The Perfect Itinerary for Upper Mustang Trek (2023)
Among all the trekking trails in Nepal, the Upper Mustang Trek might be the most mystical. This trek allows you to see visually enthralling landscapes and allows you to know the culture and tradition of Nepal. As the region of Mustang is part of the Tibetan plateau, the huge influence of Tibet can be noticed over there. It was not until 2005 that tourists were allowed to trek in the region of Upper Mustang. The Upper Mustang Trek is quite different from the other treks available in Nepal. Unlike other major Nepali hikes, the Upper Mustang one is a lot more historically enriched.
Once upon a time in the 1950s, this region was ruled by the King of Mustang, and at the time, it was known as Lo Manthang. While hiking in the area, you will get to visit the ancient Kingdom. One of the best things about the Upper Mustang Trek is its climate. As the region lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayan mountain ranges, it can be accessed even during the monsoons. That is why tourists across the world go to Mustang for trekking throughout the year. Apart from its climate, its unique scenic landscapes are also hugely popular among adventure seekers.
For most of the trip, you will travel through desert-like locations. Due to the dry terrain, hiking for a longer time will not be a huge deal for you. You will get to see the majestic views of the beautiful Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges throughout this trek. You will also see Gompas, prayer flags, cave paintings, and other unique things while hiking on the trail. Usually, the hike starts from Jomsom, and its highest point is located at an altitude of 12370 feet. Compared to the other major treks in Nepal, the Upper Mustang Trek is a lot easier.
The entire Upper Mustang trek is eleven days long. By walking on a daily average of six to seven hours, you will be able to complete the hike in eleven days. If you have always dreamt of trekking in Nepal, the Upper Mustang trek is a great option for you. Due to its lower elevation, you can participate in it even if you are not an experienced trekker. In this blog, you will get a lot of useful information that will help you complete your trek. So, let us get lost in the magical Kingdom of Mustang right now!
Ways of Reaching the Starting Point of the Trek
The starting point of the Upper Mustang Trek is located in Mustang. To get there, first, you will have to reach Pokhara. Now, reaching Pokhara is quite easy as it is one of the most renowned cities in Nepal. You can take a flight from Kathmandu to get there or rent a car, or travel by bus to reach Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara, you will have to travel to Jomsom.
Travelling to Pokhara from Jomsom is not that difficult, but the massive distance between these two sites makes the journey tiresome. Many people catch a 20-minute flight from Pokhara to get to the destination. If you want to go by road, you will have to rent a jeep or a car from Pokhara to reach Jomsom. As the distance between these two towns is around 155 km, you will need at least eight hours to reach Jomsom. Tourists avoid going there by road to save time.
Perfect Months for the Upper Mustang Trek
As we have said earlier, the Upper Mustang trek can be availed almost throughout the year. Due to the lack of rainfall, you will have no problem going there in the monsoon season. Anywhere between March to November is great for partaking in the Upper Mustang Trek.
But it will be advisable for you to avoid the winter season to trek in the region. In the winters, the climate gets a lot harsher. Moreover, the desert-like landscape of Mustang helps the temperature drop to a lot of degrees than other parts of Nepal.
Itinerary for an 11-day Upper Mustang Trek
Your trek in the Upper Mustang region will start at Jomsom. We have already mentioned earlier in this blog the ways to reach Jomsom. So we will start the itinerary after you reach Jomsom.
Day 1: Trekking to Kagbeni
After reaching Jomsom, you will have to start trekking to reach Kagbeni. If you are going to Jomsom by bus or car, it will be better for you to take the day off and start walking the following day. Otherwise, if you are going there by plane, start walking right away. The first day’s trek is relatively easy.
You will reach the beautiful village within three hours. On the way, you will come across the beautiful Kali Gandaki river. The tea houses in Kagbeni are quite popular for offering comfortable stays with delicious meals. Have a good night’s rest at the houses in Kagbeni and be rejuvenated for the upcoming day.
Day 2: Trekking to Chele
On the second day of your Upper Mustang Trek, you will have to walk for more than seven hours. You will enter the Mustang region on this day. Like the previous day, the Kali Gandaki river will flow right alongside you on this day too. On the way, you will come across the beautiful Tangbe village.
The village is filled with barley and buckwheat fields. The view of the farmland amid the beautiful mountains makes it extremely picturesque. You can have your lunch there. After the meal, you will have to reach the charming Chele village by following a ridge.
Day 3: Trekking to Syangboche
Reaching Syangboche from Chele might feel quite tiresome. You will have to cross two passes, namely, Taklam La and Darjori La and their altitudes are 11889 feet and 12,225 feet, respectively. The steep terrain of the route will make you exhausted quite quickly. Despite the difficult terrains, this day will be one of your favourite days of the Upper Mustang Trip.
Throughout the route, you will get to see the mystical views of the surrounding Himalayas. Soon, you will start descending and reach the Samar village. After getting there, you will again have to ascent to reach Syangboche.
Day 4: Trekking to Ghami
The fourth day of the Upper Mustang trek is quite difficult as well. On this day, you will have to reach an altitude of 13,156 feet. The highest point of this day’s trek is the Nyi Pass. Before reaching the Nyi Pass, you will come across the Yamada La pass, whose altitude is around 12,600 feet.
Throughout the way to the Nyi Pass, you will cross forests and streams. The entire route will make you feel happy that you decided to come on this trip. After reaching the highest point of the day’s trip, you will have no problem completing the rest of the route. The trail from Nyi Pass to Ghami is descending. Ghami is a wonderful village that is certainly worth exploring. Remember to have a full night’s sleep in one of the tea houses of the village.
Day 6: Trekking to Charang
After having a peaceful night in Ghami, you will start the next day by trekking to Charang La pass. The pass is located at the height of 12,700 feet. That is why this day’s trek is comparatively shorter. Within four hours, you will reach Charang. On the way, you will come across a beautiful suspension bridge at Ghami Khola. The view of the bridge amid the rustic ambience of Mustang along with the flowing Ghami river is quite enthralling.
When you reach the Charang La pass, you will get to see many Tibetan hymns carved on the stone walls of the region. Charang village is located not that far away from the pass and is great for exploration. As you will reach there, way before sunset, you will have enough time to spend some time there.
Day 7: Trekking to Lo Manthang
On the seventh day of your Upper Mustang Trip, you will get to explore the ancient Kingdom of Lo Manthang. To get there, you will come across the Lo La Pass, whose altitude is more than 12950 feet. The view of the Lo Manthang village can be easily seen from the pass. The fortified walled village will take you to another time. As this site was the residence of the ruler of Lo, it has been fortified to protect against enemy attacks.
Even now, several Buddhist festivals are celebrated in the region. Apart from the beautiful village, the mountain ranges surrounding it are also equally enchanting. From Lo Manthang, you will get the perfect views of Annapurna I, Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Bhrikuti peak. While staying there, remember to explore the surroundings during the evening as well.
Day 8: Trekking to Chooser Cave
The eighth day of the trip is there for resting in Lo Manthang. If you want, you can opt for the optional day trip to the beautiful Jhong and Sky caves. These caves will help you understand the mysterious region of Upper Mustang. To see these caves, you will have to hike for approximately three hours from Lo Manthang. These caves are massive in structure. They are five-storey high, and still, now researchers could not investigate the reason behind their construction.
The origin of these caves is one of the most mysterious things in the world. Apart from these caves, the surrounding landscape of the region is also equally interesting. After getting there, you will not even believe that you are in Nepal. The entire region surrounding these caves looks similar to the set of the Mandolorian. After exploring the region, you will return to Lo Manthang and spend the night there.
Day 8: Trekking to Drakmar
The eighth day of your trek is quite tiring as you will have to walk for more than seven hours. But the entire route from Lo Manthang to Drakmar is extremely intriguing. On the way, you will come across the beautiful Gyakar village. Over there, you will get to see the ancient Ghar Gompa. With majestic rock paintings, this monastery is genuinely a great place for exploration.
Moreover, the entire route is devoid of any vegetation offering it a deserted look. From the Gompa, you will reach Drakmar after hiking for a few hours more.
Day 9: Trekking to Ghiling
The ninth day of your trek will be six hours long. As the entire terrain of this trail is quite dry, you will get to spend the day walking in a unique landscape. The agricultural fields amid the dry plateau are quite picturesque. Even though the trek will tire you, the surrounding views of the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains will make you rejuvenated. You will spend the night in the beautiful village of Ghilling.
Day 10: Trekking to Chuksang
On the tenth day of your trip, you will start descending. On the way to Chuksang, you will come across many villages. While passing them, remember to interact with the villagers to get a glimpse into their daily lives. The surrounding views of the beautiful mountains will help you cover this trail. After trekking for around six hours, you will reach Chuksang.
Day 11: Trekking to Jomsom
The eleventh day of this hike is the last day of your Upper Mustang Trek. On this day, you will come across the older acquaintances of Kagbeni. Even though you will have to hike for more than six hours to return to Jomsom, you will feel a little sorry for leaving such a mystical and brilliant region in Nepal. While trekking to Jomsom, do not forget to spend some time by the beautiful Kali Gandaki river that was your companion for so many days.
You can start your journey to Pokhara right after reaching Jomsom by car, but we will advise against it. As you will reach Jomsom in the evening, avoiding a seven-hour-long car journey to Pokhara will be a better idea. Rather, take a flight or a bus ride from Jomsom the following day to get to Pokhara. Moreover, after getting Pokhara, keep two days extra in your hand to return to your home. The Upper Mustang trek is one of the beautiful hikes in Nepal. Participating in it is certainly an accomplishment in anyone’s life. So, we hope you got a lot of helpful info by studying this.