Best Monsoon Treks in Himalayas
Get set to get wet with breathtaking Himalayas
Days pass, life moves on, and so the seasons change. But the Himalayas keep standing tall through all eternity, the colors of passing seasons reflecting in the breathtaking beauty of its mountains-cape. If you visit the same location even in the same season in different years, there are still going to be wonders and you will learn new ways to adapt to the terrains. This is also why you should go in the Himalayas even in the showery weather, risk a little messiness, and experience the rainy mountains afresh. So, people when it’s raining you must be on these damp and stunning trekking trails.
The name of the trek says it all!
A walk to remember in the valley that breaks into a riot of summer colours with 500 species of flora blooming all over the place!
It is an easy trek that offers a bounty for a little effort. In the vicinity of the valley there is another mesmerizing sight to behold, the alpine lake of the gurudwara Hemkund Sahib. It is a venerated religious site and hence inviting for pilgrims and adventurers alike all year long. Glacial snowmelts from Hathi Parbat and the Saptarishi peaks constantly feed its waters. Exotic flower varieties like the Blue Poppy and Brahma Kamal light up the slopes around the place in sublime hues.
“I was hesitant at first to make this trek while there were cloudbursts being reported from lower reaches of Uttarakhand, but then, the flowers wouldn’t bloom any other time of the year.
It turned out beautifully though. The valley was glistening once the sun came out and the rain soaked flowers glowed in the hazy light—an unearthly experience!”—said Arshia who trekked with us last July.
A trail running by five alpine lakes in the sublime Kashmir, the KGL trek surely takes the prize for one of the prettiest in our treks collective. The way runs along gently sloping meadows, punctuated with valleys and rocky patches.
“We don’t carry a lot of rain gear on our KGL trip though it’s practically monsoon in India, just a poncho and a cover for our backpacks are all the gear we need really.”—tipped Pawan who led TTH’s Kashmir Great Lakes trek in 2015 and 2017.
The highs and lows of the terrain are equally refreshing and you will probably never feel out of spirits or exhaustion as the sheer beauty all around keeps one rejuvenated. The high point comes with our campsites in the rustling grassy shores of these placid blue waters. The little locales and grazing lands that fall on the way are stuff of perfect idyll!
The Hampta Pass trek takes you to the juncture where two worlds meet. At one side there is the luscious greenery of Kullu, the point from where we start and on the other side of the pass there is the sandy sweep of the cold deserts of Lahaul. There is terrific drama in the switching of landscapes and that’s what makes this trek so special. Besides the epic crossover, you will get 180 degree views of Lahual-Spiti valleys, the PirPanjal range, and Indrasena peak.
“For me, the biggest thrill on Tarsar-Marsar was upon discovering the Marsar lake, almost hidden away inside gathering clouds.” – relates Anand, who came with TTH on one August trek to Tarsar-Marsar.
A lake trek in Elysium, once again set to the backdrop of Kashmir! Tarsar-Marsar is not as popular and well-frequented as the above listed KGL trek but that’s part of its charm. The remote, less treaded soils of this trail make it a true haven for a solitary recluse. The high points of the adventure comes on reaching the serene lakes of Tarsar and Marsar nestling in the glacial heights, reflecting god’s world in its pristine mirror-like waters.
Bhrigu Lake makes for a short and sweet escape in Himachal Pradesh spanning 4 days, to a quaint lake set in the snowscape of mid summers.
“It was an enigmatic sight, at the very vertex of our trail where we found the little lake, it was an absolutely frozen landscape, only the half-frozen waters were glistening like sapphire.
Our Trek lead told us, the lake never freezes over completely and I found it extremely fascinating!”—gasps Mandavi who trekked with her two kids with us last year.
The endless and undulating stretch of wide open meadows that come before reaching the rugged snowbound heights makes the trek especially remarkable. It’s a perfectly doable trek for beginners and children, owning to a low challenge level and a high promise of stunning views.
Unlike to the other monsoon treks that end up at the lavishing glacial lakes, this trek ends at a high pass, seeking the direct sights of Karakoram and Stok Kangri ranges. From the first step to the last step right in front of Kang Yatse peaks over 5 days, the Markha Valley stretches that long. The valley is mysterious that harbors unseen birds, animals, and flora. It also surprisingly beholds the heritage of Buddhist culture. No other trek is bounded so much with religious traits than this trail.
“I was in awe every day. Unlike the treks in Uttarakhand, Himachal or Sikkim, the mountains are dry yet so beautiful. They are arid but have their lush greenery of fields, forests, and shrubs,” says Rigzin our recee team member. For all the enthusiasts who wish to explore Leh and are looking for something more serene and easier than Stok Kangri, Markha valley trek is a perfect choice.
Himachal means lands of high peaks, bloomed with diversified green landscapes. Yet, this is not true of Kanamo trek, despite being in Himachal. The trail goes up to the Kinnaur Lahaul Spiti region, brilliantly revealing the dry and welcoming mountains. It is the only monsoon trek that is difficult after Stok Kangri. Taking as higher as 19,000 feet this trek must be chosen before attempting Stok Kangri peak.
If not for Stok Kangri, this is an amazing journey of exploration in the arid section of the Himachal. The exotic Kaza and Kibber villages are famous for its green peas cultivation. As the height increases the grade of the trail gets more challenging. Deep snow, moraines, loose rocks, boulders, long summit climb, it has all the endured elements. Even though the Kanamo peak is not that piece of cake to hike on, it is extremely unique. Right from the landscapes, type of trail, villages, it is different. Totally worth it to try something new this monsoon!