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Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek

Overview

Trip Fact

Trip Name:

Upper Mustang Trek

Fitness Level:

Moderate

Best Month:

May to Sep

Max Elevation:

4,220 m

Walking hours Per Day:

5-8 Hrs

Trip Duration:

17 Days

Trip Starts/Ends:

Kathmandu, Nepal

Meals:

BLD

Accommodation:

Hotel / Lodge

Group Size:

2+

Destination:

Nepal

The Upper Mustang Trek is a popular trekking route in the Mustang region of Nepal. This remote and restricted area lies to the north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. This trek offers the opportunity to witness local festivals and cultural events, providing a deeper understanding of the region's traditions.

Trekking in Upper Mustang is a rare privilege where you can experience the true aroma of isolated Himalayas in Nepal. Located at the border of the Tibetan Plateau, trekking in Mustang in many ways resembles trekking in Tibet. Upper Mustang Trek is an ancient Buddhist kingdom of LO-LO which used to be part of the Tibetan empire so it is closely associated with Tibet in terms of culture, dialects, and geography. 

Since Upper Mustang Trek was a restricted and demilitarized territory up until 1992, it has managed to maintain a high level of cultural preservation, with the bulk of its inhabitants still adhering to Tibetan traditions and speaking distinct languages. Mustang is nestled in the rain-shadowed area of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna massif making it a suitable region for trekking in monsoon. Upper Mustang is also well-known for its unique beauty and unspoiled nature comprising the majority of the area festooned with ruggedly barren land engulfed by rocks in different kinds of colors and impressive formations. The arid landscapes are dotted with small settlements of white-washed houses, barley fields, and many Monasteries and Chortens decorated with fluttering prayer flags. Additionally, it captures the admirable view of Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna, and multiple other Himalayas. 

The Upper Mustang Trekking trail traverses an ancient salt trading route which used to be a well-traveled route for people of Mustang to trade grain from the lowlands. It starts from Jomsom and ends at Jomsom again, which is the main highlight of the trek. There are itineraries available for the route to Lo-Manthang ranging from moderate to strenuous grades. It is possible to conduct a trek in completely tea-house mode, camping is not needed unless you go for a beaten-off track. Trekking to Upper Mustang goes through an almost treeless barren landscape and steep rocky trail along with a dominating view of soaring Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri.

Lo-Mantang is a semi-autonomous and heavily Tibetan-influenced village decorated with desolate but incredible landscapes interspersed with treeless barren land and lush culture. The hamlet is well-known for white-washed mud bricks, Gompas, and the Royal King Palace built in the 14 century. Also Known as the “God House '', this place is dotted with numerous gracious temples and Gompas including Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen Gompa, Jampa Gompa, Chodey Gompa, and the Choprang Gompa. Travelers can wander around town and visit the Amchi museum and Amchi School. Amchi is a traditional doctor of Lo-Manthang. 

Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate trek ideal for passionate trekkers who have the ability to walk for 6 hours a day with a light rucksack. The best time to go for Upper Mustang trekking is during the monsoon months (June-August) as this region is located in the rain shadow area of Nepal. However, it is possible to conduct the trek throughout the year. It is mandatory to obtain a trekking permit for Upper Mustang from the department of immigration in Nepal. Permit for trekking in Upper Mustang Trek is only issued to a group of at least 2 people accompanied by a guide. US $ 500 per person is charged for the first 10 days in Upper Mustang and after 10 days US $ 50 is charged per day per person. Restriction starts after Kagbeni, the small town of Mustang.

Upper Mustang Trek Highlights 

  • Visit Pokhara and scenic mountain flight to Jomsom
  • Walking to the highland desert in Mustang which is a rain shadow area
  • Observe the lifestyle and culture of the local people who like closely Tibetan 
  • Explore the old monasteries and caves
  • Explore the Lo-Manthang which is stonewalled city as well as a forbidden kingdom 
  • Visit the Muktinath temple and other pilgrimages site
  • Chance to reach the border of Nepal and China
  • Magnificent views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna ranges

Is a Jeep tour also possible to Upper Mustang?

Yes, it's possible to explore Upper Mustang via a Jeep tour, offering an alternative way to experience the region's stunning landscapes and cultural heritage. While trekking is the most common way to visit Upper Mustang, Jeep tours provide a more accessible option for those with physical limitations, time constraints, or simply a preference for a different mode of travel.

The road network has stretched up to Lo-Manthang from Jomsom. Therefore, lots of people also opt for overland jeep tours. The road is graveled and bumpy, though, requiring travelers to embark on the journey either by motorbike or four-wheeled jeep. Nowadays, cycling is also becoming popular in the area.

Some adventurous cyclists undertake the Annapurna Circuit cycling tour and include the Upper Mustang region as well. The risk of altitude sickness is very high during the overland jeep tour, as the altitude gain is rapid along the road trip. Therefore, some people prefer trekking instead. However, both modes of travel offer a breathtaking experience of the region.

Upper Mustang Trek with High Pass Adventure 

Trekking to Upper Mustang with High Pass Adventure means a lot. It means friendship, fun, convenience, adventure and above all the security and safety we bring. Our long experience in Nepal and true dedication guarantee your vacation is well thought out and planned to make the most beautiful journey of your lifetime. We are flexible in creating a suitable itinerary and offer a great combination of a quality hotel, small group size trip, family tour, solo trekking, honeymoon trip, and group trekking.  Also, our guides have general knowledge about first aid kits and long years of experience in the trekking fields and hire strong porters for supporting by carrying the luggage. 

Hence, your trekking in Nepal is led by our professional and experienced trekking guide who are joining you from airport to airport and our strong porter will carry 2 trekkers’ bags (maximum 30 kg) to complete your trip in Nepal. 

Important Note:

Sometimes becomes problems like weather conditions, local political issues, transportation or other factors that are beyond from our control. It might be a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be considered changing.  If alterations are necessary the Guide and Trekking leader will decide what the best options are. You can talk and decide to take into the best happiness of the whole group. Where a change does suggest itself, we try to do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot take responsibility for the results of changes or delays. Our trekking staffs are experienced and professional and try to solve all problems during the trekking. 

Upper Mustang Trek Altitude Profile

Itinerary Expand All Close All

Welcome to Nepal! A member of the High Pass Adventure Pvt. Ltd. crew will be waiting outside the baggage claim area of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu. A4-sized paper with your and our company's names on it, is carried by the individual you need to find. From the airport, this person will transport you to your accommodation in Kathmandu. Check into the hotel, have a nap, freshen up, and be ready for the appointment with our trekking office to discuss your programs.

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before getting ready for the trip of the Kathmandu Valley with an experienced tour guide. We are on a tour of the Kathmandu Valley's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will be taken to four of the top and most visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath. For the  tour of these places, you will be traveling  in a luxurious, personal vehicle. There are intriguing tours available that offer unique insights into Buddhism, Hinduism, ancient art, historical architecture, Kathmandu Valley people's way of life, and culture. Following this tour, you will return to the  After this tour you will come to office and finalize your trekking clothing and gear for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

Today we will have to leave early in the morning after breakfast from Kathmandu hotel and take a tourist bus to Pokhara. The road is heading along river valleys, a few towns, terraced fields and green hilly scenery to Pokhara. You will take a rest in Pokhara hotel for the next trekking day. Overnight at hotel

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
850

We took an early flight to Jomsom from Pokhara. You will be enjoying the short scenic mountain flight for 20 minutes between the two massive mountains Annapurna (8091m) and Dhaulagiri (8167m). After landing in the Jomsom Airport you will meet your trekking porter and head to Kagbeni following Kali Gandaki River. Kagbeni is the traditional gateway to the Upper Mustang. That day is an easy hike and you will enjoy the beautiful Mountain Views and explore the temple, monasteries and Kagbeni Village.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
2810

After breakfast, our day starts by checking the special Upper Mustang Trekking permits and we head into Mustang Region passing various ridges, Tangbe Village and Chuksang Village. There are colorful prayer flags, Chorten and mani wall along the trail as well as see the apple, wheat, potatoes and buckwheat farm before reaching the Chele. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3050

Today hiking became a bit difficult as we crossed the Samar and Vena settlement on barren land as well as cross a few passes before reaching camp. You will have a wonderful mountain view and exciting cliff cave, colorful chortens and prayer flags hanging on the pass. There is another alternative trekking trail through Chungsi cave which is popular and has been the place of the meditations for the famous Guru Ringpoche. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3770

Today is a bit of a long hiking day and you will cross two high passes namely Nyi-La (4020m) and Charang-La (3850m) before reaching the Camp. After crossing the Nyi-la you will get to Ghami Village for Lunch and cross the Ghami river and ascend the Charang-La to continue Charang Village. You can see spectacular landscape and panoramic mountain views along the trail. Charang Village is the second largest village of Upper Mustang and it was the capital of Mustang before Lo-Manthang. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3560

Today you will reach the final destination to Lo- Manthang of your trip and it is one of the main highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek. Lo-Manthang was the capital city of the forbidden kingdom of Mustang and there is still a wonderful old royal palace. The trekking trail is gentle up and down through barren land with beautiful views of wonderful scenery to get to camp. That day is a 4 hour walk and you will explore beautiful old monasteries in Lo-Manthang. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3809

Today you will explore Chooser Cave which is the mystery place of Upper Mustang Trek. Either you will hire a horse or walk because some trekkers hire a horse to go there. If you like to walk there, only takes 3 hours for one way. The Chooser Cave was made by people long years ago on the cliff. You can explore some of others caves, monasteries and same way back to camp with wonderful landscape. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3809

Today you will go back to Drakmar but take the upper highland trail and cross a few high passes called Dhi Pass at 4110m and an old monastery called Ghar Gompa. You will explore this Gompa and lunch there before heading on to Drakmar. According to a local legend, if people make a wish at the monastery they will have it fulfilled. At Drakmar you will see big red cliffs and caves. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3830

Today you will descend to Ghami Village, from where you retrace your way back to Syangbochen. That day you can observe any of the landscapes, prayer flag, Chorten and scenery you missed on the way up. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3770

We start our trek after Breakfast and will continue to Chuksang pass through Samar and Chele Village to observe the local people's lifestyle and enjoy the panoramic mountain views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
2975

Today you will leave with packed lunch to Muktinath via Gyu-La (4077m) pass. The trail ascends gradually to the pass. Today is a beautiful day with wonderful panoramic views of the Mt. Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. After the pass, the trail descends to the stream and short ascends to the Chyangur Village and continues to gradually descend to Muktinath. Muktinath is a popular sacred site for both Hindus and Buddhists. If you reach Muktinath early, you will explore that area or you can visit the next morning. There are 108 water taps, if people take bath in these taps bring salvation. 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
3750

Today you will trek to Jomsom. There is a road that begins and connects to Pokhara. You walk down to the beautiful village at Kagbeni through Jharkot and Khinga Village.  From Kagbeni, you will walk to Jomsom through Eakle Bhatii with wonderful views of Nilgiri Mountain. Jomsom is HeadQuarters of the Mustang District and you can find lots of facilities such as public bus, airport, school, nice hotels, banks, shops, etc.  

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Guest House.
Elevation
2750

Drive or fly from Jomsom to Pokhara because There is a flight and road connected to Pokhara . Today you will have early breakfast to catch the flight. It takes a 20 minutes scenic mountain flight between two big mountains such as Mt. Annapurna ((8091 m) and Dhaulagiri (8167 m). Sometimes it becomes a problem like weather conditions, so we have to take a bus or jeep to Pokhara. It takes about 9/10 hours to Pokhara. Upon arrival in Pokhara, drive to the hotel and take a rest day off. You can explore Pokhara City and Fewa Lake if you have time while you're there.The walk finishes in the lovely city of Pokhara, where you may take a shower, eat delicious food, and relax. Hotel stay overnight

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
850

Today, we have to leave early in the morning after breakfast from Pokhara hotel to catch the tourist bus. The road is heading along rivers, valleys, few towns, terraced fields and green hilly scenery to Kathmandu. You will take a rest in Kathmandu hotel or do souvenir shopping.  

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

This is your last day of your trip in Nepal. One of our High Pass Adventure staff will take you to Kathmandu international Airport for your flight departure time. If you are looking forward to your extra trip in Nepal, High Pass Adventure will help you for your next trip and adventure activities in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India.

Food
Breakfast

What Is Included ?

High Pass Adventure have working best guide and porter for the trekking. We are providing an excellence service to our customer. All our costs are net and very clear on cost include-excludes. We have paid best salary to Trekking, Tour guide and porter which is more than government fixed amount. Our entire customers are satisfied from our service. For the more details please feel free to contact us.

Cost Includes

  • Airport Pick up & drops 2 times domestic / International
  • All Ground-transportation above program
  • Kathmandu valley sightseeing
  • 3 meals per day during the trek (Breakfast Lunch & Dinner) and one cup of tea with per meal
  • Accommodation on Tea-house during the trekking
  • Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara flight (guide+ guest)
  • 2 night's Hotel in Kathmandu and 2 nights Hotel in Pokhara on Bed & Breakfast plan
  • An experience English Speaking Guide
  • Necessary Porter 1: 2 (one porter for two Guest), the porter will Carry 20 KG/ 25 KG
  • All applicable taxes as per the government rules and regulations
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permits
  • (TIMS) Trekker’s information Management System
  • Special Upper Mustang Trekking Permit
  • First Aid medical kit, Oxymeter to check pulse, heart rate and oxygen saturation at higher altitude
  • General equipment for Porter during the adventure trip
  • Guide and porter salary and insurance during the trek
  • All organizational requirements
  • Duffel Bags refundable to protect your Luggage
  • Tour Certificate, Company T-shirt as a Souvenir
  • Farewell Dinner with Typical Nepali Restaurant

What Is Excluded?

  • Nepal visa fee and your International flights
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu 
  • Extra night hotel accommodation in Kathmandu other than itinerary
  • Travel insurance and Mountain rescue service (covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation)
  • Personal trekking gear
  • All entrance fees to the monasteries, temple and monument
  • Personal expenses (phone, laundry, water, bar drinks, battery recharge, extra porters, hot shower etc.)
  • Trip Cancellation cost accident or Health, Loss Theft or Damage and personal effects
  • Tips to Trekking staff (Tips is expected)
  • Any other expenses that aren’t mentioned in the section above
     

FAQs

Upper Mustang is located in the north-central part of Nepal, to the north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. It is bordered by the Tibetan Plateau to the north. This remote and isolated region within the Himalayas used to be the Kingdom of Lo. Known for its unique Tibetan culture, ancient monasteries, and breathtaking landscapes, Upper Mustang includes Lo Manthang, a walled city that served as the historical capital of the Kingdom of Lo.

Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is restricted for tourism, and special permits are required to trek in this area. The restrictions were implemented for several reasons such as Cultural Preservation, Environmental Conservation, Geopolitical Sensitivity and Economic Regulation. 

It's necessary to note that regulations and policies, so it's advisable to check with the relevant authorities or a local travel agency for the most up-to-date information on trekking permits and restrictions in Upper Mustang Region.
 

The best time for the Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is during the end of spring to the beginning of the autumn seasons, specifically from May to September, which constitutes the main summer season. These months provide the most favorable weather conditions for trekking in the region because it is in the rain shadow.

The Upper Mustang region in Nepal is situated in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, resulting in significantly less rainfall compared to areas on the windward side of the mountains
 

The Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is considered to be a moderately difficult trek. The level of difficulty will be varying depending on individual fitness levels, experience with trekking at high altitudes, and the specific route taken. So, the Upper Mustang Trek is suitable for trekkers with some previous trekking experience and a reasonable level of fitness. 

The Upper Mustang trek is a demanding trek in the remote region of Nepal, and it's necessary to be physically prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Here are some physical preparation tips such as cardiovascular fitness, Strength training, Endurance training, mental preparation and Medical check-up.

The duration of the Upper Mustang Trek is varying depending on the specific itinerary you chosen. On average, the trek takes around 10 to 14 days from and to Kathmandu. It means, includes the time required to reach the Upper Mustang region from Kathmandu, the trekking days, and the return journey. The special Upper Mustang Trek permits require 10 days, starting from and returning to Kagbeni.

The cost of a special permit (restricted areas permits) for the Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is USD 500 for a 10-day permit. And also need to buy the Annapurna Conservation Area Project entrance permits, it cost NPR 3000. The Upper Mustang region has certain restrictions and requirements for trekking, including the necessity to be accompanied by a registered guide from authority local trekking agency

The cost of the Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is also vary depending on several factors you chosen, including the trekking agency, the duration of the trek, the services included, and the time of year. 

As a general estimate, the cost for the Upper Mustang Trek can range from USD 1,500 to USD 2,500 or more per person. This cost typically covers permits, guides, transportation, accommodation and meals the trek.
 

The Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is often more expensive than other treks of similar length for several reasons like Restricted Area Permit (RAP), Minimum Group Size Requirement, Cultural Preservation Fee, Special Permits for Filming, Remote Location and Transportation Costs, Specialized Guides. 

So, It's necessary to consider these factors when planning for the Upper Mustang Trek and to choose a reputable trekking agency that provide necessary permits, experienced guides, and ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience in this unique region.
 

Trekking to Upper Mustang in Nepal is a popular adventure, but it's necessary to consider several factors before attempting a solo trek because trekkers need a special permit to enter. For that obtaining the required permits typically necessitates a minimum of 2 people, or you may need to purchase 2 permits.

Yes, you can do private trek to Upper Mustang but require minimum 2 people. Upper Mustang region in Nepal was a restricted area, and travelers were required to obtain a special permit to trek there. The permits were issued only to organized trekking groups, and individual trekkers were not allowed.

Accommodation and food option during the Upper Mustang Trek is vary, because there is enough teahouses for the Accommodations. These teahouses typically provide rooms with basic amenities like a bed, blankets, and possibly a shared bathroom. Teahouses offer a menu with a variety of meals, including local and international dishes. Common options include dal bhat (rice and lentil soup), noodles, pasta, momos (dumplings), and more. 

Yes, Guides are essential for any high-altitude trekking journey. Trekkers pass through remote trails and rugged terrains to reach their destination every day. Therefore, professional trekking guides will help navigate and ensure your safety along these trails. Porters will also assist with your luggage, allowing you to trek freely without any hassle.

Traveller Useful Information

Best time for Upper Mustang Trek

The best time for the Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is during the end of spring to the beginning of the autumn seasons, specifically from May to September, which constitutes the main summer season. These months provide the most favorable weather conditions for trekking in the region because it is in the rain shadow. During these times as the skies are generally clear, offering stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

The Upper Mustang region in Nepal is situated in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, resulting in significantly less rainfall compared to areas on the windward side of the mountains. So, that time typically offer dry weather with minimal precipitation, making it easier to navigate the rugged terrain of the Mustang region. 

Temperatures of Upper Mustang Trek

The temperatures in Upper Mustang Region will be varying depending on the season and the specific elevation you are at during your trek. Here is a general overview of the temperatures you might encounter:

Spring (March to May):

  • Daytime temperatures: 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F)
  • Nighttime temperatures: -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F)
  • Spring brings mild and pleasant weather, with warmer temperatures as the season progresses. It's a good time for trekking with comfortable daytime temperatures and cool nights.

Autumn (September to November):

  • Daytime temperatures: 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F)
  • Nighttime temperatures: -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F)
  • Similar to spring, autumn offers mild temperatures during the day and cool nights. This is also a popular time for trekking in Upper Mustang due to the clear skies and favorable weather conditions.

Winter (December to February):

  • Daytime temperatures: 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F)
  • Nighttime temperatures: -10°C to -5°C (14°F to 23°F)
  • Winter brings cold temperatures, especially at higher elevations. Snowfall is possible, particularly in the higher regions, and daytime temperatures can be quite chilly. It's essential to be well-prepared for cold weather if trekking during the winter months.

Summer (June to August):

  • Daytime temperatures: 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F)
  • Nighttime temperatures: 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F)
  • Summer is the monsoons season in Nepal, but the Upper Mustang experiences just few rainfall during this time. The temperatures are warmer, and the trekking trails will be nice for walking. It's most popular for trekking compared to spring and autumn due to the rain shadow. 

These temperature ranges are approximate and will be varying depending on the specific location and altitude within the Upper Mustang region. It's necessary to check the weather forecast and be prepared for a wide range of temperatures when planning your trek to Upper Mustang.

Food and accommodations in Upper Mustang Trek

In Upper Mustang, you can find a range of accommodations and food options, although the choices may be more limited compared to popular trekking routes like the Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit due to the region's remoteness and restricted access. Here's what you can expect in terms of food and accommodations:

Accommodations:

Teahouses/Lodges: Along the trekking route in Upper Mustang, there are teahouses and lodges where you can stay overnight. These are basic guesthouses with simple rooms featuring beds, blankets, and sometimes shared bathrooms. While the facilities may be basic, they offer a comfortable place to rest after a day of trekking.

Camping: For those seeking a more adventurous experience or trekking off the beaten path, camping is also an option. However, camping requires carrying your own camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment. 

Food:

Teahouse Meals: Teahouses along the trekking route typically serve meals such as dal bhat (rice with lentil soup, vegetables, and sometimes meat), noodles, pasta, fried rice, momos (dumplings), and other local and international dishes. Meals are usually hearty and provide the energy needed for trekking.

Snacks: Along the trail, you can find snacks such as energy bars, chocolate, cookies, nuts, and dried fruits at teahouses or small shops. These snacks can be convenient for quick energy boosts during the trek.

Bottled Water: It's essential to stay hydrated while trekking, so bottled water is available for purchase at teahouses and shops along the route.

However, it's also advisable to bring water purification tablets or a water filter to treat water from natural sources if you prefer to reduce plastic waste and save on costs.

Required Permits and cost for Upper Mustang Trek

To trek in Upper Mustang, you need to obtain certain permits due to the region's restricted status as a controlled area. Here are the main permits required for the Upper Mustang Trek:

Restricted Area Permit (RAP):

The Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is the primary permit required for trekking in Upper Mustang. This permit is issued by the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu through a registered trekking agency in Nepal.

The RAP for Upper Mustang is relatively expensive compared to permits for other trekking regions in Nepal due to the restricted status of the area. The cost for the RAP is USD 500 per person for 10 days, with additional fees for extended stays.

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP):

Upper Mustang is part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, so, most trekkers access Upper Mustang through the Annapurna region, starting their trek from Jomsom or Kagbeni. As a result, trekkers need to obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) as well.
The ACAP can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara and is required for trekking in the Annapurna region. The cost of the ACAP Permits is around $25.

It's important to obtain these permits before starting your trek, as trekking in Upper Mustang without the necessary permits is illegal and can result in fines or other penalty. Additionally, it's necessary to trek with a licensed guide through a registered trekking agency, as they assist with obtaining permits, logistics, and ensuring a safe trekking experience.

Difficulties for Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek, located in the Mustang region of Nepal, is famous for its unique landscapes, ancient Tibetan culture, and remote villages. The trekking roure is considered moderately challenging, suitable for trekkers with previous hiking experience and a reasonable level of fitness. Proper preparation, including physical conditioning, acclimatization, and logistical planning, is essential for a safe and enjoyable trekking experience in this stunning region of Nepal.

Here's an overview of the difficulty of this trek:

Altitude: The Upper Mustang region lies at a high altitude, with elevations reaching over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Altitude sickness can be a concern for trekkers, especially if you are ascend too quickly. Proper acclimatization and gradual ascent are essential to minimize the risk of altitude-related illnesses.

Terrain: The terrain in Upper Mustang varies, ranging from rocky trails to barren landscapes similar to desert areas. Trekkers can encounter steep ascents and descents, as well as narrow paths along cliff sides. Some sections of the trail may be rough and challenging to navigate, requiring good physical fitness and quickness.

Weather: Weather conditions also pose challenges, especially during the trekking seasons. The Upper Mustang region experiences cold temperatures, particularly at higher elevations, with the possibility of snowfall at certain times of the year. Trekkers should be prepared for changing weather conditions and pack appropriate clothing and gear.

Remote Location: Upper Mustang is a remote and isolated region, with limited access to facilities and services. Trekkers may need to be self-sufficient for extended periods to higher trail, carrying essentials such as food, water, and camping gear. 

Permit Requirements: Trekking in Upper Mustang requires a special permit, as the region is a restricted area. Trekkers must obtain the necessary permits through a registered trekking agency, which adds an extra step to the planning process.

Why Trek to Upper Mustang?

Trek to Upper Mustang is best choice because the trek offers a unique and memorable experience with its combination of stunning landscapes, ancient cultural heritage, and remote villages. 

Here are some of the highlights to choose the trek:

Ancient Tibetan Culture: Upper Mustang is often referred to as a "Hidden Kingdom" because of its historical ties to Tibet and the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture. Trekkers can explore ancient monasteries, caves decorated with centuries-old murals, and traditional Tibetan villages. The region's architecture, art, and religious practices provide insights into its rich cultural heritage.

Scenic Landscapes: The trek takes you through diverse landscapes, including barren valleys, rugged mountains, and dramatic cliffs. The unique geology of the region, characterized by windswept rock formations and deep gorges, creates a strange and otherworldly environment. Trekkers can also enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas, including peaks like Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.

Lo Manthang: The walled capital of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang, is a major highlight of the trek. This ancient city is home to historic palaces, monasteries, and narrow alleys lined with traditional mud-brick houses. Exploring the streets of Lo Manthang feels like stepping back in time, offering a glimpse into the region's royal past and cultural traditions.

Chhosar Cave Dwellings: Near Lo Manthang, trekkers can visit the ancient cave dwellings of Chhosar. These caves, carved into the cliffs by hand, served as homes and meditation retreats for Buddhist monks centuries ago. The intricate cave structures and wall paintings provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily life and spiritual practices of the past.

Local Hospitality: Throughout the trek, trekkers have the opportunity to interact with local residents, including the friendly and hospitable people of Upper Mustang. Sharing meals with villagers, staying in traditional guesthouses, and participating in cultural ceremonies offer authentic insights into the daily life and traditions of the region.

Packing list for upper Mustang Trek

Packing for the Upper Mustang Trek requires careful consideration of the terrain, weather conditions, and the remote nature of the region. 

Here's a comprehensive packing list to ensure you're well-prepared for the trek:

Clothing: 

Moisture-wicking base layers: Long-sleeved shirts and pants to manage sweat and regulate body temperature.
Insulating layers: Fleece jackets or down jackets for warmth, especially during cold evenings and at higher altitudes.
Outer shell: Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect against rain, wind, and snow.
Trekking pants: Lightweight, quick-drying pants with zip-off legs for versatility.
Trekking shorts: Breathable shorts for lower altitude and warmer days.
Undergarments: Moisture-wicking underwear and sports bras.
Hiking socks: Wool or synthetic socks for moisture management and blister prevention.
Gloves and hats: Insulated gloves, beanie or hat, and sun hat or cap for sun protection.

Footwear:

Hiking boots: Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with ankle support and good traction.
Camp shoes: Lightweight sandals or slip-on shoes for wearing around the campsite.

Gear:
Sleeping bag: Lightweight and compact sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures.
Sleeping pad: Insulated sleeping pad for cushioning and insulation from the ground.
Trekking poles: Adjustable trekking poles for stability and support, especially on steep terrain.
Headlamp/flashlight: Essential for navigating in the dark and inside lodges.
Sunglasses: UV-protective sunglasses with side shields to shield eyes from sun glare and dust.
Water bottles/hydration system: Insulated water bottles or hydration reservoir to stay hydrated along the trail.
Reusable water purification system: Water purification tablets or a filtration system to treat water from natural sources.
Personal first aid kit: Including basic medications, bandages, blister treatment, and any personal prescriptions.
Toiletries: Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene items.
Towel: Quick-dry travel towel or microfiber towel.
Sunscreen: High SPF sunscreen for protection against strong UV rays at high altitudes.
Lip balm: SPF lip balm to prevent chapped lips in dry mountain air.
Portable charger/power bank: To recharge electronic devices like phones and cameras.
Miscellaneous:
Cash: Carry enough Nepalese rupees for expenses such as meals, drinks, and souvenirs, as ATMs are limited.
Guidebook/map: A detailed guidebook or map of the Upper Mustang region.
Notebook and pen: For journaling, making notes, or sketching.

Optional Items:

Trekking snacks: Energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, and other lightweight snacks.
Book/e-reader: For entertainment during downtime.
Playing cards or travel games: For socializing with fellow trekkers.
Earplugs and eye mask: To improve sleep quality, especially in shared accommodation.

Visa and passport information

Except for Indian passport holders, all foreign visitors to Nepal need a visa; however, you must have a passport with a six-month validity date in order to apply for a tourist visa. At the Tribhuvan International Airport and the Chinese-Indian border in Tibet, visas are available on arrival. To apply for a visa to enter Nepal, you must have a color photograph in PP size. Please click this link for more details about Visa Information. 

Money exchange rate and prices

If you're seeking for the best foreign exchange rates and locations in Nepal, you may easily exchange the majority of your foreign currency at a local bank or authorized money exchange facility in a well-known tourist destination. The Nepal Rastra Bank controls all exchange rates (Center Bank of Nepal). You can exchange small amounts of money at the hotel if you want to. Because our banks will not take dirty or old notes, kindly bring clean and fresh notes.

In order to avoid the time-consuming processes associated with cards and traveler's checks, Nepalese people typically prefer cash in hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and other locations. You can use an ATM to get cash (in Nepali Rupees) if you have a credit or debit card. In the main tourist city, there are a number of ATM counters with 24-hour service. If you use a card, the maximum withdrawal amount is between 30,000 and 35,000 rupees at once, plus a processing fee of 500 rupees. 

You must convert your money in Kathmandu or Pokhara before the hike because the majority of trekking routes do not offer a facility for international currency exchange. Additionally, inquire about the amount of money required for a Himalayan trek from your trekking operator or guide.

Safety and security

When traveling in Nepal, safety and security are crucial issues to consider both on the way to in and out. We are here for you at all times, and we promise to provide the greatest service to all of our cherished clients. Our guides have extensive training in the field of trekking and broad understanding of first aid items. Because it rises more than 4000 m above sea level, it is essential for hiking in Nepal. Because health is crucial, if a trekker becomes ill from the high altitude, our knowledgeable guide discusses the necessary medications and decides to continue the trek while organizing the emergency rescue.

You must be cautious when hiking trails pass one other because they are not wide enough to do so. During the busiest trekking season, there are lots of porters, yaks, mules, and Jokpe along the trail. You must stay on the safe side if you encounter them on a bridge or in a confined space because otherwise they may force you over the edge.

Safe drinking water

For a healthy body while traveling and staying hydrated, clean water is essential. It will be the most effective method of completing the Himalayan journey. If not, getting sick and having diarrhea is simple. Almost everywhere during the Nepalese tea house trip, but not during the camping trek, sells bottled water. Unfortunately, bottled water is very pricey. 

Please bring good water bottles (for boiling water) and water purification tablets or water filter bottles since plastic bottles are detrimental for the environment. Reusable water bottles are a good idea because they help keep the mountain clean. If you are concerned about finding a typical water tap to fill up your bottles in the trekking region of Nepal, they are very simple to locate. It can be found in rivers, streams, and lodges.

Travel insurance and insurance policy

Nepal hiking tours: The difficulty levels of the Himalayas range from easy to tough. As a result of the Himalayan climate changing, there is a risk of high altitude and potential mishap. 

Trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas demands practical trekking abilities at high altitudes (above 4,000 meters), so travel insurance is essential. If an accident occurs during a trip and requires medical attention or evacuation, the cost of returning to a city and receiving treatment may be significant. Therefore, you must ensure that your insurance covers the price of an air ambulance, medical care, and any risks associated with travel, such as delayed flights and lost, stolen, damaged, or missing baggage. Your complete itinerary while visiting Nepal should be covered by your insurance policy. Make sure your insurance policy covers hikes higher than 5,500 meters. If not, you will be responsible for all unforeseen costs associated with your trek through Nepal. 

All trekkers must send a copy of their certificate from their comprehensive travel insurance policy to High Pass Adventure as part of the booking process for trekking and climbing in Nepal.

High altitude sickness information

Mountain sickness is another name for high altitude sickness. You must be aware of high altitude sickness symptoms since they arise rapidly if you hike or ascend to a higher elevation. Here are some details if you're curious as to why it occurs. The air pressure is the main cause of altitude sickness. Your body needs time to adapt to the shift in air pressure when you travel to higher elevations since the air pressure decreases and there is less oxygen present. According to doctors, If you are at sea level, it begins at 8,000 feet (2400 meters).

1) Types 
There are three types of altitude sickness:

  • Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS): it is very common and symptoms feel like a tiredness, dizzy, headache, thirsty, muscle aches, nausea 
  • High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): it is effect in the lungs, which can be very dangerous and hard to do life threatening
  • High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE): it is effective in the brain and most difficult to treat and you need to go to hospital attention the right way. 

2) Cause 
Following are the causes of high altitude sickness:

Generally living near sea level and travel to a high elevation 

  • Had the sickness before
  • Climbing quickly
  • Not being acclimatized to the altitude
  • Drinking alcohol when you ascend 
  • Medical problems of heart, nervous or lungs 

3) Symptoms
These symptoms will appear depending on your speed to climb and how hard you push. Symptoms range from normal to serious. They can affect the nervous system, lungs, muscles, and heart.

Here are symptoms of High Altitude Sickness:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid Pulse (Heart Rate)
  • Short breath with action
  • Blue color of skin or gray soft skin 
  • Chest tightness or blocking
  • Confusion
  • Dry cough or coughing with blood
  • Cannot walk in a straight line 

4) Prevention 
Important keys to preventing of High Altitude Sickness are:

  • Climb the mountain gradually. 
  • Stop every 2,000 feet (600 meters) of climb above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) and one or two nights sleep there.
  • Sleep at a lower altitude when possible.
  • Make sure that you have the ability to quickly descend if needed.
  • Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness.
  • If you plan on climbing quickly, or climbing to a high altitude, ask your provider about medicines that may help.
  • If you are at risk for a low red blood cell count (anemia), ask your provider if your planned trip is safe. Also ask if an iron supplement is right for you. Anemia lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood. This makes you more likely to have mountain sickness.

5) While climbing, you should follow these rules:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Climb slowly.
  • Take it easy
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Eat regular meals that are high in carbohydrates.
  • Sleep lower elevation 
  • Take a medication (diomax) according to doctor 

Client Reviews

Julian P

Julian P

United Kingdom

Incredible 10 days in the Upper Mustang

14th June, 2023

My girlfriend and I just returned from 12 days exploring the Upper Mustang with High Pass. Our guide, Purna, was attentive and knowledgeable. He was also super flexible when an ankle injury meant we needed to change the schedule slightly. Purna took care of all the accommodations and food during the trek, which was all amazing! I'd definitely use High Pass Adventure again next time for I'm trekking in Nepal. Thanks to all team!!!

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