Lots of trekkers are worried about trekking in the snow even though it can be a blissful experience, mostly because they’re neither prepared nor aware of what time of the year the trekking trial expects snowfall. If you’re planning to travel or trek to Mustang Nepal, you’ll want to know what time of the year the region experiences snowfall, or is there even snowfall in Mustang, Nepal. 

Some parts of Mustang Nepal regions experience heavy snowfall between the months of January and February. Upper Mustang experiences heavy snowfall during these months whereas It snows around 1-4 times a month in the Lower Mustang region. The intensity and level of snowfall mostly depends upon the altitude and region it lies in. 

Many trekkers plan to visit Mustang for an opportunity to witness the beautiful snow-capped Himalayas while wanting to avoid the chilling temperatures and difficulties of trekking at well below freezing temperatures. 

There is actually a lot more to choosing the right time to trek or travel to Mustang Nepal than just the season labeled winter to get the best out of your travel.

How much is snow in the Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang regions?

The entire Mustang region is situated at an altitude between 3,900m and 5,700m above sea level. As a result of this, the region experiences sporadic snowfall during the months of November to March. Heavy snowfall occurs in some particular areas in winter where it snows almost 30-40 days in a year. The areas that experience heavy snowfall are: Thak, Mera, Lho and Ropa in Upper Mustang whereas Koto, Lo Manthang and Kagbeni in Lower Mustang

Snowfall in Upper Mustang Nepal.

Snow lasts from Mid December through January to Mid February in Upper Mustang. It also snows from October through to January/February in villages such as Lo Manthang, Kagbeni and Jomsom.

Upper Mustang experiences heavy snowfall during the winter months from Mid December throughout January, and upto mid February.

The region experiences very cold winters. The winter in Mustang is cold, dry and sunny. In winter, during the day it’s around 0°C to 5°C, and at night it can fall to -25°C. Wind chills can reach as low as -40°C. There might be some rain mixed with hail during this time period. 

Towards the mid-February, the temperatures start rising. The villagers also return to their villages by then. This means that you can enjoy occasional snowfall and majestic views during winter treks.

Snowfall in Lower Mustang Nepal.

If you are trekking in Lower Mustang in November or December, chances are that you will get to see some snow. However, this is not guaranteed as it is sporadic and depends on the weather conditions.

The region gets around 1-4 snowfalls per month but it does not fall for long and it is not heavy. The snowfall is quite sparse in this region and there are no high mountains so even if it does snow, the snow is not so dense and doesn’t stay for a long time.

Snowfall in the region is not dangerous but trekkers must be prepared for cold weather during these months. The only precaution one should take is to carry additional clothing like warm jackets and thermals. Trekkers can enjoy trekking in the snow without any problems or worries.

What to wear while trekking in the snow in mustang.

Upper Mustang trek is a very tough trek, especially in winter since there are many high passes and also very cold weather. There is also likely to be heavy snowfall during the winter season.

Therefore you need to carry good trekking clothing for Upper Mustang trek. if you are not prepared properly, then it may lead to serious problems like frostbite or hypothermia.

The Upper Mustang trek is a real adventure…especially in winter. You can read and look up the local customs and traditions before coming to the region, but nothing can prepare you for the snow or the cold (it was -25°C sometimes in the night). The locals here wear traditional woolen garments, which are really very warm. However, it does not protect you from the wind! You can buy one of these for around Rs. 1500 – Rs 2000 and it will go a long way in protecting you from the icy cold temperatures in Mustang. 

Here is a checklist of gear for trekking in Mustang Nepal in winter / December.

Remember – the goal should be to stay warm and comfortable but not so warm so you start to sweat. 

  • Warm jacket – waterproof and breathable, preferably with waterproof zippers.
    • Base and mid layer clothes to keep warm and wick perspiration from your body. It is advised to avoid cotton as they tend to soak up sweat and take a long time to cool down. Synthetic and wool layers will dry much faster and keep the sweat off your skin which is critical. Include thermal trousers, full sleeve shirt. 
    • Goggles or sunglasses – these help to protect your eyes from sun and wind. 
    • Hiking Pants – waterproof, windproof and breathable. 
    • Bandana or head scarf 
  • Woolen hat or cap
  • Synthetic and woolen socks – these work better than cotton socks as cotton socks need more time to dry
  • Gaiters – for trekking or hiking in snow, gaiters are a must. These help keep the snow out of your boots and also help you stay warm. Make sure to get waterproof/breathable ones.
  • Hiking boots – waterproof and not brand new so that your feet are used to hiking with them and you dont get blisters which can make your trek a disaster before it even starts. 
  • Gloves – inner woolen and synthetic along with outer waterproof and windproof. 

Benefits of trekking in Mustang in winter despite the snow. 

Trekking in the winter months can be rewarding. It’s far less crowded and you might even get a chance to play in the snow. You won’t have to battle extreme cold weather either, as it can drop to -25°C but only at night.

Take a look at how winter trekking in Mustang compares to other trekking peaks:

Trek Peaks Trek Season Crowds Accommodation Facilities Mustang November – February Very Few (2-3 people on the trail) Basic Tea Houses Everest May – June Very Few (2-3 people on the trail) Modern Hotels Gokyo Lakes July – October Moderate (10-20 people on the trail) Basic Tea Houses Kalapathar December – February Moderate (5-10 people on the trail) Basic Tea Houses Island Peak October – April High (30-40 people on the trail) Basic Tea Houses

The time of year you choose for your trek is also important. Not only will you avoid crowds, but you will also have a better chance of seeing snow since it usually falls between January and February. The downside is that there are no guarantees about snowfall in any particular year.

It is recommended that you go during this time if you aren’t too fond of crowds. It’s also a

Are the roads closed due to snowfall in Mustang Nepal?

during the winter, the snowfall is heavy but the roads are kept open. The pass will close only when a heavy snowstorm is forecast to last for more than 24 hours. If you are going in February, you can expect snow every day, but it will not be very deep and will be easy to walk on. 

The roads are kept clear by the government so they are safe to drive on, provided they are not covered with a fresh fall of snow. 

What to do if it snows? Should you be worried?

Snowfall is a common phenomenon in Mustang. When this happens, please sit back and enjoy the show!