The Upper Mustang trek offers both natural beauty and a rich Tibetan cultural experience. Formerly known as the Kingdom of Lo, Upper Mustang lost its status as a kingdom in 2008 and requires a special-fee permit for entry to protect its pristine culture.
The region is arid, protected by a “rain shadow” from the high, adjacent Annapurna range. Upper Mustang trek has wildly colorful rock formations, ancient stupas and gompas, as well as the highlight of the trek: the walled 14th century town of Lo-Manthang.
Landing at the Jomsom airstrip, we start walking along the winding Kali Gandaki River valley with mountains on both sides. In a few hours, we reach the town of Kagbeni, the last town before the upper mustang trek restricted area. In the following days, we trek through beautiful canyons, mountain passes, ancient shrines and the tiny towns of Chele, Syangbochen, Ghaymi and Charang. Ultimately, we arrive at Lo-Manthang, a red-walled town with colorfully painted houses, old monasteries and the king’s palace.
Tibetan Buddhism has a great impact on the life of the common people. Every year, local people celebrate the Teeji festival worshipping the Lord of the rain. This is a teahouse trek with basic accommodations.
Day 01:Kathmandu arrival (1350m).
Day 02:Kathmandu Sightseeing.
Day 03:Fly/Drive to Pokhara (823m).
Day 04:Fly to Jomsom, trek to Kagbeni (2858m).
Day 05:Kagbeni to Chele (3050m).
Day 06:Chele to Syangbochen (3475m).
Day 07:Syangbochen to Ghaymi (3520m).
Day 08:Ghyami to Charang (3500m).
Day 09:Charang to Lo-Manthang (3700m).
Day 10:Explore Lo-Mangthang.
Day 11:Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3810m).
Day 12: Drakmar to Syangmochen (3,800m).
Day 13:Syangmochen to Chhusang (2,980m).
Day 14:Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,700m).
Day 15: Fly to Pokhara (half-day sightseeing)
Day 16:Day 16, Drive/fly to Kathmandu. From Pokhara,
Day 17:Final Departure.
Day 01Kathmandu arrival (1350m). Namaste and welcome to Nepal. A Nepal Hiking Trek representative will welcome you and transport you to your hotel.
Day 02Kathmandu Sightseeing. We take you to the city’s most popular cultural sites, including the Kathmandu valley, Pashupatinath Temple, Durbar Square and Boudhanath. We offer an expert tour guide for this day tour. Overnight at hotel. Hotel breakfast included.
Day 03Fly/Drive to Pokhara (823m). In the morning, we drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which takes about 6 hours. There’s also an option to fly at an additional cost. Reaching Pokhara, you can enjoy a boat ride or walk around the lake with your guide. Shopping opportunities are excellent in this backpackers’ paradise. Breakfast, lunch, dinner included (B,L,D).
Day 04Fly to Jomsom, trek to Kagbeni (2858m). Early in the morning, we take a short, scenic flight to Jomsom, and from there begin a two-hour trek to Kagbeni through the windy Kali Gandaki valley. Kagbeni is a typical Nepali town, with streets crowded with livestock, an ancient monastery and international trekkers starting or ending their journeys. (B,L,D).
Day 05Kagbeni to Chele (3050m). After official inspection of our permits, we enter the Upper Mustang area through the Kali Gandaki bank. The trail is windy and sandy. We pass white-washed houses and fields of seasonal crops at Tangbe. We can see apple orchards, barley and buckwheat fields, along with red sandy rocks on either side of the dry river banks. Passing Chhusang, we gradually reach Chele (B,L,D).
Day 06Chele to Syangbochen (3475m). We begin today’s walk via Eklo Bhatti. We cross Taklam La and get beautiful panoramas of Damodar Kunda, Yakawa and Tilicho peaks. Then we trek down to Samar village and gradually follow the trail that leads us to the stream. Walking through the Juniper woods, we have a chance to see the Ramchung cave and reach Syangbochen. (B,L,D).
Day 07Syangbochen to Ghaymi (3520m). We begin crossing Yamda La (3,850m) and pass small Tibetan settlements. Walking further, we cross the Nyi Pass (4,010m). The scenery is outstanding with multi-colored views of barley and buckwheat fields. Walking through the fields, we reach Ghyami for our overnight stay. (B,L,D).
Day 08Ghyami to Charang (3500m). We gradually walk through the Ghyami Khola bank. Crossing the stream, we ascend to the top of the hill, passing a long range of sacred Mani walls. We can assume this region is a spiritual area of Tibetan Buddhism. We reach Charang for our overnight stay. (B,L,D).
Day 09Charang to Lo-Manthang (3700m). We walk through Charang Chu canyon before descending to the river. Breathtaking views of Annapurna 1, Bhrikuti, Nilgiri and Tilicho peaks can be seen during our walk. We climb to the Lo pass, offering a spectacular view of Lo-Manthang as we approach our destination. (B,L,D).
Day 10Explore Lo-Mangthang. This is the cultural highlight of our trip as we explore the town’s ancient monasteries amid the colorfully painted stone walls and mountainous landscape. We see the Namgyal, Tingkhar, Thugchen and Chyodi gompas with their wonderful monasteries, allowing you to see the ancient civilization and lifestyle of Tibetan Buddhism. Various caves and flowery fields just outside the town add to the charm of Lo-Manthang. (B,L,D).
Day 11Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3810m). Retracing from Lo-Manthang, we move towards Drakmar. During the trek, we can get the attractions of Ghar Gompa that was built over 1200 years ago. It is popular as the wish fulfilling monastery and Guru Rinpochhe is worshipped as a major figure. The paintings on rocks and prayer flags are superb. Then we walk through the stunning landscape facing the dusty wind and reach Drakmar. Overnight at lodge
Day 12 Drakmar to Syangmochen (3,800m).We start early to reduce our exposure to mid-day winds and dust. The trail is flat and relatively easy.
We take a rest after we reach to Ghiling. (B,L,D).
Day 13Syangmochen to Chhusang (2,980m).After some initial ups and downs we descend steadily to Chhusang, stopping for lunch at Chele. (B,L,D).
Day 14Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,700m).It’s the last day of our trek. We have lunch at Kagbeni and then join the Annapurna Circuit Trail to finish our trek in Jomsom. If you want to visit the Muktinath temple, we recommend you add an extra day. (B,L,D).
Day 15 Fly to Pokhara (half-day sightseeing)We take an early-morning scenic flight to Pokhara, where you are free to either shop and dine on your own or see more sights with your guide. (B,L,D).
Day 16Day 16, Drive/fly to Kathmandu. From Pokhara,From Pokhara, we take a bus for about 6 hours to Kathmandu, or you can fly for an added cost. Arriving in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. We would like to celebrate your successful adventure with a farewell dinner. (B,L,D).
Day 17Final Departure. After a memorable experience, we take you to the airport for your flight home. Thank you for your journey with us!
June 18, 2016
My husband and I went trekking with Hari in November 2013 on an Upper Mustang hike. Couldn't recommend him more highly - knowledgeable, thoughtful and such a positive, good-humoured person. Had lots of fun chats on the road and in the guesthouses over cards. Hari took particular care of us when I fell very ill during our trip, and made all the arangements to quickly get me to a doctor. While our hike was cut short due to my sickness, we still had a fantastic time. Highly recommended!