The Upper Mustang region is one of the most famous Buddhist kingdoms in the world. It lies to the north of the Annapurna Conservation Area and at the top of Kali Gandaki River. The Mustang region consists of the upper and the lower areas. The culture and language of the Upper Mustang people is similar to Tibet. The Upper Mustang region has a mystical and isolated feel to it that inspires and enhances the visitor experience.
With the Buddhist flavour and history as captivating as the landscape, the Upper Mustang region has attracted curious Himalayan adventures since it first opened for limited tourist numbers in 1991. In the early days, the Mustang region was a vital trading route between Tibet and India. The interesting remains of the forts which served as tax collection outposts throughout the region remain. In the late 1950s, this area was a centre for armed guerrilla’s who were trained by United States CIA to oppose the Chinese troops in their occupation of Tibet.
The Upper Mustang in summer
Our Upper Mustang trekking route continues primarily through the valleys however in periods of heavy rain the route will travel along prominent ridge-lines to escape the fast flowing rivers. This is a moderate level trek that reaches a maximum altitude of 4010m. It is important to note that most of the challenge in this itinerary arises from the crossing of several high passes. This is necessary to avoid the heavy flowing rivers the result of the monsoon rains. A great advantage of this trek is the ability to undertake it during the summer months of June, July and August – unlike treks in the Annapurna and Everest regions.
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport and be transferred by Trek Climb Ski Nepal staff to your accommodation at The Yak and Yeti Hotel. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening enjoy a welcome dinner and drinks hosted by your Sherpa guides and leaders.
A fantastic buffet breakfast at The Yak and Yeti Hotel followed by a morning sightseeing tour around Kathmandu. Afternoon at leisure. Our staff will be available in the afternoon to assist any guests that may need to make last minute purchases.
Today you’ll set off early with your guides and drive by private vehicle from Kathmandu to Pokhara enjoying lunch en route. Overnight at Pokhara (850m)
This morning we enjoy a scenic mountain flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, the district headquarters of the Upper Mustang. After breakfast, we set off and trek to Kagbeni. We travel along the gradually ascending and winding trail next to the Kali Gandaki river for around 3 hours before reaching Ekli Bhatti village. We enjoy a rest break at Ekli Bhatti before continuing for an easy hours walk to Kagbeni. Kagbeni is an interesting windswept village that lies between two river banks. It was an outpost for the old Himalayan salt trade route and served as the gateway to the Upper Mustang.
Today we trek to Chele at 3050m. Our journey into the true Upper Mustang region begins with a trekking permit check and then we proceed further along the banks of the Kali Gandaki river. We the Upper Mustang and follow the east bank of the river over a series of small ridges. In the distance we can see the Kang Gompa, a centre of the Nyingmapa Sect. Approaching Tangbe, we encounter the distinctive blank, white and red Stupa chortens that typify the Upper Mustang. This village of white-washed houses contains an intriguing pattern of alleyways and is surrounded by fields of wheat, barley, potato and buckwheat. We cross the east bank of the river and ascend to village of Chele at 3050m. The strong influence of the Tibeten culture of Lo is evidenced by the particular decoration of the houses here.
Today we trek to Syangboche at 3475m. The trail today is characterised by the crossing of a series a large spurs. Our route travels over the Taklam-La pass at 3642m, across plateaus and narrow ridge-lines offering stunning views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang Peak, Nilgiri Peak and Damodar Himal. We reach Syangboche and spend the night.
Our destination today is Ghaymi at 3520m. We trek to and cross the Yamada-La pass 3850m. We then pass by tea-houses, chortens and local villages. The houses now appear completely Tibetan in style. Rows of juniper trees and fields of barely mark our trail as we head to Nyi-La pass at 4010m. This pass is the highest point of our Upper Mustang trek and it straddles the southern boundary of Lo. We then descend to our overnight destination at Ghaymi (3520m).
Trek to Charang at 3500m. Our journey today is a pleasant and easy walk to our overnight destination at Charang. We descend to the Ghymi Khola (river) and pass a spectacular series of buddhist mani walls to the village of Charang. Overnight at Charang (3500m).
Our trek today is to Lo Monthang at 3700m. We travel next to the Charang Khola (river) then climb the ridge to 3850m. At the windy pass of Lo, we take in our first views of the walls surrounding the city of Lo Monthang. It is a spectacular view. The trail then descends to the river before climbing back up to the plateau and arriving at Lo Monthan. The only access to the city is in the north east corner of Lo Monthang so we make our way to the entrance. The white-washed walls enclose a total of 176 homes, gompas and a palace. We spend some time exploring Lo Monthang before enjoying a traditional Tibetan dinner. Overnight at Lo Monthang (3700m).
Today we explore the history and culture of Lo Monthang. There are four major monasteries to visit along with the Lo Monthang palace home of King Raja and Queen Rani. The King’s function is now primarily ceremonial but he is the first point of call whenever a local issue arises that needs resolving. The town itself and fascinating surrounds, offer the visitor countless opportunities to observe and be immersed in the vibrant Tibetan culture. Lo Monthang is the main attraction of the Upper Mustang. Overnight at Lo Monthang (3700m).
Trek to Ghar Gompa at 3950m. After our exciting exploration of Lo Monthang we reluctantly depart and head to Ghar Gompa. Ghar Gompa is also an interesting place to explore and is rich in Tibetan history and culture. Ascending the ridge on our way to Ghar Gompa, we take in our last views of the walled city of Lo Monthang and then descend to the valley and onto Ghar Gompa. Overnight at Ghar Gompa (3950m).
Trek to Ghilling at 3806m. Today our route takes us down valley to Ghilling and we stay here overnight. Ghilling can be a very dusty location so much better to explore this village in the evening. Overnight at Ghilling (3806m).
Trek to Chele 3050m. An enjoyable trek back to Chele takes us around 5 hours at a gentle pace. This is day of beautiful Himalayan scenery in the stunning Upper Mustang. Overnight at Chele (3050m).
Today we return to Jomsom at 2700m. It is our last day trekking today and we begin by heading to Kagbeni. After a rest break at Kagbeni we’re back on the trail and complete our time in the Upper Mustang by joining the Annapurna Circuit route that sees us finish in Jomsom. Tonight we will celebrate the achievement of our trek with our guides and porters. It’s the perfect way to reflect on our journey and enjoy the company of those that helped us along the way. Overnight at Jomsom (2700m).
Today we fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. This is a stunning mountain flight that takes us between the huge mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. We arrive in Pokhara and are transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is spent exploring Pokhara and relaxing beside the beautiful Phewa lake. Overnight at Pokhara (850m).
Leave Pokhara and drive by private vehicle to Kathmandu. Re-check into The Yak and Yeti Hotel.
Trip concludes. All guests will be conveyed by our staff to Kathmandu International Airport to meet their respective flights.
3 nights accommodation The Radisson Hotel (or equivalent standard) Hotel in Kathmandu with breakfasts
2 nights hotel accommodation in Pokhara with breakfasts
Welcome dinner (includes drinks) in Kathmandu
All ground transfers in Nepal
16 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners
Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu (includes entry fees and guide)
Upper Mustang entry fee and trekking permits
Porters to carry all personal and group equipment
Experienced Nepalese leader and guides
Emergency medicine kit
Down jacket and sleeping bag
Complimentary Trek Climb Ski Nepal kit bag
All Nepalese tourist taxes and fees
Tips for porters and guides are NOT included
Accomm + meals
This trip includes 3 nights at The Radisson Hotel (or equivalent standard) in Kathmandu and two nights in a comfortable hotel in Pokhara. We stay in comfortable lodges whilst trekking. This trip also includes a total of 16 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 14 dinners. Morning and afternoon tea is also provided each day you are trekking. Unlimited safe (thoroughly boiled) drinking water is also provided each day you are trekking.
Meals in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal are not cheap. If you were to purchase your own meals on this trip, your total food cost would be close to AUD $1,200.
We proudly employ an all you can eat food and fluids policy on all our trips. Proper food intake and regular hydration are critical to safe altitude acclimatisation. In our opinion, trekking companies that leave food decisions and the purchase of food for their clients to manage (when trekking at altitude) are grossly irresponsible. Trekking companies often do this because it enables them to advertise a much lower (but unrealistic) trip price. Be sure to choose a tour operator that includes all your meals and safe drinking water in your trip price.