Nepal is a trekking paradise. With the top 10 highest summits in the world, vast natural beauty, and spectacular landscapes, Trekking in Nepal is on a wish list for many trekkers.
Trek to Mustang is a popular destination for national and international trekkers. Mustang lies in the altitude of 3,840 meters in the North-West part of Nepal.
A trek to Mustang is a perfect amalgamation of things every trekker wish for. It has spectacular views of some of the highest mountains in the world with diverse culture and landscape. Moreover, the trek to Mustang is very budget friendly.
Another reason why trek to Mustang is most preferred is due to its accessibility. This trek is possible throughout the year including the monsoon season which is the offseason in Nepal.
Upper Mustang region lies in the rain shadow area of the Annapurna massif which blocks the rain and clouds during monsoon months.
Also, during these months, the water level of Kali Gandaki River decreases due to less rainfall. So, this allows you to take the vehicle to further distance in the region, hence making it easy to commute.
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Mustang Region Overview
Mustang is a mystique valley known as the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal. It is also known as a ‘Mini Tibet of Nepal’.
This beautiful land has two sections ie. Upper Mustang and lower Mustang. Upper Mustang is popular for adventurous trekking while lower Mustang is famous for natural scenery.
Upper Mustang is part of Mustang Kingdom. It lies in the middle of the Himalayas along with the Kali Gandaki River. It is one of Nepal’s most mysterious and least identified kingdoms.
The main highlight of the Upper Mustang trek is Lo Manthang, the capital of Upper Mustang Nepal. Here you’ll find art, culture, tradition, and religion similar to that of Tibet.
The landscape is quite like the Tibetan highlands. The place is dry almost all year and surrounded by sandy rocks. You can see a lot of Tibetan Buddhist ethnic communities in the trek region.
Lower Mustang is remote region yet it is accessible throughout the year by air and land.
It is famous for its apple orchards, rhododendron forests and Muktinath- a holy site for both Hindus and the Buddhists.
Along with the other parts of Nepal, Mustang enjoys 4 different seasons- Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season has its own beauty. So, lets us give you an overview of the different seasons.
Weather of Mustang in Spring
Spring in Nepal falls in March, April, and May. It is a very beautiful time to visit Nepal. You will love the pleasant weather, crystalline peaks, and the natural fresh air.
During Spring, you will enjoy the beautiful rhododendron flowers on the lower trail.
Since the weather is clear and bright, the visibility is good during this time of the year. All this makes for great scenario allowing you to take great pictures to carry for memories.
Along with the great natural beauty, this time will also give you an opportunity to experience and be a part of the unique spiritual “Tiji Festival”.
Tiji Festival lasts for three days in May where the monks perform the cultural dances with a mythical story at Chode Monastery.
The major attraction of Lo Manthang is the Tiji Festival. You can take part in the festival. Enjoy the traditional Tibetan songs, their colorful traditional dress and the sword dance.
Many pilgrims from all around the world visit Mustang to attend the holy festival Tiji.
It also happens to be the best time to see the beautiful scenery with the cool temperature between 16 -22 degree Celsius.
Thus, Upper Mustang trek in Spring season offers you best cultural experience in the best weather.
Weather of Mustang in Summer/Monsoon
Summer in Nepal (June to August) starts with the heavy monsoon in almost all parts of the country.
Nepal’s geography has a unique diverse landscape with widest altitude range. Each altitude has its own weather from tropical heat to arctic cold.
During the monsoon, in most part of Nepal, you wouldn’t get clear mountain views. But in Mustang, you can expect clear views. You can also see the vegetation of the Himalayan arid plateau. June to August is also a great time to visit Mustang.
Upper Mustang trek is safe during this period. While trekking on the trail, you don’t have to worry about slippery and muddy road with leeches, and unclear mountain views.
The full moon in August during the full moon marks the horse festival or the local Yartung Mela. This festival lasts for three days consisting of a horse race, archery, and dance. The warm and clear weather serves great for trekking during this time.
However, the lower region of Nepal including lower Mustang and Pokhara gets affected by the monsoon. Thus, you need to be aware of the transportation as flight delay and cancellations are common. The road can also be wet, muddy, and slippery.
Hence, it is wise to keep extra days in case of delayed connections.
Weather of Mustang in Autumn
Autumn (September, October, and November) is the best and ideal time to visit Nepal for trekking in all regions.
After monsoons’ rain, the temperature during this time is cool with clear skies and fresh air. The weather becomes dry offering great visibility making way for great trekking condition. During this time you can trek with ease and comfort.
Since the weather is stable, you will enjoy the spectacular view of Mt.Annapurna, Mt.Dhaulagiri, Mt.Nilgiri, and other peaks along the trail. These months are also great to see animals and birds of the region.
However, during this period you need to be aware that the trail remains crowded with trekkers. As such you are likely to face difficulties regarding room and flight tickets.
Thus, if you are planning to travel during this peak time, it is important to pre-book for accommodation and flight.
Weather of Mustang in Winter
December is the winter season of Nepal. During this time the temperature drops, especially in the evenings.
The Upper Mustang trek is not particularly difficult. The highest point of the trek is only 3,800 meters from the sea level. But in winter, Mustang is really cold due to heavy snowfall. The temperatures fall to minus degree Celsius.
But even so, this time of year is favorable for trekking and hiking at the lower altitudes around 3,500 meters. All that you need to be is prepared with necessary trekking gears.
During this time, the trekking trails will be quieter as compared to other seasons. Likewise, the local people start to leave Lo Manthang from the end of December to warmer areas. Most of the tea houses in high altitude remains closed during winter. Only, a few stay back to take care of animals and the village.
However, in the lower Mustang, the treks are still possible. The local tea houses and lodges remain open and will provide you fireplace, warm water, and extra blankets to keep you warm.
This region receives snowfall occasionally. Thus, you can enjoy the snowfall and also some winter games.
Highlights of Mustang trek
- Ancient Tibetan Culture – people live here as they did 300 years ago.
- Entrance to once Forbidden Kingdom of Upper Mustang
- Lo Manthang – Home of the King of Mustang
- View of Caves of Mustang
- Deepest Gorge
- Adventurous sports- cycling, mountain biking, horse riding etc.
- Muktinath Temple
- Cultural Immersion trek with a local guide where your guides explain culture, take you to ceremonies, explain Tibetan practices, and Himalayan way of life.
Trek to Mustang is a once in a lifetime experience. You can choose any time of the year and Mustang will not fail to amaze you with its beauty.
Upper Mustang has remained untouched locale. And, hence, has maintained its uniqueness allowing you to get close to the age-old Tibetan culture.
It is one of the last surviving examples of mountain lifestyle and the culture of Nepal.
You can complete this trek any time of the year with the right trekking equipment and a little bit of preparation.
Added, it is always a good idea to keep extra days so that you can get along with the locals to know the culture and lifestyle of the region.
However, if you are still wondering and have any doubts regarding the Mustang trek feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you with our best knowledge.