Manaslu Trek

The best months are March, April, May and the last week in September to mid-December. The busiest season is October. Limits are the monsoon (June to September) and winter snow and lodge closures (Larkya Phedi, Bimtang) from some time in December to late February, early March.

Permits and rules

Yes, you need permits for the Manaslu Trek. There is a Restricted Area Permit which is perhaps a little out of date but is to do with the border with China/Tibet being easily accessible from here. Anyhow this keeps the numbers down.

  • RAP $70 first week + $10/d thereafter.
    It’s $50+$7 in off-peak seasons though this can change. The checkpoint in is in Jagat and checkpoint out at Dharapani.
  • The rules state min. 2 people + registered guide.
    If you are alone, then you still need a second permit of a “ghost” trekker. This needs an actual passport to get, so it is not easy. Another option is to join a group until Jagat then say a pre-arranged bye bye.
  • MCAP & ACAP permits Rs. 2000 each
    You need both as the check for ACAP at Dharapani. If you don’t have one you will have to pay double. Stupid, but there you go. ACAP and MCAP stand for Annapurna / Manaslu Conservation Area Project.
  • 4 x PP photos
    Get in Kathmandu quite cheaply for 12 or 24. Or send your guide/company a photo of you in daylight against a white wall and they can print.
  • No TIMS card required
    This odd permit is needed for other areas of Nepal, but not needed if you go to a restricted area.
  • Tsum valley permits:
    Approximately:  Sep to Nov US$35 for first 8 days, Dec to Aug US$25 for first 8 days. Days in Tsum don’t count against your Manaslu permit. But double check at the time you go!

What to take with you on the trek?

  • Guidebook
  • Map
  • Good sleeping bag – it can be cold in early spring and late November. You can buy or rent in Kathmandu.
  • Sun glasses – sun is very bright, high amounts of UV. Take them off when talking to people though.
  • Head-torch – for reading, going to the toilet, expect limited electricity.
  • Buff – good for keeping sun of neck and face.
  • Wide brimmed hat – not very fashionable, but keeps sun of face and you will stay younger looking longer.
  • Trekking poles – pack them for the flat bits, great on the hills and steep descent from the pass and trail to Dharapani.
  • Full kit list and suggested trekking first aid kit list.

Finding a guide or company…

You have no choice but to go through a registered trekking company to get permits. Once they have bought permits from the government department then they are on the tax radar, and will be taxed accordingly. So either you will pay a surcharge if they will indeed give permits without a guide, or better, you take a guide or guide/porter with you. This is a good thing to do for many reasons, namely giving a person or two and his/her family income. Most freelance guides are associated with some kind of trekking company to be able to get the permits.
There are some guides and companies recommended on these pages and in the comments. Otherwise, contact us, we’re based in Kathmandu and know can  point you towards an experience and  trusted company.
What to read about the Manaslu area?
There are a couple of semi-anthropological books to be found as well as guidebooks.

  1. Where two rivers meet
  2. Tibetan Diary
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal
Day 02: Sight seen in Kathmandu
Day 03: Fly or drive to Pokhara and Rest
Day 04: Drive to Nayapul and Trek to Syauli Bazar
Day 05: Trek to Ghandruk
Day 06: Trek to Tadapani
Day 07: Trek to Ghorepani
Day 08: Early morning visit Poon-hill and rest day
Day 09: Trek to Hile

When to trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek takes you from just 700m altitude at Arughat (or Gorkha Bazar) up to 5160m on the pass – a tremendous range of altitudes, temperatures and micro-climates! Finding the balance between hot and cold, views and nature, peak and off peak is key. This table should give you an idea with a 1 – 5 star rating.

January 1* Cold and icy but generally clear skies. “…Sometime around mid-January. Very quiet (few people) in winter season, cold at night, fresh and beautiful,” said one trekker. Winter storms sometimes visit the pass through January and February, but changing weather patterns make it difficult to predict. Crampons needed for descending the pass. There are five or so icy sections of around 10m long. Porters and guides should also have crampons.  Key lodges (Larkya Phedi, Bimtang) still closed so bring a tent.
February 1* Cold, icy but warming towards the end of the month Towards the end of February, Rhododendrons begin to bloom in the lower reaches of forest. Key lodges (Larkya Phedi, Bimtang) still closed so bring a tent.
March 3-4* Good weather. Not too cold high up, not too warm down below. Wonderful rhododendrons from Deng up to Shyala. Check opening of Bimtanglodge 993664542.
April 3-4* Getting hot in lower Budi Gandaki Wonderful rhododendrons from Deng up to Shyala. Still few people, a great time to trek.
May 1* Hot, sweaty and hazy Last of the Rhododendron blooms can be seen.
June 1-2* Cooling down with rains Monsoon slowly begins. No trekkers around. With very early starts, you can still enjoy trekking with views.
July 2-3* Monsoon The time to see flowers and greenery. Nepal is lush in monsoon. Fewer lodges in activity.
August 2-3* Monsoon What is it actually like – read about a monsoon trekking adventure here…. Fewer lodges in activity.
September 3* Monsoon dies away, haze and rains still possible. Monsoon ending around third week in September.
October 5* Magnificent Busiest month consequently!
November 5* Fabulous, cooling down. Colder higher up, but still a great month to trek. Be careful to avoid the Manaslu Trail Racearound that time.
December 5* Getting cold. Best views with crystal clear air. The villagers of Samdo pack up around mid-December and cross the pass to head to Kathmandu, Pokhara and India for the winter.

Manaslu Trek


Short & Sassy Widerness Experience

Short & Sassy Widerness Experience

This short tour is a combination of a number of exciting good events. You start with a helicopter ride trek a bit, enjoy a picnic, bath at the waterfall in the very first day.

  • 3 NIGHTS / 4 DAYS
Namrung Widerness Experience

Namrung Widerness Experience

This shares the same goodness from the short and sassy wilderness experience in the initial 2 days.

  • 4 NIGHTS / 5 DAYS