A moderate Upper Mustang trek has difficulty in terms of many aspects. However, the trek is absolutely doable if you are physically fit and enthusiastic about exploring the trans-Himalayan terrain.
It is suitable for all levels of including a family with kids and seniors too. If anyone cannot walk in the middle of the path, there is a jeep transfer facility as well. Hence, this trek is safe and convenient.
Mustang is a famous place in Nepal for trekking and adventure tours. The region offers views of unspoiled nature with landscape unlike any other places in Nepal.
While visiting Mustang, you can find a lot of similarities with Tibet because of the culture and language. Although it lies in the Himalayas, the terrain is a mixture of snow-capped mountains and desert lands.
Upper Mustang region lies in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri massif. Thus, trekking in this region is possible even during monsoon.
Yet, it is best to add a day or two for travel interruptions due to bad weather in the lowlands.
Upper Mustang trek is suitable for most walkers without any restriction or limitation. Yet, this trek requires a reasonable level of fitness.
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Walking Hours and duration
The Upper Mustang terrain is not that harsh. The walking hours per day on average is between 6-7 hours. The trip duration is usually around 18 days. However, you can make the trek longer or shorter according to your preference.
Lo Manthang and Chooser are some of the major attraction of this region and its elevation is 3810m and 3900m respectively.
Walking in the higher altitude is definitely more demanding than walking in lower altitude.
So, you need to prepare yourselves so that you can adjust in the high altitude. This makes your treks a lot easier.
Well, trek to Mustang is not difficult and easily doable.
Weather and temperature
The weather and temperature play a huge role in determining the difficulty of any trek. Like most regions, Upper Mustang enjoys four seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
The spring season is a perfect time to trek Upper Mustang. During this season the average temperature is about 16 to 22-degree Celsius at daytime. The weather during this time is pleasant with a clear view of the mountains and the Himalayas. The nighttime temperature ranges from – 6 to 2 degree Celsius.
This is a suitable temperature to do trekking making your treks a lot less difficult.
The number of tourist during this time is high. Also, this season witnesses one of the biggest festivals of Upper Mustang called the Tiji festival.
During summer/ monsoon the Upper Mustang rarely experiences rain because it lies in the rain shadow region of Annapurna range. Hence, you will get to enjoy the dry and moderate weather during this time of the year.
The average temperature during daytime ranges from 13 to 20 degree Celsius. While the temperature at night drops to minus 3 to 0 degree Celsius.
Autumn is the best season to trek to Upper Mustang. This season offers great visibility. The temperature ranges from 12 to 20 degree Celsius during the day and -8 to -4 degree Celsius at night. But since you will be indoors in the morning and night this won’t be a problem.
In winter season the whole of Upper Mustang goes into hibernation mode. The average temperature is about 0 to 5 degree Celsius at day and -25 to -20 degree Celsius at night.
During this time the upper Mustang experiences heavy snowfall. Trekking in this region of Mustang during this season would be challenging. Attempting this trek without proper gear and equipment could be quite difficult.
Hence, trekking in Upper Mustang is not difficult, choose the season that best suits your body.
Upper Mustang trek takes you to an altitude of 3900m, so altitude sickness might not be a problem. Because altitude sickness is not common in alleviations under 4000m, but it is always beneficial to know about this condition.
Anti-altitude sickness pills like Diamox is helpful. Also, heading down to lower altitude is the best approach. One should always reach out for help from the guides or team leaders to take necessary precautions.
Prior experience in trekking is not mandatory. But it is good for trekkers to follow a routine like walks and jogs for a couple of months beforehand.
It helps increase one’s stamina in the high altitudes and battle with shortness of breath. This, in fact, makes your trips a lot less difficult.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases it is important to consult your doctor before the trek.
Guide or Porter
Nepal has some trekking trails which doesn’t need you a guide. However, in the Mustang region licensed Nepalese trekking guide is mandatory to escort you. A guide will be useful in handling an emergency situation and ensuring your safety.
Hiring a porter will ease you in a lot of ways. It will make your treks a lot less difficult. You will be able to enjoy the nature and the beauty without worrying about the weight.
The cost of hiring a guide or porter is almost the same except a couple of dollars. It ranges from 20-30 USD per day.
Food and Accommodation
The Upper Mustang area is a fairly remote area of Nepal. Because of this, the cost of food is generally more expensive in this area than in Kathmandu.
As for accommodation, Upper Mustang has many tea houses and homestay. Thus, accommodation will not be an issue, you can easily find one. It is only a matter of budget and how much you intend to spend.
There are many options available between Kathmandu to Pokhara. There are local buses, tourist buses, daily flights, and even private jeep. Yet, from Pokhara to Jomsom, taking a flight can be convenient, this makes your trips a lot easier.
Packing tips for Upper Mustang trek
Packing wisely plays a huge role in making your trek convenient, smooth and less difficult. Packing varies according to various seasons.
Hence, it is always wise to check the weather and climatic condition before you pack for your trek. Do not overload yourself or the porter. This might be a burden that you will be carrying all the way.
Some useful tip for Upper Mustang trek
- Walk slowly and take necessary rests in between walks
- Dress in layers because the temperature generally falls and rise with the increase or decrease in altitude. This way you can put on and take off your clothes according to the weather
- A strong wind from the north of the valley dominates the entire Upper Mustang trail. Thus taking a windproof gear is very useful
- Keep extra days to explore the local villages and in case of flight delays esp. during monsoon
- Pre-book for hotels and flight during peak season
- Stay hydrated. Carry water bottles
- Always reach out for help in the case of AMS
The Upper Mustang trek is a moderate trek. It is a beautiful journey to a secluded region. Here you get to witness the natural beauty and cultural diversity at its best.
With a little bit of preparation and determination, one can take this trek and experience a journey of a lifetime.
For further question and queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide you to the best of our ability.