23rd May 2021

Post COVID Trekking to Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang

Just wondering if you are one of a kind, who inherits unbeatable enthusiasm to explore true mountain life. If you are the one I am talking about, then you will surely love trekking to Lo Manthang after COVID-19 in 2022/2023.

Lo Manthang is the capital of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom in the Upper Mustang around the Himalayas of Nepal. Upper Mustang, also called the Kingdom Lo, is a less explored mysterious area in this semi-remote dry place. Tibetan Plateau borders this trekking area, so the culture and tradition are like those in Tibet. The amazing place lies at an altitude of 3840 meters / 12598 feet above sea level.

Trekking to Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang is surely an exceptional experience. You are quite fortunate enough to plan your trip to the area in the twenties. If you were planning before 1992, then it would have been impossible. You heard it right, Upper mustang was an isolated kingdom inside the boundary of Nepal. Later, the Government of Nepal opened the area for international travelers in the 1992 AD only.

Upper Mustang spreads its remarkable topography to two-third part of the Mustang itself. Interestingly, Mustang used to have a separate king and even the last king of Mustang has a house in Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of Lo. Now, you can visit Lo Manthang with an 18 Days Upper Mustang Trek.

two trekkers trekking in Upper Mustang

Two trekkers trekking to the Lo Manthang

Journey to Lo Manthang

On the very first day, you will land in Kathmandu, followed by sightseeing around the valley. Then, the next day you will catch a flight to Pokhara. Your journey to Lo Manthang will fly to Jomsom from Pokhara. Then the mustang hike starts from Kagbeni on day 4. On the 9th day, we reach Lo Manthang and Namgyal. Then again, you follow Cherang, Tange, Tetang, Muktinath, and finally Jomsom again. We can complete the journey in around 18 days from your respective country to your country again.

The journey becomes worth it as you eyewitness this mystical land of the undulating mountainous universe. This desert in the lap of mountains embraces the Loba or Lowa of 6,000 inhabitants on the inner side, and Gurungs and Thakuri’s on the outer side of their lands.

Best Time to Trek to Lo Manthang

The trans-Himalayan climate in Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayan region making up its cool and semi-arid. For trekking then, it will make a good monsoon trek. However, during winter things become uncommon as major inhabitants leave the capital to escape the snowy cold. That is why we recommend you visit Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang around: Spring (March, April, May), Autumn (September, October, November).

Barren lands in Upper Mustang

Sand Castles in Upper Mustang

Trekking to Lo Manthang after COVID-19 in 2022/23

The pandemic has surely changed people’s interaction and perception of nature. Weeks of lockdown and restrictions and “new normal” have made things even more detached to experience the natural blessings.

Humans have been wanderers since their evolution. After months of lockdown and restrictions, how does it feel like to be in the mountains with the real mountain people? What can be the best alternative than to stroll around the mystical piece on the earth?

The unobstructed views, clean trails, fresh energy, new enthusiasm, snow-filled mountains, respecting individuality and reviving mental energy block, and what not? Pandemic has created a lot of difference in our lives, but Upper Mustang Trek will be a journey to get the bigger picture in life and feel “Indeed life is beautiful”. This forbidden land has gone through this experience years back, but it smelled its freedom almost nineteen years ago. Many things are common between your post-Covid and Upper Mustang trek, isn’t it? A semi-desert area in Nepal is gratifying in liberating spirits to all trekkers. If you have hiked the wave in America, you could feel the same in Upper Mustang.

Upper Mustang Post Post COVID Trek Gear list

Gears are the must-getter in trekking. Here are a few of them to inform in case you forget these.

  • Thin and Warm Socks.
  • Hiking Boots with Spare Shoelaces, preferably GORE-TEX
  • Duffel Bag, Backpack, and Rain Cover
  • Trekking Pole
  • Headlamp with Spare Batteries
  • Personal Medicine
  • Water Bottle
  • Toothbrush, Hand Sanitizers, Soap, Shampoo, Tissue Papers
  • Portable water filter or purification tablets
  • Earplugs, Universal Adapter, Whistle, Camera, Memories card, and Charger

FAQ: About hiking to Upper Mustang

What to expect in the Upper Mustang trek?

If you are excited enough to catch a sight of the Dazzling architecture of Lo Manthang, then trekking in Upper Mustang is an irreplaceable explanation. Food and culinary, traditional crafts, the hospitality of people, and traditional villages in and around Upper Mustang are a rare privilege. Not just trekking, but it offers the lifetime opportunity of red cliff climbing, pony riding and mustang mountain biking as well are a must-do. If your vacation time falls around May, you will be lucky enough to be a part of the Tiji Festival, a major 3-day celebration in Upper Mustang with a Mustang Tiji Festival Trek.

How hard is the trek to Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang?

The Upper Mustang trek is moderately difficult. If you are familiar with mountainous regions or trans-Himalayan terrain and land, then it is perfectly conquerable. However, the cold desert and dry climate, along with severe winter and scanty rainfall, can make the trek hard. No need to worry as the primary temperature depends on the season.

How long does it take to trek to Lo Manthang?

The Upper Mustang itinerary is for 18 days. You can also complete the trekking trail in 2 or 3 fewer days. Though your physical fitness might affect this duration. However, you can also opt out for Upper Mustang Jeep Tour, in case you have fewer days and can’t make it to Lo Manthang on foot.

How much does it cost to visit Upper Mustang?

Upper Mustang trek requisite includes a trekking permit. That is the reason it is expensive, however various companies provide various packages. The trip price in Heaven Himalaya is $2200 for 18 days, which is very reasonable.


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