The Manaslu circuit trekking has all the elements of other treks in Nepal including Hindu and Buddhist culture, protected wildlife, rhododendrons and wild flowers, raging rivers, shaky bridges and stunning mountain scenery.
Manaslu trekking is much easier than it used to be with greatly improved trails along the Budi Gandaki river gorge. In terms of difficulty, it is comparable with the Annapurna Circuit trek or Everest Base Camp Trek. The highlight of the trek is undoubtedly the spectacular unhindered views of Manaslu.
Nearly over 2,000 people complete the Manaslu trekking per year with more than half visiting in October. This is substantially fewer than visiting Annapurna, Everest or Langtang. There are two main reasons for the fewer numbers. For comfortable Manaslu trekking it requires fully organized camping trekking since there are few tea-houses along the trail. In particular there is no lodge below the Larkya La (5235m) requiring an enforced night of camping. This is no longer the case. Now there is a tea house below the pass and all the way up from the starting point. A few of the tea houses are still basic compared to counterparts on the Annapurna Circuit, but most are comfortable.
Manaslu trekking has restricted area status. So it requires a special permit to trek in Manaslu. For Manaslu trekking permit, there must be a minimum of 2 people group or more members and that a registered trekking guide accompanies the group from Nepal government registered trekking company. The Manaslu Circuit trekking is now being referred to as the New Annapurna Circuit trekking.
The Manaslu trekking is also possible to start from Gorkha bazzar which is quicker to reach from Kathmandu on a smoother road. You can find onward transport to Barpak where there is accommodation, and continue via Larpak to join the main trekking route. A side trip to Tsum valley is also possible, but this also requires camping or pre arranged homestays.
Manaslu Trekking is also entirely possible to combine with the Annapurna Circuit trekking from Dharapani, continue to Manang and over the Throng La at speed having already acclimatized. Then fly or bus out from Jomsom to Pokhara. Others are including the trek to Nar and Phu, taking advantage of their trek earned acclimatization and fitness.
Below is Manaslu trekking itinerary and for customized itinerary to Manalsu trek, cost deals, up to date Manaslu trekking information and Manaslu travel trekking guide, talk to a team of trekking guide and trekking leader.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300m)
Upon arrival to Nepal, we will receive you at Kathmandu airport and transfer to hotel. We will wait you at Kathmandu airport with your name, please look out the sign of your name. The rest of the day is free and short trip briefing in the evening.
Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Sightseeing tour to the world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley like Boudhanath stupa, Swoyambhunath stupa, Pashuptinath temple and Kathmandu durbar square.
Day 3: Drive Kathmandu to Arughat (600m, 7/8 hrs)
At dawn, we set off early today for Arughat. We drive through countryside of Nepal enjoying the countryside and mountain sceneries. First part of drive is easier until Dhading Besi, the headquarter of Dhading District. Another part of drive starts from Dhading Besi to Arughat throguh dirt road and we reach Arughat after around 7-8 hours drive. Arughat, our trek starts point is a major town in the region and is divided in two parts with the Budi Gandaki River flowing between them.
Day 4: Arughat - Soti Khola (710m, 5 - 6 hrs)
Upon crossing the bridge over Budhi Gandaki, we begin our trek from the western part of Arughat. After completing with the ACAP procedure, we follow the stone-paved street north through the bazaar. We further pass through the hydro-electric power project, fields of rice and millet to Maltar, and through forests Sante Bazzar. The trail to Budhi Gandaki valley now becomes steeper and more difficult as we cross the Arkhet Khola on a suspension bridge, passing the shops of Arkhet. While descending we encounter with a cascading waterfall making a long steep slog up a ridge to Kyorpani. Then from here the trail descends to Soti Khola.
Day 5: Soti Khola - Maccha Khola (900m, 6 - 7 hrs)
At the crossing of the bridge, we trek through the beautiful Sal forests, then climb onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. We then reach to Khursane. The rocky trail then weaves its way up and down, past two tropical waterfalls on a steep, rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff. It eventually makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. We further climb behind a rocky outcrop, where the valley opens and the Budhi Gandaki meanders among wide gravel bars. Droping to the sandy river bed, we walk along rounded stones before climbing over a side ridge. We head down again to the river and traverse to Machha Khola village.
Day 6: Maccha Khola -Jagat (1410m, 7/ 8 hrs)
The narrow trail makes some minor ups and downs and eventually crosses the Tharo Khola, flowing in a rocky ravine, then reaches Khorlabesi. After a few more walk ups and downs, there is a small trailside hotspring, from where we reach to Tatopani. From the Hot Spring we climb over another ridge, then cross the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge. At this juncture, we climb on a wide, well-crafted staircase, then across a landslide and over a ridge to Dobhan. Upon crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, we climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Crossing to the west bank of the budhi gandaki, we climb over a ridge, trek along the river and then climb towards the village of Jagat.
Day 7: Jagat - Deng (1,804m, 7 - 8 hrs)
Today at the beginning we climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri, and then descend to Setibas. The valley widens a bit as the trail continues up to Ghatta Khola. We further continue walking upstream to a long suspension bridge. While climb up to Philim we will be at a large gurung village. The trail turns north just above the lowest house in the village and stays fairly in level as it traverses millet fields to Ekle Bhatti. Beyond Ekle Bhatti the route enters a steep, uninhabited gorge. At this moment, we descend to the grassy land slopes, cross the Budhi Gandaki, then trek along the west bank for a while, then cross to the east bank and then back again. As we keep walking the valley widens through bamboo forests to the Deng Khola. Upon crossing the khola, we reach at the tiny village of Deng.
Day 8: Deng - Namrung (2630m,6 - 7 hrs)
After a brief walk beyond Deng, we cross the Budhi Gandaki on to the north bank and then climb to Rana at 1910m. From the bridge we climb a bit to join a trail from Bhi, then head west up the Budhi Gandaki valley. Making ups and downs in forests, we pass mani walls and then turn to a corner that contours to Ghap. Eventhough there is another route; we take route through Prok village. Prok village has a view point from where we see beautiful view of Siringi Himal. We further cross Budi Gandai several times today and come across several gompas en route. The trail follows the river upstream through dense forest. After crossing the river at an impressive spot where it thunders down a narrow gorge, the forest becomes less dense and the trail is fine again. The pleasant walk continues and after a last steep climb we reach Namrung.
Day 9: Namrung - Lho (3180m, 4 - 5 hrs)
Namrung village is good viewpoint for Siring Himal and Ganesh Himal. There are also a MCAP office, health post, police station in Namrung. To the south rises, we will have the view of Himal Chuli, a huge peak. Climbing steadily in the shade of a forest takes us to Lihi, a fine village with many chortens and many barley terraces. We still have quite bit of trail to reach Lho. Ganesh Himal rises high into the sky when we turn around. The trail drops and crosses the sidevalley of Simnang Himal. A chorten with detailed paintings announces Sho, another nice village with fine views up the open valley. We cross a stream short after leaving Sho and one final steep climb takes us to village with superb view of Mt. Manaslu. It is Lho Village where we explore the famous Ribung Gompa. Overnight at Lho.
Day 10: Lho - Samagaon (3530m, 4 - 5 hrs)
The Budi Gandaki is far down but we follow a small tributary instead. Walking in the shady fir forest is very enjoyable. Upon a short climb to a plateau we will be at Shyala village. Our arrival at the village will be surrunded by huge mountains and those are Himal Chuli and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli) to the left, Manaslu and large glaciers straight ahead, other snow summits to the right, at the far end stands Ganesh Himal. From a large chorten we look down into a little dip where two rows of houses form the main part of Sama. At the far end of the village, overlooking the valley stands the well-known monastery of Sama.
Day 11: Samagaon - Pungyen gompa - Samagaon: 6 - 7 hrs exploration
We spend the day at Samagaon both for rest and acclimatization. We pay our attention to ponder at the thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts and pictures. At this juncture we meet the village women in Samagaon who wear a nice silver spoon as jewelry. On a little hill near Samagaon is an old Gompa. We take a sidetrip to Pungyen Gompa, a monastery with great views of the glacier. It is named after Manaslu, Pungyen means bracelet, a good description of the two peaks. It was destroyed a year after the first unsuccessful Japanese attempt to climb Manaslu. The locals believed that the climb angered the gods, and when the Japanese came back a year they met so much resistance that they had to give up their attempt. They finally submitted the mountain in 1959.
Day 12: Sama - Samdo (3860m, 4 - 5 hrs)
Today, while descending to the Budhi Gandaki River, that has turned north, we follow it to a bridge over a side stream. The trail to the left leads to the Manaslu Base camp. The Larkya la Trail passes several mani walls as the valley begins to widen. It is an easy trail on a shelf above the river passing the juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We drop off the shelf, cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge and climb steeply onto a promontory between two forks of the river. From a stone arch we can view a large white kani. Finally passing through the kani we find Samdo.
Day 13: Samdo - Dharamsala/Larkya base camp (4460m, 4 - 5 hrs)
Even today, we continue our walk down the edge, cross the wooden bridge over Budi Gandaki and begin walking upward. Upon crossing two streams and witnessing the Larkya Glacier we go around the valley of the Salka Khola and climb up again and come to the stone guest house (4450 m) which is not a lodge but a kind of shelter called Dharmshala, also known as Larkya Phedi. We came here today and have a rest to prepare for next day journey. The short walk today also leaves plenty of time for acclimatization and relaxing in the afternoon.
Day 14: Dharamsala - Larkya la (5160m) - Bimthang (3720m, 8 - 9 hrs)
After a short climb, we reach the ablation valley on the North side of the Larkya Glaciers. Upon this moment we will have the views of Cho Danda and then of Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across the moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. At here, we savor the spectacular views from the top of the pass. It is a longer day then usual to Bimtang. But to walk into these low pastures with the evening mist coming in and Manaslu will be an experience not to be missed.
Day 15: Bimthang - Tilije (2300m, 4 - 5 hrs)
From a ridge at Bimthang, we will have very beautiful views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal. We further walk down and cross the high pasture (Sangure Kharka). Beyond a bridge over Dudh Khola, we descend into a rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land in this valley at Karche, 2785 meters. From here we cross a slide, then go across fields before making a steep climb over a ridge. The trail comes off the ridge in a big, sweeping arc to the river bank at 2580m. A short distance beyond is the village of Gho. Due to yesterday tiredness we might take overnight rest at Gho but better lodges are available at Tilije, so Himalayan Glacier recommends staying at Tilije.
Day 16: Tilije - Tal (1700m, 5 - 6 hrs)
Today, we climb over a small ridge to the stone - paved village and wind among the closely spaced houses of this large village. Upon leaving the village, we cross the Dudh Khola and trek along the river embankment. Crossing at a wooden bridge back to the northern side of the Dudh Khola and climbing up through a chorten-shaped arch and passing a mani wall, we will be at Thonje village. At the village of Thonje, we go through a police checkpoint and then continue to Dharapani. We have entered the Annapurna cirucit seciton from Dharapani. Further down we come across Karte village and after quite a bit of walk we cross a bridge over Marshyangdi Khola. Further, we come across some Mani Walls before reaching village of Tal where there is ACAP office. Tal Village is situated at the foot of a large waterfall.
Day 17: Tal - Syange (1080m, 6 - 7 hrs)
Today, our journey from Tal to Syange begins. At the beginning the trail continues on to Chyamje recrossing the Marshyangdi Khola once again. The Marsyandi valley opens with its banks terrace fields and villages clung very high to the hillsides. The trail then descends through forests of rhododendron and pine to Syange.
Day 18: Syange - Besi Sahar (800m, 4 hrs) to Kathmandu
An 8-9 hours picturesque drive on the way back to Kathmandu along the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers offers splendid views of green hills, mountains, farming terraces and villages on both sides of road. In Kathmandu, we will be escorted to our hotel. The day in Kathmadnu either spends on leisure or perhaps we catch up some last minute shopping or explore any sights we missed during our first day in Kathmandu.
Day 19: Kathmandu Airport.
Transfer to Kathmandu airport at least 3 hours earlier before the flight schedule time. Say good bye to Nepal and Kathmandu.