The Manaslu Circuit Trek is definitely one of the most fascinating destinations for trekking enthusiast everywhere.
The trekking route of Manaslu region opened only in 1992 and has been growing in its popularity ever since. It is the third most renowned trekking trail in Nepal after Everest Base Camp trekking and Annapurna Base Camp trekking. The Manaslu Circuit Trek gives you a complete Nepali package letting you experience the diversity of Nepal in every aspect.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a less trekked path,is remote, untouched by urbanization and adventurous. The trekking route isn’t overcrowded like the other popular routes as it has not been open as long as the other routes.
Your trekking journey of Manaslu Circuit Trek starts from Kathmandu. Your trekking trip begins with six hours of scenic jeep drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. The next day to Machha Khola, then to Jagat, Philim, Deng, Ghap, Lho, Sama Gaon/Ro, Samdo, Coss Larkya La Bimthang, Dharapani and then back to Kathmandu. The trekking trail surrounds the Manaslu Himal, the World’s eighth highest mountain.
Along the route of Manaslu Circuit Trek, you will be rewarded with an amazing and breathtaking views of the mountain scenery and fabulous glacier lakes. You can witness the diverse Nepali culture in the Manaslu area. At the lower altitude, you can observe the settlements of Brahmin, Chhetri, Tamang, Magar, and Gurung. As the altitude increases, you will find the settlements of Sherpas and Tamangs. All these diverse ethnic tribe enjoy different festivals, way of living, language, tradition, art. Your trekking trail passes across the small villages and ancient monasteries.
At the treeline area, you will find the forest of pines, oaks, and rhododendrons. The lush forest is the home for different species of wildlife. You can observe different types of unique and exotic animals and birds from the trail that goes across the forest.
Before starting your trek in the Manaslu Circuit area, you have to take a special trekking permit as this area is preserved as the MCAP (Manaslu conservation area Project). Witness the beauty of nature, culture, and tradition of the local tribes, sensation of remote areas,natural and biological diversity in the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Highlights of Manaslu trek :
- A wonderful scenic jeep drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola
- A traffic-free trekking trail
- Tents and foods are optional because there are plenty of tea houses available on the trekking trail
- The suspension bridge crossings through the Budhi Gandaki River
- Diverse terrains and vegetation
- Larkya La pass (5153m/16901ft) crossing
- Experience both the Buddhist and Hindu culture
- Trekking by the Budhi Gandaki River Valley
- Pristine views of Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Himchuli, Mt. Ganesh and others surrounding mountain peaks
Manaslu Circuit Trek Packing List
The trekking route takes you to approximately 5210m altitude from 710m. As the altitude increases, there will be a change in temperature, pressure, and oxygen level. In order to make your journey successful, you will certainly need important trekking equipment and gears on the way.
Selecting the right clothes and other gears and equipment according to the weather and climate, is essential to avoid unnecessary complications. You have to manage your packings according to the hotter temperatures at lower altitudes and colder temperatures at higher altitudes.
Here is a recommended packing list of items that you will need in your trek. The list will help you to be safe and make your journey easier and fun.
- Insulated Jacket
- Waterproof and windproof Jacket (breathable)
- Down Jacket
- Thermal tops
- Trekking shirts
- Trekking trousers or pants
- Hiking shorts
- Lightweight thermal trousers
- Breathable underwears
- Rain gears
Head and hand :
- Lightweight gloves (inner thermal gloves and outer windproof and waterproof gloves)
- Bandana or head scarf
- Warm woolen hat
- Sun Hat
- Buff, Balaclava or Neck band
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Prescription sunglasses (if required)
- Hiking socks
- Woolen socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Hiking sandals
- Cotton socks (optional)
Toiletries and personal hygiene:
- Quick drying towel
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Sunscreen cream
- Lip balm
- Foot powder
- Female hygiene products
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
- Small mirror
- Personal Hygiene
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
Important Accessories :
- Trekking poles
- Sleeping bag
- Small daypack for carrying your valuables.
- Personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
- Important medicines such as aspirin, anti-diarrhea pills,Anti-headache pills, cough and cold medicine, anti-altitude sickness pills, Stomach antibiotic .
- Water purification liquid or tablet
- Extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lens
- Repair tape, Sewing-repair kit
- Lighter or matchbox
- Digital camera with extra batteries and memory cards
- Water bottles (2 litres)
- Binoculars (optional)
- Plastic bags
Other Extra Equipments:
- Book for reading
- Trekking trail map
- Travel game for leisure activities (chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards)
- Plug adapter
- Lightweight pillow case
Personal Documents and Items :
- Valid passport
- Photocopies of passport
- 2 extra passport size photos
- Airline tickets
- Visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport),
- Proof of insurance
- Some cash
Weather at Manaslu Circuit Trek Route
Weather at Manaslu Circuit Trek is fickle. So, be sure to check for Manaslu Circuit weather forecast before you are planning for a trek. At the lower altitudes, the weather will be constant and fair. When the altitude gradually, the temperature will start to decrease.
Spring and autumn season are the best seasons to trek Manaslu Circuit Trek. Although winter and summer seasons are not considered to be suitable for trekking, with the right training and proper preparation, you can trek in these seasons too.
However, trekking in winter in Manaslu region is not encouraged for many reasons.
Winter in the Manaslu region is severely cold. In the higher altitudes, there is a possibility of heavy snowfall which makes it difficult to cross the Larke La pass trail during winter. The trekking path will be fully covered with thick layers of white snow. Most of the tea houses will be closed at the higher altitudes as the local people there migrate to the lower altitudes during winter. However it’s an adventurous and exciting trek to undertake in winter if you are geared up properly for it.
Trekking In summer is also not highly recommend. Nepal has it’s monsoon through the months of June, July and August. This results in the slippery and muddy trails which is not fun for many. The possibility of landslides in the lower region and avalanche in the upper region during this season is high which makes the trail riskier. As it heats up in summer, the trekking trail will be infested with different species of insects and worms like leeches. If you are set on doing this trail during these month, extra items like the bug repellent, mosquito nets and other remedies are strongly recommended to have with you.
Spring season is perfect for trekking in the Manaslu Circuit Trek trail after the autumn season, considered as the best season to trek. The season brings it with the perfect green and refreshing views of forest area. The blossoms of rhododendron and other colorful flowers will add up to the natural beauty of this trail. Weather is calm and nice in the months of March, April and May which is springtime in Nepal.
Autumn season is the best and most recommended season to trek in every trekking route in Nepal. The month of September, October and November fall on this season. The weather and climate are just perfect to trek in Manaslu Circuit Trekking route. The possibility of rainfall and storms during this season is quite rare. Temperature is neither hot nor cold in the lower altitudes. In the higher altitudes, it’s a bit chilly in the morning and evenings. High possibility of crystal clear sky allows you to view the magnificent snow-capped mountain ranges on the horizon from the trekking route without any interruption. These reasons makes it the best season to trek in the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Weather As-centric Additional Items:
The above packing list is only for your reference. You will have to improvise a bit on packing list according to the season and the trek duration. You can either add up the items or remove unnecessary things from the list as per your need. Select the trekking gears according to the weather and climate of the place. For example, if you are trekking in summer, you can bring less items of woolen and thermal clothes and in the rainy season, you should have proper rain gears. On the basis of the given list, you can make a list for yourself.
Here are some of the additional trekking gears that is recommended for you during your trek in the Manaslu Circuit trek in different seasons.
Early spring is little colder and late spring will be hot comparatively. There is chance of some rainfall in this season. These are some additional items that you can take on this trek.
- Rain coat
- Waterproof backpack cover
- Extra plastic bags
- Insect repellent
Autumn is the perfect season for trekking. There is less possibility of a downpour this season, but again you have to be prepared because the weather in the Himalaya can change at any time. These are some season specific gear you have to take while trekking Manaslu Circuit.
- Rain gear (for emergency)
- DSLR Camera with zoom lenses ( since the sky will be clear)
In winter, due to snowfall and the low temperature, it gets severely cold in the Manaslu region. To trek in winter, you should be geared up properly to avoid difficulty. These are some special items to carry during winter in Manaslu Circuit Trek.
- Thermal innerwear
- Thermal jacket
- Windproof and waterproof jacket
- Rain gears (in case of snowfall)
- Thermal trousers
- Woolen socks
- Warm gloves
- Woolen hat
- Snow proof hiking boots
Hot climate and the monsoon rain are the challenges to overcome this season. Hot and damp weather brings lots of insects and pests in the lower region. The sky is full of clouds which obscure the view of the snow-capped mountains in this entire trek.
- Hiking shirts, half and full (sweat absorbing material)
- Hiking shorts
- Rain jacket
- Waterproof trouser
- Waterproof backpack cover
- Plastic bags to cover your clothes, important documents, cameras and batteries.
- Waterproof gaiters
- Insect repellent
These are some extra things recommended if you trek during summer that is during the months of June, July and August.
Some tips on packing for Manaslu Circuit Trek:
- Do not bring unnecessary things like jewelry, laptop, Make-up box, hair dryers, straightener, or perfume. These items are extra burden for your backpacks. Although you use the things in your daily life, you can survive without them while trekking.
- Be conscious of your backpack weight. Make sure the clothing that you will be carrying or wearing are lightweight. Carry your shampoo, hand wash, creams in small packs.
- Pack your clothes, your personal documents and other important things with plastic bags to prevent them from moisture.
- Carry a daypack with you. The daypack is a pack of all the items that you might need on the whole day of trekking. In this, you can carry stuff like a bottle of water, raincoat, sunglasses, some snacks, camera, extra batteries, memory cards that you might need during the day trekking.
- Take some extra batteries for your cameras to avoid battery low problem. You don’t want to miss a single moment to be photographed, do you?
- Always wear dresses in layers to keep your body warm. Layering clothes will help your body retain heat and keep you warm on cold days.
- A pair of trekking poles is an essential thing to carry to prevent knee injury, especially while walking downhill on the trekking trails.
It is better to make a list of things you need during the trek and then tallying them up according to the suggested list. Carry only the important things only according to your needs. Keep in mind, the requirements and the checklist changes according to the season you trek.
Due to the fluctuating weather in the mountain region, you need to be extra cautious in your packing preparation so as to avoid unnecessary problem during trekking.
Avoiding unnecessary items to carry in trek is the wisest decision. The items will only be a burden for you the whole time in trekking.
Manaslu Circuit Trek route starts from about 700m altitude and to above 5000m altitude. The difference in altitude brings the difference in atmospheric temperature, pressure and oxygen level in the air. So be prepared to tackle them in every possible condition during the trek. Gearing up properly will definitely help you to complete your trekking in Manaslu Circuit successfully without any complications.
Pack up your backpack and head towards the authentic and rare trekking route of Manaslu Circuit Trek. Have fun!