Trip Duration 19 Days
Destination Nepal
Trip Grade Moderate
Activity Trekking
Transportation Private Vehicle
Accomodation Lodge to lodge
Meals Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner
Max. Altitude 5,106 m
More Facts Less Facts

Manaslu trek encircles the Himalayan massif that includes Mt Manaslu the 8th highest peak in the world. The route is less trekked as it was only open in 1992 with restrictions of special permits and liaison officer. It has been possible to do a teahouse trek only recently. 
The trek follows Budi Gandaki River valley and traverses different ethnic and geographical territories to the northern side of Manaslu massif known as ‘Nupri’. The valley on the other side is majestic with undisturbed view of Manaslu and other snow peaks. The locals are culturally and geographically close to Tibet. Locals could exploit the trade of Tibetan lake salt with grains from southern valleys and use the pastures of Tibet for grazing until 1960es. These villages were cut off from the outside world after China came to Tibet. Larkya La pass at 5,106 m is the highest and the challenging part of the Manaslu trek. The pass is not technical but needs endurance for long, strenuous walk with precarious downhill on a sleepy snow covered slopes. The pass was one of the main crossings for salt trading that connected Manaslu with Annapurna. On a clear day, the pass offers overview of about a dozen of peaks including Mt Manaslu and Annapurna II.

Trip Highlights

  • Pristine trek in the Himalayas, opened only couple of decade back.
  • New teahouse trekking as it was only possible with full fledged camping.
  • Side trips of Pungen Gompa (monastery) and Ponker lake.
  • Excurtion of one of the most intact Buddhist valley hidden in the Himalayas.
  • Trek supporting local income in the region that was the epicenter of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. 

Outline Day to Day Itinerary:

  • Day 01:Arrive Kathmandu
  • Day 02:A day in Kathmandu sightseeing
  • Day 03:Drive to Soti Khola (10 hrs / 815 m)
  • Day 04:Trek to Machhi Khola (6 hrs / 869 m)
  • Day 05:Trek to Jagat (7 hrs / 1,340 m)
  • Day 06:Trek to Deng (7 hrs / 1,860 m)
  • Day 07:Trek to Namrung (6 hrs / 2,630 m)
  • Day 08:Trek to Shayla (6 hrs / 3,500 m)
  • Day 09:Side trip to Pungyen Gompa (3,900 m / 4 hrs) & overnight in Sama Gaun (3,520 m / 1 ½ hrs)
  • Day 10:Free day in Sama Gaun | Explore the valley and the village
  • Day 11:Trek to Samdo (4 hrs / 3,875 m)
  • Day 12:Trek to Dharmshala (4 hrs / 4,480 m)
  • Day 13:Trek over Larkya La (Pass) 5,113 m to Bimthang (8 hrs / 3,890 m )
  • Day 14:Excursion of Ponker Lake and another night in Bimtang
  • Day 15:Trek from Bimthang to Dharapani (7 hrs / 1,963 m)
  • Day 16:Trek from Dharapani to Jagat (6 hrs / 1,300 m )
  • Day 17:Trek from Jagat to Bhulbhule (6 hrs /850 m)
  • Day 18:Drive back to Kathmandu
  • Day 19:Drive to the airport for final departure.

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01:Arrive Kathmandu Our represent will pick you up from the Kathmandu airport as per your flight details. Drive to the hotel and go on a familiarization walk in the evening if you are not tired.
  • Day 02:A day in Kathmandu sightseeing Guided sightseeing of Kathmandu gives you an insight into local culture and etiquette. Kathmandu is melting pot of several culture and ethnic groups found across the county. Visit the World heritage sites with our learned local guide.
  • Day 03:Drive to Soti Khola (10 hrs / 815 m) We will drive west of Kathmandu on Prithivi highway for about 50 km and then take a road to Dhading besi, the district headquarter town. From here drive on a dirt road to Gola Bhanjyang mountain pass and descend down to Ankhu river valley. Drive further across Salyantar to Arughat Bazaar. It is possible to drive now further into the valley till Soti Khola.
    The valley basin is one of the major salt trading route for the region. We will follow the valley basin upstream Kali Gandaki River to small hamlet of Soti Khola. Overnight in guesthouse
  • Day 04:Trek to Machhi Khola (6 hrs / 869 m) The trail winds towards north following the Budi Gandaki upstream. The mountain sides have charming villages perched atop terraces, intermediated with lush forests, cliffs and waterfalls. From Soti Khola we climb up to a village called Khorsaani. The walk gets rough from here over the rockery that seesaws and climb on the mountainside. Walk along the pristine Budi Gandaki bank and then climb up and down again on a steep rocky mountainside to Machhi Khola about 2 hrs past Labubesi. Overngight in guesthouse.
  • Day 05:Trek to Jagat (7 hrs / 1,340 m) The valley gets narrower with sparse population and dense mountain side. The trail follows river bank, swinging up and down at times to tackle unpassable gorges. We pass village bazar of Khorla Bensi and Tatopani hot spring. Most of the walking will be through greenery in the higher reaches switching to right and life bank on a suspension bridge. The trail climbs along the old landslide debris which blocked the river making it gush down the boulders. Above the ridge, the valley opens wide with stretching riverbed. Cross on the left bank at Lauri, and climb to Jagat village for overnight stay.
  • Day 06:Trek to Deng (7 hrs / 1,860 m) Follow the riverbank on a leveled path to the village of Ghatte Khola and cross to eastern bank of Budi Gandaki to climb up to Philim village. This is relatively bigger and prosperous village developed as a center for villages in the higher valleys. There is a regional office of Manaslu conservation area project. The trail follows the contour through the forest of pine and Rhododendron till the confluence of Kali Gandaki with Shyar Khola and then crosses on suspension bridge to the western bank then head towards northwest.
    At this altitude we enter into Himalayan villages with pure Tibetan Buddhist influence, alpine lifestyle and farming culture. Population is sparser and the valley gets narrower with denser forest.
  • Day 07:Trek to Namrung (6 hrs / 2,630 m) The days walk is mostly along the forested bank of Budi Gandaki. We will climb high above the river basin to Rana village which offers the view of snow peaks. Descend to Ghap and then again cross to the southern bank to climb to Namrung village. The day is a felt harder as the air gets thinner and the day have relatively longer climbing so far.
    At around Namrung, the valley starts to widen up again with view of snow peaks. The village is relatively prosperous and rich in Himalayan Buddhist culture.
  • Day 08:Trek to Shayla (6 hrs / 3,500 m) The walk gets more scenic with undisturbed Himalayan view and the colorful Himalayan Buddhist villages. We stride through Khani (Buddsit entrance gates), Mani walls and rustic monasteries bedecked with Buddhist paintings and symbolisms. The vegetation gets sparse with rocky faces of the buttresses of the snow peaks. Along the way, we will get the view of Mt Manaslu, Gorkha Himal, Dwijen Himal, Saula Himal, Lajing Peak and Peak 29. Overnight in Shayla village.
  • Day 09:Side trip to Pungyen Gompa (3,900 m / 4 hrs) & overnight in Sama Gaun (3,520 m / 1 ½ hrs) Pungyen Gompa is the monastery named after the mountain god Pungyen Ri ie Mt Manaslu. The Nupri valley is patron of the mountain god Pungyen Ri. The trip is one of the best way to get view of Mt Malanslu. There are no villages but just pastures and the monastery in the isolation.
    The trail first climbs to the pasture and then winds through the pasture climbing gradually to the monastery. Come back to Syala and trek 1 and half hrs to Sama gaun after lunch.
  • Day 10:Free day in Sama Gaun | Explore the valley and the village You can give total rest to your legs and let your lungs adjust with the thin air. Being active and easy walk to higher reaches help with better acclimatization. There is a day hike to see Birendra Lake and Manaslu Icefall.
  • Day 11:Trek to Samdo (4 hrs / 3,875 m) The trail gradually climbs along the Kaligandaki river to Samdo where Budi Gandaki river valley braids. The trail is more arid with just bunch of juniper and seabuck throne on the side of the mountains. From Samdo, Tibet is just about 4 km. The village used to be center of the salt trade. One can see Mt Manasly, Samdo peak, Nagdi Chuli, Simnang Himal on a clear day.
  • Day 12:Trek to Dharmshala (4 hrs / 4,480 m) The scenic walk continue across the Budi Gandaki. We leave the Gandaki River we have been following and gradually climb towards Larkya pass. We pass the grazing marked as Larkya Bazaar which still signifies the importance of trans-Himalayan trade. Climbing gently, we come to scant ground at 4,460 m which used to have Dharamshala (rest house). There is a simple guest house now a days that facilitate teahouse trekkers.
  • Day 13:Trek over Larkya La (Pass) 5,113 m to Bimthang (8 hrs / 3,890 m ) This is not really a place to rest but to wait for next day’s predawn when everyone comes to a momentum. The long stretch of walk through the glacial moraine to the altitude of over 5,000 m and the descent on the snow slope makes the day toughest. The view is however rewarding to make you forget the difficulty. At Larkya La, view of western view appears surreal daunting peaks of Himlung Himal, Kangurru and Annapuran II and the Manaslu. Descend is not easier on the snowed slope and loose scree. The slippery descends are leveled off by yak pastures finally ends at Bimtang (3,590 m).
  • Day 14:Excursion of Ponker Lake and another night in Bimtang Ponker Lake is one of the pristine Lake surrounded by majestic snow peaks.
  • Day 15:Trek from Bimthang to Dharapani (7 hrs / 1,963 m) Leaving challenging and memorable trek behind, we again start to descend down to lush southern valley west of Mt Manaslu. The trail follows the Dudh Khola valley through the pine and Rhododendron forest coming to clearings of meadows with Himalayan views. Tilije is the major Gurung village we come across in the valley. The village have apple orchards and brews brandy. 1 hr down the valley, we join the popular trail of Annapurna circuit at Dharapani.
  • Day 16:Trek from Dharapani to Jagat (6 hrs / 1,300 m ) We follow downstream Marshyangdi valley along the popular Annapurna circuit trek. The valley is scenic and green with charming villages and well established teahouses. At Tal village, Marshyangdi river becomes more placid and spreads over the valley basin obstructed by natural dam below. Tal village has got beautiful waterfall. The trail further descends along the Marshyangdi River gushing over the boulders which formed the natural dam. We will arrive to Jagat for overnight stay. The village is perched high up on the ledge looking far down to where Marshyangdi River flows.
  • Day 17:Trek from Jagat to Bhulbhule (6 hrs /850 m) Walk further down to middle hills with dense villages and terrace farming. Crossing Marshyangdi River few times, we arrive to Bhulbhule from where we will drive back to Kathmandu the next day.
  • Day 18:Drive back to Kathmandu Our private vehicle will bring you back to Kathmandu. It will take about 8 hrs to drive back to Kathmandu.

Usefull Info

Manaslu trekking route was affected by April 2015 Nepal earthquake. The trail was fixed few months after the earthquake and the trekking resumed as early as in October 2015. We have been successfully organizing the trek in the previous season.

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