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Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek: The Ultimate Guide

Trekking the Manaslu Circuit is a dream come true for those seeking an adventure off the beaten path. Tucked away in the pristine landscapes of central Nepal, this trail circles the world’s eighth-highest peak — Mount Manaslu, standing at 8,156 meters. Far less congested than its famous neighbor, the Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu boasts a natural charm and cultural tapestry that’s just waiting to be explored. This listicle is a comprehensive guide to planning your unforgettable Manaslu Circuit Trek.

1. Manaslu Circuit Trek Overview

Where is the Manaslu Circuit Trek Located?

The Manaslu Circuit is situated in the northern part of Gorkha, the ancestral home of the Shah dynasty. It revolves around the Manaslu massif, departing from the town of Arughat before weaving through alpine meadows, impressive gorges, and the ancient woodlands of the Nubri and Tsum Valleys.

How Long is the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The trekking route is about 177 kilometers long and typically takes around 12 to 17 days to complete, depending on your exact itinerary and side trips.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty

The difficulty level of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is moderate to strenuous. It involves various elevations, steep ascents, and descents, with the highest point being the challenging Larkya La Pass at 5,160 meters. Prior high-altitude trekking experience and excellent physical fitness are recommended.

Best Time to do the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The optimal seasons for trekking are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is generally clear and temperate. These periods offer the best views of the Manaslu range and relatively stable conditions for crossing the high passes.

manaslu-trek-map
Manaslu Circuit Trek Map

2. Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary

Day-By-Day Breakdown

A typical itinerary includes stopping at Sama Gaon, Samdo, Dharmasala, and Bimthang, providing ample opportunity to acclimatize. Your route may also include variations such as a side trip to Tsum Valley or an extension to the Manaslu Base Camp. Along the way, you will witness breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains, including Manaslu, Annapurna II, and Ganesh Himal.

Variations and Side Trips

Tsum Valley, a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley, is a distinct side adventure with a rich spiritual heritage. Conversely, Manaslu Base Camp offers trekkers the chance to get up close and personal with the mountain. Both of these destinations are must-sees for anyone seeking a unique and authentic trekking experience in Nepal.
The Tsum Valley, located in the northern Gorkha district of Nepal, is known for its stunning landscapes and ancient monasteries that you shouldn’t have to miss during your Manaslu circuit trek. It is considered a sacred place by both Hindus and Buddhists, with many pilgrims making the journey to this remote valley every year.

The name ‘Tsum’ translates to “vivid” and it’s easy to see why – the vibrant colors of the mountains, forests, and rivers create an otherworldly atmosphere that leaves visitors in awe.

For those interested in culture and spirituality, a trek through Tsum Valley is an unparalleled experience. This region has been untouched by modernization and maintains its traditional

ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide to Mardi Himal Trek in the Annapurna Region in 2024

3. Permits and Regulations

What Permits Do I Need for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

To legally trek in the Manaslu region, you must obtain a Manaslu Restricted Area Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit, and Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) Card. These permits are checked at various points along the trail.

Cost of Permits

For the 2023 trekking season, the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit costs USD $100 per person per week and $15 per person per day beyond 1 week for the regular season of September to November.

For the Season December to August, the trekking permit fee is USD 75 per person per week and USD 10 per person per day beyond a week.

Regions/VDCsPermit Fee (USD)
Chumnubri Rural Municipality, Ward 1-4
(Manaslu Area)
September – November
$100 per person/week
$15 per person/day (beyond 1 week)

December – August
$75 per person/week
$10 per person/day (beyond 1 week)
Cost of Permits for Manaslu Trek
Where is the Manaslu Circuit Trek Located?

Do I Need a Guide for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

While hiring a guide isn’t mandatory, it’s highly recommended. A guide’s expertise can enhance safety, provide cultural insights, and negotiate language barriers. Solo trekkers must also have a valid permit and hire a certified guide or porter. Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd is the best trekking company that you need to contact if you are interested in trekking the Manaslu Circuit.

Where is the Manaslu Circuit Trek Located?

4. Accommodation and Food

What Are Teahouses Like on the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Teahouses are a common accommodation option on the Manaslu Circuit, with basic facilities such as a bed, blanket, and hearty local meals. You might need to share a room or facilities, and amenities become more basic as you ascend higher.

Can I Camp on the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Camping is an option, but given the popularity of teahouses and the level of support they offer, it’s not common. Staying at teahouses also helps the local community.

5. Packing and Gear

Essential Trekking Gear list

Pack essentials such as a sturdy pair of hiking boots, a good-quality down jacket, a reliable backpack, a sleeping bag, and a water purifier. Be sure to include high-altitude essentials like sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Clothing Recommendations

Layering is key; bring clothes appropriate for varying temperatures and weather conditions. Prepare for cold nights and the potential for snow at higher elevations.

Renting or Buying Gear

Kathmandu is a hub for trekking gear, offering both rental and purchase options. It’s advisable to stick with the Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd for the all types of gears and all equipment. You don’t have to worry for the Gear at all.

Manaslu Circuit Trek

6. Budget and Costs

Approximate Cost Breakdown

A rough estimate of the trek’s cost is around USD $1000–$1500 per person. Major expenses include permits, accommodations, meals, hiring a guide or porter, and transport to and from the trailhead.

Tips for Saving Money

Traveling off-peak, booking directly with teahouses, sharing services like guides or porters with fellow trekkers, and bringing your own snacks can all contribute to saving costs.

7. Altitude Sickness

What is Altitude Sickness?

This is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by ascending too quickly at high altitudes, resulting in a lack of oxygen. Symptoms range from mild to severe.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

Take it slow, allow time for proper acclimatization, stay hydrated, and consider an ascent profile with planned rest days. Medications like Diamox may be prescribed as a prevention strategy.

What to Do if You Experience Altitude Sickness

If you notice symptoms like headaches, nausea, or dizziness, it’s crucial to descend to a lower elevation. Share your symptoms with your guide, or communicate it immediately to the nearest health post.

ALSO READ: Top 5 Family Friendly Trek in Nepal: An Unforgettable Himalayan Adventure

8. Culture and Responsible Trekking

Ethnic Groups and Local Culture

The Manaslu region is home to diverse ethnic groups like the Nubri and the Tsumbas, who have preserved their unique culture over the centuries. Be respectful and ask for permission before taking photos or entering sacred sites.

Minimizing Your Environmental Impact

Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Always dispose of waste responsibly and follow guidelines for using natural resources, especially water.

9. Preparing for the Manaslu Circuit Trek

Fitness Training Recommendations

A training plan that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and prolonged hikes can help prepare your body for the physical demands of the trek.

Mental Preparation

The Manaslu Circuit is not only a test of your physical endurance but also a challenge for your mental resilience. Prepare for the high-altitude environment and remoteness to ensure a positive experience.

10. Why Choose the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Unique Landscapes and Views

The appeal of the Manaslu Circuit lies in its breathtaking, untouched scenery. From dense forests to high mountain passes, the panorama is varied and spellbinding.

Less Crowded Trails

With the Nepali government’s active discouragement of mass tourism, the Manaslu trail offers a quieter, more intimate experience than other popular treks in the region.

A Blend of Cultural Immersion and Physical Challenge

The trek brings you into the heart of Nepalese culture, with diverse ethnic communities welcoming you into their homes amidst the Himalayan backdrop.

This trek is more than just an item for your bucket list — it’s a life-changing experience that allows you to connect with nature and yourself. With meticulous planning, the right mindset, and a commitment to responsible trekking, the Manaslu Circuit can provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Why Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd for Manaslu Circuit Trek?

At Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition, your family’s unforgettable Himalayan adventure is our mission. We prioritize your safety, comfort, and personal journey every step of the way. With our expert local knowledge, commitment to responsible travel, and dedicated guides, we’ll create memories that last a lifetime. We will make your family friendly trip very memorable.

What do our customers say about Himalaya Safety Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd.?

Harry GutenHarry Guten
17:45 06 Apr 24
Himalaya Safety Tours and Expedition, with Bhupen as our guide, provided a remarkable trekking adventure! Bhupen's professionalism and expertise instilled confidence, and his passion for the Himalayas was contagious. The journey was both challenging and rewarding, with stunning views at every turn. Highly recommend this company and Bhupen for an authentic Himalayan experience!
Gabriella MGabriella M
09:35 29 Mar 24
I cannot praise Himalaya Safety enough for organizing my unforgettable Panchase trek in Nepal! Bhupi's expertise in advising me on the perfect trek for my preferences was invaluable. Throughout the journey, my guide Kiran was simply outstanding, providing insightful knowledge about the mountains and Nepali culture while ensuring a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Each moment was mesmerizing, with breathtaking views and enriching cultural encounters. The guesthouses selected for our overnight stays were beyond expectations, offering comfort and authenticity. I'm already eagerly anticipating my next trekking adventure in Nepal, and without a doubt, I'll be entrusting Himalaya Safety to make it another unforgettable experience!
James LhuillierJames Lhuillier
12:36 09 Mar 24
Bupin clearly guides your experience in the mountains so you may witness the beauty and wisdom of the Himalayas. His information and experience is priceless, it is obvious he wants to serve others in witnessing the magic of the mountains as he himself has done
Doug HodginsDoug Hodgins
09:35 04 Mar 24
Bhupendra is more than just a guide or travel agent, he's a fantastic human, funny, kind and with loads of experience. I would recommend his company for anything from the simplest of teahouse treks to peak climbing. If you've got any questions about the local area or activities (ie. Rock climbing, ice climbing, etc.) go in for a chat. Very low pressure and will provide plenty of valuable information whether you book with him or not. Here are a couple photos of him on our most recent trek:
Amelia OrrAmelia Orr
06:27 17 Feb 24
If you're in Pokhara and seeking an unforgettable trekking experience, look no further than the team at Himalaya Safety Treks. From start to finish, every detail was meticulously arranged, ensuring a seamless and memorable journey. Bhupendra’s expertise shone through as he guided us to the best lodges and secured the best accommodation. His extensive knowledge of the region led us to hidden gems and breathtaking lookout points. He tailored our itinerary to match our preferences, prioritising nature and tranquility over tourist crowds. From arranging park entry to suggesting what dishes to try, every aspect of our adventure was thoughtfully taken care of. For an exceptional trekking experience and unparalleled service, I highly recommend paying the team at Himalaya Safety Treks a visit.
Kasia MazurekKasia Mazurek
18:33 16 Dec 23
The owner of the office Bhupendra is very nice and honest person, he has incredible experience. He will advise and organize everything you need! We went on the ABC trek with guide Bam. We could not get any better! Bam, you are the best! He is a wonderful person, for 9 days we were trekking with much more than a guide. We hiked together, talked and laughed. He taught us Nepali words, some Nepali songs and taught us how to play Dumbal cards 🙂 thank you Bam! If we ever return to the Himalayas, it will be only with you! Kasia and Aga 😉
MajaMaja
09:55 27 May 23
Professional, friendly and flexible. I checked out several agencies looking for a travel group to join, but this one was the only one that I felt comfortable with. And my intuition turned out to be right - the guides and the owner were really caring and my trek was a nice experience. On the ABC trek we had a lot of nice views, also from our room.

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I'm Traveller! Nepal's amazing hikes have been my love for over 20 years. Now, I want to help you experience them too! Whether you dream of climbing big mountains or walking through peaceful valleys, my blog on hstnpl.com can help. I'll share everything you need to know to have your own unforgettable adventure in Nepal. Learn about the beautiful scenery, interesting culture, and friendly people you'll meet. Let my experience be your guide as you plan your trip.
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