Jomsom Muktinath Trek – Discover The History Of The Annapurnas

The Jomsom Muktinath Trek is part of the legendary Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal. The trek typically takes 12 to 15 days, but can be completed in as little as 5 days.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek Overview

On the Jomsom Muktinath trek you will take in caves, ruins of ancient forts and Buddhist monasteries. Never in the course of this trek will you be higher than 12,464 feet. This ancient trade route follows the Kali Ghandaki river and is now one of the most developed trekking trails. It is also used by Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. The lower part is Hindu while the upper is Buddhist.

Natural scenery ranges from forests of dazzling rhododendrons to rocky cliffs and desert. Some of the landscape of this rain shadow zone resembles the moon. The region is known for the most dramatic altitude variations found anywhere. It is possible to see eight of the 20 highest mountains on Earth: Dhaulagiri (26,788 feet); Annapurna I (26,538 feet); Annapurna II (26,040 feet); Nilgiri (23,097 feet); Annapurna South (23,684 feet); Annapurna III (24,787 feet); Mt. Annapurna IV (24,688 feet); Machhapuchhare (Fishtail in English, 22,959 feet) and Annapurna South (23,684 feet).

The local people, Thakalis, have traditionally been traders. They have converted their charming and wonderfully clean abodes into tea houses and count themselves among the most gracious and justifiably successful innkeepers in Nepal. If you stay at Chez tea house, make sure to chat with the sougi – the inn keeper – who will regale you with yarns of life in Nepal.

Please Note

The highlight of this trek is unquestionably the temple at Muktinath (12,464 feet), which is dedicated to the god, Vishnu, one of the three supreme deities. It has natural gas fires and 108 waterfalls.

It is believed that bathing using all of the waterfalls washes away sins. Devotees do this even when temperatures are freezing.

Regional Map

The trek occurs in the district of Mustang, commonly known as the Himalayan Shangri La. This is around 11 miles northeast of Jomsom, a major trading centre.

Here is a schematic map which shows the Annapurna region in which the Jomsom Muktinath trek is situated.


Recommended Map

Pokhara to Muktinath to Jomsom

You could save this map and view in detail the Annapurna Circuit which includes the section from Jomsom to Muktinath. 

Note: The map is from Shangri-La Maps and was published in 2002 so it is a little outdated. 

Alternatively, you can view the route on the Pokhara to Muktinath to Jomsom,  published in 2012.

We have also provided links and recommendations to new guides and maps below.

Typical Itinerary for Jomsom Muktinath

Please note that there are several Jomsom Muktinath Trek itineraries that can be done. Below we have laid out the most popular version – 13 days, leaving from Kathmandu. However, this trek can be made much shorter. If you want to make your own way to Jomsom then you could probably organise this with your operator or guide.

Click each day to

Day 1-2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Recommended Guidebook

Insight Guides Nepal (Travel Guide with Free eBook)

The Jomsom Muktinath Trek earns mentions in many guides. For a good general guide of Nepal and this trek we recommend Insight Guides Nepal (Travel Guide with Free eBook) or Lonely Planet Nepal Guide by Bradley Mayhew.

For a more specialist trekking guide we recommend Trekking in Nepal by Stefan Mausbach or Annapurna: A Trekker's Guide by Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons.

In terms of a single detailed map we recommend the Himalayan MapHouse’s Annapurna: Trekking Map & Complete Guide which can be bought in Kathmandu, Pokhara or on Amazon UK (unfortunately it is not on Amazon US). For the US customers, try " title="Appalachian" /](National Geographic Adventure Map).

You are also welcome to have a look at our recommended list of Nepal books and guidebooks Library for more options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Do I need Insurance for This Trek?


Climbing insurance is vital for Jomsom Muktinath Trek. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance in Nepal. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you'd need.

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