UPPER MUSTANG TREK
The Essential Guide
Upper Mustang is a place unlike any other in Nepal. Despite bordering one of the most popular trekking regions in the country, it sits a world apart thanks to its dramatic semi-arid landscape and distinct Tibetan heritage. A trek here is also unlike any other in Nepal, centering as much on cultural exploration as it does spectacular scenery.
But, this once ‘hidden kingdom’ is changing. Historic salt trade routes are being developed into modern Chinese truck trading routes, altering the very nature of a ‘trek’ here. Roads plough right over what once were trekking trails, with little care for the surrounding environment. Slow and continual construction (it’s been going on for years with no end date in sight) means trekkers have to put up with disruption for at least part of their trek to Lo Manthang and back. But for those who can accept this (and afford the hefty permit fee), a truly rewarding journey awaits, especially if you return via the challenging but road-less eastern route.
Our own (poorly researched) trek in Upper Mustang was a whirlwind of highs and lows, with plans constantly evolving in response to a trek that, initially at least, seemed more like a very expensive trudge along a construction road. However, it ended with three of the most memorable trekking days we’ve ever had, turning our entire notion of an Upper Mustang trek on its head.
Learning from our own experiences and mistakes, we’ve put together this Upper Mustang Trekking Guide to help you have the best trek possible. In truth, the very fact that you’ve read this far means you’re already better prepared for the realities of the trek than we were, but do read on as we have much to share! For a day to day account check out our separate Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary. And to get a sense of what the trek is really like, watch our complete Upper Mustang Instagram Stories (part one/part two/part three), plus our video below.
WATCH THE VIDEO
UPPER MUSTANG TREKKING GUIDE
Read through the guide or jump ahead to a particular section by clicking on the links below.