Welcome to the Upper Mustang Trek in April – an adventure that promises to be both exciting and fun-filled! This trek takes you on a journey through one of the most unique and remote regions of Nepal, offering you an unforgettable experience of the majestic Himalayas.
The Upper Mustang Trek is located in the Mustang District of Nepal. It is a remote region in the north-central part of the country, bordering Tibet to the north. The altitude of the Upper Mustang Trek varies between 2,800 meters to 4,200 meters above sea level.
As you embark on this trek in April, you will witness the breathtaking beauty of the Mustang region, with its rugged terrain, stunning landscapes, and ancient cultural heritage. The trek starts from Jomsom, a vibrant town located at the heart of the Mustang district, and takes you through the winding paths of the Kali Gandaki River valley with spectacular views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges.
As you make your way toward the Upper Mustang region, you will encounter stunning landscapes, including rocky canyons, colorful cliffs, and vast deserts. You will also get a chance to explore the unique Tibetan-influenced culture of the region with its ancient monasteries, traditional villages, and colorful festivals.
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal
The Upper Mustang Trek in April is a great option for those who want to explore the unique culture and stunning landscapes of the region during the peak season. Here are some of the highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek in April:
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April is one of the best months to trek in the Upper Mustang. The weather during this month is generally dry and clear with warm days and cool nights. The daytime temperature ranges from 15°C to 21°C, while the nighttime temperature can drop below freezing. The skies are usually clear, and the views of the Himalayas are stunning.
The Upper Mustang Trek is a remote and off-the-beaten-path adventure that takes you through some of the most isolated and rugged terrains of Nepal. It is an exciting journey that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The Upper Mustang Trek usually starts with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, followed by a flight to Jomsom. The flights offer breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri.
Trekking through Unique Landscapes:
The Upper Mustang region is known for its unique landscapes, including red and yellow cliffs, deep canyons, and picturesque valleys. Trekking through these landscapes is a fun-filled adventure that offers a chance to explore the beauty of the region.
Local Culture and Traditions:
The Upper Mustang region has a unique culture and traditions that are different from other parts of Nepal. The trek offers a chance to experience the local culture and traditions, including their way of life, traditional customs, and rituals.
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Horse riding is a popular activity in the Upper Mustang region. You can ride horses through the rugged terrains and enjoy the stunning landscapes at a leisurely pace.
The Upper Mustang region has a unique cuisine that is different from other parts of Nepal.
The trek offers a chance to taste the local cuisine, including Tibetan-style momos, thukpa, and other traditional dishes.
The Upper Mustang Trek offers numerous photography opportunities, including stunning landscapes, unique culture, and colorful festivals. Photographers will enjoy capturing the beauty and essence of the region.
The Upper Mustang Trek involves camping in remote locations, including the Lo Gekar Monastery and the Dhakmar Village. Camping is a fun-filled adventure that offers a chance to connect with nature and experience the outdoors.
The Upper Mustang region has some of the clearest skies in Nepal, making it an ideal location for stargazing. You can spend the evenings gazing at the stars and enjoying the peace and tranquility of the region.
Average Temperature and Weather Condition
During April, Upper Mustang experiences favorable weather conditions, making it an ideal time to visit the region. The average temperature in Upper Mustang during April ranges between 10°C to 20°C during the day, and it can drop down to -6°C to 2°C during the night. However, the temperature can vary depending on the altitude and the location within the region.
During April, Upper Mustang experiences dry and clear weather conditions, with bright sunny days and clear blue skies. The region experiences very little rainfall, and the chances of encountering rain are rare during this time of the year. Due to the dry weather condition, the humidity level in the air remains low, making the weather very comfortable for trekking and other outdoor activities.
Kathmandu to Jomsom
To get to Jomsom from Kathmandu, you have a few options:
A connecting flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom is a popular way to reach Jomsom due to the challenging terrain and high altitude of Jomsom’s airport. The flight typically has a layover in Pokhara and requires passengers to switch to a smaller aircraft to reach Jomsom.
Travelers can book connecting flights through various travel agencies or directly through the airline’s website, and it’s advisable to book in advance, particularly during peak season, to avoid last-minute availability issues.
If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can take a bus from Kathmandu to Jomsom. However, the road journey can be quite challenging due to the rough terrain and mountainous terrain, and it takes around 14-16 hours to reach Jomsom. You can take a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then transfer to another bus to Jomsom.
Another option is to hire a jeep from Kathmandu to Jomsom. The journey by jeep takes around 10-12 hours, and it’s a great option if you want to enjoy the scenic beauty along the way.
Flora that can be spotted during the Upper Mustang Trek in April
April is a great time to visit Upper Mustang as the spring season is in full swing. During this time of the year, the landscape is transformed with the arrival of colorful and vibrant flowers. Here are some of the most common flora that can be spotted during the Upper Mustang trek in April.
The Himalayan Birch is a tree that is native to the high altitudes of the Himalayas. Its distinctive white bark and delicate leaves make it a beautiful sight against the rugged landscape of the Mustang Valley.
The Juniper is a hardy tree that grows in the rocky terrain of the Himalayas. It’s evergreen needles and distinctive scent make it a favorite among hikers and locals alike, who use its wood for fuel and its berries for medicinal purposes.
Several species of pine trees can be found throughout the Mustang Valley, including the Himalayan Blue Pine and the Chir Pine. These trees can grow up to 40 meters tall and provide important habitats for wildlife in the region.
The Rhododendron is a tree that is native to the high-altitude forests of the Himalayas.
Its vibrant blooms which can range in color from pink to red to white, make it a beautiful sight during the spring and summer months.
Primula is another common flower that can be found in Upper Mustang. These flowers are usually found in shades of pink and purple and can be spotted on the sides of the trails.
Edelweiss is a rare and beautiful flower that is found in the high-altitude regions of the Upper Mustang. These flowers are usually found at an altitude of 4000m and above and can be easily spotted during the trek.
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The Willow tree is a deciduous tree that can be found growing along the banks of rivers and streams throughout the Mustang Valley. Its delicate leaves and branches provide essential habitats for birds and other wildlife in the region.
Here are some of the favorable side treks that can be done during the Upper Mustang Trek in April:
The trek to Chhoser Village takes around one day from the walled city of Lo Manthang. The trek is a moderate trek that takes you through a high-altitude desert landscape, offering stunning views of the Himalayan ranges, including the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri mountains. Along the way, you will also pass through several ancient caves that were once used as meditation and living quarters by Buddhist monks. One of the major attractions of Chhoser village is the Jhong Cave, which is an ancient cave monastery located on the hillside above the village. The Jhong Cave is believed to be over 2,000 years old, and it is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The cave contains beautiful frescoes, sculptures, and ancient artifacts that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Mustang region.
It is the most important destination in the Upper Mustang region. Lo Manthang is an ancient walled city, and it was the capital of the Mustang Kingdom.
The city is surrounded by the Himalayan ranges, and it offers a spectacular view of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri mountains. The trek to Lo Manthang takes around 3-4 days, and it is a challenging trek that takes you through a high-altitude desert landscape.
Dhakmar is a small village located in the Upper Mustang region. It is known for its beautiful red cliffs, which are formed by ancient sedimentary rocks. The trek to Dhakmar takes around one day, and it is a moderate trek that offers beautiful landscapes of the Mustang region.
Ghar Gompa is an ancient monastery located in the remote area of Upper Mustang. The monastery is known for its beautiful paintings and ancient architecture. The trek to Ghar Gompa takes around two days, and it is a challenging trek that takes you through rugged mountain terrain.
Animals that can be spotted during the Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang trek in April is a great time to explore the unique and diverse wildlife of the region. During the trek, you can spot several animals and birds that are unique to the region such as the snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, and Tibetan wolf. The snow leopard is a highly endangered species that is rarely seen, but if you are lucky, you might spot it while trekking.
The Himalayan tahr, also known as a mountain goat, is easily recognizable by its curved horns and shaggy fur. Similarly, the blue sheep, known as Bharal, can be spotted grazing on the mountain slopes. The Tibetan wolf, a subspecies of the grey wolf, is known for its thick fur and powerful jaws.
Apart from animals, the Upper Mustang region is also home to several birds such as the golden eagle, Himalayan griffon, snow partridge, and Tibetan snowcock. The golden eagle is a majestic bird of prey that can be spotted soaring above the mountains. The Himalayan griffon, a large vulture, is known for its size and can also be spotted flying above the mountains. The snow partridge, a bird found in high-altitude regions of the Himalayas, can be spotted on the mountain slopes, along with the Tibetan snowcock, known for its distinctive call.
The difficulty level of the Upper Mustang Trek in April
The Upper Mustang Trek in April is generally considered to be a moderate-level trek. The difficulty of the trek can be influenced by several factors such as altitude, terrain, weather conditions, and personal fitness level.
April is a good time to trek in Upper Mustang as the weather is relatively stable, with mild temperatures and clear skies. However, the nights can still be cold, especially at higher altitudes. This means that you should be prepared for a variety of weather conditions and carry appropriate gear such as warm clothing and a sleeping bag.
The terrain on the Upper Mustang Trek is rugged and challenging, with steep ascents and descents, rocky trails, and narrow paths. Trekkers need to be physically fit and prepared for the challenging terrain. The altitude can also be a challenge, as the trek reaches elevations of up to 4,200 meters above sea level. Trekkers should acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness and be prepared for the effects of high altitudes, such as shortness of breath and fatigue.
Tips for the Upper Mustang Trek in April
Here are some tips for the Upper Mustang trek in April:
Prepare for the altitude:
The trek to Upper Mustang involves reaching a high altitude of around 3,800 meters. Preparing yourself physically and mentally for the altitude before you start the trek is important. You can start with some low-altitude treks and gradually increase your altitude to help your body acclimatize to the altitude. This can help prevent altitude sickness, a serious problem for trekkers.
Pack appropriate clothing:
April is a great time for trekking in Upper Mustang as the weather is usually dry and sunny, but it can still get chilly at night. It’s important to pack warm clothes, such as a down jacket, warm hat, and gloves. You should also pack lightweight and breathable clothes for the day, such as trekking pants and shirts made of synthetic materials that can wick away sweat.
Get the necessary permits:
Trekking in Upper Mustang requires a special permit, which is issued by the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu. You’ll need to have your passport, visa, and two passport-sized photos to apply for the permit. It’s important to get the permit before you start the trek, as you’ll need to show it at various checkpoints along the trail.
Carry enough water and snacks:
It’s important to stay hydrated and energized throughout the trek. You should carry enough water and snacks with you, such as energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit. You can also buy water and snacks at the tea houses along the trail, but they can be expensive.
Hire a guide:
Hiring a guide can make your trek much easier and safer. A guide can help you navigate the trail, arrange accommodations, and provide you with important information about the area, such as the local culture and customs. A guide can also help you in case of an emergency.
There are no ATMs or banks in Upper Mustang, so carry enough cash to cover your expenses. You can exchange your currency in Kathmandu before starting the trek. The local currency in Nepal is the Nepalese rupee.