Trekking to Manaslu Circuit: A Paradise for Adventure Enthusiasts
Trekking to Manaslu Circuit

Located in the heart of the Himalayas, Manaslu Circuit Trek provides an exceptional experience for adventurous individuals looking to immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of Nepal. With its stunning landscapes, challenging terrain, and peaceful mountain passes, trekking to Manaslu Circuit is truly a paradise for trekkers.

As you embark on this unforgettable journey, you will be awestruck by the majestic beauty that unfolds before your eyes. From towering peaks to cascading waterfalls, from lush green valleys to ancient Buddhist monasteries, every step along the Manaslu Circuit is a testament to nature’s grandeur.

Named after the impressive Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world, this trek leads you through remote villages, offering a unique opportunity to experience local culture and connect with friendly locals. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views of towering peaks including Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, and Buddha Himal.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a hidden gem waiting to be explored, with its pristine wilderness, untouched landscapes, and relatively fewer crowds than popular treks like Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit. So, lace up your boots, pack your adventurous spirit, and get ready to embark on this trekker’s paradise!

Overview of the Manaslu Region

The Manaslu region, nestled in northern-central Nepal, is home to the magnificent Manaslu Range, a part of the Great Himalayan Trails. The area is named after Mount Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world, standing at 8,163 meters. Trekking to Manaslu Circuit takes you around this stunning peak, providing a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience.

Explore the stunning Manaslu region known for beautiful valleys, ancient Buddhist monasteries, and picturesque villages. Enjoy breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains including Himlung Himal, Himal Chuli, and Cheo Himal on the Manaslu Circuit Trek, an inspiring adventure for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Nepal
Full bloom of Rhododendron en route to Manaslu Circuit.

Highlights of the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is known for its diverse range of highlights that make it a trekker’s paradise. One of the main attractions of the trek is the opportunity to witness the raw beauty of the Manaslu Range up close. As you trek through the rugged terrain, towering peaks, deep valleys, and pristine glaciers will surround you, creating a truly awe-inspiring experience.

  • Dramatic Mountain Views: The scenery one can view on the Manaslu Circuit trek is absolutely stunning. You will wake up to the sights of several mountains over 7,000 meters including Manaslu Peak, Ngadi Chuli, and the towering Himalayan ranges. Stark cliffs, glaciers as well and high ridges offer just breathtaking landscapes for those who are trekking in the region. The views really get better and better as one gets higher up the mountain.
  • Pristine Natural Beauty: The Manaslu region trek offers unspoiled natural beauty in a newly explored area. During the trek, you will encounter lush green valleys, meandering streams, and beautiful forest paths filled with colorful rhododendrons in the spring. You will also discover charming villages tucked under towering mountains, providing a truly scenic adventure.
  • Rich Buddhist Culture: The Manaslu Circuit Trek also offers the chance to visit ancient Buddhist monasteries and sacred sites. The Pungyen Gompa, a renowned Buddhist monastery, is situated on a hillside with picturesque hills in the background. These monasteries are a pleasant sight along the trail and offer a sense of solace after a tiring day. Tibetan-style houses are scattered throughout the surrounding area, serving as homes for villagers. In this picturesque setting, one can occasionally spot nuns, monks, and ancient monasteries such as Sama Goan. Additionally, there are also newly established meditation centers that have been set up in the vicinity. It offers a glimpse into the spiritual life that is inextricably tied to the beautiful nature that hosts it all.
  • Challenging High Passes: It is not without trepidation that you will cross Larkye La 5105m, the most dramatic and memorable day of the trek. These are challenging but very fulfilling treks that give you views you would not believe exist on the Manaslu Circuit.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek also offers the chance to visit ancient Buddhist monasteries and sacred sites. One such monastery is the Pungyen Gompa, perched on a hilltop with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The serene atmosphere and spiritual energy of these monasteries provide a sense of tranquility and peace amidst the challenging trek.

Trek to Manaslu
The Larkya – La Pass.

Permits and regulations for the trek

It is essential to have both permits to legally trek in the Manaslu region. The Manaslu RAP is specifically for the restricted area, while the ACAP is necessary for the conservation area. These permits help regulate the number of trekkers and protect the environment.

The Manaslu RAP costs USD 100 per person for the first week and USD 15 per day after that. The ACAP costs USD 30 per person. Additionally, trekkers are required to trek with a licensed guide and in a group of at least two people. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of trekkers and to preserve the fragile environment of the region.

Before planning trekking to Manaslu Circuit, it is crucial to acknowledge that permits and regulations are subject to change. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult a reputable trekking agency or the Nepal Tourism Board for the latest information.

To ensure a smooth and enriching experience, we suggest engaging the services of a licensed guide who possesses extensive knowledge of the region and can offer valuable insights and support throughout your trekking journey.

Manaslu Trek Permits
Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits

Best time to go on the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The best time for trekking to Manaslu Circuit is during the spring season, which runs from March to May, or the autumn season, which is from September to November. These months offer relatively good weather with minimal frost and clear skies.

Whether you choose to explore in the springtime or the autumn season, you will encounter diverse yet equally impressive landscapes. From the striking rhododendron blossoms to the awe-inspiring mountain panoramas, each time of year presents a one-of-a-kind and remarkable journey for nature enthusiasts and those who love the outdoors.

June to August is the monsoon season, making it not recommended to trek to Manaslu. During this time, the trails are often slippery due to rain, and landslides are common. Similarly, from December to February, which is winter, it can be extremely cold depending on the altitude. Heavy snowfall during this period can make trekking difficult and hazardous.

Note that weather conditions may vary, so we recommend checking the current weather conditions before embarking on the trek. Also, we advise you to pack appropriate clothing and equipment suitable for the climate typically experienced during the trekking season.

Itinerary and route options for the trek

The Manaslu Trek offers several different routes to fit different preferences and time constraints. But most people recommend that you take a 12-day trip, which you can extend even longer. Depending on the pace and acclimatization needs of individual travelers, trekking to the Manaslu Circuit varies in length from 14 to 18 days.

The trek starts in the village of Soti Khola and follows a clockwise route around the Manaslu massif. As you follow the trail, you will come across several villages like Machha Khola, Jagat, and Deng. With each step, the path gradually ascends, taking you higher and higher. Continuing, your journey will lead you through Namrung and Samagaon until you finally reach the highest point of the trek, Larkya La Pass, which stands proudly at an elevation of 5,160 meters. Soon the descent trail will arrive at Bimthang, then Tilije and Dharapani and finally reach Tal village.

If you are short of time, you can cut the course by bypassing certain sections or taking alternative shorter routes. However, it is important to note that acclimatization is crucial when trekking at high altitudes. And rushing the trek can increase the risk of altitude sickness.

Accommodation and facilities along the trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek has a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets:

  • Teahouses: These are simple guesthouses along the trekking route. They offer basic facilities such as a bed, shared bathroom, and meals. However, the quality of these facilities can vary greatly. Some teahouses may have hot showers and electricity available, while others may be more basic.
  • Lodges: These more upscale accommodations are available in larger villages like Samagaon, Namrung, or Bimthang. Lodges offer private rooms with attached washrooms and hot showers, providing a higher level of comfort compared to teahouses.
Teahouse in manaslu trek
Teahouse during a trek.

Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, we recommend bringing the following items for a more comfortable trek:

  • Sleeping bag: The mattresses provided in teahouses may not always be comfortable or hygienic, so having your sleeping bag can ensure a night of better sleep.
  • Sleeping mat: Like the sleeping bag, a sleeping mat can provide additional cushioning and insulation.
  • Reusable water bottle: It’s important to stay hydrated during the trek. Carrying a reusable water bottle allows you to refill it at various points along the route.
  • Water purification tablets: Clean drinking water may not always be readily available. Having water purification tablets can help ensure that you have safe drinking water throughout the trek.

Physical fitness and preparation for the trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging trek that requires a good level of physical fitness and preparation. The trek involves long days of walking on rugged terrain, steep ascents and descents, and high altitudes. Prior trekking experience and regular physical exercise are recommended to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the Manaslu Circuit Trek:

  1. Focus on Aerobic Exercises: Engage in activities, such as hiking, cycling, or jogging to build endurance and stamina. These exercises will help prepare your body for the long hours of walking during the trek.
  2. Strength Training: Pay attention to strengthening your leg muscles as they will be heavily used during the trek. Squats, lunges, and calf raises are some exercises that can help strengthen your lower body.
  3. Cardiovascular Fitness: Work on improving your cardiovascular fitness through activities like swimming or running. This will enable your body to efficiently utilize oxygen at higher altitudes.
  4. Training Hikes: Plan regular hikes with a loaded backpack to simulate the conditions of the trek. This will not only help you physically but also mentally prepare you for carrying a heavy load.
  5. Proper Acclimatization: Altitude sickness can be a potential risk on the Manaslu Circuit Trek, as the trail reaches high altitudes. It is crucial to acclimatize properly by taking rest days, hydrating well, and ascending gradually.
  6. Consultation with Healthcare Professionals: It’s essential to take safety measures while trekking at high altitudes because the reduced oxygen can result in altitude sickness. Seeking advice from a medical expert in advance can provide you with information on the potential risks and how to handle any possible symptoms. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and assess your fitness level for the trek.
  7. Medication for Altitude Sickness: Carry appropriate medication for altitude sickness as prescribed by your healthcare professional. This may include medications like acetazolamide (Diamox) to help prevent or alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness.

By following these guidelines and adequately preparing yourself physically, you can increase your chances of having a successful trekking experience on the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

Safety and Challenges on the Manaslu Circuit Trek

While the Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a mesmerizing experience, it is crucial to be aware of the potential challenges and safety precautions. The trek involves walking on rugged and remote trails, with limited basic medical facilities and communication services. It is essential to carry a comprehensive first aid kit, including basic medications for common ailments and injuries.

  • Rugged and remote trails: The Manaslu Circuit Trek takes you through challenging terrain that may be difficult to navigate.
  • Limited medical facilities and communication: Due to the remote nature of the trek, there is limited access to medical facilities and communication services.
  • Comprehensive first aid kit: It is essential to pack a well-stocked first aid kit with basic medications for common illnesses and injuries.

Extreme weather conditions can pose a risk on the trek, especially during the winter and monsoon seasons. Checking the weather forecast and preparing for sudden weather changes is crucial. It is also advisable to trek with a licensed guide who is familiar with the area and can navigate safely.

  • Risk of extreme weather: Harsh weather conditions such as heavy snowfall or rainfall can make the trek challenging and dangerous.
  • Importance of checking the weather forecast: Before starting each day’s trek, checking the weather forecast can help you plan accordingly and avoid adverse weather conditions.
  • Guided trekking: Hiring a licensed guide who knows the region well can greatly enhance your safety during the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

Altitude sickness is another potential challenge on the trek. It is important to ascend gradually, take rest days for acclimatization, and stay hydrated. Recognizing the symptoms of altitude sickness and descending to lower altitudes if necessary is crucial for safety.

  • Understanding altitude sickness: Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is caused by the body’s inability to adapt quickly enough to higher altitudes.
  • Prevention through gradual ascent: Gradually gaining altitude allows your body to acclimatize and reduces the risk of developing altitude sickness.
  • Importance of rest days: Regular rest days during the trek give your body time to adjust to the higher elevations.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water helps prevent altitude sickness.
  • Recognizing symptoms and descending when necessary: Being aware of the signs of altitude sickness and descending to lower altitudes if symptoms worsen is crucial for your well-being.

Conclusion: Why the Manaslu Circuit Trek should be on every trekker’s bucket list

Adventurous souls seeking an off-the-beaten-path trekking experience should explore the hidden gem of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. With its majestic landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and pristine wilderness, this trek offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Himalayas.

From the towering peaks of the Manaslu Range to the ancient Buddhist monasteries, every step along the Manaslu Circuit is a testament to nature’s grandeur. The trek provides a chance to witness the raw beauty of Nepal, interact with warm-hearted locals, and challenge yourself both physically and mentally.
With its relatively fewer crowds compared to popular treks, the Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a sense of solitude and tranquility amid the Himalayas. The breathtaking landscapes, rugged terrain, and serene mountain passes make it a trekker’s paradise that should not be missed.

So, lace up your boots, pack your adventurous spirit, and embark on the Manaslu Circuit Trek for an unforgettable journey through the majestic beauty of Nepal’s Himalayas.

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.

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