Manaslu Circuit Trek Overview
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a relatively new addition to the trekking genre if compared with the most popular Everest and Annapurna regions offering an opportunity to see a more traditional side of life while experiencing a remote side of the Nepal Himalaya. This is off-the-beaten-trail trekking in Manaslu Region, where the world’s eighth highest peak, Manaslu (8167m) sits like a crown, shining proudly.
Moderately difficult but culturally enriching and scenically uplifting, the Manaslu Circuit Trekking journey provides spectacular mountain views, secluded Buddhist settlements on the Tibetan border, and cultural and geographic diversity, unlike any other Himalayan journey. It is also a great alternative to the well-traveled Annapurna Circuit, owing to its natural beauty and cultural side.
This tea-house trip combines environment and culture in a unique way. The natural splendor in Manaslu Circuit Route is undeniably appealing to trekkers as you will walk through bamboo woods, see stunning waterfalls, and even visit a glacier lake while traversing picturesque pathways with infinite mountain views.
The Manaslu walk begins in the foothills, among terraced crops and sub-tropical woodlands. The landscape gradually changes to the arid, high-altitude regions that Tibetan culture is known for. As you travel through the villages on the trekking path, you will notice the cultural compatibility of numerous ethnic groups; lower parts inhabit Indo-Aryan Nepalese whereas the upper parts have Tibet origin Nepalese. Along the path, there are several mani walls, chortens, monasteries, and monastic schools which are the highlights of this trek.
However, the major highlight of this trip is the Larkya La Pass at 5106 meters, a high remote and demanding pass, which offers spectacular views of the Himalayas in all directions. We finish this rewarding Manaslu circuit in the lively settlements of the Annapurna region after crossing the pass.
Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Experience the best circuit trekking
- Opportunity to be at one of the highest passes in Nepal, at Larkya Pass, at 5106 meters
- Relish the wonderful natural and unique cultural beauty of the Manaslu region
- Spectacular vistas of Mt. Manaslu, Sringi Himal, Mt. Ganesh Himal, Larkya Peak, Annapurna ranges, etc.
- Encounter wildlife including Himalayan Tahr, Agali, Pika, Himalayan Marmots, Snow Leopard (low chance but if luck is in favor)
- Mani walls, Chortens, monasteries, prayer flags, etc.
- Vast visibility in cultural differences yet diverseness as we move from the foothills to highlands
Difficulty During Manaslu Circuit Trek
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is considered a moderately difficult trek that begins at 900 meters above sea level and goes up to 5106 meters. The first few days will be pretty straightforward, with daily gains of 300-400 meters across lowland humid terrain. As you gain altitude and the temperature lowers, the true challenge begins. The average walking hours per day is between 5 and 7 hours.
The highest elevation you gain is 5106 meters at Larkya La Pass, and as elevations beyond 3500m can be difficult, AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) could arise. However, our itinerary has 2 acclimatization days to avoid AMS. For your own prevention, we suggest you keep your body hydrated, get enough sleep, and avoid stressing. You can also carry Diamox (medication for AMS). If any symptoms are seen, please inform your guide.
The day you cross the pass will be the toughest because you will have to begin walking before dawn. This walk does not require you to be an athlete, but it does require a certain degree of fitness. You should have both physical and mental determination. Working on increasing your stamina and endurance prior to your trek would play a vital role in the success of this Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Best time for Manaslu Circuit Trek
The Manaslu Circuit trip can be done at any time of year. Every season has its own set of advantages and adventures to offer. But, the optimum time to trek Manaslu is in the spring and autumn, when the temperature is milder and the climate is more stable.
You can trek in monsoon and winter too if you are an adventure seeker and want to try new things. But, these seasons are not recommended because the trails are wet and slippery with possibilities of landslide during monsoon and the trails would be blocked due to snow in winter. The majority of the teahouses on the upper half of the route will be closed during these periods.
Each season is beautiful in its own way, so the choice is really yours.
Required Permits to do Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu is designated as a restricted area where independent and solo trekkers are not allowed, hence trekking in this area requires a special permit. Trekkers must book their trek through a local agency and be accompanied by a native guide during the journey. The following permits are mandatory to do trek in Manaslu Circuit Trail.
- Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP)
- Manaslu Restricted Area Permit
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
You shouldn't be concerned about obtaining these permissions because Himalayan Trekkers will handle them. All you need are two passport-sized photos, and we will take care of the rest.