Nepal, a land of breathtaking landscapes and rich cultures, boasts numerous trekking destinations that cater to adventurers seeking awe-inspiring experiences. Among these, the Manaslu Circuit Trek stands out as a hidden gem, offering unparalleled natural beauty, cultural immersion, and the thrill of exploring remote terrain. This trek includes the eighth-highest mountain in the world, Mount Manaslu (8,163 meters). The trek takes trekkers through a variety of landscapes, including alpine meadows, forests, and glaciers, and passes through several small villages where trekkers can experience the local culture.
The Manaslu Circuit: A Trek Like No Other
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a 15-day adventure that commences at Maccha Khola and concludes at Beshi Sahar. For those seeking an extended experience, an optional side trek to the Tsum Valley can add an additional 9 days to your journey. This trek offers a fantastic alternative to the more popular Annapurna Circuit, providing a fresh perspective on Nepal’s diverse landscapes.
Surrounded by the magnificent Annapurna range to the west and the enchanting Ganesh Himal to the east, Manaslu is truly a graceful giant among the other towering 8,000-meter peaks of the Himalayas. What sets the Manaslu Circuit apart from other treks is its remote and less-traveled nature. Unlike the bustling trails of the Everest Base Camp, this trek offers solitude, tranquility, and an opportunity to truly connect with nature and culture. It’s physically demanding, but the rewards are immeasurable.
The following is an itinerary for the Manaslu Circuit Trek:
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Soti Khola and drive to Machha Khola.
Day 3: Trek to Jagat.
Day 4: Trek to Philim.
Day 5: Trek to Dharapani.
Day 6: Trek to Namrung.
Day 7: Trek to Samagaon.
Day 8: Acclimatization Day in Samagaon.
Day 9: Trek to Samdo.
Day 10: Acclimatization Day in Samdo.
Day 11: Trek to Larke Phedi.
Day 12: Cross Larke Pass and trek to Bimthang.
Day 13: Trek to Tilije.
Day 14: Trek to Dharapani.
Day 15: Drive to Kathmandu.
The Journey Unfolds
The trek begins in the steamy lowlands, where rice and millet terraces paint the landscape. As you follow the Budi Gandaki River, you’ll encounter mighty gorges with turquoise waters and breathtaking waterfalls. Suspension bridges on this route are iconic, both for their length and height, making river crossings an adventurous feat.
The Manaslu Circuit was opened to a limited number of trekkers in 1992, and it still retains an aura of pioneering exploration. Trekking here provides a glimpse into what trekking in the 1980s felt like—an unspoiled, wild, and untamed landscape.
Gradually, you ascend northward, approaching the snow-clad Larkya La Pass near the Tibetan border. The altitude here poses a challenge, but it’s soon forgotten when you’re greeted by the awe-inspiring vistas of Manaslu. The pass, at 5,167 meters (16,952 feet), is typically snow-covered and icy, requiring the use of micro crampons on the descent. To reach the pass’s summit before the winds pick up, trekkers often embark on a pre-dawn start, usually around 4 a.m. But the true magic unfolds as you leave the pass behind and venture westward. A magnificent glacial cirque comes into view, framed by towering peaks like Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang, and Kang Guru. Annapurna II stands majestically ahead, creating a surreal tableau of nature’s grandeur. This view alone justifies the entire trek and etches itself indelibly into your memory.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is accessible by vehicle from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. From Soti Khola, trekkers must hike to Machha Khola, the starting point of the trek.
The cost of the Manaslu Circuit Trek varies depending on the time of year, the length of the trek, and the level of service. However, trekkers can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 for a guided trek.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a moderate to challenging trek. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and be prepared for long days of hiking at high altitudes. Trekkers should also be prepared for the possibility of bad weather and altitude sickness.
Why You Shouldn’t Miss Trekking Manaslu Circuit in 2024
Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t miss trekking Manaslu Circuit in 2024:
Stunning Scenery: The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Nepal, with panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Mount Manaslu, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri.
Diverse Landscapes: The trek takes trekkers through a variety of landscapes, including alpine meadows, forests, and glaciers, providing a unique and immersive trekking experience.
Remote Villages: The trek passes through several small villages where trekkers can experience the local culture and way of life.
Less Crowded: The Manaslu Circuit Trek is less crowded than other popular trekking routes in Nepal, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek, making it a great option for trekkers who want to avoid the crowds.
New Experiences: The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a relatively new trekking route, which means that trekkers have the opportunity to explore uncharted territory and have new experiences.
Planning Your Manaslu Circuit Trek
Magical Nepal, a trusted trekking agency, can facilitate your all-inclusive 15-day trek to the Manaslu Circuit. Accommodation on the trek can be arranged in teahouses, but if you desire to venture off the beaten path, camping is the way to go.
In conclusion, the Manaslu Circuit Trek offers an adventure that transcends the ordinary. It invites you to explore untouched landscapes, experience diverse cultures, and challenge your physical limits. This trek is not merely a journey; it’s a visual and spiritual feast from start to finish, a living testament to the beauty of the Himalayas. So, gear up, prepare yourself physically and mentally, and embark on this extraordinary trek in 2024. The Manaslu Circuit beckons, promising a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will leave you forever changed. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the hidden wonders of Nepal’s natural and cultural heritage.