Upper Mustang Trek


  • An adventurous trodden trekking route in the unspoiled remote northern part  of the country
  • Explore the last forbidden ancient Buddhist kingdom, Lo Manthang
  • Trek in the trans-Himalayan region in the rain shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna
  • The trail traverses the arid Kali Gandaki river valley and goes through picturesque villages, canyons, and mountain passes
  • Explore medieval relics, centuries-old monasteries, sky caves, deep gorges, etc, on this trek
  • Witness stunning views of the Himalayan mountains, barren hills, impressive rock formations, vast meadows, and barely fields
  • Come across rich Tibetan Buddhist cultural heritage
  • Travel back in time to Lo Manthan,g where the life of the natives is still intact

Follow a trodden trail in the northern part of Nepal that leads to the last forbidden kingdom, Lo Manthang (3,810 m). The Upper Mustang trek is an adventurous journey to Lo Manthang, an ancient Buddhist kingdom that was forbidden and isolated from the rest of the world till 1992. This trek explores the trans-Himalayan region in the rain shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m). 

Unlike the famous treks- Everest base camp and Annapurna circuit, the Upper Mustang trek in Nepal presents arid landscapes, medieval relics, centuries-old monasteries, sky caves, deep gorges, and Tibetan Buddhist cultural heritage. As the region was long protected, the natives have evolved within their own distinctive culture and beliefs. 

Upper Mustang is the driest region in Nepal and therefore offers extraordinary landscapes. The views lean toward barren hills, impressive rock formations, vast meadows, barely fields, and canyons. It is much more brown and gray than hundreds of shades of green. Snow-capped mountains like Nilgiri (7,061 m), Annapurna (8,091 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Hiunchuli (6,441 m), Fishtail (6,993 m), and many others are seen during the trek.

Upper Mustang has a long-lost connection to Tibet. If we have to turn the pages and go way back in time, then it is believed that Lo was once part of the Ngari area of Tibet and became part of the Malla empire of Nepal by the 14th century. Given this link, the locals have a huge resemblance to Tibetan culture, language, and norms. Lopas and Thakalis are the early settlers of the Mustang region. 

The locals along the Upper Mustang trek route are very humble and welcoming. Both geographically and culturally, the Upper Mustang trek will leave you in awe. Once the Upper Mustang got opened to the rest of the world, the Nepal government made it a restricted area to preserve the natural wonders and the rich Tibetan Buddhism culture. 

Today, trekking to Upper Mustang is a rare privilege that only a handful of travelers get. No solo travelers are allowed to enter Upper Mustang by themselves or with an independant guide. You can only do the Upper Mustang trekking with a registered local Nepali trekking company like us.

Upper Mustang trek itinerary brief

The 16 days Upper Mustang trek starts from Kathmandu. You drive to Pokhara and take a short flight to Jomsom (2,720 m), the trailhead. Following the arid Kali Gandaki valley, you will ascend to Kagbeni (2,847 m) and walk through Chuksang village before reaching Chele (3,050 m). The trail goes through the steep canyon to Ekle Bhatti and crosses Taklam La (3,625 m) & Samar village on the way to Syanbochen (3,050 m). 

From Syanboche, cross two major passes, Yamda La (3,845 m) and Nyi La (4,015 m), to reach Ghami (3,520 m). The trail further descends to Ghami Khola and crosses a suspension bridge climb to Charang La pass (3,700 m). The Charang village (3,505 m) is situated at the top of Charang Chu canyon. The next day, ascend to Lo La pass (3,950 m) and walk past a series of mani walls to Lo Manthang (3,810 m). 

We’ll spend a couple of nights in Lo Manthang. On the way back, stop at a 100 years old monastery called Ghar gompa in Gyakar village. Trekking through Drakmar retraces the trail back to Jomsom, where the trek ends. You will then commute to Kathmandu and fly back to your home. 


The Upper Mustang trek is moderately challenging. This trek best fits trekkers who have previous trekking experience and can walk six hours a day. The mountainous, offbeat terrain crosses a series of passes above 3,500 meters before reaching Lo Manthang. The trekkers have to be fit to complete the Upper Mustang trek. The trail constantly ascends and descends, demanding the travelers have stamina and strength to keep going. 

If we take the famous trekking routes of Nepal into consideration, the Upper Mustang trek 16 days has relatively less altitude gain. The highest village you will reach during the trek is Lo Manthang, at 3,810 meters. Likewise, the trail crosses the Nyi La pass at 4,015 meters. However, the isolation of the region and the harsh dry environment make the trail difficult. 

The steep uphill climbs are tough, and there are many rocky narrow foothill sections that will surely increase your heartbeat. The accommodation and meals facility along the Upper Mustang trail is not that great, so you will be testing your endurance to survive in less and unfamiliar options. 

Altitude Sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness)

The risk of altitude sickness makes the Upper Mustang trek a little tricky. Thankfully, this trek does not see a drastic change in elevation or go beyond 4,500 meters, so the chances are quite minimal. In case you get symptoms of altitude sickness, our mountain guide will give you first aid and take preventive measures into action. You have to understand we cannot promise a complete altitude sickness risk-free venture. However, we'll do our best to avoid it during the trek. 

Be aware of symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, and insomnia. These are early indications that your body is not acclimatized, and you may get acute mountain sickness. Inform your guide if you see these symptoms or feel any discomfort on the way. Keep yourself hydrated and maintain your pace.


To prepare for the Upper Mustang trek 16 days, we recommend you do regular walks and if possible, add a backpack weighing 5 kg. Have at least 3 to 4 weeks on hand to prepare yourself physically and pack. You can do day hikes around your city. Involve cardio activities like running, swimming, cycling, etc, to build your stamina. Do not wear a brand new pair of trekking boots in the mountains. Instead, buy it a few weeks ago and get used to it. 

Upper Mustang trek 2023 booking

Only a handful of permits are issued every year for Upper Mustang trekking. If you wish to do this magical trek, then book through our site. Our Upper Mustang trek 2023 bookings are open. Our travel consultants will help you with the booking process and other obligations. 

We have the best Upper Mustang trek price in the market that will not make a hole in your pocket. For more information, you can contact us anytime. Likewise, you can also customize the Upper Mustang trek itinerary with us. 

Here are some other restricted area treks in Nepal- Manaslu circuit trek, Upper Dolpo trek, Makalu base camp trek, and Kanchenjunga circuit trek.

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The team of Nepal Pioneer Treks will welcome you at the Tribhuvan International Airport. They will transfer you to the hotel we have already booked for you and help with check-in. Spend some time relaxing and unpacking before getting out to explore your surrounding area. Your hotel will be right at the heart of the tourist hub in Kathmandu, Thamel, so have a wonderful time looking around. In the late evening, join us for a welcome dinner.

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Welcome Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 1300m

We leave Kathmandu today and head to Pokhara. The Kathmandu Pokhara drive is comfortable. We use a tourist bus. During the ride, get to see beautiful landscapes. Upon reaching Pokhara, check-in at the hotel at the lakeside and spend the remaining day enjoying the beauty of Phewa Lake.

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Max. Altitude: 823m

The trek begins from Jomsom. We’ll take an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. The flight offers wonderful views of the western Himalayan mountains like Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. From Jomsom, we follow a pleasant route up the arid Kali Gandaki river valley. The trail ascends to Kagbeni via white-washed houses and narrow alleys.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 2847m

As we leave Kagbeni, we'll enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang. We'll register our permits at the check post and continue trekking along the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki river that leads to Chuksang. We may face the strong wind on the way further. 

Enjoying the stunning view of Mt. Nilgiri, we will walk by red sandstone pillars and unique rock formations. The trail takes us to Tangbe. We then walk through apple orchards and barely fields to a narrow canyon. Beyond the canyon lies Chele, our night stop.


  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3050m

We'll leave Chele early in the morning and follow a steep uphill trail. The trail further goes through the steep canyon to Ekle Bhatti and continues to Taklam La (3,625 m). Crossing the pass, we walk to Samar. The snow-capped mountains accompany us on the way to Syanbochen. From Samar, descend to a large gorge and walk past Rangchyung Chorten to reach Syanbochen.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3930m

We’ll cross another pass called Yamda La (3,845 m) today. After having breakfast, we will begin trekking on an uphill track, enjoying desert-like landscapes. The trail then descends to Gelling. Walking past barely fields and stone houses, we reach Tama Gaun. From here, we descend to Nyi La (4,015 m) and trek to Ghami. Yes, we'll cross two passes today.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3520m

From Ghami, we walk on the offbeat trail and slippery ground. The trail drops down to Ghami Khola, where we cross a suspension bridge. Further, we walk by mani walls and climb to Charang La pass (3,700 m). We then walk through the Charang Chu canyon, and walk to the top where the Charang village is located. There is a red gompa and a fortress in the east of the village.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3505m

From Charang village, we descend into the canyon and cross a river. The trail now ascends to Lo La pass (3,950 m), from where we get to see the first view of Lo Manthang, the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal. From Lo La, we continue trekking, passing by a series of Mani walls to Lo Manthang. On the way, we get to see breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains like Annapurna I, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Bhrikuti Peak, etc.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3810m

We take a break in Lo Manthang village to explore its fortress and ancient monasteries. Known as the walled city, Lo Manthang's history goes back to the 1390s. The village has pretty white-washed houses, gompas, mud-brick walls, a palace, and welcoming locals. 

We will go on an excursion to visit four major monasteries- Jampa Gompa (Jampa Lhakhang), Thubchen Gompa, Chodey Gompa, and Choprang Gompa. We'll spend time interacting with locals and observing their lifestyles.


  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3810m

We leave Lo Manthang after a delicious breakfast. We have a long day ahead of us. The trail goes to Gyakar village, where we will stop to visit a more than 100 years old monastery called Ghar gompa. The painting on the rocks is very fascinating. Further, we continue trekking to Drakmar, where we'll be spending the night. The trans-Himalayan landscapes along the trail are gorgeous.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3700m

The trail from Drakmar to Giling is quite strong, so do not forget to cover your eyes and mouth. Trekking on a downhill path through a dry plateau and occasional farming fields, we'll reach Ghiling. The views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri are excellent on the way.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 3570m

It is an easy descent from Ghiling to Syanbochen. We will be retracing our path back to Samar, walking through Mani walls, chortens, and terraces. From Samar, the trail continues to Chuksang village crossing the Kali Gandaki riverbed through a rock tunnel.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 2950m

Today is our last day of the trek. Saying goodbye to the Upper Mustang, we enter the lower Mustang and trek back to Jomsom. The trail goes through apple orchards and narrow alleys. We walk by Kagbeni village and trek to Jomsom, walking past lovely stone/mud houses.

  • Accommodation: Teahouse
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 2720m

Early in the morning, fly to Pokhara. The mountain views are no doubt sensational during the flight. We land at Pokhara airport, and the guide will drop you at the hotel. You have the rest of the day free. Enjoy your time in this beautiful city. Visit the spa and clubs. Do boating on the Phewa Lake in the evening, catching a gorgeous sunset.

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Max. Altitude: 823m

Today, we’ll drive back to Kathmandu. The drive will be scenic and comfortable, like the last time. In Kathmandu, you have the remaining day of leisure. Do shopping and enjoy as you wish. We meet you in the late evening for a farewell dinner.

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude: 1300m

Fly back to your home today or join our other adventurous program in Nepal. Our airport team will drop you at the international airport as per your flight departure time if you are flying to another destination.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Route Map
Upper Mustang Trek Map
  • Four nights accommodation including Kathmandu and Pokhara with twin sharing at tourist standard hotel (Bed and Breakfast)
  • All Ground and air transportation. Pick up and drop.
  • Full board meal 3 times a day (B+L+D) during the trek days including tea & coffee (served in a cup).
  • English speaking trekking guide who has been authorized by the government and necessary number of porters (According to the group size) with their insurance, salary, accommodation, and meals.
  • Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu with Cultural show. (Ethnic music and dance)
  • All the necessary official documents, TIMS Permit, Trekking Permit, Special Permit etc.
  • Sleeping bags and down jackets if necessary.
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking Route map.
  • Insurance of Guide and Porters.
  • All required local and government tax
  • Nepal Visa fee and International flight.
  • Meal except for Breakfast in Kathmandu.
  • All personal expenses such as bar bills, water, extra tea/coffee, snacks, battery re-charge, laundry service, etc.
  • Personal clothing and gears.
  • Tips to guide and porters.
  • Cost raised by flight cancellation, emergency rescue charges, landslide, weather, political unrest, illness, re-routing etc which are not under our control.
  • Monument entrance fees.
Additional Information

Upper Mustang trek best time

Like any other trekking route in Nepal, the best time to do the Upper Mustang trek is in spring and autumn. Because the Upper Mustang region is situated in the rain shadow area, you can do this trek during monsoon season too. You may face rainfall at the start of the journey, but there is no rainfall above Jomsom. 

Trekking in spring (March to early May) lets you see rhododendrons and junipers blooming all over the place. The fragrance of teeming vegetation and the warm weather is fantastic. The days slowly begin to get longer, and the temperature ranges between 15°C to 23°C. 

Trekking in autumn (October to November) lets you be part of the biggest festival in Nepal. There is festivity in the air, and the cities are well-decorated with bazillions of lights. The weather is stable and mild, like in spring. The mountain views are crystal clear, and the temperature ranges between 10°C to 15°C. 

Trekking in the monsoon (late May to September) lets you be part of the Tiji festival, the biggest festival celebrated by the locals of Lo Manthang. You just have to align your arrival time in Lo Manthang if you exclusively wish to be part of the Tiji festival. All the trekking routes are closed during this time of the year in Nepal except the Upper Mustang. 

Upper Mustang trek accommodation

You will stay overnight in tea houses along the Upper Mustang trekking route. Tea houses are a very basic kind of accommodation operated by villagers. You get shared rooms and a washroom. Better carry a sleeping bag for more comfort and warmth. Single rooms are available only if you inform us priorly and pay extra. You will get to experience the mountain lifestyle during the Upper Mustang trek. 


The Upper Mustang trekking route offers Nepali and Tibetan meals mostly. The teahouses at the start of the trek have several western dishes like burgers, pasta, sandwiches, oat, etc on the menu. With the progress of the trek, you will mostly get dal bhat, momo, thenduk, Tibetan bread, soup, porridge, etc. Our Upper Mustang trek package includes three meals a day, and all meals are given as per the menu of the tea houses.

It is better to carry your favorite snacks for the trek. There is also decent availability of beverages. Boiled drinking water is provided in the teahouses free of cost. For additional safety, you can use a water purification tablet. 

Group/private joining

We have a few fixed departures for the Upper Mustang trek 2023 that you can join as a solo traveler and trek with other fellow trekkers from all around the world. Or you can do a private Upper Mustang trek with your loved ones. Trekking in a big group reduces the per-head cost of the package.

Travel Insurance

It is better to have travel insurance if you are thinking of doing the Upper Mustang trek. The Upper Mustang is a very remote area with no hospital. The trail has no access to any medical facility. In case of any medical emergency, we have to air evacuate to a hospital in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Without travel insurance, it gets very challenging for us to provide rescue promptly. Therefore, we kindly request to buy travel insurance that covers air evacuation.


  • The Upper Mustang trek is difficult. This trek better fits trekkers with previous experience. The trek does not go above 5,000 meters, but the trail is offbeat and very remote. You need strong fitness and determination to complete the Upper Mustang trekking.

  • Our Upper Mustang trek is 16 days long. You can do this trek in a shorter time as well. To customize the Upper Mustang trek itinerary, get in touch with us anytime.

  • Upper Mustang trek demands a restricted permit, which is very expensive. The permit costs USD 500 per head for the first 10 days and USD 50 per day thereafter.

  • You at least need a couple of weeks to do the Upper Mustang trek. It is a remote trek in the trans-Himalayan region, close to the Tibetan border. The trek explores unique rock formations, deep ravines, canyons, sky caves, ancient monasteries, and beautiful villages.

  • Upper Mustang has an open border with Tibet, along with many undiscovered caves and mineral sites. The region preserves the Tibetan Buddhist cultural heritage of the locals and has remained a restricted zone to the outside world from the very start.

  • The Upper Mustang trek begins from Jomsom, located at 2,720 meters. We take a short 20 minute flight from Pokhara to reach Jomsom. You can also reach Jomsom by taking a long 8-9 hours drive from Pokhara.

  • Yes, the Upper Mustang trek is worth it. This trek offers a very different and special trekking experience. Unlike all famous trekking routes, you will be trekking in a restricted area in Nepal, which is nothing less than a privilege. Moreover, the jaw-dropping trans-Himalayan landscapes make this trek even more wonderful.

  • Spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) is the best time to do Upper Mustang trekking. Likewise, you can also trek to Upper Mustang in the monsoon season from May to September. Because Upper Mustang is situated in the trans-Himalayan region, there is no rainfall in the monsoon.

  • From Kathmandu, Upper Mustang is 462 kilometers (287 miles) away

  • Upper Mustang is the upper northern area of Nepal. It is located in the Mustang district, the western Himalayas.

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