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
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.
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 There is a Restricted Area Permit which is perhaps a little out of date but is to do with the border with China/Tibet being easily accessible from here.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.
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.
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.|