Nepal sees enormous climatic variation between the plains of the Terai, the mid-hills where Kathmandu and Pokhara are located, and the high Himalaya. August is the final full month of the monsoon—intermittent rain does continue into September—so temperatures remain hot and humid around the country, and conditions wet and muddy.
Crowds & Costs
August is low season in Nepal, and this is reflected in the bargain rates available at many hotels. Most trails are empty as they become uncomfortable or completely inaccessible for trekkers.
August isn't an ideal month to go trekking in Nepal. Views are obscured by clouds, trails can be muddy and slippery, and road access to trailheads can be hindered by landslides. However, Mustang is a notable exception (see below). Read this article for more info on the best monsoon-season treks in Nepal (and check out Everest Base Camp in August for more about trekking in the Everest Region this month).
Where to Go
Much of Nepal's mid-hills region consists of farmland. By August, the monsoon rains have nourished the rice seedlings planted earlier in the season, treating visitors to hillsides carpeted in dazzling green crops. You can see these on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley, edging the highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara, and around Pokhara, too.
Mustang lies within the rain shadow of the Himalaya, meaning it doesn't experience the monsoon like the rest of the country. The weather is sunny but not too hot because of the higher altitude, and the skies normally remain clear. Landslides on the road to Mustang during monsoon make overland travel there difficult, but Jomsom is connected to Pokhara by air.
If you want to trek in Nepal and August is the only time you can visit, consider treks in Lower and Upper Mustang. Other areas fall within the rain shadow of the Himalaya—Upper Dolpo, the Nar-Phu Valley—but can become very challenging to access in August.
What to Do
Although August is not an ideal month for many outdoor adventure activities, you can still enjoy cultural activities in the cities and towns. Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bandipur offer temples, museums, bars and restaurants, shops, and lovely accommodation options.
Traditional Nepali festivals (whether Hindu or Buddhist) usually follow a lunar calendar. This means that some festivals that fall in August one year may be in July or September the next. Some festivals that often fall in August are:
Janai Purnima, a festival in which upper-caste Hindu men change their sacred thread. This festival is particularly lively at Lake Gosaikunda, in the Langtang area.
Gai Jatra, which commemorates family members who died in the previous year.
Krishna Janmashtami, or Krishna's birthday, which is celebrated with special flair at Patan Durbar Square.
Traveling to Nepal in August? Check out these great itineraries.
Kathmandu Valley. The Kathmandu Valley offers unique things to do at any time of year, and in six days, you can see many of the highlights. Check out markets, temples and cultural sites that make this region famous.
Upper Mustang Trek. Complete a trek in the mysterious world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang. This moderate, lesser-known trek passes through one of the driest regions of Nepal and provides spectacular mountain scenery.