Jomsom and Trek to Kagbeni [2,895 m/9,490ft]

    After touchdown at Jomsom, we hit the trail to the Kaligandaki plains. The road diverts to the right bank of the river plain, and our hike is pretty easy going with few ups and downs most of the way to a place called Ekali Bhatti (lonely inn) where there are three or four tea-houses at present. Earlier, it used to be the only teahouse in the area when it got its namesake, ‘Ekali –Bhatti’. From here, the path splits into two ways, the one higher up leads to Muktinath and the other route takes us to upper Mustang and Tibet via Kagbeni.
    Our trail heads past Eklai-bhatti towards North West and the walking gets much easier on a gradual winding route as the road widens and we walk further on the river bed towards the windswept village of Kagbeni for the overnight. The famous film ‘Caravan’ was shot in this area some years ago.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 3-4 hrs
  • Day 05 - Trek to Chele [3,050m/10,007ft]

    Our day pans out with a special permit checkup and we proceed from here on to the riverbank of Kaligandaki up stream. During the walk we come across scenic quaint places to stop through the sandy and windy trails. This trail fluctuates up and downhill. We first reach Tangbe village with narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. From there we trek forward to Chhusang and after crossing the river head up to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki follows. We head on to small ridges before we reach the village of Chele and our teahouse lodge for the night.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs
  • Day 06 - Trek to Syangboche [3,475m/11,401ft]

    Today, we begin our trek further to Ekle Bhatti. We climb to Taklam La Pass at (3,624m) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. We then descend a little to the village of Samar. And then climb the trail that goes above Samar village to the ridge which descends steeply to a stream. Another 3 hrs of continuous hiking brings us to Syangboche. On the way, we relax along the surrounding of cool streams and juniper trees. Locals hereabouts use the dried leaves of junipers as incenses to invite deities and start any auspicious work. We also pass by a cave famously known as Ramchung Cave. After exploring the cave, we go to our lodge for the night.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 6-7 hrs
  • Day 07 - Trek to Ghami [3,520m/11,546ft]

    Today's journey is pretty more or less of a descent with a few short climbs all the way to Ghami, once outside the walled Lo Manthang village-town the path leads to a steady climb to a pass which offers the last glimpse of Lo Manthang.
    The walk then from hereabouts on is more or less gradual on downhill slopes most of the way to the village of Ghami. Ghami is another important village in this once upon-a-time thriving region. We get set for the night in our teahouse lodge.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs
  • Day 08 - Trek to Tsarang [3,500m/11,483ft]

    From Ghami, the route climbs slowly through fields up the centre of the valley, passing below the Tama Gung settlements, our hike continues along a climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La pass at 3,950m, the highest point of this trek. The pass itself happens to be the southern boundary of Lo. From here a gradual descent for half an hour brings us to a junction; the right path leads direct to Tsarang while the left goes to Ghami village, one of the main areas of the Lo region we passed through previously. Our route drops below the blue, grey and red cliffs across the valley to a steel bridge across the Tangmarchu River, the path then climbs past to the long and magnificent stretch of a Mani wall, probably the longest one in Nepal. From hereabouts, the final climb of the day brings us to a 3,600m pass, after the last pass a gentle descent leads to our overnight halt at Tsarang, an interesting village with a maze of fields, willow trees and a huge five storey white Dzong with a red gompa perched on the edge of the Kali Gandaki gorge. Tsarang has its own electricity system. This is an interesting area to spend the night

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 6-7 hrs
  • Day 09 - Trek to Lo Manthang [3,840m/12,599ft]

    This is an interesting day because we trek to Lo-Manthang with superb views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikuti peak. The trail first descends to Charang Chu Canyon and then climbs steeply after crossing the river. Further the trail ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the Lo-Manthang Valley. While descending to Lo-Manthang, views of the walled city appear outstanding with its hills on the Tibetan Border. We stay at a hotel in this ancient capital for our overnight stop.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs
  • Day 10 - Explore Lo-Manthang [3,840m/12,599ft]

    Today we do some foraging around the areas. We check into Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa, situated on a hilltop serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa we continue to explore Tingkhar, the last main village to the northwest of Lo-Manthang and stroll back to our hotel. Or you may have another option to visit the Tall Champa Lakhang "God house" the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the Entrance Hall which are the main attractions of this walled town. Another attraction is the four-storey building of the Raja's palace as well as the surrounding panoramic views of the Himalaya.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 4-5 hrs
  • Day 11 - Trek to Drakmar [3,810m/12,500ft]

    While returning from Lo-Manthang, we head down a dissimilar route than the one we came by. We trek to Drakmar via Gyakar with more than 1200 years old Ghar Gompa with Guru Rinpoche as its central figure. The Gompa is also famous for its rock paintings. According to a mythical legend, anyone who makes one wish at the Ghar Gompa will have their wishes fulfilled. We explore the local area with the likelihood of dusty wind, so its suggested we do the hike in the morning.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 6-7 hrs
  • Day 12 - Trek to Geiling [3,806m/12,487ft]

    Today we head back to Geiling as our journey for our overnight stay after a long walk takes about 5-6 hrs. After arrival we enjoy lunch and use the rest of the day exploring the area, but we reckon it will be dusty and windy in the afternoon, so it’s better to walk in the evening time. We do an overnight halt at the village of Geiling.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs
  • Day 13 - Trek to Chuksang [3,050 m/10,010ft]

    From Geiling onwards, it will be one of the most pleasant walks as we will loose altitude day by day. The trek follows an easy descent towards the Kaligandaki River Valley passing through the old villages. Overnight at Chuksang

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs
  • Day 14 - Trek to Jomsom [2,700/8859ft]

    On reaching the river bed at Ekale-bhatti, we reach a small settlement with about 3-4 teahouses, where we can take a breather for some time. From here onwards, it can get very windy in the afternoon time, as our walk follows a gentle trail for another two hours till the large town of Jomsom is reached for our overnight camp. Jomsom, a large village town is the headquarters of the Mustang region with a small airstrip just above by the river Kaligandaki. Here, we will have sufficient time to celebrate with the local apple products like cider, brandy and pure apple juice. This area from Kagbeni to Larjung is famous for its delicious apples and its by-products. A few swigs of the apple brandy could set our moods on a high after a wonderful memorable trip we just completed.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
    • Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs
  • Day 15 - Fly back to Pokhara [827m/2,714ft]

    After morning breakfast we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara. This dramatic 15 minutes flight to Pokhara between the gorge of the two huge mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri is a nervy tingling experience we will enjoy. On arrival at Pokhara airport our guide will transfer us to the lakeside hotel. We use the rest of our time exploring the lake and then spend our overnight at our hotel down by the lake.

    • Meal: (B, L, D)
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Trekking Hours: 0
  • Day 16 - Drive back to Kathmandu [1,350m/4,455 ft]

    We will return to Kathmandu on this day. Kathmandu is separated from Pokhara by 200km. Prithvi Highway links Pokhara with Kathmandu. It takes 6 hrs to reach Kathmandu from Pokhara by bus. You will be transferred to the hotel where you will have a pleasant stay.

    • Meal: (B, L)
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Trekking Hours: 0
  • Day 17 - Free day in Kathmandu [1,350m/4,455 ft]

    Free and easy day to spend, perhaps doing shopping or rest at hotel’s beautiful court-yard. At eventide, we will relish a farewell dinner to celebrate your successful completion of the ‘Upper Mustang Trek.’ While enjoying our supper, we will also be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles Please do not hesitate to let us know if you would like to extend your stay. Kindly email us for more details on extensions.

    • Meal: (B, D)
    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Trekking Hours: 0
  • Day 18 - International departure

    Thank you for joining us on this trek and it has been a pleasure getting to know you during this time. We hope this venture has enriched your experience with happy memories. Keep in touch and hope to hear from you soon. Bon voyage for a safe and pleasant trip home.

    • Meal: (B)
    • Accommodation: None
    • Trekking Hours:

Dates & Price

Given below are the fixed departure dates for this trip. If the dates don’t match with your schedule, then kindly let us know and we will arrange a private trip customizing the departure dates suitable for you. The cost below is per person on group joining basis excluding the international flights. Group discount is available for booking of two or more than two persons. Kindly contact us if you have a bigger group for the discount.

Group tours are unavailable for this trip, however, you can opt for the private trip. The private trips are available on any date of your choice at any time of the year. Let us know about your preferred travel dates and we shall organize it as per your convenience. Get in touch with your query now.

Cost Inclusion

  • All meals (B,L,D) on OPEN/CHOICE Menu whilst on trek with tea & coffee.
  • Twin sharing accommodation at Kathmandu guest house or similar category for 4 nights with breakfast
  • Twin sharing accommodation at 3 star hotel in Pokhara for 2 nights
  • Internal flights (PKR-Jomsom-PKR)
  • All required permits for trek  (USD 520)
  • Accommodation at clean and cozy teahouses/lodges on trek
  • All ground transfers as per mentioned in the itinerary
  • Experienced local trek leader with 1:4 assistant guide to client ratio
  • Full support crew with 1 porter for every 2 trekkers
  • Sightseeing of Kathmandu including guide and entrance fees
  • Kathmandu airport transfers and escorts
  • All ground transportation as per mentioned in the itinerary on private vehicle
  • Comprehensive first aid kit.
  • Duffel bag, Sleeping bag with liner and Down Jacket (Sleeping bag and down jacket must be returned after completion of trek)
  • Staff insurances and allowances
  • Trek completion certificate (Upon request)

Cost Exclusion

  • International airfare, Visa and travel insurance
  • Meals at Kathmandu
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu or on trek for any reason (Early arrival or delay, Early arrival from trek due to any reason)
  • Personal expenses - Drinks & Souvenirs
  • Gratuities for staff

Reviews

Doris Ang Nov 20, 2019

My friends and I, 3 brave ladies from Malaysia did the Upper Mustang Trek with Highland Expeditions in mid-Oct 2019.
Our guide Kunga and 2 porters were very friendly and very helpful.
We were well-taken care.
This was my first experience of trekking in my lifetime and felt proud for myself that I make it and it’s going to be an unforgettable lifetime memory for me.
Thank you Kunga, Passang and the 2 porters.

Lee Shan Chen Jul 18, 2016

Highly customer service oriented agency, Effective and efficient itinerary changes upon client request.

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