Mustang - a name more associated with American wild horses than with a small kingdom in the Himalayas. But just this Mustang is located in the rain shadow of the Himalayas on the border to Tibet, shielded by the gigantic mountain ranges of Annapurna (8.091m) and Dhaulagiri (8.167m). A barren, windswept highland with deeply cut canyons and closely packed fortress villages and monastery castles. Until 1992, no stranger was allowed to enter the small, secluded kingdom and even today a special permit is still required for a trekking tour. In comparison to trails in the Everest or Annapurna region, the prices are set a little higher, as with other "restricted areas" in Nepal, but trust us: Mustang is worth every extra rupee!
Mustang has lost its official status as a "kingdom" in 2008, yet: for its inhabitants, it remains one and their king, he resides in Lho Manthang, enjoys even today a godlike worship. Surrounded by a fortress wall, the Lho is the destination of the Mustang Heritage Trail, and the path there turns out to be a fascinating spiritual pilgrimage to yourself. We have threaded seven of Mustang's greatest wonders in a row like a string of pearls:
1) the breathtakingly elaborated caravan route between Chele and Samar
2) the hermit caves in the colorful sandstone walls of Dhakmar
3) the mighty Potala (monastery castle) of Tsarang
4) Ghar Gompa, Mustang's oldest monastery
5) the picturesque "Paradise Lake" above the Mui La Pass
6) Lho Mantang, the mystical kingdom town
7) Luri Gompa, the secluded rock monastery in Damodar Himal
Tips: Due to its location in the rain shadow, Mustang is one of the few nepalese regions where it is also recommended to hike in the summer, during the monsoon. Further, in case you have less holiday time than recommended for the Mustang Heritage Trail, you can shorten your trekking tour with a more direct route choice. Pay attention to the corresponding online offers!
Unusually for Nepal, the Mustang Heritage Trail is accessible the whole year round, though spring and autumn are the seasons to be most highly recommended.
Spring (March – May): although the entire Trail is accessible, there may still be some remainders of snow on the mountain passes. From April onwards, temperatures grow more moderate, and even at the end of May (when most other regions in Nepal experience the start of the monsoon season), the Mustang region continues to have good and stable weather.
Summer (June – August): Owing to its position in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, Mustang is one of the few regions in Nepal where trekking can continue throughout the summer months. Temperatures are mild, while rain showers are rare and not particularly heavy. Only the domestic flight connections to Pokhara and Jomsom can pose a problem, with frequent delays and cancelled flights at this particular time of year.
Autumn (September – November): Since the monsoon season only has a limited impact on the Mustang region, the transition to glorious autumn days with clear blue skies is relatively seamless. From mid-October onwards, temperatures noticeably start to drop. Coupled with a cold wind from Tibet, this tends to mark the end of the main trekking season. However, if you enjoy solitude and have a good resistance to the cold, November is the perfect time for you.
Winter (December – February): Even during winter, the climate in the Mustang region is predominantly dry, with the occasional minor snowfall. In the freezing cold air, a majestic tranquility settles over the former kingdom. Trekkers must adapt their equipment (down jacket, sleeping bag) accordingly, and expect the availability of open lodges to be more limited.
In terms of technique, the Mustang Heritage Trail is moderately challenging, and should pose no problem for surefooted hikers with a good level of experience in high-alpine terrain. The paths are wide and well-established, with only a few exposed stretches (for example, on the way from Chele to Samar), which can be circumvented if desired.
With regard to endurance, the Mustang Heritage Trail is slightly more demanding, with each day-trek involving up to six hours of hiking and an elevation gain of up to 800m. However, adequate preparation and the acclimatisation days included in your tour itinerary make this journey very manageable for any well-versed hiker. The altitudes are also moderate (max. elevation for overnight stays: 3800m) — so that the Mustang Heritage Trail is also suitable for Nepal-novices.
Here you can find more information about the requirements.
Standard alpine trekking equipment will be sufficient for your trek on the Mustang Heritage Trail. Click here for more equipment details.
In the time leading up to your Trail journey, we will provide you with all relevant information as well as a detailed equipment list. The list will be comprehensive, as it must cover all four seasons and take into account the variation in altitudes.
Important information: Your luggage will usually be divided between a lightweight day-backpack and your main travel luggage (i.e., a duffelbag, preferably waterproof to protect your sleeping bag). While you take the day-backpack (containing a change of clothes, raincover, thermos, energy bar, photography equipment and headlight), your main luggage (max. 15 kg!) is carried by a porter. Trekking poles are obligatory, and can be provided by our partner agency on request
For a closer look, check out the detailed information for each stage along the trail here. The times are average values and may vary depending on personal fitness, number and length of breaks, weather conditions, etc.show Stages
Feel free to load map material from Google maps.
In Kathmandu and Pokhara, the following accommodation categories are available:
Basic: simple, clean, functional — standard Nepalese guesthouse
Classic: higher levels of comfort — 3-star hotels (regional rating)
Comfort: high-end accommodation — 4-star hotels (regional rating), sometimes with spa area
Along the Trail, you will be staying in selected, simple but clean lodges. The lodges in the restricted Upper Mustang area generally fall into the ‘Basic’ category, while Lower Mustang (Jomson, Muktinath, Kagbeni) also offers lodges in the ‘Classic’ category.
In Kathmandu, you are able to choose from the following options:
Bed and breakfast: morning buffet or breakfast served at your table.
Half-board: breakfast and dinner (usually 3-course menu)
When staying in lodges along the Trail, you will be served breakfast and a 3-course dinner (à la carte).
Please enter any individual dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, food intolerances , etc.) in the ‘comments’ box. Our Trail Info & Booking Center team will do their best to accommodate your request.
To ensure an especially carefree Trail journey, we offer a comprehensive transport service:
Luggage service: Trekking with a light-weight day backpack, while a porter carries your main luggage (max. 15 kg) to your next accommodation.
Shuttle services (using the country’s customary transport vehicles): All airport shuttle services (to and from international and domestic flights) are included.
Domestic flights: The flights to and from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and to and from Pokhara to Jomsom, are included in the price.
In general, our long-distance hiking and trekking routes are not geared towards persons with limited mobility. However, if you would like to discuss your options based on the degree and nature of a particular impairment, simply contact our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center.
Our comprehensive range of services has been carefully designed to ensure a smooth and carefree Trail journey in the Himalayas.
All Angels’ Services are included in the package price, and encompass the following:
Trail Hotline: This English-language service is available around the clock, every day of the week, offering both advice and practical support.
Sherpa Guide: An experienced guide (Sirdar) with good English skills will accompany you on your Trail journey. Groups of five or more are provided with an additional assistant guide.
City Guide: An English-speaking city guide will take you on a tour of the Kathmandu valley (listed as a UNESCO cultural heritage site). A taxi service is included.
Permits: All necessary permits (Trekking Peak permit, entry fee Sagarmatha National Park) will be organised on your behalf, and are included in the price.
Comprehensive Travel Information: We will send you an expertly compiled folder with in-depth information in plenty of time prior to your trekking adventure.
For this Trail journey, air travel is the only available option (not included in the price):
International flight: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
A shuttle service (included) takes you to your hotel, and back to the airport at the end of your tour.
This is where Trail travellers find an especially warm welcome: ranging from 4-star spa hotels to simple lodges or B&Bs, our partner establishments have been hand-picked by our team, and actively contribute to the development of the Trail.show partners
Here you will find all relevant information about your travel destination such as currency, entry requirements, food & drink, health and vaccinations and literature tips.Show Travel Information
Trail Information & Booking center, Travel Agent
Trail Angels GmbH
9821 Obervellach 15
We arrange your tour operator
Trail Angels GmbH
Obervellach 15, 9821 Obervellach, Österreich
Eintragungs-NR. Veranstalterverz. des bmwfi: 2016/0005
Tel: +43 4782 93093