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Our guide to Manaslu Trekking will provide complete information about this hidden gem of the Gorkha district of Nepal. This remote and less crowded trekking destination has untouched nature and wilderness ideal for thrill and adventure seekers.

The Manaslu trek route lies between the Annapurna Circuit and the Tsum Valley trekking route. It has garnered much interest among trekkers and nature enthusiasts in recent years. It is being referred to as the “New Annapurna Circuit Trek.” 

The route of the Manaslu Trek goes through a restricted area, passing by picturesque villages, valleys, and rivers. The region is rich in biodiversity. You will trek from sub-tropical forests to highland meadows. Mt. Manaslu, Himal Chuli ranges, and several other peaks will keep you company during the trek.  

Similarly, the region is rich in cultural diversity. You will trek past age-old monasteries, gompas, mani walls, prayer flags, and chorten. You can also witness the influence of Tibetan Buddhism as you move to higher elevations. En route, you will also cross Larkya La Pass, which sits at an elevation of 5106 meters. 

Manaslu Trekking offers an authentic trekking experience in remote Nepal. Its off-the-beaten paths and less crowded trail are perfect for those looking to escape city life. Experience true wilderness, the rich culture of diverse ethnic groups, and connect with nature. Discover the hidden treasure with this adventurous trekking route.   

Manaslu Trekking Route 

The Manaslu Trekking is a challenging adventure that requires a well-thought itinerary. Here at Nepal Adventure Trek, we have carefully created an itinerary. We ensure you get the most out of the trek and that your journey is as comfortable as possible. Here is a breakdown of our 12 Days Manaslu Trekking route. 

Drive to Machha Khola

We will begin our journey with a drive from Kathmandu to Machha Khola. We will drive through the Prithvi Highway along the winding road. We will pass by rivers, villages, hills, and terraced fields along the way. It is a smooth drive up until Arughat. 

Then, the smooth ride turns into a bumpy one. We will drive off-road up to Machha Khola. It is a 10-hour scenic drive. We will rest at Machha Khola for the night. 

Trek to Jagat

Our trek from Machha Khola to Jagat will begin on this day. We will trek along the Budhi Gandaki River bank, which ascends to the dense Sal forest. Then, we will pass by Tatopani village. It is renowned for its natural hot spring. After 7 hours of trek, we will reach Jagat. We stay overnight here. 

Trek to Deng

On day 3, we will head towards Deng. The trail goes through the dense sub-tropical forest. You can witness diverse flora and fauna along the way. We will pass by several settlements like Bhatti Khola and Philim. 

Then, we will cross a bamboo forest over the Budhi Gandaki River. We will stay at Deng for the night. Trekking from Jagat to Deng takes 8 hours. 

Trek to Namrung

We will cross a suspension bridge and head towards Namrung from Deng. The trail becomes rugged and uneven. We will reach Bihi Phedi and then Ghap village. From here onwards, the trail becomes dangerous. It is prone to dry landslides. 

After crossing the landslide zone, we will pass a few charming Magar settlements and then Namrung. Reaching Namrung from Deng takes 5 hours of trek. 

Trek to Lho

For day 5, we will head towards Lho. The sub-tropical vegetation changes into alpine highland pastures. We also see the influence of Tibetan Buddhism in the area. 

Similarly, we will see prayer flags, mani walls, stone houses with traditional wood cravings, etc. The gorgeous Mt. Manaslu also slowly comes into view. After an uphill climb of 4 hours, we reach Lho. We will stay overnight here. 

Trek to Sama Gaon

We are in for another uphill hike this day. The destination is Sama Gaon. The trail goes through the beautiful forests of pine and rhododendrons. We will gradually ascend to higher elevations while viewing Mt. Manaslu. After 5 hours of uphill trek, we will reach Sama Gaon. We will rest here for the night. 

Acclimatization Sama Gaon

Sama Gaon is a vital acclimatization stop for Manaslu Trekking. It is essential to rest your body. It allows your body to adapt to the growing elevation. But we will stay active. 

We will explore around and hike to Pung Gyan Gompa. We can witness a gorgeous mountain view of Manaslu and other surrounding peaks from Gompa. We will also interact with the locals and gain insight into their culture, traditions, and customs. 

Trek to Samdo

After a rest day, we will continue with our Manaslu Trekking. On this day, we will head towards Samdo. The trail will go through the pine forest as we leave Sama Gaon. The landscape starts to become barren, and the vegetation becomes sparser. 

Similarly, the trail also becomes more remote and isolated. The trail will go alongside the reduced Budhi Gandaki River bank and reach Samdo. Trekking from Sama Gaon to Samdo takes 4 hours. 

Trek to Dharmashala

This day’s trek is the most important on our itinerary. We will trek west while Naike and Pangbuche Peak will accompany us. First, we will cross a suspension bridge and head toward Dharmasala. 

The trail becomes uneven and rocky. While we trek on this challenging terrain, we can view Mt. Manaslu and Himal Chuli range at a distance. After 5 hours of uphill trek, we will reach Dharamshala. 

Trek to Bimthang

This day’s trek is the most challenging and adventurous. The trail goes into the remote part of the region. The landscape is barren, with very little vegetation. Then, we will ascend to the top of the Larkya La Pass at an elevation of 5,160 meters. The trail to the pass is rugged and snowy. 

From the Larkya La Pass, we can witness the breathtaking, panoramic mountain view of the Larkya, Mansiri, Cheo, and Himlung Himal ranges. We can also get a panoramic view of glaciers. We will then descend to Bimthang. The entire trek from Dharmashala to Larkya La Pass to Bimthang takes 8 hours. 

Trek to Dharapani 

We will begin our descent towards Dharapani. This day is the last day of our Manaslu Trekking. Today’s trekking is comparatively easier. It goes right into the forests of rhododendron and pine. After 7 hours of trekking, we will reach Dharapani. We will stay overnight in the village.  

Drive to Besisahra, then to Kathmandu

We will get on a jeep and head towards Besisahar. The drive takes 4 hours and passes through picturesque villages, hills, and terraced fields. Then, after reaching Besisahar, we will board a bus to Kathmandu. 

The bus will join the Prithvi Highway, driving alongside the Trishuli River. After 4 hours of driving, we will finally reach Kathmandu. 

Altitude Gain During Manaslu Trekking 

We have prepared a table below to provide a clear picture of altitude gain during Manaslu Trekking. The table displays the day-to-day itinerary of our 12 Days Manaslu Trekking.  

DayItineraryMaximum Altitude
1Drive to Machha Khola690 meters/ 2277 feet
2Trek to Jagat1410 meters/ 3990 feet
3Trek to Deng1960 meters/ 6430 feet
4Trek to Namrung2660 meters/ 7527 feet
5Trek to Lho Gaon3100 meters/ 10230 feet
6Trek to Sama Gaon3530 meters/ 11582 feet
7Acclimatization Day at Sama Gaon3530 meters/ 11582 feet
8Trek to Samdo3780 meters/ 12402 feet
9Trek to Dharmashala4200 meters/ 13780 feet
10Trek to Bimthang via Larkya La Pass5160 meters/ 16752 feet
11Trek to Dharapani1992 meters/ 6535 feet
12Drive to Besisahar, then to Kathmandu1290 meters/ 4273 feet

Manaslu Trekking Difficulty

The Manaslu Trek is a challenging trekking destination. It is mainly recommended to experienced trekkers due to its difficulty level. The factors contributing to Manaslu trekking are terrain, duration, elevation, remoteness, and lack of infrastructure. 

During the 12 Days Manaslu Trekking, trekkers must ascend and descend on varied terrain. The trail has narrow and steep sections. Similarly, the trail can change into winding paths with uneven, rugged, and rocky terrain. You have to hike for 5 to 6 hours on average. Additionally, you may have to climb uphill and downhill frequently at times. 

The climate also becomes more unpredictable as you climb to higher elevations. The Manaslu Trekking’s highest point is at Larkya La Pass at 5106 meters. Due to the high altitude, trekkers can experience altitude sickness. There is a lack of infrastructure and amenities. In an emergency, finding a health post nearby is almost impossible. 

Trekkers have to be mentally and physically fit for Manaslu Trekking. While the trek can get physically strenuous, the unpredictable changes, remoteness, and lack of facilities can weigh mentally on trekkers. 

Despite the difficulty, Manaslu Trekking is doable with Nepal Alternative’s carefully crafted itinerary. Also, we make sure to acclimatize appropriately to avoid altitude sickness. Our guides are experienced and trained professionals. They will take prompt action in emergencies and even provide first aid if needed.  

Best Time For Manaslu Trekking

The best time for Manaslu Trekking is spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). The weather and climatic conditions during these two seasons are ideal for trekking. The sky is clear, and the temperature is warm in lower as well as higher elevations. The vegetation is vibrant and luscious.

Similarly, there is a low chance of rainfall except for occasional rain showers. The visibility is excellent in these seasons. During springtime, the rhododendron forests and wildflowers are in full bloom. It further adds color and vibrancy to the landscape. 

Meanwhile, autumn offers the most stunning view of the mountains. The biggest festival in Nepal also falls in autumn. Hence, you can experience and witness the festive celebrations. 

The summer and winter seasons are not preferred for trekking. However, with proper preparation, it is still doable. The summer season coincides with the monsoon. It brings heavy rainfall, and the trail becomes muddy and slippery. 

Heavy snowfall occurs in higher elevations during winter. The days are also shorter, and the temperature drops significantly. The heavy snow can block the high passes and make the trail slippery and unsafe for trekking. 

Documents And Permits for Manaslu Trekking

The documents and permits required for Manaslu Trekking are as follows: 

Visa

Foreigners can get a tourist visa on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. With this visa, you can travel across Nepal and participate in activities, including trekking. For the visa, you need a passport that has at least six months before expiry. And you will also need a passport-size photo. 

You can fill out the tourist visa form online before your arrival. After filling out the form, you will get a barcode with a validity of 15 days. Then, you can make payment at the visa counter at the airport. 

The cost of a visa can vary depending on the duration of your stay. It looks as follows: 

  • 15 days (single-entry visa): USD 30
  • 30 days (single-entry visa): USD 50
  • 90 days (single-entry visa): USD 125

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory for trekkers. It is a safety precaution for any unforeseen accidents during the trek. The insurance should cover the medical bills, including helicopter rescue at higher elevations. 

Similarly, it should also cover emergency expenses like medical evacuation. Aside from these, you can take travel insurance that covers trip postponement, cancellation, and loss/stolen belongings (baggage, electronic devices, etc). 

Ensure you understand the terms and conditions of the travel insurance completely while getting it.   

Permits

You need four different permits for Manaslu Trekking. It includes a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card, Manaslu Restricted Permit, Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. 

A TIMS card keeps the trekkers’ records, including emergency contacts and itinerary details. It aids in ensuring the trekkers’ safety and security. The card is convenient during emergencies or natural disaster events.  The card cost USD 10 per person for group trekkers and USD 20  per person for individual trekker. 

The Manaslu Trekking route lies in a restricted area. Hence, you need a Manaslu Restricted Permit. The cost varies depending on the season. 

  • Autumn: USD 100 per person for the first seven days and USD 15 for each additional day
  • Spring, Summer, and Winter: USD 75 per person for the first seven days and USD 10 for each additional day

The Manaslu Conservation Area Permit fees remain the same in all seasons. It costs USD 30 per person. 

The cost for the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit also does not vary according to the season. It costs USD 30 per person. 

These permits can be obtained through government-licensed trekking agencies. Most often, they come included in the trek package. 

Accommodation During Manaslu Trekking,

The Manaslu trek route goes into a remote area of the Gorkha district. The Manaslu trek is less commercialized than popular routes like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. The region lacks infrastructure and easy accessibility.  Hence, the accommodation in the area is very basic. 

You will mostly find tea houses and a few lodges and guest houses. The locals run these accommodations. The basic facilities have a shared twin room, shared bathroom, and communal dining space. These accommodations provide beds, blankets, pillows, and bed sheets. The rooms are usually small with minimum furniture. 

The cost of accommodation will get higher along with the elevation. You must pay additional fees for extra services like hot water/showers, charging, internet/wifi, etc. There is a low chance of finding hot showers as you go higher. The amenities are also limited. The majority of these accommodations also provide meals. 

You can carry a sleeping bag for hygiene purposes or to avoid cold at higher elevations. Similarly, you should carry toiletries products along with you.  

FAQs

What is the difficulty level of Manaslu Trekking? 

The Manaslu Trekking is a strenuous trek requiring good physical fitness, stamina, and endurance. The trek goes into the remote and off-the-beaten path region and Manaslu. The terrain is rugged, with steep ascent and descent. Similarly, there is a risk of altitude sickness during the trek. The Manaslu Trekking is suitable for more seasoned and experienced trekkers.

Do I have to hire a guide or porter for the trek?

As of April 1, 2023, the government of Nepal has made it mandatory to hire a licensed guide for all trekking destinations, including Manaslu Trekking. We highly recommend that you hire a porter. Since the trek is physically demanding, trekking with a backpack on your pack can add physical strain. Porters help to reduce that burden, and you can trek baggage-free and comfortably.

When is the ideal time for Manaslu Trekking?

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are ideal for the Manaslu Trekking. These two seasons have the most stable weather and climatic conditions. The temperature is warm, including at the higher elevations. Similarly, there is minimum rainfall.

Is travel insurance necessary for the Manaslu Trekking?

Yes, you need travel insurance for the Manaslu Trekking. The insurance should cover the medical and emergency expenses, including helicopter rescue at higher altitudes. Similarly, it should cover evacuation in case of medical emergencies and altitude sickness.

Can I rent trekking equipment and gear?

Yes, you can easily rent trekking equipment and gear. There are rental services available at tourist locations like Thamel in Kathmandu. It is cheaper than buying new equipment. Additionally, it is an excellent option for those looking to reduce the cost of the Manaslu Trekking.

Tej Bahadur Gurung

With an experience of almost two decades, founder Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung has established Nepal Alternative Treks as a widely recognized and reliable tourism operator. His degree in Tourism Studies and devotion to the sector has given him in-depth knowledge about trekking, climbing, cultural, and geological aspects of the country. He is a pioneer in introducing the concept of ‘off-beaten tracks’ and ‘alternative routes’ as well as treks and tour packages surrounding it.

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