Manaslu is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful treks in Nepal. It is equally challenging due to its off-the-beaten trail on the remote Himalayan terrain. This Manaslu Trekking 13 Days Itinerary is designed by experts to show you the best of the Manaslu Region without facing many difficulties. When most itineraries include only one acclimatization day, we've included 2 rest days to help your body better adapt to the increasing altitude. In those 13 days, you'll be trekking for 9 days, acclimatizing for 2 days, and taking road transport for 2 days, which is a perfect combination even for first-time trekkers. Sounds interesting? Let's find out more!
Mt. Manaslu is situated in the west-central part of the Nepalese Himalayas, making it one of the closest popular treks from Kathmandu city. 8-10 hours of drive from Kathmandu in a combination of black-topped and dirt road take you to the starting and ending point of the trek. The bumpy yet scenic ride takes you through the countryside of Nepal, featuring small towns, terraced fields, gushing rivers, lush green hills, and snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Trekking in the Manaslu region was only permitted in 1991, making it one of the newest trekking trails in Nepal. Although it has gained enough popularity in the last 3 decades, it still isn't as popular as other major trekking routes in the Everest and the Annapurna regions, which is actually good news for us as there'll be fewer trekkers on the trail. It is perfect for solitude lovers. The remote location of the trek and simpler facilities along the trail is a dream come true for a true adventurer to enjoy the Himalayas in the most natural form.
Derived from the Sanskrit word "Manasa," which refers to intellect or soul, Manaslu means "mountain of the spirit." Manaslu justifies its name as it tests your spirit. It is not easy to encircle the world's 8th-highest mountain, soaring as high as 8163 meters on foot. But is it even an adventure if it does not push your limits? Imagine the feeling of satisfaction you'll get after overcoming each challenge. Moreover, our trained trekking guides will always be by your side to help you move forward. So, get out of your comfort zone and join us in this Manaslu trekking Adventure of 13 Days.
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Best Features of Manaslu Trekking
- Off-the-beaten trekking experience in the restricted area of the Nepalese Himalayas
- Trekking around Mt. Manaslu, the world's 8th-highest mountain peak
- Traverse through agricultural lands, lush woods, gushing rivers, barren hills, and rocky mountains
- Crossing the challenging Larkya La Pass at 5106 meters
- Mesmerizing close-up views of Manaslu, Himlung, Ganesh Himal, Annapurna, etc.
- Hike in the stunning landscape and rich vegetation of the Manaslu Conservation Area & Annapurna Conservation Area
- Witness unique wildlife like Himalayan Tahr, Musk Deer, Red Panda, and even, Snow Leopard
- Indulge in the simple lifestyle and ancient Buddhist culture of the locals
What to expect from Manaslu Trekking?
Expect endless views of the deep valleys and giant walls of rocky mountains covered with snow. Expect to transport yourself from the concrete jungle to the actual jungle with abundant flora, fauna, and tranquility. But most importantly, expect the unexpected when you're in the Himalayas! Although we follow a certain itinerary, nothing is certain due to the dramatic weather changes in the mountains. But our team is well-prepared for any setbacks and will keep you safe. That being said, let's have a quick look at what it's like to embark on this 13 Days Manaslu Trekking journey.
The excursion starts with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Machha Khola in the Budhi Gandaki Valley. Machha Khola is where you start trekking. You walk past small villages, terraced fields, and lush forests, crossing several suspension bridges and interacting with the local Gurungs to reach the alpine landscape with barren fields and snowy mountains. You cross the dreading Larkya La pass at 5106 meters before finally ascending down toward the ending point in Dharapani. You then take a jeep from Dharapani to Besisahar and then swap to a local bus to travel back to Kathmandu.
What does a typical hike day at Manaslu Trekking look like?
Every day is an unforgettable experience in Manaslu. In addition to walking through verdant woods with breathtaking views of the Himalayas, you will appreciate visiting nearby villages and learning about the people who live there and their distinctive culture and traditions. You will be accompanied by a licensed guide on the trip who will share important information about the locations you visit.
A hot cup of tea or coffee in the morning gets the day started. Depending on the duration and difficulty of the route, we leave for the day's hike between 7 to 8 am, following breakfast. After 3 to 4 hours of walking, we will take a lunch break. After taking an hour or two to recover, we will resume our journey to the next overnight stop. The walk after lunch usually lasts between 2 to 3 hours. Some days, we conclude the hike at the lunch place and stay over there. When we reach our overnight lodge, we take a quick rest and gather around the fireplace in the dining hall for some chitchat. After dinner and sound sleep, the cycle resumes the next day again. But every day is distinct from the one before it. The vegetation and village life alter as you climb to a greater height.
Is Manaslu Circuit Trek right for you?
Are you in good physical shape? Do you have the mental strength to cope with the cold environment of the Himalayas? Have you done any high-altitude treks before? If your answer to all 3 questions is "yes," the Manaslu Trekking is right for you. Even if you don't have prior experience, with proper training, you'll be fine for the trek. And by training, we mean cardiovascular workouts, weight lifting, and hiking up and down a hill carrying a backpack. If age is your concern, fear not! You can do this as long as you're physically and mentally fit. If you're trekking with children or senior citizens, we can customize the trip to make it efficient for all.
Major Attraction of Manaslu Trekking
Pyungen Gumba is an ancient monastery consisting of a Buddhist temple and living arrangements for the monks who live and meditate there. The gumba, situated east of Nubri Valley, is one of the side treks you can do during Manaslu Circuit Trekking. Shyala and Sama Gaon are the nearest human settlements to the gumba. So on the day of acclimatization at Sama Goan, we take a detour to Pyungen Gumba. The round trip of ascends and descends takes about 5-6 hours, so make sure to pack some lunch and water before you leave.
Birendra Taal, translating to Birendra Lake, is a turquoise-colored glacial lake near Sama Gaon. The water source of this stunning green and blue lake is Manaslu Glacier. Reaching the lake takes an hour of mostly-flat hiking in the alpine forest. If you don't feel like hiking to Pyungen Gumba on the day of acclimatization at Sama Gaon, you can go to Birendra Lake instead. It's relatively shorter, and the beautiful lake might relax your body and mind.
Manaslu Base Camp
Manaslu Base Camp, located at an elevation of 4400 meters, is another day hike from Sama Gaon. In comparison to Pyungen Gumba and Birendra Lake, Manaslu BC is longer and much more intense as you gain almost 1000 meters altitude rise from Sama Gaon. It's a full-day hike, and we only suggest you go for it if you feel absolutely healthy and have not experienced any symptoms of altitude sickness. Despite the challenges, a day hike to Manaslu Base Camp can be an excellent preparation for Larkya La Pass.
Larke La Pass
Larke La Pass is the highest point in the Manaslu Circuit Trek, situated at 5106 meters above sea level. On day 11 of our 13 days Manaslu trek, we start the trek early in the morning to reach Larkya La Pass for sunrise. The glorious sunrise glow over Larkya Peak, Mt. Manaslu, Ratna Chuli, Cheo Himal, and other surrounding mountains is mindblowing to watch. Although it's a challenging trek, it gives you the best perspective of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Hindus and Buddhists coexist in the Manaslu region. You will learn about Hinduism at the beginning of the journey, and as you go along, you will experience the Buddhist culture of the Tibetan descendants who've lived there for a long time. You'll notice many mani walls, monasteries, prayer wheels, and chortens along the path. This area's remoteness has retained its culture and traditions for many years. You get to see the ceremonies that have been performed here for centuries. The residents here are friendly and humble, and they will welcome you with warm smiles.