Upper Mustang Trekking Route Information

  • Updated on Jan 11, 2024
  • Nirajan Chaulagain

Mustang was one of the best off-beaten trekking trails in Nepal, and it's still the best trekking route in Nepal. Overall, Nepal is changing with lifestyle, infrastructure, and economy, and all of Upper Mustang is changing day by day.  Rugged Trails Nepal visitors who recently visited Mustang say Upper Mustang is no longer off the beaten trail.
They said it was better to ride than walk over the dusty roads.

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Upper Mustang Trek Route Information 2024

Mustang, also known as Lo, is a Buddhist kingdom deep in the Himalayas. It was a forbidden territory for foreigners until 1991. Nowadays, you can get there with a special, hard-to-reach permit (US$500 for 10 days). This makes a trek through Mustang a unique experience. The kingdom of Lo used to be part of the Tibetan Ngari Empire, the western part of the Tibetan empire. It is a beautiful, desolate area that is closely related to Tibet. In Mustang, Tibetan Buddhism is still practiced in its purest form. The monasteries belong to the Sakyapa sect, one of the Tibetan Buddhist streams. Monasteries (and houses) of this sect are easily recognizable by the red, white, and black (or gray) vertical stripes painted on the walls.

We follow the old salt caravan route. Formerly, Mustang residents with salt-loaded yaks and donkeys went to the lower south to trade the salt for grain, rice, sugar, and fuel. At the end of the boundary with Tibet, the salt trade ended in 1959, but at the moment, you can see long caravans of Mustangs, especially donkeys. Mustang is located in an expanse of the Tibetan highlands and is between three and four thousand meters high. You walk along the most amazing, rocky rock formations. Small, Tibetan-like villages are like green oases between the bare rocks. The goal is the mystical city of Lo Manthang, the capital of Mustang. In Mustang, a strong wind usually rises at noon. Height and the wind can make the trek difficult. Day planning must be seen as a guideline.

Those were in previous days, but now things have changed, and they will change a lot in a few years. Upper Mustang is connected to roads from Pokhara, and the Nepali government is planning to connect a highway to the Tibet (China) border. Road construction is going on, and almost 99% of Mustang trekking trails are walking on the roads. It is not crowded and busy, but there are still hunks and dust once the jeeps, bikes, and trucks come on the path. Usually, the roads get busy during the Mustang Tiji Festival, and its one of the best times to visit Upper Mustang to see the monk dance.

The culturally rich Mustang still preserves the Tibetan culture and Mustang heritage, but once it connects to a big highway, it will be crowded, and already the trail is messed up. It would be better to visit Mustang within a few years; otherwise, nobody knows Charlie. Charlie is from Maine, United States. He was with his friend to see the Mustang Tiji Festival.

But the good news for riders is that now they can visit Mustangs by 4WD Jeep and motorcycle. If you are looking for a mountain road trip, then Upper Mustang is one of the best places for it in Nepal. Mountain biking lovers will enjoy this extreme landscape of valleys and Rugged Trails Nepal had successfully organized many motorcycle and mountain biking trips in Upper Mustang. Honestly, now the Upper Mustang is perfect for a road trip instead of trekking. For more information about the Upper Mustang Trek, don't hesitate to ask our tour expert.

Mountain Biking Tour in Mustang

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