Trekking in Nepal has never been easier as it is now. There are a variety of trekking packages to choose from and each of them takes you through a different part of Nepal. 10 days Upper Mustang Trek is one such option available in Nepal.
This short trek takes you to the border of Nepal-Tibet of Mustang region. Also known as “Last Forbidden Kingdom”, this trek is less known and popular among tourists. But this doesn’t take away the experience you will have on any trekking journey.
The 10 days Upper Mustang Trek takes you to the “Mini-Tibet” in Nepal. This is because of its close proximity to the border of Tibet. This has influenced the people and the culture of this place. The topography and the climate of this region are also very similar to that of Tibet.
The Upper Mustang Trek is one of the restricted areas of Nepal. This is to protect the unique natural beauty and the culture of this place. This trail was only recently up for business in the 1990s.
The 10 days Upper Mustang Trek is one of the driest trekking trails of Nepal. This means trekking in the rainy days of Summer season is also viable as there is only occasional rainfall. It consists of high altitude deserts, red-rock cliffs, and eroded sandstone pillars. It also has the deep river gorges of Kali Gandaki and the view of some of the highest mountains in the world.
Table of Contents
10 Days Upper Mustang Trek Facts
|Trek||Upper Mustang Trek|
|Trip duration||10 days|
|Highest Altitude||3820 m (Lo Manthang)|
|Best Season to visit||Autumn and spring|
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- Witness the ancient Tibetan Culture and lifestyle
- Explore the kingdom and palace of King Lo or King of Mustang
- Catch a spectacular view of Mt.Annapurna, Mt.Dhaulagiri, and Mt.Nilgiri, etc
- Visit the Kali Gandaki Gorge: the deepest gorge/canyon of the world
- Explore the oldest monastery in the world, Lo Gekar Monastery.
- Visit the beautiful villages of Mustang such as Jomsom, Kagbeni, Tamara on, Gelling, Ghemi, and Tsarang.
Upper Mustang Trek 10 Days itinerary
Day 01: Drive(5-6) fly (30min) to Pokhara
Day 02: Fly Jomsom from Pokhara and Trek to Kagbeni (2,800m)
Day 03: Trek to Geling (3,570m)
Day 04: Trek to Tsarang (3,560m)
Day 05: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3,840m)
Day 06: Explore around Lo-Manthang (3,840m)
Day 07: Trek to Ghami (3,520m)
Day 08: Trek to Samar (3,540m)
Day 09: Trek to Muktinath (3,600m) and about one hour drive to Jomsom
Day 10: Drive back from Jomsom – Pokhara
Best Time for the 10 Days Upper Mustang Trek
As with every trekking in Nepal, the experience you have is highly dependent on the season at hand. Different seasons bring along its own unique climates and changes. And each of those seasons brings its own delights and shortcomings. Because of this your experience may vary according to these seasons. It is highly advisable to do self-research about the different seasons of Upper Mustang Trek. And don’t forget to plan your trek accordingly.
Autumn Season(September, October, and November):
The season of Autumn is the best time for Trekking in Nepal. Because of this, the Upper Mustang trek is generally popular in the Autumn season. The sky clears which gives great visibility to the scenic beauty of the Mustang region.
The temperature also becomes stable and moderate during this season. The temperature ranges from 12-20 degrees Celsius which makes this neither too cold nor too hot for trekking.
The late November brings the arrival of the cold and harsh winter season. This signals the end of trekking season in Upper Mustang.
Spring Season(March, April, and May):
The Spring season is also one of the best seasons for the 10 days Upper Mustang Trek. The season of Spring brings along the arrival of new plants and flower. The clear sky gives a great view of the rhododendrons blooming along the way of Upper Mustang.
The Temperature also becomes stable and moderate during Spring season. The temperature ranges from 16-22 degrees Celsius which makes it perfect for trekking season. The days are perfect for trekking but the nights can be a bit cold.
One of the biggest festivals of Upper Mustang, Tiji festival, also falls in the Spring season. You can experience this great festival if you trek through this region in the spring.
Summer Season(June, July, and August):
The season of Summer brings along the Monsoon rain which makes trekking highly difficult. Normally this makes it one of the least preferable seasons for trekking. But unlike other trekking regions, Upper Mustang Trek is one of the driest trekking trails of Nepal.
So the Summer season doesn’t affect the Upper Mustang Trek in any big way. This is because the trek is on the rain-shadow area of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. The Upper Mustang Trek only experiences occasional rainfall so it is usually a dry summer in those regions. This makes trekking viable in the Upper Mustang region.
The temperature of the Upper Mustang may vary between 16 – 20 degrees during Summer season.
Winter Season(December, January, and February):
The Winter season brings forth the coldest season in the Mustang region. The temperature falls down to 0-5 degree Celsius during the day and -25 to -20 degree Celsius during the night.
The Winter season is not recommendable for the 10 days Upper Mustang Trek.
During this season, people descend to a lower altitude because of the freezing cold. This means that most Teahouse or lodges are off business during the winter season. This makes it especially hard to trek and is often not preferable to trek.
Trekking through this region in the Winter season is also available for those who want to visit during the offseason. But make sure to see if the Teahouse or lodge you plan to stay in is open during the Winter. Bringing along camping gear is also viable.
The Difficulty of 10 days Upper Mustang Trek
As with any treks, the 10 days Upper Mustang Trek has its own fair share of difficulties. Most of these difficulties can be overcome by having sufficient preparations.
Weather and Temperature:
The weather and temperature of Upper Mustang Trek are normally ok during the three seasons. But Winter season brings a whole new level of difficulty in the 10 days Upper Mustang Trek. The Temperature falls down to 0-5 degree Celsius in a day and -20 to -25 during the night.
This cold season means that most people would be descending to the lower regions. So Teahouse and Lodges are not readily available. The freezing temperature would make the trek especially hard. And the heavy snowfall makes the trails harder to walk on.
It is not recommendable for new or novice trekkers.
The 10 days Upper Mustang Trek is not really a demanding trek. The trekking trails are not very harsh and are easier to walk on. But the short duration of 10 days Upper Mustang Trek means that you would be walking 6-7 hours a day.
The short 10 days Upper Mustang Trek doesn’t have any rest or acclimatization days. So this may be a bit hard on the novice trekkers. So it is recommendable to take on a few training before you start this trek. Exercises to increase one’s stamina, leg muscles, and endurance are especially important.
Altitude Sickness and Health:
The 10 days Upper Mustang Trek is a trek that doesn’t elevate more than 4000 m above sea level. While getting altitude sickness is highly unlikely in these altitudes, it is still better to be safe than sorry. Bringing along altitude sickness medicine is advisable. And drinking water and liquid food are good for tackling this problem.
As with any treks, it is always advisable to visit and consult your doctor before you start the trip.
It is hard to trek with health conditions so consulting your doctor on the medications is a must. You can also increase the duration of the trip if it becomes necessary.
Cost of Upper Mustang Trek 10 Days
Porter and Guides:
It is better to have a Porter and Guide for the trekking as without them traveling is useless and dangerous due to the unfamiliar terrain. This is especially important for Upper Mustang Trek as this is a restricted area trek. The Government of Nepal has made it compulsory to hire a guide or Porter before you hike in these areas.
Hiring fully insured, well trained and skillful guides, and porters are better than to hire freelancer guides and porters. They can ensure your successful journey with 100 percent care without any problems.
The cost of a guide can be somewhere between USD $25-$30 per day. And the cost of hiring a porter can be between USD $20-$25 per day. This includes the guide’s or Porter’s food, accommodation, and insurance.
Food and Accommodation:
As you elevate higher, the cost of lodgings, foods, and drink also increase. Good food and rest is a must for a remote trek like this so it is important to allocate the required budget for it. Due to the high cost of transporting supplies to these areas, it is highly expensive. The price of food and lodging are higher than in Kathmandu and the choices are few.
The budget for food for a day can be somewhere from USD$15-$20. This can change according to your platter and luxury.
On Teahouse or Lodges, you will normally find twin bedrooms. These can cost somewhere between USD $6-$9 per person. However, even if you wish to stay alone in the room, you will still need to pay for the full cost of two people.
Trekking Permits and restricting:
The Upper Mustang Trek is a restricted area trekking which wasn’t open to tourist until the recent years. Due to it being a restricted area, you need to have certain permits to trek across this area. Trekkers have to buy a permit of US$ 500 per person (valid for 10 days, each additional day costs US$ 50). You will also need ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit which cost NPR 3000 (about USD 30) per person.
Gears for 10 Days Upper Mustang Trek
Packing essential gear before trekking is a must in any situation. These gears can protect you from the harsh conditions you may face during the trek. As such it is extremely important to make a list of essential items and have them ready to go.
- Hiking boots
- Trekking socks
- Trekking trousers
- Fleece jackets
- Down jackets
- Cotton T-shirts
- Lightweight gloves
- Woolen caps/ hats
- Sleeping bag
- First-aid kit
- Water purification liquid or tablet
- Proper Documents
- Toilet papers
- Body lotions
- Sanitary napkins/ tampons
- Cotton towel
- Hand sanitizers
- Trail Map/Guide book
- Journal & Pen
- Pencils and small notebooks
The 10 days Upper Mustang Trek is a fairly moderate trek. While the trek may be short, it will still provide you with plenty of experience and pleasant memories. The remote region provides you with an excellent view of the natural beauty and culture that is pure as it has been since the beginning.
You can always extend your trek if you feel necessary to explore the remote Mustang region to your heart’s content.
It is important to self-research about the trekking on your own before you start it. Always remember to choose the trekking time according to the season at hand. And always remember to have appropriate preparation before you start this trek.