Manaslu Circuit Trek: An Ultimate Guide [Updated July 2019]
Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary

Generally, most of the trekking trail of Nepal reaches over 5000 meters. Similarly, the Manaslu circuit trek is one of those trekking trails which reach over 5000 meters altitude. It starts with a height of 500 to 5160 meters, whereas you will allow exploring the three different valleys. The two valleys fall en route to Around Manaslu, namely Nupri valley, and Katung (Manaslu) valley and another is Tsum Valley. The killer mountain, Mount Manaslu was successfully ascent since 1956, a team of Japanese led by Gyalzen Norbu & Toshio Imanishi. So, Mount Manaslu is known as a Japanese mountain.

Indeed, we are talking all about the Manaslu circuit trek, a complete guide for the better experience. Besides that, adorable Himalayas panorama, you are capable of seeing specific extraordinary many peaks — the sort of high and tropical plant life and Buddhist shrines like monasteries, stupas, and mani walls at some point of the trek.

Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary

There are several itineraries for the Manaslu circuit. 17-days Manaslu circuit trek itinerary (Kathmandu – Kathmandu) as per our recommendation for Manaslu circuit trek including two extra days for either acclimatization or side trips. If expanding trip Manaslu circuit wіth Tsum valley, it requires at least 7-days and altogether 24-days trek.

At last, we would not recommend shortening this recommended itinerary, as the time needed for walking distances as well as rest days is very crucial for health and enjoyment. Moreover, taking more days for the trek is of course, highly recommended and worthy. This is a short Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary, allowing you to know day by day.

Kathmandu – Arughat (9h00 drive by local bus)
Arughat – Lapubensi (7 hours walk)
Lapubensi – Dovan (7 hours walk)
Dovan – Philim (7 hours)
Philim – Bihi Phedi (8 hours walk)
Bihi Phedi – Lho Gaon (6 hours walk)
Lho – Sama Gaon via Pungen Monastery (7 hours walk)
Sama Gaon – Samdo via Birendra Lake (5 hours walk)
Samdo – Larkya Phedi (Dharmashala) (4 hours walk.)
Dharamshala – Larkya-La – Bhimthang (11 hours walk)
Bhimthang – Dharapani (8 hours walk)
Dharapani – Bensi Shahar (5 hours by jeep)
Bensi Shahar – Kathmandu (5 hours by car)

The Local Bus of Nepal
The Local Bus
Rice terrace
Beautiful Rice Terrace
Manaslu Circuit information
Icy trail en route Manaslu circuit

Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek, and Its Side Trips

Side trips: In Tsum Valley Trek
Ganesh Himal Base Camp:  base point Lungden Gompa

Side trips: In our Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary

Kal Taal: base point Prok village
Hilang Monastery: base point Lihi

Pungen Monastery: base point Shyala or Sama Goan

Birendra Lake and MBC: base Point Sama Goan.

Tibet border – Rui La: base point Samdo

Larkya-la Pass
Larkya – La Pass

Manaslu Trek Permits & Logistics

The Manaslu region is declared as a restricted area while it requires having the permits for the trekking which issued by the department of immigration. However, it needs to apply through the registered trekking agency, and at least two trekkers require a group. Please visit the website of the department of immigration further information regarding the revised visa and trekking permits fees.

The Manaslu permit fee for the Autumn Season (Sept – Nov)

100 U.S. dollar per week (Additional 15 U.S. Dollar per day beyond a week).

The Manaslu permit fee for Winter, Spring, and Rainy Season. (Dec – Aug)

75 U.S. Dollar per week (Additional 10 U.S. Dollar per day beyond a week)

The Tsum Valley permit fee for autumn season (September- November) 40 U.S. Dollar per person per week and $10 per day beyond a week.

The Tsum Valley Permit fee for winter, spring, and summer season (December – August) USD 30 per person/week USD 7 per person/day (beyond a week)

Conservation Area fees:

MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Project): 3000 NRS Convertible 28 U.S Dollar.

ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project): 3000 NRS convertible 28 U.S Dollar.

The Buddhist Stupa, Tsum Valley
The Buddhist Stupa in Tsum Valley
Camping tent in Dharamshala
Manaslu Circuit
Manaslu Lodge Trek
Manaslu Circuit lodge trek

Around Manaslu Lodge Trek

According to the norms of traveling, one can do both type of organization as per the traveler’s desire and hubbies. Recently, the Manaslu Trek can do as Tea House (Lodge) Trek. So, it is referring as Manaslu Lodge Trek. The tea-houses are not that luxurious what you experienced in the Annapurna and Everest region.

Now, it does not require having their accommodation facilities, i.e., Tent (for camping). So, no need to carry catering services like the kitchen utensil, food, and numbers of porters. Nowadays, there is an increasing number of lodges in Tsum Valley Trek too. But it is not sufficient for travelers in specific places like Chumling and Nile. There is still possible to spend a night in the Homestay.

Traveling with a large number of trekkers, it requires to organize camping trek and accompanies with a large number of Nepalese staffs. There are no proper lodges facilities in Mu Gompa (the last monastery of the Tsum Valley). It is further making a camping trek that leads up to the Tibet border as well as in a barren land of the Yak pasture and Lungden Gompa. There is still needing to sleep on the premises of the monastery with basic accommodation.

Tea Houses versus Fully Camping Trek

  • Logistics of a trek is straightforward: It is not only traveling comfortably but also arranging the travel light, and simply taking some necessary items only. In another way, this is an economy for travelers too instead of making cater services and camping equipment through the trekking agency.
  • Support local economy: Consumption of accommodation and eating services that mean paying directly to them, which also support the local economy.
  • Better interaction: Closely comprise with local that exchange conversation and know better their lifestyle, culture, and tradition gain a better experience.

But we cannot do without compromising.

A compromise on food quality and quantity – while some trekkers prefer to enjoy local food (mainly Daal Bhat). But there found some trekkers were not satisfied with the menu for a long journey.

A compromise on accommodation – some villages along the Tsum Valley and Manaslu circuit still have basic lodges. And need to sleep sharing basis with others being the increasing number of travelers in the Manaslu region.

Best time to visit Manaslu circuit trek:

Generally, the best time to visit in the Manaslu Trek is autumn (October – November) and spring (March – April). There is relatively stable weather in the autumn season and will find some snow over 5,000 meters. The lush green forest and rhododendron will blossom during the spring season. But, Manaslu trekking can do all year round.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Route Map:

We provide updated Manaslu Circuit Trek Map for each group, which helps to find proper information while on a trek. The Manaslu Circuit Trek map enables you to navigate the routes such as altitudes, duration of the walk, and so on. Therefore, we do offer variable Manaslu circuit trek itinerary as per your needs.

Manaslu Circuit trek map
Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

Manaslu Trek Difficulty

Mount Manaslu, the spirit of the Himalaya, is an 8th largest mountain on the earth. It is one of the longer trekking trails compared to other trekking trails in Nepal. The trek begins from sub-tropical to tundra climatic zones whereas traversing six different climatic zones. Likewise, it spreads from the 715 meters to 5218 meters and goes through the Buddi Gandaki valley which encircled the Mount Manaslu. It is, of course, challenging due to its gradual altitude, walk into thin air and covering 177-kilometers in the distance.

The Manaslu Trek is ideal for those people who have an excellent physical condition and keen to walk in high altitude. Note that, trekking in Manaslu is moderate to strenuous. Nevertheless, old-aged people can also complete this trek if he or she takes proper acclimatization.

Some Other Essentials Addon

Telecommunication:
There is expanding the telecommunication services at most of the villages, except Deng and Ghap. However, you can find a satellite or cellular-based phone which able to connect with the world on the payable basis. Internet services are also available in Philim, Namrung, Lho, and Sama Gaon.

Electricity:
Due to the micro-hydro project, in many villages 220 volts of electricity is available. Likewise, Light and power sockets are possible for charging batteries on the payable basis. Villages without electricity generally use a solar panel for light and battery charging.

Sustainability Tips

As a sustainable tourism operator, Himalayan Exploration Travel would like to share some sustainable tips while you are on a trek. Whenever you spend time outdoors, you attempt to have the least effect on nature and the values of “leaving no trace” assist in preserving the environment you enjoy so much. However, when walking through isolated Himalayan settlements, you discovered it more complicated.

Sustainability tips for Manaslu Trek
The cows are eating rubish – I’m (partly) responsible.

In terms of sustainability, try to order what locals eat. Please do not buy bottled water or snacks. You may get boiled water from every lodge. If you are not 100% sure for its purity, please use water purify pills.  We highly recommend you to have locals food than the imported ones. For examples, you may eat Daal Bhat (Nepali cuisine) in the lower elevation, and you may order a variety of potatoes in the higher altitude. Please learn about our sustainability policy here.

Get to know about the region before you go. Read the book ‘The Snow Leopard’ by Peter Matthiessen and investigate anthropologist Geoff Childs’ research on communities living in this area.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Manaslu trek cost?

We do offer only $1350 per person as per published services on the website. Prices may differ widely,  from $1350 to $2350 per person based on the services.

Are permit require for Manaslu Circuit trek?

Yes, it requires Restricted Area permit (RAP), ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project), and MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Project). We have mentioned in detail on Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost as well.

When is the best time to trek Manaslu Circuit?

The autumn (September – November) and Spring season (March to May) is ideal for this trek even though it can be completed all year round also.

Is altitude illness a risk?

Yes, you should have to aware of it because the highest point of this trek is Larkya – La Pass at 5218 meters. It may cause altitude sickness if you are trying to go rapidly. However, you may prevent it, taking proper acclimatization.

What gear do I need?

Some essential pieces of trekking gear are required for the Manaslu trek. It reveals you to a series of high altitudes where the temperatures vary tremendously between night and day. The route is long and moderately strenuous.
We highly recommend seeing our essential information section for detailed.

How hard is the Manaslu trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is moderate to strenuous and crossing over Larkya La Pass at 5218 meters. It requires to walk 5 to 9 hours in a single day. But, it is still possible for first-time trekkers. You also need to physically and mentally fit enough.

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.