A Complete Guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek | Weather, Difficulty, Altitude, Trek Route and Permits
A Complete Guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek | Weather, Difficulty, Altitude, Trek Route and Permits
an isolated trail for adventure...into the wild Himalayas...
Updated on Jul 16, 2023
Notice: Nepal bans solo trekking for foreigners, coming into effect from 1st April 2023
Manaslu trek is one of the popular off-the-beaten trails in Nepal taking one to the base of the 8th highest mountain on earth Mt. Manaslu (8163M/26781Ft) and the highest pass of Larkey La Pass (5100M/16732Ft).
Lies in the West-Central part of Nepal, the Manaslu region borders the autonomous region of Tibet, making it a restricted area for trekkers (unless you owe a special permit).
Thus, making the Manaslu a less crowded trail compared to other trails in Nepal. The entire Manaslu region shares its area with the other popular trekking region of Nepal, which is the Annapurna region.
This makes Manaslu a diverse region and can be made two trails at a time i.e., Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Trail. This Annapurna trail will pass through Throng La Pass (5416M/17769Ft) and descend towards Muktinath or you can continue towards Upper Mustang Trail.
Trekkers can explore the varied culture and customs of the native dwellers along with varied vegetation, flora, and fauna, monastery, with snow-covered high Himalayas.
A couple of days extra will help you to accomplish two different popular trekking destinations with an affordable budget. So, what are you thinking about, just join the team of Discover Altitude to make your dream turns into reality.
Table of Contents
Manaslu Circuit Trek Route
Manaslu trek starts with a moderate hike to a strenuous climb. The entire region of Manaslu is regarded as off the beaten trail due to its remoteness and strict provision for trekkers.
Trekkers need a special permit obtained only through a registered trekking agency, with at least two trekkers to obtain the permit, and having a local registered guide is mandatory.
Manaslu trek mainly starts through a jeep/bus drive from Kathmandu to Soti-Khola to spend a night before you head for the hike.
There is no other alternative means or airport in the Manaslu region. Starting your hike through the lowland trail, one can explore the diversification throughout.
Hiking through the village and the forest will be a demanding adventure. Visiting different monasteries and chorten will take you to Samagaun.
Samagaun is a popular destination on the Manaslu trail and is also used for acclimatization before hiking into the mountain.
Despite the popularity of the Manaslu trail, fewer trekkers dare to visit the region. This is because of strict provisions for trekkers and they need to have a special permit for the Manaslu trail, which can only be obtained through a local registered trekking agency in Nepal.
Although few trekkers visit the Manaslu region, this makes the trail in demand for many, because the trail is not crowded and the ecology is well maintained and balanced. Trails are perfect and clean, maintained by the locals and the army.
Trekking further higher will take you to the highest altitude of 5100 meters for Larkey La Pass and descend to Jagat.
From Jagat, you can drive back to Kathmandu via Beshisahar which is the headquarter of the Lamjung district. Or if time permits you can trek to the Annapurna Circuit. This will be some 5-6 days more.
As Manaslu and Annapurna regions are associated with each other trekkers can accomplish both trails in a nominal time frame.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty
Trekking in the Himalayas is always a difficult task to accomplish and when you are trying to be at the base of the 8th highest mountain on the earth Mt. Manaslu (8,163M/26,781Ft), will be moderately challenging.
Although Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging trekking trail this is an adventure journey in the Himalayas due to its remoteness, varied vegetation, Himalayan culture and custom, beautiful rivers, majestic snow-covered Himalayas, and challenging Larkey La Pass.
Apart from all this, Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty is mainly determined by the distance of the trek, Weather during the trekking season, and altitude.
The total trekking distance for Manaslu Circuit Trek is around 177 Km. This distance is to be covered in 12 days but you can extend or decrease the required number of days according to your pace.
So, around 13-15 Km you have to hike every day, your trek begins from the terrain of 930M to 5100M at Larkey La Pass.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is all from easy to moderate to challenging at a higher altitude. So, make sure you are fit enough for every day hike uphill before you start your trek.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Altitude
Manaslu Circuit Trek will take you to the base camp of the 8th highest mountain on the earth Mt. Manaslu, also known as the ‘killer mountain’, because of its difficulty to summit the peak.
However, your treks start from 930M and continue till 5100M at Larkey La Pass. This varied altitude might be difficult for many.
So, make sure you are not pushing your body at a higher altitude, instead, take some breaks frequently and use a day extra as a rest/acclimatize day. This will help your body to acclimatize at a higher altitude.
This acclimatization day will bear you fruitful results and you won’t suffer from altitude sickness.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Accommodation
Manaslu is a restricted area for foreign trekkers. So, there is a strict provision to enter the Manaslu region due to its border with the Autonomous region of Tibet. You need to have a special permit for the Manaslu circuit trek.
Due to its remoteness, challenging, strict provision Manaslu Circuit Trail is regarded as an off-the-beaten trail. Fewer trekkers follow this trail, thus making it a less crowded and solitary trail.
Also, in this region majority of the people are of Tibetan origin and they follow Tibetan culture, customs, and religion. There are beautiful Monasteries, Chorten, Mani walls, etc., and less populated villages as well.
There are a limited number of lodges and tea houses in Manaslu Circuit Trek. As you trek higher the number of lodges and facilities will certainly decline.
However, all the lodges at the higher altitude are tourist standards mainly operated by local family members.
Each room will have two beds with a mattress, pillow, blanket, bedsheet, and a tea table. Some lodges will have toilets on the floor and some will have them outside the hotel.
These will be common toilets. Never expect any attached toilet in Manaslu Circuit Trek, mainly at higher altitudes above 3000M.
Food will be fresh with locally grown vegetables, better be vegetarian while trekking uphill because there is a high possibility of meat not being fresh.
The hotel staff will cook according to the menu and will serve different foods ranging from Nepali dishes to Continental, Chinese, Indian and Italian.
Permits required for Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek is in the restricted area of the Manaslu region. Trekkers need special permits to enter the Manaslu area.
Due to special provisions, fewer trekkers visit the Manaslu area where the restriction has been imposed. However, those who prefer adventure, challenge, less crowd, and solitude, take Manaslu Trek to their bucket list.
Manaslu Circuit Trek lies in the restricted area of the Manaslu region. Trekkers need to follow special provisions to enter the Manaslu area, mainly the upper region.
This Manaslu region borders the Autonomous Region of Tibet, mainly inhabited by Tibetan origin.
Solo individual or group trekkers cannot enter the Manaslu area. Apart from this, you have to obtain a special permit from a government agency through a locally registered trekking company in Nepal.
This permit will only be given to those agencies that legally can verify all their documents related to company authorization.
Trekkers need to have a local license holder guide and the number of trekkers must be not less than 2 in number to apply for a special permit before arrival or before your trek.
To avoid a hectic process make sure your agency does all the official work to obtain a special permit for the Manaslu trek.
There will be army check post throughout the trail and all the required provision has to be fulfilled to cross those areas. If found without those permits and provisions, you are subjected to a criminal offense.
So, make sure you are not less than 2 trekkers, you have a registered guide and you are proceeding through such a legally authorized company.
Best way to Accomplish Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek is off the beaten trail of the Manaslu region. This is a normal trail with a majestic Himalayan vista and diverse vegetation.
Due to its remoteness, less village exist and due to strict provisions to enter foreign nationals, fewer trekkers prefer to pay extra for acquiring a permit. So, they prefer other areas.
To accomplish Manaslu Circuit Trek, first of all, you need to have a professional guide who has been to Manaslu Circuit Trek.
There are no boards to indicate location, trail, villages, etc. So, if you miss the right trail, you will be in danger.
The second important thigh is the right season or month of the year. Trekking to Manaslu is possible throughout the year.
However, the best time will be Spring (February, March, April, and May) and Autumn (August, September, October, and November).
Although Spring and Autumn are the best time for a clear view, high visibility, no precipitation, majestic vegetation, etc. May is Pre-Monsoon and August is Post-Monsoon.
Better avoid these two months of the year because, at the lower altitude, you will encounter rainfall.
June and July get extreme rainfall at lower altitudes and clouds, and mist covers the Himalayas. Further, December and January are extreme winters.
These two months won’t have rainfall but you will encounter heavy snowfall.
During winter all lodges and tea house gets closed because of snowfall and further trails are covered with snow and will be difficult to cross the Larkey La Pass.
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Kumar is one of the Co-founders and Managing directors of Discover Altitude holding 18 years of experience in the tourism sector of Nepal. He has trekked to almost all the popular regions of Nepal and is an authorized trekking and tour guide.
Started his career as a porter to support his study, now holds MPhil and LLB degree, and is doing his Ph.D. in religious studies. He loves traveling to the Himalayas and has deep knowledge about religion, culture, and history.
Kumar is also involved in the teaching sector as a part-timer to deliver his research related to the cultural and religious diversity of Nepal and is the one who mostly answers your queries giving them his personal touch through his decade-long experience.