Manaslu Circuit is one of the most prized trek destinations with snowy mountains, soaring glaciers, and moraines. Everything about the circuit trek is impressive, from its rugged wilderness to smooth lush hills and colorful valleys.
Trekkers who delve into the lustrous forest of Manaslu will encounter Himalayan wild animals and birds of different species. They’ll also get to discover the diverse culture and lifestyle of people inhabiting the region.
But underneath the beauty of Manaslu Circuit lies extreme challenges and difficulties.
Not everyone can do the trek, especially with many constraints, including severe weather conditions, high altitudes, and Manaslu Circuit distance itself.
With more than 80 miles/127 km of trailhead, hiking Manaslu Circuit is nerve-wracking and traumatic. Climbers have to take up the steep hills and walk over the valley’s edge to reach the hilltop. They’ll have to trek an average of 5-6 hours each day to make it to the clifftop.
Trekkers will have to defy rough terrains with mixed rocks along the way. They’ll have to take many twists and turns en route to Circuit, which is demanding. Apart from that, they have to deal with altitude sickness as the trail ascends 17,000 ft elevation.
How far is Manaslu Circuit?
It’s safe to say that the Manaslu Circuit Trek is the most happening place for trekking in Nepal. Its rustic charm with surreal views, jaw-dropping landscapes, and windswept grasslands makes the Manaslu hike impressive.
Manaslu Circuit is a multi-day trek whose route traces from Soti Khola, working its way to the hilltop. The path walks past several villages, ascends steep slopes, and runs through woods before arriving at the Circuit.
The entire trip of Manaslu Circuit begins with a scenic ride from Kathmandu to Soti Khola, which offers fabulous scenery. Driving down the Prithvi Highway, the lane sees trekkers passing the small village of Dhading and lush fields.
During the 85 miles long journey, they will have their eyes stuck on the lush green terrains, cheerful little villages, and gentle hills. From here, the trail heads up to Jagat via Machha Khola, covering a total of 28 km trek distance. It offers travelers a majestic view of lofty mountains, diverse landscapes, and imposing ridges on the journey.
The trekking path advancing Deng has a distance of 12.3 miles to walk. Like most foothills, the trail here runs through peaks and troughs, shortening the length of the Circuit. After leaving the village, the trail heads to Samagaon, passing the terrace farm and Sama village.
A lot of trekkers stop at the Sherpa village of Samagaon to discover its historical landmarks and rich culture. Some of them even take a walk to the nearest viewpoint, which prolongs the length of the trek.
Adding to the Manaslu Circuit distance are the rough terrains of Samdo and Dharmasala. Each hike takes 6-7 hours, ascending to the precipitous hills and gently up the valley. Together they have a grueling 36 km long trail that climbs a steep ridge and walks across the moraine to arrive at Bimthang.
A series of traumatizing courses await trekkers while they proceed to Larkya La Pass. As the trail climbs up the ridge perched at 5,106 meters, they will have a long and tiring day. Trekkers have to ascend the steep and snowy cliff face to wrap up the expedition at the viewpoint.
After offering glimpses of Mt. Manaslu, Himlung Himal, and Kang Guru, the trail descends to the Bimthang, which has 15 miles trekking distance. The course runs across the moraines and riverbank to get to the village.
How difficult is Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Regardless of whether the visitors are first-timers or frequent, the Manaslu Circuit trek never gets any easier. The hike involves so many difficulties that it’s impossible to finish the walk without plans and preparations.
Although the trek is considered moderate, hikers have to withstand many obstacles to reach the Circuit. From altitude sickness to challenging trails, and weather, all together makes the circuit trek extremely difficult.
With each ascent, the hike gets more and more difficult. As the atmospheric pressure decreases, the chance of trekkers suffering from shortness of breath rises. Some of the trek difficulties of Manaslu Circuit are as follows.
1. Long Trail
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a long walk to the northern Himalayas in Gorkha. It’s one of the most imposing and challenging hikes in Nepal. This neighbor of Annapurna has extended trails of 80 miles, which restrains visitors from getting to the Circuit.
They have to work their way to the Circuit through steep slopes and mountainous terrain, which is pretty stressful. The track has many sweeping drop-offs and ascent, rugged foothills, and steep gully on the way to the Circuit.
The circuit trail of Manaslu may start east, but after picking an elevation, they get hard to ascend. They slow down the hiker’s pace and require them to spend more time on the trail. Thus, to stand the exhausting walk, trekkers have to be physically fit with strong mental health.
2. Weather and Temperature
The unforeseeable weather of Manaslu is another hindrance that prevents trekkers from getting to the Circuit. It forces them to leave the trail or have them stuck over there for an uncertain time. Hence, trekkers have to be careful of the climate during the hike.
In winter, the temperature at Manaslu drops to -20 Degree Celsius, causing visitors to have cold shivers. The heavy snowfall hinders access to the Circuit and even makes the trail slippery. If that wasn’t bad enough, trekkers also have to deal with fogs and mist to find their way.
Meanwhile, in monsoon, trekkers get murky trail dampened due to continuous downpour. The season also raises the chances of flood and landslide on the path. As a consequence, trekkers will have to put off their excursion or cancel it. Thus, travelers have to check out the weather forecast or plan the trip carefully.
As it’s hard to predict the weather ahead of the Manaslu Circuit trek, especially in monsoon and winter, most trekkers prefer hiking Manaslu Circuit in Spring and Autumn. The season provides the visitor an excellent sight of snow-capped mountains, fall foliage, and full-bloom flowers.
The best way to avoid the harsh weather of Manaslu is to trek the Circuit in the prime season. That allows hikers to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the trail. They’ll get a crystal-clear view of glistening mountains, towering landscapes, and glaciers from a distance.
3. Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is another reason why trekkers fear Manaslu Circuit. With the sudden change in air pressure, many hikers struggle with a headache and shortness of breath. Some climbers even have to pull back from the expedition due to the extreme effects of high altitude.
It’s usually after Lho when most trekkers suffer from acute mountain sickness. It happens due to the sudden exposure to high altitudes where the atmospheric pressure is significantly low. Fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, and headache are some of the common symptoms of altitude sickness at Manaslu.
To avoid the illness, trekkers have to acclimate themselves before climbing high. They need to let their body adapt to the temperature and climate at upper hills where the barometric pressure is low. Sometimes climbing too high and too fast also causes altitude sickness. Thus, hikers should climb the trail gently or take their prescribed medication after the trek.
What preparations do the trekkers have to make to beat the Manaslu trek distance?
Unlike some moderate mountain hikes, the Manaslu Circuit trek isn’t as easy as some people think. The walk is, in fact, quite tough, with strenuous trails that ascend uphill to 16,700 ft altitude. The entire trek is exhausting as climbers are required to traverse sharp hills with few drops over time.
The final section of the hike is more troublesome with a series of foot cliffs and rough terrains. To stand such grueling trails, hikers have to come prepared for the trek. Whether it’s physical preparation or mental, trekkers have to spend enough time to improve their stamina and balance.
Physical preparation to overcome Manaslu Circuit distance
As the trek to Manaslu Circuit is a bit complicated and lengthy with winding trails, trekkers have to prepare themselves physically. They have to improve their stamina and build endurance to withstand the trek.
Hikers, especially amateurs, need to follow a proper fitness regimen with a strict diet to stay in shape for the excursion. A couple of both long and short-distance backpacking trips can also help trekkers pull off the rugged terrain of Manaslu.
They have to train their body to resist the rock hills, narrow gullies, and challenging terrains of Manaslu. Beginners need to give themself enough time for the training instead of rushing things.
With the trail stretching over 80 miles, it’s normal for trekkers of Manaslu Circuit trek to stress out. But, sometimes, the pressure gets too intense, causing trekkers to have low self morale. Thus, not to let the anxiety get on the nerves, hikers must prepare themselves mentally before the hike.
They need to stay informed about the region’s possible challenges and weather conditions and plan the trip accordingly. Preparation has to be made ahead of the trek so that you can relax and enjoy the journey.
Trekkers need to find suitable clothing and equipment which is comfortable for hiking. It’s also to be ensured that they don’t carry excess baggage, only increasing the weight. Don’t forget to bring some snacks and bars to re-energize yourself during the trip.
You may also like:
- How to Hire a Guide or Porter for Manaslu Trek?
- Trekking in Manaslu Region
- Manaslu Trek Packing List
1. How far is Manaslu Circuit?
Manaslu Circuit is 128 km far from Soti Khola in the northern Himalayan range. It’s right beneath the world’s eighth highest mountain at 16,700 ft. The trip takes a short drive of 137.5 km via Prithvi Highway to reach the village of Soti Khola, a gateway to Manaslu Circuit. However, Manaslu Circuit distance may vary depending on the itinerary.
2. How challenging are the trails of Manaslu Circuit?
The trails to Manaslu Circuit are somewhat tough, with several highs and lows. Most of its track carves through remote areas and forests, which is quite hard to pass. Trekkers have to walk steep hills and mountain ridges up to Larkya La Pass, the highest point at Manaslu Circuit.
3. What type of accommodation can I expect on the Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Accommodation service at Manaslu CIrcuit Trek varies from lodges to guests and homestays. In villages like Jagat and Ghap, you get many options for accommodations. But as the distance between Manaslu Circuit and trekkers gets shorter, the lodging available lessons. The most common form of accommodation at the Manaslu Circuit Trek is Tea houses. They are affordable and have fantastic service with the options of a double and single bedroom.
4. Do I have to be physically trained for the circuit trek?
Since the Manaslu Circuit has a moderate hiking trail, there’s no need to follow an intense fitness regimen. However, to beat the Manaslu Circuit distance of 80 miles with sharp hills and challenging terrains, you must stay fit. Trekkers are recommended to do cardio exercises and workouts like stretching and step-ups.
5. Do I need a permit for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Since Manaslu is a restricted area, you’ll need a permit for the circuit trek. It cost US$70 for the first week of the hike and an additional US$100 per day after that.