Key information: Manaslu Circuit
- An outstanding 19 day trek around one of the world’s highest mountains, at the heart of the Great Himalaya.
- Deep gorge, forest and hamlets, dry highlands below ethereal snows; ancient trade routes and the Tibetan Buddhist world.
Walkopedia rating(Top 100)
- Walkopedia rating95
- Natural interest17
- Human interest14
- Negative points4
- Total rating95
- Note: High altitude and really tough walking.
- Length: 164km
- 19 days
- Maximum Altitude: 5,135m
- Level of Difficulty: Very Difficult
This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.
An outstanding 19 day trek around Manaslu, at 8,156m the world’s eighth highest mountain, at the heart of the spectacular Great Himalaya. Escape the crowds around the Anapurnas and Everest.
Follow an ancient trade route toward Tibet, for several days up a long, tough gorge that has cut its way through these vast mountains.
Emerge to lovely forest sheltering remote hamlets and their little fields. Revel in the spirit of the Tibetan Buddhist world.
Then into the high country, amid magnificent peaks. The views of marvellous Manaslu and the other huge, snowy Himalayas have to be some of the best anywhere.
The high back of the mountain is almost in Tibet, and has many of its characteristics, especially the dry, brown lower landscape below the soaring ethereal snowfields.
Walkopedia friend Dick Everard circuited Manaslu in Spring 2017. His full account is available as an ebook at http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/8005361-manaslu-circuit-nepal-march-april-2017?ebook=629291. All profits to the Himalayan Trust, so worth buying for multiple reasons! And see his blog here: http://dickeverard2017.blogspot.co.uk/
This is tough walking in remote mountains at serious altitude, and amidst capricious mountain conditions. Come prepared.
This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Books and Maps
Books on this walk (support us: find books using our Amazon search box)
Nepal Trekking and the Great Himalaya Trail: A Route and Planning Guide – Robin Boustead/Trailblazer
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya – Lonely Planet
Find these and other books on Amazon.
Nepal – Lonely Planet
The Rough Guide to Nepal – Rough Guides
Nepal – Insight Guides
Nepal – Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture – Tessa Fuller
Berlitz Travel Guide to Nepal – Berlitz Travel Guides
Nepali – Lonely Planet Phrasebook
Find these and other books on Amazon.
Various maps can be bought locally, fairly easily. The Nepal Survey 1:50,000 is perhaps the best.
Best times to walk/weather
Best times to walk
October to May.
Winter gets very cold, but you will be compensated by clear, superb views.
Generally fine in season, but come prepared for unpredictable mountain weather and cold nights.
Those on organised expeditions will be transported from/to arranged start/departure points.
Most people come to the start/finish from Pokkara, although you can get there from Kathmandu as well.
Permit requirements change, but as of writing, a permit is needed to walk in this area – and you need to use a local guide. Expedition organisers should arrange these.
See Walk Summary above.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
- Altitude: can affect some; potentially fatal. Acclimatize appropriately, come prepared to cope, be ready to evacuate people in extreme cases
- Extreme mountain weather: snow, rain, severe cold and wind are possible at any time of year and the weather can change rapidly. Winter can be pretty extreme. Come prepared.
- Heat and strong sun. Carry enough water and protect yourself.
- Heights: can be dangerous; not for those who have difficulties with heights.
- Harmful animals of all shapes and sizes, including snakes.
- This is remote country: food and other supplies will not be readily available and help will be hard to get if things go wrong.
- Health risks: these are relatively undeveloped countries, and you will not get prompt medical help of a standard available elsewhere if you become ill. Come prepared, including getting all appropriate inoculations/medications.
- Beware of dogs: throw stones if they threaten, keep well clear if possibly rabid.
- Be sensitive about photographing people: don’t without permission. Ask permission if in doubt about whether they would mind.
See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and problems can arise on any walk. Many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks and possible problems. This website cannot, does not purport to, identify all actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to a walk or a country. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Make sure you have appropriate insurance.
Guided or independent?
Not currently allowed.
You have to hire a guide or form or join organised/supported expeditions. Organisers can also arrange for permits to be obtained. Choosing a suitable guide or company is of course vital, and the guidebooks contain good advice in this regard.
If hiring a guide locally, meet him/her and get comfortable before committing. Make sure all requirements are understood and agreed, including remuneration!
Expedition organisers include:
- Our partners, Responsible Travel do a Manaslu circuit
- Happy Feet Travels Ltd. – http://www.happyfeetmountaineers.com - the brilliant Dendi Sherpa is the main man. (Walkopedia friend, who saved one of our group’s life in Mustang.) Good value, too.
- Explore! - www.explore.co.uk - reputable and experienced organisers.
- Exodus – www.exodus.co.uk do expeditions on both the Nepali and the Tibetan side.
- High Places – www.highplaces.co.uk
- Himalayan Glacier Trekking Ltd. – www.himalayanglacier.com
- Himalayan Paradise Trek and Expedition – www.himalayasherpatrek.com
- The Mountain Company – www.themountaincompany.co.uk do a “full monty” of both north base camp and the Tseram area.
- Adventure Consultants - www.adventureconsultants.com do a Manaslu trek.
- PLEASE HELP Walkopedia by recommending any reputable tour organizers that you know of – local or otherwise.
Camping used to be the only option, but we understand that teahouse trekking is now possible (as of 2017).
Other information and tips
Tipping is expected, so come mentally prepared and with enough cash. Check guidebooks for current rates. Do err on the side of generosity if unsure – it will make a big difference to them.
Do be careful, considerate and respectful in all dealings with the locals.
Useful websites and information
There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.
- www.manaslucircuittrek.com has lots of information, as well as helping people to find groups to trek with
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manaslu as usual, a good starting place.
- Try www.flickr.com for pictures of this walk.
Other things to do in the area
Nepal and Tibet have a huge variety of great walks.
Shopping, if you must
We are not a shopping website. But, there are beautiful and interesting things to be found, and anything bought from local people must be of some help to these desperately poor areas. So, wallets out! (And don’t try to extract the very last cent when bargaining…)
COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS
Posted on: 27/09/2011
Posted on: 13/05/2013
Your walk over Larkya La will start before dawn. You'll find it helpful to time your trek with an eye to the moon phase.
Posted on: 13/05/2013
To cross Larkya La you will set out well before dawn. 4 am is not unreasonable. If you can sort out the moon phases and rise / set times and plan your trek whith that in mind it will be helpful to have moon light for the first few hours.
Posted on: 08/04/2017
I started walking the Manaslu Circuit on Saturday 18th March from Arughat having travelled by coach from Kathmandu the previous day. I completed the circuit at Syange on Saturday 1st April. I will provide a detailed account in due course although a few details can be seen on my blog at: http://dickeverard2017.blogspot.co.uk/ .
share your experiences
Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more