Tilche to Chymche during Manaslu Circuit Trek

As you stand at the foot of the soaring Himalayan peaks, the bone-chilling wind stinging your cheeks, you ponder the long and arduous journey ahead. The legendary Manaslu Circuit looms before you, beckoning with the promise of adventure. How far will you travel to answer that siren call? This ancient trail winds its way through rugged valleys, over high mountain passes, past Buddhist monasteries and hillside villages. Forging onward, one foot in front of the other, you’ll traverse over 160 to 180 kilometers (100 to 110 miles) of awe-inspiring vistas during Manaslu Circuit Trek.

manaslu base camp-Dar el Maarifa

With each step, you’ll uncover the rich history and culture of the region. When you embark on this life-changing odyssey, you’ll discover just how far you’re willing to go to satisfy your thirst for adventure. So lace up your boots, hoist your pack, and get ready to be transformed.

Opening Hook: The Allure of the Manaslu Circuit Trek

Nestled within the Himalayas lies Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, towering at 8,163 m (26,759 feet). For adventure seekers looking to embark on a challenging multi-day trek, the Manaslu Circuit offers a rewarding alternative to the crowded trails of Everest. Spanning over 150 miles, this high-altitude trek circles the Manaslu massif, transporting trekkers through a diversity of landscapes ranging from lush forests to snow-capped passes.

A Challenging Yet Rewarding Trek

Requiring a minimum of two weeks to complete, the Manaslu Circuit trek is not for the faint of heart. Elevations surpass 13,000 feet, and trekkers can expect long days of strenuous hiking over rugged terrain. However, the rewards of the trek are commensurate with its challenges.

Majestic Mountain Vistas

Around every bend of the trail, trekkers are greeted with jaw-dropping views of the Himalayas, including four of the eight-thousanders: Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Ganesh Himal. As you climb higher in elevation, sweeping panoramas unfold, with snow-capped peaks towering over verdant valleys.

Unique Cultural Encounters

The Manaslu region is also home to a diversity of ethnic groups, including Gurung, Tamang and Tibetan peoples. Throughout the trek, you will pass through traditional stone villages, Buddhist monasteries and chortens, gaining insight into the unique cultures and way of life in this Himalayan region. By embarking on this remarkable journey, you open yourself to be transformed by the stunning beauty and cultural richness of the Manaslu Circuit. Though strenuous, its rewards are profound. Are you up for the adventure?

Overview of the Manaslu Circuit Trek Route

Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the most scenic treks in Nepal, circumnavigating the eighth-highest mountain in the world, Mount Manaslu. This strenuous high-altitude trek takes you around the towering Mount Manaslu while passing through remote mountain villages, dense forests, and high alpine pastures.

Jagat to Deng: The First Steps

The trek begins in Jagat, a small village in the Gandaki river valley. From Jagat, you descend to the river and cross a suspension bridge, then climb through rice terraces to the village of Deng where you will spend the first night. This section is a gentle introduction, gaining only about 500m in altitude over 8km.

Gandaki river valley
Gandaki river valley

Deng to Ghap: Into the Mountains

From Deng, the trail climbs more steeply up the Budhi Gandaki river valley, passing through bamboo forests and isolated settlements. After crossing the river, you will arrive in Ghap, a small village at an altitude of 2100m. The trails are still well-maintained, but the increasing altitude means progress slows. You will gain over 1000m in elevation over 12km today.

Ghap to Lho: Above the Tree Line

Beyond Ghap, the valley becomes increasingly narrow and the trail climbs above the tree line. After crossing a high bridge at 2400m, you will arrive in the village of Lho. At 3180m, the air is noticeably thinner. You will see your first views of Manaslu today, as well as other snow-capped peaks like Simnang Himal. Over 13km, you will climb nearly 1100m in altitude.

The Manaslu Circuit trek continues on to Samagaun, Samdo, and the Larkya La pass, before descending to Dharapani. With stunning scenery, unique culture, and challenging trails, the Manaslu Circuit deserves its reputation as one of the finest treks in the Himalayas. By completing this trek, you will have ventured deep into a region of pristine natural beauty and gained insight into a way of life that has endured for centuries in the shadows of the world’s highest peaks.

Day-by-Day Distance Breakdown of the Manaslu Circuit

The Manaslu Circuit trek circumnavigates the 8th highest mountain in the world, Mount Manaslu. Covering a distance of roughly 160 to 180 kilometers (100 to 110 miles) over 14-16 days, this challenging trek passes through a culturally diverse region with stunning scenery.

Days 1-3: Arughat Bazaar to Jagat

The trek begins in Arughat Bazaar at 590 meters (1,936 ft), following the Budhi Gandaki River up to Jagat village at 1,300 meters (4,265 ft). This section spans roughly 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) with an ascent of 710 meters (2,329 ft). The trail passes lush forests and waterfalls, with the first glimpse of Manaslu on the horizon.

Days 4-6: Jagat to Deng

From Jagat, the trek continues 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to Deng village at 1,804 meters (5,917 ft). This section involves crossing suspension bridges over gorges and navigating rocky trails, with the terrain becoming more mountainous. Trekkers will gain over 500 meters (1,640 ft) in elevation, all while enjoying panoramic views of the valley.

Days 7-9: Deng to Ghap

The next section spans 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Deng to Ghap village, situated at 2,960 meters (9,711 ft). This part of the trek involves a steep climb of over 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) while passing through rhododendron forests. The high-altitude Ghap provides stunning views of Manaslu and the surrounding Himalayas.

Days 10-14: Ghap to Dharapani

The final section descends from Ghap to Dharapani over 4 days, covering 25 kilometers (15.5 miles). Trekkers will lose 1,460 meters (4,790 ft) in elevation while enjoying a diverse landscape ranging from subalpine forests to subtropical valleys. The trek ends in Dharapani at 1,500 meters (4,921 ft), a total distance of roughly 160 to 180 kilometers (100 to 110 miles) from the starting point in Arughat Bazaar.

The Manaslu Circuit trek challenges both body and mind, but rewards trekkers with a culturally rich experience in a stunning Himalayan setting. By understanding the day-by-day distances and elevations, you can adequately prepare for this life-changing adventure. With perseverance and teamwork, you too can circumnavigate the “Mountain of the Spirit”.

Planning Your Manaslu Circuit Trek Logistics

To successfully complete the Manaslu Circuit trek, thoughtful preparation and planning are required. As with any extended trekking expedition, you will need to arrange transportation, accommodations, permits, gear, and a guide. Advance planning will help ensure you have a safe and memorable experience exploring this remote region of the Nepali Himalayas.

Transportation and Accommodations

You will need to book transportation to and from the trailhead towns of Arughat Bazaar or Soti Khola to start and end your trek. Tea houses along the route offer basic accommodation, but advance booking is recommended, especially during peak season. Be prepared for rustic conditions with limited amenities.

Permits and Guides

The Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit is required for this trek and can be obtained through a licensed trekking agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Permits for other areas along the route, such as the Annapurna Conservation Area, may also be needed. Hiring an experienced guide is highly recommended given the remote, high-altitude nature of the trek. Guides will ensure you follow the proper route, assist in emergencies, and help with permit acquisition.

Gear and Supplies

You will need high-quality gear suitable for trekking at high altitudes, including insulated clothing, sturdy hiking boots, sleeping bags, and tents. Pack extra food in case teahouses are closed, and bring essential medicines, toiletries, a first aid kit, a map, a compass, a pocket knife, a water purification system, and other survival tools. Charging and wifi access is limited, so carry extra batteries and a portable charger.

With the necessary permits, gear, and logistical arrangements in place in advance, you will be fully equipped to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The rewards of navigating challenging passes, witnessing breathtaking Himalayan panoramas, and soaking in the region’s unique cultural attractions will far outweigh any hardships endured along the way. By thoughtfully preparing for all contingencies, you can focus on enjoying each moment of discovering the majestic beauty of the Manaslu region.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Distance FAQs

How far is the Manaslu Circuit trek?

The Manaslu Circuit trek typically covers between roughly 160 to 180 kilometers (100 to 110 miles) over the course of 15 to 20 days, depending on the specific route taken. The trek circumnavigates Mount Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163 meters (26,781 feet) high. The trail passes through diverse landscapes ranging from sub-tropical forests to alpine meadows. Trekkers can expect to walk between 5 to 8 hours each day, covering 10 to 16 kilometers (6 to 10 miles) at a moderate pace.

What is the highest point on the Manaslu Circuit trek?

The Manaslu Circuit trek reaches its zenith at the Larkya La pass, which sits at an elevation of 5,135 meters (16,847 feet). Crossing the Larkya La pass is a challenging yet rewarding accomplishment, as trekkers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Manaslu, Himlung Himal, and Kang Guru. The strenuous climb to the pass typically takes 2 days, staying overnight at Larkya Phedi. Proper acclimatization is essential before attempting to cross the pass.

Are permits required for the Manaslu Circuit trek?

Yes, trekking permits are mandatory for the Manaslu Circuit trek. Permits can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara or a trekking agency.

  • Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (MRAP) – Cost varies by season.
  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) Permit – USD 30 per person.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) – May be required depending on route, fee varies by nationality.

In summary, while challenging, the Manaslu Circuit trek rewards perseverance. With stunning vistas, diverse landscapes and rich culture, this trek showcases the best of the Himalayas. With some preparation and the proper permits secured, embarking on this life-changing adventure in the mountains of Nepal can be profoundly rewarding.


As you plan your next big adventure, reflect on what drives you to push beyond your comfort zone. Is it the thrill of conquering new heights? The excitement of traveling somewhere exotic? Or the satisfaction that comes from completing a difficult journey? Whatever your motivation, remember that the Manaslu Circuit trek offers 175 kilometers of spectacular Himalayan scenery and cultural immersion. While the distance may seem daunting, take it one step at a time. Focus on each moment – the crunch of snow under your boots, the flutter of prayer flags in the wind, the warmth of a cup of tea with new friends. When you keep your eyes open to the present, you just may find that the longest journeys are made up of the smallest yet most meaningful steps.

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Sailendra Bhatta

An adventurer, writer, and Founder of Nepal Travel Vibes.

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