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15 Days Upper Mustang Alternative Trek

Trip Facts

Weather

Weather -5°C to 15°C

Duration

Duration 15 Days

Difficulty

Difficulty Strenuous

15 Days Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom to Kagbeni after a scenic flight from Pokhara with pleasing views of mountains like Dhaulagiri (8167m), Nilgiri (7061m), Damodar (4890m), Annapurna (8091m), and many more. Along the way, you get to view the stunning Kaligandaki river valleys.

Following the views of the high Tibetan Plateau, you will explore the region of Upper Mustang. Taking an alternative trail from Samar via Chungsi cave, reach Ghilling. The trekking path joins at Jhaite and walking at a few intersections in the road then take a trekking trail to reach Ghami. Leaving Ghami, from the left side a trekking path takes you to Dakmar with an outstanding view of the world’s longest Mani wall and red cliff. We again leave the road behind and take a new trail via a beautiful pass to Tsarang. We walk to Marang and Ghar Gompa then after lunch crossing the tough and beautiful Chogo La Pass (4230m), you will arrive in Lo Mangthang. Observe the traditional houses of Lo Mangthang village and explore the royal palace and the impressive caves, including Shija Jhong caves, and en route Nagyal, Fuwa, Kymling, Chumjung, and Nymdo local villages.

Leaving Lomanthang behind, a gentle climb to Lo La pass, walk on the ridge for a while then reach another beautiful pass 4060m then a quite narrow and challenging but beautiful trail takes you to Dhee village for a lunch stop then continue to walk to Yara. Following the alternative trail to Dhey Khola is only the place for a lunch stop then a steep climb to the 4100-meter pass then downhill to Tange village. With a packed lunch, a 10-hour beautiful walk with Dhaulagiri View takes you to Tetang village passing Pa Pass ( 4183m.). Last day of the Upper Mustang will cross a pass with a packed lunch and end walk at Jhong then visit Muktinath temple and a short drive to Marpha village.

Visit the stunning monasteries that showcase Tibetan culture. Passing through the quaint villages, you will return to Marpha and then drive back to Pokhara. From the lake city of Pokhara, you will drive back to Kathmandu.

Since the region lies in the rain shadow, you can trek all year round. However, trekking is tough during winter due to harsh climatic conditions.

Background 

15 Days Upper Mustang Alternative Trek is a carefully designed itinerary with a challenging new trekking route to avoid roads. The alternative route takes you through unexplored local villages, caves, monasteries, and several 4000-meter passes with amazing Himalayan sceneries.

The landscape of Mustang is a barren moonscape of eroded sandstone pillars and discontinuous moraine terraces, which together present a colorful mosaic made principally of earthen reds, yellows, and browns. The trek to Mustang is through an almost treeless barren landscape. Strong winds generally howl across the area in the afternoon, generally subsiding at night. Being in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, Mustang has much less rain than the rest of Nepal.

About Us

We, at Nepal Alternative Treks and Expedition, are at your service to make your 15-day alternative trek to Upper Mustang memorable and hassle-free. You can customize the trip as per the requirements of your schedule. Be a part of the trek to witness the surreal views of the mountains. We cater to all your needs regarding travel services.

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Trip highlights:

  • Trek through unexplored villages and hidden nature, culture  taking alternative trekking path avoiding road.
  • Spiritual feeling as you explore ancient caves and monasteries.
  • Witness the breathtaking views of Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Dhaulagiri, and many more.
  • Learn about the culture of the local people and their way of living life near the Nepal-Tibet border.
  • Get an insight into the prehistoric village of Lo Manthang and visit the ancient palace.
  • The eye-catching view of landscapes and plateaus in the lap of the mighty Himalayas.

Day-to-day-Itinerary

Day 1

Drive to Pokhara

Day 1 Facts

Trekking Time Average

200km Drive
(Av. 6hr)

Accommodation

Hotel Kausi

Altitude

(850m./2805ft.)

After breakfast, We will head toward Pokhara by tourist bus. Following the winding roads through the Prithvi Highway, we leave the Kathmandu valley. We drive along the fierce Trishuli River. From the windows pane, you will catch the sight of rafters on the dashing rivers and peek at some mountains. Once you arrive at Pokhara, you can see a more precise view of the spectacular mountains like Mt. Machhapuchhre or Fishtail Mountain (6993m) and Annapurna (8091m). After some relaxation time at the hotel, you can explore the lakeside area. Overnight stay at hotel in Pokhara ( Hotel Kausi) .

Day 2

Fly to Jomsom – Trek to Kagbeni en route Lubra Village

Day 2 Facts

Trekking Time Average

22 minutes Flight
14km Uphill hike
(Av. 6hr)

Accommodation

Hotel Yac Donalds

Altitude

(2858m./9375ft.)

After breakfast in Pokhara, you will catch an early flight to Jomsom. The scenic flight to Jomsom offers an astonishing view of the mountains. After you reach Jomsom airport, the trek starts as you head towards Kagbeni. You will witness the spectacular landscape variation as you walk alongside the Kaligandaki River. After walking an hour to Panda Khola, you will take alternative trek path to Lubra village. You will have a lunch there and explore bon monastery and only the bon village -Lubra then a beautiful trail takes you to Kagbeni village, where the houses are unique and ornated with clay effigies. Stay overnight in Kagbeni .

Day 3

Trek to Chele

Day 3 Facts

Trekking Time Average

12km Uphill hike
(Av. 6hr)

Accommodation

Mustang Gate Guest House

Altitude

(3050m./10004ft.)

After having breakfast at Kagbeni, A short village tour will be organized then you will start the trek towards Chele. The trail includes walking alongside the bank of Kaligandaki River as you follow the trail with some ups and downs. Continuing the 6-hour trek, you will approach old stupas and some caves. You will have lunch at Tangbe after walking 4 hours . You will have a short village tour to explore old buildings, stupa, chhortens and people. There are some old chortens, narrow cobbled lanes and photogenic buildings to admire. Passing Chuksang along the way after an hour walk, you will ascend the cliff to reach Chele. Overnight stay at Chele.

Day 4

Trek to Ghilling

Day 4 Facts

Trekking Time Average

16km Uphill hike
(Av. 7hr)

Accommodation

Kunga Hotel

Altitude

(3570m./11781ft.)

After breakfast, you will have to prepare packed lunch as there are no lodges in new trekking path. From Chele, you trek towards Samar viewing Gyakar village on left side. You will pass through some dry meadows and monasteries. You will take alternative trekking path from Samar through Chungsi cave.  En route, you can catch the sight of Yaks passing by. The trail is a bit tough as you encounter the Pass (3,624m) and another  Pass (3735m). The 7-hours trek rewards you with astounding views of hills, plateaus, and the Himalayan ranges. Passing through exciting Chungsi caves, Syangboche and Yamada La pass the trail descends into Ghilling village. Overnight stay at Ghilling . In the evening, you can participate in Puja at Ghilling monastery . Stay at Ghilling .

Day 5

Trek to Dakmar

Day 5 Facts

Trekking Time Average

14km Uph/Downhill hike
(Av. 6hr)

Accommodation

Tenzin Riverside Guest House

Altitude

(3520m./11616ft.)

Have a breakfast then after a short village tour, You will trek towards Dakmar today. The trail initially ascend to Karki la Pass (4010m) from village. The trail starts to descend from here and meet road then we will take a left side alternative path to reach Ghami.

You will walk through the longest mani wall in Mustang at 305 m. Beyond the mani wall, a picturesque cluster of large chortens blend seamlessly with the backdrop of jagged cliffs, the grey, ochre and red paint clearly derived from and influenced by the colors of the landscape. Overnight stay at Dhakmar .

Day 6

Trek to Tsarang

Day 6 Facts

Trekking Time Average

14km Up/downhill hike
(Av. 5hr)

Accommodation

Doma hotel/Damodar Kunda Guest House

Altitude

(3500m./11480ft.)

After breakfast, visit a cave and short village tour then you will leave for another exciting village known as Tsarang. You ascend steep climb to across Pass (4000m), which offers a beautiful view of the Dakmar village and wide Himalaya range including Annapurna and Nilgiri. Following the downward slope, you will approach Tsarang village, where you will get to visit an impressive fortress and a red Gompa. Overnight in Tsarang village.

In the evening, you will a short village tour including old Tsarang Royal palace and Red Gompa during Puja time.

Day 7

Trek to Marang

Day 7 Facts

Trekking Time Average

10km Uphill hike
(Av. 4hr)

Accommodation

Marang Community Homestay

Altitude

(3810m./12573ft.)

After breakfast in Tsarang, you will leave for Marang. You will trek towards the upper route to avoid the road to Lo-manthang. It is a short walk and most popular Guru Ringpochhe Gompa -Ghar Gompa. Explore the antique rock paintings at Ghar Gompa. You will stay at Marang  .

This is the oldest monastery in Upper Mustang, dating from the 8th Century. It is said to have historical connections with Samye monastery in Tibet. The story goes that during the building of Samye Gompa, it kept being destroyed by demons at night. The Llamas dreamt that Guru Rinpoche could help them, and he traveled to Samye to defeat the demons and advised that a gompa must first be established at Lo Gekar. He returned to Mustang, slaying another demon at Lo Gekar (whose blood adorns the cliffs at Dhakmar), and Ghar Gompa was built .

Day 8

Trek to Lo-Mangthang

Day 8 Facts

Trekking Time Average

13km Up/downhill hike
(Av. 5hr)

Accommodation

Lotus Holiday Inn

Altitude

(3700m./12136ft.)

Today, the trek starts from Marang, accompanied by a great view of the barren plateaus. Crossing a Marang La Pass (4230m), You may get to see some blue sheep and other wild animals on the way. The epic views of the Himalayas accompany you, making the walk delightful. After following through a long descent, you will arrive at Lo -manthang.

Lo Mangthang is a beautiful village with a rich history. Home to the ancient palace of Lo, you will get a glimpse of the beautiful mountains such as Nilgiri, Annapurna I, and Bhrikuti Peak. Overnight stay at Lo-manthang .

After lunch, you will visit old Royal palace which was built in 15th century by first king of Mustang Amed pal. You will visit Thupchen Monasteries, Jampa Monasteries , Chode Monasteries and Monastic Museum.

Day 9

Explore the Lo-Mangthang

Day 9 Facts

Accommodation

Lotus Holiday Inn

Today is an excursion day around Lo- Manthang village. You will hike to Chhoser and visit the striking Jhong Caves or Sky caves, Nyaphu cave and various monasteries. The cave itself is a wonder to many researchers as the assumption says that the caves were built as a burial ground, hiding place, or for mediation. You will also visit the Namgyal Gompa and Ani Gompa. After exploring the mysterious cave, you will head back to Lo Mangthang. Overnight stay at Lo Manthang.

Day 10

Trek to Yara

Day 10 Facts

Trekking Time Average

17km Up/Downhill hike
(Av. 7hr)

Accommodation

Saribung Hotel & Lodge

Altitude

( 3650m./12045ft.)

Heading south from Lo Manthang the turn off for Dhi is on the left shortly after Lo La pass . This is the start of a spectacular alternative trekking trail that will have you beaming with delight and in awe of the landscape.  Dhi itself is reached after a ridge hike that runs parallel to the Tsarang-Lo Manthang road and Dadhunkha pass ( 4126m) , followed by a steep descent surrounded by towering columns of crumbling cliffs. The picturesque village sits on the banks of the Kali Gandaki, a cluster of houses and a spread of fields and trees. It’s usual to stop for lunch before carrying on to Yara .

Day 11

Trek to Tange

Day 11 Facts

Trekking Time Average

18km Up/ Downhill hike
(Av. 8hr)

Accommodation

Hotel Shambala

Altitude

(3340m./11022ft.)

After breakfast, the trail begins with gentle ascend then walk gradually for a while. You will descend to a suspension bridge then reach Dhe Khola after 3 hours walk from Yara. After having lunch there steep climb to pass and walk downhill to a beautiful village Tange.

Tange is the most beautiful village in Upper Mustang (in our humble opinion). The adventurous trek to get here makes it all the more spectacular. The view from the final descent to Tangge, tucked in beneath more impossibly formed rock faces, will have you grinning ear to ear. The village setting is beautiful, with an expansive riverbed below and classic Mustang mountains all around. But it’s the numerous colorful chortens and exquisite mani wall that really make your jaw drop. Add some extra friendly locals and roaming Mustang horses to the mix and you’ve got a village that really takes hold of your heart. Overnight in Tange  .

Day 12

Trek to Tetang

Day 12 Facts

Trekking Time Average

24km Up/ Downhill hike
(Av. 10hr)

Accommodation

Hotel Salt Born

Altitude

3200m./10560ft.

Today is the longest day of the trek and also most beautiful walk ( on our humble opinion) so be sure to leave early.  There is nowhere to get lunch on the trail, so you must bring a packed lunch from your lodge in Tange. You can sometimes get water from a small spring at Pa, but it’s best to carry enough for the whole day, just in case it’s dry.

The day starts with a grueling 800 metre / 3+ hours ascent from the riverbed to the top of the cliffs you’ve been looking over to. Prayer flags welcome you at the top, as does a spectacular view reaching far and wide. The trail to the abandoned settlement of Pa is more rolling, trekking through a landscape now dotted with small pink and red thorny bushes. After Pa you’ll be treated to some truly outstanding rock formations, masses of spiked rocky pinnacles shot through with grey, white, ochre and rust. In the distance, the snowy peaks of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri and friends remind you that you are actually in Nepal and not some alien land. The final 900 metre descent to Tetang is in three stages – descent, plateau, descent, plateau, descent, Tetang. The initial descent is the most challenging, steep and slippery underfoot, and the notorious high winds of the region can make it even more tricky. Overnight at Tetang  .

Day 13

Trek to Muktinath – Drive to Marpha

Day 13 Facts

Trekking Time Average

16km Up/ downhill hike
(Av. 6hr)
02 hrs/ drive

Accommodation

Paradise Guest House

Altitude

(2600m./8500ft.)

It’s another long day with a fairly steep 1100 meter ascent to the pass, followed by an easier 400 meter descent. Again, you’ll need a packed lunch and enough water for the journey.

The scenery makes up for the hard slog, and you’ll have panoramic views from the pass of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche peaks. Muktinath is a holy place, with many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims journeying here. It is also where trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit descend to after crossing the Thorong La, so it’s a busy place!

You will jump on jeep and drive to Marpha. Stay overnight  in Marpha.

Day 14

Drive to Pokhara

Day 14 Facts

Trekking Time Average

140km Drive
(Av. 6hr)

Accommodation

Hotel Kausi

Altitude

(820m./2706ft.)

After breakfast, you will head to Pokhara by overland. Gazing at the adventurous trails on the lap of the Himalayan Mountains and lush green hills via world’s deepest Kaligandaki gorge, Nepal’s most beautiful Rupse Waterfall and popular Natural hot spring ” Tatopani” , you will arrive in Pokhara. You will head straight to the hotel and refresh. Later, you may explore the city and the famous Lakeside area. In the evening, you will enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the lake city. Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara .

Day 16

Drive to Kathmandu

Day 16 Facts

Trekking Time Average

200km Drive
(Av. 6hr)

Altitude

( 1295m./4273ft.)

After breakfast, you bid goodbye to the precious Mt. Fishtail and Mt. Annapurna. You will catch a tourist bus and head towards Kathmandu. Watching the scenic beauty along the Prithvi Highway, you will reach your hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu, after 6 hours on the road. Enjoy the completion of the trek as you treat yourself at one of the most excellent restaurants. Overnight in Kathmandu.

What do you get in the Trip?

Included

  • Tribhuwan International Airport transfer ( Airport – Hotel – Airport ) in Kathmandu.
  • Hotel accommodation in Pokhara
  • Lodge accommodation (Twin share) while on the trek
  • All Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during trek.
  • Upper Mustang special trekking permit and Annapurna conservation area project (ACAP ).
  •  One fluent English speaking, government registered, friendly trekking guide and required porters ( 1 porters for 2 persons).
  • Guide and porter’s meals, accommodation, salary and insurance etc.
  • Pokhara -Jomsom by flight.
  • Overland Transportation as per mentioned in Itinerary.
  • A mustang trek map, Oxygen saturation check up everyday, Duffle bag, Water purification, Company T-shirt and Trekking completion certificate etc
  • Public Liability Insurance.
  • Government tax and service charge

Excluded

  • Hotel accommodation and meals in Kathmandu.
  • All kind of hard /soft table drinks as Tea/coffee, coke, fanta, beer, mineral water, desert, battery charge and laundry etc.
  • Tips for guide and porters. ( Highly suggested)

Book the Trip

Currently, we do not have any scheduled group trips, but you are welcome to embark on the journey on a date that suits you best.

Book Now

Group Discounts Available

Group of 2 - 4 $1,850.00 PP $1,650.00 PP
Group of 5 - 8 $1,700.00 PP $1,600.00 PP
Group of 9 - 12 $1,650.00 PP $1,550.00 PP
Group of 13 - 16 $1,600.00 PP $1,500.00 PP
Group of 17 - 20 $1,550.00 PP $1,450.00 PP
Group of 21 - 25 $1,500.00 PP $1,400.00 PP

Need a private date?

The given rates are per person with guaranteed departure schedules. If the given dates are not appropriate for you, please feel free to contact us for requesting a new dates, we will gladly personalize the itinerary and schedule of the trip that fits for you.

Book a private date

Traveler Reviews

We trekked in Upper Mustang for 17 days and it was just amazing. Tej organised the tour very spontanously for us - big THANKS! We also adjusted the days as we wanted to do shorter distances per day and it worked out really good! We would recommend it to do slower than most agencys offer as you experience the region much better! Our staff (guide plus 3 porters) were really nice and helpful and our Guide Nauser also spoke really good english. Another thing to point out: we didn't trek on or near the road (only if there really was no other option) but always took alternativ paths, that led us to astonishing viewpoints and landscapes.

5.0

Laura Weber

Germany

We traveled in a group of three (my wife, her father and me) by trekking from north of Jomsom to Lo Manthang to visit the Tiji festival. The way back ended in Muktinath. We did a variation of the normal route to accommodate additional visits and stayed a couple of days longer in Mustang. The planning of our changes before our arrival in was very smooth and the company was flexible to fulfill our wishes. Additional costs (i.e. for a third porter) were responsible. When we arrived in Kathmandu we were welcomed by the chef’s wife and driven to our hotel. We meet the guide for the trek itself in Pokhara the night before the departure to Mustang. He went through the route with us and clarified open questions. The team (guide + 3 porter) was very friendly and helpful for the entire trip. The routes we took were safe,

Read More

5.0

Alexander Broszio

Germany

ESSENTIAL INFO

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Upper Mustang for trekking is during the spring and autumn seasons. During this time of the year, you will find a suitable climate to trek in. Annually, thousands of tourists including both national and international tourists come to Upper Mustang for trekking. At this time of the year, you will be able to travel in a clear sky at a stable temperature. Similarly, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The difficulty of this trek

There is some difficulty if you travel to Upper Mustang Trek. In addition, Upper Mustang is at a high altitude which adds to its difficulty. The most common difficulty that trekkers face during their trek here is altitude sickness. This sickness is life-threatening if it is not treated properly. So, you must come prepared for that. Furthermore, the trek trail is very difficult for new trekkers.

Travel insurance

We don’t provide you with personal insurance. you should have your insurance with you. So, you make sure that your insurance company has covered all your trekking-related facilities. Including all medical expenses, repatriation expenses, rescue mission, loss of property. Likewise, make sure that your insurance is not expired.

Meals and accommodations

Upper Mustang Trek is one of the longest treks there is in Nepal. Similarly, this trek lasts for 14 days. So, we make sure your diet is on point. We provide you with quality and healthy foods which include both Nepali and western food. Likewise, the accommodation facility we provide is also top class. We try our best to provide every facility for our consumers. In addition, the rooms and beds we provide are very comfortable and safe for your stay. Furthermore, the meals we provide can be adjusted as per the consumer’s wish.

Required Permit

Mustang Special Permit : USD 500 for 10 days and USD 50 per day for extra days.

ACAP : NPR. 3000 for foreigners and NPR 1000 for SAARC.

Note: Child below 10 years are free

Fitness and Experience requirement

Upper Mustang Trek is a very difficult and long trek. Annually, a lot of trekkers struggle to complete this trek. So, you must be physically and mentally fit. So, if you have some health issues then you cannot do this trek. Your heart and lungs should be perfectly fine if you want to enjoy and complete this trek. Similarly, you should not have any blood-related diseases. However, you should not be that experienced for the trek. But, you should have a little knowledge about the trek. You should not go there blindly.

Climate and weather

The climate and weather of the Upper Mustang are mostly cold and chilly. So, you must carry warm clothes with you. Similarly, the place is very remote so you should have all the essentials with you. But, the best time that you can do this trek is during the spring and autumn seasons. At his time of the year, you will find a moderate climate to trek in. Similarly, this trek also can be done during the monsoon season. Likewise, if you travel here during this time then this can multiply your fun and trekking experience during the trek.

Safety and security

The safety of our consumers is very important to us. We check every route for the trek. So, don’t worry you will be safe with us. In addition, we also take good care of the belongings of our trekkers. So, you should not worry about your belongings when you are traveling with us. Likewise, the accommodation facility we provide is also very safe for your stay.

Gear List

Gears required for the trek vary upon destination and season. A comprehensive list of gear for all activities is listed on our dedicated page of Trekking Gear List

Frequently
Asked Questions

We value
Service Excellence

We have the best team and array of services to provide a lifetime experience to all our travelers. Right from the airport pickup to a customized tour, we do the utmost to make sure you experience a hassle-free trip. Likewise, all our trips meet the safety protocols along with the highest health and hygiene standards.

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