Manaslu Circuit Trek - The Ultimate off-the-beaten-path Trek in Nepal - 13 to 19 days

The Manaslu Circuit trek is far less crowded than other classic treks in Nepal and remains a true remote adventure, despite its increasing in popularity since teahouses were built here in 2010. The Manaslu trek features all the great aspects of a classic trek in Nepal: epic scenery, spectacular suspension bridge crossings and a 5100m (17,000-ft.) Himalayan pass.

Overview

Fast facts
Min. duration 13 days
Max. elevation 5,106 m / 16,752 ft
(Larkya La pass)
Start/finish Soti Khola/Besisahar
Difficulty Challenging
Trek style Teahouse
Manaslu Circuit Trek Map
Manaslu Circuit trek map

Despite its recent rise in popularity, the Manaslu Trek remains remote and off-the-beaten-path compared to the better known teahouse treks in Nepal. The trek takes you around Manaslu, the world's eighth highest mountain at 8,163 meters (26,781 ft). 

Want to join a small group? Our local specialists have scheduled group departures in October and November 2017. Learn more

Why trek the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Experts consider the Manaslu Circuit Trek among the best treks in Nepal.

Top highlights of this trek include:

  • It is far less crowded than its more well known peers Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit. The word is getting out about Manaslu, but there are still about 10 times fewer trekkers on the Manaslu Trail
  • The trek is wild and remote, yet there are teahouses at every day stage, so trekkers don’t need to bring tents and food, making it more accessible and affordable than similar treks.
  • The trailhead is reached over land, avoiding the need for domestic flights. 
  • The first part of the trail follows the Buri Gandaki, a deep, long river gorge, with many suspension bridge crossings 
  • The scenery provides all Nepal has to offer: you'll trek from the subtropical jungle at lower elevations, through the Himalayan foothills to the high, cold and challenging crossing of the Larkya La above 5,100 meters / 17,000 feet.
The village of Gho
The village of Gho - Photo by Louis fiorello - March 2016
Crossing the Larkya La
Crossing the snow covered Larkya La in October 2016 - Photo by Rohan Delhikan
View from Bimthang
View from Bimthang, near the end of the trek - Photo by Rohan Delhikan - October 2016
Clouds opening up over the Manaslu Range
Cloud cover giving way to views of the Manaslu Range - photo by Michael Freel - September 2016

Getting to the trailhead

The trailhead of the Manaslu Circuit trek is the closest to Kathmandu of the the major Nepalese treks. That said, it's still an adventurous 126 km (80 miles) drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola, which takes about 6 hours by jeep (recommended) or 8+ hours by public bus. If road conditions are challenging (which is often the case at the tail end of the monsoon in September) you may have to start walking in Arughat, which adds an extra day.

Permits

You need a trekking permit for the Manaslu Trek. Solo trekkers are not allowed, a minimum group size of 2 is required.

Detailed itinerary (13 days)

Larkya Pass - highest point of the Around Manaslu Trek - March 2016, photo by Karyn Anderson
Larkya Pass - highest point of the Around Manaslu Trek - March 2016, photo by Karyn Anderson
Day Destination Altitude
Day 01 Kathmandu - Soti Khola (by jeep) 775m
Day 02 Soti Khola - Machhakhola 900m
Day 03 Macchakhola - Jagat 1300m
Day 04 Jagat - Deng 1860m
Day 05 Deng - Namrung 2560m
Day 06 Namrung - Lho 3180m
Day 07 Lho - Samagoan 3580m
Day 08 Acclimatization day around Samagoan 4400m
Day 09 Samagoan - Samdo 3875m
Day 10 Samdo - Daramashala 4460m
Day 11 Daramashala - Bimtang (via Larke Pass 5160m) 3590m
Day 12 Bimtang - Darapani 1963m
Day 13 Darapani - Kathmandu (by jeep)  

 

The Tsum Valley Extension (19 days)

If you have the time, we highly recommend extending your trek for another week by adding the side trip to Tsum Valley to your itinerary. Tsum Valley is even more remote than the main Manaslu trail, and has amazing views, including the famous view point above Mu Gompa pictured below.   

View point above Mu Gompa Tsum Valley with view on backside of Ganesh Himal
View point above Mu Gompa in Tsum Valley with view on backside of Ganesh Himal - Photo by Alex Treadway
Day Destination Altitude
Day 01 Kathmandu - Soti Khola (by jeep) 775m
Day 02 Soti Khola - Machhakhola 900m
Day 03 Macchakhola - Jagat 1300m
Day 04 Jagat - Phillim 1590m
Day 05 Phillim - Chumling 2360m
Day 06 Chumling to Chhokangparo 3010m 
Day 07 Chhokangparo to Nile 3361m
Day 08 Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) and Chhokangparo  3361m 
Day 09 Gumba Lungdang to Lokpa 2240m
Day 10 Lokpa to Ghap 2160m
Day 11 Ghap to Lho 3180m
Day 12 Lho to Samagaon 3580m
Day 13 Day trip to Manaslu Base Camp 4400m
Day 14 Samagaon to Samdo 3875m
Day 15 Climb Samdo Ri or take a day trip to Tibet border 3875m
Day 16 Samdo to Dharamsala  4460m
Day 17 Dharamsala to Bimtang (via Larke Pass 5160m) 3590m
Day 18 Bimtang to Dharapani 1963m
Day 19 Dharapani - Kathmandu (by jeep) 1400m

 

Trekking Manaslu after the 2015 earthquake

The Manaslu Trek is open for trekking after the 2015 earthquakes. The Manaslu area has sustained damage and landslides, but the trails and lodges have been repaired and trekkers have successfully completed the trek in the spring of 2016.

Join a Group

Fixed departures for Autumn 2017:

October 16 2017 - (15 days) -  3 / 8 spots booked

October 30 2017 (15 days) - Newly added, all spots open at this point