Manaslu Trekking Guides

  • Silu Pandey
  • Last Updated on Mar 15, 2024

Manaslu circuit trek is one of the popular trekking destinations in Nepal. It starts from Soti Khola and ends at Besishahar (Annapurna Circuit Trek starting point) by leading the eighth tallest mountain in the world. It is just like the Annapurna circuit trek. Mt. Manaslu and Mt. Annapurna lie just opposite to each other. That’s why; you can see some views of the Annapurna ranges as well during this trekking period.

The Manaslu region is a remote and less-explored area and is off-route as well. But it is culturally enriching and scenically uplifting. It was opened for tourism in 1992, but it is not explored yet as much as other trekking destinations of Nepal like the Everest base camp trek and the Annapurna base camp trek. So, it is perfect, especially for those who want to discover real and pure mountain sceneries as well as the typical Tibetan culture.

Table of Contents

It takes 14 days to finish the entire Manaslu trekking. The spectacular mountain views like Manaslu and Ganesh Himal are the main highlighting points of this trekking. Another feature is a super ethnic community and Mongolians are the common inhabitants of the Manaslu region. As you know, this region is located at the border between Nepal and Tibet. So, you may feel most of the religions and their costumes belong to Tibetan culture.

Your Manaslu trekking embarks on from the lowlands of Soti Khola, filled with rice and millet, and goes through the Budi Gandaki gorge and other beautiful waterfalls. During trekking, you need to walk through the forested trail. Crossing the suspension bridges is really thrilling because some of them make you feel adventurous because of their cracked physical structures due to over-flood in monsoon season. Around Manaslu trek offers golden sunrise views over Annapurna II as well. It is the praiseworthy feature of this trekking destination. A great glaciated valley and the magnificent Himalayan views are also equally beautiful.

Larke La Pass is an elevated place in the Manaslu circuit trekking region. It is situated at an altitude of 5167m above sea level. Therefore, trekking to Larke La Pass is categorized as the physically most demanding activity of Manaslu trekking. In order to cross this highest point of the Manaslu region, you must be fit and fine both physically and mentally and you need to start your trekking very early in the morning before the winds come. But you should not be worried about this Pass because our experience guide and porter assist you at every angle of your walking point. Besides, the surrounding mesmerizing mountain views will also help you to forget all of your tiring activities and welcome you just after reaching on top of Larke La Pass. The views come closer to closer after walking ahead towards the west from this Pass.

Overall, Manaslu circuit trekking is teahouse-based trekking, but it can be organized on the basis of a tent too if you want to join it in the unexplored zone.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary

Mt. Manaslu

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola (Drive) (6 to 7 hours drive)

Accommodation: Tea House

After having your breakfast, you have almost 8 hours of driving on the local bus. It is a drive on the highway till to Dhading Besi, the capital of the Dhading district of Nepal. During this ride, you can see the Trishuli river (a popular river for rafting) from the right side of the window while some small cities can be seen from the opposite side. From there, the bus goes along the paved road to Aarughat. It is a small village but facilitated by everything that is found in the city areas of Nepal. Then the unpaved roadways start and end at Soti Khola, a destination of today and is trekking starting place as well.

Day 2: Trek to Maccha Khola (5 to 6 hours trek)

Accommodation: Tea House

This is the first day of your Manaslu circuit trek. After having your breakfast, your journey starts. Your trekking goes ahead along the rocky and narrow trail encountering lots of rivers, towering cliffs, and waterfalls. Your trail takes you to some of the ethnic villages too. Then the continuation of trekking reaches Machchha Khola finally.

Day 3: Trek to Jagat (5 to 6 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

From today, you are going to enter the restricted areas of the Manaslu region. So, your TIMs and Permit cards will be verified at the checking point at Jagat. It is a typical Gurung village. It’s a tiring walking day too because you have to ascend on the ridges in order to reach Jagat. One of the most interesting things is that you are going to get a thrilling experience as you need to walk on the suspension bridges over the rivers and cross the trail. En route, you will encounter the Tatopani. It is a natural hot spring where you can have a bath for relaxing your body. The walk goes along the forest trail too where you may witness lots of monkeys. You may encounter some shepherds with sheep as well. Finally, you will reach Jagat.

Day 4: Trek to Pewa (5 to 6 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

After having your breakfast at Jagat, your trekking ascends to Salleri village and descends to Sirdibas. After crossing a suspension bridge, you will reach Philim, a typical Gurung village where you are welcomed by lots of beautiful monasteries and Buddhist prayer flags. Your permit will be checked again at the checkpoint of this village.

The trekking continues along the bank of the Budi Gandaki river and enters the forests of rhododendron and the Himalayan pine. After crossing another suspension bridge over the Siyar river, you encounter the Tsum Valley trekking trail. Leaving such a junction point, you get into Pewa village, the final destination of today’s walking for spending your nights.

Day 5:Trek to Namrung (5 to 6 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

Today as well, you are going to encounter and cross the Budi Gandaki river again and again for so many times. So, after having your breakfast, the trekking goes ahead to Deng Village by crossing the bamboo forest. Then, it ascends and reaches other beautiful villages like Rana and Bihi Phedi after crossing a suspension bridge.

It is a risky walk as well because you are going to walk along the landslide zones. So, you must be careful while walking and listen to your guide very attentively. Then the trail goes towards Namrung village. It is a beautiful village surrounded by the beautiful picturesque of Mt. Siringi. The most interesting thing is that you can spend your night at a good setup hotel, facilitated with restaurants and wifi compared to other days. You can witness the Tibetan-influenced lifestyles of Nubri inhabitants too.

Day 6: Trek to Lho village (3 to 4 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

Your walking is going to gain a high altitude today so, you must walk slowly for adjusting your body in the elevated areas of the Manaslu region. After having your breakfast, the trekking begins again. It goes on along the terraced farms of barley. The walk moves on along the forests of fir, rhododendron, and oaks by passing beautiful chhortens and mani walls. Then, the trekking ascends to Lihi and to Sho villages simultaneously. En route, you may see the locals with Tibetan dresses and beautiful paintings on the gate arches.

At last, the ascending walks on the hillside take you to Lho, from where you can witness the marvelous views of Mt. Manaslu.

Day 7: Trek to Sama Gaun (3 to 4 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

Due to the altitude factor today, you are going to have a short period of walk while comparing to other days. The trekking begins through the trails of pine and rhododendron forests. It moves on and reaches Shyala Gaun, a small village surrounded by the mesmerizing views of Mt. Manaslu and Himal Chuli. The trail continues again for about an hour and the mountain views disappear completely as you enter the Sama Gaun. It is the main village of the Nubri people where you can visit large numbers of gompas.

The teahouses of this place also serve many facilities like wifi and other food items. You can visit many shops as well. At last, health also lies in the Sama Gaun of Manaslu circuit trek.

Day 8: Acclimatization Day

Accommodation: Tea House

This is a rest day at Sama Gaun in order to be well-acclimatized, but it does not mean you are free. However, it’s your choice whether to enroll in hiking activities or not. If hiking is ok, you have two options.

The first one is Pungyen Gompa which lies on the eastern side of Nubri Valley. It is an acclimatization hike that will be almost two hours. After reaching Pungyen Gompa, you are astounded by the praiseworthy views of Manaslu mountain.

The last one is Manaslu Base Camp lies in the northern part of Sama Gaun. It is a walk on the ascending trails. It ends at an altitude of 4400 m.

Day 9: Trek to Samdo (2 to 3 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

This is another short walking day because you are going to gain high altitude again. So, your trail goes slowly but steadily. En route, you can see the long mani walls and the varieties of flying birds as well. You may encounter the grazing yak too.

Then your trekking goes up to a ridge. You cross the wooden bridge over the Budi Gandaki river. Then the continuation of your walk takes you to Samdo village, a final destination.

Day 10: Acclimatization Day

Accommodation: Tea House

This is another acclimatization day. So, you can utilize your day by visiting the border between Tibet and Nepal. From the border, you can see the beautiful Samdo glacier and you can click your photos in front of those glaciated peaks. Besides, you can observe the seeable parts of Nepal and Tibet. You may be witnessed some yak traders as well.

Day 11: Trek to Dharmasala (3 to 4 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

Today, you are going to walk on the fluctuated trail so, the up-and-down walk happens until you reach Dharamsala. En route, you can enjoy the mountain views very clearly.

Day 12: Trek to Bimthang via Larkya Pass (10 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

This is the one and only challenging day of the Manaslu circuit trek because you are going to cross the Larkya La Pass, an elevated place in the entire Manaslu trekking region. But, you do not need to be worried because our experienced guide and porter help you to cross this pass easily. So, you must wake up a bit early in the morning and cross the pass before the wind flows. You have to walk slowly and continuously by following each and every instruction of your guide and definitely get succeeded.

After reaching on top of Larkya La Pass, you will admire the necklace views of mountains like Manaslu, Annapurna II, Himlung, Kang Guru, and others.

Then the trail goes down towards your destination i.e. Bimthang. As you descend, the mountain views come closer to closest and finally, you get into Bimthang.

Day 13: Trek to Dharapani (7 hours)

Accommodation: Tea House

This is the last day of your Manaslu circuit trek. Today, your trekking ends at Dharapani. Though it is an ending point of the Manaslu region, it is a starting point of the Annapurna circuit trek. If you wish, you can join this trekking destination too.

This is a complete downhill walk in the beginning. It goes down through the different forest trails. It goes ahead across the Dudh Khola again and moves towards Karcher. Then, your trekking takes you to Dharapani after having a continuous walk along with the farming lands.

Day 14: Drive back to Kathmandu (10 hours)

This is the end day of your Manaslu circuit trek. So, you will have a ride to Besishahar. From there, you will have a tourist bus drive to Kathmandu along the highway road and you will retrace the previous roadways of the 3rd day from Malekhu. After reaching there, you will be transferred to the hotel.

Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty

Manaslu circuit trekking can be categorized as a slightly demanding trekking destination in Nepal because this trek leads you towards an off-the-beaten trail and walking on such a remote path is really a difficult job. However, the fresh and first trekker can also join this Manaslu circuit trek.

Distance also matters in making a Manaslu trek difficult. The lowest height is 228m while 5213m is the highest point (Larke La Pass). It is truly challenging for crossing this pass. So, altitude sickness can be counted as another Manaslu trekking difficulty. Every trekker should be acclimatized properly. Walking along the steep rocky trail is equally laborious. Therefore, this trek is perfect, especially for the adventure seeker. But it does not mean that other trekkers are unable to trek in this region. A trained person both physically and mentally with proper acclimatization can complete this Manaslu trek successfully.

At last, weather plays a vital role in making a trek either easier or more difficult. Therefore, we suggest you choose the right and most favorable season not for joining a Manaslu Circuit trekking only, but other trekking destinations 0f Nepal too.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Accommodation

Manaslu Circuit Accommodation

As you know, Manaslu is a remote region of Nepal, you should not expect more in this zone. Only the teahouses are your option to spend your night during Manaslu trekking. The rooms are based on twin sharing and toilets are available also on a sharing basis. It is a traditional toilet and may be located outside in most of the teahouses.

Besides, if you want to follow an off-the-beaten trail for making your trip more adventurous, you must spend your night in a tent.

Telephone and internet service

Manaslu is a remote area, but there is accessibility to mobile phone networks and the internet. Most of the teahouses have their own wifi and they will charge a little money for using it. Besides, you can buy a data pack from your mobile which is a cheaper and faster way for getting in contact with your family and friends. For it, you need to have a Sim Card from Nepal Telecom. In order to buy a Sim card, you must have a copy of your passport and maybe two passport-size photos. It costs only 100 Nepalese rupees and you can buy it even at the International airport of Nepal.

TIMs and permits for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Every foreign trekker must buy a permit and TIMS cards for entering the Manaslu trekking. The trekking companies like Rising Adventure help in buying such cards or you can get yourself from Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. Your TIMs and permits will be checked at the check post en route to Manaslu trekking.

Besides, you need to buy ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit) as well because the Manaslu circuit trekking trail touches the Annapurna region too at the end of trekking.

Manaslu circuit trek difficulty

Manaslu Region

Manaslu circuit trek is the best choice for adventure seekers so, it would be categorized as one of the most difficult trekking destinations in Nepal. It takes you around Mt. Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain at 8,163m (26,781ft) through the remote villages of the Himalayan region. Besides, it is trekking on the off-beaten trails so, most of the Mt. Everest climbers summit Mt. Manaslu before taking part in Everest climbing activity as a trail.

Obviously, this is the most concerning factor that every trekker must be aware of it. To be specific, the daily walking span, the weather, and the altitude factors determine the difficulty levels of the Manaslu circuit trek. Almost 177 km is the total distance of the Manaslu trek and you have to walk almost 15-20km per day on average which is not a joke. But, it does not mean that you can not complete it. You can do this if you are healthy physically and have a habit of daily walking or jogging. Good acclimatization supports you to cope with altitude sickness, but the weather condition is not in your hands. It depends on the seasons and spring and autumn are the best periods for trekking to Manaslu. The days are clear and views seem clearer. But in winter, the days are shorter and the nights are longer. Though the atmosphere is warmer during days, it goes down even minus like -20 degrees Celsius during nights. The mountain views may not be clear except on some sunny days. Likewise, most of the teahouses remain closed in the winter period. Another difficult time is during the monsoon period. Due to the heavy rainfalls, you need to walk on the steep and slippery trail which is one the risky jobs. You may get a path full of leeches as well. So, Manaslu trekking is best in the spring and autumn seasons only.

However, the most important thing is that you must have the willingness to complete this Manaslu circuit trek because if there is a will, there is success definitely.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a major concerning factor of every trekking destination including the Manaslu circuit trek. Manaslu trekking begins with a lower elevation of 700 m and reaches the highest altitude of 5213 m. In order to cross this highest point of Manaslu trekking, every trekker must be well acclimatized. Having plenty of water to be hydrated is very helpful to cope with acute sickness. Walking slowly is another profitable thing for altitude problems.

Besides, if anyone gets a headache or other symptoms of acute sickness, s/he must inform his/her guide and take a rest. You must consult with a doctor if it is needed and go down to the lower elevated zones.

Silu Pandey

Silu Pandey