Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary

Explore the wonders of Nepal with a Manaslu Circuit Trek!

The Itinerary: 

Day 01: Welcome at Tribhuvan International Airport, then transfer to your hotel

Welcome to Airport and transfer to your Hotel. Introduce the program then enjoy your first night in cultural diversity in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Free day for trekking preparation.

Free day for trekking preparation or sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley.

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Machhekhola (869m, 7-8 hrs)

We head out from Kathmandu for the long drive to Machekhola, driving through Arughat along the way on the dusty road. Our companion and guide through the Manaslu valley whose source we’ll eventually touch on when we ascend to the pass of Larkya La. Machha Khola, with pleasant views of the surrounding jungle and occasional waterfalls adding their own soothing sound bite to the hike.

Day 04: Machhakhola to Jagat (1340m, 7 hrs)

We ease through Khorlabesi during the early part of the day and make our way to Tatopani, famed for its natural hot springs. A steep climb takes us up to Dobhan as we enter the Manaslu Conservation area and on to the scenic village of Jagat and its rugged setting and narrow paved lanes.

Day 05: Jagat to Deng (1860m, 7 hrs)

Our day begins by walking through subtropical rainforest and a series of small hamlets, traversing a couple of suspension bridges along the way, the last of which leads us into the village of Philim and its beautiful setting amidst terraced fields overlooking the river. Further along the trail, we arrive at the junction for Tsum Valley and Larkye La and take the path heading northwest towards Deng.

Day 06: Deng to Namrung (2630m, 7 hrs)

The first real views of the major mountains at hand come into view, with Sringi Himal, Ganesh

Himal, Kutang Himal, and other peaks make their presence known as we make our way up the valley.

Lush vegetation greets us as we hit the trail and head west through more quaint villages like Prok and their scenic outlooks, then on and up the last steep stretch that ushers us into Namrung.

Day 07: Namrung to Loho. (3180m, 4 hrs)

Today is the day when we hit the jackpot for spectacular views of the mountains as the valley opens up with our approach to the scenic village of Lho. The lower temperate forests give way steadily as the trail breaks free of the tree line and climbs higher into the mountains, the lush greens of the lower valley giving way to the muted browns and grays of the Himalayan terrain and the vivid blue skies one only experiences at altitude. After our half-day hike to Lho, there’s plenty of time left over to fully explore the gorgeous views of Manaslu and visit Rebung Gompa perched atop a hillside nearby.

Day 08: Loho to Sama (3520m, 3 hrs).

From Lho we hike to the equally impressive village of Shyala and its own spectacular vistas of Manaslu, Himal Chuli, Nadi, Naike, Kutang Himal, and Pangbuche Himal climb steadily through yak pasturelands to Sama Gaun. With plenty of time left over from the day, there’s ample opportunity to make the short hike to Birendra Lake.

Day 09: Acclimatization day. Hike to either Birendra Lake/Manaslu Base camp or Pungen Gumpa.

Sama Gaun is our temporary home for the day as we give our bodies time to acclimate to the altitude, and the choice is a fine one as the village provides multiple choices for day excursions, including a short hike to the pretty lake of Birendra Taal nearby, the highly rewarding and dramatic hike to Manaslu Base camp, or the alternative walk to Pungen Gompa and its serene setting amidst the mountains.

Day 10: Sama to Samdo (3860m, 3 hrs)

Onward and up is the motto of the day as we put our heads down determinedly with the goal of Larke La ever nearer. The trail leads us on a short and gradual climb alongside the river then begins to steepen as it leads us up to Samdo around midday. There is plenty of time in the afternoon to explore and perhaps hike to a higher altitude briefly to help in the process of acclimatization.

Day 11: Acclimatization day. Hike to Tibetan border at Rui La (4998m) and return to Samdo (8 hrs)

Another rest day to help acclimate, with the rare option to spend the day on a hike to the border with Tibet at the pass of Rui La (4998m). The views of the Himalayas and Fukang Glacier add another level to the day’s journey.

Day 12: Samdo to Dharmasala(4460m, 5 hrs)

Our trek to the high-altitude camp of Dharmsala brings us to the very threshold of Larke La, with snow more evident and the air feeling thinner with each step towards our destination. Another brief hike to higher ground is recommended to help our bodies get used to the altitude and sleep better during the night.

Day 13: Dharmasala to Larke La 5160m then descends to Bhimthang overnight (3590, 8 hrs).

The typical method for crossing Larkya La is to head out before daybreak, our head-mounted lights bobbing in the dark as we clamber up the path in the cold morning air, our breath apparent in the glow of the lamps. The trail to Larke La is a deceptive one of constant switchbacks, promising everything one minute and snatching it away from the next as one false ridge leads to another. Finally, we catch a glimpse of the first prayer flags and our goal is finally attained as we stumble wearily to the marker and pose proudly for our cameras to mark the achievement. After pausing to luxuriate in the accomplishment and take in the magnificent views we begin the descent to Bhimthang and put our trekking poles to good use to spare our tired legs and knees from the steep descent to the arid valley below.

Day 14: Bhimthang to Dharapani (1960m, 7/8 hrs).

With views of Manaslu to our left and the Annapurna ranges to our right we descend from Bhimthang through yak pastures to the first signs of the Dudh Khola’s headwaters trickling down the slope. A bridge across leads to a path that gradually leaves behind the alpine climate and takes us down through familiar rhododendron forests to a narrow valley of terraced fields and patchwork crops. We reach the small and picturesque village of Tilje and then make our way uphill to Dharapani, the major trekking confluence in the region and modern starting point for trekkers heading out on the Annapurna Circuit and their goal of reaching Thorong La pass. With time and intent, we too can head in the same direction.

Day 15: Dharapani to Kathmandu by drive.

A long day’s driving by local transport to Kathmandu.

Day 16: Departure

Farewell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.

Head back to the deal!