Manaslu Circuit Trek
• The jaw-dropping natural beauty of forests, rivers, and flora of the Manaslu region.
• The friendly people and culturally rich Manaslu region which includes both Nepalese and Tibetan ethnic groups.
• Larky La Pass (5167 meters), the highest point on the trek.
• Stunning views of Manaslu, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru, and Annapurna II.
• Abundant wildlife including Tahr (Mountain Goat), Agali (Blue Sheep), Pika (Highest living Mammal), Himalayan Marmots and, if you are lucky Snow Leopard.
The circular tour around Manaslu counts as one of the truly great Himalayan treks. Flanked by the Annapurna’s to the West and Ganesh Himal to the East it is one of the most graceful of the 8000-meter giants.
Less than two percent of trekkers go to Manaslu. This means that even in the high season you will not meet many other groups.
Manaslu trek is remote, physically demanding, culturally enriching and scenically uplifting. The circuit takes you from the steamy lowlands with their terraces of rice and millet, through the mighty gorges of the Budi Gandaki with its turquoise waters and amazing waterfalls.
Suspension bridges in Manaslu trek are in a league of their own for both length and height, and the yearly monsoon often washes minor bridges away leaving trekkers to use semi-submerged rocks.
Only opened to a maximum of 400 trekkers in 1992 it still has the feel of a pioneering expedition. If you want to know what trekking the 1980s was like then Manaslu circuit trek is a visual feast from start to finish, but you better be fit.
Slowly, you wind your way North to the snowbound Larkya La Pass next to the Tibetan border. The altitude here is a problem but almost forgotten with the jaw-dropping views of Manaslu.
At 5167 meters Larkya La pass is usually snow-covered and icy. Micro crampons are often used on the descent. Trekking to the pass requires a 3 am start in order to make the highest point before the winds come, usually around mid-morning.
From the pass looking back the way you have come gives a clear view but by far the most amazing view comes after you have left the pass and walk along a corridor to the west.
Suddenly a great glacial cirque bursts into view. A stupendous wall created by Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru, casts down a stream of glaciers, while Annapurna II rises ahead.
This view alone makes the trek worthwhile. Magical Nepal can arrange your all inclusive 15 days trek. The trek can be done on a teahouse basis unless you want to go off route where camping is the only option.
Transport for Manaslu Trek-
Start of the Trek: You will travel 160 km from Kathmandu to SotiKhola from Kathmandu. It takes 7 hours by Private Jeep and 8 to 9 hours from the local bus. The first day of the trek is all an adventure ride in off-road.
End of the Trek: You will be driving 6 hours from Dharapani in a Jeep and Change it to another Jeep or local bus for a 7 hours drive to Kathmandu
Accommodation for the trek-
Manaslu is a tea house trek. You will sleep in Tea-House every night which will very basic with two single beds. Toilets are mostly shared and can be outside of teahouses. Heating is only available in the dining area. Foods are available in teahouses. You will stop in teahouses for lunch during the trek.
Day 1- Arrival and transfer to Kathmandu Hotel.
Day 2- Kathmandu- Sotikhola(715m.)7/8 hours drive.
This is the day-long Bus/Jeep ride to Sotikhola(715m.), it is the most exciting and fun-packed local bus ride. Along the way, we can see many beautiful greenery landscapes, waterfall and rivers Many spectacular green hills and of course, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and Makalu ranges can be seen. We have an about 90km paved road to Dhading bensi, which is district headquarter of Dhading. After Dhading Bensi, we head towards to Aarughat Bazer which is a rough road. It is about 2 to 3 hours drive through the local community settlements and rice terrace, infect it is a nice and exciting ride. Once you reach the Aarughat Bazer, You can stop there to change another Bus/Jeep to Sotikhola about one and half hour easy and fun ride along the Bhudi Gandaki and overnight at Sotikhola.
Day 3-Sotikhola to Macchakhola(900m.)
After a long drive day before, you may have a long night. Once we have breakfast, we start our trek crossing of the bridge, we trek through the Jungle (beautiful Sal forests), then ascend to a ridge above big rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. This is the low lad trek so, there are many different local ethnical group of people living together. Along the way, you can enjoy beautiful waterfalls and walk over the suspension bridge. This is a quite easy walk as it is the begging of the trek, reach to Maccha Khola and overnight.
Day 4- Macchakhola to Jagat(13415m.)
This is the narrow exposed trail and needs to cross the Macchekhola which is known as a fish- steam!. This is the small settlement of Gurung, Magar, and Chhetri people. There are many scrambling up and down slopes. And you will reach to the Tatopani (natural hot spring). After the short walk to the forest, cross the river over the suspension bridge and walk uphill to Jagat, overnight.
Day 5- Jagat to Deng(1804M.) 5/6 hours
The first section is easy going walk and cross the Bhudi Gandaki, the trail ascends through the rice terrace up to Philim. This is the quite big Gurung settlement and beautiful people. Once you cross the village, the route enters to the uninhabited gorge. Cross the Budi Gandaki over the wooded cantilever bridge. Then the trail makes its way up to western side and valley offering a pleasant walk through the bamboo forest to Deng Khola once you cross the Khola, we reach to Deng village overnight at Deng.
Day 6- Deng to Namrung(2630m.)5/6 hours
After a short walk, the trail recrosses the Budi Gandaki. There is a shop where you can buy some drinks. The trail darts in and out of two ravines then continue to climb high above steep on the opposite side of the river then cross the Budi Gandaki here. we cross the Budi Gandaki several times today and come across several Gomba and Mani stone route. The trail follows the river upstream through a dense forest. After crossing the river at an impressive spot where it thunders down a narrow gorge, The pleasant walk continues and after a last steep climb, we reach Namrung. Overnight.
Day 7- Namrung to Lho gaou(2950m.)5/6 hours
Now, the trail enters to the Nupri region. The people of this region are all descendants of Tibetan immigrants. Most of them dress Chubas, they are known as Bhote people. Today, you can enjoy walking through the rhododendron, firs and oak forest. Spectacular views of Manaslu and Manaslu North(7154m.) The trail then climbs small steam and get to Lho, It is a big village with Monastery, gumba and Mani stone. Overnight at Lho Gaou.
Day 8-Lho gaou to Sama gaou(3520m.)5/6 hours.
We need to cross the ridge out of the valley to the Bhudi Gandaki side, trek in and out through the rock-strewn moraine.
We climb steadily and pass through forests and reach Lihi, a wonderful village with many mani stones,chortens and barley terraces. The trail drops and crosses the side valley of Simnang Himal with Ganesh Himal always close by. We further pass through Sho, Lho and Shyala villages before reaching Sama Village. We can enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Manaslu from Lho village and also can explore the very popular Ribung Gompa. Shyala village we will be surrounded by high mountains like Himal Chuli and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli) to the left and other snow summits to the right, and at the far end stands Ganesh Himal. This will be a pleasant stay at Sama gaou.
Day 9- Acclimatization day
This is the acclimatize day, itself it is a very beautiful day as Sama Gaou is one of the most spectacular villages. You have a couple of option to explore around. South of Samagaou, there is old Punge-gyen gompa, which is hidden behind the ridge in front of Manaslu. This is the best viewpoint for the beautiful landscape and surroundings. You take a rest to acclimatize and relax. You can hike to Manaslu Base Camp for excellent views of Samdo (Pang phuchuli); Nagdi chuli, Simnang Himal, Manaslu glacier, Manaslu ice fall and you can see Birendra Tal(Kunda) which is an ice lake nearby the Manaslu Base Camp. Stay overnight.
Day 10: Sama Gaun to Samdo 4hrs.
The valley is much nicer than before. You will be walking through wind valley uphill to Samdo Village. Samdo is known as the best viewpoint including Himalayan Vista, Monastery and local small settlement.
Day 11- Samdo- Dharmasala(4460m.) 5/6 hours
After acclimatization day in Sama gaou, people are more excited for the Larkya pass. Today, we descend on a wide gentle path, enjoy with the big old mani stone wall and chorten. Cross the small and narrow river still Budhi Gandaki over the wooden bridge. Larkyabazer is one of the Tibetan trade centers. Many people use to come here for the market. Upon crossing two streams and witnessing the Larkya Glacier we go around the valley of the Salka Khola and climb up again to the big stone house (4480 m), which is kind of shelter called Dharmshala, also known as Larke Phedi. The short and pleasant walk today, We still have plenty of time for acclimatization and explore around in the afternoon. Overnight at Dharmashala.
Day 12- Dharmashala- Larkya pass (5160m.)- Bimtang(3720m.) 6/7 hours
Today is the main day as we are going to cross the 5160m. Larkya- La pass which is one of the most beautiful and tremendous. We start the early morning in order to cross the pass safely. The route is long and gentle climbing beside the moraine. we reach a valley on the north side of the Larkya Glaciers from where we can enjoy great views of Cheo Himal(6820m.), Gyaji Kung, Kang Guru(6981m.), Annapurna range and Larkya Peak. It takes around 3/4 hours to pass from the guest house.
Now, we descent along the top of a moraine, it is very steeply and scree slopes. We need to gently and slowly walk down as it is very slippery and steep. Now, you get grassy moraine to a small meadow, can see big mani stone and a large meadow. Once you descent about 1400m. Finally, you will be in Bimtang where you can have a big night after the successful pass.
Day 13- Bimtang to Tilje(2300m.) 4/5 hours
After the big day, you feel more relaxed and easy to walk down today as the trail drops from Bimtang meadow and cross the glacial stream. We can enjoy great views of Mt. Manaslu, Himlung Himal, Lamjung Himal, and Cheo Himal. Cross the Dudh Khola over the wooden bridge and walk through the beautiful pine and rhododendron forest. You will be crossing few small settlements Hompuk, Gho where you can stop for lunch and continuously walk to Tilje and overnight.
Day 14- Tilje- Dharapani(1920m.)- Tal
The trail still descends through scrub forests and Marsyangdi valley looms. It takes a couple of hours to get down to Dharapani. We need to cross the bridge over Dudh Khola and climb up through a chorten-shaped arch, pass a mani wall and reach the Thonje village. We go through a police checkpoint and continue to Dharapani. We can have lunch in the Dharapani, at the same time. Trek down to tall for overnight.
Day 15- Tal- Kathmandu (bus drive) 6/7 hours
It is 205 km to Kathmandu and takes 9 hours. This is a beautiful bus ride along the way you can see many beautiful landscape, river, many cities and rice terrace. It is a paved and smooth road which is an easy and comfortable ride.
Day 16- Kathmandu leisure day and farewell dinner.
Day 17- final departure for your onward flight destination.