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Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek- Must Read Before You Trek on 2024

Hey trekkers, are you about to trek the Upper Mustang this year 2024? Here is the must-read information before you start your amazing trek.

The Upper Mustang is situated in the Mustang district of the Gandaki Province of Nepal. Lo Manthang, Dalome, and Baragung Muktichhetra are the three rural municipalities of the Upper Mustang.

History Of Upper Mustang

Before starting your trek, if you know the history of this area your trekking journey will be much more interesting.

Upper Mustang was the former kingdom of the Lo, which was once part of the Tibetan empire. The last official king of the Upper Mustang was Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista (1930–2016) and also he was the unofficial king later after the kingdom was annexed by Nepal.

Mustang was an independent kingdom before. The location of the Mustang helps to take over the control of trade between the Himalayas and India at that time. The walled capital city of Lo Manthang, with its royal palace and settlements, is a living museum from this bygone era, still preserving its ancient beauty and rituals.

Mustang was the independent kingdom before. The location of the Mustang helps to take over the control on trade between Himalayas and India at that time. The walled capital city of Lo Manthang, with its royal palace and settlements, is a living museum from this bygone era, still preserving its ancient beauty and rituals.
Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista (1930–2016)

Highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek

Kali Gandaki River during upper Mustang trek
Great views from Thsele down to the fields of Chusang village and Nilgiri with its steep north face. Image credit
Panoramic Views of the Himalayas
As you trek through the arid landscapes of Upper Mustang, be prepared to be mesmerized by the panoramic views of the Himalayas. The snow-capped peaks of Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri create a dramatic backdrop against the clear blue skies. Take a moment to absorb the grandeur of these majestic mountains and appreciate the raw beauty of the Himalayan range.
The Forbidden Kingdom of Lo Manthang
Lo Manthang, the capital of Upper Mustang, is a walled city steeped in history and culture. As you wander through its narrow alleys, you'll be transported back in time to an era of kings and monasteries. The ancient mud-brick buildings and the imposing royal palace will leave you in awe of the rich heritage of this once forbidden kingdom.
Crossing the Challenging Kali Gandaki Gorge
Prepare for an adrenaline-pumping experience as you cross the formidable Kali Gandaki Gorge. Known as the world's deepest gorge, this natural wonder will test your trekking skills and reward you with breathtaking views of the gorge below. Feel the rush of excitement as you conquer this geological marvel.
Spectacular Desert Landscape
Unlike the greenery of other trekking regions in Nepal, Upper Mustang surprises trekkers with its unique desert-like terrain. The barren landscapes, sculpted by wind and time, create a surreal backdrop against the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Be prepared to witness a landscape unlike any other.
Kagbeni: Gateway to Upper Mustang
Kagbeni, a charming village located at the entrance of Upper Mustang, serves as the perfect starting point for your trek. The rustic stone houses, prayer wheels, and the stunning views of the Kali Gandaki River set the tone for the adventures that lie ahead. Don't forget to explore the ancient Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Monastery for a glimpse into the local Buddhist culture.
Tiji Festival: A Cultural Spectacle
If you're fortunate enough to time your trek during the Tiji Festival, you're in for a treat. This vibrant annual event, celebrated with masked dances and rituals, commemorates the victory of good over evil. The colorful costumes, traditional music, and lively atmosphere create a magical experience that will stay with you long after you've left Upper Mustang.
Buddhist Monasteries and Stupas
Buddhism is deeply ingrained in the culture of Upper Mustang, and the region is dotted with ancient monasteries and stupas. These spiritual landmarks, adorned with prayer flags and intricate artwork, serve as sanctuaries of peace and reflection. Take the time to visit these sacred sites, participate in prayer ceremonies, and experience the spiritual energy that permeates the land.
Natural Hot Springs of Tatopani
After days of trekking through the rugged terrain, a rejuvenating soak in the natural hot springs of Tatopani is a welcome respite. The therapeutic waters, surrounded by lush greenery and mountain vistas, offer a chance to relax and recharge your weary muscles. Let the soothing warmth of the hot springs revitalize your body and soul before continuing your trek.
Spectacular Sunset at Dhakmar
As you reach the village of Dhakmar, prepare yourself for a breathtaking sunset like no other. The crimson hues of the setting sun against the backdrop of the ancient red cliffs create a surreal spectacle. Find a quiet spot, sit back, and witness nature's grandeur unfold before your eyes as the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors.
The Majestic Nilgiri Himal
Prepare to be awestruck by the towering presence of the Nilgiri Himal, one of the most iconic peaks in the Annapurna region. This majestic mountain, with its snow-clad summit piercing the sky, serves as a constant companion throughout your trek in Upper Mustang. Let its grandeur inspire you as you navigate the rugged terrain.

Also Read: Manaslu Circuit Trek: The Ultimate Guide

Upper Mustang People

How much does a trek permit cost for the Upper Mustang?

The trekking permit cost for Upper Mustang is USD 500 per person for the first 10 days and an additional USD 50 per person per day beyond 10 days.

Regions/VDCs Permit Fee
a. Lomanthang Rural Municipality
(All areas of wards no. 1 to 5)
b. Lo-Ghekar Damodarkunda Rural Municipality
(All areas of wards no. 1 to 5)
C. Baragung Muktichetra Rural Municipality
(All areas of ward no. 3 and Satang Village of ward no.5)
USD 500 per person (For the first 10 days)
USD 50 per person/Day (Beyond 10 days)
Upper Mustang trek permit fee

Do we need a permit for the Upper Mustang Trek?

Upper Mustang is a restricted region, and trekkers are required to obtain a special permit called the ‘Restricted Area Permit’ through a registered trekking agency. The permit, while more costly than general trekking permits in Nepal, is essential in preserving the region’s delicate ecosystem and culture.

Additionally, trekkers will need to purchase the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card, required for trekking in most of Nepal’s trekking regions. Understanding the application process, and costs, and ensuring your paperwork is in order well in advance is essential for a smooth start to your trek.

Upper Mustang Trek Route Map

The trek route of the Upper Mustang starts from the Jomsom at the altitude of 2700m to the peak of Lo Manthang at the altitude of 3840m.

Here is the detailed road map of the Upper Mustang hike:

upper mustang trekking map
Upper Mustang Trekking Map

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Mardi Himal Trek in the Annapurna Region in 2024

What is the best season for Upper Mustang?

The best time to trek in Upper Mustang is during the peak season of October and November, or during the spring season of March and April. During these periods, the weather is clear, and trekkers can enjoy the fine landscapes with blooming rhododendrons, and unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains.

However, the region’s unique geography affords a special charm even during the monsoon season, when its rain shadow area means less rainfall. Winter months can be challenging due to heavy snowfall, but for the hardy trekker who loves the quiet and solitude of snowy landscapes, this is also an option. It’s crucial to plan your trek according to the season that best suits your trekking style and preference.

Upper Mustang Temperature

The temperature and weather of the upper Mustang vary from season to season and also day to night. Here is the approximate temperature of the Upper Mustang:

MonthDay Temperature RangeNight Temperature Range
December, January, February0 to 5 °C (32 to 41 °F)-25 to -20°C (-13 to -4 °F)
March, April, May, June16 to 22 °C (61 to 72 °F)-6 to -2°C (21 to 28°F)
July, August, September20 to 33 °C (68 to 73 °F)-3 to 0 °C (27 to 32 °F)
October, November12 to 20 °C (54 to 68 °F)-8 to -4 °C (18 to 25 °F)
Upper Mustang Temperature variation according to Wikipedia

Itinerary for Upper Mustang Trek

The itinerary varies from person to person with their hiking skills and abilities. Some people do the 10-day Upper Mustang trek while others may take a longer time. Here is one itinerary that an average hikers can do for the Upper Mustang hike.

Upper mustang

Also Read: Top 5 Family Friendly Trek in Nepal: An Unforgettable Himalayan Adventure

FAQs

How difficult is the Upper Mustang trek?

The Upper Mustang trek is considered moderately difficult. It involves trekking at high altitudes, crossing mountain passes, and navigating rugged terrain. However, the trek does not require technical climbing skills, making it accessible to most reasonably fit trekkers.

How many days is the Upper Mustang trek?

The Upper Mustang trek typically lasts around 10-14 days, depending on the specific itinerary. The journey from Pokhara to Mustang by road takes approximately 6-8 hours. A typical Mustang trip can range from 7 to 14 days, depending on the itinerary and mode of transportation.

How much is the Upper Mustang trek in Nepal?

The cost of the Upper Mustang trek in Nepal can vary depending on various factors such as the trekking agency, itinerary, services included, and season.

How much is a trek permit for the Upper Mustang?

The trek permit for the Upper Mustang is known as the “Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit.” As of my last update, the permit fee for the Upper Mustang was around USD 500 per person for 10 days. Additional fees may apply for each extra day.

Is the Upper Mustang trek worth it?

Many trekkers find the Upper Mustang trek worth it due to its unique cultural and natural attractions. The region offers stunning landscapes, ancient Tibetan culture, and well-preserved medieval villages, providing a truly memorable trekking experience.

Why is the Upper Mustang restricted?

Upper Mustang is restricted due to its sensitive border location with Tibet and its preservation of Tibetan culture. The restrictions help in maintaining the cultural and environmental integrity of the region.

Why is Upper Mustang famous?

Upper Mustang is famous for its unique Tibetan culture, ancient Buddhist monasteries, cave dwellings, and the stunning landscape of the Himalayas and the Trans-Himalayan region.

What is the best season for Upper Mustang? Which month is best for Mustang?

The best season for the Upper Mustang trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is generally stable, and the skies are clear. The month of October is considered one of the best times to visit Mustang due to favorable weather conditions and the celebration of local festivals.

Do I need a guide for the Upper Mustang?

While it’s not mandatory to have a guide for the Upper Mustang trek, it’s highly recommended, especially for those unfamiliar with the terrain, culture, and permit regulations. A guide can enhance the trekking experience and ensure safety.

Can we go to Upper Mustang by car?

Yes, it’s possible to travel to Upper Mustang by car via the road from Pokhara. However, access to the Upper Mustang requires a special permit, and certain parts of the journey may only be accessible by foot or on horseback due to rugged terrain.

Who are the people of Upper Mustang?

The people of Upper Mustang are predominantly of Tibetan descent and are known as “Mustangba” or “Lo-pa.” They have a rich cultural heritage deeply rooted in Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Tibetan way of life.

How do I get to Upper Mustang?

To get to Upper Mustang, one typically starts from Pokhara and either takes a flight to Jomsom or drives to Nayapul and then trek or drive further to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang.

Where does Upper Mustang start?

The Upper Mustang trek usually starts from either Jomsom or Kagbeni, depending on the chosen itinerary and mode of transportation.

Is it easy for non-Nepali to enter the Upper Mustang?

Yes, it’s relatively easy for non-Nepali citizens to enter Upper Mustang, but they must obtain the necessary permits, including the Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit, through a registered trekking agency.

Why is the Mustang famous in Nepal? What is the famous thing in Mustang?

Mustang is famous in Nepal for its unique Tibetan culture, ancient monasteries, stunning landscapes, and the Mustang Horse, a rare and robust breed native to the region.

Who is the king of Mustang Nepal?

The historical ruler of Mustang was the “Raja” (King) of Mustang. The king was Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, although the monarchy has largely been ceremonial since Nepal became a republic in 2008.

What is the history of Upper Mustang Nepal?

The history of Upper Mustang dates back to ancient times when it was part of the Tibetan Empire. Over the centuries, it developed its distinct culture and governance system. It was also an important trade route between Tibet and Nepal.

Are Manang and Mustang the same?

Manang and Mustang are different districts in Nepal. While they share some similarities in terms of culture and geography, they are distinct regions with their own characteristics and attractions.

What is the best time to visit Mustang Nepal?

The best time to visit Mustang Nepal is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is generally stable, and the skies are clear.

Is Muktinath upper or lower Mustang?

Muktinath is located in Lower Mustang, not Upper Mustang. It’s a sacred pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists and is situated at an altitude of around 3,800 meters.

Also Read : Annapurna Base Camp Trek: Complete Guide for 9 days trek

What is the 10-day Upper Mustang trek?

The 10-day Upper Mustang trek typically covers major highlights of the region, including Lo Manthang (the capital of Upper Mustang), ancient monasteries, cave dwellings, and panoramic views of the Himalayas.

How much does it cost to go to Mustang?

The cost of a trip to Mustang varies depending on factors such as transportation, accommodation, permits, and guided services. On average, a trek to Mustang can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 per person.

Why do people visit Mustang?

People visit Mustang for its unique Tibetan culture, ancient monasteries, stunning landscapes, and the opportunity to experience remote Himalayan life.

What is the name of the village in Upper Mustang?

Some of the villages in Upper Mustang include Lo Manthang (the capital), Kagbeni, Ghemi, Charang, and Tsarang, among others.

What is the height of the Upper Mustang?

Upper Mustang ranges in altitude from around 2,800 meters (9,186 feet) to over 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) above sea level, with the highest points reaching above 4,000 meters.

  1. How many days is the Upper Mustang trek?

    The Upper Mustang trek typically takes around 10-14 days, depending on the specific itinerary and pace of the trekker. Fourteen days of trek time is good for the people from Kathmandu.

  2. How many hours is Pokhara to Mustang?

    The distance from Pokhara to Mustang can vary depending on the mode of transportation. By road, it’s approximately 170 kilometers (around 105 miles), which would take about 6-8 hours by car or bus.

  3. How many days is a Mustang trip?

    A typical Mustang trip can range from 7 to 14 days, depending on the itinerary and whether you’re trekking or traveling by other means.

  4. How far is Kathmandu from Mustang?

    The distance from Kathmandu to Mustang is around 360 kilometers (approximately 224 miles) by road, which would take about 10-12 hours by car or bus.

  5. How far is Mustang from Chitwan?

    The distance from Mustang to Chitwan is approximately 250 kilometers (around 155 miles) by road, which would take approximately 8-10 hours by car or bus.

  6. How far is Manang from Mustang?

    Manang is located to the northeast of Mustang. The distance between Mustang and Manang is around 120 kilometers (approximately 75 miles) by road, which would take approximately 5-7 hours by car or bus, depending on road conditions.

Why Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd for Upper Mustang Trek?

At Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition, your family’s unforgettable Himalayan adventure is our mission. We prioritize your safety, comfort, and personal journey every step of the way. With our expert local knowledge, commitment to responsible travel, and dedicated guides, we’ll create memories that last a lifetime. We will make your family-friendly trip very memorable.

Also Read: Ghorepani Poonhill Trek: 4 days Trek

What do our customers say about Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd.?

Harry GutenHarry Guten
17:45 06 Apr 24
Himalaya Safety Tours and Expedition, with Bhupen as our guide, provided a remarkable trekking adventure! Bhupen's professionalism and expertise instilled confidence, and his passion for the Himalayas was contagious. The journey was both challenging and rewarding, with stunning views at every turn. Highly recommend this company and Bhupen for an authentic Himalayan experience!
Gabriella MGabriella M
09:35 29 Mar 24
I cannot praise Himalaya Safety enough for organizing my unforgettable Panchase trek in Nepal! Bhupi's expertise in advising me on the perfect trek for my preferences was invaluable. Throughout the journey, my guide Kiran was simply outstanding, providing insightful knowledge about the mountains and Nepali culture while ensuring a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Each moment was mesmerizing, with breathtaking views and enriching cultural encounters. The guesthouses selected for our overnight stays were beyond expectations, offering comfort and authenticity. I'm already eagerly anticipating my next trekking adventure in Nepal, and without a doubt, I'll be entrusting Himalaya Safety to make it another unforgettable experience!
James LhuillierJames Lhuillier
12:36 09 Mar 24
Bupin clearly guides your experience in the mountains so you may witness the beauty and wisdom of the Himalayas. His information and experience is priceless, it is obvious he wants to serve others in witnessing the magic of the mountains as he himself has done
Doug HodginsDoug Hodgins
09:35 04 Mar 24
Bhupendra is more than just a guide or travel agent, he's a fantastic human, funny, kind and with loads of experience. I would recommend his company for anything from the simplest of teahouse treks to peak climbing. If you've got any questions about the local area or activities (ie. Rock climbing, ice climbing, etc.) go in for a chat. Very low pressure and will provide plenty of valuable information whether you book with him or not. Here are a couple photos of him on our most recent trek:
Amelia OrrAmelia Orr
06:27 17 Feb 24
If you're in Pokhara and seeking an unforgettable trekking experience, look no further than the team at Himalaya Safety Treks. From start to finish, every detail was meticulously arranged, ensuring a seamless and memorable journey. Bhupendra’s expertise shone through as he guided us to the best lodges and secured the best accommodation. His extensive knowledge of the region led us to hidden gems and breathtaking lookout points. He tailored our itinerary to match our preferences, prioritising nature and tranquility over tourist crowds. From arranging park entry to suggesting what dishes to try, every aspect of our adventure was thoughtfully taken care of. For an exceptional trekking experience and unparalleled service, I highly recommend paying the team at Himalaya Safety Treks a visit.
Kasia MazurekKasia Mazurek
18:33 16 Dec 23
The owner of the office Bhupendra is very nice and honest person, he has incredible experience. He will advise and organize everything you need! We went on the ABC trek with guide Bam. We could not get any better! Bam, you are the best! He is a wonderful person, for 9 days we were trekking with much more than a guide. We hiked together, talked and laughed. He taught us Nepali words, some Nepali songs and taught us how to play Dumbal cards 🙂 thank you Bam! If we ever return to the Himalayas, it will be only with you! Kasia and Aga 😉
MajaMaja
09:55 27 May 23
Professional, friendly and flexible. I checked out several agencies looking for a travel group to join, but this one was the only one that I felt comfortable with. And my intuition turned out to be right - the guides and the owner were really caring and my trek was a nice experience. On the ABC trek we had a lot of nice views, also from our room.

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