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Upper Mustang Trekking

July 31, 2019

Upper Mustang Trekking

Upper mustang trekking is a least hidden valley trails in Annapurna region, located in the Midwest north of Nepal. This beautiful trek takes you in to the hidden world, mysterious sky cave, heavenly made landscapes, wide Kaligandaki valley and mesmerizing views of pristine mountains.

It is stunning moderate trek in Annapurna region. 

Before 1992 nobody permit to visits Upper Mustang area, particularly foreigners however since couple of years this trek being so prevalent as it is less touristy, old cultural kingdom, Natural and Historical.

It is less touristy area trek hence it is also known as a best off the beaten path trek in Nepal. It is unspoiled trekking path with magical view of world tallest mountain peaks such as Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Nilgiri and Annapurna (8091 m).

It is a probably the most expensive but unique and unexplored trekking path in Annapurna region. The special permits are required to visit upper mustang trek cost $500 US per person just for restricted area permit.

The Upper mustang trekking area covers about 2- 3rd of Mustang District.

Since 2008 after the government of Nepal reform in the different way in political scenario then Upper Mustang lost its official Monarchy.

However, Upper mustang itself is a rich area OF high pristine mountains, Mysterious cave, varied Tibetan culture and Buddhist traditions, all of those highlights and history made it one of the best and unique trekking route in Annapurna region.

The recent informal King follows his genealogy back to that time and the originators. Such disconnection from remote world rendered it feasible for this spot to save its way of life and legacy.

Till this date, we can watch this customary Buddhist Kingdom the manner in which it was all the back when established in the fourteenth century.

This trekking is in high region therefore if you wish to visit this trek in monsoon season in Nepal, is possible  it is about 2 weeks ultimate adventure trekking trip in Annapurna region of Nepal.

Table of Content of Upper Mustang trekking

  • Itinerary of upper mustang trekking:
  • Highlights of Upper mustang trekking
  • Best time to visit Upper mustang trek,
  • Upper Mustang trekking permits
  • Accommodation and food access
  • Popular Tiji festival
  • Essential trekking equipment
  • About Altitude mountain sickness (AMS)
  • Conclusion

Itinerary of upper mustang trekking:

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu.

Day 02: Kathmandu City tour.

Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara drive by Bus.

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2,713 m) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810 m)- 3 hours walking

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3,050 m/10,004 ft)- 5 hrs walking

Day 6: Trekking from Syanbiche to Ghami (3520 m/11,545 ft)- about 6 hours walking

Day 8: Ghami to Tsarang (3620 m/11873 ft)- 6 hours walking

Day 9: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3730 m/12234 ft)- 4 hours walking

Day 10: Acclimatization at Lo-Manthang

Day 11: Trekking from Lo-Manthang to Drakmar(3800 m/12490 ft)- about 7 hours walk,

Day 12: Trek to Ghiling (3806 m/12480 ft)- about 6 hours walking

Day 13: Trekking to Chhuksang(3050 m/10000 ft)-6 hours walking

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2710 m/8886 ft) -7 hours walking

Day 15: Fly back to Pokhara- 25 minute

Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu- 7 hours

Day 17: Final departure

Highlights of Upper mustang trekking

  • Visit Very old architectural Monastery built in 13th century,
  • Visit Natural  mysterious sky Caves,
  • Enjoy your walk over tree line area on arid Desert,
  • Explore the historical and cultural village –Kagbeni
  • Eye catching mountain views such as Dhaulagirim Annapurna and Nilgiri,
  • Walking experience along Budi Gandaki valley and very deep gorge,
  • Buddhist Chortain excursion while trekking,
  • Visit farmland cultivated by locals,
  • Very old Tibetan culture and traditions
  • Visit Lo- Manthang- a capital of Upper mustang

Do you need any help to make the Upper mustang trek?

If you’re interested in embarking on the unspoiled Upper Mustang trek in Nepal, let us know about your desired trip and preferences. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours and customize an itinerary that meets your needs, time, and budget for this stunning trek.

To ensure we can provide you with detailed information, please include the following terms and conditions in your email.

  • Number of people in a group,
  • Date of your trek,
  • Your contract details,
  • And your roughly budget,
  • Private Transport or Public or domestic flights to/From Jomsom

Best time to visit Upper mustang trek,

The Upper Mustang trekking trail is undoubtedly a great adventure, with unique culture and landscapes to explore. Even during the monsoon season from June to August, this trek can be done without any problems, and it may be the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. However, the best months for trekking in Upper Mustang are from February to November. It is not recommended to trek in the winter months of December and January due to heavy snowfall, cold weather, and poor visibility.

One of the most popular events in Upper Mustang is the Tiji festival, which takes place during the monsoon season. This festival is a unique and traditional celebration, and if you can manage your time to coincide with it, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Nepal has many trekking routes, but the ultimate Upper Mustang trek is truly special. If you have the time to plan your trek during the pre-monsoon season of spring (March to May) or the post-monsoon season of autumn (October and November), it will be the best time to go trekking in Nepal. Remember to check the weather conditions and other important details before planning your trek to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Upper Mustang trekking Permits

To explore the stunning Upper Mustang trek in the Annapurna region, one must obtain a special permit due to its restricted area status. It is not possible to venture out independently, and you must hire a licensed Nepali guide from either NATHAM or TAAN to accompany you on the trek.

The cost of the permit for the Upper Mustang trek is $500 US per person for the first ten days. After the initial ten days, an additional $50 US per person is charged for each subsequent day. Additionally, since the trek is located in the Annapurna conservation area, you must obtain an ACAP permit, which costs 3000 Nepali rupees (approximately $30 US) per person. However, you do not need to purchase a TIMS card for the Upper Mustang trek.

It is important to note that according to the law of the Nepali government, there must be at least two trekkers in a group to undertake the Upper Mustang trekking adventure.

Accommodation and food Access

Trekking in Upper Mustang is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to be prepared when it comes to food and accommodation. The good news is that there are basic lodges and tea houses along the trail where you can rest and eat local food. It is recommended to follow the itinerary and stop at the tea houses along the way, so you don’t need to carry tents or related equipment. The tea houses may be basic, but they offer clean private rooms, healthy local food, and shared bathrooms with hot showers nearby. The staff is also friendly and speaks good English, which makes your stay more comfortable.

It is worth noting that there is a road connecting Lo-Manthang to other villages, which allows for the supply of goods and various cuisines. However, it is recommended to eat at the same lodge where you stay, as it is economically more viable. If you do choose to eat at another lodge, you may have to pay a penalty, so it’s best to order at least one main course from the lodge where you are staying.

During the Tiji festival, it is recommended to pre-book accommodation or carry your own tent with you. The cost of tea house accommodation is around 4 to 7 USD, and food prices are similar. As Upper Mustang is a remote area, it’s important to order only what you need and not waste any food. The lodges have rules against food wastage, and the locals may get upset if you do not follow them.

In summary, trekking in Upper Mustang offers basic but comfortable accommodation and delicious local food. By following the rules and being respectful of the locals, you can enjoy a memorable trekking experience.

Popular Tiji festival

The Tiji festival is not only a cultural celebration but also an important religious event for the local people of Upper Mustang. During this festival, the monks perform various religious ceremonies and rituals, and the entire community comes together to honor their heritage and traditions.

The festival also attracts many visitors from all around the world who are eager to witness the unique culture and customs of Upper Mustang. The festival usually takes place in the month of May, and it is recommended to plan your trek accordingly if you wish to attend this remarkable event.

Apart from the cultural and religious significance of the festival, the Tiji festival also offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of the Upper Mustang region. The festival takes place in the midst of lush green valleys and snow-capped mountains, providing a breathtaking backdrop to the celebrations.

In addition to the festival, visitors can also explore the ancient monasteries and temples of the region, which offer a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of Upper Mustang. The trek to Upper Mustang is truly a unique and unforgettable experience, and attending the Tiji festival adds an extra layer of cultural richness and depth to the journey.

Essential trekking Equipment

The Upper Mustang trek falls under the moderate category of trekking. While trekking in winter, it is important to bring warm clothes with you to combat the cold temperatures. However, if you plan to trek during the spring or autumn months, the following essential equipment will be sufficient to keep you warm during the trek.

  • Sleeping bag and Down jacket(-5 id enough)
  • Trekking pools
  • Trekking trousers,
  • Wind breaker jacket and poncho
  • Trekking shoes and pairs of socks,
  • Sun Glass and sun creams,
  • Flip-flop, gloves, warm hat & thermals


If you want to check out the detailed list of items before heading to the Upper Mustang trek, click on the provided link. The items mentioned above are generally sufficient for the trek, but a more comprehensive list can be found on the website. for information just click here. 

Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a common problem faced by trekkers and climbers who travel to high altitude areas. Upper Mustang trekking is no exception, as trekkers climb up to an altitude of 4,000 meters or more.

AMS can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and in severe cases, even death. Therefore, it is important to take precautions to avoid AMS.

The best way to avoid AMS is to acclimatize properly. It is recommended that trekkers spend 2-3 days in a place with an altitude of 3,000-3,500 meters to allow their bodies to adjust to the altitude. Trekkers should also drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol, and eat a balanced diet.

In case of mild symptoms, trekkers should rest and take medication such as Ibuprofen or Acetazolamide. If the symptoms worsen, trekkers should descend to a lower altitude immediately.

It is important to note that trekkers with a history of heart or lung diseases should consult their doctor before embarking on the Upper Mustang trek. Trekkers should also inform their guide or porter about any symptoms of AMS.

By taking proper precautions and following the guidance of the guide or porter, trekkers can enjoy a safe and memorable trek to Upper Mustang.

For more details about altitude mountain sickness here is the link click here.

Important Tips

  • Don’t take ice or cold water when you are at high trekking region,
  • Carry your own hand sanitizer,
  • Keep your warm body,
  • Drink purify water or mineral water during the trek,
  • Don’t seat on the roof of jeep or bus,
  • Take always clean handkerchief with you,
  • Take hot shower if possible every day,
  • Don’t take picture without permission from the locals,
  • Don’t waste the food during the trek,
  • Bargain is not common in the mountain so don’t do it,
  • Ask the price if certain things are not mentioning at the menu,
  • Keep your rubbish with you and drop when you reach at the lodge,


In conclusion, Upper Mustang Trekking is a unique and fascinating adventure that offers a glimpse into a remote and ancient world. The trek takes you through the arid landscapes of the Mustang region, where you can witness stunning mountain views, explore caves and monasteries, and immerse yourself in local culture.

The trek is not easy, as it involves hiking at high altitudes, crossing challenging passes, and dealing with unpredictable weather conditions. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared, physically and mentally, and to take necessary precautions to avoid altitude sickness.

Despite the challenges, the trek is incredibly rewarding, as you get to experience the hospitality of the local people, their unique traditions and customs, and the stunning natural beauty of the region. If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Upper Mustang Trekking is definitely worth considering.

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