You are on the right page! A local author (born and raised in Manaslu) writes this article includes everything you need to know before planning Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary could vary greatly depending on the chosen route and the places one would like to see (for example a side trip to Tsum Valley and rest days in between).  There are several sample itineraries posted by various companies and the other website, but generally speaking, the trek can be as short as 10 days for Manaslu CIrcuit and could be extended to 22 days with an amazing side trip to Tsum Valley.

“This article contents a lot of names of the area and camp. Which is probably the first sound to you. We suggest opening a map in a new window.” Here is the link. You will understand more If you follow me on the map as I explain! 

Every itinerary comes with rest days in Sama Gaon and Samdo.  These two places are iconic, not only for acclimatization but also for a scenic side trip activities.  Generally speaking, while doing the Manaslu circuit for 14 days, side trips to  Manaslu Base Camp or Punggyen Gompa from Sama Gaon is the major activities. While a day hike towards the Tibetan border could also be made from Samdo.  Or If you have extra days side trip to Pongkar lake from Bhimtang is also a great alternative.

While 22 days Itinerary comes with three buffer days in the middle along with side trip to Tsum Valley. This could be the longest day you can spend in Manaslu region.  In this article, we thought it would be good to list the possible routes for Manaslu trek (and sample daily itinerary) and you could choose which might suit your time frame.four different Manaslu Trek Itinerary

Manaslu Trek Itinerary (14 Days)

14-day Manaslu trek itinerary is suitable, if when there are regular bus services from Kathmandu to Soti Khola.  To the start of the trek, and also from Dharapani to Besi Sahar, and Besi Sahar to Kathmandu at the end of the trek.  (Throughout the year the trail has no issue on both side. As of the last update of this article November 2019.)  The road from Dharapani to Besi Sahar is a temporary and an off-road trail. The regular buses or a local jeep service has no issue during the fall season and Spring.  (between September to July), Although the road conditions are also based on the rainy season and whether the road has been rebuilt or not.  Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to check in advance with your local company if you are planning at the beginning of monsoon (June) or at the end (September) (contact us for the update). Please see our sample 14 days itinerary from Kathmandu with estimated elevation and expected daily traveling time.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Two days of acclimatization days in the middle
  • Covers all major side trip that Manaslu Circuit Trek has to offer
  • 99% of our customer has completed this itinerary with no issue
  • Skips the motorable road and takes you to an actual hiking spots
  • 5-6 hours of hikes and 400-600m elevation each day.
  • Fits for all levels of hikers with or without prior hiking experience
  • One of the best cultural trail as you hike village to village of Tibetan- Nepalese communities

Tips for 14 days Manaslu Trek Itinerary  

14 days Manaslu trek itinerary starting from Sotikhola and ending at Dharapani is a minimum amount of time with a side trip to Base camp and two additional buffer days, which is the minimum days to cover the major side trip.

If you are fit enough to walk 6-7 hours, with 400-500m of altitude gain each day and about 15km on an average distance, you can take this hike with no prior experience in the high altitude.

Acclimatization day doesn’t only mean just a buffer day. Instead, it is the most panoramic day. So, likely, you shouldn’t skip. Skipping buffer day means skipping the best part of your trek and also increasing the possible altitude sickness. You should think twice before going for a rapid itinerary publish online at a lower price.

From our client’s testimony, the last day from Dharapani to Kathmandu is a very long day and the most uncomfortable day If you ever plan to do so. For a comfortable journey, you should chop this part into two instead of talking one day journey to Kathmandu. The roads are very bumpy, and local transportation is not convenient for a 13-hour trip.

From our guide reference and client’s feedback, Samdo is not worth one and a half-day to spend on a side trip. If you feel safe and sound (with no altitude symptoms) in Samdo. Side trip in Bhimtang after Larke pass to Pongkar Lake is much wort it.

A lot of itineraries you find online don’t have a camp in Loh. From the feedback, of our client, most of them said it is one of the best days. The view of Mount Manaslu and the monasteries is the highlights Well, If you don’t know, now you know. Doing a few research and reading expert’s advice will let you experience things different than what usually a crowd follows.

Here is the perfect itinerary from the collected feedback from our recent client. If you wish to follow this itinerary with our experience guide contact NEST Adventure.

Days                               Day to Day Itinerary        Elevation      Everyday trek hour
   Meter    Feet
1Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola via Arughat710m2,328 ft7-8 hour drive
2Trek from Soti Khola to Macche Khola930m3,051 ft5-6 hours trek
3Trek from Maccha Khola to Jagat1,410m4,625 ft6 – 7 hours trek
4Trek from Jagat to Deng1,804m5,917 ft6-7 hours trek
5Trek from Deng to Namrung2,630m8,626 ft6-7 hours trek
6Trek from Namrung to Samagaun via Loh monasteries3,180m12,660 ft4-5 hours trek
7Sana Gaon rest and Visit MBC, Birendra Lake,3,530m11,578 ft6-7 hours trek
8Trek from Sama Gaon to Samdo3,860m12,660 ft4 – 5 hours trek
9Rest day & side trip to Tibitan border, or day hike3,860m12,660 ft8-9 hours trek
10Trek from Samdo to Dharmasala4,460 m14,629 ft4-5 hours trek
11Trek Dharmasala to Bimthang Via Larke pass (5,160m)3,700m12,139 ft8-10 hours trek
12Trek from Bimthang to Dharapani1,700m5,576 ft5-6 hours trek
13Drive from Dharapani  to Beshishar1,080m3,542 ft5-hour drive
14Drive From Besishar to Kathmandu (Jeep, Bus, or Car)1,300m4,265 ft6-7 hour drive

Manaslu Trek Map and Elevation

17 Days Manaslu Trek Itinerary

This is one of the classic itineraries and probably the best we would recommend. As you will spend more time on acclimatization and more side trip that this region has to offer. The lower elevation area offers more interaction with Hindu culture and villagers, while the upper part comes with Buddhist culture and side trips. We think this itinerary is ideally best for families, senior citizens, and those who may not have enough trekking experience in high-elevation.  It is also good if you want to take your time exploring the Manaslu area.

It is also an extended version of a 14 days itinerary. While 14 days only covers the important part of upper Manaslu. But within 17 days you can explore more side trips in the lower area such as Loh monasteries, Kal lake, etc.

Please find below our 17-day Manaslu trek itinerary with the number of hours of travel required each day and the estimated elevation of the camp.

Itinerary Highlights

  • 2 Days of acclimatization day
  • Covers all major side trip that Manaslu Circuit Trek has to offer
  • 100% of our customer has completed this itinerary with no issue
  • A mix of motorable road and hiking trail.
  • 5-6 hours of hikes and 400-600m elevation each day.
  • Fits for someone who needs easy hike with or without prior hiking experience
  •  Mix culture of Hindu and Buddist, as you hike village to village. Lower parts of the trail cover the Hindu culture, and the higher part of the trek involves Tibetan- Nepalese communities
Days                               Day to Day Itinerary        Elevation       Trek hour
   Meter    Feet
1Drive from Kathmandu to Sotikhola (private jeep or local bus)600m2,328 ft7-8 hour drive
2Trek from Sotikhola to Machha Khola970m3,051 ft8-9 hours trek
3Trek from Machha Khola to Jagat990m4,625 ft6-7 hours trek
4Trek from Jagat to1,350m5,917 ft6-7 hours trek
5Trek from Jagat to Ekle Bhatti1,610m8,626 ft6-7 hours trek
6Trek from Ekle Bhatti to Bihi Phedi2,000m11,578ft6-7 hours trek
7Trek from Bihe Phedi to Namrung2,650m11,578ft6-7 hours trek
8Trek from Namrung to Lho3,180m12,660ft4-5 hours trek
9Trek from Lho to Sama Gaon3,530m12,660ft8-9 hours trek
10Acclimatization-rest day in Sama Gaon (trip to MBC, Birendra Lake)3,530m12,660ft4-5 hours trek
11Sama Gaon to Samdo3,700m12,139ft8-10 hours trek
12Acclimatization rest & rest day in Samdo (side trip to Tibetan border)3,700m12,139ft5-6 hours trek
13Trek from Samdo to Dharmashala4,450m14,599ft4-5 hours trek
14Trek from Dharmashala to Bhimtang via Larke Pass (16,929ft)3,700m12,139ft8-10 hours trek
15Trek from Bhimtang to Tiliche/ Goa2300m7,545 ft7-8 hours trek
16Trek from Goa to Dharapani drive to Besishar1430m4,951 ft5-6 hours trek
17Drive From Beshishar to Kathmandu  (Jeep, Bus, or Car)1,300m4,265 ft7-9 hours drive

22 Days Manaslu-Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary

22 days Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary is for those who want to experience the Little Tibet or Tsum Valley as part of the Manaslu trek.  The Tsum Valley is another popular side trip within Manaslu. Which requires one week of a special permit in addition to the ACAP, MCAP and Manaslu restricted area permit. The cost of the Tsum Valley permit is cost you US$35 for 7 days.  You may want to make sure you inform your local company (contact us) in advance if you wish to pass through Tsum Valley so they could arrange the Manaslu trek permit for you.

Itinerary Highlights

  • 3 Days of acclimatization day
  • Covers all major side trips including, Gumba Lundang, Ganesh Himal Base Camp, in Tsum Valley.
  • 100% of our customer has completed this itinerary with no issue
  • A mix of motorable road and hiking trail.
  • 5-6 hours of hikes and 400-600m elevation each day.
  • Fits for someone who needs easy hike with or without prior hiking experience
  •  Mix culture of Hindu and Buddist, as you hike village to village. Lower parts of the trail cover the Hindu culture, and the higher part of the trek involves Tibetan- Nepalese communities. especially Tsum Valley where you will visit numerous Gomba, Monastries and experience the ancient culture and lifestyle.
Days Day to Day Itinerary        Elevation      Trek hour
   Meter    Feet
1Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola Via Arughat710m2,328 ft7-8 hours drive
2Trek from Soti Khola to Maccha Khola930m3,051 ft8-9 hours trek
3Trek from Maccha Khola to Jagat1,410m4,625 ft6-7 hours trek
4Trek from Jagat to Lokpa2,250m7,382 ft7-8 hours trek
5Trek from Lokpa to Chumling2,600m8,530 ft6-7 hours trek
6Trek from Chumling to Chekampar3,030m.1,942 ft6-7 hours trek
7Trek from Chekampar to Mu Gomba.3,245m10,646 ft8-9 hours trek
8Trek from Mu Monastery to Chekampar3,030m9,940 ft8-9 hours trek
9Trek from Chekampar to Gumba Lundang.3,200m10,498 ft8-9 hours trek
10Acclimatization & rest day in Gumba Lundang (side trip)3,200m10,498 ft8-9 hour trek
11Trek from Gumba Lundang to Ripchet2,670m8,759 ft7-8 hour trek
12Trek from Ripchet to Deng1,804m5,917 ft6-7 hours trek
13Trek from Deng to Namrung2,630m8,626 ft6-7 hours trek
14Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaon3,530m11,578 ft5-6 hours trek
15Acclimatization & rest day in Sama Gaon (Possible side trip)3,530m11,578 ft8-9 hours trek
16Trek from Sama Gaon to Samdo3,860m12,660 ft4 – 5 hours trek
17Acclimatization & rest day in Samdo (Possible side trip)3,860m12,660 ft8-9 hours trek
18Trek from Samdo to Dharmasala4,460 m14,629 ft4-5 hours trek
19Trek from Dharmasala to Bimthang via Throng pass (5,160m)3,700m12,139 ft8-10 hours trek
20Bimthang to Tilije or Goa1,700m5,576 ft5-6 hours trek
21Goa to Dharapani and local jeep to Beshishar1,080m3,542 ft5-6 hours trek
22Drive from Beshishar to Kathmandu1,300m4,265 ft7-9 hours drive

Lower Manaslu Trek Itinerary (10 days)

Lower Manaslu trek is a homestay basic trek in the lower region of the Gorkha district.  This includes the historical Gorkha Palace and the epicenter of the April 25 earthquake, “Barpak”.  The full 10 days requires walking through the local villages as well as local jeep ride.

01: Kathmandu to Ghairung via Manakamana. (1350m) 3 to 4 hrs drive, 5 hrs treks.

02: Ghairung to Gorkha Bazaar (1135m/ 3723ft)– 5 to 6 hrs trek

03: Gorkha Bazaar rest and explore the historical site.

04: Gorkha Bazaar to Sirandanda (1500m 4,921ft) 6-7 hrs Local drive and1 hour trek.

05: (Sirandanda to Barpak) (1920m/ 6,299ft)  7- 8 hrs trek.

06: Barpak to Laprak (2100m/ 6,889ft) – 6 hrs to 7-hour trek.

07: Laprak to Nambai Kharka (2700m/8,858ft)– 5 hrs to 6-hour trek.

08: Nambai Kharka to Tallo Thotneri – 7 hrs to 8-hour trek.

09: Tallo Thotneri to Gyampesal (1000m/ 3280ft) – 6 hrs to 7-hour trek.Day 10: Ghampesal to Kathmandu (Local drive 6- 7 hour).

Short Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary (10 days)

A rumor spreads online that Manaslu circuit trek can be completed in just 10 days!  While I agree it is doable, I also see some considerations for anyone planning to take Manaslu short trek for 10 days without missing an important site. In my opinion, what makes Manaslu special are the side trips.  This is the only trek that allows you to experience Manaslu Base Camp, Birendra Lake, Pung Gyan Gomba and Lho Gomba.  These are the highlights of a Manaslu trek so make sure you see as much of these as you can.

Many companies are very eager to suggest a rapid itinerary without considering the safety of the clients.  So think twice and make sure you plan ahead and understand what each day means. How much elevation you gain each day.  Do not be shy to ask: Does the itinerary come with acclimatization day?  Does it include side trips to Manaslu Base Camp, Birendra Lake, Pung Gyan Gomba, Lho Gomba, etc.?

Here is my suggested itinerary for ten days.  The bright side of the itinerary below is that you would not miss our favorite part of the Manaslu circuit trek and the acclimatization day in Samagaun unlike most of the company doesn’t give you this opportunity. Below are some considerations if you want to follow the ten-days itinerary in Manaslu Circuit Trek:

  • This is only doable in the spring season and (mid-October to early December).  This is not possible during monsoon season as local jeeps cannot drive to Machhekhola.
  • High level of physical fitness, long-distance hiking experience and if possible, high-altitude trek experiences are required to complete this trek.  You know your body’s capabilities and limitations.
  • You need to take a private jeep from Kathmandu to Lapubesi very early in the morning.  Once you reach Lapubesi, hike straight away to Machhekhola to save time. Manaslu Trek cost might be slightly higher because of the private jeep.
  • Before Samagaun, the days are much longer and require at least 20km to 25km of the hike, in about 8 to 9 hours. You will need to cover more distance at a lower elevation so there is no need to rush when you reach higher elevation.  After Samagaun, it is more altitude than distance, so the walk is easy.
  • The last day of the trek, from Dharapani to Kathmandu, is also expected to be a long day. You need to travel for 4 to 5 hours between Dharapani to Besishar on a local jeep and then, 5 to 6 hours from Besishar to Kathmandu on a local bus or a private car. In total, that is roughly 9 to 11 hours of drive to get back to Kathmandu.
 Days                               Day to Day Itinerary        Elevation      Everyday trek hour
   Meter    Feet
1Drive from Kathmandu to Lapubeshi and trek to Machhikhola710m2,328 ft10-hour drive
2Trek from Machhikhola to Philim1,570m5,150 ft8-9 hours trek
3Trek from Philim to Namrung2,660m8,730 ft9-10  hours trek
4Namrung to Lho monasteries and camp to Samagaun3,525m11,565ft8-9 hours trek
5Rest day, explore MBC, Birendra Lake, Pung Gyen Gomba2,630m8,626 ft7-8 hours trek
6Trek from Samagaun to Samdo and climb to Samdo hill3,700m12,139 ft4-5 hours trek
7Samdo to Dharmasala4,460 m14,629 ft4-5 hours trek
8Trek from Dharmasala to Bhimthang Via Larke Pass 16,929ft3,700m12,139ft7-8 hours trek
9Bhimtang to Dharapani1,860m6,102 ft8-9 hours trek
10Dharapani to Kathmandu Drive1,300m4,265 ft9-11 drive

Guyshachar.com An individual traveler writes the blog and covers details of his 15-day Manaslu Circuit trek itinerary and experience.  The itinerary looks flexible and reasonable that any traveler could adapt depending on how much time they have.

Manaslucircuittrek.com
The site manaslucircuittrek.com is probably one of the most informative sites for the Manaslu circuit trek.  The website also provides varying trekking itineraries depending on the number of days including details on potential side trips in the region.

Lonely Planet
The Lonely Planet guidebook also recommends a 13-days trek in the Manaslu area. However, the trekking starts from Arughat (instead of Soti Khola) and ends at Besi Sahar (instead of Tal), and avoiding off-road local jeep rides making the itinerary longer than others.  In addition, they also include some optional sightseeing in Kathmandu after the trek.

Matadornetwork.com
There is some helpful information written by Sierra Gladfelter about the trek itinerary.

The Great Himalayan Trail
Great Himalayan Trail is also one of the most informative official websites from Nepal.  Their recommendation is the 14-days itinerary starting from Soti Khola and ending in Chemische. But this itinerary is already too old as the local jeep now can drive up to Dharapani.

Trekking Partner’s
This is a great site if you don’t want to be tied up with the tailor-made itinerary from a trekking company. TrekkingPartner.com helps you to find out more about the trek and also seek other trekkers interested in doing the same itinerary as you and you get to split the Manaslu trek cost!  All you need to do is visit the website and read about comments or posts from other travelers about the desired date and duration of the trek. You are free to reach out to them and agree to be part of their group. The site has also ranked Manaslu as the best trekking trail in Nepal.

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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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