Trip Introduction: Jomsom Muktinath Short Trek 2023/2024 - 8 days
Jomsom Muktinath Short Trekking (Lower Mustang) takes you around Nepal's Far North West on the ancient trail. Following an old Trans-Himalaya Salt Trade and Caravan Route of Nepal and Tibet, where trade still exists in present day since bygone times.
Jomsom Muktinath, a short trek, allows travelers to witness an amazing, picturesque country, although it has a dry and barren landscape. But with beautiful and charming surroundings of broken canyons with towering high eroded cliffs.
Besides, its windblown terrain means that Jomsom Muktinath trekking offers visits to impressive places in a short period of time. Exploring nice villages adorned with Buddhist monuments, where you travelers will be taken aback into the medieval period.
This scenic and cultural Jomsom-Muktinath Short Trek itinerary is designed to capture all the exciting and lovely places in a short time. Where travelers can feel and experience the culture and customs similar to the Tibetan way of traditional farm life, as it was for past centuries.
The main highlight of the Jomsom-Muktinath short trek is a visit to Muktinath Temple and its scenic surroundings, which are of spiritual importance for both Hindu and Buddhist followers.
Furthermore, Muktinath, the highest spot of the adventure, is situated at an altitude above 3,800 m and 12,467 feet high. overlooking a spectacular panorama of snow peaks that includes Mt. Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri, and Tilicho peaks towards the east.
Where does the Jomsom and Muktinath Short Trek Begin and End?
Jomsom Muktinath Trekking begins in beautiful Pokhara, situated in a luxuriant valley. This scenic city is enclosed by tiers of rolling green hills dotted with farm villages and neat farm terraces.
From Pokhara, our exciting adventure starts with a panoramic short flight heading north-west to land at Jomsom, the headquarters and administrative town of the whole Mustang Area.
The walk takes you to visit the lovely villages of Marpha and Tukuche, famous for delicious apples of various species. This gem of a village is located on the Kali-Gandaki River Valley, facing stunning views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, and Nilgiri Peaks.
The short Muktinath-Jomsom trek takes you through Jomsom to reach the village of Kagbeni. Situated at the end of Lower Mustang, beyond Kagbeni, is the trail towards Upper Mustang Road to the Tibet border.
Enjoy a fascinating time exploring Kagbeni village, which has a strong Tibetan influence and a similar culture to Buddhism. From here, our journey heads towards the holy site at Muktinath, climbing past the windswept village of Jharkot to reach our final destination.
Muktinath is located on the higher side above the Kali Gandaki River valley, beneath the famous Thorang-La pass, which forms a boundary between Mustang and Manang districts. Where the popular Annapurna Circuit Route passes through Muktinath temple premises.
At Muktinath, besides superb views of the Snow Mountains, a short climb takes you inside the compound of Muktinath, where the main pagoda temple is located close to 108 water spouts. Pilgrims, take a bath in this holy water before entering Muktinath Temple, serene spiritual surroundings for worship. For Hindus, it is one of the main Himalayan pilgrimage destinations.
We go down to Lupra village after Muktinath and spend one night there, which is a beautiful town, and then go back to Jomsom.An early morning scenic flight will reach you in beautiful Pokhara city to conclude the Jomsom Muktinath Short Trek itinerary after a most fascinating and exciting time on Jomsom Muktinath Trekking.
Local Culture and Religion that can be seen During the Jomsom Muktinath short Trek?
- Hinduism and Buddhism: The region is is influenced and in harmony by both Hinduism and Buddhism, and you will find a blend of religious practices of both religions. Muktinath is a famous pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The main temple in Muktinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (a Hindu deity), and nearby are 108 water spouts where people take bath and a natural flame representing the elements of fire and water, important in both religions.
- Monasteries: As you trek through the region, you'll encounter and witness numerous Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and chortens (stupa-like structures). These religious sites hold significant spiritual importance and are decorated with colorful prayer flags.
- Cultural Diversity: Many ethnic groups of Nepal can be found aling the trail, such as Thakali, Gurung, and Mustangi people. Each group has its own distinct culture, language, way of living festivals foods and traditions. The Thakali people, in particular, are well-known for their hospitality and delicious Thakali khana set (Dal Bhat).
- Festivals: Depending on the time of year you visit, you might have the opportunity to spectate local festivals and celebrations of various ethnic groups. Major Hindu festivals like Dashain and Tihar and Buddhist festivals like Losar (new year) of various ethnic groups are celebrated with great interest and cultural performances.
- Thakali Cuisine: The Thakali people, who mostly live at Marpha and surrounding areas, are famous for their cooking. You can taste traditional dishes like Dal Bhat (lentil soup with rice), Thakali Thali (a set meal with various dishes), and apple-based products like apple cake apple pie apple brandy wine apple rakhsi and various dishes made from apple.
- Traditional Architecture: The villages in the region have unique traditional architecture with stone and mud-brick houses, intricate wood carvings, and flat roofs that provide shelter from the harsh weather conditions.Shooting fro varous movies and musical shows are done widely throu out the year.
- Local Crafts and Handicrafts: You can find locally made handicrafts, carpets, and souvenirs in the villages. The region is known for its skilled craftsmen who create beautiful traditional items.
What type of Accommodations and Facilities are Available During Jomsom Muktinath Trek?
- Teahouses and Guesthouses: Along the trekking trail, there are many teahouses or guesthouses in most of the villages, providing basic food and lodging for trekkers. These accommodations typically offer private or shared rooms according to your needs with basic facilities such as a bed, blankets, and a common dining area. The quality of facilities can vary from basic to more comfortable, depending on the location and elevation.
- Hot Showers: Teahouses now have hot shower facilities available for an additional cost , some where due to electricity problems or gas problem in case of extreme cold you might need to rely on bucket showers or wash with cold water.
- Electricity and Charging: Most guesthouses have electricity either its solar power or hydro electricity, but as you ascend, the power supply may become more irregular. Charging electronic devices, such as cameras and phones, is usually available for a fee. Don’t forget to carry power banks in a fully charged condition.
- Food and Drinks: Teahouses along the Jomsom muktinath trail offer a variety of local and western food options. Popular dishes include Dal Bhat (rice and lentil soup), momos (dumplings), noodles, and pasta chowmein thukpa thenduk. As the trail is well established now, you can also find snacks, energy bars, and bottled water at most guesthouses.
- Internet and Communication: Some guesthouses offer Wi-Fi access, but it may be limited and slow due to the remote location or weather changes. Additionally, mobile network coverage may be available in certain villages, but it's not guaranteed throughout the trek but wifi is available in almost all of the tea houses.
- Toilet Facilities: At lower elevations, most teahouses have western-style private flush toilets, but as you ascend, private toilets are more rare and shared toilets are common. Some guesthouses might have shared outdoor toilets. Even though you get a private toilet in your room due to the freezing temperature the waters in the toilet are frozen.
- Accommodation Cost: The cost of accommodation varies depending on the location and the level of comfort you select. Generally, the higher you go, the more basic the facilities are due to lack of infrastructueres and trasnportationa and the higher the elevation the higher thr cost of food and lodging.
How do I Prepare for the Jomsom and Muktinath Trek?
- Physical Fitness: The trek involves walking for several days at higher elevations for which you should be physically fit . Start a fitness routine well in advance to build endurance and stamina 3 months before the trek. Focus on cardiovascular exercises like hiking, walking, jogging, or cycling, as well as strength training to strengthen your legs, core, and back muscles for at least 45 minutes a day.
- Acclimatization: The trail takes you gradually to higher altitudes where the air gets thinner with increasing elevation. Acclimatization is decisive to avoiding altitude sickness. If possible, plan some practice treks at higher altitudes to get your body accustomed to the conditions.
- Packing and Gear: Invest in high-quality trekking gear, including strong and comfortable trekking boots, moisture-wicking clothing, a good-quality backpack, a warm sleeping bag, and a down jacket at least 2-3 pair of tshirts and trousers fro night time. Don't forget essentials like a water tablets, water bottles, sunglasses, sunscreen, extra socks toiletries tissue paper face wiprs towels and a hat.
- Mental Preparedness: Trekking in the Himalayas can be physically and mentally demanding. Prepare yourself mentally for the challenges you might face during the trek. Stay positive and be open to new experiences and try to stay honest with your guide about the conditions that your felling and going through.
- Hydration and Nutrition: Stay well hydrated and maintain a balanced diet during the trek. Carry water purification tablets or a filtering system to ensure safe drinking water.drink at least 3 litresa of water per day and try to carry some mountain bars or energy bars that will help you to re energize your body.
- Local Culture and Etiquette: Read up on the local culture and customs of the region. Show respect to the local communities and their traditions during your trek. Try to walk through the left side and try to maintain distance from the mules yaks and horses along the way.
- Emergency Plan: Have a possibility plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Get honest with the guide he knows the evacuation routes and contact information for emergency services in the area.
How hard is the Jomsom and Muktinath Short Trek?
The Jomsom and Muktinath trek is considered a moderate trek in terms of difficulty. It is suitable for trekkers with a reasonable level of fitness and some prior trekking experience. While it is not as challenging as some of the more strenuous high-altitude treks in the region, it still presents its own set of challenges that can be conquered through 4-5 hours of walking per day.
The Jomsom and Muktinath trek typically takes around 8 days to complete with an extra day at muktinath. Although the maximum altitude that we reach on this trek is around 3,800 meters at Muktinath, some parts of the trail go through higher elevations. The trail includes a mix of well-established paths, rocky terrain, and some steep ascents and descents.
The route follows the Kali Gandaki River valley, which can be windy at times Jomsom is mostly windy. The trek offers teahouses and guesthouses for accommodation, but the quality of facilities can vary upon the town and villages. At higher elevations, the availability of amenities like hot showers and electricity may be limited.
Altitude and Distance that must be covered during the Jomsom and Muktinath Short Trek?
Pokhara to Jomsom.
- Pokhara is at an elevation of around 827 meters (2,713 feet) above sea level, while Jomsom is situated at an elevation of approximately 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) above sea level.
Jomsom to Marpha.
- The distance between Jomsom and Marpha is approximately 14 kilometers (about 8.7 miles) via the main trekking trail.
- Jomsom is situated at an elevation of approximately 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) above sea level, while Marpha is at an elevation of about 2,670 meters (8,760 feet) above sea level.
Marpha to Kagbeni.
- The distance between Marpha and Kagbeni is approximately 12.9 kilometers (about 7.2 miles) via the main trekking trail.
- Marpha to Kagbeni is relatively easy, with gentle ascents and descents along the way. It usually takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete the trek.
- Marpha is situated at an elevation 2670 meters and Kagbeni is situated at an elevation of 2,804 m.
Kagbeni to Muktinath.
- The distance between Kagbeni and Muktinath is approximately 10 kilometers.
- Kagbeni is situated at an elevation of 2,804 m
- Muktinath is situated at an elevation of around 3,800 meters (12,467 feet).
Muktinath to Lupra Village.
- The distance between Muktinath and Lupra Village is approximately 8 kilometers (about 5 miles) via the trekking trail.
- The elevation of Muktinath is 3800 meters
- The elevation of Lupra village is 3021 meters,
Lupra Village to Jomsom.
- The distance between Lupra Village and Jomsom is approximately 18 kilometers (about 11 miles) via the main trekking trail. The trek generally takes around 5 to 6 hours to complete, depending on your pace and any stops you make along the way.
- Lupra village is situated at an altitude of 3021 meters.
- Jomsom is at an elevation of approximately 2,700 meters.
Climate and Weather at the Jomsom and Muktinath Treks.
The climate can be unpredictable sometimes, even in the best seasons, where April and May to the first week of June will be the best times during springtime, when days are longer with enough sunlight hours. Morning and nighttime, as well as in the shade, can be cold and freezing in higher areas, above 2,000 m.
Other months from September and October are great times for treks around Lower Mustang and Kali-Gandaki Valley as well as other destinations around this valley; most days are clear for views of mountains, although the autumn season is much colder with extreme cold during the morning and nighttime, when sunlight is much shorter.
It usually windy in this place so a good down jacket and a good wind breaker jacket is a must required item during the trek.
What is the Best Season for Going on a Trek at Jomsom and Muktinath?
Spring (March to May):
- Spring is one of the most popular and preferred seasons for the Jomsom and Muktinath treks.
- The weather is generally stable, with mild temperatures during the day and cool nights.
- The rhododendron forests along the trail bloom with vibrant colors, adding to the beauty of the landscape.
- The skies are usually clear, providing excellent views of the surrounding mountains, including Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.
Autumn (September to November):
- Autumn is another highly recommended season for the Jomsom and Muktinath treks.
- The weather is dry and stable, with clear skies and minimal chances of rainfall.
- The temperature is pleasant, with warm days and cool evenings.
- The lush greenery of the monsoon season remains, and the skies offer stunning views of the snow-capped peaks.
- The trekking trails are less muddy and more accessible during this time.
Is Travel Insurance Required for a Short Trek to Muktinath?
Yes, travel insurance is highly recommended for trekking in Nepal it may be lower mustang, upper mustang or any part, including the Jomsom and Muktinath treks. While it is not a legal requirement, having all-inclusive travel insurance provides important financial protection and peace of mind in case of unexpected events or emergencies during your trek.
When purchasing travel insurance for trekking in Nepal, make sure that the policy covers the specific activities you plan to undertake, such as high-altitude trekking and maje sure to see the altitude you are going towards and the altitude the policy covers. Read the policy terms and conditions carefully to understand what is covered and what is excluded.
Additionally, check if the insurance provides coverage for evacuation from high-altitude regions, as this can be a crucial aspect of trekking in the Himalayas. Ensure that you have a copy of your insurance policy and emergency contact numbers easily accessible during your trek.check wether the insurance covers bothe medical coverage and evacuation process as well.
While travel insurance adds to the overall cost of the trip, it is a worthwhile investment to protect yourself and your finances in case of unforeseen events and natural calamities that might occur in the wild. Always choose a reputable insurance provider and make an informed decision based on your specific trekking plans and needs.
What are the Documents and Permits Required for the Jomsom-Muktinath Trek?
The documents that are required for trekking towards Jomsom and Muktinath are
- TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card.
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP).
- Passport and Visa.
- Restricted Area Permit (if applicable).
- If you plan to extend your trek beyond Kagbeni into the restricted Upper Mustang Region, you will need a Restricted Area Permit (RAP).
- The RAP is essential for treks that venture into specific restricted regions, and it comes with additional fees.
- You can only obtain the RAP through authorized trekking agencies, and you need to be in a group with a minimum of two trekkers and a registered guide.
Before starting your trek, confirm that you have obtained all the necessary permits and documents and that they are valid for the entire duration of your trek. The permit requirements not only ensures your safety but also supports sustainable tourism and conservation efforts in this region and whole of nepal.
Optional Activities to do in Kathmandu or Pokhara before or after Jomsom Muktinath trek?
- Pashupatinath Temple: Visit the sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and witness the unique rituals and ceremonies performed by devotees along the banks of the Bagmati River.
- Bouddhanath Stupa: Explore the colossal stupa, one of the largest in the world, and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Swyambhunath (Monkey Temple): Climb the hill to the iconic stupa adorned with prayer flags and watch the panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley.
- Durbar Squares: Explore the ancient palaces and intricate architecture at Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Thamel: Shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, trekking gear, and clothing in the bustling streets of Thamel, a popular tourist hub.
- Garden of Dreams: Relax in this beautiful neoclassical garden located in the heart of Kathmandu, perfect for unwinding after the trek.
- Nagarkot: Take a short trip to Nagarkot, a hill station known for its stunning sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas.
- Phewa Lake: Enjoy boating on the tranquil Phewa Lake, surrounded by the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain ranges.
- Sarangkot: Hike or drive up to Sarangkot to witness the sunrise over the Himalayas and capture breathtaking views of the Annapurna range.
- World Peace Pagoda: Take a boat ride across Phewa Lake and hike to the World Peace Pagoda for panoramic views of Pokhara and the surrounding mountains.
- Bindhyabasini Temple: Visit the ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Bindvasini, located near the Old Bazaar area.
- Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave: Explore the limestone cave with impressive stalactites and a hidden waterfall.
- Paragliding and Zip-lining: For adrenaline enthusiasts, try paragliding or zip-lining to experience the thrill of flying over the Pokhara Valley.
- International Mountain Museum: Learn about the culture, history, and mountaineering achievements of the Himalayas in this informative museum.
Outline itinerary for Jomsom Muktinath Trek.
- Day 1: Drive to Pokhara (822 m/2,697 ft), a 6-hour journey, and transfer to the hotel.
- Day 2: Fly to Jomsom (2,743 m/8,999 ft) and trek to Marpha (2,650 m/8695 ft) in 02 h.
- Day 3: Trek to Kagbeni, 2,804 m (9,199 ft) via Jomsom town, 05 h
- Day 4: Trek to Muktinath (3,762 m/12,343 ft) in 3 hrs.
- Day 5: Full Day at Muktinath for a local hike and visit
- Day 6: Trek to Lupra village (2,795 m/9170 ft) in 4 h
- Day 7: Trek to Jomsom for 3 hours and transfer to a hotel, guesthouse, or lodge
- Day 8: Fly to Pokhara; in the afternoon, explore Pokhara city.
Important Note for Jomsom Muktianth Trek.
- This trip departure every day of the year.
- This trip is fully customizable. We can customize the trip as per your need, please contact us.
- This trip is available on both Fixed Departure and Private Group Basis.
- This trip can be booked privately if you’re travelling solo or private or with family.
- Have a big group? We can help as per your needs.
- We can help you make it fit your budget.
- We accept instant booking and online payment.