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Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary A Step-by-Step Guide

Ranju

Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • 5 months ago

Manaslu Circuit trek, often referred to as a hidden gem, offers trekkers a remarkable journey through some of the most stunning, and remote landscapes in the Himalayas.

Mount Manaslu traverse is the eighth-highest mountain in the world which provides an authentic cultural experience as you traverse through traditional Nepalese villages.

In this comprehensive guide, you will take you through a step-by-step itinerary for the Manaslu Circuit trek, helping you plan an unforgettable adventure through this remote and pristine region.

Trips - Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are some preparations and permission to be informed before travelling.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking Permits

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): Since the Manaslu Circuit briefly passes through the Annapurna Conservation Area, you’ll also need an ACAP permit. You can obtain this permit in Kathmandu or at various entry points along the trek.

Physical Fitness and Acclimatization
Physical Fitness: The Manaslu Circuit trek involves challenging terrain and high altitudes. Prior physical conditioning and cardiovascular fitness are crucial. Regular hiking and cardio workouts in the months leading up to your trek will help prepare your body.

Acclimatization: Acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude sickness. Your Nepal trekking itinerary should include gradual altitude gains and rest days to help your body adjust to reduced oxygen levels as you ascend.

Altitude Sickness Medication: Carry altitude sickness medication and consult with a healthcare professional before your trek.

Trekking Gear and Packing List
Packing appropriately is crucial for your comfort and safety during the trek. Here’s a list of essential trekking gear and items to pack:

Clothing

  • Moisture-wicking base layers
  • Insulating layers (fleece or down jacket)
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Trekking pants and shorts
  • Trekking shirts (long-sleeved for sun protection)
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Hiking socks
  • Hiking boots (sturdy, waterproof, and well-fitted)
    Gear
  • Backpack (comfortable and large enough to carry essentials)
  • Sleeping bag (suitable for cold temperatures)
  • Trekking poles (for stability)
  • Headlamp (with extra batteries)
  • Sunglasses (with UV protection)
  • Water bottles (to stay hydrated)
  • Reusable water purification system (to reduce plastic waste)
  • Trekking towel (quick-drying)
  • First aid kit (including altitude sickness medication)
    Other Essentials
  • Trekking permits (Manaslu Restricted Area Permit and ACAP)
  • Passport and passport photos (for permit applications)
  • Cash (Nepalese rupees for expenses on the trail)
  • Guidebook/map (for navigation and information)
    Personal Items
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, small towel)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (with high SPF)
  • Personal medications (including altitude sickness medication)
  • Camera and accessories (to capture the stunning scenery)
    Optional Items
  • Gaiters (for keeping snow and debris out of your boots)
  • Down booties (for warmth at higher altitudes)
  • Portable solar charger (for electronic devices)
  • Travel pillow (for added comfort)
    The Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary
    Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step itinerary for the Manaslu Circuit trek. This classic route takes you on a circular journey around Mount Manaslu, showcasing breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural encounters, and challenging high-altitude adventure. The total trekking distance is approximately 177 kilometers (110 miles), and the trek generally takes between 14 to 18 days to complete, depending on your chosen starting and ending points and any side trips you wish to undertake.

Day 1: Kathmandu to Soti Khola (Drive)
Distance: Approximately 140 kilometers (87 miles)
Duration: 7-9 hours by vehicle
Your Manaslu Circuit adventure begins from Kathmandu ( the capital of Nepal). From here, embark on a scenic drive that takes you through picturesque landscapes and charming villages. The journey to Soti Khola is an opportunity to soak in the beauty of rural Nepal and the stunning countryside. You’ll overnight in Soti Khola, ready to commence your trek the following day.

Day 2: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 14 kilometers (8.7 miles)
Duration: 5-6 hours
The trek commences as you follow the Budhi Gandaki River, crossing suspension bridges and navigating through lush forests. The trail takes you through quaint settlements and provides the first taste of the diverse flora and fauna that call this region home. Machha Khola, your destination for the day, is a charming village where you can rest and recharge for the journey ahead.

Day 3: Machha Khola to Jagat (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 22 kilometers (13.7 miles)
Duration: 7-8 hours
Leaving Machha Khola behind, the trail continues to wind along the Budhi Gandaki River, offering glimpses of the region’s natural beauty. The trek includes some ascents and descents, leading you to the village of Jagat. Here, you’ll officially enter the Manaslu Conservation Area, and your trekking permits will be checked. Enjoy the rustic charm of Jagat as you settle in for the night.

Day 4: Jagat to Deng (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 21 kilometers (13.1 miles)
Duration: 7-8 hours
As you ascend further, you’ll notice changes in the landscape and vegetation. The dense subtropical forests begin to give way to temperate forests, with oak, maple, and rhododendron trees adorning the trail. Along the way, you’ll encounter small villages, terraced fields, and friendly locals going about their daily lives. Deng, your destination for the day, offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life in the Manaslu region.

Day 5: Deng to Namrung (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 19 kilometers (11.8 miles)
Duration: 6-7 hours
The trek takes you deeper into the conservation area as you make your way to Namrung, a picturesque village at a higher altitude. As you ascend, the views of the surrounding peaks become increasingly stunning. Namrung is your first taste of higher-altitude living, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the village and interact with locals who are accustomed to the challenges of mountain life.

Day 6: Namrung to Samagaon (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 13 kilometers (8.1 miles)
Duration: 4-5 hours
Today’s trek leads you to Samagaon, a charming village nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Manaslu Massif. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Manaslu and other surrounding mountains. Samagaon is a place to immerse yourself in the local culture, visit ancient monasteries, and experience the warmth of the people who call this village home.

Day 7: Acclimatization Day in Samagaon
Duration: Full day in Samagaon
To acclimatize to the higher altitude, take a well-deserved rest day in Samagaon. This is an opportunity to explore the village further, visit nearby viewpoints, and gain a deeper understanding of the local way of life. You can also consider a hike to the Pungyen Gompa or Manaslu Base Camp for breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.

Day 8: Samagaon to Samdo (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles)
Duration: 3-4 hours
The trail continues to ascend, bringing you closer to the Tibetan border. Samdo, your next destination, is a small village with a unique atmosphere. The proximity to the border adds to the intrigue of this remote settlement. Upon arrival in Samdo, you can explore the village or take a short hike to acclimatize.

Day 9: Acclimatization Day in Samdo
Duration: Full day in Samdo
Another day for acclimatization in Samdo is essential before you proceed to higher altitudes. You may choose to hike to the nearby Tibetan border or explore the surrounding terrain. This additional day of rest and acclimatization will help prepare your body for the challenges ahead.

Day 10: Samdo to Dharamsala (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 13 kilometers (8.1 miles)
Duration: 4-5 hours
Today’s trek takes you to Dharamsala, also known as Larkya Base Camp. This is your preparation point for the upcoming high pass, the Larkya La Pass. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks, and you’ll notice a change in the terrain as you ascend higher into the alpine zone. Dharamsala provides basic accommodation and meals to prepare you for the pass crossing.

Day 11: Dharamsala to Bimthang via Larkya La Pass (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 miles)
Duration: 8-9 hours
The highlight of your Manaslu Circuit trek is here as you cross the challenging Larkya La Pass. At 5,160 meters (16,929 feet) above sea level, this pass offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas. You’ll likely encounter snow and icy terrain, so be prepared with appropriate gear. After crossing the pass, you’ll descend to Bimthang, a beautiful meadow surrounded by high peaks. This descent provides a rewarding change of scenery.

Day 12: Bimthang to Tilije (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 18 kilometers (11.2 miles)
Duration: 6-7 hours
The trek gradually descends today, offering different views and landscapes as you make your way to Tilije. You’ll rejoin the Annapurna Circuit trail, trekking alongside the Marsyangdi River. This part of the journey takes you through lush forests and charming villages, providing a contrast to the high-altitude landscapes you’ve encountered so far.

Day 13: Tilije to Tal (Trek)
Distance: Approximately 18 kilometers (11.2 miles)
Duration: 6-7 hours
Your trek continues as you make your way to Tal, a village along the Marsyangdi River. The trail takes you through terraced fields and scenic landscapes, with opportunities to interact with locals and learn about their way of life. Tal is your last overnight stop on the trek, and you’ll catch a vehicle from here for the return journey to Kathmandu the following day.

Day 14: Tal to Syange (Trek) and Drive to Kathmandu
Distance: Approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) of trekking
Duration: 4-5 hours of trekking, followed by a 2-3 hour drive to Kathmandu
Your final day of trekking takes you from Tal to Syange, where you’ll conclude your trekking adventure. From Syange, you’ll catch a vehicle for the return journey to Kathmandu. The drive offers a chance to reflect on your incredible journey through the Manaslu region and provides one last look at the stunning Nepalese countryside.

Essential Tips for a Successful Trek


As you prepare for your Manaslu Circuit trek and follow the itinerary outlined above, here are some essential tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable adventure:

  1. Trek with a Guide or Porter
    While the Manaslu Circuit can be trekked independently, hiring a local guide or porter can enhance your experience and provide valuable insights into the region’s culture and terrain. Porters can carry your heavy gear, allowing you to trek more comfortably.
  2. Acclimatize Adequately
    Altitude sickness is a real concern when trekking in Nepal at higher elevations. Follow your trekking itinerary, which includes rest days for acclimatization, and listen to your body. If you experience symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, nausea, fatigue), descend to a lower altitude immediately.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
    Proper hydration and nutrition are vital during the trek. Drink plenty of clean water, and eat balanced meals to maintain your energy levels.
  4. Dress in Layers
    The weather in the Himalayas can change rapidly. Dress in layers so you can easily adjust to temperature variations throughout the day. Ensure your outer layers are waterproof to protect against rain and snow.
  5. Respect Local Culture and Environment
    Show respect for the local communities you encounter along the trek. Ask for permission before taking photos of people and their property. Dispose of waste properly and carry out all non-biodegradable trash.
  6. Stay Safe and Informed
    Stay informed about weather conditions and trail updates from local sources. Carry a first aid kit, and be prepared for emergencies. Register your trekking plans with local authorities or your trekking agency.

Conclusion: Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Manaslu Circuit trek offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and high-altitude adventure. Following this step-by-step itinerary, along with proper preparation and responsible trekking practices, will help ensure that your journey through this remote Himalayan region is not only successful but also deeply fulfilling. As you trek through attractive villages, traverse challenging mountain passes, and savor breathtaking vistas, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your boots, take the first step, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Himalayas on the Manaslu Circuit.