Manaslu trek is a great option if you are looking for an authentic, wilder and true remote region trekking in Nepal.
The popularity of this trek has increased after a lot of tea houses started popping up along the trails. Now, along with camping, tea house treks are also possible in the Manaslu region. Tea houses have indeed contributed a lot to making treks much easier.
Manaslu trek comprises all the spectacular features of trekking in Nepal like magnificent suspension bridges, epic views of the mountains and the diverse landscape, cultural diversity, Himalayan pass and so on.
This Manaslu trek takes you off the beaten path around the world’s eighth highest mountain, Mt. Manaslu.
The trek provides you with an amazing view of some of the highest mountains like Mt. Manaslu, Mt. HimalChuli (7893m), Annapurna range, Shringi (7187m), Ngadi Chuli (7871m) and Ganesh Himal.
So, how difficult is this trekking route?
As for the difficulty, it used to be on the difficult level of trekking. However, this is not the case now, it is not as tough as it used to be.
With the construction of new and wider trails, it is classified as a strenuous trek.
Manaslu trek could get slightly challenging if you do travel around the less used, older trails.
The trek is for anyone who wants to enjoy a trek free from excessive commercialization. It is a trip away from the crowds where you can enjoy the authentic cultural setting and a great trekking experience of true Nepal.
To help you make a more informed and personalized decision on whether or not Manaslu trek is going to be difficult for you, here is more information about the trail, the distance, duration and everything else in between.
Duration of Manaslu trek
And the trekking duration for Manaslu trek depends on the package you select or modify. You can do so by adding or reducing the number of days of trekking to suit your schedule.
On this trek, you will be walking for an approximate of 5/7 hours on a daily basis. You will also have days for rest and acclimatization.
To make sure you have a comfortable and successful trek, it is recommended that you start preparing for your trek at least a month before your intended trek.
You can take training sessions specially designed for mountain trekking or schedule long walks (uphill and downhills) of 6/7 hours daily. The key is to prepare yourself for the altitude and to build up stamina.
Total distance of the trek
This trek takes you through a varied landscape and terrain starting from a lower altitude of 228m to the highest point of the trek at 5213m i.e. the Larkya La Pass.
Manaslu circuit trek is about 177 km in distance. You will be walking around 15/20 km on a daily basis on a standard 17 days Manaslu circuit trek including days for acclimatization. You can extend or decrease the number of days on your trek by increasing the distance you walk, starting point of the trek.
If you choose to do Manaslu trek with the Tsum valley trek, the total distance for this trek will be about 196 km in distance.
Choosing the best season to trek to Manaslu Base Camp
The local Spring and Autumn season is considered the best season to do Manaslu trek. For beginners, it is always recommended to trek in the best seasons to get a more wholesome experience of trekking.
Spring season in Nepal falls from March to May and Autumn season falls during the months of September to November.
The summer season sees a lot of rainfall making the trail quite muddy. This is also the season for hailstones, leeches, mosquitoes. If you are prepared with insect repellant sprays or ointments, this trek should not bother you that much.
Do take the trail recommended by your guide (s/he will have latest updates about the trails through previous treks and from other guides) to avoid slippery or dangerous routes.
The winter season sees snowfall on the higher altitudes with temperatures dropping to negative degrees. In the lower regions, the temperature is mild and enjoyable during the daytime.
The autumn and spring season of Nepal is considered the best because of the favorable weather and temperature. The autumn is considered the best season with favorable temperatures, and a more stable weather condition. This makes a great time to get the best mountain views on the trails.
The spring is a close second with full blossoms of the rhododendron and a lot of other flowers in the lower region. You also get great views of the snow capped mountains from the trails on clear days.
Weather and temperature
The Manaslu trail takes you through six climatic zones: the tropical and sub-tropical zone, the temperate zone, the subalpine zone, the alpine zone, and the arctic zone.
Hence, you will experience different weather and temperature condition on this trail.
Nepal has 4 distinct seasons which also means different weather and temperature during different times of the year.
December to February is winter season, March to May is Spring Season, June to August is Monsoon or Summer Season, September to November is Autumn Season.
You may get light rainfall during the end of May due to the onset of pre-monsoon in Nepal. The latter part of November can get colder in the mornings and evenings as Winter approaches.
A good thing about Summer in Nepal is that it doesn’t get humid despite the showers. And it is less likely that it rains all day. If it rains in the morning, the day is clear and if it rains in the evening, the mornings are simply pleasant.
Although it gets very cold during the winters in the higher regions, the weather in the lower region is cooler making treks in the lower regions a lot comfortable.
Manaslu trek is indeed possible throughout the year, however the best seasons to do this trek is during Autumn and Spring.
Staying well informed about altitude sickness eases your trekking difficulty. You can learn about the symptoms of high altitude sickness and ways to overcome them.
Altitude sickness is an important factor in any kind of high altitude trekking or traveling. Anyone regardless of their trekking experiences can suffer from altitude sickness.
Which is why you should not consider speeding up your trek to make it shorter. And you should not underestimate the importance of acclimatization at any case. It is a must.
Also, drinking alcohol can be quite dangerous. It boosts the risk of altitude sickness. You are suggested to avoid alcohol during treks.
Always come forward to the guide, porter, your partner or your team leader in case of any symptoms so that necessary steps can be taken to overcome it.
Learning about it can help you take necessary precautions and save your and your fellow traveler life.
It can help in making your trek a more comfortable and a safer one.
Manaslu trek is suitable for all types of trekkers- novices to experienced. It is possible to successfully complete this trek with basic fitness level and determination.
Uphill, downhill walking on uneven surfaces are the basics of any trek. It is important to train yourself and start getting comfortable walking on uneven surfaces. Most importantly, when trekking to the Himalayas, altitude is a key factor that should not be undermined.
You could be well trained to walk miles but if you aren’t trained to cope with the increasing altitude, any trek will be difficult for you.
Aerobics and physical fitness is a must in addition to the mental preparedness that you must have.
However, there are no special training designed for trekking. The basic physical fitness of the body, altitude training, stamina training, and mental preparedness is required for a successful and enjoyable trek.
Nepal is one of the most affordable trekking destinations in the world. It is preferred by many trekkers and is considered as the home of 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world.
If you are not financially stable, trekking to the Himalayas is a distant dream. No doubt, trekking to the mountains doesn’t come cheap.
The Manaslu Circuit trek cost is influenced by a lot of aspects.
For instance, the transportation that you choose. If you choose to take the local bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola, it would be quite cheaper. But, it could take you longer because of the frequent stops and could also drain your energy. This in return might add up a day in your trek. This could add up the overall expense.
Well, to cut the chase, your financial status plays an important role in making a trek difficult or easy.
Solo or Group trekking
Group trekking is the only option when trekking in the Manaslu region. Your group must consist of more than 2 trekkers and at least a local guide or porter.
If you plan with a large group, treks are a lot difficult and unmanageable. It could hinder your accommodation as well as your meals. To sum up, you should plan to trek with a smaller group.
If you are planning a solo trek in the Manaslu region it is not possible at the moment. The Manaslu trek falls under the restricted region trekking in Nepal which means according to the Nepal Government policies, no solo treks are allowed in these regions.
With and Without Guide
Trekking without a guide in the Manaslu region is not recommended and impossible.
Trekking with a guide makes your trips a lot easier. There are rare chances of getting lost on the trails. You will get to know about the physical landscapes, flora, and fauna, in-depth knowledge of the trails, passes, mountains, and also the locals a little better.
A guide will help you in making your treks a lot less difficult and a lot more pleasant.
Gear and equipment
The temperature in the mountain area keeps fluctuating. During the mornings, the temperature is mostly colder for most of the seasons while the daytime is a bit warmer. This is great for winter treks.
So, it is highly recommended for you to wear your clothing in layers as you tend to feel hot and sweaty on the way.
Your clothing should include sweat absorbent underwear and shirts and warm clothes that protect you from the cold and wind.
Here is a general idea to what a clothing list should look like so that you pack wisely. This way you can avoid any kind of difficulty.
- Breathable underwear
- Hiking shirts
- Trekking socks
- Trekking pants
- Rain Jacket and rain trousers
- Lightweight insulating jackets
- A pair of trekking boots
- A pair of hiking sandals
- A wide- brimmed sun hat or buff (keeps out the sun from your head, face or neck)
Packing for about 2 weeks long mountain trek can be a bit daunting. You have to make sure you carry all of the basic items and gears for a successful and comfortable trek yet.
You need to make sure to not carry any unnecessary items that may end up just being a burden.
Here is a list of recommended gear
Gear and Other accessories
- Trekking Poles
- Headlamp and batteries (for early morning and night walk)
- Watch with alarm clock
- Polarized sunglasses
- Sleeping bag with liner (for extra warmth)
- Cameras and batteries
- Battery chargers
- Some extra Batteries
- Energy bars or chocolates
- Water Bottle
- First aid kit and some medicines (for altitude sickness, cold, mild fever, and many others)
Hygiene and toiletries
It is recommended that you carry only small packs of all the basic everyday-use items to last for the duration of the trek. Carrying big packs will only add to your burden.
Here are the list of basic toiletries and hygiene products.
- Lip guard
- Eye drops
- Nail cutters
- Toilet Paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
Important Documents to carry at all times
Ensuring that you have these documents with you at all times is the safest and most secure way to travel in any part of Nepal. You may be asked to present your documents at different intervals or checkpoints of the trek.
- Enough cash (most places do not have ATMs)
It is recommended not to pack more than 20 kg. This is applicable whether you carry your own luggage or choose to hire a porter for a comfortable and successful trek.
Packing wisely adds in to making your trips a lot comfortable.
Any foreign trekker wishing to trek to the Manaslu region must obtain the following permits:
ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit), MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Entry Permit)
The Manaslu trek takes you through the Annapurna Conservation area as well as the Manaslu Conservation area, hence you are required to have both these permits.
Manaslu restricted permit and the Tsum Valley restricted Permit
The Manaslu region falls with the restricted region trekking in Nepal meaning you require the Manaslu restricted permit.
These are all available in Kathmandu from the same location. You will need the following things to get the permits:
Passport size photographs, two for each permit.
Photocopy of your passport, one for each permit.
Forms that need to be filled
Nepali currency to pay for the permits.
The Manaslu trek permit cost will be as follows:
- The restricted permit cost depends on what month or season you undertake the trek in Nepal.
- Manaslu restricted permit can range from $50 to $70 for the first week and $7 to $10 per day afterward.
- The MCAP and ACAP are NPR 2000 (approximately $20) each.
- The Tsum Valley restricted Permit can range from $25 to $35 for the first week.
(Note: TIMS is not required for the Manaslu trek when you purchase the restricted permit.)
You can take the Manaslu trek regardless of your trekking experience and it is possible to trek here throughout the year. Just be sure you pack well and prepare well despite the tie of the year you internet to take this majestic trek.
Manaslu region is considered one of the hidden gems of the world. It would have still remained a mystery if trekking to this place was not legalized.
This was possible about 40 years ago unraveling the marvels of mystical Nepal for the world to experience.
But the willingness to experience isn’t enough. It has to be backed up by a proper plan. Mental and physical preparedness adds into making your treks successful.
Be ready to have a great time, view some of the highest mountains, explore the diverse landscape, culture, flora, and fauna of the region and get a classic experience of high mountain trekking.
For further details and assistance, do contact us.