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Trip Duration 10 Days
Max-Altitude 3810 m/ 12,500 ft
Group Size 2-16
Start & End Point Pokhara/Pokhara
Trip Difficulty Difficult
Accommodation Lodge/ Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Transportation Domestic flight
Trip Price
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Trip Introduction

Overview of Short Upper Mustang Trek | 10 Days Short Trip

Are you hungry for an adventure that combines breathtaking landscapes, ancient cultures, and a touch of mystery?

The Short Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique opportunity to explore one of Nepal’s most remote and mystical regions. Upper Mustang is known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and well-preserved Tibetan traditions. This short trek provides an intimate glimpse into a world that remains largely untouched by modern civilization.

This hidden gem offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, all within a manageable timeframe. Imagine trekking through the rugged terrain of the Himalayas, passing through centuries-old monasteries, and immersing yourself in the rich traditions of the local communities.

You will get the opportunity to explore a region that has remained largely untouched by modern civilization. Join us as we untie the secrets of this mystical land and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Let’s dive into the details and plan your Short Upper Mustang Trek today!

History of the Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang was once part of the Kingdom of Lo, which maintained its autonomy until Nepal unified in 1786. The region has strong historical ties to Tibet, evident in its language, architecture, and customs. It remained restricted to tourists until 1992 due to its strategic location bordering Tibet (China). Today, it stands as a living museum, preserving ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture.

The region is renowned for its ancient monasteries, caves, and the walled city of Lo Manthang, which served as the capital of the Kingdom of Lo. Upper Mustang’s inhabitants, primarily of Tibetan descent, have preserved traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices and lifestyles.

The region’s dramatic landscapes, including the Kali Gandaki River and the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, add to its allure for adventurers and trekkers.

Is this the right trip for me?

This trek is best for those people who:

  • Appreciate cultural immersion over physical challenges. This trek is less about extreme trekking difficulty and more about cultural discovery.
  • Have moderate fitness levels; while not being overly strenuous. The trek involves walking at high altitudes (up to 4,000 meters).
  • Seek off-the-beaten-path adventures away from crowded trails like Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit. It is only suitable if you are looking for lush green environments or only have experience with low-altitude treks with acclimatization considerations.

Alternative Option

If you are interested in similar experiences but want variations, you can explore Nar Phu Valley Trek. This is another restricted area combining wild landscapes with Tibetan-influenced villages that involve more challenging trails than the Short Upper Mustang Trek. This remote and less-traveled region offers trekkers a chance to explore pristine landscapes, untouched by modernity. The valley combines the stark beauty of high desert terrain with lush forests, deep gorges, and towering peaks, creating a diverse and captivating environment.

The Short Upper Mustang Trek involves steep ascents and descents, crossing high passes like the Kang La Pass at 5,315 meters. The paths are less trodden, requiring good physical fitness and a sense of adventure. The reward, however, is the solitude and the sense of being in a truly remote part of the Himalayas.


Trip Schedule

Itinerary of Short Upper Mustang Trek | 10 Days Short Trip

01
Flight 3-4 hours
Accommodation Lodge
Meals Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 2,858 m/9,376 ft

We are leaving on an early flight through lush valleys to reach Jomsom, which will require roughly 25 minutes. Upon alighting at Jomsom, we will start our trek toward Kagbeni, a tiny village that serves as the entry to Upper Mustang.

02
Trekking 6-7 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,050 m/10,006 ft

We will start our journey into the Chele by walking early in the morning. Today, it is possible to ascend to an elevation of 3000 meters above sea level. Our next destination is the distinctive trail that follow the Kali Gandaki. Two villages, Tangbe and Chusang, will be reached after several hours of trekking. Chele will be reached after a five to six-hour walk from Kagbeni.

03
Trekking 7-8 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,475 m/11,400 ft

We will start our journey into the Chele by walking early in the morning. Today, it is possible to ascend to an elevation of 3000 meters above sea level. Our next destination is the distinctive trail that follow the Kali Gandaki. Two villages, Tangbe and Chusang, will be reached after several hours of trekking. Chele will be reached after a five to six-hour walk from Kagbeni.

04
Trekking 6-7 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,520 m/11,548 ft

We will arrive at Eklebhatti for a break after trekking for several hours. We will then proceed toward the Taklam Pass from this point. This pass provides an exceptional view of the mountains, which include the Damodar and Tilicho Peaks. Subsequently, we will commence our descent toward Geling and Samar. Ramchung cave is an intriguing attraction that can be visited while traveling to Geling.

05
Trekking 5-6 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,500 m/11,482 ft

During our journey, we will come across picturesque villages and quaint teahouses. After that, we will travel across a another pass that is known as Nyi Pass. This pass can be found at the meter station that is 4010 meters away. After that, you will make your way across the river and eventually arrive at Charang.

06
Trekking 6-7 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,700 m/12,139 ft

As you go from Charang to Lo-manthang, you will arrive at the rocky and desolate trial. Following your journey via Muila and Ghar Gumba, you will arrive at Lo-Manthang. During the course of today, you will go through the high mountains and gorges, as well as up and down the barren land to get to Lo-manthang. You are also going to have the opportunity to discover the breathtaking sight of red cliffs that sparkle brightly in the light. As we make our way up the hill, we will pass past some stunning alleys and mani walls. Our descent will come to an end at Lo-Manthang.

07
Trekking 7-8 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,810 m/12,500 ft

Following a brief and steep descent, the trail then crosses the Chharang River. We will then climb to Lo Geker, and finally arrives at Ghar gompa. This is the tiny monastery. In order to reach Drakmar, you will first need to go to the ridge. We will then cross a valley while passing some alpine fields, and finally descend a steep path.

08
Trekking 6-7 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,806 m/12,486 ft

Dhakmar to Ghiling trek is both interesting and exciting since it takes travelers to the hidden Buddhist Kingdom of Upper Mustang Nepal. As soon as you start living, you will come across Mustang’s longest Mani wall and historic Chortens.

On the route, you will cross Ghami Khola and arrive at the breathtaking Ghami hamlet, which is surrounded by a towering rock with caves. The trail continues towards Ghiling, passing Ghami at 3765 m and Ny at 4020 m above sea level. When you get at Ghiling village, you can visit the settlement, the monastery, the sky caves, and the buckwheat field.

09
Trekking 6-7 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 3,050 m/ 10,007 ft

The Ghiling to Chhusang walk begins by traversing the Syangboche mountain at 3850 m. After crossing the peak, the trek takes an alternate path to explore the spectacular Chungsi cave along the Gorge. After exploring this old cave, you will arrive in summer village by crossing two additional passes. Crossing the Dajong la 3660 and Taklam la 3624 will take you to Chhusang via Chele.

On the road to Samar, they see the high mountains; the famed Ranchung monastery cave and Chhyungkar Chorten are particularly impressive. The Chungsi cave contains stone-carved statues of several deities. Padmasambhava is the most notable of the figures.

10
Trekking 7-8 hours
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 2,700 m/8,859 ft

Walking from Chhusang to Jomsom is the greatest way to explore the Annapurna region. This location is part of several notable treks, including the Annapurna Circuit Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Lower Mustang Trek, Damodar Kunda Trek, and the gateway to the Upper Mustang Trek.

The Chhusang to Jomsom trip is a fascinating tour through some of the most magnificent terrain in the Mustang region. With its historical villages, historic sites, and breathtaking mountain views, this walk is a must-do for every adventurous visitor visiting Nepal.

11
Flight 25 minutes
Accommodation Teahouse
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Max-altitude 822 m/2,696 ft

An exciting flight from Jomsom to Pokhara will bring your upper mustang trip to a successful end. You also have the option of taking a jeep or bus to return to Pokhara, passing through Marpha, Tatopani, Beni, and Kusma on the way. Those who are going by private vehicle can make a stop at Marpha for a short period of time and give a try of the taste of apple pie that is offered there.

How trip goes

Route Map of Short Upper Mustang Trek | 10 Days Short Trip

Short Upper Mustang Trek Map Download Map
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Includes/Excludes

What's Included?

  • Domestic flight from PKR–Jomsom-PKR
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Pass and Restricted Area Permit
  • Experienced Himalayan trek guide for 11 days
  • One porter for two of you for trekking for 09 days (prepare to give max. 15 kgs’ luggage from each of you so that it will not exceed 30 kg. for your porter)
  • Basic yet comfortable accommodation for 09 nights on a twin-sharing basis during the trekking as per itinerary.
  • Staff insurance
  • 10 x set breakfast, 10 x set lunch and 10 x set dinner while on the trek
  • Purified drinking water during the entire trekking as per itinerary
  • General first aid medicine kit
  • Complimentary T-shirt
  • Duffle bag during the trek

What's Excluded?

  • Food & Accommodation for Pokhara will be on your own as you have various options.
  • Personnel expenses of any kind
  • Excess baggage cost during your domestic flight
  • Any Travel Insurance
  • Any additional cost due to natural calamity and unforeseen circumstances.
  • Tips for any staff and guide
  • Anything that is not listed in the “PRICE INCLUDES” section above
Good to Know

Essential Information - Short Upper Mustang Trek | 10 Days Short Trip

Essential Guide to Short Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang Short Trek offers a rare opportunity to explore one of Nepal’s most culturally and geographically unique regions. You will get a chance to immerse yourself in the ancient Tibetan traditions and stunning landscapes, creating an unforgettable adventure. Below, we have listed some of the best guides for the Upper Mustang Short Trek.

  • The trek usually begins in Jomsom, which is accessible by a short flight from Pokhara.
  • Trekkers need a special permit to enter the Upper Mustang, in addition to the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP).
  • Key attractions include the walled city of Lo Manthang, ancient cave dwellings, the royal palace, and numerous monasteries like Thubchen and Chhoser.
  • The region is mainly inhabited by people of Tibetan descent, offering a chance to experience traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture, customs, and hospitality.
  • The trek features stunning views of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri ranges, as well as the unique desert-like terrain of the Trans-Himalayan region.
  • The ideal seasons for trekking are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is clear and the temperatures are moderate.
  • Trekkers can find teahouses and lodges along the route, offering basic amenities and local cuisine.

Additional Cost Planning

Planning a trek to Upper Mustang requires considering various additional costs to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are the key additional cost elements to consider for the Short Upper Mustang Trek:

Permits and Entry Fees

Restricted Area Permit: $500 per person for 10 days, and $50 per additional day
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): 3000 NPR

Guide and Porter Fees

  • Guide Fees: $30–$40 per day.
  • Porter Fees: $20–$35 per day.
  • Tips: $5–$10 per day per person for guides and porters, typically given at the end of the trek.

Transportation Costs

Flights: Round-trip flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara ($125–$150) and Pokhara to Jomsom ($130–$150).
Ground Transportation: Costs for jeep or bus transfers within the trekking region ($70-$110 depending on the route and season).

Accommodation and Food

  • Lodging: $15–$20 per night for teahouses or lodges.
  • Meals: $25–$35 per day for three meals.
  • Snacks and Drinks: Additional $5–$10 per day.

Gear and Equipment

  • Rental Costs: Costs for renting gear such as sleeping bags, down jackets, and trekking poles (approximately $3–$5 per item per day).
  • Purchase Costs: If buying gear, costs will vary widely depending on quality and brand.

Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Travel Insurance: Ensure it covers high-altitude trekking, medical emergencies, and evacuation (approx. $70-$150 depending on coverage).
  • Personal Expenses: Souvenirs, extra snacks, toiletries, and other personal items (approximately $100–$200 for the trip).
    Emergency Fund: It is advisable to set aside some funds for unforeseen expenses (approximately $200–$300).

Communication and Connectivity

SIM Card and Data Package: Costs for a local SIM card and data package for communication (approx. $10-$20).
Wi-Fi Charges: Some lodges charge for Wi-Fi access, typically $2-$5 per hour.

By planning for these additional costs, trekkers can ensure a comprehensive budget that covers all necessary aspects of the Short Upper Mustang Trek.

Dining on the Upper Mustang Trek

Dining on the Short Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique traditional Tibetan and Nepali cuisine blend. You will experience both local tastes and the preferences of trekkers.

Typical Meals and Beverages

Breakfast: Common breakfast items include Tibetan bread, pancakes, porridge, and eggs. You can also enjoy a hot cup of Tibetan butter tea or masala chai to start your day.

Lunch and Dinner: Meals often consist of traditional dishes such as dal bhat (rice and lentil soup), momo (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and various vegetable and meat curries. Tibetan staples like tsampa (roasted barley flour) and yak cheese are also popular.

Snacks: Along the trail, you can find local snacks like dried yak meat, churpi (hardened cheese), and locally baked goods.

Beverages: Apart from butter tea and masala chai, you can find herbal teas and occasionally coffee. Chang, a local barley beer, is also available in some places.

Weather, Climates for Short Upper Mustang Trek

The Short Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique adventure through one of Nepal’s most culturally rich and visually stunning regions. Understanding the weather and climate is essential for planning a safe and enjoyable journey.

Spring (March to May):

Spring is one of the best times to trek in the Upper Mustang. The weather is mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The skies are usually clear, offering excellent visibility of the breathtaking landscapes and snow-capped peaks. This season is ideal for trekking, as the rhododendrons and other wildflowers are in full bloom, adding vibrant colors to the scenery.

Summer/Monsoon (June to August):

Unlike other parts of Nepal, Upper Mustang experiences a relatively dry summer due to its location in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Daytime temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). However, occasional rain showers can occur, making some trails slippery. The region remains accessible, and the landscape becomes lush and green.

Autumn (September to November):

Autumn is another peak season for trekking in the Upper Mustang. The weather is stable, with clear skies and temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The post-monsoon air is crisp, offering spectacular views of the mountains and the pristine environment. This season is perfect for those seeking cultural experiences and scenic beauty.

Winter (December to February):

Winter in Upper Mustang can be harsh, with temperatures dropping below freezing, especially at night. Daytime temperatures range from -5°C to 10°C (23°F to 50°F). Snowfall is common, and some trails may be blocked. However, for those prepared for cold weather, winter offers a serene and uncrowded trekking experience, with clear skies and stunning views of snow-covered landscapes.

Altitude Sickness and Acclimatization in Short Upper Mustang Trek

Altitude sickness occurs when your body struggles to adapt to the lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. Symptoms can range from mild to severe including headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, it can lead to life-threatening conditions like high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

Acclimatization Tips:

The journey is as important as the destination, so take the time to acclimate properly and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of this unique region.

  1. Ascend Gradually: Gradual ascent is key to preventing altitude sickness. Aim to increase your sleeping altitude by no more than 300–500 meters per day once you are above 2,500 meters (8,200 feet).
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your body well-hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  3. Rest and Acclimatization Days: Incorporate rest days into your itinerary to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. These days can also be used to explore the local culture and landscape.
  4. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how you feel. If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness, do not ascend further. Descending to a lower altitude can alleviate symptoms.
  5. Eat Light and Nutritious Meals: Eating light, easily digestible foods can help your body acclimate better. Focus on a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates.
  6. Medication: Consult with a healthcare professional about medications like acetazolamide (Diamox), which can help prevent and treat altitude sickness.

By following these guidelines and taking the necessary precautions, you can enhance your trekking experience in the Upper Mustang while ensuring your health and safety.

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