The Manaslu Trek is claimed to be Nepal’s hidden gem. It has much less traffic than its neighbors over at Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit; however, momentum is gaining. If this is on your list I recommend doing it sooner than later. The scenery won’t disappoint!

S.N.Date & distanceStart & endpointElevation & Gread
1Date of trekkingMarch 10-15, 2017Starting pointSotikholaMaximum elevation5,160m
2Distance190 KMEnding PointDharapaniMinimum elevation760m
3No. of trekkers2 PersonTrek styleTea HouseDifficulty / GradeChallenging
4Minimum days13-17 daysMaximum days20-25 daysDaily BudgetUSD 20-25

Permit Info:

At least two people in the group and three different permits are required for Manaslu hike
Manaslu Conservation Area permit (A guide is needed to attain this) – $50USD for the first week and $7 USD/day afterward
TIMS card (Trekker Information Management System) – $25USD for 15days
Annapurna Conservation Area permit – is also $25 USDAll said, the permits cost around $150USD

Planned Start: Soti Khola
Planned Finish: Dharapani

Actual Start: Soti Khola
Actual Finish: Soti Khola

Manaslu trek in winter

Transportation:

Kathmandu to Arughat – Hired a Jeep through Travel Link Services – $165USD
Arughat to Soti Khola – Local bus – ~650ru for three people

It is possible to take a local bus from Kathmandu to Arughat. We elected to take a private jeep for the convenience.  Some of the other hikers, who took the local bus, mentioned it took about 9hrs; the private jeep took 6hrs.

Trail:

The trail is a double track passing through small villages as it follows the river up the valley. It is the main connector to the remote villages and; therefore, busy with mule trains, locals, and trekkers. You’ll find yourself walking on stone steps, riverbeds, and through landslide and avalanche areas. Your mind will never be bored as you trek through subtropical jungles, barren alpine terrain, and alongside cliffs looking down at the river.

 Accommodations

No camping gear is required as you hike from village to village, staying at teahouses along the way. The buildings and beds are basic. The buildings have no source of heat and snow was able to blow in through the paper-thin walls. The beds were a wooden platform with a foam mattress and sheet.  I found them quite comfortable; at times, I was alone with this sentiment. Some of the teahouses had blankets for use. Our guide did not carry a sleeping bag; however, we packed -9 deg C sleeping bags and I would recommend others do the same.

Trek Cost

In my personal experience, the Manaslu trek cost also depends on how much you want to spend in a day. It was recommended to budget $35 USD/day for the trip including food and accommodations. We, however, spent about 20- $25 USD/day.

Manaslu trekking 2019

Itinerary:

Prior to this trip, I had never been above 3600m. As a result, we chose a more conservative itinerary. We also wanted to take advantage of being in the area and see all of the main sights.  The main places we decided to check out where Manaslu Base Camp, Pung Gyan Gompa, and Gyala Bhanjyang Pass. Once we were on the trail things changed. We were able to cover the terrain quicker than we had anticipated, putting us a full day ahead of schedule. With this extra time, we decided to spend more time in Namrung. Here we were fortunate to see an amazingly beautiful monastery. It was one of my favorite places on the trail with very calm energy.  Once up by Sama, there was too much snow to hike to the Manaslu Base Camp. Some of the other hikers broke trail to the Gompa; however, we elected to take a rest day, gaining ~1000m the previous day. Their comments were that it was well worth the 9hrs of hiking. We didn’t get any higher than Sama so I am unable to comment on the trail further along. Our taste buds agreed that the best Dal-Bhat was in Deng. Philim was a busier town than we anticipated and therefore, I’d recommend staying on the outskirts of town. There were great accommodations on the left as you exited the town when hiking up the valley, which had individual huts.

                            Planned Itinerary   Elevation of destinationElevation gain
DayDateLocationMetersFeetMetersFeetDistanceTime
110-MarJeep to Soti Khola7302336
211-MarSoti Kohol to Khorlabesi970310424076812km6hrs
312-MarKhorlabesi to Jagat13794413409130911km6.5hs
413-MarJagat to Deng18605952481153912km6hrs
514-MarDeng to Namrung25408128680217615km7hrs
615-MarNamrung to Lho318010176550176012km6hrs
716-MarLho to Sama35201126434010887km4hrs
817-MarSama –> Base Camp –> Sama3520112643401088
918-MarSama –> Pung Gyen Gompa –> Sama352011264005km6hrs
1019-MarSama to Samdo38751240035511366km4hr
1120-MarSamdo –> Gyala Bhanjyang pass –> Samdo38751240000
1221-MarSamdo to Dharamsala44601427258518727km5hr
1322-MarDharamsala to Bimthang358011456-880-281613km9hrs
1423-MarBimthang to Tilje23007360-1280-40969km
1524-MarTilje to Dharapani – back to Kathmandu19636282-420-13445km

Tatopani – Great place to stay as they have a natural hot spring. Accommodations are open to the air
Deng – Best Dal Bhat (Traditional Nepali food) we ever had in the Manaslu
Ghap – Awesome accommodations, brand new resort-style tea houses, also not so busy
Lho – Has a full-blown store
Shyala – I would stay here over Lho, better views

There is a small accommodation that looks up the Tsum valley that looked like an amazing place to stay. It didn’t work into our itinerary. At the start of the trail, you walk along a road for an hour before you’re on the ‘trail’.
(If you like more detailed information, I can send you photo’s of my guidebook, please contact me here)

Actual Manaslu trek ItineraryElevation of destinationElevation gain
DayDateLocationMeters#FeetMetersFeetDistanceTime
110-MarJeep to Arughat, a charter to Soti Khola7082266140km8hrs
211-MarSoti Kohol to Tatopani91329222056568hr 10min
312-MarTatopani to Philim1543493863020168hr 12min
413-MarPhilim to Ghap2070662452716869hr 4min
514-MarGhap to Namrung2592829452216702hr 23min
615-MarNamrung to Samagaon (Aka Sama)349211174900288019km8hr 10min**
716-MarSamagaon34921117400
817-MarSamagaon to Namrung25928294-900-288019km6hr 19min
918-MarNamrung to Philim20706624-522-16709hr 20min
1019-MarPhilim to Mocha Khola8502720-1220-39049hr
1120-MarMocha Khola to Soti Kohol7082266-142-4542hr 12min
1221-MarSoti Kohol to Arughat via local bus70822660013km1hr 15min

Table symbols:  (distances are unknown. They are estimates from other sources **we did not stop for lunch this day *** lunch on average took 1.5hours  ## elevation taken from the watch)

Packing list

Gear I packed for this tripQuantityGear I packed for this tripQuantity
-9°C sleeping bag1Bra1
Silk cotton blend sleeping bag liner1underwear2
Gortex jacket1Trekking socks (Burnt one..oops)3
Softshell jacket2Solomon high top hikers1
Synthetic light puffy (Wasn’t needed)1Microspikes1
Down heavy puffy1Hiking poles1
Hiking pants3Buff1
Shorts3Ball Cap1
Light long john pants2Gloves1
Rain pants1Sandals for camp1

We found the Manaslu trek itinerary to be quite relaxed, hence being a full day ahead of our plan. The 14-day option is feasible for those with prior altitude experience and a strong fitness level. If you were like us, no previous high altitude experience, a desire to check out the local sights, and not get caught up in the need to push, and a very strong fitness level, I’d recommend 14 – 15 days. Those who are questioning their fitness and their knees (there are a lot of steps on the trail) I would give yourself extra time, 17-18 days.

For more information, including a list of the gear we packed and overnight temperatures check out www.GetOutsideAdventures.ca  I’d be happy to answer any questions swirling around in your head.

Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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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, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the 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 and 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 America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of 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 for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called 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. 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 nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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