Upper Mustang Trek
The region is also known as the ‘Last Forbidden Kingdom’ (organised treks only started visiting the region in 1992, and numbers are restricted with an average of less than 1,000 visiting each year) and it is steeped in undisturbed Tibetan Buddhist culture with ancient monasteries, traditional villages and cave dwellings high up on the cliffs, as well as the stunning architecture on view at the walled city of Lo Manthang (capital of Mustang region).
The Upper Mustang trek in to the remote Trans-Himalayan Region of this semi-independent Tibetan Kingdom offers an adventurous 14 day itinerary with spectacular trekking through striking semi-arid desert with colourful rock formations, deep ravines and snow-capped peaks surrounding you. The history, culture, myth and legend blends perfectly with the stunning scenery.
In common usage, the name Mustang refers to the arid Tibet-like region at the northern end of the Kali Gandaki (known to its inhabitants as Lo). Mustang has a long, rich and complex history that makes it one of the most interesting places in Nepal. The early history of Lo is shrouded in legend, myth and mystery, but there are records of events in Lo as early as the 8th century. It is quite likely that the Tibetan poet Milarepa, who lived from 1040 to 1123, visited Lo. In Lo itself the countryside is similar to the Tibetan plateau with its endless expanses of yellow and grey rolling hills eroded by wind. There is more rain in the lower part of upper Mustang and the hills tend to be great red fluted cliffs of tiny round stones cemented together by mud. Villages are several hours apart and appear in the distance almost as mirages; during the summer season, after the crops are planted, they are green oasis in the desert-like landscape.
What Should I Pack on my Mustang Trek?
For a complete look at what is required to trek to this fantastic region, see our Nepal Trekking Kit Guide.
Upper Mustang Trek itinerary
|1||1400m||n/a||Arrive into Kathmandu. You will be met by our staff at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time you can relax or explore Kathmandu.|
|2||1400m||n/a||Rest, briefing, see Kathmandu and gain permit|
|3||970m||n/a||Flight to Pokhara and overnight at hotel. Afternoon to explore Pokhara|
|4||2700m - 3250m||7hrs||Spectacular morning flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni along the bank of the Kali Gandaki river, through the small settlement of Eklo Bhatti (2740m) and across a number of bridges over tributaries to reach our lunch spot at Kagbeni (2810m), from here there are excellent views north to the Kingdom of Mustang. It's quite a long day but easy and flat. After lunch we trek on to Chuksang and the days trek will take about 7 hours in total. During the day we’ll walk following the Kaligandaki river and pass through Kagbeni, Yekle Batti and Tangbe villages. The views are very beautiful, stunning in fact, throughout the trek and in particular this first day. Jomsom is at 2780m and Chuksang is 3250m.|
|5||3250m - 3540m||7 hrs||Today we’ll cross the Kaligandagi river and climb up to Chaile village and continue onto Sammer village, where we’ll enjoy a relaxed lunch. Afterwards we drop down for about 30 minutes before starting our climb up (about 2 hours) to reach our destination of Syangbuche village which is at 3540m. This day is a bit tougher and we’ll walk for around 6-7 hours.|
|6||3540m - 3490m||4-5 hrs||After a couple of longer days today is a shorter day coming in around 4 – 5hrs walk. We start down towards Geling for about 1:30 hours then climb up for about another 2 hours to our lunch spot which is then follows another 1 – 1.5hrs to Charang at 3490m.|
|7||3490m - 3950m - 3840m||4-5 hrs||Our fourth trek day is again quite easy and straightforward. We trek up to 3750m high and followed by a drop down again of about 125 m which is then followed by mostly flat terrain. We then go over a small pass (3950m) called Lo pass, from where we have views of the walled capital of Lo Manthang (3840m) and it's a short descent to reach this fascinating city and start exploring. The days is about 4-5 hours in total and we should reach our destination by lunch time.|
|8||3840m||6 hrs||Today we explore the area and hire horses and go to Namgyal village where we enjoy the views, visit the monastery and the Milarepa Caves, have a look here at a Video about the regions history which is fascinating and shrouded in myth. Travel time is around 2 hours going up and 1 hour back.|
|9||3950m - 3470m||5-6 hrs||Todays trek starts with about 2.5hrs climb and then a drop again to reach Ghar Gompa (3920m). After a visit to the Gompa we then climb up again for around 2 hours to Dakmar (3820m) for lunch and then on to Ghami (3470m). Today is little harder and finishes at 3200m.|
|10||3470m - 3050m||The following days route us back along familiar trails to Jomsom, which we reach on the 9th trek day and overnight at the hotel, before flying back to Pokhara for an overnight and then on to Kathmandu. Today we cover Ghami to Chaile|
|11||3840m - 2810m||Chaile to Kagbeni|
|12||2810m - 2700m||Kagbeni to Jomsom|
Flight back to Pokhara, hotel
|14||1400m||Flight back to Kathmandu, hotel|
|15||Depart for home / onward travel or additional trek|
Upper Mustang Trek cost £1,995.00
- All in-country logistics & support
- English speaking trekking guide and climbing guide
- Accommodation, meals with a hot drink at lodges during trek
- National Park entry fees / Permit (currently $500pp)
- TIMS card
- Airport transfers x 6
- Staff insurances and food / accommodation
- Internal flight* to Pokhara and Jomsom
- Air fare to Kathmandu (~£500-700)
- Nepal tourist visa ($40 for 30 days)
- Accommodation in Kathmandu (~ £15 - £25pp/n) - we can book this for you. Click here for details or check out www.booking.com
- Travel Insurance (~£40-60)
- Additional nights in Kathmandu (£varies)
- Sightseeing excursions in Kathmandu (£ varies)
- Meals other than breakfast in Kathmandu (~£50)
- Mineral water, soft / hard drinks or extra drinks other than those at meal times (~£30)
A deposit of £250 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 4 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
Adventure Alternative Nepal is the local provider for this trip and we can vouch for proper staff salaries, insurances, training and equipment. Our company invests heavily in our local companies and you will have full access to the staff handling your trip by email or skype if you wish.
*These flights ‘fly by sight’ so if there is cloud cover or bad weather there can be delays. If necessary we can be flexible and adapt the itinerary to catch up on lost days, but if the planes can’t fly then there is little that we can do except wait. Occasionally the planes can’t fly but helicopters can, if you prefer this option we can organise it but there would be a supplemental charge. This doesn’t happen very often but if your trek is very early, very late, or out of the main season you should consider possible impacts.
Mustang Trek kit list
- Large duffle bag or rucksack & liner
- 30 - 40 Ltr day pack
- Stuff sacks (or garden bin bags), waterproof for your gear inside your bags
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Trekking trousers and shorts, Tshirts, shirts
- Fleece or woollen tops
- Base layer tops and bottoms
- Thin socks and thick socks
- Warm hat, buff/balaclava, sunhat
- Liner gloves, warm gloves, mitts
- Sunglasses Cat 3 UV polaroid
- Trekking boots and hut shoes
- Sleeping bag
- Walking poles
- Head torch & spare batteries
- Wash Kit and first aid, towel
- Travel / Kathmandu clothes
Personal first aid kit contents
Water Purification Tablets
Personal Medication as required:
eg. Anti-Malarials, Asthma Inhalers, Insulin, Epi-Pen etc
Prochlorperazine tablets (for sickness/nausea)
Ciprofloxacin tablets (general antibiotic; prescription required)
Acetazolamide tablets also known as Diamox (altitude prophylactic; prescription required)
Note: you must check with your GP for your personal suitability to all medicines and their possible side effects and interactions. Please inform us of the details of all regular medication that you intend to use though the course of your trip and any relevant allergies and medical history related to them. You also need to check the requirements and regulations of the airline and all countries visited in relation to medications. For example; laws governing transport of some pain control medication and the need keep insulin at a suitable temperature, ie not in the cargo hold.
You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details.
- Duration 14
- Numbers 2 - 10
- Max Altitude 4020m
- Distance approx 120 kms
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Tea Houses/Lodges