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Upper Mustang Circuit Trek

0
  • Country
    CountryNepal
  • Duration
    Duration16 Days
  • Max-altitude
    Max. Altitude3800 M.
  • Best season
    Best SeasonJanuary - November
  • accommodation
    AccommodationHotel and Lodge
  • Group
    StylePrivate Tour

The Upper Mustang Yara Ghara Trekking is a unique and off-the-beaten-path trekking experience in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. Upper Mustang is a restricted area that requires a special trekking permit, making it a less crowded and more exclusive trekking destination.

The trek starts with a scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, a small town located in the Mustang district. From Jomsom, the trail gradually ascends through arid landscapes, ancient Tibetan villages, and dramatic rock formations.

One of the highlights of this trek is Yara Ghara, a hidden village nestled amidst stunning cliffs and caves. Yara Ghara is renowned for its centuries-old Buddhist cave monastery, known as Luri Gompa. The monastery houses ancient murals, manuscripts, and statues, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region.

As you continue the trek, you will pass through picturesque villages like Tangbe, Chhusang, and Tsarang, where you can witness traditional Mustangi architecture, prayer wheels, and vibrant Buddhist monasteries. The trail also provides breathtaking views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Annapurna mountain ranges.

The Upper Mustang Yara Ghara Trekking usually takes around 14-16 days, including acclimatization and exploration days.  Please note that due to its remote location and restricted access, the Upper Mustang region has preserved its unique Tibetan culture and pristine natural beauty. This trek offers an extraordinary opportunity to explore a hidden gem of Nepal and immerse yourself in the ancient traditions and stunning landscapes of Upper Mustang.

Overall, this part of the trek showcases the natural and cultural wonders of the Mustang region, allowing you to experience the beauty of the landscape and the hospitality of the local people.

How difficulty is Upper Mustang Trek? 

The Upper Mustang circuit trek is considered as challenging trek due to its high elevation and dry air. While walking in high altitude you might find yourself struggling to catch your breath and wondering why it is difficult? It’s important to remember that you are travelling from low altitude and it takes some days to acclimatation your body in high altitude.

Just like many other treks in the Himalayas of Nepal, Upper Mustang also share uphill and downhill stretches. You’ll have to climb high mountain passes and descend to the local villages. But don’t worry, because the breathtaking views of the mountains and the amazing experience of being in the fascinating Kingdom of Lo make all the effort fantastic and totally worth it.

Before embarking on this adventure, it’s recommended to be in good physical shape and dedicate some extra time to exercise, focusing on both cardiovascular fitness and strengthening your leg muscles. Additionally, when arranging your travel insurance, ensure it covers high-altitude trekking.

When to go Upper Mustang ?

The best times to go on the Upper Mustang trek are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these times, you’ll enjoy dry and clear weather with very little rain. The temperatures are perfect for hiking, and you’ll have sunny skies and incredible mountain views.

However, it’s important to know that Upper Mustang doesn’t get much rain throughout the year because it’s in a rain shadow area behind the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountains. This means you can even trek there during the monsoon season (June to August) without worrying about rain.

On the other hand, it’s not a good idea to trek in the winter season (December to February). It gets very cold, and heavy snow can cover the trails, making the journey much harder.

Trekking permits require to Upper Mustang.

Upper Mustang shares its border with Tibet, making it a restricted area. This means that to enter the region, tourists need to pay a high permit fee. The fee for the Restricted Area Permit is US $ 500 per person for 10 days, and an additional US $ 50 per day after the initial 10 days.

The RAP is valid from Kagbeni to the point of re-entry into Kagbeni village. Additionally, each trekker must obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), which costs Rs. 3000 per trekker and remains valid for the entire duration of the trek.

Please note that restricted area permits are only issued by authorized trekking companies in Nepal. You cannot trek alone in Mustang, you must be part of a group of at least two persons to obtain the permit.

We need original passport with valid visa to obtain the Upper Mustang Restricted area permit.  

A day in a Trek.

You will start a day with a beautiful sunrise at your teahouse. You will wake up and get freshen and enjoy your breakfast. The local tea houses offer breads, eggs, tea, coffee and sometime cereals.

Normally you will start walk around 7-8 am to reach the next destination before dark, with an average of 5-6 hours walk each day. Your all stuffs will be carried by our porters where you have to carry your day pack with you. Along the way you will encounter stunning landscapes, religious symbols like chortens and Mani walls, ancient monasteries, caves, showcasing local faith Buddhism.

After hours of trekking, stop at a local teahouse for Lunch where you can choose your foods or eat what’s offered. Normally in lunch they provide rice, curry, lentils, noodles, Momos and some local available foods.

At the end of the day, stay at local teahouse, enjoying light snacks, soup and dinner. You will socialize with fellow trekkers, find warmth under good quality blankets or use your own sleeping bags. After dinner you can enjoy board games, cards or other entertainment with your guide and porters.

Accommodation and Foods.

The Mustang trek offers basic teahouse accommodations. A teahouse is similar to a simple mountain lodge where trekkers can eat, sleep, and socialize with fellow hikers. Most teahouses provide basic twin-sharing accommodations with shared bathrooms. However, in modern guesthouses, attached bathrooms are available up to Lo- manthang. The bathrooms have either Western-style or squat toilets. For shared bathrooms, they offer hot shower facilities separately. Blankets are provided for sleeping, but it’s a good idea to bring your own sleeping bag. During the peak season, securing single rooms can be quite challenging.

The dining areas are typically heated using fuel, and they use solar panels or electricity for lighting. Most lodges offer charging facilities with a small fee.

Meals, typically breakfast and dinner, are enjoyed at shared tables in the same teahouse where you are staying, while lunch is provided on the way where teahouses are available.

Our Guide and Sherpas.

We know our region really well because we were born and raised in Nepal. We understand the details and traditions of our area better than anyone else. Our Upper Mustang circuit with Yara Ghara trek is led by experts who know a lot about Mustang and its Buddhist culture. Specifically for the Mustang region, we have guides who have studied Buddhism extensively and even spent years living as monks in monasteries.

We never offer things that we haven’t experienced ourselves, and we don’t promise things that can’t be done during the trip. We carefully choose our guides, porters and drivers, they undergo thorough training to make sure your journey is enjoyable and safe.

Photos
Itinerary

Day 1

Kathmandu arrival.
You will be welcomed by one of our representative and will be driven to hotel. Rest of the time you can stroll around streets of Thamel.
Overnight at Hotel.

Day 2

Flight/ drive to Pokhara (822 Meters.)
You can either catch a flight or drive to beautiful Pokhara valley. The drive duration is about 6-7 hours and the flight duration is 30 minutes. It is suggested to catch a flight as you will have more time in order to spend at Pokhara.
Overnight at Hotel | Foods: Breakfast.

Day 3

Fly Jomsom and Trekking to Kagbeni (4 hours 2804m 9199 ft.)
The scenic, and adventurous 16 minutes flight will take you to small, windy place surrounded by amazing landscape, Jomsom. From Jomsom you will start to walk towards Kagbeni which will take about 4 hours. You can explore many monasteries on the way. Jomsom in the past was a trans-Himalaya salt trade route for many Tibetan traders.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 4

Kagbeni to Chele (5 hours 3570m/10072 ft.)
The day starts with a mandatory permit check and an easy hike alongside the Kaligandaki River, where you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the sandy and windy trails. The route includes both uphill and downhill sections. Our first destination is Tangbe village, characterized by its charming whitewashed houses and surrounded by fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, and apple orchards. From Tangbe, we proceed on our trek towards Chhusang. After a relaxed hike of approximately one hour, we reach the village of Chele.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 5

Chele to Ghiling (3475m/11712 ft. 6 hours)
After having breakfast, we embark on our journey to Eklo Bhatti, passing through the Taklam La Pass at an altitude of 3,624m (11,923 ft.). As we make our way, we will witness vast plateaus and narrow passages, offering breathtaking views of Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Descending further, we reach Samar village. Following the same route, we continue to reach Syangboche. Along the way, we can enjoy the soothing presence of cool streams and the fragrance of juniper trees. The dried juniper leaves hold significance for the locals, who use them as incense to invoke deities and commence any auspicious activities. As we continue, we will also come across the renowned Ramchung Cave dating back to 8 century. You will get a lot of insight on Buddhism and the renowned Padmasambava, as it is believed he meditated at the cave. The festival of Yarthung is celebrated every year in Mustang region after works in field is finished. Enjoying the sips of salt butter tea known as suchiya we spend our night at Ghiling.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 6

Ghiling to Charang (3475m/11712 ft. 5 hours).
Hiking through the village, there are barren hills, and we can see the Nyi La pass ahead. The path gradually descends towards the Ghami La pass, where we spot a deserted village downstream. The landscape becomes rougher, with a deep riverbed carving its way from the red cliffs. Massive sand dune-like hills loom ahead. A wide valley enters from the left, nestling Ghami, the third-largest town in Mustang. Moving further from Ghami, we follow the path leading to Charang accompanied by Chortens and monastery. Gaining and losing altitude we finally reach Charang.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 7

Charang to Ghar Gompa and Lo Mangthang (3840 m./12598 ft. 5/6 hours).
Embarking on an exciting journey, we make our way towards the wonderful destination of Lo Mangthang. Along the way, we encounter significant landmarks such as the historic Ghar Ghompa, which holds the distinction of being the oldest monastery in Nepal. Our hiking trail also takes us through the remote village of Dhakmar, offering a glimpse into its unique culture and way of life. As we cross the river, the path becomes steep, unveiling breathtaking vistas of the surrounding scenery. Descending along a lesser-known route, we eventually reach Charang, experiencing the beauty of the landscape along the way. The trail continues with a gentle ascent, leading us to the windy Lo Pass at an elevation of 3,850 meters, where the captivating Lo Manthang Valley comes into view. As we descend towards Lo Manthang, the walled city on the Tibetan Border reveals its grandeur, nestled amidst the rolling hills. Our stay in Lo Manthang is accompanied by the comfort and hospitality of a local hotel.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 8

Lo-Mangthang exploration day.
After enjoying our morning meal, we will embark on a leisurely walk back to the hotel, following our visit to three magnificent monasteries in Lo-Mangthang: Chode Gompa, Jampa Monastery, and Thupchen Gompa. Alternatively, you may choose to explore the renowned Tall Champed Lakhang "God house," the vibrant red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, and the captivating Entrance Hall, which are among the main attractions in this town. The four-story royal palace building stands out, offering panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas that surround the area.

Among the many remarkable caves in the upper Mustang region of Nepal, the Jhong cave in Chooser stands out. This cave has piqued the interest of archaeologists from around the world, who are keen to unravel the secrets hidden within Nepal's sky caves. The upper Mustang region's enigmatic caves, with their multi-story man-made structures, have captivated researchers. Additionally, the practice of sky burial still persists in this region, adding to its unique cultural significance.

Note: it is suggested to take a horse ride which will provide you a differently satisfying experience or use available jeeps as using mode of transportation, will save your time and you can explore Lo Mangthang in more comfortable way and cover most of the amazing places.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 9

Trek to Yara (3607m 11834 ft.  5-6 hrs.)
Today's trail takes us to the enchanting and once-forbidden kingdom nestled in a remote and breathtaking land, with its remarkable Tibetan-influenced monasteries, mesmerizing canyons, and majestic gorges that mark the border with Tibet. We embark on a six-hour journey on foot, crossing a bridge and passing through the picturesque villages of Dhigaun and Surkhang. After a well-deserved lunch break and some rest in the charming village of Dhi, surrounded by lush farming fields, we continue along a scenic path that follows the meandering river until we finally reach the captivating destination of Yara.

Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 10

Trek to Tengbe (6-7 hrs. 3240m/10629 ft.)
Our trek today begins with a descent from the mesmerizing village of Yara, immersing ourselves in the arid landscapes adorned with breathtaking scenery. As we traverse through this remote region, we encounter the rich Tibetan culture and have the opportunity to explore ancient monasteries that add to the allure of the area. Crossing the Dhechyang Khola, we are treated to awe-inspiring vistas that leave us in awe. Along the way, we may come across the Shaligram, a captivating black-colored Fossil. This fossil holds great significance in Hindu religion, with devotees offering prayers and worship to the stone, symbolizing Lord Shiva. Trekking in this restricted and pristine part of Nepal truly offers an unforgettable and remarkable experience.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 11

Trek to Tetang (9hrs walk, 3067m/10062 ft.)
Today's journey promises to be a long and fulfilling one. After breakfast, we embark on a challenging climb, ascending a series of steps that lead us to a picturesque suspension bridge. Crossing this bridge, we are greeted by the majestic Yak River, flowing gracefully amidst the rugged terrain. As we continue along the trail, witnessing an ever-changing display of cloud formations, adding a touch of mystique to our adventure.

Our path gradually leads us to a terraced hill, reaching an impressive altitude of 4310 meters. Standing atop this hill, we are rewarded panoramic views of the magnificent Damador Himal and the soaring Saribung peak, both towering at an impressive elevation of approximately 6346 meters. The sight of these majestic peaks serves as a reminder of the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds us.

Descending from the hill, we are greeted by the charming Chusang village, its traditional dwellings nestled amidst the stunning landscape. As the day draws to a close, we find us resting in the tranquil village of Tetang, where we can rejuvenate our spirits and prepare for the adventures that lie ahead.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 12

Trek back Muktinath (3800m/ 12467 ft. 8 hours)
Today's trek promises to be a truly memorable experience as we make our way across the peaceful Gyu la pass, situated at an elevation of 4077 meters. The trail ahead is gentle and offers stunning views that will surely captivate your senses. The tranquility of the surroundings might tempt you to pause and immerse yourself in the beauty that unfolds before you. It is moments like these that will forever be imprinted in your memory, reminding you of the remarkable journey through the restricted areas of Nepal.

As we continue our trek, we are blessed with panoramic vistas of majestic peaks such as Thorong peak, Nigiri, Tukuche, and the breathtaking Muktinath temple and its surrounding valley. The temple holds a special allure, as it serves as a sacred site where both Buddhist and Hindu devotees come together to offer their prayers. This harmonious coexistence of two religions is a testament to the religious harmony that thrives in this region.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 13

Trek back Jomsom (4 hours 2,743 m (8,999 ft.)
Today, we will descend along the trail that runs alongside the Kaligandaki River, eventually arriving at the town of Jomsom. As we make our way down, you will notice the strong breezes of wind that characterize this area, with the refreshing breeze brushing against your face. Once we reach Jomsom, you will have the option to relax at your hotel or take a leisurely stroll through the streets, soaking in the unique atmosphere of this charming town.
Overnight at Lodge | Foods: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 14

Fly back Pokhara.
The same adventurous 16 minutes flight on small twin otter plane will bring you back to Pokhara. You do have option of drive which will take about 7-8 hours on winding roads.

Overnight at Hotel| Foods: Breakfast 

Day 15

Fly back to Kathmandu.
You have the option to return to Kathmandu by taking a short 30-minute flight from Pokhara. Once back in Kathmandu, you can utilize your remaining time to explore the city and engage in some shopping. Whether you are looking for souvenirs, gifts, or personal items, Kathmandu offers a variety of options to cater to your shopping needs. Take this opportunity to find unique and meaningful treasures to bring back as mementos of your adventure or as thoughtful presents for your loved ones.
Overnight at Hotel| Foods: Breakfast 

Day 16

Departure day.
One of our representatives will take you to the international terminal in a private vehicle.
Foods: Breakfast.

Services Include
  • International & domestic airport transport as per the program.
  • 2 nights standard twin sharing hotel accommodation in Kathmandu.
  • 1 night standard twin sharing hotel accommodation in Pokhara.
  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle.
  • All standard 3 meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) during the trek.
  • Best available accommodation during the trek.
  • Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu flight.
  • Pokhara – Jomsom – Pokhara flight.
  • English speaking trekking guide.
  • The required number of porters to carry your luggage during the trek. (1 porter for 2 trekkers.)
  • Necessary entry permit fees & traveler TIMS card.
  • Upper Mustang special trekking permit (US $ 500 for 10 days).
  • Global Holidays Adventure sleeping baggage and duffel baggage, (refundable).
  • All necessary surface transport from Kathmandu and to Kathmandu.
  • All government taxes and official expenses.
Services Not Include
  • International airfare and necessary airport taxes.
  • Nepal entry visa fees (bring accurate USD cash and two Passport photographs).  
  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early return form mountain or late departure.
  • Temple & monasteries entry fees in Kathmandu and trekking.
  • Travel insurance which covers emergency rescue and evacuation.
  • All personal & bar expenses in Kathmandu and during the trek.
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (tipping is expected).
  • Personal necessary trekking equipment (see the trekking equipment page.)
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned above.
Map
Upper Mustang Trek Map
Upper Mustang Trek Map
FAQs

What is altitude sickness ?

Altitude sickness happens when you hike up to high elevation too quickly, and your body doesn’t can not adjust in lower lever of oxygen. It can get the symptoms of headache, It can result in symptoms such as a headache, feeling sick, vomiting, having trouble sleeping.

 

What steps can be taken to avoid altitude sickness?

If you traveling over 3000 meters elevation the first thing to avoid the sickness is you have to acclimatize your body few nights in low elevation and slowly climb up. A slower ascent is ideal for preventing altitude sickness. It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol when you’re at a high altitude.

what is the highest elevation during Upper Mustang trek ?

During our Upper Mustang Circuit Trek, you’ll cross passes ranging from 400 meters to 4310 meters in elevation.