Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek

attractions Attraction
Lo Manthang, Muktinath, Tibetan Culture, Monastries
nature Accomodation
timer Duration
13 days
restaurant_menu Food
Group Size
1 - 25
diversity_1 Group Type
temple_hindu Culture
Tibetan Culture

The Upper Mustang trek takes you on a captivating journey into the hidden Buddhist realm of the Kingdom of Mustang, also known as Lo. This remote region, nestled in the trans-Himalayan mountains bordering Tibet, has a unique Tibetan character, both in its people and culture, and in its striking landscape of towering cliffs and unusual rock formations.

The adventure begins in Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang, and leads you through a rugged terrain sheltered from the rain by the mighty Dhaulagiri massif. Ultimately, you'll arrive at Lo-Manthang, the historic capital of the Kingdom of Lo, where ancient kings once held court.

During this trek, you'll have the chance to explore caves, intricate rock paintings, ancient monasteries, and gompas, all of which offer insights into the rich local culture. The journey also rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of prominent peaks like Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri, adding to the excitement of the trek.

Within Lo Manthang, you can deepen your cultural understanding by visiting Namgyal Gompa, Tingkhar (the last significant village in the northwest area), and the regal King's palace.

Moreover, there's an amchi (traditional Tibetan doctor) museum and school where you can discover the ancient healing traditions of the region and how they are adapted to address modern needs.

A short hike from Lo Manthang takes you to Gyakar, home to the renowned Ghar Gompa, a sacred site with a history spanning over 1,200 years. It's dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, who once journeyed through these lands. This gompa is famous for its captivating rock paintings and the belief that wishes made here have the power to come true. So, don't miss the opportunity to make a heartfelt wish at Ghar Gompa and hold onto the hope of returning someday.

It's important to note that this trek reaches relatively high altitudes, ranging from 3,000 meters to 3,800 meters, and the dry air can intensify the effects of altitude. While locals accustomed to this altitude may move swiftly, visitors are encouraged to take it easy to acclimatize and avoid altitude-related issues. On average, expect to walk for 5 to 7 hours each day, with some paths being particularly windy and dusty.

Nevertheless, the memories created during this journey into the restricted expanse of Upper Mustang, partly tracing the ancient salt route, are sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind.

Trip Highlights:

  • Start your journey through time as you explore the historical riches of Lo Manthang, including the regal palace of the king.
  • Enjoy the freedom to trek without weather worries, as this region basks in the shelter of a rain shadow, ensuring a rain-free adventure.
  • Immerse yourself in a spiritual odyssey as you walk amidst numerous Gompas, chortens, fluttering prayer flags, and mystical caves.
  • Witness the vibrant influence of Tibetan culture on the daily lives and traditions of the local inhabitants, offering a live glimpse into their unique way of life.
  • Feast your eyes on captivating vistas of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other majestic mountain ranges, a treat for every nature enthusiast.
  • Inhale the essence of spirituality embodied by the Tibetan-like locals and monks, their colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, creating a serene atmosphere.
  • Gain deep insights into the everyday existence and culture of the local people, whose lives closely mirror the Tibetan way of living, making for an enriching cultural experience.

Trip Info for Upper MustangTrek:

  • Trek Start:
    • Usually begins in Pokhara.
    • TIMS card and Permits(ACAP and Upper Mustang Restricted permit - 500 $ ).
    • The trail gradually ascends through diverse landscapes.
  • Accommodation:
    • Teahouses/lodges along the route offer basic lodging.
    • Dormitory-style rooms or private rooms available.
    • Basic amenities like beds, blankets, and shared bathrooms.

  • Meals:
    • Teahouses provide meals: Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup), noodles, rice dishes, etc.
    • Limited menu items, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Carrying some energy bars and snacks is recommended.

  • Typical Day:
    • Start early in the morning for better weather and views.
    • Trek for about 6-8 hours a day, with breaks in between.
    • Reach teahouse for the night, rest, and explore.

  • Communication:
    • Limited mobile network coverage, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Some teahouses offer Wi-Fi, but it might be slow and unreliable.

  • Electricity and Water:
    • Charging devices may come at an extra cost in teahouses.
    • Hot showers might be available for an additional fee.
    • Safe drinking water: carry purification methods or buy bottled water.

  • Tipping:
    • Tipping is a common practice to show appreciation for good service.
    • You can tip guides, porters, and teahouse staff if you're satisfied.

  • Trek Season:
    • Best months: September, October

  • Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty :
  1. For Beginners:
    • Upper mustang can be manageable for beginners with good fitness levels and preparation.
    • The trail has a variety of terrains, from gradual ascents to steeper sections.
    • Pace yourself, take breaks, and acclimatize properly to higher altitudes.

  2. For Experienced Trekkers:
    • Experienced trekkers will find the Upper Mustang moderately challenging.
    • Familiarity with multi-day treks and altitude effects is beneficial.
    • Some sections might involve longer and more strenuous walks, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Flexibility and previous trekking experience will be advantageous.
owner  pic

Mohan Subedi

Mohan Subedi is the founder of Hinepal Treks. He is a professional trek and adventure guide.

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