Manaslu Trek is one of the best and most popular mountain treks in the Gorkha district of west-central Nepal. It’s an amazing multi-day hike that’ll take travelers on an epic adventure and introduces them to its varied topography. The trek brings them the joy and thrill of exploring the unspoiled countryside and rising snow peaks.
Manaslu’s walking trail, ranging from the lower foothills to the highest mountain pass, unfolds many secret and pristine natural scenery. It marvels travelers with breathtaking views of sweeping hills, river valleys, and mountainous terrains.
But, like any Himalayan trek, Manaslu doesn’t mess around with hikers. It inclines the trek difficulties, starting with the trek distance. The trekking route of 110 miles alone causes pain to trekkers as they have to spend the entire day ascending
They’ll have to deal with varied terrains comprising steep hills, and dizzying mountain passes to reach the trek’s highest point. Trekkers will follow the trail, passing through several villages, crossing suspension bridges, and climbing highlands.
Of course, there are many twists and turns on the way to the circuit, which increases trek difficulties. The rising trails from one steep hill to another make things even worse as it increases the likelihood of altitude sickness.
But, once the trekkers have completed the expedition, they’ll get a nice treat. The increased risk and challenges of trekking Manaslu will pay off well for the visitors. They’ll be able to discover some of the world’s most impressive landscapes and iconic sites.
Trekkers will explore its charming villages and colorful towns, dripped with rich cultural heritage and abundant natural beauty. They’ll visit some of Manaslus’s iconic cultural and religious heritage, including a few of its ancient Tibetan monasteries and chortens.
Manaslu Trek is a prize worth winning for beginners as they can explore the region without having to summit the mountain. It’s an incredible experience as well to visit the traditional Nepalese villages and interact with the locals there
Highlights of Manaslu Trek
- Spectacular view of lofty mountains, including Ngadi Chuli, Baudha, Manaslu, and many more
- Unique wildlife and vegetation at Manaslu Conservation Area
- Exchange of cultural customs, traditions, and social values during the trek
- A quick visit to the religious and cultural sites of
- Climb Larkya La, the longest mountain pass between Dharamsala and Bimthang
How long is Manaslu Trek?
Manaslu is one of Nepal’s most exciting trek destinations. It’s an unrivaled beauty of nature with impressive geographical landmarks and captivating natural scenery. The trek is easily Manang’s most thrilling long-distance walk, but it’s certainly an undertaking.
Trekking Manaslu is no walk in the park. It’s strenuous and challenging, with uneven trails that typically run through wild forests and over the cliff tops. The route is indeed not for the faint-hearted or underprepared. It's challenging even for trained and experienced backpackers, but they have a fleeting advantage. Trekkers climbing Manaslu must prepare for a tireless walk through the tropical forests and river gorges.
As the Manaslu trekking route is 177 km long, you’ll have to gear up for a vast and incessant trek with rugged terrains. You must spend almost two weeks on the road, climbing steep hills and narrow lanes.
The journey to Manaslu begins from the foothills of Soti Khola and then the way up to the circuit. You’ll walk along the Budhi Gandaki River and terrace fields, which offer a stunning view.
From far remote hills to soaring mountains and river valleys, you’ll spend the day in and day out climbing the rugged hills and valley glaciers. Steep trails, wearying switchbacks, and headlong drops are to be expected during the trek.
Trekkers will have to chase the rugged terrains, each of a 10-15 km distance. There are lots of dramatic landscapes and sharp gorges that they have to pass to reach the circuit. Crossing the suspension bridge over the Budhi Gandaki River is common at the Manaslu Trek.
But trekking is not easier as trekkers have to spend an average of 5-6 hours on the trails, walking jagged hills and wild tropical forests in Manaslu Conservation Area. The whirling descent to the river gorge and ascent to the rocky hills is quite painful.
After walking past the steep-sided valley and towering hill, you’ll arrive at the highest point of Manaslu Trek, Larkya La. It’s located at the foot of Manaslu and is the most difficult walk on the entire trek. The trek alone takes two to three hours to finish at the top.
The climb is steep and at a high altitude, increasing the risk of acute mountain sickness. After getting to the acme, we descent to Marshyangdi Valley as a part of the Manaslu Trek. Passing the small villages of Goa/Gho and Tal, we’ll head to Besisahar to take the jeep. After a journey of 9-10 hours, we’ll finally arrive at our ultimate destination Kathmandu.
Day 01: Kathmandu Arrival
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Arughat (6-7 hrs) and to Soti Khola (1 hr)
Day 04: Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (7 hrs)
Day 05: Trek form Machha Khola to Jagat (6-7 hrs)
Day 06: Trek from Jagat to Deng (6-7 hrs)
Day 07: Trek from Deng to Namrung (7 hrs)
Day 08: Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaon
Day 09: Trekking Samdo (4 hrs), Half day rest at Samdo
Day 10: Trekking Dharamsala (4 hrs)
Day 11: Trek from Dharamsala to Larkya Pass (5,160m) and to Bimthang (10 hrs)
Day 12: Trek from Bimthang to Goa (6 hrs)
Day 13: Trek from Goa to Tal (7 hrs)
Day 14: Drive to Besisahar by Jeep (3 hrs) and from Besisahar to Kathmandu (6 hrs)
Day 15: Final Departure
How difficult is Manaslu Circuit Trekking?
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a moderate trek in the base of Manaslu. The trek starts from Soti Khola and stretches to the highest mountain pass Larkya La at 5,315 meters. It makes a journey to the mountain ridge, passing through tropical forests and climbing rock hills.
Climbing Manaslu is easy at lower elevations as the trails are well-maintained and less rugged. But, as the trail rises higher, trekking becomes difficult due to an off-the-beaten-path. Its rugged and wild topography with mountainous terrains makes the walk equally painful.
You’ll have to travel to remote areas with limited or no luxury services. Moreover, the weather is dire in higher elevations, so you can often expect a sudden weather change on the trek. Tropical winds and storms are fairly frequent at the circuit, therefore, you’ll have to take preventive measures while climbing higher elevations.
Altitude sickness is another common challenge that many trekkers struggle with. Those who have never been to higher altitudes and are new to the atmosphere find it difficult at the hilltop due to lower oxygen levels. Headache, dizziness, and loss of appetite are the common symptoms of altitude sickness.
Exhaustion and fatigue can cause detrimental health effects on trekkers. Those who trek Manaslu in winter have higher chances of getting frostbite, which creates trouble in hiking. Its frigid temperature with heavy snowfall may impede your journey and make you retract.
Tips to prevent the distance-related trek difficulties
1. Customize the trek
A customized trip to Manaslu is the best thing for any trekker. It’ll make travel easier and more comfortable as all the itineraries are pre-planned and pre-arranged. From your lodging to fooding, everything will be taken care of.
Instead of long itineraries, the travel schedules are designed to be short so you don’t have to spend much time on the trail. All the treks are innately designed, so you’ll have a great time walking the trail.
2. Hire porters and Trek Guides
If you’re not used to trekking mountainous terrains with heavy backpacks, you better hire a guide and a porter. They’ll help you trek more comfortably by carrying luggage all along the way. The porter ensures that your travel is safe, tireless, and convenient.
Similarly, a guide will help you explore the unexplored places of Manaslu. They’ll help you interact with the locals and understand their culture, customs, and lifestyle. A guide also ensures that you don’t get lost on your way or get in trouble, making the trek safer and more convenient.
3. Group Trek
Trekking in a group is more fun and relaxing. Given the good company of fellow travelers, you won’t be stressing much on the trail. Trekking with the pro guides, porters, and friends makes traveling much easier.
4. Trekking shoes
Hiking shoes are the last thing you want to mess with on Manaslu Trek. They are the best gear you can have to brave Manaslu's steep, muddy, wet, and rugged terrains. They provide better support and ankle coverage to your leg, making it easy to trek.
Knowing that you’ll be trekking all day long for about two weeks, it’s better to have sturdy hiking boots. You should find a great pair of comfortable hiking shoes with better traction and control. They must be solid with a snug fit so that you can walk the trail more comfortably.