Nepal is an extensively diverse country in terms of topography with mountains and rugged hills covering almost 75% of the total land. With the highest mountains in the world and plains, Nepal has tremendous variation in climate. For trekkers, the fall and spring offer the best clarity and mild temperatures with the least precipitation.
Monsoon begins from the month of June and lasts until August. Trekking during this time can be quite dreary as there can be an extremely heavy deluge, and not just for an hour or two. The roads and trekking paths become wet and muddy and there is a noticeable risk of landslide, flood and trail, and roadblocks on your trekking route.
It is considered as an ‘off-season’ for the trek. However, there are few places in Nepal which receive less rainfall in a year, making it a heaven for monsoon trekking. These areas are accessible throughout the year. Dolpo, Tsum valley and Mustang are the major rain-shadow areas. Monsoon trekking can also be best for botanical keen.
Highlights of Trekking in Nepal in Monsoon
- The monsoon season usually starts from the second week of June to the first week of September.
The popular trekking trails are less crowded and the availability of rooms at lodges is high.
- If you are a botanist or nature lover, you will be overwhelmed to see the colorful surrounding. You will witness the greenery everywhere in front of you during the trek.
- After the rain, you will more likely see a clear view of the mountains with a blue sky.
- You will be able to attend the agricultural activities and participate in an event as monsoon is the agriculture season in Nepal.
- You will get to witness the traditional festivals of the Newari ethnic people such as ‘Indra Jatra’, ‘Gai Jatra’ etc in Kathmandu Valley
- You will also experience other Hindu festivals such as ‘Krishna Janmashtami’ and ‘Teej’
Explore rain shadow region of Nepal
- The walled city and ancient monasteries along the region
- Picturesque view of the magnificent and majestic mountain range
- There is an absence of huge crowds of trekkers, unlike other months. Thus, you will get the best out of your trek.
- Monsoon season is the off-season in Nepal, so experience a discounted adventure trip in Nepal. Nowadays, trekking in Nepal in monsoon is trending to budget travelers. Experience the great hospitality services at lower prices.
What to expect?
There might be a dense build-up of fog and clouds when trekking in the lower altitude forests during monsoon trekking in Nepal. The clouds leave after a couple of hours downpours and reveal stunning mountain views under the deep blue sky.
You can expect 4-6 hours of rain in the lower altitudes but as you reach higher, you will find drylands with less possibility of rain. Nevertheless, the rain-shadowed zones in Nepal have little precipitation due to their topographic barrier of mountain ranges.
The prevailing winds lose their moisture on the windward side caused by the mountain peaks, leaving the leeward side to be dry due to which certain destinations remain ideal for monsoon treks.
Rainy seasons are quite a time to enjoy the greenery as you walk along the trail. And it is a lot cleaner and gives us a cool climate while being in the forest. You will enjoy trekking in monsoon due to these reasons.
As monsoon is the ‘off-season’ for trekking, there will be crowds neither in the trails nor in the hotels and Lodges.
So, you will be able to get good rooms at cheaper prices with special discount offers if lucky, and won’t have to wait long for meals. The accommodation is quite basic in the upper regions in comparison to the lower regions. Also, carry some salt while trekking to avoid leeches getting into your skin. Wear long hiking pants, long sleeves, long socks, and ankle trekking boots.
The weather is hot and humid during the monsoon season. There is a possibility of rain during the starting days of the trek, which then improve after we reach a higher altitude (above 2500m). Humidity is low and temperate are pleasant above 2500m. It normally rains for a couple of hours in the lower elevations in the afternoon. Trekking in the rain-shadow areas, you will witness drylands, winds and low rainfall. The temperature in the higher elevations reaches 5 degrees in the daytime and -10 degrees in the night time.
You can enjoy your trek to high passes and peaks in Nepal walking through the green valleys and flowers blooming along the trail. The high passes are snow-free and you can also get clear and magnificent mountain views under deep blue sky after the rainfall. In lower regions of the trek, you can enjoy the trek passing by the rhododendron and wildflowers forests that spreads the sweet aroma.
Suggested trekking destinations
Upper Mustang trek, situated on the rain-shadow zone of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri Mountain ranges, is among the best choice for monsoon treks in Nepal. It is considered the last upholder of Tibetan culture in Nepal and has been isolated from the modernity and complexity of 21st century for decades, standing still till date.
Upper Mustang receives very little rainfall and is ideal for monsoon trekking. It possesses a very definite and quirky environment because of its unique topography. It is the finest destination where you get rewarded with the perfect blend of cultural elements and surreal landscapes.
The region is located on the periphery of the Kali Gandaki Gorge- one of the deepest gorges on the planet with very sparse vegetation and snow with strong winds and unique rock erosions. The Trekkers get the opportunity to explore and enjoy the Tibetan culture, festival, tradition, and villages that are the most highlight of the region.
Tiji Festival in Lo-Mangtang is celebrated in May which is a popular attraction for tourists inspiring them to visit and experience the native culture.
Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo is an unspoiled trekking region of western Nepal that offers spectacular views of the Himalayas, incredible landscapes, rich culture, wonderful lakes, and the remote Himalayan villages.
Nepal’s deepest lake, SheyPhoksundo (145 m), situated at the high-altitude landscapes of Dolpa and is the highlight and one of the most beautiful natural tourist destinations in Nepal. The surrounding environment, rocks, giant hills, forests, and snow-capped peaks are worth visiting.
Trekking to Dolpo during the monsoon season is the best way to experience the nature and culture of the high Himalayas of western Nepal. As it lies in the rain-shadow area, it receives very little rainfall resulting in a landscape that resembles the Tibetan plateau. So, trekking to this region is best for diverse cultures, landscapes and beautiful scenery walking through open summer pastures, brown rudimentary and lots of Yak caravans.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is an idle place to discover breathtaking mountain scenery & beautiful hill villages in a short period of time. You can see an amazing panorama of the complete Annapurna massif from the poon hill ridge if the weather remains favorable and the skies are clear.
The weather with the sun shining and blue sky makes the journey and the view when reached at the hill station looks even more spectacular and indelible.
During the height of the monsoon, the Ghorepani trek can be wet with limited visibility, but the trails are wide, well carved out with steps, and relatively free of leeches. You will cross suspension bridges, pass through the hillside valley and discover rivers and streams along the way to Ghorepani.
Early and late monsoon can be a great time for this trek as there will be no crowds and still likely see the clouds clear for great views along the way. You can easily get good accommodation facilities and won’t have to wait long for meals.
Chisapani Nagarkot trek is most popular among those who are willing to explore the natural beauty of Nepal but have lesser time. It is a short trek perfect for the monsoon season where you get to explore the diverse wonders of nature, rural Nepal and the awe-inspiring majesty and beauty of dramatic mountain views. You will follow the trail of Sundarijal climbing up the water pipes which supplies water in Kathmandu Valley.
On your way, you will witness Shivapuri watershed and Wildlife reserve offering rich insight into the culture, lifestyle, and traditions of the locals living in this region.
Trekking in this area even in Monsoon in Nepal offers a clear sky, after rainfall where you can view the great Himalayas and the landscape in this region. It is a small and finest trek if you really want to take taste of trek in Nepal with time available only on monsoon.
Nagarkot Chisapani trek is catered to any kind of fitness and ages means young kids, family and old people. You can get familiar with the culture of different ethnic people such as Tamang, Chhetri, and Brahmin. Passing on the beautiful trail, you will be rewarded by the stunning glimpse of the spectacular mountain views, beautiful landscapes, romantic views of Kathmandu valley, rivers, green hills, and typical Nepalese villages. Accommodation and meals vary according to costs and availability of services.
Equipment to be carried along
- Hiking boot
- Down jacket, breathable jacket
- Water-resistance clothing, Jackets, and shoes
- Thermal inner
- Trekking track
- Thin windproof jacket
- Nylon underwear
- Thick woolen socks
- Muffler, scarf, gloves
- Sun cap, woolen cap
Basic gears you need to carry:
- Raincoat/plastic to prevent rain or hail
- Sunglasses/ UV protected
- Luggage and rain cover
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- Camera and charger, Mobile and charger
- Water bottle
- Dry fruits and bars
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Quick-dry towel
- Sleeping mat
Medical items to carry
- Medical kit
- Sunscreen cream
- Lip balm/moisturizer
- Pain relief spray/ balm
- Hand sanitizer
- Anti-bacterial powder.
Monsoon is another best season for you to trek in the rain-shadowed areas of Himalayas in Nepal. The trails will be quiet with no crowd and the lush green vegetation and panoramic views of the mountains will captivate you.
You may have to deal with some challenges on your way, but once you reach your destination you will receive immense pleasure and joy for your accomplishment. It is an incomparable joy and satisfaction and the views of your surroundings will leave you in awe.
The lower regions will have more downpours and the trails will be wet. But as you ascend to the higher elevations, the lands will be drier with few possibilities of rainfall. You will also get to experience some of the festivals while you’re in the valley during the monsoon season. Exploring the ‘Jatras’ of the Newars, teej and Ropai Jatra (Rice planting festival) is an adventure on its own.
If you have any further inquiries regarding the trekking in monsoon in Nepal, you can contact Mount Face Nepal.