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Upper Mustang Trek Cost- When to trek , permit and best time to go

Upper mustang jeep tour

Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang trek lies in the Himalayan rain shadow, and this trek starts from Jomsom. You will have a scenic flight from Pokhara. Upper Mustang trek destination is suitable even in the monsoons. You will find the Upper Kali Gandaki quite dry during this time. To the fact that Upper Mustang trek is not particularly challenging.  You can experience different landscapes and cultures during this trek. Fortunately, this is the place that is still untouched by modernization and considered one of the least traveled areas of Nepal.

In Upper Mustang Trek, the highest point that you can reach is 3800 meters. Mustang is extremely cold during the time of winter. The climate and weather conditions of this trek in winter is mostly windy and dusty. The harsh weather is the major hindrances of this trek. The Wonderful Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom and leads you to the hidden Shangri-La of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang. This hidden kingdom is also called as Lo. It used to be part of the Tibetan empire and is clean sely connected to Tibet. In Mustang, Tibet, Buddhism is being practiced, and most of the villages are of the Tibetan style. The houses are decorated with whitewashed houses made of the firewood tucked on the roofs.

upper mustang trek

Generally, you can reach Upper Mustang with a full organized trek where you can stay in the local guest house, or you can do jeep tour also. Trekking to Upper Mustang can be achieved through hard work and overcoming the hardships. It is like a rare privilege. It offers you a great opportunity to experience a real way of life of mountain people.  You will see the true mountain people there who are very welcoming and warm-hearted. Moreover, you will get to know their living style of life and a good culture. You can see small guesthouses that are opened by some villages there.

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As per the previous records, Upper Mustang Trekking was declared officially visit able in 1992. However, limited numbers of trekkers were allowed each year. It is due to protect and conserve the local Tibetan tradition.

What is more surprising is that mustang trek reveals the forbidden Kingdom and arid valleys as well as eroded canyons and yak caravans.

Furthermore, you will get to see the colorfully painted houses made from mud and brick. This elegant, colorful homes are situated next to the majestic mountain of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna.

What might surprise you is this Upper Mustang Trekking is one of the best treks that is doable in Monsoon seasons also. It is because of its geographical location. It lies in the rain shadow area, which is north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. That is why this trekking is completely sheltered from the monsoon. The most significant perks of having this cultural trek in Monsoon seasons is you will get to see the local people who are busy in their everyday works. You can see the amazing contrast of the whole region with the wind-eroded hills, snow-capped mountains, red cliffs, etc. Hence, it is no doubt that Upper Mustang trek is once in a lifetime trek one must visit. Exploring the fascinating medieval Kingdom of Lo Manthang is lovely and gives you a heavenly pleasure.

Some of the major highlights of the Upper Mustang Trekking:

  • Upper Mustang trekking is equally doable and exciting even in Monsoon seasons. As the trekking region lies in the rain shadow area, worrying about the rain is avoidable.
  • Walking through many Gompas, Flapping prayer flags, Chortens, caves, rock paintings, and century-old monasteries you give you the spiritual feeling.
  • Catching the live glimpse of Tibetan influence, their culture and tradition is a wonderful feeling.
  • Visit Kali Gandaki Valley and its George, which is the deepest gorge in the world.
  • Have an enticing view of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other chains of mountains.
  • Visit one of the beautiful villages of Nepal, Classic Tibetan Kagbeni.
  • Explore the Lo-Manthang, which is the walled city and centuries-old Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries.
  • You can explore the elegant features of Mustang, such as Jomsom, Kagbeni, Tamara on, Ghemi, Gelling, and Tsarang.
  • Visit 1200 years old Ghar Gompa, and Khanpa caves in Chooser valley
  • There is various trekking package to choose from. Each of these trekking has extraordinarily different kinds of trekking traits. The beautiful Upper Mustang trek leads to the border of Nepal-Tibet of the Mustang region.

upper mustang trek

Outline of 12- Days Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary

Day 01- Drive to Pokhara

Distance: 900m

The first day of your trek starts with the exciting scenic drive to Pokhara. You will enjoy the fabulous scenery along with the joy. We assure you that the 6 hours’ drive is much enjoyable and provides you a breathtaking view of the outside surrounding. After you enter the Pokhara you will have unique feeling and excitement.

 

Day 02- Fly to Jomsom and then trekking towards Kagbeni

Distance: Jomsom (2725m), Kagbeni (2,800m)

The second day of the trip will leads you to the short morning flight to Jomsom. Jomsom is the district headquarters of Mustang. You will reach there, going along the way to the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki. The glorious view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri is extraordinarily beautiful. On this, you are suggested to take 20 mins stunning flight to the charming village Jomsom. After having a short morning tea walk, you will head towards Kagbeni, which is the Gateway to Upper Mustang.

 

Day 03- Trek to Chele

Distance: 3,050m

This day you will enter the restricted upper Mustang Area. Before this, you must complete all the paper formalities to get permission to enter there. From Kagbeni, you must walk to the extended trail with the view of Dazzling Nilgiri Mountain View.

 

Day 04- Trek to Syangboche (3,800m

Today your walk is a bit challenging, as you have to walk 6 hours in the steep trails. However, the green farming fields, along with much dynamic vegetation, will drive away your tiredness. South view of Syangboche will offer you the incredible view of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tilicho Peak, etc.

Day 05- Trek to Ghami (3,520m)
From Syanboche, a decent climb to a small pass will lead you to the lap of the mountains. Deep valleys, stunning mountain views are what you are offered to. Besides this, endless colorful gullies are equally beautiful.

Day 06- Trek to Lo-Manthang (3,840m)
Distance: 3800 m/1246ft
On this day, after 4-5 hrs of walking, you will reach the Plateau of Lo Manthang. This is the capital city of Mustang. You will have a spectacular view of Lo Manthang, If you have the extra day, you can have one extra exploration day at Lo Manthang. Exploring the fascinating place that consists of four major ancient Monasteries is very impressive. You can have the easy afternoon walk around Thinker summer palace if you are exhausted.

Day 07- Trek to Dhakmar
Distance: 3,820m
Trekking Duration: 7-8 hrs
The seventh day of the trek will lead you to different west terrain. Walking into the western terrain offers you the views of the incredibly Panoramic mountains. Few steep downhill trails could be the matter of challenge of this day. However, the views of Landscapes and the mountain in the southern part is awesome. The day concludes, leading you to the land of a red cliff called Dhakmar. Overnight at lodge in Dhakmar.

Day 8- Trek down to Syangboche
Now it’s time to retrograde your trekking journey by tracing to Syangboche. You will have ample time to recall your adventure and capture your digital device as well as the heart.

upper mustang trek

Day 09- Trek to Chhusang
Distance: 2,980m
Trekking Duration: 5-6 hrs
Getting your trail backs towards the south encounters the Chungsi Cave Monastery (most attractive cave). This cave is built on the side of the vertical canyon wall, the place where Padmasambhava meditated. You can have a delicious lunch at the small and pretty village of Samar. Descending to trails with a great view of Nilgiri, kali Gandaki is worth the arduous walk.

Day 10- Trek to Jomsom (2,720m)
On day 10 of the trek, trace back towards south directly reaching to Kagbeni. At this time, you will exit from the restricted area of Mustang of Chhusang. Trekking to Jomsom by having a beautiful easy walk along the beautiful trail is pleasurable. Enjoy your night by having fun activities such as dancing, eating, tipping, etc.
Overnight at Jomsom.

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Day 11- Fly to Pokhara
Take an early morning flight after having a delicious breakfast at the hotel in Jomsom. Flying from Jomsom to Pokhara is a wonderful way of revising the trekking journey. The flight passes through the Kali Gandaki Gorge that lies between the beautiful Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. In the evening, stroll around the beautiful city Pokhara and visit Lakeside Pokhara. View the sparkling sunset there.
Overnight at Hotel in Pokhara


Day 12- Drive back to Kathmandu

It is the time to conclude 12 days long Upper Mustang trek. This day, enjoy the scenic drive to Kathmandu. This trip takes around 6 hrs to reach Kathmandu. If you are in sort of time or bored through the drive you can also opt for the short flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, you can explore the famous Pashupatinath, Boudhanath stupa, and Kathmandu Durbar square. The very next day, our representative will drop you off to the International airport(TIA) for your final departure.

upper mustang trek

Cost and Permit of Upper Mustang Trekking

Upper Mustang was declared as the restricted area and was also forbidden to visit until 1992, for the foreigners. However, the restriction has been broken nowadays. But you will need to buy a permit of around US $ 500 per person. The permit needs to be arranged by the registered trekking agency and is valid only for 10 days. After that, each additional day will cost the US $50. Besides this, you should also have ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit that cost around USD 30 per person.

If we are talking about the transportation cost for the Upper Mustang Trek. It varies on the mode of transportation you take and several people you head for trekking. You should get the restricted permit at the main immigration office, located in Kathmandu, Nepal. You can opt for various traveling options to reach Mustang, such as local buses, tourist buses, flights, and private vehicles.

It cost around USD 8 to USD 30 per person for one way travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Other than that, the cost varies if you take additional services such as food, beverage, air-condition, wifi, etc. All in all, it costs around USD 1800 for the full package Upper Mustang Trekking cost.

Way Mode of TransportationTotal cost (per person)
Kathmandu-PokharaFlightUSD 123
Pokhara- JomsomFlightUSD 115
Pokhara-Jomsom-KagbeniDrive/Bus/jeep USD 30-40

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The following is the total cost of the Upper Mustang Trekking permit as per the rule of the Nepal Government:

  • The Restricted Permit cost is USD 500 per person for 10 days
  • Per day $50 is added for an additional day
  • ACAP(Annapurna Conservation Area Permit )Permit:$30 per person.
  • TIMS(Trekking Information’s Management System) card fees are NPR 1000 for group trekkers and NPR 2000 for Free Individual Trekker.

 

 

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