Have you ever wanted to experience one of the best trekking experiences? If so, I may have the place you’d enjoy that you haven’t been to before, even if you indulge in various trekking or hiking activities. In contrast to the beauty of the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit Trek, which are quite popular among frequent travelers, the Manaslu Mountain Circuit trek provides travelers with a unique and thrilling experience you’ll surely cherish.
Having witnessed countless national parks, hiking circuits, and trekking treks, I find the Manaslu trek quite unique and underrated relative to other treks. There are a lot of thrilling activities to partake in during this Trek, even though this may not be a prominent location as many others.
Nature, rivers, and flora in the Manaslu region are breathtaking. In addition, friendly people and the region’s rich culture, which combines both Nepalese and Tibetan ethnicities, will make your visit to the region quite memorable.
Larky La Pass (5167 m), the highest point on the Trek, offers breathtaking views of some of the world’s highest peaks – Himlung, Manaslu, and Annapurna II. If you are lucky, the Trek is also abundant with wildlife, including Agali, Pika, Tahr, Himalayan Marmots, and even Snow Leopards. As a result of its remote location and physical challenge, the Manaslu circuit trek is both culturally enriching and scenically rewarding.
The eighth highest mountain peak in the world, Mount Manaslu, lies at an elevation of 8,163 meters or 25,781 feet. As mentioned earlier, the altitude of the highest point of the Manaslu trek, Larky La Pass, is 5,167 meters. So, preparing for the weather conditions and physical difficulties is a must.
Adapting to this altitude can be a bit difficult for some people. In addition, some might experience altitude sickness and breathlessness from such extreme elevation. Therefore, people with lung ailments should avoid such activities or take all precautions necessary before embarking on such adventures. At the same time, the weather and temperature can also be a big factor to look into.
During my trekking experience in the Manaslu Circuit, we brought along the following things and equipment. We suggest you do the same for a better experience.
Even though some of the items and appliances outlined above might not be necessary for the Trek, they would certainly improve your comfort and the trekking experience as a whole. Additionally, if you forgot any of them, you can easily locate them in trek shops, though the price would likely be higher than normal.
Manaslu Trekking is a well-regulated trekking region. You will have to get a special permit from a local agency. You are also required to have MCAP and ACAP permits. Furthermore, a minimum of two trekkers are required to do the Trek.
Small tea houses are set up throughout Manaslu, and you will have to stay in most of the night. The services and facilities available in such places are very basic; however, the hospitality of the people is not. Furthermore, giving up high-speed internet and some unnecessary facilities should not be a problem for enthusiastic travelers such as you.
Completing the whole Manaslu Circuit Trek might take up to 10 days to 2 weeks, depending upon your pace during the Trek. Initially, you need to acquire a Nepali visa if you’re not from Nepal and get to Kathmandu. Then, from Kathmandu or any other place in Nepal, you need to drive to Soti Khola at an altitude of 700 meters. From there, our Trek begins.
After having a good breakfast at Soti Khola, we start our Trek. The path in the Manaslu trek is quite rocky and narrow, so we need to adjust to it. However, the beautiful scenery you will see throughout the trail will keep you engaged, no matter how uneven the road may be on the first day of the Trek.
You'll pass through multiple Ghale and Gurung villages until reaching Nyali Khola during the first day. While walking past the Khola, be careful and watch your steps on the slippery road and mule paths until reaching Maccha Khola during the evening.
As you walk through the forest on this day, you are going to get a chance to see the Gurung village of Khorlabeshi. You'll also visit the riverside forest road on the Budi Gandaki bank. Finally, you can enjoy a warm bath when you reach Tatopani before crossing the suspension bridge to Doban and finally to Jagat. At Jagat, we rest for the day.
After breakfast, you'll walk from Salleri to Sirdibas. You'll be welcomed into the village with several gompas and Buddhist prayer flags. Before reaching Phillip, you can try local alcoholic beverages at several stopovers along the route.
Furthermore, enjoy the sculptures on the river bank on your way to Pewa. You'll also encounter a thick rhododendron forest on the way.
After breakfast, enjoy the Trek up to Rana and Bihi Phedi through a bamboo forest. To remain physically safe, you must be extra attentive to your guide's instructions during the walkthrough of several landslide zones to reach Ghap. The trail leads to Namrung after passing through the landslide area. At Namrung, we enjoy some bonfires and rest for the night.
You will start the day by witnessing the lifestyles of the Nubri people. Next, you will pass several mini walls, lush terraces, and houses before walking through Banjam to reach the forest of fir, rhododendrons, and oak trees before climbing to Sho and back. The last stop for the day after Sho is Lho, which can be reached by walking up a rocky hillside route.
The sixth day contains a relatively short hike towards Sama Gaun. But, do enjoy the mesmerizing view of Mount Manaslu along the hike.
About a 2-hour hike north from Sama Gaun takes you to Manaslu Base Camp. You can either go there or hike some more to reach Pungyen Gompa on the Eastern Side of Nurbi Valley.
On our eighth day, we'll trek to a new village of Samdo after passing through yak pastures and a few bridges. When you get to Samdo after 3 hours of Trek, you can walk, chill and visit the nearby villages of the area.
The ninth day is going to be a day filled with mini trips. Those trips will primarily include an exciting visit to villages near the Tibet border and Samdo Glacier.
We will walk slowly across the rugged terrains of the Manaslu region in order to reach Dharmasala today. This is another adventure at a high altitude, so please watch your body signs. You will be treated to scenic views of the Himalayan chain as you cross the rugged terrains of the Manaslu region of the Himalayas.
On the Eleventh day, we reach the highest point on the trail at Larkya La Pass at 5,160 meters while catching a gorgeous view of Kang Guru, Annapurna, Annapurna II, and Himlung. First, however, we spend the night at Bumthang.
This day of your Trek is a downhill descent through the lush Manaslu region, where you'll see rhododendron bushes and lush forest. Furthermore, you'll drop down to Dharapani via Gurung Goa and Tilije and rest before your trip back home.
After you’ve enjoyed the thrilling and joyful cycling experience, you can choose whether to visit other beautiful places in Nepal or head back home. No matter what you choose, we hope you have a fantastic time.
We can accommodate group tours for this trip; however, you may also opt for a private tour according to your liking. We can arrange private trips at any time of the year at any date of your choosing. Please let us know what your preferred travel dates are so that we can accommodate you.
Finally, after the completion of the Trek, take a rest as you cherish the beautiful moments you encountered during the Trek while on your trip back home. It is certainly deserving of its reputation for its rich historical legacy, amazing views, and the hospitality of the locals that can make a trek to the Manaslu Base Camp an unforgettable experience.