The Manaslu Circuit Trek located in Nepal is known for its breathtaking views of the Himalayas, glaciers, and valleys, as well as its diverse and challenging terrain. A circumnavigation of Mount Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world, is undertaken on this trek that starts in the town of Arughat and takes the trekker through traditional villages, lush forests, and high-altitude landscapes, before reaching the Thorong La Pass, the highest point of the trek.
The trek is a spectacular journey that offers an opportunity to experience the local culture and customs of the Gurung and Tibetan communities and to visit ancient monasteries and temples. To make the most of this trek, proper preparation is crucial, both physically and mentally.
It is recommended that hiking and exercising regularly be started several months before the trip in order to build endurance, strength, and flexibility. Acclimatization is important as well, as the trek takes place at high altitude, and it is suggested that a few days be spent in Kathmandu or at a lower altitude before starting the trek. Familiarization with the route, the elevation profile, and the weather patterns, as well as with the local culture, customs, and language, should also be undertaken.
The appropriate gear and clothing, including lightweight and warm clothing suitable for high-altitude conditions, should be packed, as well as enough food and water to last the duration of the trek, and any necessary medications or first-aid supplies. Hiring a local guide or a trekking company is highly recommended, and the necessary permits to enter the restricted area must also be obtained before starting the trek.
Best season for Manaslu circuit trek
The best season for the Manaslu Circuit Trek depends on the type of experience you are seeking. The trek can be completed year-round, but the conditions vary greatly depending on the time of year.
The peak trekking season in Nepal is from September to November, when the weather is dry and clear, making it the ideal time for trekking in the Manaslu region. During this time, the skies are clear, and the views of the surrounding peaks are spectacular.
From December to February, the Manaslu region experiences heavy snowfall and cold temperatures, making it more challenging for trekking. However, this season is also ideal for those seeking a more remote and peaceful trekking experience, as the trek will be less crowded during this time.
From March to May, the weather starts to warm up, and the snow starts to melt, making the trek easier. However, the warmer weather also brings an increased risk of landslides, making it important to plan your trek carefully.
From June to August, the monsoon season starts in Nepal, bringing heavy rainfall to the Manaslu region. This season is not ideal for trekking, as the trails can become slippery and the views can be obscured by cloud cover.
How to prepare for Manaslu circuit Trek?
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a physically demanding trek that takes you through remote and rugged terrain in Nepal. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the trek:
- Start hiking and exercising regularly several months before your trip. Focus on building endurance, strength, and flexibility.
- The trek takes place at high altitude, so it’s important to take time to acclimatize before starting the trek. Plan to spend a few days in Kathmandu or at a lower altitude before beginning the trek.
- Familiarize yourself with the route, the elevation profile, and the weather patterns. Read up on the local culture, customs, and language to help you prepare for the cultural experience.
- Pack lightweight, warm clothing, and gear that is appropriate for the high-altitude conditions. Make sure to bring enough food and water to last the duration of the trek, as well as any necessary medications or first-aid supplies.
- Hiring a local guide or a trekking company is recommended, as they will have experience in dealing with the challenging conditions
- The Manaslu Circuit Trek requires a special permit to enter the restricted area, so make sure to obtain the necessary permits before starting your trek.
- Mental Preparation: The trek can be mentally challenging, as well as physically demanding. It’s important to be prepared for the isolation, long days of hiking, and changes in altitude.
What permit is required for Manaslu circuit trek?
The Manaslu Circuit Trek requires a special permit to enter the restricted area. The main permit required for this trek is the Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP), which is issued by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu. The MCAP fee is based on the duration of the trek and the number of people in the group.
In addition to the MCAP, trekkers may also be required to obtain a Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card, which is issued by the Nepal Tourism Board. The TIMS card is meant to help regulate trekking activities and to ensure the safety and welfare of trekkers in the country.
It is important to note that trekking in the Manaslu region is strictly controlled by the Nepalese government and that trekkers must be accompanied by a licensed trekking guide and a registered trekking company. The permits and TIMS card can be obtained in Kathmandu from authorized trekking agencies, and it is recommended to obtain these permits well in advance of your trek to avoid any delays or complications.
Here is a sample itinerary for the Manaslu Circuit Trek:
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Arughat (560m)
- The journey starts with a drive from Kathmandu to Arughat, which takes around 7-8 hours.
2: Trek from Arughat to Soti Khola (700m)
- The first day of the trek takes you along the Budhi Gandaki River, passing through small villages and terraced fields.
3: Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (910m)
- The trail continues along the river, with occasional ascents and descents through dense forests.
4: Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat (1340m)
- The trail continues to follow the Budhi Gandaki River, with a steep ascent to reach Jagat.
5: Trek from Jagat to Deng (1860m)
- The trail continues through small villages and terraced fields, with a steady ascent to reach Deng.
6: Trek from Deng to Namrung (2630m)
- The trail continues to follow the Budhi Gandaki River, with a steady ascent to reach Namrung.
7: Trek from Namrung to Samagaon (3530m)
- The trail becomes steeper as you approach Samagaon, with impressive views of the surrounding mountains.
8: Acclimatization day in Samagaon
- This is an important day to acclimatize and to explore the surrounding area, including visits to local monasteries and temples.
9: Trek from Samagaon to Samdo (3860m)
- The trail continues to follow the Budhi Gandaki River, with a steady ascent to reach Samdo.
10: Trek from Samdo to Dharamsala (4460m)
- The trail becomes steeper as you approach Dharamsala, with impressive views of the surrounding mountains.
11: Trek from Dharamsala to Bhimthang (3720m)
- The trail crosses the Larkya La Pass (5,213m), the highest point of the trek, before descending to Bhimthang.
12: Trek from Bhimthang to Tilche (2300m)
- The trail descends through forests and terraced fields to Tilche.
13: Trek from Tilche to Chame (2670m)
- The trail continues to follow the Marsyangdi River, with a steady ascent to reach Chame.
14: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3300m)
- The trail continues along the river, with a steady ascent to reach Pisang.
15: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3540m)
- The trail becomes steeper as you approach Manang, with impressive views of the surrounding mountains.
16: Trek from Manang to Thorong Phedi (4450m)
- The trail becomes steeper as you approach Thorong Phedi, with impressive views of the surrounding mountains.
17: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3800m)
- The trail crosses the Thorong La Pass (5,416m), before descending to Muktinath.
18: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2720m)
- The trail continues to follow the Kali Gandaki River, with a steady descent to reach Jomsom.