Manaslu Trek takes you through the remote and off-beat tracks of the Manaslu Region. Opened only in 1991 to foreign trekkers, this region still preserves its untouched and raw natural splendor.
The Manaslu Trek 12 Days Itinerary is the perfect choice for trekking in the region. Within the time frame, you will get to the base of the 8th tallest mountain in the world- Mt. Manaslu.
You will cross one of the most adventurous and challenging Passes of Nepal- the Larkya La Pass. This pass is also a vantage point to witness breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks.
Throughout the trek, you will get to enjoy views of the surrounding nature and diverse landscape. You can also savor the views of the green lush forest, diverse biodiversity, and glaciers. You also get a taste of the unique and traditional lifestyle and culture of the locals of the region.
Here is an outline of the Manaslu Trek 12-Days Itinerary.
Type: Teahouse and Camping
Cost: US$ 895-US$ 1,350
Best Time: February-May/September-December
Highest Elevation: Larkya La Pass- 5,213m
- A genuine, off the beaten trail trekking experience in the wilderness
- A chance to witness nature in its wild, raw, and undisturbed state
- A chance to observe abundant wildlife and vegetation. You may catch sights of the Himalayan Goat known as Thar or Jharal and deer, marmot, Jhum (yak and cow hybrid) and yaks
- Amazing views of mountains like Ganesh Himal (7,140m), Shringi Himal (7,161m), Rani Peak /Lidanai Peak (6,693m), Himalchuli (7,750m), and Nadi Chuli / Peak 29 (7,871 m). Other mountains you can see are Mt. Manaslu/Kang Pungen (8,163m), Manaslu North (7,157m), Naike Peak (6,211m) and many more.
- The adventurous, thrilling, and dramatic crossing of Larkya La Pass. From the pass, you can have amazing views of Kanguru (6,981m), Annapurna II (7,937m), Gyaji Kang (7,038m), Larke Peak (6,249m), Lamjung Himal (7,983m), Ratna Chuli (7,035m).
- Breathtaking views of Mt. Manaslu (8163m)- the eighth tallest mountain in the world.
- A chance to witness the rich local heritage of the Manaslu region.
- A chance to see and stay at charming, traditional local villages.
- Availability of different small peaks to climb like Larkya, Samdo Himal, Panbari, Nirekha, Khayang, Saula. These make for great and exciting adventures or achievements to add to your Manaslu Trek experience.
- Far less crowded than the popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna Region. The Manaslu trail sees about 10 times fewer trekkers.
- Following the Budhi Gandaki river- a deep, long river gorge, with many suspension bridge crossings for the first half of the trek.
Manaslu Trek- 12 Days Detailed Itinerary
Day 01: Kathmandu to Soti Khola ( 710m/2,328ft)
Duration: 6-8 Hrs Drive
Distance: 140 Kms
Your first day of the trek begins with an 8-hour drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola.
The journey begins with a smooth ride through the Prithvi Highway. On the way, you can see views of terrace farms, villages, and hillocks.
Once in Gorkha, the roads get rougher.
You can still enjoy the beautiful views of the Himalayas like Mt. Annapurna, the Manaslu range, and Ganesh Himal.
In Arughat (941m), you will take some rest and change vehicles. You may see trekkers starting their journey on foot from here as well. From Arughat, Soti Khola is around 13 km away. Soti Khola is the start point of your actual trek on foot.
Overnight stay at Soti Khola.
Day 02: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (900m/ 2,952ft)
Duration: 5 hours trek
Distance: 14.5-15 Kms
This is the first day of your trek. You pass through forests, rice paddies, a cliff-face ridge, a rushing river, and several beautiful waterfalls.
From there, you trek to ‘Khursani Baari’ which translates to ‘field of chilies’ where you will see a 100m waterfall.
From here, you keep walking to ‘Machha Khola’ which translates to ‘river with fish’. Here, you will find around 20-30 local houses with 4 popular hotels.
You will stay overnight at a lodge in Machha Khola.
Day 03: Machha Khola to Jagat (2,095m/4,395ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek
Distance: 22 Kms
You begin your trek by walking to the police checkpoint in Machha Khola. Here, they check your permits.
After this, you continue following the gorge and continue hiking up the river. You trek up and down the trails. It also includes a steep uphill trail.
This takes you to Tatopani where there is a natural hot spring. If you wish, you can take a dip to relax your muscles and joints.
From here, you walk towards Yuri Bagar. Here, you can see the cantilever bridge which will take 20 minutes to reach. This bridge is 158 m long and is the first bridge of its kind in Nepal. Most of the trail follows a forested area.
On these trails, you can get some of the best views of Ganesh Himal and Shringi Himal.
You continue your trek till you reach Jagat. Jagat is the entry checkpoint of the Manaslu Conservation area.
Overnight stay in the beautiful village of Jagat.
Day 04: Jagat to Deng (1,340m)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek
Distance: 19.9 Kms
You make your way to Upper Jagat and Salleri. You will notice two hydropower plants on the way.
From Salleri, you continue on to Sirdibas with views of Mt. Siring (7,239m). Then you reach Philim. From Philim, you will trek through Chisapani, Ekle Bhatti, Nayak Phedi, and Pewa. Most of these are beautiful, quaint and small villages.
In Pewa, you will cross two suspension bridges. From here, it is a 45-minutes walk to Deng.
Overnight stay in Deng.
Day 05: Deng to Namrung ( 2,900m/9,512ft )
Duration: 6-7 Hrs. Trek
Distance: 21 Kms
The day starts with a downhill trek to the Budhi Gandaki river. From here, you trek uphill to Rana Gaon to see beautiful landscapes and rivers.
From here, you walk through villages like Bhimphedi and Gap. Gap (2,380m) is where you stop for lunch before continuing through the dense forest and dead pine trees.
You continue your walk through the west of Budhi Gandaki while crossing some waterfalls and Sringeri Khola. The trail also passes through a Kani (gate arch) with intricate, well-preserved paintings.
You trek past mani walls and other villages like Suksum to reach Namrung. Here you will find a beautiful resort.
Namrung is a Tibetan-influenced Buddhist village with Buddhist monasteries. You will also find a water turbine hydro electricity powerhouse, mani walls, small stupas, and prayer flags.
Overnight stay at Namrung.
Day 06: Namrung to Samagaon (3,500m/11,480 ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek
Distance: 20.5 Kms
Your trek to Samagaon takes you through places like Banjam, Lihi, Sho, Lho, and Sayla.
Once you leave Namrung, you enter the Upper Nupri region. Here, the local dialect changes to a form of Tibetan style. The locals can be seen in Tibetan style dresses like chubas- the Tibetan style of wrapping around cloak.
On this day, you will also cross the Budhi Gandaki river, walk through the alpine forests, stone arch, Chortens, and barley terrace fields.
Once you cross the Hiran Khola, you can get a spectacular sight of Mt. Manaslu, Manaslu North (7,157m) and Naike Peak (5,515m).
Lho is where you will rest and have your lunch. If time permits, you can explore the Buddhist monastery and also enjoy the great views of the Himalayas.
From here, you will trek downhill the steep path to Lihi. Upon reaching Syala, you will get the panoramic views of Himalchuli, Nadi Chuli Manaslu, Saula Himal, and Siringi Himal. Syala is also where you will get to see a real yak. Syala is also one of the biggest villages of the region and a popular place for commerce.
Overnight stay at the beautiful village of Samagaon.
Day 07: Acclimatization Day at Samagaon (3,500m/ 11,480 ft)
Today is the rest day in Samagaon.
In Sama village, you can get amazing views of Mt. Manaslu and explore the famous Ribung Gompa. You can also get breathtaking views of the glaciers, flat terrain, and farmland. Sama Gaon or village is also the practice destination for many climbers to summit Mt. Manaslu.
During your acclimatization day, it is recommended that you go for day hikes near your point of acclimatization. This helps your body to adapt better to the changing altitudes.
In Samagaon, you have the options to see the following:
- Birendra Taal (lake): At 3,450m, this is a beautiful, glacial lake. This lies around 3 km from the Sama village.
- Manaslu Base Camp: It is 6 km away from the village and takes around 5 hours to reach. It lies at an altitude of 4,800m. Once here, you can enjoy views of the Manaslu Glacier, Birendra Taal, and a cave.
- Pungen Monastery: This monastery is around 6-7 km from Sama Village. It offers better panoramic views of the mountains like Mt. Manaslu. You can also see the sight of thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts and pictures. You may also see local Sherpas clad in traditional clothes and jewelry.
Overnight stay in Samagaon.
Day 08: Samagaon to Samdo (3,690m /12,103 ft)
Duration: 4 hours trek
Distance: 16 Kms (6 km on the map)
On the 8th day, you begin your trek with a walk across a hill for around 2 hours. This hill is a ledge above the river.
It is also the grazing area of blue sheep. You may see some on the barren hillsides. On this path, you will walk through beautiful juniper and birch forests.
Samdo is at the junction of the 3 valleys. Samdo village (3,800m) is a Tibetan refugee village. This village has its own hydropower project, therefore it has an uninterrupted supply of electricity.
If you are up for it, go for a hike to the viewpoint in Samdo. It is around 1.5 to 2 hours walk from the village. It offers fabulous views and is a great way to acclimatize as well.
Some of the mountains you can see from here are Mt. Manaslu, Samdo (Pang Phuchuli), Ngadi Chuli, Simnang Himal, and several other mountain peaks. Along with these, you can also see Manaslu glacier and Manaslu icefall.
You will stay overnight at Samdo village.
Day 09: Samdo to Dharamsala ( 4,450m / 14,596 ft)
Duration: 4 hours trek
Distance: 12 Kms
The day starts with a downhill trek to the Budhi Gandaki river. You will then cross the river and start your climb upwards through Larkya Bazaar and the valley of Salka Khola to Dharamsala.
Also known as Larkya Phedi, Dharamsala is a seasonal village. It has a little shelter house that provides room for trekkers. On the way, you will come across the magnificent Larkya Glacier. You can roam and explore the surrounding hills to better acclimatize to the changing altitudes.
From Dharamsala, you can enjoy views of Siachen Glacier, Larkya Peak, and Naike Peak.
Overnight stay at Dharamsala.
Day 10: Dharamsala to Bimthang (3,720m / 12,201 ft)
Duration: 8-9 hours trek
Distance: 25 Kms
The 10th day is the most challenging part of the trek. You begin your trek early to the North side of the Larkya Glacier. Here, you can see Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Then, you make your climb to the major highlight of this 12 days Manaslu Trek- the Larkya La Pass. At 5,213m, this Pass is one of the highest of its kind.
Once here, you can enjoy some of the best views of the Himalayan ranges. You can see Mt. Annapurna II, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru, and Himlung Himal.
After some time on the pass, you cross it and make a steep descent on a high moraine ridge of Salpudanda Glacier. From here, you make your way down towards a grassy moraine of Dangboche Kharka. The trail then becomes easier from there and after 6 hours of trek, you reach a large meadow, a Mani Wall, and a small rest house. This is the beautiful village of Bimthang.
Overnight stay is at Bimthang.
Day 11: Bimthang to Dharapani (1860m / 6,102 ft)
Duration: 7-8 hours trek
Distance: 34 Kms
This is the last day, and one of the longer days of your trek.
You begin with a walk south below Bimthang behind the moraine wall. You will also cross the Bhimtang Glacier. After this, you climb up the far moraine wall and enter some of the best-looking forests in Nepal. You will trek through deep pine, oak, and rhododendron forests. The trail then descends to Dudh Koshi river.
On your way, you will notice the amazing view of the Marsyangdi valley. Then you will reach
Tilije- the Gurung village famous for its locally produced brandy. You can enjoy some of it here.
You will walk through police checkpoints until you reach Dharapani, the entry point of the popular Annapurna Circuit trek.
Overnight stay at Dharapani.
Day 12: Dharapani to Kathmandu (1440m / 4724 ft)
Duration: 7-11 hours drive
Distance: 118 Km
Today is the concluding day of your 12 days Manaslu Trek. From Dharapani, you will drive to Besisahar. This takes about 2-3 hours. From Besisahar, you will drive on the banks of the Marsyangdi river to reach Kathmandu.
This takes around 5-8 hours. On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful view of green forests, local settlements with small houses and huts, bridges, and Marsyangdi River.
Overnight stay will be at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Things to know before 12-Days Manaslu Trek
For any trek in Nepal, you need to have the trekking permits. For this trek, you need 3 different permits. These are:
- Manaslu Restricted Permit
- Manaslu Conservation Area entry Permit (MCAP), and
- Annapurna Conservation Area entry Permit (ACAP)
You can get these from Kathmandu.
Solo or Group Treks
Hence, you can not do the 12 days Manaslu Trek as a solo trek.
You need to have at least 2 trekkers in your group (not including kids below 10 years). You also can not do the trek without a local trekking helper.
You can not count the local trekking aide as a group member. You can hire more than one local trekking helper. The local trekking helper can be your local guide, porter, porter-guide, cook, or someone else.
Make sure that your local trekking aide has the professional license required to do the job. You cannot have a local Nepali without a license as your local trekking guide.
Accommodation, Meals & Drinks
You can do this trek as a teahouse or camping trek. There is basic accommodation in tea houses available throughout the trek.
A tea house in Nepal generally will have one dining hall, rooms on a twin sharing basis, and a communal bathroom and shower space. Most of the tea houses also offer basic meals and drinks.
Some of the foods on offer are Nepali Dal Bhat, pizza, macaroni, chow mein, momo, fried rice, and spaghetti. As you trek higher, the choices in the menu decrease and become more basic.
The meals are locally prepared, clean, and hygienic at most teahouses, but the taste can differ from what you are used to.
For drinks, you will get coffee, tea, ginger tea, hot chocolate, lemon tea, soft drinks, and cold and hot water.
Physical Fitness and Safety
The 12 Days Manaslu Trek has a moderate difficulty level.
Anyone with a moderate fitness level can go on this trek. You don’t need to be a professional trekker or athlete for this trek.
Yet, you do need to be comfortable walking for long hours for the entire duration of the trek. This 12-days Manaslu Trek is a rapid trek. So, it can be quite challenging for novice and beginners.
For the novice and beginners, make sure you prepare for the trek at least 4-6 months before the trek. The fitter you are, the more comfortable the trekking experience will be for you.
Also, make sure to consult your doctor before any high altitude trek like this one.
This way, you will be aware of any situation you may face during the trek. You can also prepare for whatever health complications you may face during the trek.
Let your trekking partner and local trekking staff know about any health complications you have. This way they can help you if it occurs. Doing these things will help boost your confidence to go on the trek.
Clothing, Equipment, and Supplies
For a 12 Days Manaslu Trek, make sure you pack everything you need for a high altitude trek in Nepal. Make sure to change your packing list according to the season you trek in as well.
To ensure you have everything you need during the trek, go through your packing list with your local trekking guide. A guide can let you know what changes you need to make.
The 12 Days Manaslu Trek is a high altitude trek. Like any other trek, it is an outdoor adventure in some of the highest regions of the world.
Most trek operators also do not accept clients without travel insurance. Make sure you get one from your home country. Also, make sure it covers altitudes up to 5000m and it includes emergency rescue and evacuation.
Customizing your Manaslu Trek 12-Days Itinerary
Most trek operators do have the added option of creating your own custom-made 12-days Manaslu Trek. The Manaslu Region is home to beautiful trek destinations like Manaslu Base Camp trek or Manaslu Circuit trek. The remote and beautiful Tsum Valley also lies near the trek route.
So, if you wish to create the custom itinerary, then you can obviously do so. This helps you to create an itinerary that better fits your needs and preferences.
The Manaslu Trek 12 Days Itinerary is one of the best adventures you can embark upon while in Nepal. The Manaslu region is one of the well-preserved areas in Nepal. This journey takes you through amazing landscapes, beautiful villages, forests, and mountain scenery.
It also offers you the chance to get to know and enjoy the unique local lifestyle, hospitality, and culture of the Manaslu Region.