Upper Mustang Trek Overview
Upper Mustang is an arid river valley and a trans-Himalayan rain shadow area. Trekking in the upper Mustang lets you explore the hidden ancient Buddhist kingdom of Lo Manthang, caves, artistic monasteries, and passes.
Situated at the northern end of Kali Gandaki, near the famous Annapurna Circuit trail, the Upper Mustang trek presents an undisturbed Tibetan Buddhist cultural heritage and an adventurous trekking experience. Upper Mustang is a restricted area in Nepal, opened to foreign travelers in 1992. Unlike other trekking routes in the Himalayas, Upper Mustang trekking is less crowded and only visited by a handful of trekkers every year.
The Upper Mustang is closely located to the Tibetan border, and the terrain somewhat resembles Tibet, too. Lo-Manthang is the major city in Upper Mustang or also called the capital. For thousands of years, this place has had its separate kingdom in Nepal. Today, Upper Mustang is famously known as the Lost Forbidden Kingdom.
After the region got opened to foreign travelers, many people from all around the world explored the excellence of Upper Mustang and its ancient monasteries & caves. Still, Upper Mustang remains one of the least visited trekking routes in the Himalayas. And that's thanks to the Nepal government's strict laws and expensive permits over the region.
Upper Mustang Trek is a very different trekking package. The trekking experience and the views are out of this world. This less crowded, off-the-beaten trail is perfect for trekkers looking for challenges in the Himalayas. You can join our Upper Mustang trek in the monsoon/fall season.
Major attractions of Upper Mustang Trek
Learn about the true mountain lifestyle & rich cultural heritage of the natives
Even though Upper Mustang has become more accessible, the region is pretty disconnected from the rest of Nepal. The political and geographical isolation of the area has well preserved the rich cultural heritage, values, centuries-old monasteries, nature, and lifestyle of the locals. Therefore, trekking to Upper Mustang is more like going back hundreds of years from the present.
Nothing can beat the hospitality of the natives along the trail and their warm welcome. Colorful prayer flags, mani walls, chortens, stupas, and medieval relics are scattered throughout the trekking route. You can see locals riding horseback and spending most of their day chit-chatting & chanting their beads. And that for sure is not what you get to see in any other trekking famous routes or even in today's society.
The Upper Mustang trekking lets you have intimate encounters with one of the oldest Himalayan tribes who are resisting endlessly to preserve their beliefs and history. The legends and myths shared by the locals will enhance your adventurous journey, and their connection with the mountains will astound you.
Mountain views & landscapes- Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang boasts very distinct arid landscapes. The trail unfolds breathtaking mountain views of Annapurna (8,091 m), Nilgiri (7,061 m), and Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). The mysterious caves, carvings, and fluttering prayer flags add more color to the shades of all browns. All the passes you cross along the Upper Mustang trail will let you behold mesmerizing sceneries that will stay in your memory forever.
You'll be trekking in the trans-Himalayan Mountain region. The region has high cliffs and unique rock formations. You'll see many unexplored caves and rock paintings. Namgyal Gompa, Tingkhar, Ghar Gompa, Amchi Museum, and the royal palace will bring a more profound understanding of the area. And the most fascinating part of the trek is the ancient trade routes.
The Tiji Festival
Tiji festival is the major celebration of the year for the locals of Upper Mustang, celebrated sumptuously for three days by the locals. The festival takes place between May & June as per their calendar. For your information, the Upper Mustang trek is possible in the monsoon season. Once you leave the lower elevation, you'll enter the rain shadow area, which means little to no rainfall in the monsoon season.
The festival is embellished by myths and legends rather than facts and records. During the three days of rituals, many dancing ceremonies took place to chase away the devil from the region. We have a very special trekking package called Tiji Festival Trek, which is crafted to let people from around the world experience this once-in-a-lifetime event in Upper Mustang.