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Manaslu Trek

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Manaslu Trek

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This article is an itinerary.

Manaslu Trek is in the Gorkha District of Nepal


The Manaslu Trek (or Manaslu Circuit Trek) is a 14-day trek which circumnavigates the 8th highest peak in the world (8,156 m). The trek has all the elements of other treks in Nepal including both Hindu and Buddhist culture, protected wildlife, rhododendrons and wild flowers, raging rivers, precarious bridges and stunning mountain scenery.

The trek is much easier than it used to be with greatly improved trails along the Budi Gandaki river gorge. In terms of difficulty, it is comparable with the Annapurna Circuit Trek or Everest Base Camp trek. It's highlight is undoubtedly the spectacular unhindered views of Manaslu.

Just over 2,000 people complete the trek per year with more than half visiting in October. This is substantially fewer than visiting Annapurna, Everest or Langtang. There are two main reason for the fewer numbers.

The first reason is that the trek used to require camping, as there were too few tea-houses along the trail. In particular there was no lodge below the Larkya La (a pass at 5135m) requiring an enforced night of camping. This is no longer the case. Since 2010 there is a tea-house below the pass and all the way up from the starting point. A few of the tea-houses are still basic compared to counterparts on the Annapurna Circuit, but most are comfortable.

The second reason is that the trek has restricted area status. This means it requires a special permit (see below), that the group have two or more members and that a registered trekking guide accompanies the group. In 2011, for Nepal Tourism Year, the permit fee was reduced to US$50 per week.

These two factors together have made the trek affordable for budget travellers and it is now being referred to as The New Annapurna Circuit.


You have to arrange this trek though a registered trekking agency, even though you may just be two people with a single guide. The agency is necessary for arranging the permit, as individual tourists are not permitted to do that.

In addition to the restricted area permits are permits for two national parks and a general trekking permit:

  • Restricted Area Permit: US$ 50 per week (reduced for 2011) which must be bought through a registered trekking agent [1].
  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit: NRs. 2,000 (approx 20 Euro or US$30)
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit: NRs. 2,000 (approx 20 Euro or US$30)
  • TIMS card [2]: US$10

Prepare as you would for any other trek equipment-wise. Water purification such as iodine or a portable filter will be needed. Get fit.

Get in

The trek generally starts at either Arughat. This is a simple 5-6 hour micro-bus ride from Kathmandu costing around US$7.


Check the online Manaslu Trek map [3] to understand the locations mentioned in the itinerary.

Travel from Kathmandu to Arughat [600m good lodges]. The bus may take you further than Arughat depending on the state of the road ahead. Sleep there or continue to Arket [750m basic lodges] or Soti Khola [800m basic lodges] to get a head start. Otherwise the standard itinerary with days of 6 hours or less of walking is as follows:

  1. Arughat to Soti Khola, 5h [800m basic lodges]
  2. Soti Khola to Machha Khola, 5h (Fish River) [1000m good lodges]
  3. Machha Khola to Jagat, 6h(Jagat means tax collection point) [1400m good lodge (25 rooms 50 pax) ]
  4. Jagat to Deng, 6h [1860m good lodge called Manaslu Trekkers Home (20 rooms 40 pax)]
  5. Deng to Namrung, 6h [2600m reasonable lodges]
  6. Namrung to Lho, 4h [3100m reasonable] or Shyala [3500m basic]
  7. To Samagaon, 2h [3500m good]
  8. Rest day in Sama – Manaslu Basecamp excursion optional
  9. Samagaon to Samdo, 4h [3800m reasonable lodges]
  10. Samdo – excursion up to Tibetan border recommended.
  11. Samdo to Larkya Phedi, 4h [4460m good lodge (64 pax)]
  12. Cross the pass and reach Bimtang, 8h [3700m good lodges]
  13. Bimtang to Tilje, 6h [2100m good lodges]
  14. Tilje to Jagat, 6h (roadhead, sleep or jeep to Besisahar depending on time) [1300m good lodges]
  15. Besisahar [800m good lodges] – Public transport departs from here.


It is also possible to start from Gorkha Bazaar, but this requires camping. A side trip to Tsum Valley is also possible, but this also requires camping or pre-arranged homestays. Itineraries can be as short as 10 days, excluding rest days, or as much as 18 days, taken at a relaxing pace with plenty of exploring.

It is also entirely possible to combine with the Annapurna Ciruit: from Dharapani, continue to Manang and over the Thorung La at speed having already acclimatized. Then fly or bus out from Jomson to Pokhara.

Day trips

Popular day trips include a visit to Manaslu basecamp from Samagaon and a hike to the border with Tibet which is a 5 hour return trip from Samdo.

Stay safe

The principle danger is altitude, specifically going too high too quickly. Follow these instructions for altitude sickness prevention

Get out

Finally take a bus from Besisahar to return to Kathmandu, or continue onward to Pokhara.

This itinerary is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present for it to be of real use. It was last edited on 2011-09-21 and will be deleted if not modified for one year. Please plunge forward and rescue it!