The Upper Mustang trek in October is a perfect choice for adventure seekers around the world! The Upper Mustang region is located in the northern part of Nepal bordering Tibet and is one of the most unique and remote places in the world.
Upper Mustang trek in October is an experience that should not be missed. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the heart of the Himalayas and witness the breathtaking beauty of the region. With stunning landscapes, traditional villages, and ancient religious sites, the Upper Mustang trek is an adventure of a lifetime. So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and embark on a journey to explore the hidden treasures of the Upper Mustang!
Average Temperature and Weather Condition
October is a great time to visit Upper Mustang because the monsoon season has ended, and the weather is clear and dry. The temperature during the day is warm and comfortable while the nights can get chilly. The average temperature during the day in Upper Mustang is around 16 to 20 degrees Celsius, while at night, it drops down to -6 to -2 degrees Celsius. The temperature can vary depending on the altitude and the time of the day. As you trek higher into the mountains, the temperature drops, so it is essential to carry warm clothes.
In terms of weather conditions, October is a great time to visit Upper Mustang because there are very few chances of rainfall. The sky is clear and you can enjoy the stunning views of the mountains, valleys, and landscapes. However, it is essential to be prepared for occasional dust storms as the area is quite windy. The wind can kick up dust making it difficult to see and it can also make trekking challenging.
Highlights of the Upper Mustang Trek in October
October is the best month to undertake this trek as the weather is generally clear, and the views of the snow-capped mountains are breathtaking. Let’s explore some of the highlights of the Upper Mustang trek in October.
The Forbidden Kingdom
Prior to 1992, Upper Mustang was off-limits to outsiders, earning it the moniker of the “Forbidden Kingdom.” However, the locals are renowned for their warm hospitality, and the area boasts a wealth of cultural and historical significance. During your journey, you will pass through numerous small villages, providing ample opportunity to learn about the local customs and traditions.
The landscape of Upper Mustang is unique and breathtaking. The region is known for its barren landscape with deep gorges and canyons carved by the Kali Gandaki River.
The landscape is dotted with ancient caves, monasteries, and temples which add to the region’s mystical charm.
Trekking through the Lo Manthang
The highlight of the Upper Mustang trek is the ancient walled city of Lo Manthang. The city is the capital of Mustang and is steeped in history and culture. The trek takes you through the city’s narrow streets where you can explore ancient monasteries, temples, and palaces.
October is the best month to undertake the Upper Mustang trek because the weather is generally clear, and the views of the snow-capped mountains are breathtaking.
Rich Buddhist Culture
The Upper Mustang region is predominantly Buddhist and you can see many ancient monasteries and temples during the trek. The region’s Buddhist culture is unique and has remained unchanged for centuries.
The Upper Mustang region in Nepal is a popular destination for tourists, particularly during October when the area experiences peak tourist season. This results in a significant crowd in the region, particularly in the town of Lo Manthang, where narrow streets are filled with tourists, trekkers, and locals.
The town’s main square is bustling with activity, with shops, restaurants, and socializing. Similarly, trekking trails leading to other villages are also crowded. However, despite the crowd, the region’s festive and lively atmosphere, rich culture, and stunning landscapes make it a worthwhile destination for those willing to visit.
How to get to Upper Mustang from Kathmandu
Upper Mustang is a remote region in Nepal that can be accessed by air or by road. Here are the ways to get to Upper Mustang from Kathmandu:
Connecting flights from Kathmandu to Jomsom provides easy access to the Mustang region, including Upper Mustang. The flight takes around 20-25 minutes with a stopover in Pokhara. From Jomsom, visitors can choose to explore Upper Mustang through trekking, jeep safari, horse riding, or motorbike.
By road and trek
Another way to get to Upper Mustang is by taking a bus or jeep from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then driving to Jomsom via Beni, Tatopani, and Kalopani. From Jomsom, you can either take a jeep or trek to Upper Mustang. The road journey is long and bumpy and takes about 12-14 hours.
Helicopter tours to Upper Mustang are also available which is the fastest and most convenient way to get there.
Helicopter tours offer spectacular aerial views of the Mustang region and can be customized according to your preferences. This option is, however, more expensive than other modes of transport.
Required Permits for the Upper Mustang Trek
To trek in Upper Mustang, you need to obtain a special permit called the “Restricted Area Permit” from the Government of Nepal. As the name suggests, Upper Mustang is a restricted area, and a permit is required to preserve its unique culture and environment.
You must provide a copy of your passport, and a passport-sized photograph, and pay the necessary fees to obtain the permit. As of 2021, the cost of the permit is USD 500 per person for the first 10 days, with an additional USD 50 per day for each extra day.
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In addition to the Restricted Area Permit, you also need to obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), which costs USD 30 per person, and a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card, which costs USD 20 per person. Both permits can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or Pokhara or from the entry checkpoint of the Annapurna Conservation Area.
Dashain is one of the biggest festivals in Nepal and is celebrated in late September or early October. The festival lasts for 15 days and is celebrated by Nepalis of all religions and ethnicities.
During Dashain, people offer prayers to the goddess Durga who is believed to have defeated the evil demon Mahishasura. People return to their hometowns to celebrate the festival with their families enjoy festive foods and drinks and participate in various cultural activities such as kite flying and swing riding.
Flora and Fauna
The Upper Mustang region in Nepal is a treasure trove of flora and fauna that adds to the natural beauty of the area. The Upper Mustang region’s rich flora and fauna make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and trekkers alike, offering a chance to witness some of the Himalayas’ most incredible natural wonders.
During October, the region’s forests are resplendent with a variety of trees, including oak, rhododendron, and pine trees. The colorful leaves of the deciduous trees make for a stunning sight as they change colors and fall to the ground.
Here are some of the plants that can be seen during the upper mustang trek in October:
Buckwheat is a staple crop in the Mustang region, and you can see fields of these plants during the trek. These plants have beautiful white and pink flowers and are grown for their seeds which are used to make flour. The sight of the buckwheat fields against the stark landscape is truly breathtaking.
The Upper Mustang trek is known for its arid and rocky terrain and the juniper is one of the few plants that can survive in this environment. These trees are evergreen and have needle-like leaves that give off a fragrant aroma. You can see juniper trees scattered throughout the trek, particularly in the higher regions.
Willow trees are common in the Mustang region and can be seen along the riverbanks. These trees have long, narrow leaves and are often used for their medicinal properties. In October, the willow trees are particularly beautiful, with their yellow leaves contrasting against the blue sky.
October is a wonderful time to see apple trees, as the fruits are at their peak ripeness and the leaves on the trees start to change color, creating a beautiful autumnal scenery. By October, apples have reached their peak ripeness and are ready to be picked. The apples are plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor. You will see apple trees laden with fruit that are just waiting to be harvested.
Here are some of the animals that trekkers can expect to see during the Upper Mustang trek in October:
Yaks are domesticated animals that are commonly found in the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas.
They are used as pack animals and are well-suited to the harsh conditions of the high-altitude environment. Yaks are usually seen grazing on the slopes of the mountains and can be easily spotted during the trek.
The Himalayan Tahr, a large ungulate that inhabits the Himalayan Mountains, is recognized by its shaggy fur coat and impressive curving horns. These creatures are frequently spotted grazing on mountain slopes during hikes.
Blue sheep, also known as bharal, is a species of mountain-dwelling ungulate that is found in the Himalayas. They have a bluish-grey coat of fur and are well adapted to living in the high-altitude environment. They are often seen grazing on the slopes of the mountains and can be easily spotted during the trek.
Inhabiting high-altitude areas of the Himalayas, snow leopards are renowned for their stunning white-grey coat and elusive nature, making them one of the planet’s most secretive species.
As one of the world’s most endangered big cats, spotting a snow leopard on a walk is an exceedingly rare occurrence, though it is possible to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures if one is fortunate enough.
At high elevations in the Himalayas, marmots are a type of ground squirrel that are renowned for their cheerful demeanor. These creatures can often be observed sunbathing on rocks or frolicking in grassy meadows. Because they are naturally curious and unafraid of humans spotting them during a walk is relatively easy.
Demerits of the Upper Mustang trek In October
Despite its popularity and advantages, there are also several demerits to consider when trekking in Upper Mustang during October’s peak season.
Here are some of the demerits of the upper mustang trek in October:
One of the biggest drawbacks of trekking in Upper Mustang during the peak season in October is the high number of tourists. The trekking trails can become crowded and congested, making it difficult to enjoy the peaceful and natural surroundings. Moreover, accommodations and restaurants can become overcrowded, which can lead to limited availability and higher prices.
During the peak season in October, prices for accommodations, food, and transportation are generally higher due to the high demand. This can significantly increase the overall cost of the trek, making it more expensive than other times of the year.
Although October is considered to be one of the best months for trekking in Upper Mustang, there is still a risk of unexpected weather conditions. Due to its location in the Himalayas, the weather can change quickly and trekkers may face unexpected rain or snowstorms making it difficult to trek.
Difficulty in Booking
During the peak season, there is high demand for permits and guides which can make it challenging to book in advance. It is recommended to plan and book early to avoid disappointment.
Tips for the Upper Mustang Trek in October
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind for the Upper Mustang Trek in October:
Be prepared for cold temperatures
October is a great time to trek in Upper Mustang but the temperatures can still be chilly, especially at night. Make sure to bring warm clothing including a good-quality sleeping bag, a warm jacket, and a hat.
While trekking in Upper Mustang it’s important to stay hydrated to prevent altitude sickness. Carry a water bottle with you and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Get the necessary permits
In order to embark on your journey, it is necessary to obtain the required permits. It is important to complete this task well ahead of time as the paperwork may require a significant processing period.
Hire a guide
Hiring a guide is highly recommended, as they can provide valuable information about the trek including the best routes, where to find water, and how to avoid altitude sickness.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Upper Mustang, so make sure to bring enough cash with you to cover your expenses.