From dramatic landscapes to iconic walled cities and deep gorges, Upper Mustang surely is flooded with impeccable destinations. The realm is impossibly stunning with sweeping views, eccentric towns, vivid-colored brick walls, and fun-packed forests.
It isn’t hard to see why people are maniac for the Upper Mustang trek, after all, it’s the Kingdom of Nepal. But more than that, it’s a historical landmark with marvelous royal palaces, Tibetan-inspired monasteries, quintessential villages, and Buddhist prayer flags all along the way.
The realm is just amazing with beautiful mud houses, less-crowded museums, and cobblestone pavers. Upper Mustang is a land of wonder, filled with panoramic views, hidden caverns, lofty hills, and cliff face. It mostly walks the rugged trail with stones and mud which makes the hike a bit strenuous.
Sitting within Annapurna Conservation Area, the Upper Mustang trek starts with a flight to Pokhara. However, you can also take a drive to this vivacious city and then take a plane to Jomson. In the following days, we’ll walk through many remote villages including Ghiling and Tsarang.
The views on the trail are easily the most impressive thing as we get to check out epic mountain ranges and stunning landscapes. Lo Manthang is the center of interest during Upper Mustang Trek as it offers an incredible sight of dry terrains, beautifully-carved temples, and Chortens.
Upper Mustang Trek 10 Days Itinerary has some of the most incredible walking trails. It starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara followed by a short trip to Jomson via aircraft. Despite the excursion, the actual trek of Upper Mustang begins with a restful walk to Ghiling.
Generally, during the Upper Mustang Trek 10 days itinerary, we’ll pass many ancient villages, rock faces, and cliffs in Lo-Manthang. Also, the meandering trail sees us walking through Ghami and Muktinath which provides a lot of imposing sights including monasteries, historic palaces, and centuries-old caves.
Table of Contents
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek 10 days itinerary
- A short road trip of Muktinath Temple and other pilgrimages nearby
- Paying a visit to lovely Marpha village and Nyingma monastery
- Walking the marvelous stone-lined towns, passing multi-colored Chortens
- Exploring the deepest Kaligandaki gorge, sitting at 2,520 meters
- Scout Lo Manthang which largely reflects Tibetan culture and
- A pristine view of Mt. Annapurna, Nilgiri, Thorung Peak, and Chulu West
Best Time for Upper Mustang Trek 10 days
Since Mustang has an arid land, it only makes sense for the trek to be done during autumn or spring. Falling right between scorching summer and frigid winter, autumn sweeps up cool weather. As the temperature falls gradually after October, it becomes extremely easy to walk the dry land.
Autumn is an ideal time to get rid of warm clothes and enjoy the genial weather that comes with a cool breeze. The season bestows fall colors in the woods that pop up soon after the monsoon turns away. Temperatures in autumn at Upper Mustang ranges from 12 to 20 Degree Celsius which is naturally tranquilizing as compared to summer.
Spring too endures lovely weather with a magical setting of full-bloom rhododendron and wildflowers. With the end of icy-cold winter, the weather starts to get better and better with each passing day.
The days are warmer in spring while the nights, chilly with the temperature dropping substantially. The average temperature is normally between 18-20 Degree Celsius which is why the days at Upper Mustang are blazing.
Trekkers of Upper Mustang are truly disinterested in traveling the region during winter as it stands harsh weather. The climate is not so amicable with temperatures falling up to -25 Degree Celsius at night.
Frequent snowfall makes the trail slippery and difficult to walk over. Likewise, the cold in winter is intense and disturbing because of which many trekkers avoid doing the trek of Upper Mustang in winter although it’s achievable.
Day 01: Drive/fly to Pokhara
Maximum Altitude: 1,400 meters
Drive Distance: 200.9 km
Drive Duration: 6-7 hours
After early breakfast, we’ll head to Pokhara on a private jeep via Prithvi Highway. The long-running course passes through some of the most picturesque villages and green verdure. The high road has us fleeing Trishuli and Marsyangdi rivers which offer a breathtaking view.
The ride takes between 6-7 hours from Kathmandu during which you’ll get to sight the sublime hills and valleys. Upon arriving at the city, we’ll get to witness the staggering mountains including Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Tukuche Peak. Overnight stay in a hotel at Pokhara.
Day 02: Fly Jomson from Pokhara and Trek to Kagbeni
Maximum Altitude: 2,804 meters
Flight Distance: 67 km
Flight Duration: 20-25 mins
Trek Distance: 5-6 hrs
The first thing we’ll do in the morning today is taking a flight to Jomsom which lasts about 20-25 minutes. Since the weather is crisp and clear in the wee hours, we can easily catch a spectacular view of mountain ranges, gentle slopes, and hills.
The trip also boasts an incredible sight of the world’s deepest gorge and even Dhaulagiri. After landing at Jomsom airstrip, we’ll take a short recess to have breakfast and gather energy to walk the trail.
In next to no time, we’ll commence the trek by walking the vast sandy footway from the western side of the Kaligandaki riverbed. The trail here provides a lovely view of Tukuche, Nilgiri, and Annapurna massif along with some splendid landscapes.
After navigating through the trail for about 6 hours, we’ll finally reach Kagbeni. It’s a picturesque village roosted over a cliff, facing the confluence of the Kaligandaki River. The village is sublimely gorgeous with a green terrace farm, rock cliffs, and valleys.
Day 03: Trek to Ghiling
Maximum Altitude: 3,440 meters
Trek Distance: 11.2 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hrs
Today’s trek is a bit long and exhausting so we’ll start the journey ahead of time. Since the trail is a bit rugged, we’ll go easy at the start and pick the speed at length. Moreover, the trek from Kagbeni to Ghiling is about to take us somewhere between 5-6 hours.
The trail has us crossing two stunning passes, Dajori La and Taklam La which provides awe-inspiring views. Along the trail, we can witness the glorious Tilicho, Damodar Danda, and Ramchung cave. As we proceed ahead, the trail descends downhill to join Samar Village.
The tract from the settlement walks continuously downward on the steep slopes to reach Ghilin. Upon reaching the village, you’ll get to sight stunning landscapes, huge rocks, and vertical cliffs. Overnight stay in a lodge at Ghiling.
Day 04: Trek to Tsarang
Maximum Altitude: 3,570 meters
Trek Distance: 11 km
Trek Duration: 7 hours
After breakfast, we’ll start our day cross walking Nyi La Paa which offers a breathtaking view. As we pass through small tea houses and villages, the trek gets difficult with steep ascents above the barley field that head towards Nyi Pass.
From here, the trail descends hillside and passes Ghami village where most trekkers stop by to have lunch. Next, the trail slopes down and walks over Ghami Khola before mounting upward to the hill and passing over Tasrang La Pass.
Throughout the course, we get some impressive countryside views of rough mountains in the west and unique landscapes. In the last few hours of trekking, our trail rambles through old monasteries and mani walls to reach Charang.
In short, it’s a magnificent village located in Mustang with charming valleys, colorful flat-topped ridge, and steep escarpment. Similarly, there are plenty of hidden caves and old buildings with historic significance to visit here.
Day 05: Trek to Lo-Manthang
Maximum Altitude: 2,840 meters
Trek Distance: 11.5 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
Sticking to the predetermined Upper Mustang Trek 10 days itinerary, today we’ll trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang. The journey kicks off with a continuous descent to the deep cleft and across the river before it scrambles steep hills.
From here, the trail runs uphill towards Lo Pass and then gently retreats from the cliff to get to the glorious walled village of Lo Manthang. The trail in this section is quite interesting as it offers breathtaking views of desolate landscapes, exquisite terrains, ancient ruins, and plateaus.
Day 06: Explore around Lo-Manthang
After the frantic walk yesterday, it’s high time we take a day-off and enjoy the sublime beauty of Lo-Manthang. Thus, after having breakfast, we’ll set off on a trip to this walled-city which has more than hundreds of houses.
L-Manthang is fascinating, filled with plateaus, flat terrains, and the deserted valley with high cliffs and mud walls. There are many incredible spots where we can’t help but stop and explore like The Royal Palace, Jampa Lhakhang, and Thubchen Gompa.
Colorful mud houses and ancient buildings, dating back to 1400 years have enhanced the splendor of Lo-Manthang. You can witness the beautiful craft and architecture in the prehistoric monasteries like Naya Gompa and Choprang Gompa. You can also witness the Tibetan plateaus from atop the ridge. We’ll spend the night in a tea house at Lo-Manthang.
Day 07: Trek to Ghami
Maximum Altitude: 3,810 meters
Trek Distance: 16.1 km
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
After the unforgettable trip to Lo-Manthang, it’s time for us to return to the trail which leads south to Kagbeni. Since the trails are bumpy here, we’ll set off on a trip to the valley which has incredible sights to offer.
Since the trail is zigzagged, we initially ascend the hill and lead the way through Chogo La Pass. The fabulous Lo-Manthang starts to fade as we scramble uphill before walking the way down beside the glistening mountains.
From here, we slowly pave the way to Ghar Gumba which’s relatively easy to navigate following new single track-routes. On our way to Ghami, we’ll have to cross two passes above 4000 meters, gazing into Mustang valley.
There are lots of religious and historical sites to explore in this part of the region including Ghar Gumbaon. After trekking for about 6 hours through Dhakmar and enjoying the magnificent view of Nilgiri, we’ll finally arrive at Ghami. Overnight stay in a tea house at Ghami.
Day 08: Trek to Samar
Maximum Altitude: 3,700 meters
Trek Distance: 13.2 km
Trek Duration: 6-7 hrs
It’s day 08 of Upper Mustang Trek 10 days itinerary and today’s we’ll trek from Ghami to Samar. The journey takes about 6-7 hours through the arid and uninhabited land which is blessed with majestic sceneries.
The trek to Samar is relatively easy with most of the course sloping downward. Heading towards Ghami, we’ll take a few ascents up the bridge and then descend, proceeding towards Nyi La. The route makes us cross the streams and scale a beautifully painted Chorten before finally getting to Samar.
Day 09: Trek to Muktinath and about one hour drive to Jomsom
Maximum Altitude: 3,760 meters
Trek Distance: 16.7 km
Trek Duration: 6-7 hrs
Drive Distance: 23.9 km
Drive Duration: 1 hour
We’ll start today’s trek early in the morning with a gentle walk towards Chungsi Cave monastery. It then works its way besides the vertical canyon wall and to the deep valley that meets the riverbed of Kali Gandaki.
The route to Muktinath passes Gyu La Pass and follows the Annapurna Circuit Trek route which serves with an absolutely breathtaking vista. The trail passes many primeval villages in the region and walks beside pristine snow-capped mountains including Annapurna.
Following the trail, we’ll ascend up the Jhong River Valley that comes with spectacular views. The route through the old hamlet leads us to Muktinath which is a holy place to both Hindu and Buddhists.
Muktinath is a beautiful temple of Lord Vishnu sitting at the foot of the Thorong La Pass. After offering the prayers and taking a quick tour of the pilgrimage including 108 bathing spouts, we’ll continue our hike down the valley to Jharkot and Khingar.
With most of the trail descending downward, we’ll relatively have an easy time walking the area until taking the ride. The path comes with truly amazing views of stunning monasteries so the trip is going to be a lot comfier.
Starting from here, we’ll lose altitude and gradually meet the Kali Gandaki River Valley. The expedition takes in some of the most impressive places, providing a terrific view of lustrous meadows, rolling hills, and stone-built walls. After driving through the scenic valley for about an hour, we’ll finally turn up to Jomsom. Overnight stay in a lodge at this wondrous village.
Day 10: Drive back from Jomson to Pokhara
Maximum Altitude: 1,400 meters
Drive Distance: 155.3 km
Drive Duration: 6-7 hours
As the Upper Mustang Trek 10 days itinerary draws to an end, we’ll head back to Pokhara today. Thus, after the delicious morning meal to relish along with the scenic vista of Jomsom, we’ll take the jeep ride.
As the distance from Jomsom to Pokhara is more than 155.3 km, it’ll take us nearly 6 hours to reach the city. The trip is quite riveting with the staggering view of unique landscapes, quiet forests, patchwork fields, and mountains. The road moving through Kali Gandaki and further is a bit rough but exciting, running beside towering hills and gushing rivers to arrive at Pokhara.
Food and Accommodation during Upper Mustang Trek 10 days Itinerary
To spend a collective 10 days in Upper Mustang, you must be prepared in advance for food and accommodation. The dwellings in Mustang vary from lodges to guest houses but as you go higher, the option becomes limited and comes all the way down to tea houses.
The services in tea houses are basic as compared to shelters that are well-equipped and properly maintained. You shall expect nothing but a comfortable bed, a nice pillow, and a bedsheet to sleep. They are affordable and even the service is standard which is a great deal for the price.
Food served along the way to Upper Mustang is appetizing and warm. People normally use local products and vegetables from the farm to prepare dishes which is why the food here is healthy. Lunches and dinner usually have typical Nepali dishes such as pulses, rice, veggies, pickles, and some palatable side dishes.
But, it doesn’t mean you just have to have the same food every other day. For your comfort, the lodges and tea houses offer different other items to the guests including noodle soup, flatbread, and curry as well as healthy snacks.
Trekkers shall be spending somewhere between US$25 and US$30 on average during Upper Mustang Trek 10 Days Itinerary. If you travel the region during a prime trekking season, the cost can be a bit higher than usual.
Preparation for Upper Mustang Trek 10 Days Itinerary
In brief, the trail to Upper Mustang is dramatically harsh and brutal with high cliffs and dry terrains which is why trekkers need to be more prepared than the usual hiking. Besides, from weather to accommodation and physical fitness, they must take care of everything in advance.
Just because it’s no mountain doesn’t mean the Upper Mustang trek is easy. In fact, it has one of the toughest trek routes filled with rocks and sand. Also, the trail walks over high cliffs and barren land which is equally hard and exhausting to walk.
Thus, you must have the strong physical strength and mental health to withstand the difficulties in the expedition. In addition, train your body hard enough so that it can resist the pressure and frequently changing terrains. Therefore, following an intense fitness regimen and strict diet to improve physical stamina.
In particular, you can also take a couple of short and long hikes in extreme weather conditions so that it won’t be too hard for you to adapt to the climate. Altitude sickness can become a problem for many travelers so give your body proper rest and if possible take a day rest. Moreover, try managing the mental stress by getting Carry all the stuff required for the trek and stress and hassle.
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Hikers surely need to prepare all the essentials required for the Upper Mustang Trek 10 days itinerary. Hence, you must be extra careful and considerate of what you pick. Consider the time of the trek and pack the items accordingly. Furthermore, winters are extremely cold in Mustang so grab warm clothes and high-insulated trek boots to stand snow.
Similarly, if you’re traveling during spring or autumn, the weather is a bit mild and humid so carry light clothes that absorb sweat. Some of the essential equipment you need during the Upper Mustang Trek 10 Days itinerary is as follows.
- Fiber-filled jacket to resist howling wind and cold
- Comfortable walking trousers
- Lightweight trekking t-shirts/shirts both long sleeve and short
- Waterproof jacket and rain gear that’s breathable
- Sturdy mountaineering boots that are easy walking on
- High-insulated trek shoes for winter
- A few pair of trekking socks or liner socks
- Water purification tablets
- Emergency kit and medical supplies
- Power bank, charger, and torchlight
- Toiletries, hand sanitizer, and sunglasses