Manaslu region in Nepal is one of the best trekking destinations in the world. It’s the off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal where chances of bumping into crowds of trekkers from around the world are very few. One gets to witness some of the greatest Himalayan panoramas during Manaslu Circuit trek. These include Himlung (7,126m) near Tibet and Kang Guru (6,981m) and Annapurna II (7,937m). Manaslu circuit trek route passes through impressive trekking trails like rumbling glacier rivers, forests of pine, bamboo and rhododendron and probably snow on the high pass. Most probably wildlife encountered are snow leopard and the highest living mammal, the pika. The prime highlight of the Manaslu circuit trek in Nepal is crossing over the Larkya-la pass at 5,213 meters. This is the most challenging day of the trek where you start at the break of the dawn to cross the pass. Further, there’s the cultural and spiritual side of the trek where one gets to witness the culture and traditions of Tibetan Buddhists the way it has been for centuries. En route you will pass several Buddhist monasteries and Mani prayer walls and prayer flags.
Highlights of Manaslu circuit trek
– Manaslu trekking trail goes through gushing rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers
-Observe some of the spectacular Himalayan views of the peaks like Mt. Manaslu (8163m)-the 8th tallest peak in the world
-The prime highlight of Manaslu circuit trek is crossing over Larkya La Pass located at an altitude of 5,213 meters)
-Explore a variety of floras & faunas at the remote Manaslu conservation area.
-Discover authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture and traditions.
– Hav chit-chat with ethnic local people en-route the trekking trail.
Manaslu circuit trek itinerary
Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation
Day 03: Drive to Soti Khola (710m) via Arughat (695m) 8-9 hrs drive
Day 04: Soti Khola to Macha Khola (900m) 5-6 hrs
Day 05: Macha Khola to Jagat (1410m) 6 hrs
Day 06: Jagat to Philim (1590m) 3 hrs
Day 07: Philim to Bihi Phedi (2363m) 6-7 hrs
Day 08: Bihi to Namrung (2540m) 6 hrs
Day 09: Namrung to Lho (3180m) 4 hrs
Day 10: Lho to Samagaon (3530m) 5-6 hrs
Day 11: Rest Day at Samagoan (3530m
Day 12: Samagaon to Samdo (3860m) 4-5 hrs
Day 13 : Samdo to Dharmashala (4460m) 5-6 hrs
Day 14: Dharmashala to Bimthang (3890m) via Larkya La Pass (5213m)
Day 15: Bimthang to Dharapani (1860m) 6-7 hrs
Day 16: Dharapani to Besisahar (1100m) 7 hrs
Day 17: Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu (1330m) 7-8 hrs
Day 18: Transfer to airport for your onward destination
Manaslu circuit trek best time
The best time for Manaslu circuit trek is as follows and you need to plan your trek accordingly.
September to November: is the best time to go. During these months there will be great weather with great views. This is the high trek season in Nepal during when the Restricted Area Permit cost is higher. But it is just $25 per week more and trekking on one of these months is recommended.
Mid March to May: is the spring season with flowers out in full along the trails. The downside is it’s hot and humid at the lower altitudes.
June to September: is the monsoon season so quite not a good time of year to go. Unless it’s the only vacation time you have. The pass will be blocked and the trails muddy. This leads to doubling back on part of the route.
Manaslu trek vs Annapurna circuit
The trail of Manaslu Circuit lies just close to the popular and well-established Annapurna Circuit trail. Trekking the Annapurna Circuit is definitely one of the most popular treks in Nepal and received more trekkers around the year. But the trail to Manaslu is with dramatic changes in culture and scenery on the way. These can be anything from paddy fields, subtropical forests, high mountain passes, arid cliffs and the world’s deepest gorge. Then there are the Himalayas which you see like The Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak and Manaslu. Popular trekking trails like Annapurna Circuit or Everest Base Camp are always crowded. But such is not the case with trekking to Manaslu. Trekkers will have open spaces with few other trekkers on the trail. Also, it’s great to have a little chat with the locals en route. Trekking the Manaslu circuit will give you a sense of the real adventure and feeling of an expedition trek.
Manaslu circuit trek permit cost
Manaslu is a remote and restricted area where a special trek permit is required besides the permit fees of the national parks. The permit cost doesn’t go to the trekking company but to the government authorities which is for the management/conservation of the fragile environment of the Manaslu region. Manaslu is protected under Manaslu Conservation Area. In brief, it will cost you USD 135 to USD 160 for permits depending on the time of year.
Manaslu circuit trek difficulty
Manaslu circuit trek is moderate graded trekking where anyone who is fit can accomplish the trek. The maximum daily walking hours are 6-7 hours. The itinerary is specially planned to gain little altitude every day and there is a rest/acclimatization day to avoid altitude sickness. The most difficult and challenging day is crossing over the Lakya-la pass (5,213m) But with enough acclimatizing and a good supporting trek staff, trekkers usually cross over the pass.
Manaslu circuit and tsum valley trek
Another great spot to connect with Manaslu circuit trek is the hike to Tsum valley. The valley is en-route to Manaslu Base Camp and which can be beautifully combined with Manaslu Circuit trekking. The valley of Tsum is adorned by tall and wonderful mountain peaks and ranges such as Buddha Himal, Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal, Srinji Himal, and Manaslu. Trek to Tsum valley adds yet another dimension to Manaslu circuit trek. Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek is to fully explore the Manaslu region.
Manaslu circuit trek solo
Trekking the Manaslu circuit alone isn’t recommended since it’s the far and remote trekking trail in Nepal. Besides, you will also need a special trek permit to trek into this region which can be only issued with a government-registered trekking company in Nepal. Even if someone is solo trekking in the Manaslu region then there can be many complications like losing the trail, high altitude, sickness, injuries where solo trekkers will be in trouble.
Manaslu circuit trek distance
Manaslu circuit trekking Nepal relatively is a longer trek in Nepal. The Manaslu can be deal with in 13 to 17 days. Most of the itineraries are 14 or 15-day which allows for adequate acclimatization and smooth operation of the trek. The total distance of the Manaslu Circuit is 177 kilometers (110 miles). The distance can, however, differ from itinerary to itinerary. Some itineraries start in Arughat Bazar where others only start at Soti Khola.