Sheltered by some of the highest mountains in the world, hides an ancient kingdom Mustang. It rests on the rain shadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri and the border of China on the Tibetan plateau. You can trek to this region any time of the year. But the best time to visit Mustang Nepal is during autumn.
Popular as the forbidden kingdom and also the ‘mini Tibet’ of Nepal, it’s capital is Lo Manthang. Popular for its trekking trail and its raw untouched culture and traditions.
Mustang is one of the very rare places in Nepal visited throughout the year even during monsoon. The region lies in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, so it doesn’t experience monsoon.
If you are trekking to Mustang, the best time would be autumn, spring and summers. June to September is the best time to visit Mustang.
If you would like to celebrate the Tiji festival in the Upper Mustang then May is the appropriate time of the year.
Table of Contents
- Weather of Mustang
- Highlights of Mustang
Weather of Mustang
Like all the places in Nepal, Mustang experiences four kinds of weather in a year. They are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. It is very essential that you research the weather of a place before visiting it. This way you can make your trip a successful one without much problem.
Let us help you by giving you a detailed overview of the weather in Mustang.
Mustang in Spring (March-May)
Spring in Nepal falls in March, April, and May. It is almost similar to the fall. Spring offers great weather and amazing views of the Himalayas. So, it is the best time to visit Mustang Nepal.
During spring, the lower part of Mustang blooms with beautiful rhododendron flowers. And the clear sky and high visibility will offer amazing picturesque scenery.
The temperature is also at its best, not too hot or cold between 16-22 degree Celsius.
Along with the spectacular views, you get an opportunity to experience the “Tiji festival” at Upper Mustang. This festival falls in May and lasts for three days. There monks perform the cultural dances with a mythical story at Chode Monastery.
Many pilgrims from all around the world visit Mustang during this time to attend this festival. You can be a part of this festival and experience their culture and traditions firsthand.
Mustang in Summer/Monsoon (June-August)
June, July and August are summer/monsoon in Nepal. Summer in Nepal usually starts with heavy rainfall in almost all over the country. But not for Mustang.
The Mustang region lies to the north of the Himalayas and is a rain-shadow area, there is no monsoon in this region. This makes it a perfect place to explore during the monsoon/ summer.
Mustang boasts amazing clear views during summer, this is uncommon in many parts of Nepal. You can also see the vegetation of the Himalayan arid plateau. This also makes June to August a great time to visit Mustang.
Despite the four-seasons accessibility, you need to keep in mind that the transportation for getting to Mustang might give you a bit of a problem.
Because the trip to Mustang starts from Pokhara. And Pokhara gets a maximum amount of rain during summer. You need to travel with 2-3 buffer days for flight delays or cancellation.
Mustang in Autumn (September-November)
September, October and November are the best time of the year to discover the Mustang. Autumn is the time with the bluest skies and clearest mountain views.
After monsoon, the temperature during this time is cool with clear skies and fresh air. In general, temperatures range from 12 to 20 degrees Celsius. Since the weather is stable, on the trail you will see amazing crystal clear views of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Nilgiri, and other peaks.
During this time of the year, you can trek with ease and comfort. Since this is the peak season for trekking you will need to book your accommodations and flights in advance.
As Autumn tends to come to an end, trekking season in Upper Mustang starts to come to a halt. Many lodges close down and locals migrate to Pokhara and Kathmandu to escape the harsh winters.
Mustang in Winter (December-February)
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 gets really cold due to heavy snowfall. The temperatures fall to minus degree Celsius.
But, trekking during this time of the year is still possible at the lower altitudes of the Mustang region with appropriate trekking gears.
Also, by the end of December local people start to leave the upper Mustang to escape the harsh winter. Only a few people stay back to care for the animals and the village.
Most of the tea houses close during this time of the year. But the trails are quieter and less crowded, which is a good thing. This way you can skip all the fuss with booking or waiting for you food in a long queue.
However, in 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.
So, if you are some who enjoys solitude, winter trek to Mustang could be for you. But it definitely takes preparations and appropriate gear.
Highlights of Mustang
- 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
- Mysterious sky of Caves of Mustang
- Deepest Gorge, Kali Gandaki Gorge
- Adventurous sports- cycling, mountain biking, horse riding etc.
- Muktinath Temple
- Tibetan Buddhist culture, chortens, monasteries and prayer flags
- Tiji festival
1. How to Get to Mustang?
There are many ways you can get to the Mustang region. They are
Kathmandu to Pokhara by air or road
From Kathmandu, you can either take a flight or take a tourist bus or private vehicle to Pokhara.
The flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara is only 25 minutes. Although it takes about 6-7 hours by road the beautiful views on the way will compensate for your time.
Pokhara to Jomsom by flight or bus/jeep
After reaching Pokhara you can take a flight or a bus or jeep to get to Jomsom.
It takes about 20 minutes to get to Jomsom from Pokhara. The flight is possible only in the morning because it gets windy in the afternoon.
By road, it takes about 7-8 hours to reach Jomsom.
Pokhara to Muktinath by helicopter
Thousands of Hindu and Buddhist devotees visit Muktinath each year. You can get to Muktinath temple by road or you can either charter a helicopter.
Kathmandu to Upper Mustang by Helicopter
One of the easiest and comfortable ways to get to the upper Mustang is by helicopter.
If you don’t have enough time or cannot trek or travel by road this is the best option for you. And Autumn is the best time to visit Mustang Nepal as the weather remains quite stable with least chances of flight cancellations.
Trekking to Mustang
Trekking in Mustang is an experience of a kind. It offers spectacular mountain scenery of Dhaulagiri, 8167 meters and Annapurna I, 8091 meters.
Surrounded by more than 35 mountains over 6000 meters (19,680ft) height, Mustang is a trekkers paradise.
Trekkers will find the trail covers and elevation anywhere between 2815 meters (9,233ft) to 3780 meters (12,398ft) above sea level.
2. What are the Things to Do in Mustang?
- Visit 500 years old settlement and monasteries at Kagbeni.
- Explore the sky-rocketing caves in Chhusang.
- See Nepal’s grand canyon from Chele.
- Hiking and Trekking.
- Mountain biking.
- Royal Enfield tour to the Himalayas.
- Upper Mustang jeep safari tour.
- Horse riding tour in Upper Mustang.
- Try the local cuisines.
- Visit Chungsi cave.
- Discover Lo Manthang the forbidden kingdom.
- Celebrate and be a part of the Tiji festival.
- Observe desert vegetation of Himalayas.
- Visit the monasteries and the royal palace in Lo Manthang.
3. What are the Places to Visit in Mustang?
Jomsom at an altitude of 2800m, known as Dzongsam or new fort is the headquarter of the Mustang District. From here one can enjoy the panoramic view of towering peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.
The local inhabitants of Jomsom are the Thakalis.
Nearby is an airfield, from where flights operate regularly. They offer 6-8 flights a day depending on the weather conditions. However, due to the strong winds in the afternoon, the flights only operate in the mornings.
Visit Jomsom to forget all the stress and worries of the city life. Sit back, relax and enjoy the amazing scenery Jomsom has to offer.
Muktinath temple is one of the most sacred and holy temples for Hindu and Buddhist.
Thousands of Hindu and Buddhist Pilgrims come here to worship. They believe that all sins can get washed away after taking a bath at the pond in front of the temple and the 108 water taps.
Lo Manthang, also known as the forbidden kingdom, is popular for its untouched beauty and exotic culture. It is a recently opened trekking trail for foreigners. And the number of visitors to Upper Mustang is still restricted.
Due to this, the culture here is almost untouched, and so it is among the UNESCO world heritage site. And, autumn is the best time to visit Mustang Nepal
The Royal Palace is the most visited site in the area. Built around the 1400s, the palace is four storey. Along with the palace, Lo-Manthang accommodates some of the oldest Gompa in the region. The oldest of Gompas is Jampa Gompa which built in the early 15th Century
Another attraction in Lo Manthang is the annual Tiji Festival. It takes place in May and is one of the most important events on the cultural calendar.
This three-day ritual revolves around the ancient Tiji myth. Thousands of people visit Lo Manthang to observe and be a part of this festival.
Mustang is one of the last surviving examples of mountain life. And, Autumn season is among the best time to visit Mustang Nepal. With its untouched beauty and culture, you will get to experience a whole new world of old culture and traditions of the Tibetan people.
Along with the stunning mountain views, Mustang boasts great scenic views and holy places. And it’s easy to access throughout the year is just an added bonus.
For further questions, please contact us. We will help and guide you to the best of our ability.