The Upper Mustang trek is in an ancient Buddhist kingdom in Nepal. It is a forbidden region behind the high Annapurna mountains. This high mountain desert region is similar to the Tibetan land, so you might have the Tibetan feel while visiting the upper Mustang.
Mustang had a separate king when Nepal was a kingdom, but it belonged to Nepal. There is still a palace in Lomanthang. The trek goes through a historical village Kagbeni, which is a gateway to the upper Mustang. Distinct types of landscape and colourful hills florid the region.
Historical caves, wall paintings, and Buddhist monuments pass some ancient lifestyles and cultures of Mustang. Besides religion, culture and outstanding landscapes, panoramic views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Tilicho peak, Tukuche peak, Nilgiri and other high mountains are other attractions of the upper Mustang trek.
Upper Mustang is a restricted region, so you need to have a special trekking permit to enter. Lomantang is the last destination of the upper Mustang trek. You walk through Chele, Syangbochen, Ghami and Tsarang before reaching Lomantang. You can visit three old monasteries existing since the 13th/14th century in Lo Manthang in the afternoon when you get there. A Four-story Jong cave in Chhoser village provides an ancient history and lifestyle of the Mustang people on the exploration day from Lo Manthang.
On your return, visit Ghar Gompa on the way to Dhakmar. Constructed in the twelve century, dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, who visited the region. The strong belief is if you wish anything from this Gompa, it comes true. You only can see the Annapurna I from this upper trail to Dhakmar during this Mustang trek.
Upper Mustang Jeep Tour
There is road access to Lomangtang and even further to the Tibetan border. If you do not have enough time, can’t walk at a high altitude or don’t want to trek through dusty trails, you can book a jeep tour to the upper Mustang.
The jeep tour to the upper Mustang is a luxury mountain trip, so you can explore everything that the trekkers do during the trip. The 14-day upper Mustang trek itinerary can finish in a 5-days jeep tour. So, it may save your time, stamina and budget.
The upper Mustang jeep tour begins from Pokhara and goes to Kagbeni on the first day. After spending a night in Kagbeni, you drive to Lomanthang on the second day. Then, you visit Chhoser on the exploration day from Lo village and back to Dhakmar via Ghar Gompa. You can visit caves on the cliffside of colourful hi in Dhakmar. The fourth-day drive is back to Tatopani from Dhakmar and the 5th day to Pokhara.
Upper Mustang Jeep Tour Itinerary
Day 01: Drive from Pokhara to Kagbeni (2,800m) 7-8 hrs
Day 02: Drive from Kagbeni to Lomanthang (3,840m) 5 hrs
Day 03: Drive to Chhoser (4,784m) for 30 minutes and drive back to Dhakmar (3,820m) for 4 hrs
Day 04: Drive from Dhakmar to Tatopani (1,190m) 6 hrs
Day 05: Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara (8,20m) 5 hrs
Best Time to Trek to Upper Mustang
September to December and March to May are the best timing for the upper Mustang trek. These months usually have clear views of the mountains. Winter is cold, but you can do this with warm equipment. The Mustang is a rain shadow region, so it is doable also in the monsoon season. But, it may affect the Jomsom flight of the summer rain and clouds. Trekking to the upper Mustang in the summer needs around a 3-weeks.
Trek Cost for Upper Mustang
The upper Mustang is expensive trekking compared to the other regular trek in Nepal. A restricted area permit makes it costly for the trip. A minimum of two trekkers need to be in a group for the upper Mustang.
We organize the upper Mustang trek also for a single person, but the cost goes high because of permit sharing. 2-4 people cost 2,400 USD per person for the Mustang trek. If you have a bigger group with more than 5-trekkers, the cost reduces from the main package cost.
We usually arrange the trekking to the upper Mustang with all-inclusive in the mountain. Also, the package covers a full-day city tour in Kathmandu and accommodation in the city. Hire a guide and porter and pay yourself for the food that seems cheaper for the Mustang trek.
Trekking Itinerary to Upper Mustang
The upper Mustang trek itinerary depends on the route and direction that you are following. Start walking from Nayapul and Beni and fly out from Jomsom after Lomanthang is a long Itinerary. Both-way flight to/from Jomsom is a short Mustang trekking itinerary.
Alternatively, you can start walking from Kagbeni, walk to Lomanthang, and trek back to Kagbeni again. You can drive back from Kagbeni to Pokhara in one day in the end. It is a 12-day upper Mustang itinerary if you use both ways driving to/ from Kagbeni. The road is bumpy with lots of landslides if rainfall, so it is no good to take the driving route during the monsoon to Mustang.
Our regular Upper Mustang trek itinerary is for 14 days, but you find it for 19-days from your home to home. The Mustang journey begins with a flight to Jomsom from Pokhara and treks to the Kagbeni on the first day. Then, it goes to Lomanthang via Chele, Syangbochen, Ghami and Tsusang. You have an exploration day in Lo village to visit the Jhong cave and monasteries. On your return, you take the upper route via Ghar Gompa to Dhakmar. You can fly out from Jomsom after your trek if you have a short holiday for Mustang. Otherwise, you can walk a few more days down to Beni or Nayapul.
Upper Mustang for Nepali
Most Nepali travellers to the upper Mustang are for a jeep tour. It is very cheap to travel Mustang for Nepali. The internal visitors do not need a special permit to the Mustang. Rather than doing a trek, all Nepalese visitors drive in a jeep or a bike tour to the upper Mustang.
All Nepalese travellers to Lomanthang can not ride motorbikes, and some might not have an interest in driving off-road in the Himalayas. We offer all transportation from Kathmandu to Lomantang and the Tibetan border to the Nepali. We arrange a tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara and a 4-wheel drive jeep to the Mustang. It is a group tour, so we collect people to operate the trips to the Mustang.
Permit Cost for Upper Mustang
Trekkers need to take two different permits for the upper Mustang trek. Annapurna conservation area entry tickets and restricted area entry tickets are essential entry documents for the upper Mustang. The restricted permit can issue from the Nepal immigration office in Kathmandu and Pokhara. On the other hand, the Annapurna conservation one can obtain from the national trust for nature conservation office in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Nepalese visitors no need to have a special permit, but other travellers must have it. It costs 500 USD per person for the first-10 days for all foreigners. An additional 50 USD per day will add after the 10th day. It is the same fare for all nations visitors except the Nepali. But, the Annapurna conservation entry permit has a variation price. It costs 3,000 NPR for all trekkers besides the south Asian travellers. Visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Srilanka and Maldives cost just 1,000 NPR.
Upper Mustang Trek Attraction
Kaligandaki Valley and Gorge
The Kali Gandaki valley is a Himalayan valley in between two massive mountain ranges Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. It is a windy valley, so a big wind blows in the afternoon every day. But, if the day is cloudy, there won’t be a strong wind. Walking through the Kaligandaki river bank in this valley, you can collect some Saligrama (fossil).
The Kali Gandaki river gorge (Andha Galchi) is the world’s deepest gorge between Ghasa and Dana villages. This deep Galchi divides Dhaulagiri (8,167m) between the west and the Annapurna I (8,091m) in the east. Because of the measurement of these two giant peaks from the bottom, it is the world’s deepest canyon.
The Kagbeni is an ancient and beautiful village in the Mustang district. Located at 2,800m, it is the gateway to the upper Mustang. Made in 1429, Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Monastery in the place is a highlighted thing to visit.
It is a holy place for the Hindus. There are many Hindus from different regions of Nepal for a ritual ceremony for their lost parents. Kagbeni divides the trail to Muktinath and Lomantang.
Off Genre Landscapes and Colourful Hills
Mostly Nepal has greenery lands, but you can see different types of landscapes on the upper Mustang trek. Except for some barley and oat farm, it is hard to find green grassland. So, The Mustang has been composed of the high Himalayan deserty lands.
The colourful hills offer you a feeling like being in the off universe from the Mustang region. There are hundreds of caves on the sides of these hills. The locals underwent the caves for religious and safety purposes.
Experiencing the Religion and Culture of Mustang
Visiting some ancient historic Monasteries in the upper Mustang may offer you peace and prosperity. You will have a fateful time to know about religion and culture from these religious sites in Mustang. You can also learn about the second mini kingdom of Nepal by visiting the palace in Lomantang. The polyandry marriage system and sky burial death ritual are strange experiences for the Mustang visitors. The Tiji is a fateful festival that celebrates in May every year in Lo Manthang.
The Jong (Zhong cave) is a sky cave in the Chhoser village. This 5-story cavern has more than 40 different rooms. You can visit this during the exploration day from Lomanthang. It had made by man, but there is no proof about who had made it yet.
According to the legend, the villagers used to hide in this to protect themselves from the enemy. You can see a beautiful glimpse of Chhoser village, monasteries and mountains from its windows.
Accommodation, Food and Drinks in Upper Mustang
The trekking trail to the upper Mustang is well-organized, so it is not difficult to get accommodation during the trek. Most of the lodges have attached bathrooms in the camps. Because of not flooded trekkers, you can easily find accommodation during the upper Mustang trek.
You can have food from a menu in the guesthouses where you stay. So, you don’t have to take the local dishes on the trek. You can buy bottled mineral water everywhere along the way. Also, you can drink tap water using the purification methods if you would like to.
Internet, Phone and Battery Charging
There are no wi-fi services for the internet users til now, but they will have them soon. You can take a SIM card with the internet data for the upper Mustang region. There is just a signal for the NTC mobile in the upper Mustang region, so be sure if you are buying the NTC or NCELL card. You can also make a call to your family and relatives through this SIM from the upper Mustang trek.
You can charge your phone, camera and other gadgets during the trek, and it’s mostly free of cost. Most of the places have proper electricity in the upper Mustang route.
Trekking Equipment for the Upper Mustang
Trekking equipment plays a vital role in successful Himalayan travel. The Mustang is a cold and windy region, so it is good to have essential gears to stay protected from these things. You might think that you do not need to pack rain gear for the Mustang. Because you hear, it is a rain shadow region. Of course, It doesn’t rain in the higher territory, but it does in the lower areas. So, check some essential gear for the Mustang that you should not forget to pack here:
- Sun hat
- Warm hat
- Thermal layers
- Few long and short trekking shirts
- Long and short hiking trousers
- Fleece jacket
- Wind stopper
- Down jacket
- Few pairs of trekking socks
- Rain gear
- Rukshak or duffel bag
- Head torch
- Sun lotion
- Lip balm
- Good quality hiking boots
- Sport shoes
- Water sandals
- Warm gloves
- Windproof trouser
Collaborate with Frolic Adventure for the Upper Mustang Journey
Frolic Adventure operates the upper Mustang trek from Kathmandu. We are an authorized local trekking organizer in Nepal. Remember us for your amazing Mustang trip, so we manage the Mustang tour with reliable cost and securely. A minimum of 2-travellers need to be in a group to travel Mustang. We make bookings even for individuals and manage group permits for the upper Mustang. You can directly book the trip from our departure dates or offer your dates by contacting us.