A complete guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek

complete-guide-to-Manaslu-Circuit-Trek

“Cover the Earth before it cover’s you”-DAGOBERT D.RUNES

“Pristine Nepal Treks & Expedition presents you with a complete guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek this year.”

Often considered as one of the best trekking destinations in Nepal, Manaslu circuit trek is for those who are seeking for amusement & adventure. A true off the beaten trail, Manaslu trek takes you through the lush green forests, picturesque landscapes, rivers, waterfalls & beautiful remote villages.

Manaslu circuit trek revolves around the world’s eighth highest mountain Mt. Manaslu at 8,163m. Manaslu trek starts from Soti Khola & ends at Dharapani. Manaslu trek generally goes for 15-17 days. Unlike the classic Everest & Annapurna region, the Manaslu circuit is less crowded, as the region is well preserved & was only opened for trekkers since 1991.

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Trip Details:

Total Distance177 KM
DifficultyMedium
Duration16 Days
Max Elevation5,106m (Larke La Pass)
RegionManaslu region, West Nepal
PermitsMCAP, ACAP, TIMS, Special Manaslu Trek Permit

16 Days Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary:

Generally, we follow 16 Days package trek itinerary which includes the arrival, departure & sight-seeing days in Kathmandu along with driving to Soti Khola from Kathmandu & back to Kathmandu from Dharapani. Other than that it is just an 11 days hike on the trail. We can customize the trekking routes as per your wish also.

Here is the outline itinerary for Manaslu Circuit Trek:

Day 01   Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu & this day for preparation/trekking permits

Day 02   Drive to Soti Khola with 730m

Day 03   Trekking to Machha Khola with 930m

Day 04   Trek to Jagat-1,410m

Day 05   Jagat to Deng trekking-1,800m

Day 06   Trekking to Namrung with 2,630m

Day 07   Namrung to Syala-3,500m

Day 08   Trek to Sama Gaon-3,530m

Day 09   Acclimatization day at Sama Gaon

Day 10   Trekking to Samdo-3,860m

Day 11   Trek to Dharamsala/Lake Phedi-4,470m

Day 12   Larke-La Pass with 5,106m altitude and to Bhimthang-3,720m

Day 13   Trek back to Dharapani 1,860m

Day 14   Drive back to Kathmandu which is the starting point.

Check out the detailed itinerary for complete understanding.

What is the best time/season to do Manaslu Circuit trek?

The best time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek is the Autumn & Spring season. In fact, both of these seasons are best for any trekking trails in Nepal. However, here is the full information about the Manaslu Circuit season:

Manaslu Circuit in Spring Season (March to May)

A complete guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek

Spring season is also known as the pre-monsoon season in Nepal. The weather is quite stable during this season. The temperature is also neither too hot nor too cold. Trekkers can have the best mountain views ever.

March is the coldest month of this spring season. In this month temperature can be -6°C in certain regions of the trek. 50mm of the rainfall is observed in the lower regions of this trek and 30mm of the rainfall is observed in the higher altitude regions.

Actually, this month offers trekkers a bearable climate. From this season vegetation and flora starts to blossom.

April brings you along with Nepali New Year. Rising temperature can be felt but still, the climate remains favorable. The average temperature this month is 6°C which makes good conditions for trekking. The colorful flowers and greenery on the trails make trekkers feel like heaven on earth.

May end the spring season and slowly temperatures start to increase. The temperature is fairly warm. Trekking in this month makes you break a sweat but not miserably hot. Even though the temperature is quite hot at lower altitudes, its mildly cold at higher altitudes.

With flowers in bloom, favorable weather and temperature this spring season is one of the best seasons to do Manaslu circuit trek.

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Manaslu Circuit in Summer Season (June to August)

A complete guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek

Summer season is also known as the monsoon season in Nepal. Being the hottest season, it also gives an experience of the largest downpour. The summer season makes the trekking route lush, dense and gorgeously green.

June is the first month of summer and it is the best time to appreciate the beauty of the Manaslu circuit. Trekkers can trek in T-shirts as the temperature are warm in low altitude. The average temperature is 10°C. Trekking during the first week of this month can be the safest in this season.

July is the second month of the summer season & has a high chance of rainfall as well as it is the hottest month of summer. Generally, mornings are clear because it rains during the evening. Trekking in July might not be the best idea due to rain and the slippery, muddy tracks.

August is the last month of the summer season. Due to continuous rainfall, this month offers amazing freshness, extreme waterfalls, rivers, and many other things. If any of you decided to trek this month don’t forget to carry a raincoat, rain cover for your backpack.

To all those trekkers who want to have different trekking experiences can trek in this season. This is the season where trekkers can experience lots of challenge and adventure.

Manaslu Circuit in Autumn Season (September to November)

complete guide to Manaslu Circuit trek

The autumn season is the best season to trek any trekking trails in Nepal due to its warm days and cool nights. In this season the sky is clear, fields are full of different types of crops and the main festival of Nepalese people falls i.e. Dashain and Tihar.

September is the first month of the autumn season. Basically, monsoon ends in the middle of September. So, most of the rain is experienced in September. This month provides stable and glorious weather conditions. The average temperature this month is 7.7°C.

October is the best month for trekking in this Manaslu circuit. After September there is no chance of downpour, days are always moderate which is the perfect weather for trekkers. This month, you can examine awesome mountain views and you’ll be surrounded by eye-catching snow-capped mountains.

November is the final month of this autumn season where the temperature starts to decrease remarkably. This month brings you cold and dry weather. Trekking in this month too provides eye-catching snow-capped mountains.

In this season lots of trekkers do trekking. Sometimes it’s difficult to find accommodation. So, it is better to do pre-book the hotels. During this season there is no chance of any risk or difficulties, Just the disadvantage of this season is overcrowded.

Manaslu Circuit in Winter Season (December to February)

Manaslu-Circuit-Trek

In this season the skies are mostly clear and bright which results in the magnificent Mountain View. The temperature easily goes down to -20°C during night and morning. If you have never trekked in high altitude before than trekking in Manaslu during winter can be the best experience.

December is the driest month in this Manaslu region. At low altitude, the temperature can get at -8.8°C and at high altitude, the temperature can get at -16°C. However, trekkers can experience stunning Mountain View from low altitude.

January is known as the coldest month of the Manaslu region. The temperature at high altitudes can get as low as -20°C. Trekkers can enjoy snowfall and sunshine both during January. Another most important thing is that almost all the teahouses are closed during this month.

February the last month of this season doesn’t offer any kind of difference in weather. But the temperature in the lower region increases. By the way, at the end of the February teahouses are reopen.

Manaslu Circuit trek map:

Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

This Manaslu circuit trek map is designed according to our Manaslu circuit trek itinerary. As seen on the map, you will trek in anticlockwise starting from Soti Khola & ending at Dharapani.

Manaslu Circuit trekking permits:

Manaslu Circuit Trek was opened for trekking in 1991 A.D & falls under the restricted area of West Nepal. Hence, every trekker requires three different kinds of a permit for Manaslu Trek.

Note: Permits are not issued for independent trekkers. There must be a minimum of two trekkers along with one local guide.

Special Restricted Permits for Manaslu (RAP)

Remember this permit relies upon the month & the number of days you will spend on this region.

September to November: USD 100 per person for the initial seven days and USD 15 for each extra day from the eighth day onwards.

December to August: USD 75 per person for the initial seven days and USD 10 for each extra day from the eighth day onwards.

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP)

This Manaslu trek permit is required as soon as you enter the Manaslu Conservation Area. The price of this permit remains constant throughout the year.

MCAP fee for SAARC Nationals: NRS 1000 / Approx. USD 10

MCAP fee for other Nationals: NRS 3000 / Approx. USD 30

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)

This Manaslu permit is required from Dharapani until you exit Annapurna Conservation Area in Besishar. Similar to MCAP the price is constant throughout the year.

ACAP fee for SAARC Nationals: NRS 1,000 / Approx. USD 10

ACAP fee for other Nationals: NRS 3,000 / Approx. USD 30

Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)

Many agencies state that TIMS is not necessary for Manaslu Circuit trek but that is not completely true. TIMS is needed in every trekking trail to ensure the safety & security of trekkers.

TIMS fee for SAARC Nationals: NRS 300 / Approx. USD 3

TIMS fee for other Nationals: NRS 1000 / Approx. USD 10

TIMS for FIT (Free Individual Trekker): NRS 2000 / Approx. USD 20

Where to get these trekking permits?

On the off chance that you are doing this trek individually, at that point you can get these permits from Nepal Tourism Board Office situated on Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu or in Pokhara at the Nepal Tourism Board Service Center.

Extra Note:

-No entrance fee required for children under 10 years

-Should carry MCAP & ACAP individually

-4 passport size photos for permit

Complete guide to Manaslu Circuit trek: Accommodation

complete guide to Manaslu Circuit trek

Manaslu circuit trek is one of the restricted and isolated trekking regions of Nepal. Due to this reason do not expect the types of accommodation which you were having in the city area. As trekkers keep going high the number of guest houses will be less.

The most important thing for trekkers is accommodation.  Also, the most asked question by trekkers before the Manaslu circuit trek is about tea houses or hotels found during the trek.

So, here is the list of hotels/guesthouses/teahouses found in Manaslu circuit trek with the facilities that they provide their guests which are run by local peoples.

Accommodation in Soti-Khola:

Soti-Khola is the first day of trekking. Trekkers can find five guesthouses in the Soti-Khola. The name of those hotels in Soti-Khola are as follow:

  1. Satkar Guest House
  2. Tsum Valley Guest House
  3. Green Valley Guest House
  4. ABC Guest House
  5. Fulbari Guest House

All these guest houses provide the basic facilities i.e. food and rooms. Similarly, each guest house provides wifi service and telephone services.

Accommodation in Machha Khola:

Here in Machha Khola trekkers can find only four guest houses. They are:

  1. Everest Guest House
  2. Tsum Valley Guest House
  3. Larkey Guest House
  4. Hilltop Guest House

Same as Soti-Khola these guest houses in Machha Khola also offer you basic facilities i.e. food and rooms. Along, with wifi and hot shower but guests have to pay for extra money for these services.

Accommodation in Jagat:

Jagat is 7hrs away from Machha Khola and it is the third day of Manaslu trek. Like Machha Khola trekkers will find just four guest houses here too. All those guest houses provide wifi and satellite phone facilities like Machha Khola & trekkers can find four guest houses in Jagat too. They are:

  1. Manaslu Santi Guest House
  2. Himalayan Tourist Guest House
  3. Jagat Guest House
  4. Rubi Nala Guest House

From Jagat restricted permit for Manaslu as well as Tsum valley starts. Trekkers can see the check post where they need to show their permit and register it.

Accommodation in Deng:

Deng is a large village with lots of farmhouses. From Jagat, it takes 6hrs to reach Deng. As we mentioned already, higher altitude means less number of tea houses or guest houses so, Deng has only three guest houses which are:

  1. Shangri-La Cottage
  2. Windy Valley Guest House
  3. New Manaslu Guest House

All of these guest houses have wifi facility but they don’t have a hot shower.

Accommodation in Namrung:

Namrung Guest-houses provide trekkers a hot shower and of course wifi services. All the trekkers have to walk steep route for an hour to reach the guest houses of Namrung and they are:

  1. Nubri Four Season Resort
  2. Namrung Thakali Guest House
  3. Namrung Guest House

Accommodation in Syala:

Syala provides trekkers with guest houses with moderate services. Trekkers will stop at Lo Gaun which lies in Syala for an overnight.

Trekkers can find four guest houses which provide access to the sky phones, wifi, and hot shower. The name of those guest house are:

  1. Lama Guest House
  2. Tashi Dalek Guest House
  3. Majestic  Manaslu Guest House
  4. Namaste Guest House

Accommodation in Sama Gaun:

Sama Gaun is a small village at an altitude of 3530m. In such high altitude also this Sama Gaun has seven guest houses namely:

  1. Nobri Guest House
  2. Norling Guest House
  3. Mount Manaslu Guest House
  4. Sama Gaun Guest House
  5. Gurung Cottage Guest House
  6. Tashi Dalek Guest House
  7. Peace Heaven Guest House

In this area, trekkers won’t have a problem searching for accommodation with hot shower, wifi and satellite phones.

Accommodation in Samdo:

In Samdo trekkers will find the least option for accommodation. There are only three guest houses that have very limited wifi service. They are:

  1. Jambala Guest House
  2. Yak Hotel
  3. Tibetan Twin Hotel

These three guest houses provide trekkers basic food and wifi services

Accommodation in Dharmasala:

Dharmasala has only two option for the guest house which are:

  1. Larkey Guest House
  2. Larkey Guest House

Also, these two guest houses have very basic services which don’t have wifi or hot showers service. So, in this place, trekkers can enjoy the remote lifestyles.

Accommodation in Bimthang:

After experiencing a remote lifestyle, trekkers again can get services like a hot shower and wifi in Bhimthang. Similarly, trekkers can have more options for accommodation i.e. five. And the name of those guest houses are:

  1. Sushma Guest House
  2. Ganga Guest House
  3. Himalayan Guest House
  4. Apple Garden
  5. Mountain Ponker Cottage

Accommodation in Dharapani:

Dharapani is the last stop of this Manaslu circuit trek. Here, trekkers can find lots of guest houses with lots of facilities according to your budget. Trekkers can find a room with an attached toilet too. As well as trekkers also can find wifi and hot water shower service easily.

Basically, the cost of accommodation in Manaslu differs on the basis of season. Likewise, the higher the altitude-higher the cost of accommodation will be. The cost of accommodation starts from $3-$5 in peak seasons in the lower altitude where at higher altitude the cost starts from $7-$10. While in off-season trekkers can find accommodation in $2-$3 in lower altitude and $5-$7 in higher altitude.

Complete Guide to Manaslu Circuit Trek-Difficulty:

Every year Manaslu attracts a lot of trekkers around the globe. The number of people trekking the Manaslu circuit in 2019 is 7000 to 8000 as per Nepal Tourism Board (still not compile all the number).  That’s quite a great number in such an isolated place. Don’t you think so?

Now you might be wondering about Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty, right? Well, the difficulty of the Manaslu circuit trek is determined by the various factors, which are mentioned below.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty by Distance

Located in the west-central part of Nepal, the total distance Manaslu circuit covers is about 177 km. You’ll be walking for 15-20km on daily basis for about 10 to 12 days, which can be real trouble for beginners’ trekkers. Basically, the treks start from either Barpark or Soti Khola.

The first few days of trekking will be a little difficult as the Budi Gandaki George is harsh steep. Also, you have to walk through a lot of uphill’s & downhills frequently. The trail can be breezy while crossing the suspension bridge above the Budi Gandaki River.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty by Elevation & Acclimatization

Manaslu trek is widely varied, taking you from its lowest point at 730m (Soti Khola) to the highest point of Manaslu, Larke Pass at 5,106m. Also, crossing Larke Pass at an altitude of 5,106m is the biggest challenge of this trek.

Throughout the trek, you’ll walk for about 6 to 8 hours on a daily basis gaining 500m to 700m of elevation. Altitude sickness can be a major problem for most of the trekkers. So good physical fitness is a must to complete this trek. Drinking plenty of water, walking slowly, taking regular rest along the way can help you stay away from altitude sickness.

Note: If you find any disorder on your body such as short on breath, dizziness, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite then immediately inform your guide. In case if you are alone seeking help from fellow travelers or quickly descend to lower altitudes. Altitude sickness or AMS is a serious condition & is fatal most of the time.

On our standard 16 days Manaslu circuit trek itinerary, you’ll rest at Sama Gaun (3,520m) for acclimatization.  The rest day is very important for your body to adjust to higher altitudes.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty by Weather & Temperature

winter-in-manaslu

Choosing the best time of the year can be a major factor to determine the difficulty of Manaslu Circuit Trek. 

Because of favorable weather & temperature, spring & autumn season is considered the best season to do Manaslu trek. The days are usually warm but night time is freezing cold. So make sure you pack warm clothes.

Trekking during autumn will be the best choice as the weather is relatively stable, skies are crystal clear & the view of snow-capped mountains are splendid. 

Choosing winter for Manaslu trek can be very challenging. The temperature in Larke pass can drop to -12°C according to the weather report by MFD. Due to heavy snowfall, frozen ice & unpredicted weather Larke pass & tea houses will possibly remain closed.

Summer is generally considered as the monsoon time. Because of a heavy rainfall & hailstone, most of the time the path is always slippery & muddy. Also, it will be hard to avoid leeches & mosquitoes at that time.

Spring will be another best option to go for Manaslu trek. This is a perfect time to witness rhododendron blossom with the finest view of snow-capped mountains.

Note: For a beginner, we highly recommend choosing the best season to get a hold of the best trekking experience.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Group or Solo Trekking

Manaslu region is highly restricted & untouched by the outer world. So, the only option to trek there is in a group; we must have 2 trekkers & at least one local guide or porter. Solo treks are not allowed in this region.

Also, always try to plan the Manaslu trek with smaller groups. Going into large groups could hinder your accommodation & create a lot of other difficulties.

Trainings for Manaslu Circuit Trek: Physical & Mental Preparation

complete guide to Manaslu Circuit trek

Trekking in Nepal may not be as easy as you thought. Walking uphill & downhill frequently for 5 to 8 hours per day with your daypack is definitely not a joke. It requires a good level of physical strength & mental preparation.

As mention already, Manaslu is a moderately difficult trek. You have to walk via steep hills, rocky paths, jungles & suspension bridges as well.

So how do you prepare for this trek?

* Strengthen your legs, since trekking is done all by walking. For leg workout you can include leg press, squat, walking lunge, reverse table-up & so on.

* Have a good cardiovascular fitness. This will help to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissue.

During Manaslu trek as you gain elevation, the amount of oxygen level decreases. So in order to cope with this situation, you need to build cardiovascular fitness. To build cardiovascular fitness do activities like cycling, jogging, running & swimming.

*Do yoga & meditations. It is a must to keep yourself calm & handle stress in different conditions. In most cases, I have seen many trekkers worrying about the altitude. Don’t worry, just go slow & enjoy your trek.

Transportation in Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit trekking journey starts from Soti Khola & ends at Dharapani.

And there are two options to reach Soti Khola either go by local bus or by private vehicle.

If you plan to go by public bus note that there is no direct bus access to Soti Khola from Kathmandu. You will make a transit in Arughat. The total distance from Kathmandu to Arughat is 136km & from there to Soti Khola is roughly 18 km & in total it will take you around 7-8 hours which depends on the road condition.

Riding by private vehicles is a perfect decision. This is a hassle-free alternative as you don’t need to hang tight for and search for open transports. Private jeeps with a visitor plate (in green shading) can take you directly to Soti Khola without stopping in Arughat. On the other hand, private jeeps with a red plate, then again, need to stop in Arughat, from where you have to change to a privately reserved jeep to keep on Soti Khola.

What to pack for Manaslu Circuit Trek?

I know it’s a nerve-racking task when it comes to packing for trekking in Nepal and the same goes for Manaslu circuit trek as well. Here is why we have prepared you a complete packing list for the Manaslu Circuit trek to help you get a head start.

Cap or HatNeckband or BuffSunglassesWarm Gloves / 1 pair
Wicking long-sleeve T-shirts / 2 pairsQuick-dry T-shirts / 2 pairsBra / 3 Pairs (sports bra recommended)Thermal underwear / 2 pairs
Underwear / 4 pairsFleece Jackets / 2 pairsInsulated Jacket or Down Jacket / 1 pair ( Can be rented )Insulated trekking pants / 2 pairs
1 pair of waterproof jackets & pants on your bag.Shorts (optional)Gaiters (optional)Hiking boots / 1 pair
Spare shoe / 1 pairCamp shoe or sandal / 1 pairWoolen hiking socks / 4 pairsCotton socks / 2 pairs
Sleeping Bags ( can be rented )Water bottles or water bladderTrekking pole Portable charger

Quick tip: Try to make your backpack as light as possible. Avoid bringing unnecessary items.

Is it possible to buy all the trekking items in Nepal?

Yes, of course. There are lots of trekking gear shops in Thamel, Kathmandu where you can easily buy every trekking gear & equipment. These shops sell quality clothes, gears & accessories at a reasonable price.

Also, you can get sleeping bags & down jackets in rent for which they will be charging you per day.

-Sleeping bag charge: Nrs 100/ $1

-Down Jacket charge: Nrs 100/ $1             

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