The Manaslu Trek is a stunning trek in Nepal that takes you around the eighth highest mountain in the world, Mount Manaslu (8,163m). It is a remote and less-traveled route that offers breathtaking scenery, diverse cultures, and challenging terrain.
Here are some essential tips and information for your Manaslu Trek:
Manaslu Trek Permit
Trekkers interested in Manaslu Circuit Trekking should be aware of the Manaslu Himalaya region of the upper Gorkha district. Located Nepal North Mid-West falls within a Restricted Area since it was opened for trekkers, adventurers, and mountaineers in 1992.
A special permit is required from Nepal Tourism Board, where trekkers cannot trek as FIT (Free Individual Travelers/Trekkers). All foreign visitors must join with reliable Government Regisrated local trekking agents in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Where all needful and necessary permits and entry fees will be done by the respected trekking agency on booking. Allowing a minimum of 2 or 3 people in a group for Manaslu Circuit trekking as well as for the Tsum valley area.
Special permit for Manaslu
From the winter, spring, and summer seasons the cost for Special Permit is US$ 110 per person for a week duration. Includes US$ 7 for each additional day, as per the duration of itinerary days.
For autumn/fall season is US$165 per person for 7 days and US$10 for each additional day as per the trekking itinerary days.
The entry point and check post for Upper Manaslu Restricted Area start from the village of Jagat. A walk of a few days after driving from Kathmandu or Pokhara to Soti-Khola or Macha Khola. Special permits are required from Jagat village till Dharapani is reached around Manang district.
Manaslu Trek Cost breakdown
The cost for Manaslu Circuit Trek depends upon the itinerary days as booked with respective local agencies. The standard itinerary of 14/15 days
The cost for the whole trip is included in the package, from the hotels in Kathmandu or Pokhara. As per the standard of the Hotel, accommodation is requested or paid accordingly to the agents. This includes transportation depending upon the group size from a local regular bus, private car, four-wheel drive, and coach.
The trip cost besides hotel accommodation and sightseeing tour includes all meals that are breakfast, lunch, and dinner with afternoon refreshments.
Includes all trekking permits as well special permits with MCP and ACAP (Manaslu Conservation Project, and Annapurna Conservation Area Project). Along with an expert guide with an authorized license from the Government Tourism Department, including some porters as group size.
Overall Trip Cost comes to a minimum of US$ 1,800 to a maximum US$ 2,100. Per person in the group of 2-3 people. Where group size also depends upon the trip cost.
Food and Accommodation
On route trekking from Soti-Khola onwards. Trekkers should be aware that this trek leads to remote areas of the Himalayas.
The lodge accommodation is in simple basic lodges on a twin sharing basis as per the trip cost. For single room supplement one needs to pay extra, depending upon where available, rooms are small clean, and nice.
Better to use your sleeping bags for your comfort and warmth, as well as hygiene-wise. Most rooms are available on trekking with common bathing and toilets, where one needs to pay extra for a hot shower or bathing.
Around larger villages like in Lo and Sama-Gaon, the lodges are better with a few guest-house with attached baths and toilets.
At Dharmasala or Larke Phedi before crossing the high Larkya-La pass, the place with few lodges for trekkers. Single or twin sharing rooms are not available, have to spend overnights in a dormitory of 4-6 people. In high season the place will be crowded where accommodation will be made in tented camp next to the lodge.
But on reaching the end of the trek in Dharapani the lodge is of a better standard. As the village is situated on the main and popular route of Annapurna Circuit around the Manang district.
Foods, as listed items on the menu at every lodge restaurant serving from western, continental, Chinese, Indian, Tibetan, and Nepali. For a larger group of more than 6 people, better to have a set meal for all.
As it saves time and fuel energy and as a Responsible Eco-friendly trekker, most places serve famous Nepalese Dal-Bhat. Includes boiled/ steamed rice served with mild vegetable curry, and lentil soup of various types, with some pickles and salad.
Other famous and popular foods are homemade loaves of bread like Chapatti, and Tibetan Bread served with vegetable curry. Meat items are scarce and limited higher up around Manaslu valley, as the area is a strict Buddhism. Meats are available sometimes like Yak, lamb or chicken, one order what’s available like steak or meat curry.
There are four main seasons in Nepal and the Himalayas region, spring, summer/monsoon, autumn/fall, and winter. Spring starts from March to May, one of the best times for trekking as well for trekking peaks to climb. As well as Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Manaslu and other major peaks above 6,500 m to 8,000 m.
Most days are clear with enough sunshine hours and can get overcast in the late afternoon with clouds. Morning and nights times are cold, depending upon altitude wise, but most days are clear for views and pleasant walks.
This is the best time when wildflowers are in seasonal bloom, especially the rhododendron of various species. The next time to trek and climb around the Manaslu region and the other Himalayas is in autumn/fall. Starts from September to November, a pleasant with clear days for lovely walks and views. However, the days are shorter due to sunlight hours, much colder morning, late afternoon, and nighttime.
An enjoyable season, but trekkers should be aware that from the middle of November, higher village’s lodges will be closed. The villagers migrate to lower warm areas to escape the winter cold of the high Manaslu valley.
Related: Best time to Trek Manaslu
Trekkers and adventurers should carry a list of trekking equipment and gear from the Manaslu Circuit trekking, season-wise. People booking this trip in spring or in autumn time, should pack and carry with them the following list of gears.
For ladies skirts, or lightweight trousers are ideal in the heat of the day along with T-shirts, long-sleeved cotton shirts, and sun hats. For men, shorts, lightweight pants, and T-Shirts, along with long-sleeved cotton shirts including sun hats/caps.
During the evening and the higher altitudes warmers, clothing will be needed.
- Good Trekking Boots, Runners / Sports Shoes, Slippers / Sandals, Fiber Pile Jackets:
- Breeches / Tracksuit /Ultra Fleece jackets and trousers:
- Duvet / Down Jackets (Down feathers or synthetic required in autumn/winter and early springtime), Woolen Balaclava, Woolen Mitts: (required in autumn/winter and early springtime), Waterproofs: Jacket and trousers.
- Sun Hats / Caps, Scarf Silk / Nylon, to keep the sun, wind, and dust.
- Sunglasses / Snow Goggles: Essential to get a pair that shields 100 % of UV rays. Sunscreen Cream: High protection factor [20 or higher] or high altitude glacier cream U/V is stronger due to thin air.
- Lip Slave/ Labisan: Protection for the lips from cold and dry air.
- Water Bottle: 1-liter metal that keeps warm till night time, as well for drinking.
- Toilets Items: Head Torches / Flash Lights: Petzel (recommended) -spare batteries and bulbs. Sewing Kit: Small Knife: Swiss army style – for many uses.
- Notebook / Diary / Pens & Small Padlock: Useful for locking your kit/duffel bag, Money Belts. Personal First Aid / Medical Kit as recommended by your doctors.
THERMAREST: Or similar self-inflating mattress, gives decadent luxury on tented camping. Camera Gear, Walking Sticks / Ski Poles:
Useful wading and crossing rivers and walking on snow and icy sections.
Following items can be bought or hired in Kathmandu/ Pokhara also if it’s too much to carry from home.
Get Start the Manaslu Trek
Manaslu trek transportation:
Depending upon the size of a group either in a private car, coach or regular Tourist Bus to Arughat. From Arughat town, on hilly mud/dirt tracks suitable for four-wheel drives or similar vehicles.
The transportation also depends upon trip cost for charted transportation or on sharing basis on local transport. A similar condition applies at the end of a trek from Dharapani village onwards for the drive back to Kathmandu or Pokhara.
The grade of trekking is Moderate to Adventurous due to high altitude walks after Jagat, Deng, and Namrung villages. This can lead to challenges in snow conditions, especially on crossing high Larkya-La Pass.
The walk starts on a normal gradual path, after a few days of trekking progressive encountering steep uphill for short hours. On reaching Lo-Gaon onwards to Sama-Gaon and Dharmasala, the walk gets better on much level ground.
But can be strenuous due to the rise in altitude gain, but taking short refreshing stops and slow walking will help you to enjoy the day.
The most difficult part is climbing steep slopes for some hours to the top of Larke-La Pass. Where downhill is equally tough a long stretch of descent, after a hard climb.
The other difficulty to face is depending upon the trekking itinerary days. Where some days could be long and tiring walks to reach overnight destinations.
On 12 days Manaslu Circuit trekking is quite tough to cover a long distance each day, especially from Macha-Khola to Jagat and towards Namrung village.
The rest of the walk is moderate, with long days’ walk crossing over Larke-La pass to Bhimthang. As well at the end of the adventure Dharapani village leads to longer distance walks even though it’s downhill.
The Manaslu Circuit if extended to a few days more can make this trek more enjoyable. Covering the whole circuit within 15 to 16 days makes the trek more flexible as well as observing the village’s impressive culture.
Overall, the Manaslu Trek is a beautiful and rewarding trek for those who seek an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Nepal. It is recommended to hire an experienced guide and plan your itinerary with plenty of time for acclimatization to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.