Upper Mustang Trek

The sacred, isolated Upper Mustang is tucked away on the less-traveled, "hidden" side of the Annapurna/Dhaulagiri Mustang District in the Himalayas. Despite being geographically located in Nepal, the region encircled by this trek bears a palpable Tibetan influence. Experience the spiritual wonder of thousand-year old monasteries, as well as chortens and gompas that all but blend into the landscape. This circuit is one off the beaten path in terms of Himalayan adventures, and the remoteness can be appreciated in the barren, undisturbed views and isolation of the traditional villages we visit. We organize this trek as either a camping trek, or a teahouse/lodge trek - the choice is up to you, and depends solely upon your wishes for exploring the culture and landscape.

    What's Included?

  • All airport transfers from arrival to departure
  • 12 day trek, all accommodations and meals included
  • 3 nights' accommodation in Kathmandu
  • 2 nights' accommodation in Pokhara
  • Round-trip surface transport to and from Kathmandu
  • English-speaking, government-licensed guide
  • Porter service
  • All applicable trekking and climbing permits
  • All necessary camping gear
  • Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Government taxes, entrance fee, equipment fee, and other applicable fees
  • First aid kit
  • Trip Certificate
  • Farewell Dinner
  * Accommodations include hotel stay while in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and a combination of teahouses, lodges, and camping accommodations while trekking. Price based on twin occupancy. An additional supplement for single travelers applies.
** Single porter shared between two travelers. Weight restrictions apply.
** Single travelers are accompanied by a guide. Additional charges will be applied for the services of a porter.

Day 1 - Kathmandu: Arrival Day

Welcome to Nepal! A representative will be waiting to welcome you to Tribhuvan International Airport and bring you to your hotel in Kathmandu. It's been a long flight, so enjoy the chance to rest! This evening, we'll hold a briefing on your adventure and what to expect regarding the trek.

Day 2 - Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Prep

Kathmandu is one of the world's great historic and spiritual landmarks. It contains more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other city in the world, and we'll be visiting some today as part of a whole day of sightseeing. We’ll visit Boudhanath, the world's largest Buddhist stupa, as well as the "monkey temple" of Swayambhunath and the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. We'll also see the historic and famous Durbar Square. You'll also have a chance to pick up any needed gear or clothing from Kathmandu's many trekking and mountaineering supply shops. This evening, you’ll be introduced to your trip leader and have the opportunity to have any last-minute questions answered

Day 3 - Kathmandu to Pokhara

We board the bus to Pokhara at around 6:00am today. The overland trip takes about six hours, leaving you the rest of the day to explore this popular city and ready yourself for the official start of our trek tomorrow.

Day 4 - Pokhara to Jomsom, Jomsom to Kagbeni

We hop a brief flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, where our trek officially begins - it's just 20 or 25 minutes in the air, but it's an exciting burst! You'll see the world's deepest gorge from overhead, and drink in spectacular aerial views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, the Annapurna range, and "Fishtail" Mountain. We set out on foot from Jomsom, the seat of the Kali Gandaki valley. We’ll trek 3-4 hours in the direction of Kagbeni, the checkpoint for the restricted trail to the Upper Mustang. We'll enjoy gorgeous mountain views on our first walk, and end the night in a cozy tea house or lodge.

Day 5 - Kagbeni to Chele

We kick off early again today! The Upper Mustang distinguishes itself from other Himalayan treks with a high wind that tends to get going later in the day. Consequently, we take advantage of the clement mornings as much as we can. Plus, we get the opportunity to watch the sun rising over Nilgiri. We start trekking along the east bank of the river, ending up in the Chuksang Valley and crossing the Kali Gandaki. The trail ascends to flat, dry land with the red sandstone pillars and colorful rock formations that are emblematic of the Mustang region. We’ll pass the village of Tangbe first, and then attain Chele with its stunning Himalayan views.

Day 6 - Chele to Syangboche

The trail curves westward today, and we climb steeply until we can see Jayakar peering back over the other side of a deep canyon. We follow the gorge at a right-hand turn in the trail to a very steep drop, and then cross a high pass with a great view of Samar and many snow-capped peaks. After passing Samar we come across Rangchyung chorten, the red-painted cave monastery and one of the Mustang region's holiest sites. The name translates as, "the chorten that formed itself," owing to the unusual development of stalagmites inside. Over the years, prayer flags and clay statues left by pilgrims have accumulated in the chorten. The final wal to Syangboche can feel longer than it actually is, owing to the fact that this leg of the trek involves near-constant ascent with no destination in sight. The chill of the higher altitude is with us when we finally get to the small village.

Day 7 - Syangboche to Ghami

Today’s trek kicks off eventfully - within the first fifteen minutes of walking, we will have already encountered the first of three (!) high passes we’ll have to negotiate today. After braving Yanda La, we pass a distinctive red chorten emblazoned with an octet of auspicious Buddhist symbols. Two red gompas mark the entrance to the sprawling, thriving village of Ghelung. The brown hills rising beyond the village hearken the Nyi La pass, followed fairly quickly by the Ghami La pass. We cross another broad valley and then arrive in Ghami, another of the largest villages in the Mustang.

Day 8 - Ghami to Tsarang

The longest mani wall in the Mustang is found just outside Ghami, followed by a cluster of chortens surrounding the red wall that marks the end of the valley. The structures are notable for blending seamlessly in with the landscape. We climb steadily today, ending on a high pass that leads to a lunar-esque landscape rolling with barren hills and strange, eerie beauty. We'll know we're re-approaching civilization when we spot the distinctive, red-painted Tsarang chorten, which designates the entrance to Tsarang village.

Day 9 - 10 - Tsarang to Lo Manthang, Acclimatization Day

Uninterrupted barrenness awaits us on our long trek today. The terrain is flat and the view is one of unbroken isolation. The village of Lo Manthang, our stopping point, is flanked by two large rocks forming a natural gate. We'll linger here for two days as we acclimatize to the higher elevation and rest our tired legs! This gives you the chance to explore the village and the surrounding area.

Day 11 - Lo Manthang to Tamar

Fragrant juniper pastures scent our way to Tamar, and the official turning point of our trek. We’ll get to look back at Lo Manthang as we head back the same side of the Kali Gandaki by which we first approached, avoiding the more remote and strenuous path to the east. We bid farewell to the Plain of Prayers and start ascending towards Lugri La pass, and its associated monastery. Tamar is not far, now, and your eyes will delight in the more varied landscape of the northwest. Leaving the monastery, we have a short but steep walk down the yellow canyon to Tamar, seeing fields in the southern and western part of the valley and large red vertical cliffs in the North West. After so many days of uninterrupted red earth and few color contrasts, the combination of red rock, blue sky, green grass and white yaks seems very intense!

Day 12 - Tamar to Syangboche

With Nilgiri visible again, we pass yet more caves on our way back south. A gradual uphill climb brings us above Ghami, affording sights of the village, the long mani wall, and the pass we climbed five days ago! Navigating two more passes rewards us with splendid views of the Annapurna range. Next, we reach Ja Myung, a village situated at the fork between Ghelung and Syangboche. We'll first detour to Ghelung, to pass two notable gompas and a monastery, and then rejoin the traditional path to Syangboche.

Day 13 - Syangboche to Tentang

Vigorous trekking again awaits us today, as we pass Samar and then Gaikar on the return trail. We'll savor exquisite views of Tilicho and Nilgiri, and then rest at Chaile for lunch. We are now returning the way we came, although, in the tradition of trekking everywhere, it will feel quite different from the same route we hiked in the opposite direction. Views are different, and perspectives change after many days in the wilderness.

Day 14 - Tentang to Muktinath

Our departure today treats us to a good view of the village of Tetang, which consists of two separate settlements surrounded by high walls. From a distance, it resembles nothing so much as a large fort! The ascent to the next plateau is steep and the trail here can be tough to follow!. Luckily, our next leg brings an easy walk over a plain.We'll need it to prepare for three hours of steep uphill hiking, at the top of which we're treated to stunning views of Thorung, Tilicho, and Annapurna. After this, it's an easy enough walk to Muktinath, which is strongly associated with local legend and spiritual lore.

Day 15 - Muktinath to Jomsom

Today is our final day of hiking, and we kick it off early to appreciate the majesty of Dhaulagiri backlit by the warm rays of the rising sun. We'll treat ourselves to a side trip to the Bon Punt monastery in Lubra before walking back to Jomsom. After Lubra, the trail leads to the Kali Gandaki and the river Panga - we'll have to leap over it a couple of times before the day is through! Where the two rivers meet, we join the main trekking path back to Jomsom.

Day 16 - Jomsom to Pokhara

We're up very early again for a Jomsom-Pokhara flight, only this time flying in reverse of the way we came two weeks ago! After bringing you to your hotel, you’ll have ample time to explore Pokhara's stunning scenery and rich cultural attractions at your own pace.

Day 17 - Pokhara to Kathmandu

We'll return to Kathmandu from Pokhara today, either by bus or small plane. One is longer than the other, but both afford heartstopping mountain views that you will treasure on this, your last full day in Nepal. In celebration of an amazing trip, you'll be our guests tonight as we host a farewell dinner at an excellent Nepalese restaurant in town.

Day 18 - Kathmandu: Departure Day

We bid you farewell today as our travels together draw to a close. We'll get you to the airport, or simply say goodbye as you move on to your next adventure. Remember to trade email addresses with members of your tour group! We always appreciate our guests' feedback, so don't hesitate to share your thoughts on the trekking experience.


  • International flights
  • Nepal entry visa (approximately $40 USD)
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Drinks (alcoholic, mineral water, other) or desserts during trek
  • Battery charges
  • Customary gratuities for guides and porters
  • Unforeseen costs due to flight cancellation, weather conditions, etc.
  • All costs not outlined under "What's Included"

Cancellation Policy

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have booked your flight between Kathmandu and Lukla your deposit is non-refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.
The following are what we advise you obtain in the way of equipment and gear before trekking in Nepal, and are meant to keep you mobile and comfortable in a range of expected weather conditions. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper prices, remember Nepal is the home of Mount Everest, there is plenty of choice and our staff can assist you with the necessary arrangements. Except for your day pack, all luggage will be carried by porters. There is an allowance of 33lbs/15kg per person. Additional personal items not needed for the trekking portion of the trip can be checked in the hotel’s storage room for no extra cost.


  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Head torch

    Upper Body

  • Cotton t-shirts or thermals
  • Fleece jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Down jacket

    Lower Body

  • Lightweight cotton pants (long)
  • Waterproof pants


  • Thin inner socks
  • Thick, warm wool hiking socks
  • Comfortable hiking boots


  • Gloves


  • Sleeping bag rated to 0°C
  • Trekking bag/duffel bag
  • Large plastic bags (for keeping items dry inside trek bag)
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended)
  • Water bottle or camel bag
  • Toiletries
Start your adventure here with us!


The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.


What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance is mandatory and obtaining for the days you are trekking is your responsibility. We suggest World Nomads as it covers Helicopter and medical evacuation up to 6000m. Some standard policies only cover up to 4000 meters for evacuation so please confirm with your insurance company if you purchase it from another company. If you get to Nepal and don't have insurance already we can help you purchase it for a reasonable price before you start the trek.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Bottled water is available everywhere on established trekking routes, and most villages on the way will have locally-purified water as well. The teahouses or camping crew will supply boiled water for drinking.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

Do you have any extra charges for solo travelers?

We generally don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request. If you are going solo and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $10 a day for a porter.

Can I get a refund if I don't finish the trek?

Its sometimes the case that trekkers finish ahead of schedule or they end up stopping the trek early for health or personal reasons. If this is the case please understand that we can not offer any refunds for unused days on the trek. Please understand that our costs are the same as we have an obligation to pay our guides and porters for the time they have committed.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!