What comes to your mind when I say the word, ‘August’? Let me tell you what comes to my mind. As soon as I hear this word, I think of heavy rain showers, cool breeze and greenery. The idea of trekking in August, usually when the monsoon is at its peak, came to my mind when my friend commented in one of our conversations, “You don’t go for trekking during the monsoon!” My spontaneous reply to him was “Why not?”, and then he was silent.
The question sure may have got him thinking, but I was thinking a lot about it too. Why do people not go for trekking in August, which is only beautiful and soothing? That day, as soon as I reached home, I started researching on “trekking in the monsoon.” My search made me realise something.
There has been a general belief that trekking should not be tried in the monsoon. I admit, trekking may become a little more strenuous during this time of the year than otherwise, but if the challenge becomes harder, will you back out? July or August is the time when the snow at high altitudes melts and the real sceneries come to life. Researching a little bit more about best trekking routes in the month of August, I found so many treks that one can pick from. Out of all those treks, I have filtered out a few that I believe are the best for a trekking excursion, planned in August.
Parang La Trek
The first one on my list is a challenging trek, which takes you to an altitude of over 18000 feet. I know what you must be thinking, 18000 feet? That’s like more than the height from which you skydive. That is the majesty of the Himalayas. More than 110 peaks rising to the altitude of over 24000 feet take you to such heights that you never thought was possible. In case you don’t know, Parang La lies on an old trade route, connecting Spiti and Ladakh. You know what this means, it’s the best of both worlds. Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir are perhaps two of India’s best trekking destinations, and all you need is to embark on the Parang La Trek to explore both.
Kanamo Peak Trek
The Kanamo Peak trek dares you to reach the altitude of almost 20000 feet in a matter of two days (well, 10000 feet in effect as you will be starting from about 10000 feet above sea level). Apart from the peak scaling, the other highlight of this itinerary is that it takes you to the famous Ki or Key Monastery. Sitting majestically on the top of a hill, this 11th-century gompa is renowned for its historical paintings and literature. The gompa truly looks magical against the backdrop of barren, mighty peaks in the Spiti Valley.
Pin Parvati Pass Trek
The Pin Parvati Pass Trek is going to be difficult even if you are a seasoned hiker. Taking you to an altitude of approximately 17450 feet, the trail passes through forests of deodars, pines and firs. The journey may begin from the scenic hill station of Manali, but the trekking adventure starts from the quaint village of Pulga. From here, the excursion takes you past various small villages, allowing you to mingle with the local people and learn about their culture and life. Tunda Bhuj, Thakur Kuan, Odi Thach, Mantalai, Tiya and Mud are some overnight stay destinations on this hike. Apart from these, you will also enjoy the thrill of camping on the banks of the Pin River. During the journey, you will be left awe-struck by the stunning views of snow-capped mountain peaks and pristine valleys.
Bhrigu Lake Trek
Although the Bhrigu Lake Trek can be enjoyed any time of the year, August is the best time to go for it. During the month, the water pouring from the sky comes down as a blessing and enriches the whole region, and the cold monsoon winds make the atmosphere even chillier. The Bhrigu Lake Trek is a short 4-day journey, which begins from Rumsu Base Camp. During this trip, you will have plenty of sightseeing opportunities. Some points of interest included in this itinerary are Gauri Shankar Temple, Tripura Sundari Temple and Naggar Castle. You will also get to visit the famous Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery, which houses numerous paintings, made by the renowned Russian artist, writer and archaeologist. Graded as easy to moderate, the Bhrigu Lake Trek takes you to an altitude of just a little under 14000 feet.