The Manaslu Circuit trek in Nepal is considered difficult but possible in the winter with proper preparation and assistance. Some say that early December and late February are good times to trek if you don’t like the cold. Also, we can trek in mid-winter, as the weather is dry and clear, with warm temperatures during the day and dropping to -20°C at night and in the early morning.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is considered safe, but trekkers must hire a certified guide. Trekking with guides and porters can provide an extra level of safety. However, late December can be very cold, especially in the mornings and nights. There’s also a chance of heavy snowfall at higher altitudes, which can make it difficult to cross the Larke La Pass (5,213 m) trail.

Tips for trekking the Manaslu Circuit in winter

  • Clothing: Wear proper winter gear, including down jackets, thermal clothing, gloves, and a down sleeping bag. Temperatures in December can drop to minus 15 to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
  • Guides and porters: Hiring a certified guide and porters can provide an extra level of safety.
  • Time of year: Some say that November is a trekker’s delight, with moderate temperatures and the driest weather of the year. December is cold but the region looks its best with clear skies and stable weather.

Winter Trekking Itinerary for the Manaslu Circuit:

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Machha Khola.
Day 2: Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat.
Day 3: Trek from Jagat to Deng.
Day 4: Trek from Deng to Namrung.
Day 5: Trek from Namrung to Samagaon.
Day 6: Acclimatization Day in Samagaon.
Day 7: Trek from Samagaon to Samdo.
Day 8: Acclimatization Day in Samdo.
Day 9: Trek from Samdo to Dharamsala (Larkya Phedi).
Day 10: Trek over the Larkya La Pass and descend to Bimthang.
Day 11: Trek from Bimthang to Dharapani.
Day 12: Trek from Dharapani to Besisahar, then drive to Kathmandu.

This 14-day itinerary is designed to ensure gradual acclimatization, considering the shorter daylight hours of winter. It’s essential to be flexible, as trekking times may be influenced by weather conditions, your fitness level, and the trail’s difficulty. Remember to adapt the schedule as needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter trek on the Manaslu Circuit.

Manaslu Circuit Trek package
16 Days – 15 Nights
36% Off
$1,025.00 $1,600.00

Reasons to Explore the Manaslu Region in December:

  1. Off-The-Beaten-Path Experience: The Manaslu region offers a captivating off-the-beaten teahouse trek in Nepal. Since its official opening in 2010, the trail, located close to Kathmandu, has gained popularity. Trekkers, who previously had to camp, can now enjoy the comfort of various teahouses along the route.
  2. Breathtaking Scenery: The scenic Manaslu circuit trek stands out for its unparalleled beauty. Enveloped by mountains on all sides, the trail meanders through picturesque lakes, and waterfalls, and culminates at the majestic Larkya La Pass at an elevation of 5,000m. The stunning scenery is the main highlight of this trek.
  3. Safety for Hikers: With an elevation ranging from 710m to the challenging high pass at 5,150m, the Manaslu Trek progresses at a gradual pace over 9-10 days. This leisurely pace allows ample time for acclimatization, ensuring the safety of hikers by minimizing the risk of altitude sickness. The moderate difficulty of the trek adds to its safety appeal compared to other Nepalese trails.
  4. Low Tourist Presence: The Manaslu region boasts a tranquil environment with significantly fewer visitors compared to popular destinations like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. The number of tourists decreased notably in December, with only 8,000 visitors exploring the region, as opposed to the 30,000 yearly visitors to the Everest Base Camp trek.
  5. Budget-Friendly Trek: In terms of cost, the Manaslu Trek is more economical than the renowned Everest Base Camp Trek. Not requiring an expensive flight ticket, this trek provides a budget-friendly alternative to those seeking a remarkable Himalayan adventure without breaking the bank.

Food and Accommodation Experience in the Manaslu Trek during December:

In December, when the trails are relatively empty and some tea houses are closed, those that remain open offer warm hospitality and serve the traditional Nepali meal, “Dal Bhat,” twice a day. Dal Bhat is a hearty dish comprising rice, dal (pulses), lentils, spinach, meat, and a variety of pickles.

As you reach Samagaon, the variety of dining options expands to include various Western and continental cuisines. However, as you ascend in altitude, the availability of food and accommodation becomes more limited. Despite this, you can still find thukpa, a nourishing noodle soup, even at higher elevations. This hot meal not only keeps you warm but also energizes you for the trek.

Along the trail, shared rooms with bathrooms are available for a reasonable cost, typically ranging from USD 6 to 9. In the off-season month of December, when the number of trekkers is lower, it is even possible to secure a room entirely to yourself, adding an extra layer of comfort and privacy to your trekking experience.

Altitude Sickness in the Manaslu Trek during December:

Given the high-altitude nature of the Manaslu trek, with the maximum elevation reaching 5213m, altitude sickness is a common concern for trekkers, especially during late December when the weather is extremely cold.

To mitigate the risk of altitude sickness, it’s crucial to acclimatize properly and prioritize sufficient rest along the trail. Despite the trek being moderate, the extended walks can be strenuous. Starting from Soti Khola at 710m and ascending towards the majestic Larkya Pass at 5213m, the trek covers diverse elevations.

To cope with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), it’s recommended to maintain a slow and steady pace while trekking. If symptoms persist, descending to a lower elevation is advisable. In severe cases, it may be necessary to forfeit the trek altogether.

Consulting with your guide or porter is essential, and taking necessary precautions is crucial, as altitude sickness can potentially be fatal. A key tip is to abstain from alcohol, as its consumption can increase the risk of altitude sickness. Trekkers should remain vigilant, prioritize their health, and be prepared to adjust their plans in the interest of safety while enjoying the breathtaking Manaslu region in December.


The Manaslu Trek stands as a moderate-level adventure, achievable by individuals with a basic level of physical and mental fitness. Beyond the trek’s challenge, participants are treated to a rich display of diverse flora and fauna native to the region.

December offers a unique advantage with fewer trekkers, providing an opportunity to enjoy the trek at a more leisurely pace. Accommodation and facilities are available at a bargain price, enhancing the overall experience. For those who appreciate trekking in serene surroundings, the Manaslu Trek in December emerges as an ideal choice, allowing individuals to explore the stunning landscapes and cultural richness of the region at their own comfortable pace.

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