Monsoon Season and Trekking in Nepal

Monsoon Season and Trekking in Nepal

Information about Monsoon Season and Trekking in Nepal. Nepal become more and more beautiful during the monsoon season whether a city, town or a rural villages. Monsoon is the time when most of the country becomes soaked in waters and most of the trekking route turns out closed for trekking. Nevertheless, there are several trekking routes, which a trekker can opt during the showers to satiate their quest for carrying out this exciting adventure. If you are a trekking enthusiast and want to enjoy trekking in the season when the sky turns bluer and foliages turn greener. Here are the list of some of the best treks that you must opt for your trekking in monsoon.

Lasting from mid-June to early September, the monsoon brings rain, humidity and an increase in temperatures to most of Nepal. True - mountain views are often obscured by cloud, temperatures get uncomfortable, and it rains daily. And yes, there are leeches. But thanks to the sheer height of the Himalaya, many of the best treks lie in a rain shadow that stretches across northern Nepal. Even in the upper reaches of the Everest region, you'll see far less precipitation than the lower regions of Nepal.

The advantage of trekking in the monsoon is that you have the trails to yourself, the full attention of the local teahouses, and a more intimate overall experience with the local people and culture. Also, the rivers are surging, the fields are green and spring is in bloom.

Below, we've listed treks that are great options if you're heading to Nepal in the monsoon.

What to expect during the monsoon

Expect around 3-4 hours of rain each day, generally around the same time of day. When trekking in the forests and lower altitudes, there's often a build-up of dense fog and clouds which clears occassionaly to reveal the views.

Trekking tips for the Monsoon Trekking in Nepal

1. Get an early start.

Start your trek earlier in the mornings and make your days shorter in wetter areas as it typically rains more in the afternoons than in the mornings.

2. Dress for success.

Bring quick-dry socks and t-shirts and breathable waterproof gear. For heavy and long showers in the peak of monsoon, waterproof jacket and pants are essential. While not the most fashionable of solutions, we personally swear by the poncho in lighter and intermittent showers as it can easily go over yourself and your pack and be put on in a flash. Other seasoned trekkers prefer the umbrella as you avoid having to put on an additional layer to stay dry and you can use the umbrella as a handy walking stick once the rain lets up.

3. Waterproof your pack

Keep in mind that a wet pack is a heavy pack. A waterproof backpack is the best option for keeping your gear dry, but it can be expensive. A cheaper solution is buying a cover for your backpack or simply packing your wet-sensitive gear in dry bags, garbage bags or Ziplocks. Additional bags for separating your wet clothes from the rest of your kit is a worthwhile idea too.

4. Allow cushion time in your scheduling.

Factor in transportation delays in your trekking schedule, especially when taking mountain flights. The heavy rains can make the roads to the trailhead difficult to negotiate and flights can be affected by weather delays caused by strong winds, rain and cloud cover.

5. Bug off.

While fellow trekkers are scarce during monsoon time, mosquitos and leeches are not. These pesky travel companions like warm and wet environments, so come armed with insect repellents for mosquitos (in the lowlands) and a solid combat plan for leeches in the mountains.

Leeches are quite skilled at wiggling through trainers, socks and even the toughest hiking boot. To protect yourself from an attack you can spray insect repellent on your socks and avoid resting on rocks or leaning on trees that haven’t been in direct sunlight. If you do get mistaken for lunch don’t try to pull the leach off as it will bleed quite profusely and leave a little bump. Instead, you can can encourage the leech to detach by rubbing table salt on it. Or do what the locals do and sprinkle Szechuan pepper on your shoes to ward off leeches. Szechuan pepper, also known as Himalayan fireberry or Timur in Nepali, can be found in grocery stores or markets in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

6. Accept wet feet.

There is only so much rain waterproof trekking boots and gaiters can take. If you are on a longer trek your feet will inevitably get wet sooner or later. Opting for a light and breathable trail running shoe or a Gore-Tex lightweight shoe will improve your grip on wet and slippery surfaces, dry quicker between downpours and be easier on your legs.

7. Respect nature and local knowledge.

Heavy rains are known to cause landslides in the Himalayas so if you are trekking in unknown territory it’s recommended to hire a local guide. Generally locals will avoid being outdoors in the heaviest of downpours if they are in landslide prone areas. If you are unsure it’s best to observe and do what the locals do. If they are not out or they are taking precautions on certain trails, you should follow suit.

Recommended gear for the monsoon

For lower elevations, an umbrella is best, as even the highest quality waterproof shells can be too hot. Clothes that are light and quick-drying are ideal, given that humidity is often high. At higher elevations, humidity drops off and temperatures are much more pleasant, but it still can rain and you'll want to have a waterproof shell.

Transport during the monsoon

The main challenge of trekking during the monsoon is getting to the trailhead, as poor visibility can delay your flights and roads can get too muddy (or worse, blocked by landslide). Still, there's a good chance your flight will get out and you just need to inquire in advance to make sure the roads are open.

Still, it's best to factor in transport delays to your plans and give yourself a safe buffer to avoid any complications. Flights are often delayed, and road transport can be halted by landslades along Nepal's major highways.

Below, we've listed treks that are great options if you're heading to Nepal in the monsoon.

Upper Mustang Trek

Mustang's relative isolation from the outside world has contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature.

The high-altitude arid lands of Mustang on the north side of the Annapurna massif create a sharp contrast to the monsoon lushness on the south side of the rain shadow. The Upper Mustang Trek leads through the bottom of the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki gorge, to the top of 4,000 meter mountain passes. It snakes through sparsely scattered Buddhist villages, along the rim of steep canyon walls, past hidden caves and red-walled monasteries, all the while with the dramatic backdrop of impressive 8,000 meter peaks. One of the highlights on this trek is getting to the forbidden kingdom of Lo Manthang, one of the last examples of living Tibetan culture.

While the trek itself will be relatively dry, the difficulty lies in getting there. The heavy July rains can make the road to the trailhead in Jomsom impassible and flights can be affected by weather delays caused by strong winds, rain and cloud cover. If you have the time to add some buffer days for travel and the budget (roughly $400 return trip), flights are usually the best option for this season and region.

Outline Itinerary - Upper Mustang Trek

Day 01 Flight Pokhara to Jomsom (2720 m), trek to Kagbeni (2810 m) 3 hrs

Day 02: Trek Kagbeni (2810 m) to Muktinath (3720 m) and return to Kagbeni 6 hrs

Day 03: Trek Kagbeni (2810 m) to Chele (3050 m) 6 hrs

Day 04: Trek Chele (3050 m) to Syangboche (3800 m) 7 hrs

Day 05: Trek Syangboche (3800 m) to Ghemi (3520 m) 3 hrs

Day 06: Trek Ghemi (3520 m) to Tsarang (3560 m) 3 hrs

Day 07: Trek Tsarang (3560 m) to Lo Mangtang (3800 m) 4 hrs

Day 08: Trek Lo Manthang (3800 m). Rest day

Day 09: Trek Lo Mangtang (3800 m) to Dhakmar (3820 m) 6 hrs

Day 10: Trek Dhakmar (3820 m) to Ghiling (3570 m) 6 hrs

Day 11: Trek Ghiling (3570 m) to Samar (3660 m) 4 hrs

Day 12: Trek Samar (3660 m) to Jomsom (2720 m) 3 hrs

Day 13: Flight Jomsom - Pokhara - Kathmandu Upper Mustang Trek

If you have any question about Upper Mustang Trek, you can email us.

Dolpa Circuit Trek

Phoksundo Lake TrekUntil about 30 years ago, not much was known about Dolpa in the outside world. The region was closed to foreigners until 1989 and to this day only receives a fraction of the visitors coming to Nepal for trekking. It’s an incredible natural and cultural experience for those longing for a bit of secluded adventure. Nepal’s deepest lake, Phoksundo (145 m), lies nestled in the arid high-altitude landscapes of Dolpa and is one of the most beautiful natural tourist destinations in Nepal.

If time allows it’s worth spending a day or two admiring the views and exploring the lake and surrounding areas. Don’t miss Tshowa monastery on the east bank of Phoksundo Lake where traditional worship still takes place.

Outline Itinerary - Dolpo Circuit Trek

Day 01: Flight Kathmandu to Nepalganj

Day 02: Flight Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475 m), walk to Dunai (2140 m) 2 ½ hrs

Day 03: Trek Dunai (2140 m) to Lingdo (2391 m) 5 hrs

Day 04: Trek Lingdo (2391 m) to Laina Odar (3370 m) 6 hrs

Day 05: Trek Laina Odar (3370 m) to Nawarpani (3475 m) 4 hrs

Day 06: Trek Nawarpani (3475 m) to Sisaul (3750 m) 3½ hrs

Day 07: Trek Sisaul (3750 m) to Dho Tarap (4080 m) 4 hrs

Day 08: Trek Dho Tarap (3944 m) to Numala Base Camp (4440 m) 3 ½ hrs

Day 09: Trek Numala Base Camp (4440 m) to Danigar (4631 m) via Numa La (Pass) (5318 m) 6 hrs

Day 10: Trek Danigar (4631 m) to Yak Kharka (3982 m) via Baga La (5190 m) 6 hrs

Day 11: Trek Yak Kharka (3982 m) to Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake (3733 m) 2 ½ hrs

Day 12: Trek Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake (3733 m) to Chhepka (2838 m) via Rechi (2940 m) 7 hrs

Day 13: Trek Chhepka (2838 m) to Juphal (2475 m) 6 hrs

Day 14: Flight Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu

If you have any question about Dolpa Circuit Trek, you can email us.

Rara Lake Trek

Rara and Jumla SectionRara National Park may be the smallest National Park in Nepal but it’s also home to the biggest lake in the country (and the highlight of this trek), Rara Lake.

This remote region in western Nepal can be challenging to get to as the road conditions and flight departures are subject to weather disruptions in the lowlands. While not as dry as Mustang and Upper Dolpo, the crystal clear waters of Rara Lake and the surrounding alpine meadows, spotted with exotic Himalayan flora that can only be seen in the summer time, make it a worthwhile trip even if you do have to face the occasional showers.

Despite the natural beauty on offer in this remote part of Nepal very few tourists find their way here, in fact, there are more species of birds around Rara Lake than annual visitors!

Outline Itinerary - Rara Lake Trek

Day 01: Flight Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Day 02: Flight Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475 m), walk to Liku (2405 m) 5 hrs

Day 03: Trek Liku (2405 m) to Kaigaon (2642 m) via Balangra Lagna pass (3822 m) 8 ½ hrs

Day 04: Trek Kaigaon (2642 m) to Chotra (3103 m) via Maure Lagna pass (3900 m) 9 hrs

Day 05: Trek Chotra (3103 m) to Jumla (2350 m) 9 hrs (possible to end trek here and fly out from Jumla)

Day 06: Trek Jumla (2350 m) to Nauri Ghat (2700 m) via Daphe Lekh (3900 m) 7 hrs

Day 07: Trek Nauri Ghat (2700 m) to Jhyarigaon (2672 m) via Ghurchi lagna pass (3447 m) 8 ½ hrs

Day 08: Trek Jhyarigaon (2672 m) to Rara Lake (2986 m) 2 ½ hrs

Day 09: Rara Lake (2986 m) to Talcha Airport (2 hrs) and flight to Nepalgunj/Surkhet and Kathmandu

If you have any question about Rara Lake Trek, you can email us.

Annapurna Circuit (Upper parts of Manang)

Monsoon Season TrekkingAnnapurna Conservation Area is one of the most popular places for trekking in Nepal, for good reason. It’s relatively easy to get to by road or air via Pokhara, the trails are well-marked, welcoming teahouses serving steaming dal bhat and delicious apple pie line the well-trodden trails and the views of the Annapurna mountain range are unbeatable.

Significant parts of the Annapurna Circuit lie in the monsoon curtain and will therefore be rather wet and slippery but the upper parts toward Manang and over the challenging Thorong La pass crossing into Muktinath in lower Mustang will be significantly dryer and well worth the effort.

Outline Itinerary - Annapurna Circuit (Upper parts of Manang)

Day 01 Drive Kathmandu/Pokhara to Besi Sahar, walk to Bhulbhule (840 m)

Day 02: Trek Bhulebhule (840 m) to Bahundanda (1300 m)

Day 03: Trek Bahundanda (1310 m) to Chamje (1430 m)

Day 04: Trek Chamje (1430 m) to Bagarchap (2160 m)

Day 05: Trek Bagarchap (2160 m) to Koto (2600 m)

Day 06: Trek Koto (2600 m) to Singenge Dharamsala (3230 m)

Day 07: Trek Singenge Dharamsala (3230 m) to Kyang (3820 m)

Day 08: Trek Kyang (3820 m) to Phu (4080 m)

Day 09: Trek Phu (4080 m) to Junam Goth (3600 m)

Day 10: Trek Junam Goth (3600 m) to Naar (4110 m)

Day 11: Trek Naar (4110 m) to Ngawal (3660 m) via Kang La (5322 m)

Day 12: Trek Ngawal (4110 m) to Manang (3540 m)

Day 13: Trek Manang (3540 m) to Yak Kharka (4050 m) 5 hrs

Day 14: Trek Yak Kharka (4050 m) to Thorong Phedi (4450 m) 4 hrs

Day 15: Trek Thorong Phedi (4450 m) to Muktinath (3760 m) crossing the Thorung La (5415 m) 9 hrs

Day 16: Trek Muktinath (3760 m) to Kagbeni (2810 m) 5 hrs

Day 17: Trek Kagbeni (2810 m) to Jomsom (2710 m)

Day 18: Trek Jomsom (2710 m) to Larjung (2560 m)

Day 19: Trek Larjung (2560 m) to Ghasa (2010 m)

Day 20: Trek Ghasa (2010 m) to Tatopani (1190 m)

Day 21: Trek Tatopani (1190 m) to Ghorapani (2870 m)

Day 22: Trek Ghorapani (2870 m) to Thirkedunga (1540 m)

Day 23: Trek Thirkedunga (1540 m) to Nayapul (1070 m), drive to Pokhara (3 hrs)/or Kathmandu (9 hrs) Nar-Phu Valley Trek

If you have any question about Annapurna Circuit (Upper parts of Manang), you can email us.

Limi Valley Trek

Limi Valley TrekHumla is the most remote district in Nepal. Adventurous trekkers who seek to venture off the beaten track and have panoramic mountain views all to themselves are drawn to this isolated region of Nepal. Especially if you go in the summer you’re probably more likely to run into the elusive snow leopard than a fellow trekker!

The Limi Valley trek follows the ancient salt trading and pilgrimage route to the border of Nepal and Tibet. Entering the rarely visited Limi Valley with its incredible red rockscapes and medieval stone villages is like stepping back in time. Due to its isolated location, the villages are untouched by modern development and so the accommodation available to trekkers is simple lodgings in authentic, small Buddhist villages and camping amidst the snow-encrusted mountains.

Outline Itinerary - Limi Valley Trek

Day 01: Flight Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Day 02: Flight Nepalgunj to Simikot (2950 m)

Day 03: Trek Simikot to Dharapuri (2300 m) 4 hrs

Day 04: Trek Dharapuri to Kermi (2670 m) 3 hrs

Day 05: Trek Kermi to Yalbang (3020 m) 5 hrs

Day 06: Trek Yalbang to Muchu (3120 m) 4 hrs or Tumkot (3380 m) 5 hrs

Day 07: Trek Tumkot to Yari (3700 m) or Thado Dunga (3750 m) 5 hrs

Day 08: Trek Yari to Hilsa (3720 m), crossing the Nara La (4620 m) 6 hrs

Day 09: Trek Hilsa to Manepeme (3990 m) 5 hrs

Day 10: Trek Manepeme to Til (4000 m) 6 hrs

Day 11: Trek Til to Halji (3660 m) 3 hrs

Day 12: Trek Halji to Jang (3930 m) 4 hrs

Day 13: Trek Jang to Talung (4370 m) 8 hrs

Day 14: Trek Talung to Shinjungma (3620 m), crossing the Nyalu La (4949 m) 8 hrs

Day 15: Trek Shinjungma to Kermi (2670 m) 7 hrs

Day 16: Trek Kermi to Simikot (2950 m) 6 hrs

Day 17: Flight Simikot to Nepalgunj - Kathmandu

If you have any question about Limi Valley Trek, you can email us.

Associated With:

  • Government of Nepal
  • Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)
  • Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN)
  • Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA)
  • Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP)

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