Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary: A Journey Through the Mystical Land of Lo Manthang
If you are an adventure enthusiast seeking a unique experience in the Himalayas, the Upper Mustang Trek should be on your bucket list. Located in the north-central part of Nepal, Upper Mustang is a remote, mystifying land of the Lo people, which was once an independent kingdom. The trekking distance of Upper Mustang is around 125 km/78 mi, and it requires 6 hours per day to trek. The elevation varies from 822 m/2,697 ft at Pokhara to 4,280 m/14,042 ft at Chogo La Pass. However, the pass is only passed through, and the night stay that day is at Lo Manthang at an elevation of 3,840 m/12,600 ft.
Upper Mustang is a restricted area, and trekking alone is not permitted. The trek requires at least two people to trek, and a trekking agency must be hired. During the trek, the accompaniment of a guide is a must. If under the age of 18, the children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking.
Typical Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary
The Upper Mustang Trek itinerary typically takes 16 days to complete. Here is a day-by-day breakdown of the itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,265ft)
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. You can take a rest or explore the vibrant city of Kathmandu on your own.
Day 2: Kathmandu Valley sightseeing tour and trek preparation
You will embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. The tour will help you understand the rich cultural and historical significance of the valley, which dates back to the 12th century. In the afternoon, you will meet your trekking guide, who will brief you on the trek itinerary and necessary equipment.
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (822m/2,697ft) 6-7 hours’ drive
You will take an early morning drive to Pokhara, which is a scenic city located 200 km west of Kathmandu. You can enjoy stunning views of the Himalayas and the countryside along the way.
Day 4: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (20 minutes) and trek to Kagbeni (2,800m/9,186ft) 2-3 hours.
You will take an early morning flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, which is the starting point of your trek. The flight offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. From Jomsom, you will trek to Kagbeni, a picturesque village located at the confluence of two rivers.
Day 5: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,006ft) 5-6 hours
The trail today is steep and challenging, as you will climb up to the Tangbe village, which is adorned with white-washed houses and narrow alleyways. You will continue the trek to Chele, a charming village with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Day 6: Trek from Chele to Ghiling (3,440m/11,286ft) 5-6 hours
Today's trek is a combination of steep climbs and descents. You will cross the Yamda La Pass, which offers stunning views of the Nilgiri and Annapurna mountain ranges. You will then descend to the Bhena village and cross the Kali Gandaki River to reach Ghiling. This village is known for its red and white painted houses and the Raja's Palace, which can be visited if time permits.
Day 7: Trek from Ghiling to Tsarang (3,490m/11,450ft) 5-6 hours
As you continue your journey towards Lo Manthang, you will pass through the interesting villages of Ghami and Tsarang. Ghami is a small village with a monastery and prayer flags fluttering in the wind. You will then reach Tsarang, which is home to a massive fortress-like monastery and a red gompa. You can take some time to explore the village and visit the Tsarang Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the region.
Day 8: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,237ft) 2-3 hours
Today is a short trekking day, and you will reach the capital of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang. You will pass through the Marang La Pass, which offers breathtaking views of the Lo Manthang valley. As you descend, you will see the ancient city walls of Lo Manthang. The city is a labyrinth of narrow alleys and whitewashed houses with prayer flags and mani walls adorning them. You can spend the afternoon exploring the city and its monasteries, including the Thubchen Gompa, Jampa Lhakhang, and Chodey Gompa.
Day 9: Explore day at Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,237ft)
Today is a rest day in Lo Manthang, and you can explore the city and its surroundings. You can visit the King's Palace, which is a massive four-story building with a red roof, and the nearby monasteries. You can also take a horse ride to the Nepal-Tibet border or visit the nearby villages.
Day 10: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3,810m / 12,500ft) 5-6 hours
Today, you will start your return journey and trek back to Drakmar. You will retrace your steps and cross the Marang La Pass to reach Drakmar. Along the way, you will pass through the Lo Gekar Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Nepal, and the Ghar Gompa, a small monastery with beautiful frescoes.
Day 11: Trek from Drakmar to Ghiling (3,806m/12,484ft) 5-6 hours
You will trek back to Ghiling today and pass through the village of Samar, which is famous for its apple orchards. You will also cross the Chele La Pass and descend to Chele village before reaching Ghiling. In the evening, you can enjoy the traditional Mustangi culture and dance performances by the locals.
Day 12: Trek from Ghiling to Chhuksang (3,050m/10,004ft) 5-6 hours
Today, you will trek back to Chhuksang, which is the last village in Upper Mustang. You will pass through the Syangboche airport, the world's highest airport, and the Tetang village, which has a beautiful monastery with a statue of Guru Rinpoche. You can also take a dip in the natural hot springs in Chhuksang and relax your tired muscles.
Day 13: Trek from Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,743 m/8,999 ft) 6-7 hours
Today is the last day of your trek, and you will trek back to Jomsom. You will follow the same trail that you took earlier and will be able to see the beautiful landscape from a different perspective. The trek will take around 6-7 hours, and you will reach Jomsom by late afternoon.
Jomsom is a bustling town in the Mustang region and a hub for trekkers and locals alike. It is situated on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River and offers stunning views of the Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri mountains. You can take some time to explore the town and visit the local market, where you can buy souvenirs and handicrafts.
In the evening, you can celebrate the completion of your trek with your guide and fellow trekkers. You can enjoy a traditional Nepali dinner and share your experiences of the trek. You can also take some time to reflect on the journey and the beautiful memories that you have created.
Day 14: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft) 25 minutes’ flight
Today, you will take a flight back to Pokhara from Jomsom. The flight offers spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and the Kali Gandaki River. Once you reach Pokhara, you will be transferred to your hotel.
You can spend the rest of the day exploring Pokhara, which is a beautiful city known for its scenic beauty. You can visit the Phewa Lake, Davis Falls, and the World Peace Pagoda. You can also indulge in adventure activities like paragliding, zip-lining, and bungee jumping.
Day 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, 7-8 hrs. drive
Today, you will drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara, which will take around 7-8 hours. The drive offers stunning views of the Himalayan mountain ranges, terraced fields, and local villages.
Once you reach Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. You can spend the rest of the day exploring the city, visiting local markets, and trying out traditional Nepali cuisine. You can also take some time to rest and relax after your trek.
Day 16: Departure day
Today is your departure day, and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home. You can take some time to reflect on the beautiful memories that you have created during your trek in Upper Mustang. You can also plan your next adventure in Nepal and explore the other beautiful regions of the country.
To clarify further, the Upper Mustang trek is a 16-day trek with an additional day for exploring the Lo Manthang region or acclimatization and others days in kathmandu. The trek covers a distance of approximately 125 km/ 78 mi, and the elevation varies from 822 m/ 2,697 ft at Pokhara to 4,280 m/ 14,042 ft at Chogo La Pass.
The trek requires a minimum of two people and the services of a trekking agency, as well as a guide who will accompany you throughout the trek. If you are under 18 years old, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the trek.
If you are starting from Kathmandu, it takes two days to reach Mustang, with the first day being a 6-7 hour drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, followed by a 20-minute flight from Pokhara to Jomsom on the second day.
Overall, the Upper Mustang trek offers a unique experience, with stunning views of the Himalayan landscape, ancient monasteries, and a chance to explore the hidden culture and traditions of the Mustang region. It's a challenging trek, but the rewards are well worth the effort.