Manaslu Base Camp Trek

More often than not, when someone thinks of trekking in the Himalayas in Nepal, they refer to Base Camps. As a matter of fact, Nepal has close to 4,000 mountains above 5,500m including, of course, the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest at 8,848m.  Thousands of mountains below 5500m are not on the list and actually not considered a 'mountain', as Nepali people refer to those only as 'hills'.  So please don't get offended if they call other country's highest mountain as a 'hill'. 
At present, some 300 or so peaks are open for mountaineering expeditions in Nepal.  That means, there are over 300 (or 326 to be exact) base camp treks in Nepal!! And for most travellers, they probably know of only one or two in Nepal.  While the number of days required to reach these base camps could vary greatly, it is around 14 days on average.  So you could say that it will take you at least a dozen years complete these base camps!!  That makes Nepal the ultimate place for trekking and hiking!! 
Since you likely know already about Everest Base Camp (EBC) or Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), the two most famous and widely visited in Nepal, we thought to give you information about the 8th highest mountain in the world Mount Manaslu and its base camp.  As much as it deserves some 3 letter names too, we cannot call it MBC, as that refers to Machapuchare Base Camp (the Fishtail Base Camp). 

Where is Mt. Manaslu and  how to reach the Base Camp? 

Set in the northern Himalayan range in the Gorkha District of Nepal, Mt. Manaslu stands out as 8th highest Mountain in the world.  Climbing and trekking this mountain are not as widely know as the other base camps, but it is gaining popularity especially to those who prefers remote and off-the-beaten trails. In fact, the place is very remote that it is only possible to reach the jump off point (either Arughat or Sotikhola) by private 4x4 jeep or a local bus.   A huge difference if you compare to Everest Base Camp Trek where flight to Lukla are possible.  The trek also requires at least 10 days to reach base camp. 

Why is it called Manaslu Circuit Trek instead of Manaslu Base Camp? 

For Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp treks, the ending point of the trek are the base camps, and then from there you return to your jump off point.  For Manaslu, it is different.  As a matter of fact, Manaslu Base Camp trek is more well-known by the name Manaslu Circuit Trek. In this trek, Manaslu Base Camp is not the destination, but is instead only a side trip.  For the Manaslu Circuit Trek, you are making a loop in your trek where you so you start in Sotikhola or Arughat, reach the Tsum Valley, stop by Manaslu Base Camp, cross Larke pass and then end up your trek in Besi Sahar in the Annapurna region.  In Base Camps treks, these are normally your main destination and then you usually return back to where you started.  For a Circuit trek, the starting point and end point are always different. 
Famous base camp treks include Everest Base Camp,  Kanchenjunga Base Camp, and Annapurna Base Camp.  Annapurna Circuit is a popular circuit trek in Nepal.  

What is the typical Manaslu Base Camp Trek itinerary? 

Depending on the rest day season and side trips, Manaslu trek itinerary may range between 14 to 22 days.  If the trek happens sometime from June to early September, which is the monsoon season  or during the monsoon season, the minimum is the 17 days Manaslu trek itinerary.  The number of days also depends on the side trips you wish to take.  For example, some of the possible side trips during the trek are Manaslu Base Camp, Birendra Lake and the Tibetan border.  There is also the Tsum Valley side trip during Manaslu trek which is highly recommended by many trekkers.  Note that if you want to include Tsum Valley in your itinerary, the be prepared to spend 22 days from Kathmandu and back.The best time of the year to go to Manaslu is in  October, November, March and April where the 14 days Manaslu trek is good enough as the road condition can push your itinerary a few days ahead.

How much is the Manaslu Base Camp Trek Permit cost?  

Anyone who wants to travel to Manaslu should also know about the Manaslu trekking permit rule by the Nepali Government.  Due to the open border with Tibet in this region and to control unnecessary border exit by any foreign citizen during the trek, no one is allowed in the Manaslu without a special permit issued by the government and should also be accompanied by an authorised local Nepali trekking member.  To avoid this trouble in the mountain, please also be aware in advance which permits may be required for any trek. Also, compared with other treks such as EBC or ABC, the Manaslu trek cost is higher and this is mainly due to the special permit mentioned above.

About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide to being a guide/leader to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas USA and Canada, one-third of Europe, Caribbean Island and  Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had an opportunity working with multinational companies which taught me, how to deliver quality customer service in the business? As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert of Nepal Himalayas, I started writing about my own country.  Incase, If you required free information about Nepal, please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.  Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor from about 200 satisfied customers. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor.
If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me. at I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  
1 + 7 = ?

Do professional mountaineers from outside the country needs a guide or a porter still?
- Aman nagta

Hi Aman, Yes, it is compulsory! it is not about how experience and which profession you came from it is the matter of security in open border. While sending a tourist in open border with China. 
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Hi Rajendra, 

Thanks for such great information on your homeplace. I'm planning on coming to mountain bike the Upper Mustang region for 15 days in November, and wondering if the Manaslu circuit trek is very similar in scenery and terrain? Do I do both or choose between one or the other? 

Your input will be appreciated, thanks

- Tara Laycock

Hello, Tara,
Thank you so much for the comment and liking our article. Particularly for the mountain bike, I would recommend Upper Mustang over Manaslu as there is much more biking trail compear to the Manalsu. Landscape and trans in between this two region they are completely different. Upper Mustang often compear with the Grand Canyon due to the desertic landscape with the mountain. where in  Manaslu you will find a mix of nature, people, and different vegetation. If you have further questions about Upper Mustang please do not hesitate to contact us. further information this link will help you plan your upper Mustang Trek Itinerary. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

How do you arrange for all of the permits for the hike?  Where can I get the permits?  Only in Kathmandu or is there another spot closer?
Thank you,

- Daniel Petermann

Hello Dan, 
Manaslu trekking permits only issued in Kathmandu including ACAP and MCAP. There are certain documents we need from you to issue the permit. We suggest reading this post  Manaslu trekking permit page for more knowledge about the trek. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

I have seen some of your postings online about the Manaslu Trek, and I have a few questions.  My partner and I are thinking of doing it in the spring of 2017, and I'm actually not that concerned about the amount of trekking each day.  But I have some questions about the teahouses and the type of accommodations.  How is the cleanliness of the teahouses?  I am a moderately experienced hiker and backpacker, but I have never gone for more than 5 days without some sort of shower.
My partner has done two other treks in Nepal, and he was not concerned about the cleanliness issue.  But I have never visited Nepal, and I don't know what to expect.  It would help me to decide whether or not I am going to be willing to visit Nepal with my partner if you can give me some answers about these questions.  

Thank you for your time, and many good wishes,
Lisa Davis

- Lisa Davis

Hello, Ms. Dr.Lisa! 
Thank you so much for landing on our Manaslu Trek post. Glad to know that you are planning Manaslu trek oncoming spring. We are more than happy to assist you and your partner to organised the Trek. Manaslu circuit trekking is newly opened tea house trekking trail in Nepal. The trek is still considered as a virgin, off the beaten trail with full of Nepali-mix Hindu-Buddhist and Tibetan culture.   

It's a basic tea house, provides tourist standard accommodation and basic continental food. Most of the tea houses provide a sharing toilet and shower. However, a shower might be in the bucket and you might have to pay an extra money, due to the extra fuel charges.  Also, due to the high cost of laundry and manual way of washing,  being  honest with you, they don't change duvet every single day for each individual trekkers. That's not only in Manaslu but also everywhere in the mountain region of Nepal. I am just telling you the truth. That's the reason we recommend to our each client bring your own sleeping bag. If you do that you will not have any issue. If you find anything we can request change the blankets anytime. 

SO far I have been doing this over a decade, I haven't heard from anyone saying that "Ohhh S***t .. it was disgusting"    It was stinks or something very bad about the accommodation. Tea house owner also do their best for to make you happy and give you the best comfort they can.  This is what everyone feels about Nepal, but If you finally land in this tiny country and attached to natural resources, friendly people, ancient practice and looks of the country make everyone fell in love and makes them visit again. That's why we call "Nepal once is not enough" I am sure you fell the same ms. Dr. Lisa. 
Do not hesitate to contact us again for the more detail. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

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