Nepal sees enormous climatic variation between the plains of the Terai, the mid-hills of Kathmandu and Pokhara, and the Himalaya. The monsoon has truly set in by July, with rain falling most days. Parts of the Terai often flood in this month, and neighborhoods of Kathmandu don't fare much better. Temperatures remain hot—in the high 80s Fahrenheit in Kathmandu and Pokhara—and while the rain does help cool the air, it also brings humidity. High-altitude areas are somewhat cooler, but many mountain regions become inaccessible to travelers do to rainfall.
Crowds & Costs
July is low-season in Nepal, and discount rates are available at many hotels. Most trekking trails empty as they become uncomfortable or inaccessible to traverse.
Trekking in Nepal in July isn't advisable in most of the country. Views are obscured by clouds, trails are muddy and slippery, and road access to trailheads can be hindered by landslides. However, there is a notable exception: the Mustang region. See below for more information (and check out Everest Base Camp in July for more about trekking in the Everest Region this month).
Where to Go
Mustang lies within the rain shadow of the Himalaya, north of Pokhara, 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 here, and the skies are normally clear. Landslides on the road to Mustang during monsoon make overland travel there difficult, but Jomsom is connected to Pokhara by air (which you can read about here).
If you want to trek in Nepal and July is the only time you can visit, consider treks in Lower and Upper Mustang. Other areas also fall within the rain shadow of the Himalaya—Upper Dolpo, the Nar-Phu Valley, the Limi Valley—but can become very challenging to access in July, with roads cut off and flights delayed or canceled.
What to Do
With outdoor activities more challenging at this time, you can still enjoy activities in the cities and towns. Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bandipur offer many cultural attractions such as temples, museums, bars and restaurants, shops, and charming lodging options and bargain-basement rates.
Check out this article for things to do in Pokhara during monsoon season (or any time during the year).
Traditional Nepali festivals (whether Hindu or Buddhist) usually follow a lunar calendar. This means that some festivals that fall in July one year may be in June or August the next.
The Ropain rice-planting festival falls either in late June or early July, while the Yartung horse racing festival in Mustang and Manang is held in July or August. It's celebrated primarily by the Thakali people to mark the end of the harvest. The annual Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge is also held in July, bringing avid cyclists to the city to complete a circuit of the Kathmandu Valley.
Traveling to Nepal in July? Check out these great itineraries.
Lower Mustang Trek. Mustang is part of an ancient trade route to Tibet, up the Kali Gandaki river, and offers one of the most developed trails in the Annapurna area. You'll take a moderate trek through the region bordering Annapurna and Mustang with great views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, staying in comfortable teahouses run by Gurung and Thakali families.
Kathmandu Valley Tour. In just 4 days, you'll explore the famous cultural sites of the Kathmandu Valley and top it off with an early morning flight with views of Mount Everest. This trip provides the perfect balance for getting the best of Kathmandu's nature and culture for those with limited time.