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Walk on the trail less trodden with Manaslu Circuit and Nar Phu Valley trek. You will be trekking in the Manaslu region and trekking further to Nar Phu valley tucked between Annapurna and Manaslu region. Trekking in Nar and Phu wasn’t open until 2002 and only a few have explored these untouched remote villages.

Nar Phu valley is a hidden gem that gives you an opportunity to explore the unspoiled valley with unique culture and traditions. The popularity of this trek is rising among adventurous trekkers searching for less frequented trails in remote Nepal. It is a restricted area so you will need a special permit to do this trek.

It is a culturally enriching trek as well. Enjoy a trek through Nar and Phu Valleys where lifestyle hasn’t much and you will see a unique culture that is similar to Tibetans. The presence of gompas or monasteries, chortens, mani walls, prayer wheels, prayer flags and others signify the presence of Tibetan Buddhism. You will find Bon culture, an ancient Tibetan religion that precedes Buddhism. Moreover, you will notice people following Bon and Tibetan Buddhism as you trek to higher altitudes while most people follow Nepalese Hindu culture in the lower altitude.

Highlights

  • Trek in the off-the-beaten-path trail which is less crowded than popular trekking trails of Nepal like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit trek.
  • Walk in the Tibetan plateau which expands down to Nepal and trek in the shadows of the eight highest peaks on the earth, Manaslu.
  • You will be trekking in Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) where animals like snow leopards, musk deer and Himalayan Thars live.
  • Gather experience of staying at remote and ancient villages of Nar and Phu Valley which is untouched by modernization.
  • Witness unique culture and tradition which is influence by Tibetan culture and visit ancient monasteries and colorful chortens. Walk past Mani wall, spin prayer flags and watch colorful prayer flags flutter with a breeze.
  • You will find the presence of Bon culture which precedes Buddhism
  • Trekking in Nar Phu valley wasn’t allowed until 2002, so you will get to explore mountain villages untouched by modernization.
  • Enjoy the close-up view of one of the highest mountains in the world, Manaslu from Sama Gaon.
  • You will be crossing a high pass Larkya La situated at an altitude of 5,165m/ 16,929ft which connects Budhi Gandaki Valley and Marshyangdi Valley.  
  • Hike up to Himlung Himal Base Camp on your acclimatization day in Phu Gaon.
  • Savor the astounding views of mountains including Tilicho Peak, Gangapurna and Annapurna II from the top of Kangla Pass.
  • You will be following the meandering Budi Gandaki River and walking on a bridge clinging to a cliff above the ragging Budi Gandaki River.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu and trip preparation
Day 3 Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft) via Arughat -7 to 8 hours/ 139km
Day 4 Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (870m/ 2,854ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek
Day 5 Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat (1,340m/ 4,396ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek
Day 6 Trek from Jagat to Deng (1,865m/ 6,118ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek
Day 7 Trek from Deng to Namrung (2,630m/ 8,627ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek
Day 8 Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaon (3,520m/ 11,549ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek
Day 9 Acclimatization Day in Sama Gaon
Day 10 Trek from Sama Gaon to Samado (3,875m/ 12,713ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek
Day 11 Trek from Samado to Dharamsala via Larkya Base Camp (4,460m/ 14,633ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek
Day 12 Trek from Dharamsala to Bimtang (3,590m/ 11,778ft) via Larkya La pass (5,165m/16,929ft) - 8 to 9 hours trek
Day 13 Trek from Bimtang to Dharapani (1,930m/ 6,440ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek
Day 14 Trek from Dharapani to Koto (2,600m/ 8,528ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek
Day 15 Trek from Koto to Meta (3,560m/ 11,677ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek
Day 16 Trek from Meta to Phu Goan (4,080m/13,383ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek
Day 17 Acclimatization at Phu Gaon
Day 18 Trek to Nar (4,110m/ 13,481ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek
Day 19 Trek from Nar to Ngawal (3,660m/ 12,005ft) via Kangla Pass (5,320m/ 17,450ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek
Day 20 Trek from Ngawal to Pisang (3,200m/ 10,496ft) drive to Besisahar (760m/ 2,493ft)
Day 21 Drive from Besisahar (760m/ 2,493ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/ 4,592ft) - 6 to 7 Hours (176 km) Drive
Day 22 Final departure from Nepal

Trip Overview

Mount Manaslu

During the 22 days long Manaslu Circuit and Nar Phu Valley Trek, you will get to witness the geographical diversity of Nepal. You will be trekking past high peaks, glaciers, canyon, waterfalls, thick and forest. You will be walking on suspension bridges over raging rivers and trekking through remote mountain villages. You will get firsthand experience of remote mountain culture similar to Tibetan Buddhism and notice Bon culture.

Your journey begins with a scenic drive from the bustling city of Kathmandu to Soti Khola the trailhead of the trek. You will be walking on a cliffside bridge over the raging river from Soti Khola to Maccha Khola. Trek past quaint villages like Jagat, Deng, and Namrung, before spending a day acclimatizing at Sama Gaon. You will witness the change in landscape as you will be trekking past waterfalls, lush green forest, farmlands, crossing rivers and walking up staircases.

Trek up to Punggen Monastery to enjoy the close-up view of Manaslu and neighboring mountains on your acclimatization hike. Moreover, you will be trekking past a series of Mani walls and walking through a forest on your way to Samado. Continue your hike to Dharmashala and cross the first high pass of the trek Larkya La and enjoy the breathtaking mountain views from the top. Walk through the jungle and trek past mountain settlements on your way to Dharapani.

Further, you will be stepping into the remote Nar and Phy valley and trekking past villages like Koto and Meta before reaching Phu Gaon. You will see locals go about their daily lives and notice that their life has remained untouched by the modernization. Hike to the famous Tashi Lhakhang Gompa and get to know more about their culture. Spend a day acclimatizing at Phu Gaon before trekking to Nar and get a glimpse of their culture and tradition.

Further, you will be crossing Kangla Pass which is the highest point of the trek and overlooks the soul-stirring Himalayan views. A trek from Ngawal to Pisang marks your trek's end and you will be driving to Besishar followed by a drive back to Kathmandu. On the next day, you will be flying back to your home with lifelong memories.

Route Map

Manaslu Circuit and Nar Phu Valley Trek Route Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

The snowy Himalayas will greet you as you fly into Kathmandu the capital city of Nepal. A representative from Third Rock Adventures will welcome you at the airport and will drive you to your hotel. Take some rest and if you wish you can explore the streets of Thamel in the evening. Thamel is a popular tourist destination which is filled with restaurants, cafes, pubs, trekking and climbing equipment shops and many souvenir shops.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Explore Kathmandu and trip preparation

Today you will meet your guide and will get a trip briefing about the route, condition of the trail and other important things regarding the trek. Listen to your guide carefully and understand what to do and what not to do during the trek. If you have any questions and doubts about the trek, you can ask your guide. Moreover, check if you have missed out on any important trekking gear and if so worry not! There is a facility for renting or buying equipment in Thamel.

After the meeting with your guide, if time permits you can explore Kathmandu city. You can explore on your own or ask us for a guide to show you around.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft) via Arughat -7 to 8 hours/ 139km

Take a scenic drive from the capital city of temples, Kathmandu to Soti Khola which is also the trailhead of your trek.  If you begin the trip early in the morning, you will reach the destination by the afternoon. Moreover, you will be taking Prithivi Highway and will get to enjoy the stunning mountain view. As you leave Kathmandu valley, the gorgeous views of mountains like Annapurna, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, and Langtang Himal will greet you. Meanwhile, you will be driving on a meandering road past verdant hills, terrace farmlands and crossing many rivers.

Overnight in Soti Khola.

Day 4: Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (870m/ 2,854ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Today your trek begins from the village of Soti Khola and will be trekking to Machha Khola. The trekking route involves a lot of ascends and descends. Enjoy changing landscapes as you will be trekking past forests, a ridge with a cliff-face, rice paddies, a rushing river and waterfalls. You will be walking on thrilling suspension bridges over rivers and walking through dense forests before ascending the ridge above the raging Budhi Gandaki River.

Further, you will be trekking past two tropical waterfalls and walking on a thrilling rocky trail clenching to a cliff on your way to Larpubesi. You will see the valley opening up to another river flowing calmly. Also, you will come across another suspension bridge before reaching Machhakhola. Moreover, you will get a sneak peek into Nepal's local culture of the traditional hillside village. En route, you will see many Gurung villages.

Overnight in Machha Khola.

Day 5: Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat (1,340m/ 4,396ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek


A trek to Jagat begins with a walk past the gorge and continues up the river. You will be walking on a narrow trail that gradually leads up and down and eventually takes you to Khorlabesi via Tharo Khola. After walking on an ascending and descending trail you will reach Tatopani with a natural hot water spring. Upon trekking further you will enter Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP).  It features an ecosystem of mountains, water bodies, glaciers, the Himalayan flora and fauna. The conservation area is home to animals like snow leopards, Himalayan Thars and different species of birds.

Moreover, you will be climbing up a ridge, crossing suspension bridges and climbing up staircases on your way to Dobhan. Further, you will be crossing more suspension bridges and ascending stone staircases on your way to Jagat via Tharo Bharyang. En route, you will see picturesque traditional Gurung villages and will get an insight into their rich culture and traditions.

Overnight in Jagat.

Day 6: Trek from Jagat to Deng (1,865m/ 6,118ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek

After having breakfast you will be leaving for the village of Deng. You will be ascending a rocky ridge to Salleri and descending to Salleri. You will see the valley widen as you approach the Ghatta Khola River. Continue your trek to the Gurung village of Philim situated on a hilltop and savor the stunning view of neighboring villages and farms situated on hilltops or Cliffside. You will be walking on a fairly leveled trail to Ekle Bhatti.

The trail becomes steep, you will be walking down grassy slopes and crossing Budhi Gandaki River. Take a walk through dense forest filled with pine & rhododendron trees. Further, you will be crossing a bamboo forest and a small river, Deng Khola before reaching the small village of Deng.

Overnight in Deng.

Day 7: Trek from Deng to Namrung (2,630m/ 8,627ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

A trek to Namrung via Prok village will be noteworthy, especially in cultural practices in high mountains. You will be trekking across the Budhi Gandaki River and ascending a bridge followed by a walk through a lush green forest. Walk past the quaint village and enjoy the mountain view on your way to Prok village.

The village of Prok is dominated by Bhotias, an indigenous community in the mountain that shares cultural similarities with Tibetan Buddhists. The village is untouched by modernization and they practice the same tradition as their forefathers. Prok village also offers a gorgeous view of the Siringi Himal. Continue your trek across the Budi Gandaki river and walk past many gompas to Namrung village. The trekking trail passes through the dense forest followed by a narrow gorge before you reach the village.

Overnight in Namrung village.

Day 8: Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaon (3,520m/ 11,549ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek


Savor the astounding views of mountains like Siring Himal, Ganesh Himal and Himal Chuli before leaving for Sama Gaon. You will be walking through the forest and trekking past quaint mountain villages before you enjoy the closer view of Simnang Himal and Ganesh Himal. Further, you will be trekking past villages of Sho, Lho and Shayala before reaching Sama Gaon.

It is a scenic walk and you will get to enjoy the view of different mountains from a different viewpoint. The village of Lho rewards you with the unparalleled views of Manaslu. Pay a visit to Rimbum Gompa, a large Buddhist monastery of Lho village, which dominates the skyline of the village. You will be visiting Shyala village nested in the lap of the mountain. Shyala is surrounded by tall mountains like Himal Chuli, Peak 29, Manaslu and others.

Overnight in Sama Gaon.

Day 9: Acclimatization Day in Sama Gaon

You will be spending a day in Sama Gaon. Either you can go on a hike to Punggen Monastery or accept a challenging full-day hike to Manaslu Base Camp, the choice is yours! Hike up to Punggen Monastery a Buddhist monastery that offers a close-up view of Manaslu. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of mountains like Hiunchuli and Nadi Chuli. If you are up for some challenges then hike to Manaslu Base Camp. The trek will reward you with the stunning views of the icefall, tumbling glaciers, pristine freshwater lake- Birendra Tal and the Nurbi Valley encircled by snowy mountain peaks. When trekking in the climbing season the area is filled with colorful tents and you can interact with expedition groups.

Overnight in Sama Gaon.

Day 10: Trek from Sama Gaon to Samado (3,875m/ 12,713ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

Samado village Gorkha Majestic Mt. Manaslu (8163m)

Walk on the trail lined with Mani walls and trek past Manaslu Glacier. Also, you will be hiking through a forest filled with juniper, birch and rhododendron trees. A trek further will take you to the Samado village which is nestled in the lap of Samado peak and Samdo glacier. You will see many yaks in the village as people are mostly involved in yak herding. The village lies near Tibet and many people of the village have migrated from Tibet. Samado feels more like a Tibetan settlement than any other rural village of Nepal.

Overnight in Samado.

Day 11: Trek from Samado to Dharamsala via Larkya Base Camp (4,460m/ 14,633ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

A hike to Dharamsala will reward you with one of the best views of the trek. You will be walking close to mountains and will get to witness the colossal wall of mountains rising above you. You will be walking past glaciers and awe-inspiring panoramic views on your way to Dharamsala via Larkya Base Camp. Stand beneath high mountains and make memories that you will cherish for a lifetime. En route, you will come across many traditional monasteries.

Overnight in Dharamsala.

Day 12: Trek from Dharamsala to Bimtang (3,590m/ 11,778ft) via Larkya La pass (5,165m/16,929ft) - 8 to 9 hours trek


Today you will be starting your day early. Ascend the northern side of the Larkya Glacier with breathtaking views of mountains like Larkya Peak and Cho Danda. Walk slowly but steadily as the hike today is quite tough and challenging. Trek past moraines of the glaciers and climb up gradually as the last part of the pass gets steeper. The top of the pass will reward you with the soul-stirring views of mountains like Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Gyaji Himal, Kangaru and Annapurna II. The stunning view of Manaslu will entertain you as you descend to Bimtang. After a long and tiring day take some rest in your teahouse.

Overnight in Bhimthang.

Day 13: Trek from Bimtang to Dharapani (1,930m/ 6,440ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek

Today you will be trekking past green meadows and forests filled with pine trees. Descend to Hampuk and hike to Duddh Khola. You will be trekking past the settlements of Karche and Gho followed by a hike to Tilije. The Gurung village, Tilije is famous for Apple Brandy. Continue your walk to the Marshayangdi Valley to Dharapani situated amidst a mountain filled with pine trees. Dharapani features many eateries and lodges and caters to the needs of trekkers in Annapurna and Manaslu Circuits.

Overnight in Dharapani.

Day 14: Trek from Dharapani to Koto (2,600m/ 8,528ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

koto Koto Village

Today you will be following the Marsyangdi River and trekking past Bagarchhap village where you will observe the predominance of Buddhism. Moreover, you will see a glimpse of Annapurna II from Bagarchhap village. A hike on a steep trail will lead to Timang village which offers a spectacular view of Manaslu. Further, you will be walking on a trail filled with pine forest which will lead you to the village of Koto.

Overnight in Koto.

Day 15: Trek from Koto to Meta (3,560m/ 11,677ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek

Today you will be stepping into the Nar Phu valley and trekking past dense pine forest, waterfalls, cave shelters and resting areas for pilgrims. You will be trekking past the check post and crossing the bridge which leads to Nar Phu valley. Trek up through the forest and walk above the river called Phu Khola. Keep walking through the forest and you will also come across small caves. Moreover, you will also see a shelter for pilgrims on the way. Continue your trek towards a narrow canyon and walk on the trail which leads to a wide waterfall. As you cross Dhamasala the forest becomes thinner and after climbing a steep hill you will reach Meta. The beautiful village of Meta overlooks the awesome and up-close view of the snowy mountains.

Overnight in Meta.

Day 16: Trek from Meta to Phu Goan (4,080m/13,383ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek

Phu Goan Phu Goan

Colorful and unique chortens signifying the presence of Tibetan Buddhism appear as you begin your trek to the Phu Gaon. You will be walking on a meandering trail with a stunning view of Nar Phedi Monastery in a distance. Enjoy a hike through scenic gorges and canyons on your way to a monolith that guards a sharp ascend to the Phu Gaon.

Observe the view of villages and the old Tibetan-style fortress known as dzong along with the remains of old forts located in a hilltop before you reach the Phu Gaon. You will witness the remains of Khampa settlement, a place where Tibetans used to live illegally. Moreover, you will be crossing many streams during your hike today. A walk past a rocky trail will lead you to a line of chortens and after crossing a bridge you will reach Phu Gaon. Take a hike up to the popular Tashi Lhakhang Gompa to pay respect to Lama Karma Soman Rimpoche. He came to Nepal in 1959 with Dalai Lama.

Overnight in Phu Gaon.

Day 17: Acclimatization at Phu Gaon

Explore the Phu Gaon on the acclimatization day at this beautiful village. You will notice that the daily life of locals is untouched by modernity. You will see villages pounding mustard seed to extract oil and also notice locals spinning wool from their domesticated animals like yak and sheep. 

Walk in the tiny alleyways of the village and hike past the glacial valley up to the Himlung Himal Base Camp. Savor the awe-inspiring views of the mountain range from the base camp of Himlung Himal which is recently opened for peak climbing. Visit an ancient Buddhist Monastery, Tashi Lakhang monastery which lies near Phu Gaon. En route, you might see blue sheep climbing skillfully on a cliff.

Overnight in Phu Gaon.

Day 18: Trek to Nar (4,110m/ 13,481ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek

Nar village Nar village

Walk on the trail which descends and you will be crossing many suspension bridges before reaching Mahendra Pul. After crossing a high suspension bridge over Lapche River gorge the trail ascends. You will be walking past several Buddhist chortens painted beautifully with bamboo pinnacles before reaching Nar valley. Moreover, you will get to enjoy the spectacular view of Pisang Peak.

You will observe that Nar village is livelier than Phu Gaon. You will notice locals printing flags, spinning wool, and hear the sound of drums and prayers in the monasteries. Monks spinning prayer wheels are a common sight as well. In the daytime, you will see women chatting in the village square with wool fabric strapped on the back to weave rugs and blankets.

Overnight in Nar.

Day 19: Trek from Nar to Ngawal (3,660m/ 12,005ft) via Kangla Pass (5,320m/ 17,450ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek

Kangla Pass Kangla Pass

Today you have a long day ahead so wake up early before sunrise. You will be crossing Kangla Pass on your trek to Ngawal. It isn’t a difficult ascend but the high altitude adds difficulty. Bask in the soul-stirring views of mountains like Gangapurna, Annapurna II, Tilicho Peak and others from the apex of the Pass. You can also see the Marsyangdi valley and Hunde Valley from the pass.

Descend on a steep trail while enjoying the beautiful view of chorten and prayer flags of Ngawal. You will also observe the meditation caves in faraway hills. Ngawal village caters to the necessities of trekkers better.  It consists of better guest houses with comprehensive food menus and Wi-Fi.

Overnight in Ngawal.

Day 20: Trek from Ngawal to Pisang (3,200m/ 10,496ft) drive to Besisahar (760m/ 2,493ft)

2 to 3 hours hike, 6 to 7 hours (80 km) drive
Upper Pisang Upper Pisang

You will experience noticeable warmth in the weather as you trek from Ngawal to Pisang. Also, you will see more greenery as you climb down over 2,000 meters from the pass. Enjoy a hike on a wide trail and walk past a gorgeous lake before reaching Pisang. Further, you will be driving to Besisahar.

Overnight in Besisahar.

Day 21: Drive from Besisahar (760m/ 2,493ft) to Kathmandu (1,400m/ 4,592ft) - 6 to 7 Hours (176 km) Drive

Take a scenic drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway. You will be driving on a meandering road past lush green forest and will also cross Trishuli and Marshyangdi rivers. Enjoy the amazing view of snowy mountains, verdant hills, hillside villages, and terraced farmlands on your way back to Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, check into your hotel and relax. If you wish you can explore the city and do some souvenir shopping before returning home.  

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 22: Final departure from Nepal

It’s time to bid farewell to Nepal. Our representative will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at the airport. It is best to reach the airport at least 3 hours before your scheduled international flight. You will be flying back home with wonderful memories.


Best Time to Travel            

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best time to do Manaslu Circuit and Nar Phu Valley trek. When trekking in spring the trail will be filled with colorful rhododendron blooms. It is the most colorful time of the year as you will see wildflowers bloom as well. You can enjoy the stunning view of mountains and verdant hills in spring but there lie some chances of occasional showers. Spring is a pleasant time of the year neither too hot nor too cold. After monsoon season, autumn arrives and you can see clear blue skies along with the unobstructed views of snowy mountains. The days are balmy but nights can be chilly. 

Winter trek from December to February isn’t recommended as high passes might be risky and difficult to cross due to snow. It will be cold at high altitude so you need to be prepared with proper winter trekking gear. When trekking in monsoon trail might be slippery and you need to be prepared for the leeches. Also, the views of mountains might be covered by haze or cloud.

Trip Difficulty

Manaslu Circuit and Nar Phu Valley Trek is graded as moderate to difficult trek. It is suitable for experienced trekkers who want to go on a Himalayan adventure. The highest point of the trek is 5,165m/16,929ft at Kangla Pass. In the 22 days long trek you will be trekking for a maximum of 8 hours and a minimum of 4 hours in a day. You will be walking for around 6 to 7 hours on average.

During the trek you will be crossing two high mountain passes over 5000 meters- Kangla Pass (5320m/ 17,450ft) and Larkya La (5,165m/ 16,929ft). You will be trekking in rugged terrain; however, there isn’t any technical climbing involved.

Other Important Note for This Trip

  1. You will require a Restricted Area Permit to do the trek
  2. Solo trekking isn’t allowed so you need a minimum group of two trekkers along with a government licensed guide.

Recommended Read: How To Get TIMS Card And Trekking Permits In Nepal

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