Mustang has become one of the dream destinations for many people. The upper mustang area opened for treks and tours in the year 1992. In fact, Mustang was the last forbidden kingdom within Nepal, and it was isolated for hundreds of years, thereby developing its own district culture and tradition.
Upper Mustang consists of deserts, medieval rock caves, arid land, cliffs, and interesting Buddhist culture. You will get a chance to explore the most famous places of Mustang such as the hidden kingdom of Lo Manthang, Jomsom, Muktinath Temple, and many more villages. Lo Manthang the ancient capital of Upper Mustang, is a small town with around 150 houses, a palace, and a monastery called Lhakhang is around 200 years old.
Upper Mustang is an arid river valley lying near the Annapurna Circuit in the rain shadow region of the Himalayas. This area is full of historical and religious monuments, and its distinct geography differs from other parts of Nepal as it lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas. Geographically, it is a part of the Tibetan Plateau, and because of it, its culture resembles that of Tibetan rather than Nepali.
Many people may not prefer visiting Mustang during winter. The winter season is the coldest season in Nepal that extends from December to February (December, January, and February) because the area faces harsh weather conditions during this time. During winter, Upper Mustang becomes really cold. You can see almost every place covered with snow. You may have difficulty finding teahouses and restaurants at this time. Although the weather and temperature of Mustang are high during winter, the scenic beauty of the place doesn’t fade. You can enjoy most of the aspects of Mustang during the winter season too. Join High Camp Adventure for an exhilarating trip to Mustang during winter.
Trekking to the Upper Mustang becomes challenging during the winter season. The height point of the Upper Mustang trek is 3800 meters. During winter, Upper Mustang faces heavy snowfall due to which the trails may be covered with snow. During winter, many people descend down to a lower altitude such as Pokhara and Kathmandu. The people move down because of the unbearable low temperature in the region during winter.
The Temperature of Upper Mustang in December
The weather and temperature of Upper Mustang in December range from 9 to 12- degree Celsius during the daytime and at night it may range from 0-5 degrees. December is not the coldest in Upper Mustang.
The Temperature of Upper Mustang in January
January is the coldest month of the year in the Upper Mustang. The daytime temperature of Upper Mustang may range between 1- 9 degree Celsius whereas, at Night, the temperature reaches -20 to -25 degrees.
The Temperature of Upper Mustang in February
February is the Upper Mustang and may not be chilly as January. The average temperature of the region ranges from 9- 14 degree Celsius whereas, at the night, the temperature reaches 4-5 degrees.
Trip Highlights of Mustang Trek during winter
- Witnessing the Buddhist Culture and Tibetan Lifestyle.
- Exploring Buddhist Monasteries and Caves.
- Celebrating major festivals of Upper Mustang such as La Phewa and Toren La that falls in the winter season.
- Picturesque views of the Himalayas.
- Visiting the capital of Mustang “The Lo Manthang”
- The stunning treeless and barren mountain landscapes.
- Human-built caves in Grand Canyon are like landscapes.
Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty in winter (December, January, February)
December, January, and February are winter here in Nepal and Upper Mustang during this time remains mostly inactive. As the weather gets biting cold, people of the Upper region also descend to the lower region where the weather is at least bearable. Hence, the cold temperature will be testing making it nearly impossible to trek in the Upper region.
Therefore, trekking in Upper Mustang during winter is not recommended. Nevertheless, if it is the only time you are available to do this trek, you may head for trekking up to the lower Mustang. The temperature ranges around 0-5 degrees during day time and drops to -25 to -20 degrees during nighttime. The temperature during the daytime is bearable however, night time very difficult to pass.
Food and Accommodation of Mustang Trek in winter
Many people in the Upper Mustang are engaged in providing teahouses and accommodation facilities for different trekkers trekking to the Upper Mustang. Because of the harsh cold of the winter season and less number of trekkers during winter, the people of the region usually migrate to the cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. Hence, most of the teahouses will be closed. A very few of them might remain open with the least of facilities and food supplements. If you are someone who has a high demand for food, winter might not be a perfect time to go to the Upper Mustang.
Some Tips for Upper Mustang trek in Winter
- Carry warm clothes and appropriate trekking gear with you for a less challenging trekking experience.
- It is better if you hire a guide and a porter to make your trek to the Upper Mustang a lot easier.
- Winter in the Upper Mustang is very cold, so make sure you carry a hot water bottle.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages even though you are trekking during the water bottle.
- A pair of Gloves, Rubber Sandals
- Don’t forget to bring Diamox of medicines to tame the symptoms of mountain sickness with the consultation of the doctor.
- Do not walk fast in high places, go slowly as you can, and never push yourself.
- Carry a -8 to -12 degree warm slapping bag.
- Don’t be excited, go on the same level of walking always.
- Respect locals and be a friend to them.
- Take wind and waterproof jackets and trousers.
Best Time for Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang trek can be enjoyed in almost all seasons with all season having their own different perks.
Spring Season and Autumn Season is the most popular season for Upper Mustang Treks, very least chance to rain and cold temperatures will be ascending into the Himalayas, in spring and autumn seasons the temperature will be warm, and good atmosphere in the mountains, and you will see clear Mountain View, not snowing, not mush cloudy and fuggy compare to the winter season in Nepal. So we would highly recommend going to Upper Mustang in the autumn or spring Season.
Upper Mustang is the Himalayas’ rain shadow area, making it an excellent monsoon trek and open year-round for trekking. The most crucial aspect of winter is when most people leave the capital to prevent snow. Upper Mustang is generally the best time to visit April-May-June-August, and September-October, and November is the perfect time to visit the valley of Nepal.
December, January, February, and Early March are winter in Nepal, and in Upper Mustang, it will be snowing and cold temperatures. So most of the trekkers visit this place in Spring-fall and autumn-fall.