The Manaslu Trek is an ode to the world’s eighth highest mountain, the ‘Manaslu’. The trek circumnavigates the mighty mountain standing tall at a height of 8, 163 meters . Trekkers reach the highest point at Larkya Pass (over 5,100 meters) to get unparalleled views of this mountain peak, one of the best sights in the Himalayas. The Manaslu trek offers trekkers a wonderful experience with incredible scenery and takes through different vegetation including the subtropical forests, river gorges, alpine forests, and eventually the bleak and striking snowscapes.
Comparable to other Nepal treks like the Annapurna Base camp trek and Everest Base camp trek, the Manaslu trek offers a similar experience. The trek is challenging yet there is a raw and wild beauty to it. The trail has recently been populated with tea houses and is among the least crowded trekking routes in Nepal.
If you enjoy trekking for the joy of getting away from the crowds and have the mountains all to yourself, then the Manaslu trek is for you!
Why You Should Go On The Manaslu Trek
- Summit the challenging height of 5,106 metres/ 16, 752 feet at Larkya La Pass
- Less crowded trekking route, only 2,000 trekkers undertake this trek annually
- Experience of thrilling suspension bridges, rhododendron forests, and excellent views of the Manaslu and Himalayas
- Typical tea house with the comforts of hot meals and warm accommodation
- Authentic experience of Nepalese culture without excessive commercialisation like the ABC and EBC treks
Best Time For Manaslu Trek
The Manaslu trek is open throughout the year, although during the winters many of the lodges in the upper camps are not open and you will require to camp by yourself.
The best of Manaslu trek weather can be experienced from:
- March to May – The weather is warmer and it is also the Rhododendron blooming season which makes it a pretty time to trek.
- October to December – The weather is colder but you are gifted with clear skies and spectacular views. This is also the busiest time for the trek, especially October.
How To Reach The Base Camp Of Manaslu Trek
The basecamp of the Manaslu trek is Soti Khola and it is unique in the fact that you don’t need to foy there unlike for the Everest Base Camp trek. It is also the nearest from Kathmandu.
Soti Khola is about 139 km away from Kathmandu and takes almost 6 hours by a private jeep or about 8 hours by a public bus.
The Manaslu Trekking Route
Most Manaslu trek itineraries are created between 14 days to 17 days long. There are many locations on the Manaslu Circuit Trek which have tea houses and trekkers decide to stay depending on the altitude achieved.
An ideal Manaslu trek itinerary is over 15 days with two acclimatization days included in between. You will find most itineraries include many of these rest stops on the Manaslu trek map –
Arughat – Soti Khola – Labu Besi – Maccha Khola – Dobhan – Jagat – Ghatta Khola – Ngyak – Deng – Ghap – Lho – Sama Gompa – Samdo – Dharmashala – Bhimtang – Karche – Tilijie – Dharapani – Tal – Syange – Lampata – Besisahar
Trekkers also choose to explore other treks to take advantage of acclimatization on the trek. They continue to explore the Tsum Valley or even join the Annapurna Circuit Trek from Dharapani to Jomsom.
This is a sample itinerary that can be followed for the trek –
Day 1: Reach the basecamp at Soti Khola via Arughat
Day 2 & 3: Trek through the Buri Gandaki Valley via the suspension bridges, tiny hamlets, terraced fields, and waterfalls.
Day 4 & 5: Get the first view of the mountains as you gain altitude. The air starts to get thinner and you will cross more bridges and cross the entrance of the Tsum Valley.
Day 6 & 7: Go through the Tibetan territory and the ‘mani stones’ (stones stacked on top of each other). Get your first sight of the Manaslu!
Day 8 & 9: Climb higher and eventually take a rest day surrounded by the snowy mountains.
Day 10, 11 & 12: Though the climb gets more challenging, it offers extraordinary views of the mountains. Take a rest day in between to acclimatize.
Day 13: This is the most important day on the trek and culmination of your hard work as you reach the Larkya La Pass. You will cross glaciers and undertake the steep climb to stunning enjoy views!
Day 14 & 15: Descend to the villages at the lower altitudes that will offer warm apple pies and hot showers, a must after the challenge you just undertook!
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Restrictions For The Manaslu Trek
The Manaslu trekking area is a restricted region and you will require permits to access it. You will need these two permits which cost approximately NR 2,000 each.
- Manaslu Conservation Area Project Permit (MCAP)
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)
There is a minimum two-person rule for the trek and you will also require a Manaslu trek guide for the trip. The purpose is to avoid solo trekkers as the trekking route is unpredictable.
Tips For The Manaslu Trek
Ensure hygiene through the trek, a major factor for sickness on the trip is lack of hygiene. Carry a hand sanitizer and use it continuously, especially before putting anything in your mouth, even water!
- Carry water filtration tablets and don’t drink suspicious looking water
- Maintain fitness levels right up to the day of leaving on the trek, you need to be in your top shape for an arduous trek like the Manaslu
- Use Diamox for acclimatization and don’t rush to complete the trek. Enjoy the journey and spend enough time in acclimatization
- Carry proper thermal wear, long sleeve sweat-free shirts, woolen/warm socks, cap and a warm headgear covering the ears, alpine trekking shoes, synthetic & warm gloves
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Frequently Asked Questions About The Manaslu Trek
What is the cost of the Manaslu trek?
Trekking in Nepal is quite affordable and the major expenditure for your trip will be the flight costs and the cost of your gear. The major cost heads are as such: 1. Permits – INR 2,516 2. Guide – INR 630 3. Food & Accommodation – Approx INR 630 at lower altitudes and upwards of NR 1260 at higher altitudes 4. From and to Kathmandu – Buses charge around INR 315 per trip, jeep costs around INR 471, it may cost you extra if you are not sharing the jeep with other passengers.
What is the fitness level required for the Manaslu trek?
The Manaslu trek is one of the toughest treks as you will be walking long distances and covering considerable altitude. A good starting point to assess your fitness is to be able to run 10 km within 60 minutes. Ensure you get a checkup with a doctor prior to the trek as there are very few medical facilities on the trek.
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