11 Things to Experience on the Manaslu Circuit Trek – Walking Through the Heart of the Himalayas

manaslu circuit trek experience

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is an extraordinary adventure that attracts travelers to the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas.

This remarkable journey provides an unforgettable experience, blending stunning landscapes, rich cultural immersion, and an adrenaline pumping adventure as you walk the high Himalayan snowy trail, standing over 5,000 meters in elevation.

Trekkers are drawn to this trek for its untouched beauty and the chance to escape the crowds, that are common on more popular trails.

In this article, we will look into 11 Things to Experience on the Manaslu Circuit Trek that make it a must do for any trekking enthusiast.

Whether you’ve trekked to Everest Base Camp, climbed Kilimanjaro or have done other high altitude treks, the Manaslu Circuit promises an incomparable experience that surely won’t disappoint.

1. Splendid Himalayan Views

The Manaslu Circuit Trek presents trekkers with a panorama of Himalayan giants. From the beginning of the trek, you will be greeted with views of towering peaks, including Mount Manaslu itself, Ganesh Himal, and the Shringi Himal.

As you walk higher, the views become even more breathtaking, with far reaching views of rugged mountains and snowy Himalayan summits.

One of the most memorable moments is witnessing the sunrise over the 8000+ meters peaks, as the first rays of sunlight illuminate the mountains in a golden hue.

Sunset views are equally mesmerizing, changing the mountains in shades of pink and purple. These overwhelming sights make the trek a photographer’s dream and a spiritual experience for nature lovers.

Stunning photos of Manaslu Circuit Trek

2. Larkya La High Pass

Crossing the Larkya La Pass at 5,106 meters (16,752 feet) is a challenging yet rewarding experience. The climb to the pass is steep and requires careful navigation, especially in snowy conditions.

As you approach the pass, the landscape transforms into a rugged and remote high altitude environment mostly covered in snow.

Upon reaching the pass, trekkers are greeted with panoramic views of snow covered Himalayas and glaciers. The sense of accomplishment from conquering this high pass is unforgettable.

The descent offers a different perspective, with extensive views of the glacial valley below.

3. Avoiding Crowds

Unlike more popular treks such as the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the Manaslu Circuit sees fewer trekkers on the trail. This allows peaceful trail lovers like you to enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of the region without the distractions of large groups.

The solitude of the Manaslu Circuit trek enhances the overall experience, providing a more personal and intimate connection with the landscape and Himalayan environment.

The quieter trail also allows for a more immersive experience with the local culture and traditions. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with local villagers and learn about their daily lives without feeling rushed or crowded.

Manaslu Circuit Trek in April

4. Experience Remote Area Lifestyle, Culture, and Traditions

The trek takes you through pleasant villages inhabited by ethnic groups such as the Gurung and Tibetan communities. Each village has its own unique customs and traditions, which you can observe through their architecture, festivals, and traditional clothes.

In the village of Sama Gaon, you can visit the Pungyen Gompa, an ancient monastery perched on a hillside. The serene atmosphere and intricate artwork inside the monastery offer a glimpse into the spiritual life of the local people. Engaging with the villagers and monks can provide you with a deeper understanding of their way of life.

manaslu circuit trek horse riders

5. Experience Trekking on One of the Best Treks in Nepal

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is renowned for its stunning landscapes, diverse terrain, and rich cultural experiences. It offers a sense of adventure that is hard to find on other trails, making it one of the best treks in Nepal.

The trek’s appeal lies in its variety, from lush forests and terraced fields in the lower altitudes to rocky paths and glaciers at higher elevations.

The mix of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and physical challenge makes this trek a favorite among trekkers like you who are seeking a memorable journey.

high passes of manaslu circuit trek

6. High Altitude Freshwater Lake – Birendra Taal

Birendra Taal is a glacial lake located near the Manaslu Base Camp. The lake’s pristine, turquoise waters are surrounded by majestic peaks, making it a must visit spot along the trek.

The serene environment invites you to pause and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

A visit to Birendra Taal offers trekkers a chance to relax and enjoy the calm waters while marveling at the towering mountains.

It’s an excellent spot for photography and observation, as the reflections of the peaks in the water create a stunning visual.

Birendra Taal

7. Manaslu Conservation Area and Part of Annapurna Conservation Area

The trek passes through the Manaslu Conservation Area, which is known for its rich biodiversity and lush vegetation. This protected area is home to numerous rare and endangered species, such as the snow leopard, red panda, and Himalayan thar. The conservation efforts in the region help preserve the natural beauty and wildlife.

As you continue the trek, you’ll also enter part of the Annapurna Conservation Area. This area is equally rich in flora and fauna, offering trekkers the chance to observe diverse plant and animal life in their natural habitat.

manaslu circuit trek vs everest base camp trek

8. Diverse Terrain from Lower Land to High Altitude

One of the most striking aspects of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is the diverse terrain you’ll encounter.

The journey begins in the lush foothills of the Himalayas, where you’ll trek through dense forests and terraced fields. The lower altitudes are characterized by vibrant greenery and fertile landscapes.

As you ascend, the terrain gradually changes to rocky paths, alpine meadows, and high altitude deserts. The transition is a fascinating experience, showcasing the various ecological zones of the region. The different landscapes provide a dynamic and ever changing backdrop for your trek.

9. High Himalayan Monasteries

Throughout the trek, you’ll have the opportunity to visit several high Himalayan monasteries, such as Pungyen Gompa and Sama Gompa. These monasteries offer a glimpse into the spiritual and cultural heritage of the region.

The monasteries are often perched on hillsides, providing stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Inside, you’ll find intricate murals, statues, and artifacts that tell the story of the local Buddhist traditions.

Visiting these monasteries can be a peaceful and enlightening experience, allowing you to connect with the spiritual aspect of the trek.

Manaslu Circuit Trek

10. Manaslu Base Camp

Reaching Manaslu Base Camp is a major highlight of the trek. The base camp is located at an elevation of around 4,800 meters, offering breathtaking views of the Manaslu massif and surrounding peaks. The journey to the base camp is a challenging but rewarding adventure, as you’ll pass through rugged terrain and alpine landscapes.

Once you reach the base camp, you can take in the panoramic views and reflect on your journey so far. The base camp serves as a reminder of the grandeur and majesty of the Himalayas, and it’s a moment of triumph for trekkers.

manaslu base camp

11. Reaching 5,000+ Meters and Completing the Manaslu Circuit in Just 11 Days

Completing the Manaslu Circuit Trek in just 11 days is an impressive feat that requires physical endurance and mental resilience. Reaching altitudes of over 5,000 meters, such as the Larkya La Pass, can be challenging due to the thin air and steep terrain.

The trek’s rapid ascent and descent can lead to altitude sickness if not managed properly. However, with careful acclimatization and proper hydration, most trekkers can safely navigate the high altitudes.

The sense of accomplishment from completing the entire circuit in a short time frame is unparalleled. Trekkers who achieve this feat often describe it as a life changing experience that leaves them with lasting memories.


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Overview of the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a circular trekking route that takes you around Mount Manaslu. The trek starts in Machha Khola and follows the Budhi Gandaki River upstream, passing through lush forests, terraced fields, and small Himalayan villages. As you walk higher, the landscape becomes more rugged, with towering peaks and glacial valleys.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers an incredible adventure through one of Nepal’s most beautiful and culturally rich regions. With its stunning landscapes, diverse terrain, and opportunities for cultural immersion, the trek provides a unique and unforgettable experience for trekkers of all levels.

Interesting Facts About the Manaslu Circuit Trek


The name “Manaslu” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Manasa,” meaning “intellect” or “soul.”

Eighth Highest Mountain

The trek circles around Mount Manaslu, which is the eighth highest mountain in the world at an elevation of 8,163 meters (26,781 feet).

Remote Trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is less crowded than other popular treks in Nepal, offering a more intimate experience with nature.

Cultural Diversity

The trek passes through villages inhabited by different ethnic groups, including Gurungs and Tibetans.

11 Things to Experience on the Manaslu Circuit Trek

Rich Biodiversity

The Manaslu Conservation Area is home to a variety of wildlife, including snow leopards, red pandas, and Himalayan thar.

Restricted Area

The Manaslu region is considered a restricted area by the Nepalese government, meaning trekkers must obtain a special permit and be accompanied by a guide to trek there.

Diverse Ecosystems

The trek spans various climatic zones, ranging from subtropical forests in the lower altitudes to alpine and arctic zones at higher elevations. This diversity creates a rich habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.

Variety of Itineraries

While the standard Manaslu Circuit Trek takes 11 days, there are options to extend the trek by adding side trips to nearby regions such as the Tsum Valley, offering an even more in-depth experience.

Best Time and Seasons for the Trek

The best time to trek the Manaslu Circuit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is generally clear and stable, offering excellent trekking conditions and stunning mountain views.

Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season, so the trail may be muddy and slippery. Winter (December to February) can be very cold, with heavy snowfall at higher altitudes.

Having completed the Manaslu Circuit Trek multiple times in different seasons, I’ve developed a strong preference for certain months. Here’s my ranking of the best months to trek, from most to least favorite:


November is my top choice for trekking the Manaslu Circuit. The weather is generally clear and crisp, offering breathtaking views of the mountains. The crowds start to thin out towards the end of the month, making for a quieter, more serene experience.


October is another excellent month for the trek. The post-monsoon period brings lush, vibrant landscapes, and the weather is pleasant and dry. It’s one of the busiest times on the trail, but the stunning vistas make it worthwhile.


In May, the trek is still bustling, but the weather is warm, and the skies are clear. The rhododendron forests are in full bloom, adding vibrant colors to the trail and enhancing the overall trekking experience.


April is another beautiful time to trek, with the onset of spring and moderate temperatures. The trails may still have some snow in higher elevations, adding an element of adventure.


September is the beginning of the autumn trekking season and a great time to experience the trek. The landscape is lush and green after the monsoon season, and the temperatures start to cool down. Expect some humidity, but the trail isn’t as crowded as in peak season.


March marks the start of the spring season, with the end of winter and a hint of warmer weather. The trails may still have snow in certain areas, which can make trekking a bit more challenging. However, the views remain stunning, and the crowds are manageable.

In my experience, each month has its unique charm and advantages, but November stands out as the most optimal time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek due to its perfect balance of weather and scenery.

Required Permits and Costs

To trek the Manaslu Circuit, you need to obtain several permits:

Manaslu Restricted Area Permit

This permit is required to enter the Manaslu region. It costs around $100 USD for one week in the high season (September to November) and around $75 USD in the low season.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Permit

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit

This permit costs around $30 USD.

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit

Since part of the trek passes through the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will need this permit, which costs around $30 USD.

The cost of the trek can vary depending on your itinerary, guide and porter fees, accommodation, and meals. On average, you can expect to spend around $1,100 to $1,500 USD for a 11 day trek, including permits.


In conclusion, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is a truly extraordinary adventure that encapsulates the essence of trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas. It offers a blend of breathtaking natural beauty, diverse landscapes, rich cultural immersion, and a thrilling experience crossing high-altitude passes.

From the lush green forests and terraced fields of the lower altitudes to the rugged and snow-covered high passes, the trek presents a variety of challenges and rewards for trekkers of all levels.

One of the trek’s unique aspects is the opportunity to escape the crowds found on more popular trails, allowing for a more serene and intimate experience with the landscape and local culture.

The trek also provides the chance to interact with indigenous communities, learn about their customs, and explore ancient monasteries and traditional villages.

The journey is made all the more memorable by the splendid views of towering Himalayan peaks such as Mount Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and Shringi Himal.

The trek’s diverse ecosystems provide a home for rare and endangered species, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts in the region.

While the Manaslu Circuit Trek requires careful planning and permits, the investment is well worth it for the once-in-a-lifetime experience it offers. The trek can be completed in just 11 days, but for those seeking an even deeper journey, side trips to areas such as the Tsum Valley can be added to extend the adventure.

With its optimal trekking seasons in spring and autumn, the Manaslu Circuit Trek provides the perfect combination of stable weather, clear views, and vibrant landscapes.

Whether you’ve trekked other high-altitude trails before or are new to the experience, the Manaslu Circuit promises a journey that is both challenging and deeply rewarding, leaving trekkers with lasting memories and a profound connection to the Himalayas.

I hope this comprehensive guide helps you plan for the unforgettable adventure in the lap of the Himalayas. If you are considering booking this trip and looking for a tour company, Mosaic Adventure is here to assist you in creating an adventure of a lifetime.

With over a decade of experience organizing this trek, Mosaic Adventure has a professional and experienced team ready to assist you and be a part of your Himalayan adventure.

After you have completed the trek, we encourage you to come back and share some insights in the comment section to help other trekkers planning on doing this trek. Your experiences and advice can be invaluable for future adventurers. Thank you, and happy trekking!

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

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