Manaslu Circuit Trek

Updated on April 24, 2024

Manaslu Circuit Trek of the Manaslu region is a yearning trekking destination in Nepal. This trek fulfills every expectation and desire to explore the diverse terrains in the Himalayan region. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek 

Manaslu Circuit Trek of the Manaslu region is a yearning trekking destination in Nepal. The trail is a bit challenging yet venturous. Witnessing the eighth highest mountain in the world, Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m), is a good reward. This trek fulfills every expectation and desire to explore the diverse terrains in the Himalayan region. 

Hiking in the rugged mountain terrains through the dense forests of rhododendron. Passing through the village of spirited Gurung and Magar. Exploring ancient monasteries while enjoying the soothing waterfalls and whatnot. The Manaslu trek is a marvelous lifelong experience. This trek fits those who crave different adventures and thrills in Nepal. 

The route along the Manaslu Circuit Trek is a unique fusion of adventurous hikes and cultural exploration. The trekking trails guide you to Larkya La Pass through the Manaslu Conservation Area. Along the way, you get to witness the enchanting view of the Annapurna range, Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, Ganesh Himal, and many more. 

Before the early 90s, the Manaslu Circuit trek region was closed to foreigners and is still restricted for tourism. Unlike the other mainstream treks like Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek, this trek has been less crowded. Though the walk is physically challenging and off-beaten, it is captivating with enriched culture and natural scenery.  

Trek Overview

Destination: Nepal

Starting point: Kathmandu 

Ending point: Kathmandu

Number of days: 7 to 9 days

Average trek per day: 6-8 hours

Best Season: Spring and Autumn 

Region: Manaslu Region

Difficulty: Moderate

Accommodation: Teahouses

Trek Highlights

  • The pleasing sight of one of the eight-thousanders in Nepal - Mount Manaslu. 
  • Alluring Budhi Gandaki River valley. 
  • Enriched with Tibetan and Buddhist culture and tradition.
  • An adventurous hike to the highest pass - Larkya La Pass. 
  • A pleasing view of Annapurna, Himchuli, Ganesh Himal and plenty more. 
  • Come across the flora and fauna of the Manaslu Conservation Area. 

Route to Manaslu Circuit Trek

The quest to the Manaslu Circuit trek commences with an 8-9 hour drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. Dense forests, landscapes, and mountain views along the road are pleasing. The actual trek in the Manaslu region begins leaving Soti Khola. The route leads to Machha Khola moving through the charming rhododendron forest along the rocky pathways. 

Heading out of Machha Khola, the trail follows through uneven landscapes with astounding views of snowy mountains. Along the way, you pass across several Gurung villages and thus reach Jagat for an overnight stay. On continuing the journey, the trek starts off in Deng. You get to witness different species of flora and fauna on the way. Soon enough, you arrive at Deng crossing suspension bridge over the Budhi Gandaki river. 

Head out of Deng the next day hiking through Mani prayer stones. After ascending higher, the culture and tradition are more Tibetan and Buddhist culture. Along the way, the magnificent Kuang Himal range on the north can be seen and hence arrive in Namrung village. 

After spending a night in Namrung village, the hike advances to the largest village in the Manaslu region, Samagaon. You come across several mani walls, prayer wheels and monasteries en route to the village. With a peek of Mt. Manaslu and other mountains, the hike ends in Samagaon village. The following day, the trail leads you through the villages of Gurung and Magar and reaches Samdo village. It is the last village before arriving in Larkya La Pass. 

Heading out of Samdo village, the trek proceeds to the final destination. Hiking across the remote settlements, the rugged route guides you to Dharamsala for the stay. The place offers basic accommodation. The day after, the journey advances to Larkya La Pass. Upon arriving, the bewitching views of giant mountains such as Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and plenty others dazzles your eyes. After that, the route follows down to Bimthang for the overnight stay. 

The trek commences to Dharapani on the next day. After an enjoyable hike, you arrive in Dharapani passing through the serene forests of rhododendron and pine. Soon after, a drive takes you to Besisahar from Dharapani. Hence, head back to Kathmandu in a vehicle. 

Accommodation and Meals

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a kind of teahouse trek with basic facilities. The teahouse accommodation is easy and convenient for many trekkers. Camping is also an option for trekkers based on their preferences. In lower altitudes, concrete multi-story building tea houses may be available with appropriate facilities. Tea houses provide basic accommodation facilities as you move further to higher altitudes.  

Tea houses along the Manaslu Circuit trek offer various items of food. However, it can be basic to treks like Everest and Annapurna. The cost of food becomes expensive as you ascend to a higher elevation. Along with that, the food item on the menu can be minimal. Meat should be avoided in the higher region as cold storage equipment is not available. 

Permits required during Manaslu Circuit Trek

Trekkings to the topmost destinations in Nepal require special permission. The trekking trails to Manaslu are restricted and preserved under Manaslu Conservation Plan. So, here is the list of necessary permits for the trek:

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP) 

For SAARC nations: 200 NPR per person 

For other nations: 3000 NPR per person 

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)

For SAARC nations: 200 NPR per person 

For other nations: 3000 NPR per person 

Manaslu Restricted Area Permit

September to November

It costs USD 70 for the first week and USD 10 per day for additional days.

December to August

It costs USD 50 for the first week and USD 7 per day for additional days. 

Best Time for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a year-round trekking destination. You can join the trek depending on your time schedule. Please note that snow during the winter closes the Larke La Pass which makes it impossible to advance further to the base camp and the Tibetan border. And at the time of January and February, teahouses are shut down in Dharamsala. So, the right time to join for the trek is mentioned below: 

March to May (Spring)

This time of the year is regarded as the favorite season for trekking. Rhododendrons start to bloom in the forests and lakes begin to melt. The clear sight of giant mountains out in the distance comes into view with fair weather. During mid-May, you come across the climbing expeditions along the route to the Base Camp. 

Late September to Mid December

This time of the year is the most preferred season for the trek. As the number of trekkers increases, the cost for the restricted permits increases accordingly. The weather is stable and dry offering a clear sky and majestic mountain views. Interestingly, the temperature is not too extreme which makes the trek convenient. 

Trekking Gears and Equipment 

Gears and equipment are a must while trekking in the Manaslu region. Factors such as weather conditions, landscapes, maximum elevation, etc. make it essential to use gears. Therefore, the essential trekking gear and equipment are given below to withstand such inconvenience:

  • Trekking wears
  • Waterproof and hardshell trouser
  • Water and windproof jacket
  • Down Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Hiking boot and crampon
  • Ice axe
  • Sunglasses, hat, or cap, sunscreen
  • Headlamps
  • Sleeping bag
  • First Aid Box
  • Route maps and tent
  • Extra batteries and a power bank for your device

How difficult is the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Manaslu Circuit Trek is an adventurous trek depicting the desired Himalayan trails. This trek is graded as moderate in difficulty. Prior experience in trekking is not required. It takes 14 to 20 days with an average of 6-8 hours a day hike. Larkya La Pass is a challenging trek in the Manaslu region. So, an individual should have the fine physical fitness to endure uneven trails. 

The trek offers you the pleasing view of one of the eight-thousanders, Mt. Manaslu. Along with it, the quest is more exciting with preserved cultural heritage, off-beat terrains, mountain ranges views, and varying biological aspects. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek has been enhanced from camping trek to teahouse trek in recent years. So, there may be scarce facilities during the trek. Lesser people are found along the trail of the Manaslu trek. 


What makes the Manaslu Circuit trek special?

Manaslu circuit trek is special. The trekking trails to the Manaslu circuit are less crowded with people which makes it more peaceful and enjoyable. Moreover, the spectacular sights of mountains over 6,500 m can be seen during the trek. 

How long does it take for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The trekking trails to the Manaslu circuit cover up to 177 km distance. Whatsoever, the trekking distance can vary from itinerary to itinerary. This trek can take from 13 to 17 days. Generally, the travel agencies offer 14 to 15 days itinerary with suitable acclimatization rest and reassurance. 

Why the Manaslu trek and not the Annapurna trek? 

Annapurna Circuit Trek is the most desired trek in Nepal after the Everest Base Camp trek. It provides every trekking aspect in the Annapurna Sanctuary of Nepal. As the trek is widely popular, it has become the most visited trekking destination. It is crowded with trekkers along the routes. On the other hand, the Manaslu trekking trail is more of a cultural trail with lesser crowds along the route. The trek is physically demanding but provides splendid natural scenery. 

To sum up, both the Manaslu trek and the Annapurna trek have their own specialty for various reasons. Both the treks fulfill the desires and expectations of every trekker.

Can I apply for the Manaslu trek permit individually?

No, you cannot apply for the Manaslu trek permit individually. At least, two trekkers are required to apply for the trek permit through a certified travel company. 

Can I trek solo?

An individual is prohibited from a solo trek to Manaslu Circuit. An appropriate group of trekkers or a partner is suggested for the trek. Many travel agencies can help you with the group trek. 

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