To trek in Upper Mustang is to trek in an ancient land steeped in a colourful history and lengthy tradition. Upper Mustang has been part of Nepal for around 200 years, yet retains a strong cultural influence of Tibet (China), especially given its proximity to the border of Nepal and Tibet (China).
You will see and experience an immersion within the culture of true mountain people, who were for many years not in regular contact with other parts of Nepal. The highest point reached on this trek is around 4,300m, making it a great choice for many reasons, including the altitudes experienced.
Geographically, Upper Mustang is part of the ‘Tibetan plateau’, extending the trekking season in this area to times of the year when it is not possible to trek in other parts of Nepal (due to monsoonal rains).
Until 1950, Mustang was actually a separate kingdom sitting within the boundaries of Nepal. This area was opened to non-Nepali visitors around 25-30 years ago and access to the area remains restricted.
Special permit fee for Upper Mustang: For trekkers venturing to Upper Mustang further north from Kagbeni, it is necessary to obtain a special trekking permit, payable at a daily rate of $US50 per person (rate quoted is the 2018 rate, but is subject to change). This amount is not included in our stated trip costs due to it fluctuating from time to time). Our itinerary contemplates 10 days in the Upper Mustang area which would make the special permit fee $US500 per person.
Tenting option: where the team is 4+ members, a tent option for the trekking portion of the trip is available at an additional cost of $US500 per person.
This trip involves medium trekking days at a slow place, on uneven terrain, with some hills, carrying a backpack weighing around 6-8 kg. Therefore, you want to have a good level of fitness, with cardiovascular exercise and own-body weight type exercises (or similar) at least 3-4 times per week for the period of around 3-4 months before this trip. Training on uneven terrain is recommended.
View the printable version of the short itinerary and detailed trip notes here.
Day 1Arrive Kathmandu (1,350m)
Day 2In Kathmandu
Day 3Drive to Pokhara (880m) ~5-7 hrs
Day 4Fly Pokhara to Jomsom (2,720m), Trek to Kagbeni (2,800m) ~3hrs
Day 5Kagbeni - Chele (3,075m) ~6hrs
Day 6Trek Chele to Geling (3,560m) ~7hrs
Day 7Trek Geling, to Ghami (3,510m) and onward to Dhakmar (3,800m) ~6hrs
Day 8Trek Dhakmar to Tsarang (3,595m) ~4hrs
Day 9Trek Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3,820m) ~4hrs
Day 10Lo Manthang - Dhi (3400m) - Yara (3400m) ~5hrs
Day 11Trek Yara, to Luri Gompa, return to Yara (3,400m) ~4hrs
Day 12Trek Yara to Tangye (3,240m) ~6hrs
Day 13Trek Tangye to Chusang-Tetang (3,000m) ~9-10hrs
Day 14Trek Chusang-Tetang to Muktinath (3,760m) ~6hrs
Day 15Trek Muktinath to Jomsom (2,720m) ~5hrs
Day 16Drive Jomson to Pokhara ~9hrs
Day 17Fly Pokhara (880m) to Kathmandu
Day 18In Kathmandu
Day 19Depart Kathmandu
Note: Daily walking hours include a lunch break, and regular rest breaks.