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Manaslu Trek takes you off-the-beaten-path and lets you walk along a less crowded trail. Walk around the picturesque Budi Gandaki and Nubri Valleys and discover fascinating mountain cultures on the brink of extinction. Visit antiquated Buddhist Monasteries and learn more about Bon, an ancient Tibetan religion that predates Buddhism. Manaslu Trek (also called the Manaslu circuit) takes you to some of the remote and least visited corners of Nepal Himalaya. As only a handful of trekkers frequents this trail, it is less crowded than the popular trekking trails of Everest and Annapurna. You begin your Manaslu Trek from the lush and green Budi Gandaki Valley and climb up high to Nubri Valley.

The Nubri Valley lies very close to Tibet, under the shadows of Manaslu mountain (8,163m), the eighth highest mountain in the world. Experience Nepal’s cultural diversity. You will experience Nepalese Hindu culture in the lower elevations, while at the higher reaches, you discover Tibetan Buddhist and Bon culture. You will be trekking around Gorkha district, an area that occupies a very important place in Nepal’s history. Gorkha is the royal seat of the Shah rulers, a dynasty that ruled over Nepal for more than 200 years. A Shah king started the unification of Nepal from this mountainous region. The last monarch of Nepal also belonged to this dynasty.

Manaslu Trek starts from Barpak, a small mountaintop village in Gorkha. The village was the epicenter of the earthquake that rocked Nepal in early 2015. A large village inhabited by Ghales, Gurungs, Sunars and Damais, Barpak was once the stronghold of the Ghale Kings. Tread past narrow pathways carved on cliff sides and share the trail with mule and yak caravans.  Enter the Manaslu Conservation Area Project, a storehouse of rare Himalayan flora and fauna. Cross raging glacial rivers, waterfalls, traditional villages, and pine forests. The trail takes you to the high-altitude Bhotia settlements bordering Tibet. Untouched by modernity, people at these villages have been following the same practices and lifestyles followed by their ancestors. You follow the Himalayan salt trail, an ancient trade route used by traders of Nepal, Tibet, and India in the olden days.

One of the highlights of this trek is the challenging crossing of Larkya La (5,160m), a high mountain pass. Your adventure ends with a short walk to Dharapani in Marshyangdi Valley. Once you have completed the final leg of your trek, you should congratulate yourself and be proud of your achievement. You have trekked across three Himalayan valleys - Budi Gandaki, Nubri, and Marshyangdi valleys, in a matter of two weeks! Our experienced local guide will be guiding you throughout your trek. 

Here are some exciting alternatives if you have already completed this circuit and would like to do a similar trek - Annapurna Circuit, Langtang Valley Trek, Annapurna Base camp Trek.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu
  • Trek under the shadows of Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world
  • Off-the-beaten trail, less crowded than Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit
  • Experience diversity in culture and landscape during your Manaslu Trek. Visit remote Bhotia settlements untouched by modern civilization.
  • Walk through a historic region – the erstwhile kingdoms of Gorkha and Ghale Kings and follow an ancient trade route along the Budi Gandaki Valley
  • The challenging crossing of Larkya La (5,160m), a high mountain pass

Is This Trip Suitable For You?

  • Manaslu trek is graded moderate, If you have done a Himalayan trek before and want to challenge yourself, this circuit is for you.
  • The trek lasts for 13 days. The maximum you spend 9 hours on the trail and minimum 3 hours. On average you spend around 5 to 6 hours on the trail.
  • The route winds across a challenging terrain (cliffside gravel paths and stone staircases). Not for novices.
  • Each day there will be an elevation gain of 300 to 500 meters. The trail is less crowded and filled with dramatic mountain views.
  • The highest point reached during your trek is Larkya La at 5,160m, a high mountain pass that connects  Budi Gandaki Valley with Marshyangdi Valley.
  • You stop at local mountain lodges or teahouses for food and accommodation. These teahouses offer basic lodging and meals. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)
Day 2 Kathmandu Sightseeing (City Tour)
Day 3 Drive to Barpak (1,915m/6,283ft)
Day 4 Trek to Laprak (2,100m/6,890ft)
Day 5 Trek to Khorla Besi (970m/3,182ft)
Day 6 Trek to Jagat (1,340m/4,396ft)
Day 7 Trek to Dang (1,865m/6,102ft)) via Phillim (1,570m/5,151ft)
Day 8 Trek to Prok (2,397m/7,864ft)
Day 9 Trek to Lho (3,180m/10,433ft)
Day 10 Trek to Sama Gaon (3,520m/11,549ft)
Day 11 Acclimatization Day in Sama Gaon
Day 12 Trek to Samado (3,875m/12,713ft)
Day 13 Trek to Dharamsala (4,460m/14,633ft) via Larkya Base Camp
Day 14 Trek to Bimtang (3,590m/11,778ft) via Larkya La (5,165m/16,929ft)
Day 15 Trek to Tilije (2,300m/7,546ft)
Day 16 Trek to Dharapani (1,930m/6,440ft) and drive to Kathmandu
Day 17 Depart Kathmandu

Video Highlights

Route Map

Manaslu Trek Route Map Manaslu Trek Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)

Transfer to Hotel

As you fly into Kathmandu, you will be presented with mesmerizing views of soaring mountains and gently rolling hills. The city of Kathmandu lies in a deep valley surrounded by a ring of green hills. Once your plane lands at the airport make your way to the terminal and meet our representative. He will be there holding a placard bearing our company’s or your name. He will drive you to your hotel and help you check-in. In the evening there will be a trip briefing where your guide will brief you about the route you will take, the condition of the trail, and the important things that you need to keep in mind while trekking.

After the briefing, there will be a final check of your gear and equipment. If you have missed out on any of the items on the list you can hire or buy from a local shop. There are many shops in Thamel renting and selling trekking gear and equipment.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing (City Tour)

Boudhanath, Swyambhu (Monkey Temple) Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square

Discover some of Kathmandu’s well-known UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Head to Boudhanath Stupa, an important Buddhist pilgrimage site and center of Tibetan Buddhism. This white-domed stupa dates back to the 14th century. At the base of the stupa is a giant mandala, a Buddhist representation of the cosmos. The top has a square tower bearing the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha and a golden pyramid with thirteen steps, representing the ladder to enlightenment. Locals believe that the remains of the Kasyapa Buddha (a previous incarnation of Lord Buddha) are buried beneath this stupa. A large Tibetan community lives around this historic stupa.

Next, head to Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most sacred sites for the Hindus. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this pagoda-roofed temple was built in the 5th century. Lying on the banks of the sacred river Bagmati, Hindus bring their dead to the ghat of this temple for cremation. As non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple, you can view the temple from the river's eastern bank. It lies directly across ‘Arya Ghat,’ the Hindu cremation site.

Drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square, one of the three medieval palace squares in Kathmandu valley. The square houses several temples and palaces built by Malla and Shah rulers. Though some of the structures were damaged during the 2015 earthquake, many still standing will interest you. Kumari Bahal (House of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, the statue of Kal Bhairav, and the beautiful courtyards filled with artistic woodwork and stone sculptures are some of the cultural and historical treasures dotting this ancient palace complex. 

End your sightseeing tour with a hike up to the hill-top shrine of Swoyambhunath. Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, the compassionate eyes of the Buddha look out over the valley from the stupa’s tower. According to local legend Swoyambhunath was built by a Boddhisattva, Manjushri, after draining the lake that once covered Kathmandu Valley. Enjoy a 360 degree of the city from the temple grounds. Later return to your hotel and have an early night.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 3: Drive to Barpak (1,915m/6,283ft)

Distance : 7-8 hours drive

Leaving Kathmandu Valley you take a long drive to Barpak in Gorkha district. As your vehicle leaves the city, the road dips down and follows a serpentine trail. Enjoy delightful views of rural settlements, rolling hills, and snow-capped peaks stretching on the horizon. Your journey takes you to Gorkha District, an area that occupies an important place in Nepalese history. The unification of modern Nepal began from this mountainous region when Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha King began his campaign from the hills of Gorkha. The Shah dynasty ruled over Nepal for more than 200 years. The last monarch of Nepal belonged to this dynasty. The vehicle weaves through Barah Kilo, a bustling bazaar area. From here it takes around 4 hours to reach Barpak village. Another historic village, Barpak was the stronghold of the Ghale kings who controlled the trade route that weaved through the Buri Gandaki valley. In the olden days, many travelers and traders traveled to Tibet via the Buri Gandaki valley.

Inhabited by Ghales, Gurungs, Chettris, Brahmins, Pariyars, and Damaris, Barpak is one of the largest villages in the Gorkha district. This hillside village was the epicenter of the deadly earthquake that rocked Nepal on 25th April 2015. After the earthquake, out of 1,200 homes, only four buildings were left standing. Hundreds of villagers lost their lives. The survivors are trying their best to rebuild their lives. Your stay in this village will help revive the local economy. You will be staying at a lodge run by a local.

Overnight in Barpak.

Day 4: Trek to Laprak (2,100m/6,890ft)

Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek
Laprak Village Laprak Village

We leave the village of Barpak and head towards Laprak, a Gurung village. The trail goes uphill through a rhododendron forest. Follow a gentle ascent to Bhoshu Khang (2,800m), from where you enjoy panoramic views of snow-capped Ganesh Himal and Buddha Himal. After reaching Bhoshu Khang we follow a downward trail to Laprak Village. En route, we walk past Gupsi Danda, a new settlement built to shelter survivors of the earthquake. A Gurung settlement, Laprak village was nearly destroyed by the deadly 2015 earthquake.  New buildings have cropped up and there are few local lodges offering food and accommodation to travelers stopping at Laprak. The stunning summit of Manaslu mountain is visible from this village.

Overnight in Laprak.

Day 5: Trek to Khorla Besi (970m/3,182ft)

Walking Distance: 6-7 hours trek

From Laprak you take a gradual descent and then you climb up.  The trail weaves past Sing La village. En route, you are presented with picturesque Himalayan views. Take a breather and enjoy the breathtaking sights of the soaring snow-capped peaks and distant villages nestled on the side of the mountains. Our destination for today is Khorla Besi and we stop once we reach the village.

Overnight in Khorla Besi. 

Day 6: Trek to Jagat (1,340m/4,396ft)

Walking Distance: 5-6 hours trek

Today we cover a challenging section of the trail. We follow a pathway carved on the side of rocky cliffs and huge boulders. The path lies right above the Budi Gandaki river. On one side is a rocky wall, while on the other is a precipitous drop, right down to the river. Do remember to walk on the side of the wall as mules taking this path tend to push aside anything that comes in their way. After hiking for a while, we arrive at Tatopani, a hot spring that’s quite popular among the locals. Cross a suspension river across the Budi Gandaki. You walk through a narrow valley flanked by steep mountainsides to Jagat. A green signboard announces that you are now entering the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP). The Manaslu Conservation Area Project covers an area of 1,663 square kilometers. It is home to a rich ecosystem made up of mountains, glaciers, water bodies, and rare Himalayan flora and fauna. The area is home to snow leopards, Himalayan Thars, different species of butterflies and birds, and Himalayan herbs. After walking a bit further, you arrive at a local teahouse, where you stop for the night.

Overnight in Jagat.

Day 7: Trek to Dang (1,865m/6,102ft)) via Phillim (1,570m/5,151ft)

Walking Distance: 3-4 hours trek
Budi Gandaki River Looking across the Budhi Gandaki near Deng

Enjoy dramatic views of Sringri Himal as you continue walking on a scenic trail. Take an upward ascent and cross a bridge.  Walk uphill till you reach the settlement of Phillim. Stop for lunch at this charming village. From here you can enjoy scenic views of neighboring villages situated on mountain-tops or cliff sides. The picturesque villages are surrounded by farms and fields.  Continue trekking along a trail filled with pine and rhododendron trees. After crossing a bamboo forest and a small river (Dang Khola) you arrive at the settlement of Dang.

Overnight in Dang.

Day 8: Trek to Prok (2,397m/7,864ft)

Walking Distance: 4-5 hours trek

From Dang we trek to Prok. Lying at an elevation of 2,397m this village is situated on a ridge. Rarely visited by outsiders the village of Prok is inhabited by Bhotias, an indigenous mountain community who are culturally closer to Tibetan Buddhists than to Nepalese Hindus. Life at this village and other villages in the upper reaches moves at a slow pace. The people, living in these high reaches have been following the same practices and traditions followed by their forefathers. Once you reach the village, head to a local teahouse. After a brief rest explore the village, interact with the locals and take pictures.

Overnight in Prok.

Day 9: Trek to Lho (3,180m/10,433ft)

Walking Distance: 6-7 hours trek

You begin the day’s trek by taking a downhill trail to Ghap. Walk through a verdant forest filled with conifer, pine, and juniper trees. Cross two bridges before climbing up to Namrung.  From there take the path that leads to Barcham, a settlement with rolling green fields. The trail runs past a mani wall and the ancient villages of Lihi and Sho. Mud chortens dot the landscape. You are walking in the Nubri Valley, one of the most isolated areas in Nepal. Only a handful of trekkers walk past this trail each year. Savor the solitude and revel in the spell-binding mountain views. After an uphill ascent, you arrive at the large village of Lho. The large Ribum Gompa, a Buddhist monastery dominates the village landscape. You rest for the night in this village. Do not forget to enjoy the mesmerizing views of Manaslu, Himalchuli, Saula Himal, and Dwijen Himal at sunset from one of the popular vantage points.

Overnight in Lho.

Day 10: Trek to Sama Gaon (3,520m/11,549ft)

Walking Distance: 4-5 hours trek
Sama Gaun Sama Gaun

Leave the village of Lho and make your way to Sama Gaon. Walk past a forest and climb steadily till you reach Shyala. Go through a traditional Buddhist gate (kani) and enter the village. Savour close-up views of Manaslu and other Himalayan peaks. Continue your hike up to Sama Gaon. As you climb up the 3000 meter mark you can feel the altitude and find it a bit difficult to breathe. The valley opens and you finally reach the charming village of Sama Gaon. Filled with flat-roofed stone houses and villagers dressed in long chubas (traditional attire), Sama Gaon offers an insight into the fascinating lifestyle and culture of the high Himalayan people.  The village has one of the oldest monasteries in the Nubri Valley.

Overnight in Sama Gaon.

Day 11: Acclimatization Day in Sama Gaon

Mount Manaslu Mount Manaslu - the eighth highest mountain in the world

Explore the village and interact with the villagers. Take an acclimatization walk to Punggen Monastery. Situated very close to Manaslu, you can enjoy 360-degree views of this glorious peak, Hiunchuli, and Nadi Chuli. If you want something challenging you can hike up to the Manaslu Base Camp. The whole journey takes around 8 hours (5 hours hike to Manaslu Base Camp and 3 hours return trek) and is filled with spectacular views of tumbling glaciers, icefall, Birendra Tal(a mountain lake), and the Nubri Valley surrounded by snow-covered peaks. En route, you cross the serene Birendra Tal, a turquoise lake fed by the waters of the Manaslu glacier. If you make the hike during the climbing season, you will find the whole base camp area covered with colorful tents of expedition groups.

Overnight in Sama Gaon.

Day 12: Trek to Samado (3,875m/12,713ft)

Walking Distance: 3-4 hours trek
View near from Samdo View near from Samdo - Mount Manaslu

From Sama Gaon you trek to Samado. Take the path to Khermo Kharka (lined with mani walls), where the trail divides. Take the one that leads to Samado (the other leads to Manaslu Base Camp). You walk past the Manaslu Glacier and hike up through a forest filled with birch, rhododendron and juniper trees. Take an upward ascent till you reach the village of Samdo. Situated very close to Tibet, many of the villagers living here have migrated from Tibet. This village is the last permanent settlement before the crossing of Larkya La. The ancient trade route to Tibet went through this ancient village. Some of the trails from this village lead directly of Tibet. In the summer months trading fairs are held a few miles from the village. Traders from Tibet bring their wares to sell at these fairs. Dotted with flat-roofed stone houses, yaks, chortens, prayer flags and mani walls, Samdo feels very much like a Tibetan settlement. 

Overnight in Samdo.

Day 13: Trek to Dharamsala (4,460m/14,633ft) via Larkya Base Camp

Walking Distance: 4-5 hours trek
On the way to Dharmashala On the way to Dharmashala

Take the trail leading to Larkya Phedi or Larkya Base Camp. Today’s walk offers some of the best mountain views in this circuit. You walk very close to the mountains, and you can see the massive walls of these Himalayan peaks rising right above you. It is a humbling experience as you stand dwarfed by the gigantic mountains towering right above you. The dramatic landscape simply leaves you awe-struck. You stop at Dharamsala, a settlement with few houses. Have an early night as you will be crossing the Larkya La, a high mountain pass and the highest point of your trek at 5165m, tomorrow.

Overnight in Dharamsala.

Day 14: Trek to Bimtang (3,590m/11,778ft) via Larkya La (5,165m/16,929ft)

Walking Distance: 8-9 hours trek

Rise up at the crack of dawn and get an early start. An uphill ascent brings you to the north side of the Larkya glacier from where you can enjoy enthralling views of Larkya Peak and Cho Danda. Today’s walk is quite tough and challenging as you make a crossing of the Larkya La. Take each step carefully as you walk past the treacherous moraines of the glacier. From Larkya La you can savour impressive views of Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Kangaru, Gyaji Himal, and Annapurna II. Take a steep descent to Bimtang while enjoying the view of Manaslu’s forked summit. Some parts of the trail may be icy and you may need to wear crampons. Once you reach the village head to a teahouse and take a rest. It has been a tough climb and you need time to get recharged.

Overnight in Bimthang.

Day 15: Trek to Tilije (2,300m/7,546ft)

Walking Distance: 6-7 hours trek

The trail weaves downwards past green meadows and pine forests. It descends to Hampuk and follows the downward descent to Dudh Khola. Walk past the settlements of Karche and Gho. Walking down the west bank of the river,  you finally reach the Gurung village of Tilije. The village is popular for its Apple Brandy.

Overnight in Tilije. 

Day 16: Trek to Dharapani (1,930m/6,440ft) and drive to Kathmandu

Distance: 1 hour trek, 7-8 hours drive

From Tilije it’s a short walk to Dharapani. Dharapani lies in the Marshyangdi Valley and here you will come across several trekkers taking the Annapurna trail. This is a charming settlement set amidst mountains covered with pine trees. There are plenty of lodges and eateries catering to hordes of trekkers trekking along with the Manaslu and Annapurna Circuits. From here you board a vehicle and take a drive to Kathmandu via Besisahar. The drive offers picturesque sights of green hills and rural farmsteads. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, check into your hotel and take a rest. In the evening, attend a farewell dinner (complimentary) at an authentic Nepalese restaurant to celebrate the completion of your trek.

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 17: Depart Kathmandu

Our representative will drive you to the airport well on time to catch your homeward-bound flight. If you wish to explore more of Nepal or the neighbouring Himalayan destinations of Bhutan and Tibet, do let us know. We have a range of products offering you a wonderful travel experience.

Best Time to Travel

Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered the best seasons for Manaslu Trek. The weather stays dry and clear during these times, making it ideal for trekking and enjoying unobstructed views of mountains. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside, however, these are peak seasons, and the trails get crowded and busy.

The trail to Manaslu passes through a pristine forest that is filled with wildflowers and orchids during spring. Walking past the hills covered with wildflowers against the backdrop of the snowy Himalayas will seem heavenly.

Autumn is the most popular season for Manaslu Trek. With the end of the wet monsoon season, which clears the skies of dust and impurities, you can enjoy crystal clear views during this season. Timing your trek around late September or October will allow you to experience the most important festivals of the Nepalese, Dashain, and Tihar. These festivals are celebrated by the Ghales, Gurungs, and Brahmins living in the lower reaches of the trail.

If you are bold enough to brave a cold winter trek, you can time your trek during January or February, when the Buddhist communities celebrate Losar or Tibetan New Year in the high mountains.

An important festival celebrated in the Nubri Valley is the Dhachyang or the Horse Festival. This festival which falls during December or January, sees wide participation of horsemen from different villages. Horse racing and other competitions are held, where the winners receive handsome prizes and bragging rights.   

This trek involves crossing a high mountain pass Larkya La (5,165 m), which can be quite risky during bad weather. Taking this route during the monsoon or winter season is can be hazardous and not recommended.

Getting to Manaslu

The trailhead of the Manaslu Trek lies in Gorkha, a mountainous district that was also the epicenter of the devastating earthquake that Nepal suffered in 2015. While fewer roads were connecting this hilly district to Kathmandu in the past, there have been many developments in recent years. Many arterial roads have been built connecting the villages with Kathmandu.

The old trailhead to Manaslu used to be Arughat, but now rough jeep tracks have been constructed up to Soti Khola and Barpak. Private as well as local transportation is available from Kathmandu.

If you are traveling on a budget, you can opt to travel by local bus. The journey takes around 7 to 8 hours. Local buses and jeeps (on sharing basis) depart daily from Gongabu in Kathmandu early in the morning. Private vehicles are also available on hire. The vehicle comes with a driver, and rental charges vary according to the size and type of the vehicle.

As per our itinerary, you take a private vehicle from Kathmandu all the way to the village of Barpak, which was also the epicenter of the 2015 earthquake. You drive past New Gorkha and take the road to Barpak. Though pitched when you start from Kathmandu, the road turns into a rough jeep track as you approach Barpak.

Your trek begins from Barpak. Cross two river valleys, glaciers, and a mountain pass, and finally, end your trek at Dharapani. From Dharapani, our vehicle will pick you up and drive you to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Please note, Manaslu is a restricted zone where solo trekking is not allowed. It is mandatory to trek with a registered agency.

Entry Permits & Requirements

Since solo trekking or FIT (fully independent travel) is barred in this region, the permits will be arranged by the agency with whom you book your trek. There should be at least two people in your group to obtain the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit.

The permits needed for Manaslu Trek are:

  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project Entry Permit,
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project Entry Permit,
  • Manaslu Restricted Area Permit, and
  • TIMS (Tourist Information Management System) card.

Except for the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit, which has to be obtained from the Department of Immigration, all these permits can be acquired from the Nepal Tourism Board’s Office in Kathmandu and Pokhara. 

To get these permits, you need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Original and copies of your passport
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Dates when your trek starts and ends
  • Itinerary/route
  • Entry and exit points
  • Emergency Contact Information (local and home country’s)
  • Travel Insurance Details

Permit Fees:

  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit: NRS 3000 per person for foreigners, NRS 1000 for citizens of SAARC countries, and NRS 100 for Nepalese.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit: NRS 3000 per person for foreigners, NRS 1000 for citizens of SAARC countries, and NRS 100 for Nepalese.
  • Manaslu Restricted Area Permit : (a) From September to November – USD 100 per person for 7 days and USD 15 per person per day after the 7th day  (b) From December to August – USD 75 per person for 7 days and USD 10 per person per day after the 7th day. 
  • TIMS Card: NRS 1000. For SAARC country nationals, NRS 300.

Read More  How To Get TIMS Card And Trekking Permits In Nepal

Altitude Sickness & Acclimatization

Manaslu Trek takes you to the base of the 8th highest mountain in the world, Manaslu (8,156m). The highest point of your trek is the mountain pass of Larkya La (5,165m). In this environment, there is less oxygen which will lead to breathing difficulty.

To let your body get used to the thin air, you need to walk slowly, steadily and keep your body hydrated. If you try to hasten and walk fast to reach your destination in less time, chances are you may suffer from AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness.

AMS symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc., are seen at elevations above 2000 meters. Taking Diamox and a good night’s rest may work for mild cases. Drinking plenty of fluids (water, tea, soup, etc.) and keeping your body hydrated will also help to keep the sickness at bay.

One should take necessary precautions to ensure that the condition does not worsen. But if the symptoms worsen, one may have to return to a lower elevation and get medical help. In the worst-case scenario, an air evacuation will be arranged, where the patient will be flown to Kathmandu to receive medical aid. AMS, if untreated or ignored, can take your life.

Experts and veteran guides have designed this itinerary. A rest day in Sama Gaon has been included in the itinerary to allow your body to adapt to the thin mountain air. The trek is well-paced and allows your body to gradually get used to low oxygen levels in the mountain air.

The chart given below will give you a rough idea of the oxygen level in the atmosphere on the trail.


Oxygen Level

















Drinking Water

It is important to keep your body hydrated on the trail as dehydration also causes AMS. One should drink at least 3-4 liters of fluid.

Though bottled water is readily available at teahouses, we dissuade you from buying it as it adds up to the thrash problem in the mountains.  Moreover, like everything else, bottled water is also expensive in the mountains.

We highly recommend you to carry a reusable water bottle with you, one that can hold hot water. You can use one with a steri pen or an inbuilt filtration system like LifeStraw. You can also use water purification tablets to treat the water. While the water in the mountains tends to be pure and without impurities, it’s better not to take chances and filter or treat the water before drinking.

Using chlorine or iodine tablets to treat the water may alter its taste. You can add flavored electrolyte powder (readily available at pharmacies in Kathmandu) to mask the bitter chemical taste. Adding electrolyte to your drinking water may also be beneficial as the minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) you lose while walking gets replenished.

Teahouses offer boiled and filtered drinking water at an additional cost. Like bottled drinking water, it can cost anywhere between 1 USD to 4 USD. Charges vary according to altitude (the higher you reach, the more expensive it will be) and quantity.

Internet Connectivity

Internet connection (though erratic and irregular at some places) is available in the Manaslu Region. You can connect with your loved ones while trekking, post updates, and upload pictures on social media.

Wi-fi is available at most of the teahouses. Teahouses charge extra for using their Wi-Fi hotspot. Everest Link, a local internet provider, offers paid internet access on the trail. You can purchase the username and password at any of the teahouses or shops along the trail.

You can also get a mobile sim card in Kathmandu and use it to keep in touch with your family and friends.

Packing Checklist for Manaslu Trek

As opposed to popular belief, you don’t need any complicated gear and equipment for this adventure. Here’s a basic checklist of the essential items that you should not forget to bring with you during your Manaslu Trek:

  • A sturdy pair of trekking boots with good ankle support
  • Rucksack or daypack (30 liters) with waterproof cover
  • Trekking pants and waterproof trousers
  • T-shirts or shirts
  • Down jacket
  • Wind/ waterproof light jacket
  • Fleece jumper or jacket
  • Inner Thermal (top and trouser)
  • Socks and underwear
  • Sunglasses, sun hat, woolen cap, or balaclava
  • Inner and outer gloves
  • Headlamp, power bank, and extra batteries
  • Sun protection cream, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer
  • Towel, flip-flop or rubber sandal, toiletries
  • Water bottle and water purification tablets
  • Crampons and Gaiters
  • 4 season Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner

These are only some of the essential items. Find a more Packing List For Trekking In Nepal. 

Most of the trekking equipment is available on hire in Kathmandu. You can keep your baggage light by only packing the essential items and renting or buying the rest in Kathmandu. Shops in Thamel offer branded as well locally made gear and equipment.

You can leave your spare luggage in your hotel’s storage room. It is completely safe and free. But do make sure to lock your luggage before leaving it at the storage unit.    

Guide(s) & Staff Arrangements

Manaslu Trek takes you to the foot of the 8th highest peak in the world, Manaslu (8,156m). En route, you will be crossing a mountain pass, glacier, and bridges over turbulent Himalayan rivers. Having an experienced local guide accompanying you will enrich your trip in so many ways. Trekking with a person who has in-depth knowledge of the mountain will also keep you safe and secure.

When you book a trek with us, we pair you up with one of our local guides. All our guides have experience of more than 10 years and have a vast knowledge of the area you are visiting. They have completed the trekking guide course and have the required government license to work as mountain guides. They can communicate in English and have received training on wilderness first aid and crisis management.

A chief guide or trek leader will lead the trek. For every 4 trekkers, there will be an assistant guide assisting them personally. One porter will carry the luggage of 2 clients. Make sure that your luggage does not exceed 15 kg, as the porter can only carry a weight of 30 kg.

We believe in the ethical treatment of our staff. All our Guides and Porters are provided with weather-appropriate gear and clothing to battle the harsh weather in the mountains. Before the start of a trek, we ensure that our mountain guides are fully insured. They are given fair wages and treated with respect.

We seriously follow the guidelines set by IPPG (International Porter Protection Group) and offer assistance to porters to develop other skills. A portion of the booking fee goes to fund the education of our field staffs’ kids.

Travel Insurance

For Manaslu Trek, you need a good travel insurance policy that offers you coverage for all activities and altitudes included in your itinerary. The highest altitude you reach is 5,165 meters, and your travel insurance should offer you suitable coverage up to this elevation.

Though we take your safety as our number one priority, we cannot rule out mishaps and emergencies that may occur at this altitude. There is less oxygen in the environment, and trekkers usually suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness, which could prove to be fatal if not treated on time.

Walking in a treacherous mountain environment also exposes you to physical injuries. Therefore make sure that your insurance covers the cost of all injuries and emergencies that you can face during this trekking adventure.

Your insurance policy should especially cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency, as these happen to be quite expensive. Check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies makes it mandatory to immunize yourself before you leave your country. 

Before you decide on a policy, be mindful and don’t forget to read the fine print. It would be advantageous for you also to choose a company that offers insurance cover on domestic and international flight cancellations and lost or stolen baggage.

Trip Safety

We ensure the safety of our clients by following all safety protocols during the trip. This itinerary has been designed by travel experts and veteran guides who have trekked on this route innumerable times.

To prevent AMS, the required number of rest days have been added to the itinerary. Our guides always carry a first-aid kit and pulse oximeter (to measure the oxygen level in your blood) with them. The guides assigned to you have more than 10 years of experience and know what steps to take during an emergency. They are well-trained in wilderness first aid and crisis management.

If a client shows symptoms of AMS and needs to descend to a lower elevation, an assistant guide will escort them and follow the safety protocol. He will closely monitor the client’s condition and take the required steps needed for the client's well-being.

If they feel alright after a night’s rest, the guide will escort the client back to join the group. But if the condition worsens, the client will be escorted down to a lower elevation or airlifted to Kathmandu for expert medical aid.

A typical day on the Manaslu Trek

A typical day on the trail begins with a wake-up call at around 6 AM by your guide. Freshen up and get ready. Pack your belongings and head to the dining area for breakfast by 7 AM. Check your luggage for the final time and fill your water bottle before you hit the trail by 8 AM, along with your guide.

To avoid walking in the heat and enjoy clear mountains' views, you make an early start. En route, there will be short breaks to enjoy the views and take photographs. You stop for lunch at a local teahouse around noon or mid-day. After a quick rest of about an hour or 40 minutes, you get back on the trail and continue till you reach your overnight stop.

Upon reaching the stop for the night, you head to your teahouse, check in, and have some rest. Tea with some light refreshments (cookies or biscuits) will be served at 5 PM. As the rooms are not insulated, you can warm yourself by the heater or stove in the communal area.

Exchange stories or play cards with other trekkers till dinner is served (around 7 PM). After dinner, your guide will brief you about the next day’s trek – the route you will take, difficulty, where you will stop for lunch, etc. Afterward, retire for the night and have a well-deserved rest.

On average, you may have to walk 5 to 6 hours daily. The toughest day will be the crossing of Larkya La on Day 14.  There will be plenty of stops en route to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.

Responsible Travel

Travel responsibly and try to limit any negative impact on the environment. Limit the use of plastic and be mindful about throwing waste in the mountains. When you trek with us, you will be supporting local communities (from the guides and porters to teahouse owners). We, as a company, support sustainable tourism and patronize local businesses. We partner with service providers who work towards saving the environment.  As an active member of KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project), we make sure that our trips are environmentally friendly.

Altitude Map

Manaslu Trek 17 days Altitude Map

Manaslu Trek FAQs

Teahouses offer boiled and filtered drinking water to trekkers for a price. Though you can purchase bottled water, we discourage the use of plastic bottled water on the trail because of the adverse effect on the environment. You can bring along with you a reusable bottle nd fill it up with drinking water. 

Your guide will check the condition of the water of the filtered water before you purchase it. Please be assured that our guide will thoroughly check whether the water has been boiled and treated properly before you drink it.

If you have booked a package with us you won’t be spending much as accommodation and 3 meals are already included in your trip price. You may have to personally pay for items like beverages and drinks, extra snacks, hot showers, electronic device charging, wifi etc. USD 20 to 30 (NRS 2000-3000) per day will suffice.

Each day you can expect 5 to 7 hours of walking, covering around 10 to 14 km. However when you reach 3500m, you will be walking around 5 to 7 hours but the distance covered will be less as you will be walking slowly at higher altitudes. We want you to know that all our itineraries are flexible and can be altered by weather, geographical and physical condition of the individual participants.

Please do note that if you are traveling in a group, a member falling sick won’t disrupt your trip. While the sick person will be taken care of, the rest of the group will be able to continue with the trip.

If someone becomes ill on the trail your trekking guide will take the sick person’s condition on account and decide he or she shall continue with the trek or return to a lower elevation and wait for the rest of the group. If his or her condition is serious then the person will be flown by air ambulance to Kathmandu or Pokhara for expert medical attention. An assistant will take care of the sick person, while the rest of the group shall proceed onwards and complete the trip as per the itinerary. 

If you want to add extra activities and sites to your itinerary it can be done. Our Travel Consultant will help you customize your trip. Just let us know which places you want to visit and what you want to do and we will add these in your itinerary.

We would recommend all our clients to purchase travel insurance before booking any of our treks. Trust us you will have a pleasant holiday knowing that you have a good insurance cover. In the event of any sickness or injury while trekking in the mountains, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation will be considerable. Therefore, traveling with an insurance cover is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up for any of our trips. But be careful while choosing a policy as some policies make special exceptions for adventure travel.

Do read the fine print. Before buying insurance make sure your insurance company is aware of your travel itinerary and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken during the trip. Such as if you are planning to trek or climb (mountaineering expedition) in the Himalayas, your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tour in an urban area, insurance cover of air ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory. While booking a trip with us you need to send us a copy of your insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come for the trip.

No, you cannot get insurance in Nepal. Please also note that Third Rock Adventures does not arrange or sell insurance.

Please do note, all our trekking itineraries incorporate adequate number of acclimatization days. You will get an extra day’s rest at a lower elevation to prepare your body for a walk up in the higher reaches.

AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness usually occurs due to the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere in high altitudes. Our body is not used to walking in high altitude and it requires a lot of time to adapt to thin air in the mountains. Technically there is no way of stopping AMS but you can surely prevent it by following the given tips:

  • Keep your body hydrated. Drink at least 4 liters of water daily.
  • Give up smoking, alcohol and caffeine, the major causes of dehydration and headache.
  • Go slow- it’s not a race. Take plenty of time to acclimatize to the increase in altitude.
  • Don’t skip the acclimatization day. Take Diamox, an over-the-counter pill used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.

We carry a first-aid box with us while trekking. But if you want you can carry along some essential medicines like ibuprofen, codeine, paracetamol, lozenges, anti-diarrhea tablets and diamox for AMS.

Most of the guides in our adventure company come from the mountainous areas. They are carefully selected on the basis of their experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. We provide guides that are experienced and fluent in English. With the objective of sustaining local communities, we employ guides from different ethnic backgrounds who have adequate knowledge about the culture, ecosystem, flora and fauna, geography and history of Nepal.

Our guides have the required government license to guide tourists. They have all gone through intensive training programs like wilderness first aid, trekking guide training, eco training workshop and rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering, which are certified and approved by the government of Nepal.

We provide sleeping bag and down jacket but you need to bring your own personal gear. We can recommend some good stores where you can hire or buy new ones.

Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.

Based on 8 reviews
Very good

Ben Weis
Jun 02, 2019
into the wilderness
Lately, we did Manaslu Circuit Trek and we are happy with the level of care and support we received from the company. This trek is for those who want to enjoy what trekking was decades before classic routes became commercialized. You will see locals working and carrying out daily activities which haven’t changed much. While trekking your companions enriches your journey and we were blessed to have great guide with a sense of humor and porter. It was a gamble to be trekking with a local company that you came across online and it paid off really well.
Stefan Svensson
May 17, 2019
Trek to Manaslu Circuit -2019
During my research on this trek there were instances where people faced difficulty with an inexperienced guide which was my number 1 concern. Third Rock Adventures were prompt with their email and also they gave me with their phone number. I called and as we talked I became certain that I will do the Manaslu circuit trek with the company. They assured me that the trip would be as they have promised. I am glad that I did the trek with them and could not have asked more. I was least worried and enjoying the trek more. It was worth all the pain, difficulties and mild Acute Mountain Sickness. Alluring mountains, challenging trail, cultural diversity, unhampered Tibetian culture and solitary.
Daniel Johansen
May 13, 2019
Beauty Personified!
Having already done Everest Base Camp trek this time we went for Manaslu Circuit Trek. Manaslu circuit trek was lovely and fantastic. We trekked to the beautiful and eight highest mountain in the world. It has all the elements of a classic trek but is less trekked so solitary was fun! Since we were trekking in spring we saw rhododendron blooms along the trail; it was wonderful. We got a bit of snow which added a bit difficulty in the trek. I must say we had fairly decent weather. All the lads did an amazing job. Our guide was familiar with the trail so we could enjoy more and worry less.
Having already done a classic trek like Everest Base Camp trek I wanted to do an off-the-beaten-path trek
Trekking in mountains adds zeal and enthusiasm and makes me more health conscious. it's not always about physical strength it's being mentally strong too. To understand this you need to trek so go for it!
Sofia Nissen
May 08, 2019
Adventurous Manaslu
Just came back from an amazing Manaslu Circuit Trek. It’s my first trek in the wilderness of Nepal with friends and I had a blast. With old friends walking and talking like old days without smartphones. The trek is definitely challenging. We started the trek from Gorkha which was the epicentre of earthquake 2015. People are rebuilding and coping. Enjoyed the panoramic vista of mountains in the acclimatization day in Sama Gao. Lake Biraindra is beautiful. Crossing the pass over 5000 metres was rewarding. Taking home many good memories…. 
If you are looking for off-beaten and challenging trek then do Manaslu Circuit trek.
Jessica White
May 05, 2019
I've always wanted to visit the beautiful Manaslu mountain especially after completing all the major treks of Nepal. I had done extensive research about the trek route and other logistics. Finally the itinerary i was looking for was provided by TRA and it was more than perfect. They customized it to my liking and even added an extra day as requested. I must say this is one of the most intrepid i've ever been as the trail was tough and there weren't many trekkers on the route. I must say i was a little scared, but i was well looked after from the beginning to the end. Enjoyed this new experience and new Himalayan mountains thoroughly. Now that it's over and I'm writing about it, i totally want to come back to Nepal and hit a new trail, there is just too much to explore in this beautiful country.
I like itinerary,Recommended by Friend,
always have a guide with you, especially for the Manaslu trek.
Karl Becker
Apr 25, 2019
Awe-inspiring Manaslu Circuit Trek
I choose off-beaten trek of Manaslu Circuit trek as other trekking felt too mainstream. The trekking route passed through the epicenter of earthquake 2015, Barpark of Gorkha. The wonderful views of mountains and the interaction with locals added new dimension. The hike to Jagat through way carved on huge rock was thrilling. On the day of acclimatization in Sama Gao, we hiked up to the beautiful Birendra Tal with pristine water. Early morning we went to Larkya Pass. I was overwhelmed to see mountains surrounding us from all sides. The trek proved to be strenuous and challenging but it was equally fulfilling. Overall, it was an amazing experience. I have learned to become grateful for the luxuries I take for granted. Thank you Third Rock Adventures for making my trip memorable for a lifetime. I recommend booking trek with these guys!!!
I like itinerary,
It was an off-beat trek and I wanted to avoid crowd.
Hike to Birendra Tal and Larkya Pass
If you want more adventure and less crowd do this trek.
Wade Pratt
flagsUnited Kingdom
Apr 01, 2019
One of my best adventure in Nepal
Nepal is heaven! I heard this phrase a lot... but believed it when I went to Nepal. I was truly in love with Nepal the moment I step off the plane at TIA. My travel agency, Third Rock Adventures made sure that my love get deeper. They professionally took care of me. Frankly, I was more of a family than a client to them. And I could sense their deep value to their client. I couldn't expect more. Above all, I was enjoying my time to the fullest. Kathmadu is chaotic, but beautiful with it's own charm. Just before heading to hit the trail, I promised myself that I will again explore Kathmandu. My trek was a bit challenging but with my companion from the agency, made it enjoyable. He didn't give me a chance to compromise. I was given the best service, and above all, quality time to enjoy. Thanks to Third Rock for this opportunity. Like I said, I will be back to explore Kathmandu,..soon.
Liam Jansen
Feb 22, 2019
Manaslu Trek, an incredible circuit
We (my partner and I) have travelled extensively in the Himalayas and have completed most of the major treks in Nepal Himalaya. This time around we decided to trek to Manaslu. The knowledge that not many trekking groups choose this route made us pick this trail for our trekking adventure. A few of our friends had travelled with Third Rock and they recommended this company to us. After exchanging a few emails with the sales team we booked our trip online. The process was seamless and the sales team did a great job of answering to our queries. We had Shiva as our guide and he proved to be quite resourceful. He was fun to be around and kept us informed about the culture and lifestyle of the villagers. The trek itself proved to be an experience of a lifetime. It was heartwarming to see the optimism and good cheer of the villagers who had lost almost everything during the 2015 earthquake. They did not have much yet they were happy and generous, greeting us and inviting us to their ramshackle dwellings. The walk through Nubri Valley reminded us of our time in Ladakh. The houses, people and their attire were very much Tibetan. Though we spent an additional day in Sama Gaon, we wished we could have stayed longer. Though physically challenging, the hike to Manaslu Base Camp proved to be the highlight of our trek. From Samdo we had a good view of the peak. The teahouses were utilitarian and basic, but the incredible views more than made up for it. There were very few people on the trail which suited us just fine. A big thank you to the team at Third Rock Adventures for this wonderful experience!
Recommended by Friend.
I chose this trip as I wanted to trek through a trail that was not crowded.
The whole trip was enjoyable.
Keep an open mind and embrace the experience.

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