It’s that time of the year when clouds come crashing down, leaving the skies bluer, the earth greener and the air, cleaner. What better way to experience this than in the mountains? We have chosen six of the best monsoon treks in the Himalayas in the months of July, August, and September. You might get a little wet, but it’s worth every drop! Take a look.
Valley of Flowers
It’s no surprise that Valley of Flowers is one of the most sought-after monsoon treks in India. Week after week, gorgeous flowers of intoxicating scents sprout from the wet earth, covering the valley in a carpet of colours. One week, the flowers are pink, and the next, they’re yellow and later, red and so on.
To add to that, the setting is an absolute joy; snow-capped mountains rise on either side and puffy clouds cling onto the valley.
We have reason to believe that Tarsar Marsar is the most beautiful trek we run. When we explored this trek in July 2014, we were stunned by the untouched, exaggerated beauty of the alpine lakes and the luxuriant meadows. It left us speechless for a week.
The best aspect of this trek, however, is the variety. Every day is an independent trek, and you never know what to expect. One day you’ll see fresh water musically flowing down over ledges, and the next day, you’ll see enormous lakes amidst mountains decorated with patches of snow. Sheep graze peacefully and horses sprint about freely.
The land is every bit as picturesque as a paradise ought to be.
Kashmir Great Lakes
Usually, on a high altitude trek, it’s normal to see one alpine lake or perhaps two. But on the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, seven alpine lakes appear day after day, surprising you with their enormity and their unprecedented beauty every time!
The best part is that every lake is unique and boasts of its own beauty. On the other hand, the landscape just after monsoon is spectacular, with lush meadows, and tiny flowers littered on the floor, so much so, that you’ll wonder where to step without trampling upon the flowers. The freshness of it can be overwhelming.
The eye-catching maple trees and plains of Satsar are special highlights of this trek, apart from the lakes themselves.
Simply put, the Hampta Pass is Himachal’s Valley of Flowers. The landscape is strikingly similar to that of Valley of Flowers – a green narrow valley protected by snow-covered mountains – but there’s an added bonus here.
When you get onto the other side of the Hampta Pass, you’ll be in awe looking at the stark contrast from what you just left behind. The landscape that stretches in front of you is Spiti Valley, known for its barren stretches, rugged terrain and forget-me-not blue skies.
The trek ends with a bang on the last day, with a drive to Chandrataal, a striking blue alpine lake in a stark desert. It is indeed a trek of contrasting surprises!
Pin Bhaba Pass
Pin Bhaba Pass is one of our favourite monsoon treks. It’s challenging, it’s dramatic, it’s thrilling and a blessing for photographers! The landscapes on this trek are vast, coming very close to the grand scale of Kashmir.
It’s got a lot going on — right from the dreamy river passing through a thick jungle, the dramatic crossover into Spiti, where a hundred shades of purple, pink and brown bombard your senses, and it climbs to a serious altitude of 16,000 ft, giving trekkers the adrenaline they crave for.
We think this is a great alternative to the risk-prone Pin Parvati pass, minus the risks. So if you’re an experienced trekker, pick this one in monsoon.
If you’re looking for a quick escape into the mountains, then Bhrigu Lake is a great option. It climbs right out of Manali into the mountains, and you see Manali getting tinier and tinier below you.
Ahead of you, the grandest of meadows open up.
Our founders were stumped looking at these meadows when they went late in August. They were fresh, green and expansive, stretching to as far as the eyes could see! Higher up, you climb to the lake, frozen in June, a forget-me-not blue in monsoon.
If you have just around four days, this is your trek!
So that’s our list of best monsoon treks.
Have you done any treks in monsoon? Tell us about them in the comments below.
Cover picture by Sanjib Das shot on the Hampta Pass trek.
What you should do now
1. If you want to see a complete list of treks that we run: Head over to our upcoming treks page. You’ll find help in choosing a Himalayan trek in a specific season.
2. If you want to work with us: Head over to our careers page. We have lots of positions open. We also have lots of applications coming in. So the sooner you apply, the better.
3. If you want to see the 13 best treks of India: Then get our free guide here.