Awe-inspiring Manaslu: Why Manaslu Circuit Trek should be on your bucket list
If you are searching for a thrilling and electrifying activity to experience in a remote mountainous region, try Manaslu Circuit Trek. This trek offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a complete circuit of the world's 8th-highest mountain Manaslu (8,163 m./26,7746 ft.). Manaslu Circuit Trek is a high-altitude trek in the Gorkha District of Nepal that skirts the Manaslu massif. The trek follows an off-the-beat trail that traverses steep ascents, pine forests, traditional villages, and terraced farm fields.
Manaslu Circuit Trek showers you with the magnificence of ten peaks of over 6,500 meters. On top of the jaw-dropping sight of the Himalayan Mountains, you'll have close encounters with local people and their vibrant Himalayan culture. The trek is a perfect blend of nature (mountains, glacial lake, waterfalls, etc.) and culture (Tibetan ethnic people and their way of life, monasteries, etc.)
Compared to trekking routes like the Mt. Everest trek and the Annapurna region, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is relatively remote and less commercialized. Since trekker density in Manaslu Circuit is less, you'll be exposed to an unspoiled region of Nepal's Himalayas. You can also combine Tsum Valley with the Manaslu Circuit trekking trail. If you have a longer holiday, we have a great opportunity to cross the two different passes Larky Pass 5,106 m.16,747 ft. and Throng la Pass 5,416 m.17,764 ft. in the Annapurna circuit trek. It's high time to check Manaslu Circuit Trek on your bucket list. The trek will be challenging but you'll leave with a backpack of lifelong happy memories.
Manaslu Circuit Trek short information
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a multi-day, high-altitude walking activity in the west-central part of Nepal. The crown jewel of this trek is Manaslu (8163m), the world's 8th highest peak, situated in Gorkha District, Nepal. The 13-day journey brings trekkers up close to Manaslu and grants a mind-blowing vista of Manaslu massif.
The circuit trek route stretches over a length of 177km and circumnavigates Manaslu. The trail is part of the newly developed Great Himalayan Trail and the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP). The route passes through diverse geographical landscapes including Manaslu's long ridges, valley glaciers, rolling green hills, etc. Circuit trek along Manaslu region crosses over high altitudes up to 5106m. Manaslu Circuit Trek is open on a restricted basis and requires a Restricted Area Permit of $70 per week.
Places to visit/Key attractions of the Manaslu Region
While the journey itself is attractive, the Manaslu Region has plenty of places that are worth visiting.
Tsum Valley is a secluded Himalayan Buddhist pilgrimage valley lying on the east side of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The magical beyul is situated at an elevation of 2,000 to 3,500 m in the remote northern Gorkha region. Dubbed the 'hidden valley', Tsum Valley is a settlement of indigenous Tsumbas, who practice both Bon and Buddhism. The ancestral isolation of Tsum Valley from the outside world has helped to retain its pristine Tibetan culture in pure form.
Sama Gaun (3,660 m.12,004 ft.)
Sama Gaun (Gaun is a Nepali word for village) is another key attraction of Manaslu Circuit Trek. Lying at the foot of Manaslu, the village has a quaint settlement of over 200 households. Trekkers undertaking Manaslu Circuit Trek often stop for acclimatization in this picturesque village. You'll sample rich Sherpa culture with sights of thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts, hospitable people in traditional clothes, etc. Sama Gaun also hosts a Buddhist monastery called 'Pungyen Gompa', which is inhabited by monks and nuns.
Phungen Gumba (Around 4,050 m.13,285 ft.)
Phungen Gumba is a Buddhist monastery nestled on the lap of mighty Manaslu Mountain. The monastery is named after Manaslu, which is locally recognized as Mt. Pungyen. The history of this monastery dates back 400 years when local Nubri people, a Tibetan nomadic tribe, used to live here. At present, Phungen Gumba is a hermitage of monks and nuns who detach themselves from the modern world. You can access this mystic land by hiking up to a little hill near Sama Gaun.
Birendra Tal (3,450 m.11,316 ft.)
Birendra Tal is a dazzling freshwater lake lying at the bottom of the Manaslu Glacier, near Samagaun. The glacier-fed lake has an elevation of 3450m and is a one-hour walk away from Sama Gaun.
Manaslu Base Camp (4,900 m./16072 ft.)
The mountaineering expeditions to snow-clad Manaslu set out from Manaslu Base Camp located at an elevation of 4,900 m (16,072 ft.). Manaslu Base Camp is an acclimatization point for mountaineers who set their tents there before heading off for Manaslu ascent. The base camp grants you incredible views of Himalayan hulks including Manaslu, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, etc.
Larkya La Pass (5,106 m./16,747 ft.)
The highest elevation point in Manaslu Circuit Trek is Larkya La Pass, lying 5,106 meters above sea level. Trekkers coming from Dharmasala or Larke Phedi will reach Bimthang, the finish line of the trek, via Larkya La Pass.
The difficulty level of Manaslu Circuit Trekking
Manaslu Circuit Trekking is categorized as a moderately difficult trek with plenty of uphill and downhill marches. Walking several hours a day on the off-the-beaten-path through the foothills of the Himalayas is certainly not an easy task. The circuit trek takes you over high altitudes up to 5106m (the highest elevation point), increasing the possibility of altitude sickness. You must be physically fit, mentally prepared, and have enough determination and patience to ace the trek.
While the frequent altitude gain can make the journey arduous, the acclimatization days will help you overcome high-altitude-related problems. Manaslu Circuit Trek is a group trek requiring a registered guide, which means you can rely on our veteran local guide for professional support.
Global Adventure Trekking provides you with the best guide who will serve as your helping hand and deliver adequate local information. As clients' safety is our no. 1 priority, we'll ensure an experienced local mountain guide will lead the way.
Best time for Manaslu Circuit Trek
In light of moderate weather and a stable climate, the best time to splurge on the Manaslu Circuit Trek is spring (March, April, or May). Besides, autumn (September-November) is also a favorable time for Manaslu Circuit Trek since the temperature is mild and views are clear. If the trek is harder than you think, horses are available for the Larke La pass.
Necessary equipment list
Since you are embarking on a journey that requires multi-day walking along the Himalayan high route, you must have the necessary equipment. We've prepared a packing list that you need for convenience and safety during the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Manaslu Circuit Trek ends at Dharapani which is the starting point of the world-famous Annapurna Circuit treks.