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 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

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

Recent Trip Reviews

Related trips planned by kimkim specialists

Manaslu circuit, Nepal - Apr 1 - Apr 26, 2017

Traveler: Anna W. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

Our 3 generational family trip into the Tsum Valley and Manaslu Circuit was absolutely stunning!! From beginning to end, we were impressed with the input from Amanda in the organisation/communication with loads of questions promptly answered. She was very friendly and helpful and met us both before and after the hike - we would not hesitate to book through kimkim again and use Himalayan Trails. Both hotels were perfectly suited in both location and budget, we particularly enjoyed 'Mums... read more

Our 3 generational family trip into the Tsum Valley and Manaslu Circuit was absolutely stunning!! From beginning to end, we were impressed with the input from Amanda in the organisation/communication with loads of questions promptly answered. She was very friendly and helpful and met us both before and after the hike - we would not hesitate to book through kimkim again and use Himalayan Trails. Both hotels were perfectly suited in both location and budget, we particularly enjoyed 'Mums Garden' in Pokhara after the hike - a sanctuary to rest weary legs!

As for the hike itself - we were extremely grateful to our fantastic guide Chhiri. He was both very professional and knowledgeable and good company. He and the two porters, Sam and Siri made our hike all the more special. They did far more than meet the minimum requirements of a guide/porting service, they became good friends and went out of their way to share their culture, country and themselves with us.

17 days hiking with 3 generations couldn't have been done in a more special place. The days walking were well mixed with some longer and others shorter, when altitude became a factor. The weather was perfect which always is a bonus and the Tsum valley was probably the highlight (just ahead of Larke Pass) - The mix of monasteries and walking through ancient villages was very special. Chhiri was also very caring and conscientious with the responsibility of taking my 10yr old daughter on such a long hike. While she had done long hikes before, she'd never been to this altitude at 5100m - she loved the experience and Chhiri again took great care with all of us.

Thank you does not quite cover it!!!

Amanda was incredibly helpful, both online prior to booking in answering a myriad of questions and once in Kathmandu, meeting with us both before and after the hike. She made sure the trip was seamless from start to end and was very friendly and knowledgeable.

In wanting to take my 10yr old daughter on such a long hike and to 5100m, Amanda was very careful in giving advise and ensuring that we had a senior guide who had experience with children. This proved to be possibly the making of the hike with Chhiri being an excellent guide -and the envy of other hikers!

Thank you very much to Amanda for giving us such special memories. We would love to be back in Nepal one day!!

Manaslu circuit trek with heli drop in, Nepal - Mar 15 - Mar 31, 2017

Traveler: DANE W. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

We highly recommend Amanda and team. We had a fantastic trip and everything was organised seamlessly​

Amanda and team were always there looking after us. We really didn't need to worry about a thing. Our trekking guide was the envy of the rest of the group's we met on the trek so we felt very well looked after and in capable and safe hands.
We highly recommend a helicopter to get you to the where the best trekking starts if your budget allows.
Amanda and her team went above and beyond to make our trip to Nepal unforgettable.

Manaslu circuit trek, Nepal - Nov 13 - Nov 25, 2016

Traveler: Isabella M. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Took great care in ensuring everything went smoothly

Manaslu circuit trek, Nepal - Oct 14 - Nov 1, 2016

Traveler: Scott B. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Really outstanding local agent, guide and porter and wonderful experience overall. The only thing that could have been better is for the route to start in Soti Kola and end in Dharapani because the itinerary as is included 2.5 days of walking on roads with jeeps whizzing by. By cutting these 2.5 days on the roads you could add a couple days exploring up high and keep to the same overall 16 day length. I don't blame the Nepalese for wanting more roads but I don't want to trek on them. Make... read more

Really outstanding local agent, guide and porter and wonderful experience overall. The only thing that could have been better is for the route to start in Soti Kola and end in Dharapani because the itinerary as is included 2.5 days of walking on roads with jeeps whizzing by. By cutting these 2.5 days on the roads you could add a couple days exploring up high and keep to the same overall 16 day length. I don't blame the Nepalese for wanting more roads but I don't want to trek on them. Make sense? I hope so. Overall great experience though and will recommend friends coming next year book with you all as well. Thanks again!

Ngima was great. Top notch professional.

Manaslu circuit trek, Nepal - Sep 29 - Oct 17, 2016

Traveler: Rita M. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

The trip was great, and the track is outstanding. At the last night, we had a taste what annapurna circuit would be like. The land space looked amazing also but far too many other trackers and quite touristy. Happy with the choice of manaslu. The organisation regarding transport and accommodation were good, it is easi r to have your private transports Than going on the public bus and avoid the walking in on the first day to soti kola. As the days went on, we trusted more the guide and the... read more

The trip was great, and the track is outstanding. At the last night, we had a taste what annapurna circuit would be like. The land space looked amazing also but far too many other trackers and quite touristy. Happy with the choice of manaslu. The organisation regarding transport and accommodation were good, it is easi r to have your private transports Than going on the public bus and avoid the walking in on the first day to soti kola. As the days went on, we trusted more the guide and the porters. At the beginning guide was using some trainers and jeans instead of some hiking gear. He then bought hiking boots as the ones he had broken, and from day 4 onwards he had appropriate gear, including pants and down jacket. It may be our judgement, but I believe it is important guide and porters to have proper gear, it is another safety measure. Porters did almost the entire track in flip flops except the day of the pass in sneakers. They said that is what they are used to. So this would be my only remark, ensure guide and porters have the appropriate gear. The Xperience was outstanding and the guide and the porters fantastic, which definitely contributed positivity to the whole experience.
Our guide was able to answer majority of the questions that we had about Nepal and or nepali culture. This is important feature of the guide to be able to talk about the country and not only about the trek

Before the trip, communication was extremely efficient. In nepal, she was friendly and approachable. Nice touch at the end, with a meeting after the trip to hear feedback and give us a
Little survenir