Manaslu Circuit trek is one of the best treks in Nepal. Manaslu Circuit trek in December serves as an adventurous and peaceful trek.
Although temperature is low on the higher elevation, it is a great time to enjoy the serenity and breathe taking views of snow-capped Himalayan mountains.
Manaslu circuit trekking trail, listed as a restricted area in Nepal, is less crowded because only organized treks are allowed in the region.
This makes it less traveled, with no solo travelers venturing around, resulting in a peaceful trek as you journey around Mount Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain at 8163m.
During the Manaslu Circuit trek, you’ll pass through the subtropical jungle at lower elevations.
And, through the Himalayan foothills and will cross the challenging Larkya La Pass that is at an altitude above 5,106 meters.
December in Manaslu Region is definitely cold but you will also notice clear sky and dry weather.
Also, be prepared to catch sight of various frozen lakes, streams and waterfalls throughout the circuit.
The temperature is warm during daytime but drops significantly as the sun sets.
Trekking in Manaslu during this time is certainly challenging but equally rewarding.
With a little bit of preparation, Manaslu Circuit trek in December is possible and adventurous.
Table of Contents
- Manaslu Circuit trek weather in December
- Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty in December
- Food and Accommodation
- Guide or Porter in for Manaslu Circuit Trek in December
- Altitude Sickness
- Trekking Permit for Manaslu Circuit trek
- Packing for Manaslu Circuit Trek in December
- Recommended Itinerary for Manaslu Circuit Trek in December
- Frequently Asked questions about Manaslu Circuit trek in December
- Final Say,
Manaslu Circuit trek weather in December
December is the beginning of the winter season in Nepal. This time happens to be cold and dry that makes it challenging and adventurous.
The sky is mostly clear and bright and the mountain views are magnificent.
The weather tends to get colder as you ascend. The daytime is mostly sunny and warm but the nights and mornings demand better insulation and preparation.
The temperature easily drops to -20 degree Celsius on average as night falls. Thus this demands both physical and mental preparation.
If you are an amateur trekker then winters are not the best time for this trek.
It is best to choose spring or autumn season if you are planning this kind of long trek for the first time.
But if you are a professional or frequent hiker looking for adventure and a quieter trekking experience than December is the best time.
The visuals that you will witness in all sort of frozen or semi-frozen form will leave you speechless.
It is also the best time if you want to capture the majestic Mountains at its best.
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Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty in December
Early December is a good time to go for Manaslu Circuit trek.
However late December in the Manaslu region is severely cold, especially in the mornings and nights.
In the higher altitude, there is the possibility of heavy snowfall which makes it difficult to cross the Larke La Pass (5,106 meters / 16,752 feet) trail.
Thick layers of snow may sometime completely cover the trekking path.
During this time the local people migrate to the lower altitude to escape the cold.
Hence most of the teahouses remain closed at the higher altitude. However, you will not go completely homeless there.
There are a few locals at your service even in cold season.
But, with professional training, Manaslu Circuit trek in December should be an exciting and a fulfilling experience.
It is a great way to challenge and discover your inner strength and capabilities.
Food and Accommodation
Though in December due to cold weather people migrate to lower regions, hence most tea houses remain closed but there are some that are open. And Dal Bhat will be preferably served.
In Samagaon there will be a variety of menu and you could also get to enjoy some desserts too.
Also along the way, you will find places that have menus with limited items. However, you can always get egg noodle soup or just noodle soup.
An amazing dish of the locals that will help you stay warm.
As for accommodation, you will get a room on twin sharing basis and that usually ranges from USD 10- 12.
You can also take the whole room without sharing, but that will cost you the price of the full room.
Guide or Porter in for Manaslu Circuit Trek in December
For Manaslu Circuit trek in December, it is important that you hire a guide or porter. This is mandatory to trek in this region.
The high altitude and the change of weather in a short time can be dangerous in high places especially in winter.
This season also witnesses occurrence of snow storms. For your safety particularly for Larkya Pass, take a guide with you.
A guide who has already been there will know safer ways and will also know the nearest teahouses.
Also, the Manaslu trial remains covered with snow in December. Thus walking on snow can be difficult.
Hiring a porter will set you free from the baggage burden and this will allow you to focus on your own safety.
You can get a guide for about USD 35 per day and a porter for about USD 25.
All trekking routes of Manaslu reach up to 5,106m in altitude. So this can cause altitude sickness to trekkers.
In winter from late December, the weather is cold and as such the risk of altitude sickness is high.
Hence, before you embark your Manaslu trek in December you should understand the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Also, you should take proper acclimatization.
And note that all the trekking in Manaslu is moderate but quite strenuous.
The trek starts from the lower altitude of 710m i.e Soti Khola and reaches to a higher altitude of 5106m, the Larkya Pass.
With the increase in altitude, the risk of altitude sickness also increases.
Taking proper rest and walking slowly is the key to avoid AMS (Acute mountain sickness).
It is never a good idea to speed up your trek or continue your trek while having symptoms of altitude sickness.
Always reach out for help from guide or porter if you have any symptoms of AMS and take the necessary precautions before it gets fatal.
Also drinking alcohol is alarming. Do not drink at all. Alcohol consumption boosts the risk of altitude sickness.
Trekking Permit for Manaslu Circuit trek
To take Manaslu Circuit trek you need various permits. And the trekking permit cost varies upon the season that you trek in.
Unlike from September to November where the permit costs USD 100 per week and additional USD 15 per day after that.
From December to August this charge becomes USD 75 per week per person with an additional USD 10 per day if you want to stay extra.
Hence the cost is slightly cheaper if you plan to trek in December.
Other permits required for the trek are the Annapurna Conservation Area permit and Manaslu Conservation Area permit both of which is USD 30 each.
You will also need a TIMS card if you are extending your trip to the Annapurna Circuit area.
Packing for Manaslu Circuit Trek in December
With the increase in altitude, there will be a change in temperature, pressure, and oxygen level.
In order to make your journey successful, you will certainly need important trekking equipment and gears on the way.
In December due to snowfall and low temperature, it gets severely cold in Manaslu region.
So, along with general items like trekking poles, sleeping bag, sturdy backpack and first aid kit etc you must pack some special items like:
- Thermal innerwear
- Thermal jacket
- Windproof and waterproof jacket
- Rain gears (in case of snowfall)
- Thermal trousers
- Thick warm socks
- Warm gloves
- Thick warm hat
- Snow-proof hiking boots
- Spikes for shoes etc.
At the lower altitudes, the weather will be constant and fair. As the altitude increases, the temperature will start to decrease.
Also, be sure not to pack more than 20kg as that’s the maximum amount one porter is allowed to carry.
Recommended Itinerary for Manaslu Circuit Trek in December
While planning for your Manaslu circuit trek, we recommend that you go for the 12-day itinerary outlined below.
However, you can customize the trip according to your preferences.
You can add more days to make the ascent to higher altitudes slower, keep an extra day for acclimatization, or add additional days just to gaze at the Himalayas and spend quality and peaceful time in the mountains.
If you are looking for a custom itinerary, you can get in touch with us.
Brief Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary:
Day 1: Drive to Soti Khola, approximately 7.5 hours ride on a local bus. A private jeep can be hired for an additional cost.
Day 2: Trek to Machha Khola (890m) – approximately 6 hours.
Day 3: Trek to Jagat (1350m) – approximately 6 hours.
Day 4: Trek to Deng (1860m) – approximately 7.5 hours.
Day 5: Trek to Namrung (2660m) – approximately 6 hours.
Day 6: Trek to Samagaon (3525m) – approximately 7 hours.
Day 7: Acclimatization day trip.
Day 8: Trek to Samdo (3860m) – approximately 4 hours.
Day 9: Trek to Larka La Phedi (4460m) – approximately 4 hours.
Day 10: Trek to Bimthang (3610m) crossing Larkya La (5106m) – approximately 8 hours.
Day 11: Trek to Dharapani (1920m) – approximately 7 hours.
Day 12: Drive to Kathmandu via Besi Sahar, approximately 9 hours ride on a local vehicle. A private jeep can be hired for an additional cost.
This itinerary covers most of the popular destinations while encircling Mount Manaslu.
We have allocated proper time for the ascent, considering the altitude, and have included enough acclimatization days for your hike at higher altitudes.
If you want to spend a longer time, add more days around Samagaon or Samdo, or even extend a couple of days to include Tsum Valley along with the Manaslu Circuit trek.
This 12-day tour costs USD 970 per person (minimum 2 participants required).
The cost includes the following:
- Kathmandu to Soti Khola local bus ride.
- An English-speaking professional guide.
- A professional porter (1 porter between 2 participants / max 20 kilos carried by a porter).
- Teahouse accommodation during the trek.
- All your standard meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek.
- All required entry permits.
- Duffel bag, down jacket, and sleeping bag to use during the trek (on request).
- Dharapani to Besi Sahar and Besi Sahar to Kathmandu on a local vehicle.
- Government-imposed taxes.
The cost excludes the following:
- Personal expenses such as Wi-Fi, telephone calls, sweets, battery charging, snacks, etc.
- All kinds of beverages (tea/coffee, bottled water, etc.).
- Travel Insurance (Recommended to cover emergency evacuation / not mandatory to do the trek).
- Personal trekking equipment except stated above.
- Tipping (expected by guide and porter).
- Any loss arising due to unforeseen circumstances beyond Mosaic Adventure’s control.
Please note that our 12-day tour price is based on a per-person basis and a minimum of two trekkers is required for us to organize this incredible tour.
Quoted package includes various services and amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trekking experience in the stunning landscapes of Nepalese Himalayas.
Frequently Asked questions about Manaslu Circuit trek in December
When trekkers plan for their trek in early winter months like December, they often have various questions and concerns related to the weather, trail conditions, gear and overall safety.
Here are some common questions that trekkers have while they plan for the Manaslu Circuit Trek in December:
What will the weather be like in December?
In December, weather in most trekking destinations in Nepal, including Manaslu Circuit, will be cold.
It gets much colder as you reach higher altitudes.
Daytime temperatures can vary, but they generally range from mild to chilly.
Nighttime temperatures can drop significantly, and there is a high chance of temperatures going below minus 15 degrees Celsius on some days.
How cold does it get during December, and do I need to prepare for extreme temperatures?
December is usually cold and it gets colder as you climb to higher altitudes.
It is essential to be prepared for freezing conditions, especially during the morning, evening and night times.
Proper winter gears/clothing, including down jackets, thermal clothing, gloves, and a down sleeping bag, is necessary to stay comfortable and safe.
Temperature during December in Manaslu Circuit Trek can go as low as minus 15 to minus 20 degrees Celsius, which is about 5 to minus 4 Fahrenheit.
Are Manaslu Circuit trails accessible and safe during this time of year?
Generally, trekking trails in Manaslu during December are accessible and safe.
However, Larkya La Pass may have snow, which can make the trails more challenging and require extra caution.
It’s advisable to be flexible while booking your trek in winter months like December.
Listen to your guide and be prepared to return if passes are covered with heavy snow.
Do not take risks!
Are there any specific precautions I should take to ensure my safety during the trek in December?
Definitely, yes. You must take precautions to trek in December.
Carrying appropriate gear for cold weather, being aware of the signs of altitude sickness, staying hydrated and trekking with a knowledgeable guide who understands the local conditions is really important for a safe and enjoyable trek.
What kind of clothing and gear should I pack to stay warm and comfortable on the trek?
It’s essential to pack warm clothing, including down jackets, thermal clothing, warm hats, warm gloves, thick socks, proper break-in hiking boots, along with general trekking gear.
Appropriate trekking boots with good grip are important and make sure you bring spikes for shoes to walk on areas that can be covered with some snow/ice during December.
Are there any special challenges or considerations I should be aware of while trekking in early winter?
Challenges include really cold temperatures, snowy/icy trails, shorter daylight hours with long cold mornings, evenings, and nights.
Along with that, you should be aware of the situation and make the right decision to return if your guide thinks that is the right thing to do.
How crowded is Manaslu Circuit trek in December compared to other seasons?
Generally, trekking routes in Nepal are less crowded in December compared to the peak trekking season like spring and autumn.
It can be a quieter and more peaceful experience.
What are the sunrise and sunset times during December, and how can it impact the daily trekking schedule?
In December, the days are shorter with earlier sunsets and later sunrises.
Trekking schedules may slightly need to be adjusted to make the most of daylight hours.
Your guide will provide proper advice when you are on the trail.
Are the teahouses or lodges along the trekking route open and operational during December?
In the Manaslu region, teahouses are generally open and operational during December.
But, it is better to check before you plan your journey.
Try to finish the trek by mid-December to avoid closure of the Larke La Pass.
How do I prepare for altitude-related challenges during the trek?
Proper acclimatization is key for a safe trek, and you must prepare for altitude-related challenges.
Climb slowly, keep yourself hydrated and listen to your body and be aware of the signs of altitude sickness.
It’s recommended to follow acclimatization days properly in the trek itinerary.
No matter which season you choose, you must acclimatize properly while trekking around Manaslu.
Are there any restrictions or special permits required for trekking in December?
There aren’t any specific permits as per the months or season you trek.
The same type of trekking permits is required no matter which month you choose.
What is the availability of guides and porters during this time of year?
Guides and porters are generally available during the month of December.
However, you should book in advance to ensure availability, especially if you are looking for a professional guide.
Are there any alternative trekking routes that are better suited for early winter trekking?
Some trekking routes that don’t go above 3500 meters might be more suitable for winter trekking as they experience milder temperatures and have less chance of having snow or ice on the trails.
Please contact us if you are looking for alternative treks to plan for December.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a popular trek in Nepal. And for someone who enjoys a peaceful trek and is comfortable with cold temperatures, December is just the right time.
With a little bit of preparation, physical and emotional strength anyone can complete the trek.
Manaslu Circuit trek in December is a package full of adventure.
A journey that will take you through the high mountains and varied landscapes with diverse flora and fauna.
For any further questions or queries, please feel free to contact us.
It is our pleasure to guide and assist you in planning Manslu Circuit trek or any other trekking in Nepal.
Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.
Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.
Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.
He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.