Planning Your Trek
There are a number of trekking regions in Nepal protected by the Himalayan rain shadow, such as Upper Mustang, Nar & Phu Valleys, Manang, and the Upper Annapurna Circuit. Even for those regions that receive rain, 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. Be sure to check out our tips for traveling in Nepal during the monsoon.
Below, we've listed treks that are great options if you're heading to Nepal during the monsoon, from shorter to longer durations.
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Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek (5 Days)
During the height of the monsoon (July & August), the Ghorepani trek can be wet with limited visibility, but the trails are wide, well carved out with steps, and relatively free of leeches. Early and late monsoon can be a great time for this trek given you'll avoid the crowds and still likely see the clouds clear for great views along the way.
Nyingba Heritage Homestay Trek (5 Days)
Located in West Nepal, the Nyingba Heritage Homestay Trek itself is just five days, but plan for two days of travel and flying in and out of Nepalgunj. This is a great overall experience, where you'll enjoy homes and culture. (If you're traveling in June, you could combine this trek with Bardia National Park as it's a great time of year to see tigers. Keep in mind that this trek requires a couples flights to access the region, so be sure you have adequate time for flight delays.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Lower Mustang Trek (5-7 Days)
There are a number of trekking routes and day hikes you can do in Lower Mustang, such as this six-day itinerary. To access this region from Kathmandu, you'll need to take a couple flights so be sure to build in some buffer time in case of flight delays. You can also drive into Jomsom, however, road conditions are often not great during the July and August when the monsoon is heaviest. This all just means you need to be flexible with your time. If you're on a very tight schedule, this trek isn't for you.
Phoksundo Lake Trek, Dolpo (7 Days)
The Phoksundo Lake Trek is a weeklong trek, however, you'll need a few more days for travel as you'll have to fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and back. It's not bad in terms of rain and leeches, but again, travel to and from could be delayed so it's best to have a buffer.
Lower Everest Region (5-10 Days)
There are a number of great treks in the lower Everest Region which can be done during the monsoon. Flights to and from Lukla can be very delayed, but you're in the region, it's quite nice between the rain showers. You can often find great views up in the Khumbu even in July, for example. Depending on how many days you have, check out our article on the best short treks in the Everest Region.
Annapurna Circuit Trek (6-8 Days)
The upper section of the Annapurna Circuit trek lies in the rain shadow, making this a great time of year to avoid the crowds. Consider doing a 'shortened' Annapurna Circuit, from Bhulbhule to Jomsom. You could drive into Bhulbhule and then fly out of Jomsom (or take a bus or jeep to Pokhara). It's also a great time to include the TiliLakesideside trip.
Nar Phu Valley Trek (9-12 Days)
Beautiful trekking regions themselves, the Nar & Phu valleys lie in the northeast section of the Annapurna region and are accessed by branching off the Annapurna Circuit. Roads permitting, you can drive as far north as Koto Upper, and begin your trek from there. You have the option of returning the same way, or - better yet - following the Annapurna Circuit over the Thorung La to Jomsom, and flying back to Pokhara from there.
Upper Mustang Trek (12-14 Days)
A more expensive alternative to the Annapurna Circuit, the region of Upper Mustang lies entirely in the rain shadow, completely sheltered from the rain. You can fly in and out of Jomsom (avoiding the roads) and practically avoid the rain completely. This is a great time of year to visit Upper Mustang when the valleys are in bloom.
Everest Base Camp Trek (12-14 Days)
Expect rain during the first few days of the Everest Base Camp trek, then the weather will continue to improve as you reach higher elevations. One of the busiest treks in Nepal, you'll have almost the entire place to yourself.