While planning my first trip to Mustang with my wife, I found that the distance and length of the upper mustang trek depended greatly on the trekking company and their different itineraries. I wanted to know which was the best value and most efficient length of the trek to Upper Mustang, so I decided to do some research on my own and write a post to help other people who are planning to know more about how long the Upper Mustang Trek is. 

The Upper Mustang trek is 153 km long. The trek can be completed in 12 days starting and ending in Jomsom. However, even though the actual trek starts and ends in Jomsom, the trekkers travel to Jomsom from Kathmandu via Pokhara either by flights or by road, which takes the total time required for the itinerary to 14-15 days depending upon whether they stay a day in Pokhara.

Many first time trekkers just look at the number of days and the distance they need to travel. However, there is more to the trek than just destinations, you will need to spend at least a couple of days in a couple of these locations and visit amazing landmarks to get the best out of this trek.

Total Distance and Length Breakdown of the Upper Mustang Trek

Day Starting and Ending Point Distance in Kilometers Trekking Time in hours Altitude in meters
1 Kathmandu to Pokhara
2 Pokhara to Jomsom 2743m
3 Jomsom to Kagbeni 10.7 km 3 to 4 hrs 2810m
4 Kagbeni to Chele 15.4 km 6 to 7 hrs 3100m
5 Chele to Syangboche 11.5 km 6 to 7 hrs 3800m
6 Syangboche to Ghami 9.3 km 5 to 6 hrs 3850m
7 Ghami to Tsarang 10.7 km 4 to 5 hrs 3560m
8 Tsarang to Lo Manthang 11 km 4 to 5 hrs 3840m
9 Day in Lo manthang
10 Lo Manthang to Yara Village 16.6 km 6 to 7 hrs 3607m
11 Yara to Luri Cave Monastery and back to Yara 7 km 4 to 5 hrs 3607m
12 Yara to Tange 18.3 km 7 to 8 hrs 3240m
13 Tange to Chhusang 20.5 km 11 to 12 hrs 2980m
14 Chhusang to Jomsom 22 km 6 to 7 hrs 2743m
15 Jomsom to Pokhara to Kathmandu

The 153 kilometers long trek takes a total of 14 days to complete as it passes through several villages and crosses several mountain passes. 

The main attraction of Upper Mustang Trek is the natural beauty of its high Himalayan valleys. The trek starts and ends in Jomsom before traveling back to Pokhara and Kathmandu via flight or road. The spectacular view of the Annapurna mountain range, Dhaulagiri mountain range and other famous peaks can be seen during this trek.

The main attraction of the Upper Mustang trek is that it passes through the historical city of Lo Manthang. After visiting Lo Manthang, Chhusang and Tange villages, you can visit the highest monastery in Nepal- Tengboche Monastery. After visiting Tengboche, you can visit Thini village which was once a capital of Upper Mustang Kingdom.

In addition there are many stupas and ancient sculptures along the way that attracts tourists towards it. Other than these attractions, wildlife lovers can also see wild animals such as Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Gazelles and many more animals during their trekking journey in the Upper Mustang region.

Upper Mustang Trekking Route 

The Upper Mustang trekking route is one of the most off-beat and adventurous trekking trails in the world. Trekkers can follow this trekking route to Upper Mustang as shown in the trekking trail map given below.

The trekking route in Mustang crosses over high mountain passes and traverses some of the most stunning landscapes on earth. The trail takes you through untouched wilderness and remote villages where locals are friendly and curious about visitors. 

You can expect to walk for 6-12 hours every day and average between 10-15 kilometers with some days walking on flat terrain and others hiking over high passes at 3600 meters above sea level. The climate fluctuates between extreme cold in winter and hot summer temperatures during summer months.

Alternative routes to change Length of Upper Mustang trek Package 

The package mentioned above is a base point and generally good for starter trekkers who are visiting Lo Manthang for the first time. 

Also for beginner trekkers, we suggest that you can add two days more than you originally planned before going up there. This way it will be much easier for you and your body would get used to walking on higher altitudes

Change Trek Duration: The complete trip from Jomsom to Jomsom takes about 14 days but you can change your checkpoints based on your experience and endurance level.

Alternative 1

For the first alternative, you can skip Syanboche on day 5, and can make it from Chele to Ghami itself on that day. Experienced trekkers can make the distance in about 12 hours in a single day. This will result in the trekker reaching Lo-Manthang in a day less than the projected duration in the package above.

Alternative 2

Also, a second option could be for you to drive from Chhusang to Jomsom rather than walking 22 kilometers. The drive would take around 2 hours to complete and it could help you get to Pokhara where you could spend a day in a nice Lakeside hotel. 

How hard is the upper mustang trek?

The Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Annapurna Region, Nepal. It is a moderate trek for those looking for a short walk but with a great diversity of culture and beautiful scenery. Trekking in Upper Mustang requires no technical skills as it is a short trek but with a great diversity of culture and beautiful scenery.

The length of the trek is about 10 days and you will have to walk between 3500 to 4000 meters (11500 to 13100 feet) above sea level. The entire trail has not been fully developed so some parts can be challenging especially because there are lots of river crossings. For these reasons, this trek is classified as moderate.

The best time to visit Upper Mustang is from mid-March to mid-May when the rhododendron bushes are in full bloom and from September to November when the monsoon rains have stopped.

There are no permanent settlements on the trail so you need to carry everything you need with you, including your food and water supply. The best way to enjoy your trip is by staying in local guesthouses (tea houses). Each guesthouse offers simple accommodations but they offer a warm welcome to travelers. You will be able to interact with local people during your stay

Does Upper Mustang Permit cover the entire length of the trek? 

Before we go into trekking duration coverage of the permits, let us understand the required permits for Upper Mustang. 

You will require 3 permits to enter Upper Mustang.

  1. Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit (USD $500 for 10 days – USD $50 for each additional day after the 10 days are up)
  2. An ACAP Permit (USD $30)
  3. A TIMS Card (USD $10)

The restricted area permit charges an initial of $500 for 10 days and an extra $50 for each additional day after the 10 days are completed. Meaning for 14 days of the upper mustang trek you will need to pay $540 just as the Area Permit. 

You will also need to have an ACAP and TIMS card for a total of $40. You will be required to have these 3 permits with you during the trek.