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Pokhara to Mustang Distance | A Detailed Travel Guide

Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Pokhara to Mustang distance is approximately 220 kilometers (137 miles) by road. However, this measurement doesn’t quite capture the complexity of the trip. The roads to Mustang are not straightforward; they are winding and traverse mountainous terrain, which can be both challenging and exhilarating for travelers.

For those who prefer a quicker and perhaps less strenuous route, flying is an option. The Pokhara to Mustang distance by air is about 91 kilometers (57 miles). This flight offers a stunning aerial view of the majestic Himalayas and the rugged landscape of Mustang, providing a glimpse of the region’s beauty from above.

Mustang is a region that exudes a unique charm and intrigue, drawing adventurers and spiritual seekers alike. Bordering Tibet, this remote area is celebrated for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and ancient Buddhist monasteries. With its combination of natural beauty and historical significance, Mustang offers an experience unlike any other in Nepal.

Regardless of the chosen mode of transportation, the Pokhara to Mustang distance is an adventure in itself. The region’s high altitude adds an extra layer of complexity, requiring travelers to acclimate properly to avoid altitude sickness. As one ascends, the landscape transforms, revealing the stark beauty of Mustang’s arid terrain, which is dotted with colorful prayer flags and traditional Tibetan-style villages.

Pokhara to Mustang Distance Trek

Hike route from Pokhara to Mustang Distance

Traveling by road from Pokhara to Upper Mustang is an adventurous journey that takes you through some of Nepal’s most breathtaking and diverse landscapes.

Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, and trek to Kagbeni

Distance91 kilometers by air
Duration35-minute flight
Highlights
  • Enjoy panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges during the short flight.
  • Explore the bustling town known for its apple orchards and strong winds.
  • Finalize trek preparations, check equipment, and adjust to the local climate.

Trek from Kagbeni to Chele

Distance13 kilometers (8.1 miles)
Duration5-6 hours
Highlights
  • Pass by ancient caves used for meditation and storage by monks.
  • Cross several thrilling suspension bridges over the Kali Gandaki River.
  • Enjoy the changing landscape from fertile farmland to more arid terrain as you climb higher.

Trek from Chele to Geling

Distance12 kilometers (7.5 miles)
Duration5-6 hours
Highlights
  • Trek with stunning views of Nilgiri and Annapurna peaks.
  • Visit the villages of Samar and Bhena, experiencing local hospitality and traditional lifestyles.
  • Navigate through passes like the Yamda La and Syangboche La, offering breathtaking vistas.

Trek from Geling to Charang

Distance11 kilometers (6.8 miles)
Duration5-6 hours
Highlights
  • Walk past ancient Buddhist chortens that mark the spiritual significance of the trail.
  • Visit the Ghar Gompa, a historic monastery with vibrant murals and significant religious artifacts.
  • Explore the large monastery in Charang, home to a collection of statues, thankas, and ancient manuscripts.

Trek from Charang to Lo-Manthang

Distance15 kilometers (9.3 miles)
Duration6-7 hours
Highlights
  • Trek with panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
  • Cross the Tsarang La Pass (3,850 meters), offering a breathtaking view of the Mustang landscape.
  • Enter the walled city of Lo-Manthang, the ancient capital of Mustang, known for its royal palaces and monasteries.

Trek from Lo-Manthang to Yara

Distance17 kilometers (10.6 miles)
Duration6-7 hours
Highlights
  • Explore the ancient caves of Yara, used historically for meditation and as dwellings.
  • Trek through a dramatic landscape that resembles a high-altitude desert.
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Mustang’s unique terrain, with its rugged cliffs and eroded canyons.

Trek from Yara to Tangee

Distance15 kilometers (9.3 miles)
Duration6-7 hours
Highlights
  • Cross the Dhechaeng Khola river, an exciting part of the trek.
  • Pass through remote villages that offer insight into the traditional lifestyles of Mustang’s inhabitants.
  • Engage with locals and learn about their customs, food, and daily routines.

Trek from Tangee to Chhuksang

Distance19 kilometers (11.8 miles)
Duration7-8 hours
Highlights
  • Trek through varied terrain, including steep climbs and descents.
  • Witness the transition from barren landscapes to more fertile areas as you descend.
  • Explore ancient ruins and chortens along the route, reflecting the rich history of the region.

Trek from Chhuksang to Jomsom

Distance15 kilometers (9.3 miles)
Duration6-7 hours
Highlights
  • Revisit the landscapes trekked earlier, now seen from a different perspective.
  • Trek along the Kali Gandaki river, the world’s deepest gorge.
  • Arrive in Jomsom, where you can relax, celebrate the completion of your trek, and prepare for the flight back.

Flight back to Pokhara

Distance91 kilometers (57 miles) by air
Duration35 minutes
Highlights
  • Enjoy the final breathtaking views of the Himalayas from the plane.
  • Relax and unwind in Pokhara, reflecting on the incredible journey through Mustang.

Flying from Pokhara to Mustang Distance

Pokhara to Mustang flight

The aerial from Pokhara to Mustang distance is approximately 91 kilometers (57 miles). It offers a unique and breathtaking perspective of the region’s rugged beauty and majestic peaks. The flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is relatively short, typically lasting around 20 to 25 minutes.

Several airlines operate daily flights between these two destinations, providing travelers with flexible scheduling options. These flights are usually conducted in small aircraft, such as the Dornier 228 or Twin Otter planes, which are well-suited for short takeoff and landing strips in mountainous regions.

One of the main advantages of flying is the opportunity to witness the spectacular Himalayan landscape from above. Shortly after takeoff, passengers are treated to panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, which include some of the highest peaks in the world. The flight path often follows the Kali Gandaki River, offering a bird’s-eye view of the deep gorge carved by the river, considered one of the world’s deepest.

Comparison of Travel Options: Road vs. Air

You have two primary options when planning your trip from Pokhara to Upper Mustang. Both traveling by road or by air is viable. Each mode of transportation offers its own set of advantages and challenges, catering to different preferences and travel styles. Below, we explore the pros and cons of each option, helping you decide which might be the best fit for your adventure.

Road vs. Air

Pros and Cons of Traveling by Road

Pros

  • Traveling by road allows you to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of Nepal.
  • Every twist and turn offers new and stunning vistas, making the trip as memorable as the destination.
  • The road journey provides opportunities to stop at local villages and interact with the inhabitants.
  • You can visit local markets, taste traditional foods, and experience the warm hospitality of the Nepalese.
  • Traveling by road gives you the freedom to create your own itinerary.

Cons

  • The road journey from Pokhara is long and can take several days.
  • The winding, mountainous roads can be slow-going, requiring patience and endurance.
  • The roads in this region are often unpaved and can be challenging, especially during the monsoon season
  • You need to be prepared for long hours in a vehicle.

Pros and Cons of Traveling by Air

Pros

  • The flight takes approximately 20-30 minutes, making it a convenient option for those with limited time.
  • The flight offers spectacular aerial views of the Himalayas and the Mustang region. 
  • Snow-capped peaks and the dramatic landscape from above are a unique and awe-inspiring experience.
  • Flying is generally more comfortable than enduring a long and bumpy road trip

Cons

  • Flights to Mustang are highly dependent on weather conditions.
  • The mountainous terrain makes flying more challenging and less predictable.
  • Flying offers less flexibility in terms of itinerary.
  • Flying is generally more expensive than traveling by road. The higher cost can be a significant factor for budget-conscious travelers.

The choice between traveling by road or by air depends on your preferences, budget, and travel goals. Both options provide their own unique experiences, ensuring that your journey to Mustang will be unforgettable regardless of the path you choose.

Preparation and Planning for the Journey

Preparation and Planning for the Journey

Pokhara to Mustang Distance requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Given the challenging terrain, high altitude, and remote nature of Mustang, here are some essential tips and considerations for both the road trip and the flight.

  • Hire an experienced and local driver who is familiar with the route to Upper Mustang. Local drivers are often more adept at navigating challenging terrain and dealing with unexpected road conditions.
  • Familiarize yourself with major towns and villages along the way, such as Jomsom, Kagbeni, and Lo Manthang.
  • Obtain the necessary permits for Upper Mustang Trek. This typically includes the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Restricted Area Permit (RAP).
  • Plan your travel to avoid driving after dark. The roads can be dangerous at night due to a lack of lighting and potential wildlife crossings.
  • Carry a first aid kit with essential medications, including those for altitude sickness, headaches, stomach ailments, and other common travel-related issues.
  •  Pack layered clothing suitable for varying temperatures, as days can be warm and nights can be very cold.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water, as facilities may be limited in remote areas.
  • Book your accommodations in advance, especially in popular areas like Lo Manthang. Lodging options range from basic teahouses to more comfortable guesthouses.

General Tips for All Travelers

  • Carry enough Nepali rupees, as ATMs are scarce in remote areas.
  • Be prepared for limited internet and phone connectivity. Inform family and friends about your travel plans and expected communication blackouts.
  • Respect local customs, traditions, and religious sites.
  • Dress modestly and ask for permission before photographing people or sacred places.

Pokhara to Mustang Distance

At Last,

Every twist and turn, whether on the road or in the sky, brings with it new discoveries and experiences. The high altitude and rugged terrain of Mustang challenge the traveler, demanding a sense of adventure and resilience. But with these challenges come rewards.

Pokhara to Mustang Distance is a journey transcending the physical distance, offering a profound and enriching experience that lingers long after the trip ends. The route, whether by the winding, rugged roads or the scenic aerial pathway, is filled with moments that capture the heart and imagination of every traveler.

Whether you are drawn by the allure of its landscapes, the depth of its cultural heritage, or the thrill of its roads and skies, Mustang invites you to explore and discover its many treasures. Embrace the journey, savor each moment, and let the magic of Mustang leave an indelible mark on your heart.