This is the commonly used itinerary for upper mustang trek. Often known as Jomsom to Lo Manthang trek this is of ten walking days. Including days from Kathmandu to Jomsom and back trip last around fifteen days in general. Also, you need one day for making permit in Kathmandu. Multiple options are available to reach Jomsom. You can either take a short flight from Pokhara or drive through Kaligandaki Riverside road. There is a no direct flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom. So Pokhara is major hub for upper mustang trek. You will explore several caves, monasteries and kings palace in Lo Manthang. There will be an equal balance between culture and nature. Also during a side trip in Lo, multiple options are available. You can explore all the way to Tibet Border from Lo as a part of trans himalaya salt trading route.
Here we will describe day to day itinerary from Jomsom to Jomsom. Real trekking in last forbidden kingdom start from Kagbeni. Some people spend a day in Kagbeni. And make a side trip to Muktinath with high concern about high altitude sickness. Also, you have to pay an attention to your personal hygiene. Find out day by day details of walking from Jomsom to Lo Manthang and back to Jomsom. Also, your trek will start from Kagbeni. Jomsom to Kagbeni is either two and half hour treks or shorter jeep ride.
Kagbeni to Chele [3050m/10,004ft] | 5-6 Hrs
Your journey starts after registering your special permit in checkpoint at Kagbeni. The guide will have done it prior to your departure from teahouse in Kagbeni. You don’t need to wait in the checkpoint.The trail follows the prehistoric salt trading route. It mostly passes through sandy and windy environment.The first village that you will encounter is tangbe. Somehow similar to Kagbeni, narrow alley is between villages is scenic. The houses are mostly whitewashed. Apple orchard is another highlight of Tangbe. The trail follows gentle up and down all the way. Onward from Tangbe, we will reach the small village of Chele.
Chele to Syangboche [3475m/11,398ft] | 6-7 Hrs
Good morning Chele, after breakfast you will continue your journey toward Lo. We will pass by Ekle Bhatti.Taklam La pass at an elevation of 3624 m from sea level offer a view of Tilicho Peak and Damodar Danda. As a part of walking in high Himalayas, now you have to descend down from the pass. You will be in another beautiful village of Samar. Again from the village onward, you are supposed to walk up and down. From Samar it might take up to three complete hours to reach Syangboche. During the trail you can chill in the presence of cool streams and juniper trees. Local used dried juniper as a incenses during auspicious works. Also along the trail we will pass by the famous cave named Ramchung Cave.
Syangboche to Ghaymi [3520m/11,546ft] | 5-6 Hrs
Today you will encounter higher pass of Yamda La, at an elevation of 3850 m from sea level. Along the trail you will pass through few lodges, chorten and smallTibetan looking villages. There will be another surprise for you. Little longer climb to further higher pass of the Nyi La Pass at an elevation of 4010 m. Probably this is the most difficult part of the upper mustang trail. Don’t worry, this is just simple, little higher than other passes. From the top of Nyi La, we will start our final descent to village of Ghaymi. This is the third largest village in entire Lo.It is entirely surrounded by large barren fields. Main vegetation is barley and potato in the village of Ghaymi.
Ghaymi to Charang [3500m/11,480ft] | 4-5 Hrs
The trail is pleasant today. You will cross Ghaymi River. Small up is unavoidable. The trail passes next to the longest mani wall. Mani walls are stone carved with Tibetan Prayers on it. Probably Charang (Tsarang) is most picturesque villages in Upper Mustang. From the of long mani wall, you will head east, passing through a maze of fields. There exists a huge Dzong and Gompa, that herald the arrival of settlement in Charang. This will be a short day. Late afternoon, depending on wind condition you can walk around and take a picture of the Gompa. It is a very beautiful village.
Charang to Lo Manthang [3700m/12,136ft] | 5-6 Hrs
The most awaited destination of the entire trip, i.e. walled city of Lo Manthang. You will also witness the beauty of Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I. Also Bhrikuti Peak on the side of Damodar Kunda will come into sight. Your trip starts with downhill trail to the canyon. After crossing the river you will start your ascent to the pass of Lo, at an elevation of 3850 m. From the top of the pass, you can see the beautifully stretch village of Lo Manthang. The pass is mostly windy. All you need is to descend to the village of Lo Manthang.
Exploration Day Lo Manthang [3700m/12,136ft]
Multiple options are available for sightseeing in Lo Manthang. We will start with a trip to Namgyal Gompa. This is one of the important monasteries which also serve at a local court. Are you ready for trip to last village on the way to Tibet? The guide will lead the way to village of Tingkhar on the north west of Lo Manthang. If you are not interested in walking, then you can explore few other important monasteries in the village. The God House and Chyodi Gompa are the major highlights of Lo Manthang. Also king’s palace should not be missed. Late afternoon Lo Manthang face strong gusty wind.
Lo Manthang to Drakmar [3810m/12,500ft] | 6-7 Hrs
Now you will start your descent back to Jomsom. Instead of retracing via the same route, it is better to take an alternative route. You won’t be back to Charang. Passing through Gyakar, there is a trail to Drakmar. You will also explore Ghar Gompa, which is supposed to be 1200 years old. Gompa is attractive with its rock paintings. Myth is your one wish will be fulfilled, if you make it in Ghar Gompa. The area suffers from strong gusty wind almost every afternoon. Starting early from Lo Manthang is considered wise. After wind stops late afternoon you can again walk around the village and explore something local.
Drakmar to Ghiling [3806m/12,484ft] | 5-6 Hrs
It will be considerably a long walk today. Direct from Drakmar you will trek to Ghiling. There won’t be a lunch place in the middle. It is tough five to six hour walk. There is nothing such to see along the trail. The terrain is entirely similar with past trip days. Start as early as you can. Every afternoon Lo face strong wind from the north of valley. To walk around the settlement of Ghiling, late afternoon will be better. You will know it, why, when you are there. Enjoy the trip to Ghiling.
Ghiling to Chuksang [3050m/10,004ft] | 5-6 Hrs
Today you will merge back with the old trail in Chuksang. The view is much better than yesterday. Apart from the deserted landscape view of the high Himalayas will enrich your experience. You will be spending a final night in the last forbidden kingdom.Remember, it is the ninth day. The validity of your RAP (restricted area permit) is for first ten days only. Tomorrow you will have to make an exit, entry in Kagbeni. Otherwise per head USD 50 will be charged.Per day will be charged. And that is extra.
Chuksang to Jomsom [2700m/8856ft] | 6-7 Hrs
Final day of Upper Mustang Trek. It might be a little longer. You will have an option of using a jeep from Kagbeni to Jomsom. This could save you three hours of walking. Once you report an exit status in Kagbeni, you will be on the part of the Annapurna Circuit Trail. Depending on the time, you can decide instantly whether to take a jeep back to Jomsom or trek. There is an outlet of Himalayan Java Coffee in Jomsom. Go give it a try for next to nothing.
Both at the front and end of the itinerary, there will be two days each. One day you had to allocate for the trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara and another day for Pokhara to Kagbeni. Also, there is no such direct bus from Pokhara to Kagbeni. One day might be very hard to manage the trip from Pokhara to Kagbeni. If you like to see the day to day experience of travelers like you, we have a trip report kindly provided by Christiane Feill. Read their Upper Mustang Adventure.