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Embarking in the Manaslu Circuit Trek for beginners is an adventurous journey and awe-inspiring experience. It is an ideal trek choice for exploring remote and rural Nepal. 

The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a mesmerizing view of the world’s 8th tallest peak, Mount Manaslu (8163 m), and surrounding peaks. Hidden in the isolated region of Nepal, it is a perfect alternative to escape from the crowded routes of Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek.  

Your journey will begin with a drive from Kathmandu to Machha Khola for starting the trek. The Manaslu Circuit Trek typically takes around 12 days to complete. But the duration can vary. The off-the-beaten-track trails of Manaslu Circuit traverse charming traditional settlements, verdant forests, deep valleys, gorges, and a high mountain pass. 

This fantastic trek also offers a culturally enriching experience for beginners. Along the trail, you will encounter Tibetan settlements, age-old monasteries, and ancient heritage. Charming teahouses and lodges are also available along the Manaslu route. It is an extraordinary blend of adventure, culture, and breathtaking views, which is worth the challenge. 

Its raw natural beauty and challenging routes entice many. Thus, beginners and experienced trekkers dream of trekking the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Beginners are highly recommended for this trek.  

You must have adequate information before embarking on the trek. This blog will serve as beginners guide looking to take on this thrilling challenge of the Manaslu Trek. So, without further delay, let us begin!

Can Beginners Trek to Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The first question most might have is whether beginners can do the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The answer to this is, of course, yes!

Beginners must familiarize themselves with the trek route. Understanding the trek’s difficulty can help them better prepare physically and mentally. The itinerary should include proper days for rest and acclimatization. 

The Manaslu Circuit is a challenging trek in the Manaslu region. The duration varies depending on the itinerary. Likewise, it is a high-altitude trek, and you will cross the Larkya La Pass, which is 5160 m in elevation. 

The trek passes from dense subtropical forests to alpine desert-like highlands. The trek takes you through remote villages and routes around the majestic Mount Manaslu. You must ascend and descend on varied terrain while overcoming steep, narrow paths. So, beginners must have very good fitness, stamina, and endurance for the trek. 

The best way to prepare for the trek is to undertake exercises and training that increase your strength, stamina, and endurance. Cardiovascular exercises like jogging, running, swimming, etc., can enhance your overall fitness level. Likewise, you can replicate the trek by hiking while carrying a 5 to 6-kg backpack.  

In addition to physical preparation, beginners must also be mentally prepared for the trek. Before embarking on the Manaslu Circuit Trek, do your research. Also, familiarize yourself with the routes and what to expect. This will help you build mental resilience and be better prepared in case of mishaps or unforeseen events. 

So beginners do not be overwhelmed by the Manaslu Circuit Trek and its difficulty. You can complete the trek safely with proper preparation, precautions, and a well-crafted itinerary. 

Things To Consider For Beginners Before Trekking to Manaslu Circuit

Ways to Acclimate and Altitude Sickness Risk

As a beginner, you must be aware of altitude sickness, its symptoms, and prevention. Trekkers can experience altitude-related sickness after crossing 3,000 m elevation. Manaslu Circuit Trek involves trekking at an altitude of over 5000 m, which means there is a high risk of altitude sickness. 

Altitude sickness can range from mild to severe, and common symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and shortness of breath. Trekkers need to listen to their bodies and be aware of the symptoms. If not treated promptly, altitude sickness can even prove fatal.  

Acclimatization is the best way to prevent or minimize the risk of altitude sickness. It allows your body to adapt to the high altitude, temperature, and humidity. Some of the ways you can acclimatize are as follows: 

  • Avoid rapid ascend. 
  • Take rest days to help your body adjust to the changing altitudes. 
  • Stay well-hydrated and take plenty of fluids. 
  • Take altitude medications like Diamox, but consult with healthcare professionals first.
  • Trek high and sleep low.
  • Avoid excessive intake of alcoholic and caffeine beverages and smoking. 

Route and Terrain

You will travel from subtropical to tundra regions during the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The terrains also vary, including lowland regions, river valleys, high mountain passes, and alpine meadows. Likewise, the trails are mostly off-beat, rugged, and rocky. Trekkers should be prepared for steep ascending and descending on these varied terrains. 

The Manaslu Circuit is a remote trek that passes by remote villages, dense woodlands, conifer forests, and barren landscapes. The route also includes many significant landmarks. Larkya La Pass, at 5160 m, is the trek’s highest point. It is one of the highest mountain passes and offers panoramic mountain views. 

En route, you will enter the Manaslu Conservation Area and Annapurna Conservation Area, and the views of the Manaslu range will keep you company.  They have local expertise and help you navigate rough terrains and off-beat routes.

Research the trek’s routes and terrain before embarking on the journey. Beginners will find the rugged terrain and remote routes the most challenging parts of the trek. To ease the difficulty level of the Manaslu trek, hire a guide for the trek with experience. Also, ensure that you hire a registered guide. Guides will help you navigate the routes, so listen and follow their instructions.

Temperature and Climate

The climate and temperature of the Manaslu region vary according to the seasons and altitude. Nepal experiences four seasons annually. Among them, March to May and September to October are the best months for Manaslu trekking. Due to large variations in altitude, the climatic conditions can change rapidly. The region experiences five climatic zones that range from tropical to temperate to sub-alpine. 

The climate and temperature are unpredictable in higher elevations. Therefore, trekkers must carry adequate clothing for the changing temperature. The clothing items include thermal inners, lightweight pants, moisture-wicking layers, socks, down jackets (can bear up to -10 degrees temperature), insulated layers, waterproof/windproof jackets, sweaters, hats, and gloves.  

You should carry clothing that can be layered and adjusted to the changing temperature of the Manaslu Circuit. Be prepared to face both warm and cold temperatures while on the trek. Pack light, but ensure you have all the necessary clothing. 

Take a look at the temperature of Manaslu Circuit during different months:

MonthsDaytime TemperatureNighttime Temperature
January-5 to 0 degrees Celsius-15 to -10 degrees Celsius
February-5 to 5 degrees Celsius-15 to 10 degrees Celsius
March 8 to 10 degrees Celsius-5 to 5 degrees Celsius
April10 to 15 degrees Celsius0 to 8 degrees Celsius
May20 to 31 degrees Celsius5 to 12 degrees Celsius
June20 to 25 degrees Celsius10 to 15 degrees Celsius
JulyUp to 30 degrees Celsius5 to 10 degrees Celsius
August12 to 25 degrees Celsius5 to 15 degrees Celsius
Spetember15 to 21 degrees CelsiusAround 7 degrees Celsius
October10 to 15 degrees Celsius-2 to 5 degrees Celsius
November5 to 13 degrees Celsius-6 to 5 degrees Celsius
December8 to 12 degrees Celsius-8 to -5 degrees Celsius

Duration and Trekking Hours

Another factor beginners should consider before the Manaslu Circuit Trek is the duration and trekking hours. It is usually between 10 and 16 days of trekking and covers a distance of approximately 177 km (110 miles). The trek involves long hours of walking, i.e., 5 to 7 hours each day. 

The long duration and daily trekking are physically demanding to trekkers and can also be mentally straining. They will test your physical stamina. Thus, you must be physically and mentally prepared for the long duration and long hours of trekking. Likewise, you must have proper planning to undertake the Manaslu Circuit. 

You can also combine the Tsum Valley Trek with Manaslu Circuit Trek route for a more thrilling experience!

Food and Accommodation

Manaslu Circuit Trek takes you into a remote area of Nepal. There is limited infrastructure and facilities. Mostly, you will find teahouses along the Manaslu Circuit route. Locals run these and offer basic facilities like beds, blankets, pillows, and bedsheets. You can also carry a sleeping bag for extra warmth. The rooms are usually on a twin-sharing basis, while the bathroom and dining area are mostly communal. 

So, do not expect to find luxurious facilities. The food menu is also limited. Dal Bhat, the staple Nepali cuisine, is available in every accommodation. Other menu items include momo, chapatis, thukpa, chow mein, etc. Likewise, you can easily find drinks like tea and alcoholic beverages. 

As you go to higher elevations, accommodation, and food prices will also increase. For services like hot water, hot shower, battery charging, internet, etc, accommodations will charge you extra cost. The availability of the internet can vary. The connectivity is poor and unsuitable for data-intensive work.  

Best time to visit the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The best times to visit the Manaslu Circuit Trek are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These seasons have the ideal weather and climatic conditions for trekking in Nepal. There is very little chance of rainfall, so the trails are dry and in good condition. 

Trekking during the spring and autumn seasons is pleasant, with clear and blue skies. As a result, you can best enjoy the scenery and the magnificent mountain vistas. The vegetation is lusciously green, while the landscapes are vibrant at these times. 

The trails are adorned with blooming rhododendrons in red, pink, and white during the spring. Flora and fauna are active in spring, so you can glimpse the diverse biodiversity during the trek. The trek also offers stunning views of Manaslu mountains and other surrounding peaks. 

Likewise, autumn has crisp air with mild temperatures and stable weather. It is also the harvest and festive season in Nepal. The biggest Nepali festivals, Dashain and Tihar, fall during this time. Thus, you can be part of the celebrations and cultural experience. 

It is always advisable for beginners to select the best time to trek. The beauty of the Manaslu region is at its peak at this time. It makes the demanding trek a little more comfortable and offers the best trekking experience. You can best enjoy the trekking and scenery in pleasant and clear weather.   

Outline Itinerary for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Here is an outline of our 12 Days Manaslu Circuit Trek to provide a better picture. 

  • Day 1: Drive to Machha Khola (10 hours drive/ 690 m)
  • Day 2: Trek to Jagat (7 hours trek/ 1410 m)
  • Day 3: Trek to Deng (8 hours trek/ 1960 m)
  • Day 4: Trek to Namrung (5 hours trek/ 2660 m)
  • Day 5: Trek to Lho Gaon (4 hours trek/ 3100 m)
  • Day 6: Trek to Sama Gaon (6 hours trek/ 3530 m)
  • Day 7: Acclimatization day
  • Day 8: Trek to Samdo (4 hours trek/ 3780 m)
  • Day 9: Trek to Dharmashala (5 hours trek/ 4200 m)
  • Day 10: Trek to Bimthang via Larkya La Pass (8 hours trek/ 5160 m)
  • Day 11: Trek to Dharapani (7 hours trek/ 1992 m)
  • Day 12: Drive to Besisahar – Drive to Kathmandu (10 hours drive/ 1290 m)

Faqs

Is Manaslu Circuit Trek safe? 

Yes, Manaslu Circuit is entirely safe for trekkers. The route opened in 1991, and thousands of trekkers have safely completed the trek. The trek is challenging and high-altitude, but the trails are well-marked and in good condition. 

Can beginners do the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Yes, beginners can participate and complete the Manaslu Circuit Trek with proper preparation. They must be physically fit and physically and mentally prepared for the trek. Likewise, they will also need appropriate equipment for the trek. Hiring a guide for the Manaslu Circuit is mandatory, they will ensure your safety and support during the trek. 

How difficult is the Manaslu Circuit? 

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging trek that takes you into the remote Manaslu region with limited facilities and infrastructures. It is a high-altitude trek that you will cross above 5000 meters of elevation. Likewise, Manaslu Circuit Trek typically takes 10 to 16 days, and you must walk 5 to 7 hours daily. You need to be physically fit and thoroughly prepared for the trek. 

Do I need travel insurance for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Nepal Tourism Board has made travel insurance mandatory for trekking the Manaslu Circuit. The insurance should cover medical expenses, high-altitude, altitude-related sickness, and emergency evacuation, including helicopter rescue. 

What permits are required for the Manaslu Circuit Trek? 

To access Manaslu Circuit, you will need three permits. You will also need special permit to trek to Manaslu. The permits include the Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, and Manaslu Restricted Area Permit. You can obtain the permits from a registered trekking company. 

Conclusion

We hope this Manaslu Circuit Trek for beginners guide will be helpful. The Manaslu Circuit Trek is an outstanding destination for all types of trekkers, including beginners.

Manaslu Circuit Trek is known for its challenging routes, which can be daunting for beginners. But with proper preparation, you can complete the trek. Make sure you make physical and mental preparations prior to the trek. Also, always follow your guide’s instructions and advice. This way, you can complete the trek safely and have one of the most memorable experiences of your life. 

When booking your trek in Nepal, always choose reputed and licensed trekking agencies. It is crucial for the optimum experience and your safety. Nepal Trek Alternative is a registered and leading trek and tour company that has been in the field for many years. You can contact us with any inquiries or for further information!

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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