Upper Mustang Trek - 17 Days

Trek Route Summary

Moderate to Demanding
Maximum elevation:
4210 m / 13845 ft
Destination :
Upper Mustang Region
Activity :
Mustang Treks
Duration :
17 Days
Distance :
Approximately 125 Kilometers / 76 miles (Jomsom-Lo Manthang-Muktinath)
Group Size :
Min 02 and Max 10 (For solo, we offer a private package)
Nature of Trek :
Lodge to Lodge Trekking
Best Season :
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November
Activity Per Day :
About 5-6 hrs walking
Transportation :
Private Transportation (Airport-Kathmandu Hotel- Kathmandu Airport), Tourist Bus (Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu) and Flight (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara)
Accommodation :
Hotel in Kathmandu,and Pkohara, Local Lodge / Teahouse during the trek
Start / End Point :
Kathmandu / Kathmandu
Required Permits :
Upper Mustang Restricted Area Entry Permit (RAP) and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
Attractions :
Kathmandu (World Heritage Sites), Pokhara valley, Jomsom, Kagbeni, Tsarang, Lo Manthang, Chhusang, Muktinath, Kali Gandaki valley

Trip Highlight

  • Explore rich and distinctive customary, convention, Culture and tradition of the ‘Last Forbidden Kingdom’ or Kingdom behind the mountain of Nepal.
  • Have the picturesque views of approximately three dozen mountains above 6000m.
  • Trek passing high zeniths, passes, frosty crowds, and raised vales gives you scenic views.
  • Get the tantalizing view of the Himalayan mountains reflects a magnificent landscape filled with alienated terrains which is breathtaking.
  • Occupy spiritual feelings while rambling through many Gompas, century-old monasteries, chortens, colorful prayer flags and rock paintings.

Trip Overview

Upper Mustang Trek is an off the beaten path trek which is mostly left unexplored by much of the travelers who come to Nepal as trekking destinations like Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp attract most of the foreigners. However, Upper Mustang is also one of the most exotic, spectacular destinations within Nepal that is incomparable to any other trekking destination.

Located close to the northern territory of Nepal, the Upper Mustang region lies in the rain shadow of the Annapurna mountain range due to which it is considered to be the best place to visit and explore during the monsoon season as very less rainfall occurs here annually. Likewise, a journey to Upper Mustang begins a drive to Pokhara city- a western touristic city which is the second-largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu. Then onward, we shall take a flight to Jomsom and then begin trekking from there to Kagbeni where we shall spend the overnight while enjoying a mesmerizing view of the night sky twinkling with numerous shiny stars that are otherwise impossible to see from cities like Kathmandu.

With this, we shall continue heading to our next destination called Chele village. This village is situated at a high altitude of 3,050 meters above sea level. Hence, from her after, trekkers need to remain cautious of their health and physical condition as Altitude Sickness usually occurs from these sorts of elevations. We also recommend trekkers to keep themselves hydrated with an adequate amount of fluid aka water. Marching forward, a tantalizing view of the Himalayan mountains await us around a magnificent landscape filled with alienated terrains that seem to be breathtaking.

By doing so, we will reach Lo-Manthang village on day eight. As planned, trekkers will be given an extra day to explore the vicinity and surroundings of Lo-Manthang. Next, we will head to Dhakmar and Syangboche villages to start descending down to Jomsom. However, we shall stop at the religious site of Muktinath before reaching Jomsom to take a flight back to Pokhara and end our trek.

An introduction to Upper Mustang

One of the semi-independent having a close-up language and culture to Tibet, Upper Mustang is situated north-central part of Nepal. It was opened for foreigners only in 1992 which proves that it is one of the most preserved regions in the world for centuries. Visiting Upper Mustang, one can experience the semi-arid desert, colorful rock formations, deep ravines, and desert-like landscapes.


Upper Mustang has carried its own long, complex, and rich history. Leaving behind the myths and mysteries, it has records of proceedings from the eighth century. It is found that Tibetan poet Milarepa, lived from 1040 to 1123, had visited Lo.

From the 15th century to the 17th, it was a trading hub between India and the Himalayas. Non-Nepali travelers started to visit after 1992 only. Until 2008, there was a king Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, ruling this particular kingdom.

Culture and Festival

Upper Mustang, being closed to Tibet is the perfect combination of Tibetan Buddhist culture. People are striving to preserve their culture and religion building Monasteries and Chortens. In Lo-Manthang you can visit 3 old dauntlessly gorgeous monasteries.

Locals in Mustang mostly celebrate Tiji Festival. The most popular festival is celebrated for 3 days long. You can observe the dancing of monks with colorful custom dresses to memorialize the personification of deity. Visitors from far and a side visit Upper Mustang during this festival.

How difficult is Upper Mustang trekking?

Upper Mustang Trek is a moderately difficult trek. Walking from Jomsom 2,700 m (8,900 ft) to Lo Manthang 3,810m (12,400ft) varies in the altitude and trekkers encounter gentle ascents in the journey. Trekkers should walk 6-8 hours each day passing semi-deserted landscapes, terrains following the trekking trail to complete this journey.

 Another factor that may affect is remoteness. Trekking in the Himalayas, trekkers should stay in the teahouses run by the locals. They offer basic amenities restaurant services, bedrooms, common toilets(mostly), and a common dining hall with a fireplace.

However, maintaining a comfortable pace, following the proper instruction of your trekking leader, staying hydrated, and having well physical and mental preparation, you can complete this journey without any difficulties.

Why trek in Upper Mustang?

Upper Mustang is the hidden treasure inside Nepal. It is a decisive gateway to explore the ancient Buddhist kingdom. Trekkers can explore the lifestyles of true Himalayan people. Unique culture, long and distinctive traditions, diverse landscapes, and picturesque Himalayan views are the core attractions of this journey.

Trekkers experience an alike experiences of Tibet trek where geography is a part of the Tibetan plateau. The scenic flights to and from Jomsom offers an unforgettable experience. Flying over Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges and Kali Gandaki river gorge (world's deepest gorge), trekkers get spectacular views of dazzling peaks, lustrous greeneries, and beautiful landscapes.

Want to join our 17 days Upper Mustang Trek? Then, contact us at info@holymountaintreks.com immediately to book this trip!

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlight Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m/4429ft) Kathmandu
Day 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour and Trek preparation Kathmandu
Day 3 Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft) Pokhara
Day 4 Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2850m/9350 ft) Kagbeni
Day 5 Trek to Chele (3050m/10000ft) Chele
Day 6 Trek to Geling (3570 m/11710 ft) Geling
Day 7 Trek to Tsarang (3560m/11676 ft) Tsrang
Day 8 Trek to Lo Manthang (3810 m/12400 ft) Lo Manthang
Day 9 Exploration day in Lo Manthang – Namgyal Gompa and Thingkar Thingkar
Day 10 Lo Manthang to Drakmar (3820 m/12530 ft) Drakmar
Day 11 Drakmar to Syangmochen (3800 m/ 12464 ft) Syangmochen
Day 12 Syangmochen to Chhusang (2980 m/ 9774 ft) Chhusang
Day 13 Trek to Muktinath (3760 m/12464 ft) Muktinath
Day 14 Muktinath to Jomsom (2700m/8856 ft) Jomsom
Day 15 Morning flight back to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 16 Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 17 Depart Kathmandu-Airport drop

Detailed Itinerary

Open All Days

Once you land in the airport of Kathmandu (TIA), one of the members of our travel team would be there to guide you to your hotel. He will welcome you in a traditional Nepalese style with a sweet smile, warm Namaste, and a humble garland. Then, he will accompany you to your hotel through the winding alleys of the Kathmandu.

Catch a brief tour around marketplaces and food vendors, and don’t miss out the Momo (Nepali Dumplings).

Overnight at:Kathmandu

Explore the centuries-old historical sites in Kathmandu and feel the classic charm of the heritage. Out of 7 UNESCO listed Cultural Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, we will visit the 4 incredible sites- Pashupatinath Temple [with 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas (shrine of Lord Shiva), and 12 Jyotirlinga (Phallic Shrines) to explore], Boudhanath Stupa (8th century massive Mandala), Swayambhunath Temple (13th century stupa overlooking the Kathmandu valley), and Patan Durbar Square (12th century Royal Palace of Malla Kingdom).

For more historical sightseeing around the Kathmandu valley, you may request a day more in your itinerary. It is a completely customizable trip.

Overnight at:Kathmandu

There are two options to reach Pokhara: Private Jeep or by flight. Either way, the costs are quite similar. So, the decision depends on whether you like to explore the countrysides or not. If yes, then private jeep is the best possible option. Otherwise, you may fly to Pokhara.

The distance between Kathmandu to Pokhara is around 200 km, and it takes around 7 – 8 hours to reach Pokhara. Sometimes, traffic jams delay the anticipated time of arrival. Nevertheless, the experiences are worthwhile.

Overnight at:Pokhara

The flight to Jomsom is one of the most enthralling flights in Nepal. This 20 mins flight will startle you with a deceptive panorama of incredible hills and mountains, especially when you are in between the peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Those are sensational views. Once you land at Jomsom, have some lunch and enough drinks before proceeding to the Kagbeni.

As you leave Jomsom, you will encounter some small monasteries and colorful Chortens- particularly grey, red and white- on the way. These Chortens will lead you to the village of Lubra, a mysterious Bon settlement that gives the inkling of future surprises. Crossing the beautiful village of Eklobhatti, you will join the trail leading to Kagbeni. There are many options for lodging at Kagbeni.

Overnight at:Kagbeni

At Kagbeni, there is a check post beyond which rises a steep walking trail to Tangbe. Within an hour, you will be introduced to the aridness of the Mustang region. The trail goes through the high-standing cliffs, peering at the unreal vistas of the Northern Mustang. The black and brown colors of the sand and rocks start to become familiar as you continue your journey through the Tangbe.

The path enters into the sheer red-walled Kali Gandaki Canyon which gives the best views of the settlements of the Mustang region. The classic monasteries are ubiquitous and the little Chortens line up the trails. The Kunza Choling Monastery, at Chuksang, is the notable monastery at the lower sections of the Upper Mustang.

We will traverse several suspension bridges before making an appearance at Chele, an ageless village of traditional Mustang.

Overnight at:Chele

This is a long day. From Chele, the trail to Ghyakar leads to the Dajori La pass (3,735 m) overlooking the gorgeous peaks of Nilgiris and Tilicho. Down the pass, there is a humble village of Samar with a Nepalese-styled monastery. The route continues through the canyon over the Samakyung Khola and Ihuwa Khola to the dirt road that leads to the Syangmochen. The views of the Dhaulagiri peak is remarkable from

Then, through the Syangmochen La pass, we will head towards our destination, Geling, through a line of Chortens. Geling is a quiet and charming village with a monastery to explore.

Overnight at:Geling

From Gheling, we will go through the farm-fields and the meadows. As you proceed, the views start to grow dramatically. Just before we ascend to the Nyi La Pass, there is a rock painted with a smiley face. Maybe the smile is trying to persuade the trekkers that something spectacular awaits in the upcoming days. By the time we arrive at Ghami, we will encounter some of the astounding mani walls and the Chortens of the Upper Mustang.

Through a long mani wall at Ghami, the trail ascends to the Choya La pass and then drops to the Tsarang, dotted with countless Chortens randomly. Exploring the monastery of Tsarang is worthwhile.

Overnight at:Tsrang

From Tsarang, the trail climbs up a ravine that unravels the beautiful treasures of Annapurna I, Nilgiri and Tilicho. About two hours later, we will arrive at the beautiful Sungda Chorten and then ascend to the Lo La Pass (3,850 m). From here, the exotic palaces, white houses, and red monasteries of the Lo Manthang could be seen. Then, the trail directly descends to the Lo Manthang.

Overnight at:Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang is an extraordinary city that is isolated from the rest of the world by its 8.5 m tall wall. Inside this city, there are centuries-old mysterious caves and palaces which appear unexplorable at a glance. But, a handful of people have explored these historic realms. The typical Buddhist monasteries of Tibetan design tells us that the history of Lo Manthang is somewhat linked with the Tibet.

In the day, we will explore the Namgyal Monastery, whose interiors are painted with the images of the Buddha and his disciples. Later, we will proceed to the Thingkar, a 1953 palace which is used by the Royalties of Lo Manthang in summer.

Overnight at:Thingkar

It is quite a long day, and the ascents and descents are frequent. The views of the left valley peek us at several points behind the Chogo La. But, after that, you will be in the new world. The trail takes a continuous descent from the Chogo La to the Ghar Gompa, one of the most exquisite gompas of the overall Mustang region. Now, you will ascend to the Mui La that offers the best views of the arid mustang. Suddenly, the trail descends into a picturesque village of Drakmar.

Overnight at:Drakmar

At first, the trail saunters around the red cliffs and the caves of Drakmar. Then, up to the steep bluff, there extends a long Mani wall to Ghami. Within a while, we will make an appearance at the Nyi La. From here, the Syangmochen is just a few kilometers away. There are some cozy lodges to stay at Syangmochen and the views are not disappointing.

Overnight at:Syangmochen

From Syangmochen, the trail descends back to the Chhusang via the same route that we have been earlier. The path is mostly descending; so, it makes it easier for you to arrive at Chhusang.

Overnight at:Chhusang

Instead of following the same route that goes to Kagbeni, we will follow the other course towards the temple of Muktinath, a sacred temple of Hindus. This temple is complex and the pilgrimage has to go through many little shrines to finally see a man-sized golden statue of Lord Vishnu in the main temple. Beware of the places where the non-Hindus are forbidden for the entry. There are also 108 sculpted taps, bathing in which is supposed to wash away all the sins of the lifetime. This temple is artistically as well as religiously popular in Nepal.

Overnight at:Muktinath

Muktinath to Jomsom is an interesting day that takes you through a wonderful village of the Jharkot and drops you to the astounding market of Jomsom. A beautiful song by Nepathya (a music band of Nepal) pays tribute to the vibrant markets of Jomsom: 'Jomsamai Bazaarmaa, baarah baje haawaa sarara'. Once we reach Jomsom, we will explore the marketplace and then check in to our hotel for the overnight stay.

Overnight at:Jomsom

We will catch the earliest possible flight to Pokhara, and if the time favors, we will explore the waterfalls, lakes, monasteries, and caves of the Pokhara.

Overnight at:Pokhara

From Pokhara, we will catch a long drive to Kathmandu. You may as well catch a flight to the capital Kathmandu. We will have a farewell party in the evening where all of our travel team will gather up and chew chat about the trips and experiences.

Overnight at:Kathmandu

We will drop you to the airport. Have a good flight!

Altitude Chart

Upper Mustang Trek

Price Includes

  • Airport pick ups and drops in private vehicle
  • Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu
  • Two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara
  • Best available twin sharing local lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek
  • Guided Kathmandu City Tour in private vehicle including temple and monument entrance fees
  • Kathmandu to Pokhara transfer by tourist bus
  • Pokhara -Jomsom -Pokhara flight
  • Special Trekking Permit US$ 500 per person for 10 days (the above price includes 10 days valid trekking permit from Kagbeni to Kagbeni. If you wish to stay more than 10 days in restricted area, you are subjected to extra charge for extra days (US$ 50 per day / per person).
  • Annapurna conservation permit and all necessary permits.
  • Full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • Seasonal fruits during the trek
  • Staff– one professional, knowledgeable and friendly English speaking trekking leader along with assistant guide (6 trekkers : 1 assistant guide)  and porters (2 trekkers : 1 porter) including their food, accommodation, salary, equipment, transportation, and accidental insurance
  • Duffle bag, Down jacket and sleeping bag for use during the trek
  • Holy Mountain Treks T – shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate
  • First aid medical kit
  • Government taxes & office service charge

Price Excludes

  • Nepal visa arrangement (more on Nepal Visa Information)
  • International airfares
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Added night/s accommodation in Kathmandu or Pokhara because of early arrival, delayed departure, early return from mountain (due to any cause) than the programmed itinerary
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara (and also in the case of early return from mountain than the programmed itinerary)
  • Alcoholic drinks and cold drinks
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, bar bills, laundry, battery recharge, bottle or boiled water, hot shower, extra porters, etc)
  • Personal equipments and clothing
  • Tips for guides and porters (tip is expected but not mandatory)

Trip Map


Amazing Upper Mustang Trek

Emily Alton, United Kingdom

Pre-Trip Information
Value For Money

We have recently completed our first trek with Holy Mountain Treks. This latest trip was beyond the Annapurna mountain to the Kingdom of Mustang. The trip was a proper adventure! We went up with our guide Ram and porter Shankar along with Kali Gandaki River from the village of Kagbeni to the fabled city of Lo Manthang. The trek took us through the wonderful desert scenery of this high Himalayan kingdom. It is a very different region to the very nearby Annapurna Circuit which is more alpine in its feeling. Upper Mustang is a small desert kingdom hemmed in by the Himalayas. The trekking takes you through a region that few people visit and is wildly remote area. We trekked around the sides of massive mountains, through gorges with fast flowing rivers and over high passes (the highest is only 4100m) through this fascinating land. We visited lesser known parts of the kingdom including the Dhakmar with its blood red cliffs that glow brightly in the sun and the Gar Gompa which is an ancient Tibetan temple surrounded by Chortens in a fantastical landscape of mountains. Charang was one of the place that I personally liked very much. We stayed in small guesthouses along the way which was a great way of meeting the locals and seeing how they live. The experience staying at the guesthouse was amazing. Holy Mountain Treks is a fantastic Nepalese led trekking company based in Kathmandu. They ensure that your trekking holiday is both exciting and highly memorable. Your itinerary is as flexible as you need it to be so if you want to change your route or the duration of stay in a particular location then that's no problem. The hotels they provided in Kathmandu & Pokhara both were fantastic. We would like to thank to the whole team of Holy Mountain Treks and we would like to recommend this company for trekking & tours in Nepal.

Upper Mustang Trek- a journey to trans-Himalayan section of Nepal

Manaia , New Zealand

Pre-Trip Information
Value For Money

Explore what was a prohibited region till the last decade, breathtaking views of the Himalayas, Magnificent landscapes, Tibetan culture, the walled metropolis of Lo Manthang, along with the impressive sights of the snow-covered hills. Upper Mustang trek - the Last Forbidden Kingdom in Nepal, was an awesome journey could travel with Holy Mountain Trek having Puja as our Guide. She responded to all our queries and informed us about the historical, cultural, and religious aspects of Nepal. We could explore the different shrines of Hinduism and Buddhism in various places. Highly recommended!!!!

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