Best Time for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Best Time for Manaslu Circuit Trekking

The Manaslu region is one of the secluded and most untouched beauties in Nepal, with numerous hidden treasures waiting to be explored and discovered. While the region has much more to offer to its explorers, when is the best time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Among the four main seasons, Summer/Monsoon, Winter, Spring, and Autumn, the latter seasons are considered the peak time for the Himalayan adventures. Weather and temperature are stable during spring and autumn, with enhanced clarity of the mountainous surroundings. So, for the best trekking experience in a comfortable environment, these seasons are ideal for embarking on an enticing adventure of the Manalsu Circuit Trek.

The less crowded trekking trails, unobstructed mountain views, pleasant weather, and mild temperatures make autumn and spring the best time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Traversing the forested paths filled with colorful flowers and unique vegetation and an opportunity for an occasional glimpse of valuable wild species enriches your high-Himalayan adventure during spring and autumn.

While autumn and spring are the busiest trekking seasons in the Himalayas, the Manaslu region is not as busy as other mainstream trekking regions like Everest and Annapurna. So, regardless of the time of the trek, you can experience a peaceful journey of exploring the raw beauty of Manaslu over the tranquil trails of the remote Himalayas. However, this pristine wilderness adventure during the favorable times of spring and autumn enhances your trekking experience tenfold.

High Points of Spring and Autumn Trek of Manaslu Circuit

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  • Spring is the peak time for the blossoming of the flowers. So, while trekking the Manaslu Circuit in Spring, you can see the forests and trekking trails filled with different shades of colorful rhododendrons and Himalayan wildflowers
  • In spring, the phenomenal beauty of reviving nature and the sweet fragrance of diverse flora captivates the Manaslu visitors
  • The dazzling rays of the sun piercing through the dense bloom of rhododendrons and casting dappled patches of light and shadow on the forested trail create a mesmerizing scenario to trek
  • As trekkers venture along the forested trail of the Manaslu region in spring, they find themselves immersed in the lushness of the greenery environment and the vibrant, melodious chirping of birds hidden among the branches
  • The reddish-grey fall foliage over the trekking trails and mountainous landscapes fascinates the trekking journey in autumn
  • Due to the stable and dry weather in spring and autumn, you can enjoy a pleasant trekking journey and enhanced visibility of the surrounding landscapes
  • Temperature is moderate during these seasons, contributing to an easy, comfortable, and smooth trek of the Manaslu Circuit
  • The Himalayan views are unobstructed and clear in the crystalline blue skies
  • During these seasons, there is also a high chance of catching a glimpse of some rare species of the Manaslu region

Manaslu Circuit Trek – Brief Overview

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Since 1992, the Manaslu Circuit has welcomed trekkers as a restricted zone. The restricted status of the Manaslu is a designation imposed by the government of Nepal to preserve the raw nature and culture of the place. The natural landscapes and unique traditions of the Manaslu region are unspoiled by modernization or human intervention. Manalsu Circuit Trek is the threshold to exploring the untampered beauty, including its flora, fauna, vegetation, history, art, architecture, culture, religion, customs, traditions, and lifestyle of the Manaslu region.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a fascinating journey through captivating high-Himalayan landscapes and exploring the cultural diversity of the Manaslu region. The off-the-beaten trails of the Manaslu Circuit cover the entire Manalsu region with the best trekking experiences in this backwood area. This adventurous trek on the foothills of lofty Himalayas circumnavigates the world’s eighth-highest mountain, Manalsu (8,163 meters/26,781 feet), offering an unbeatable experience of a high-altitude endeavor.

During the remarkable journey of Manalsu Circuit Trek, you can immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery of the remote and isolated Manaslu region. You will walk through the trails of the Manaslu Conservation Area, with a visual splendor of the diverse ecosystem of the region. You can experience the warm welcome and genuine hospitality of the local Gurung, Tamang, and Sherpa people of the Manaslu region.

Larkya la Pass is the highest point of the Manaslu Circuit Trek at an elevation of 5,106 meters/16,752 feet. The exhilarating trek of Manalsu Circuit rewards you with an outstanding view of the snow-covered Himalayas, including Mount Manaslu, Himchuli, Ngadi Chuli, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Ganesh Himal, Nemjung, Gyanji Kang, and Kang Guru and other surrounding mountains.

When is the Best Time for the Manalsu Circuit Trek?

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Each season offers a unique experience of exploring the pristine beauty of the Manaslu region in its own special way. The beauty of the Manaslu region is captivating throughout the year, which makes exploring this hidden Himalayan gem during the off-trekking seasons, summer and winter, equally worthwhile. However, you need to overcome a few potential hurdles and weather challenges while trekking at these times.

So, let’s break down each season to help you understand the weather and temperatures during different seasons. After that, you can decide on the best time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek as per your preferences and trekking objectives

Manaslu Circuit Trek in Spring Season

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Spring is the best time to trek the Manaslu Circuit before the monsoon arrives. This pre-monsoon season comprises March, April, and May. These beautiful spring months are idle for trekking activities with dry trails, stable weather, excellent visibility, and an extended sunlight period.

Spring brings a rejuvenating transformation across the Himalayan landscapes from frosty winter. However, you can relish the dramatic views of the surrounding mountain peaks as they are still covered in winter snow. Furthermore, to marvel at these white hues mountains in crystal-clear blue skies is a rewarding experience of trekking the Manaslu Circuit during the spring season.

March, April, and May exhibit the best natural beauty as nature awakens after a long winter sleep. The snow-covered Manaslu region, in pristine white, slowly turns colorful and lively. The lower region trekking trails of the Manalsu Circuit are mostly surrounded by lush greenery. In March, nature is at its freshest form with blooming buds of flowers and the green pigments on the tree leaves.

By April, the verdant forest and hills are all covered by the heavy and widespread bloom of rhododendrons and a variety of wildflowers. At this time, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of lively vegetation while trekking the Manalsu Circuit. Moreover, the activity of wild species and birds will enchant you as they get active after a long winter hibernation. You can hear the soothing melodies of the forest creatures, like the sweet chirping of birds and the intriguing growling of animals echoing through the vibrant woods.

As spring comes right after winter, the temperatures rise gradually, and days get warmer. Moderately warm temperatures allow for a delightful trekking. The average daytime temperature in spring ranges from 12 to 20 degrees Celcius, which is ideal for trekking. The temperature is neither too hot (at lower altitudes) nor too cold (at higher altitudes). The mornings and nights are also not as frigid as in winter. Days in spring get longer and sunnier. The brighter sunlight offers excellent visibility, and extended daylight hours give more time for exploration and observation of the high-Himalayan beauty. Also, crossing the Larkya La Pass is easier due to the presence of excellent lighting conditions and comfortable temperatures.

Spring comes to an end in May with the last few blossoms of flowers on the hillside. May allows you to experience the allure of both spring and monsoon at a time. While the mornings are clear and fresh, the late afternoons are often cloudy. The climate is a mix of hot, humid, and dry, with cool and fresh breeze helping you stay comfortable. The dry and peaceful trekking trails allow you to comfortably enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Manaslu region.

Tips for Spring Trek of Manalsu Circuit

A well-prepared journey helps for a safe and enriching trekking experience. So, follow these tips for a comfortable and easy trekking journey in spring.

  • Snow may fall in early March, so carry suitable footwear, warm clothes, and proper trekking poles.
  • May is the transitional month from spring to the summer season. So, there is a chance of pre-monsoon rain during late May. It is advisable to carry a set of rain gear to stay dry and warm in case of uncertain rain.
  • While trekking on the bright and sunny days of spring, you will get exposed to intense sun rays for a longer period. So, carry a high SPF suncream, UV-protected sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to prevent tanned skin.

Manaslu Circuit Trek in Autumn Season

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Autumn, including September, October, and November months, is another best time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Autumn is the post-monsoon time with fresh nature, clear skies, milder temperatures, stable weather conditions, dry climate (no rain or snow), and vivid mountain views, making it the perfect time for high-altitude trekking.

September marks the start of the alluring autumn season. As the month transforms from monsoon to autumn, there might be light monsoon rain in the earlier week of September. The rain-nourished mountainous environment looks fresher and greener. The dirt and pollution in the air are also washed by the rain, which gives a clean and fresh look to the environment.

By mid-September, you can expect completely dry autumn weather. A dry climate, with less or no rain, snow, and haze in the atmosphere, gives clear visibility of the surroundings. You will be treated with an open and transparent view of the surrounding landscapes, mountains, and distant scenery at utmost vision during this time. There is no chance of muddy-wet trails, which allows for smooth and easy walks over clean and well-marked routes. Moreover, the bright sun and cloudless clear blue sky reward you with the exceptional clarity of the stunning mountain peaks.

On average, the daytime temperature in autumn remains around 12 to 20 degrees Celcius. This moderate temperature allows for a pleasant and comfortable trekking journey. Days in autumn are usually long, bright, and sunny. The brighter sun offers warm and clear trekking conditions. Likewise, the extended daylight facilitates leisurely and immersive adventuring. However, the temperature starts to decrease towards the end of the autumn season, in November. You can even experience the light snowfall at this time. While the nights are cool, the days are still warm and pleasant. So, all you have to do is bring some warm clothes to deal with the cold nights at alpine elevations.

The Manaslu Circuit trek in autumn is a great experience due to the vibrant celebration of typical Nepali festivals in the local villages. As there are lots of festivals going around in autumn, you can partake in one with the local communities. The major cultural festivals of Hindu – Dashain and Tihar are celebrated during this season. Dashain is celebrated for 15 days between September and October. Plus, Tihar usually falls in November, which is a five-day festival of lights. You can see the traditional houses along the way decorated with flowers and glowing candles or Diyos/oil lamps.

Tips for Autumn Trek of Manalsu Circuit

  • In early September, you might encounter light rain showers as it is just a month after the monsoon. Therefore, it is wise to carry waterproof jackets and pants to remain unwet during post-monsoon rain.
  • In late November, the approaching winter makes the morning and night temperatures in the alpine altitudes plummet below the freezing scale. So, pack a layer of warm clothes to stay cozy and comfortable during the colder climatic conditions of higher elevations.

Manaslu Circuit Trek in Summer/Monsoon Season

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June, June, and August are wet summer months with hot temperatures and frequent rainfall. Since the summer is not a high time for high-altitude Himalayan trekking, there will not be so many crowds of trekkers. You can immerse in the beauty and tranquility of the mountainous beauty while traversing the solitary trails in summer/monsoon. It is the best season if you love rain and greenery, like to see rainbows, and want to experience and appreciate the beauty of nature in an intimate way.

Summer is bright, sunny, and hot around the Manaslu region, making your trekking journey sweaty at times. The daytime temperature, on average, ranges around 18 to 27 degrees Celcius. Although the temperature is warm and delightful at lower altitudes of the Manaslu region, the climate is still chilly at higher altitudes. So, you need to be prepared to warm yourself in colder conditons of the high altitudes.

Rainfall is continuous during this season due to high humidity levels in the air. While trekking the Manalsu Circuit at this time, you will find wet, muddy, and slippery trails, which can cause slips and injuries. Likewise, there can be mosquitoes, leeches, and bugs around the forested regions. Furthermore, recurrent rain leads to a high possibility of natural calamities occurrences such as floods and landslides. Such unforeseen happenings invite potential accidents, and your travel plans can also be affected.

However, the best thing is that the rain usually falls during the late afternoons and nights, bringing clear mornings. The scenery of rain-washed forests and pastures is green and fresh. There is a possibility of glancing at magnificent rainbows above the lush greenery of the lower valley. Plus, the murmur of rain-fed streams and cascading waterfalls are seen as captivating during this time.

Tips for Summer/Monsoon Trek of Manalsu Circuit

  • Carry insect repellent sprays or wear full-sleeved clothes to avoid the bugs and leeches during rain along the forested trails of Manalsu Circuit.
  • Monsoon is the wettest season, so it is advisable to bring proper rain gear.
  • The Manaslu trekking trails get muddy and slippery due to rain, so invest in a pair of boots with good traction and suitable for rainy conditions.
  • As the temperature is sweltering in summer, it is wise to pack multiple sets of lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking
  • Keep regular updates of the weather forecast to ensure a smooth journey and make informed decisions about the ongoing adventure.

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Manaslu Circuit Trek in Winter Season

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The winter season spans from December to February, transforming the Manaslu region into a winter wonderland. The winter days are comparatively shorter than other times of the year. Conversely, the nights are long, and the temperature is extremely cold, which makes winter a low time for trekking the Manaslu region. Despite some challenges, gleaming snowy peaks and less-crowded, quieter trails are the good side of trekking the Manaslu Circuit in winter.

Winter is a less preferred month for high-altitude trekking because of heavy snowfall and chilly weather conditions. Temperatures are bitterly cold at this time, which hovers around 5 to 10 degrees Celcius in the daytime. The morning and night temperatures can plummet to -10 degrees Celcius during winter. Frostbite and hypothermia are possible cold weather challenges in winter. Due to heavy snowfall, the trekking trails are blanketed with thick snow which may need crampons to navigate. The Larkya La Pass is relatively challenging and tougher to cross at this time because the steep and narrow sections of the route are covered and blocked with a huge pile of snow.

By the end of December, the villagers of the upper Manaslu regions move to the lower elevations where the climate is milder and conductive for living and agriculture. As most teahouses and shops are closed, you may have to bring a tent, sleeping bags and well-equipped with the required amenities for the winter trek in Manaslu. Despite the wintry climate, winter boasts bright days and mostly clear skies, providing a stunning backdrop of snow-covered mountains. You can marvel at the mesmerizing white hues of the high Himalayan landscapes.

Tips for Winter Trek of Manalsu Circuit

  • Winter is extremely cold in the Manaslu region, so carry layers of warm dresses to stay cozy throughout the journey.
  • As the weather in winter can be unpredictable and frequently changeable, keep updates on the weather forecast to stay prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.
  • In winter, daylight hours are shorter. So, start your trekking early in the morning and reach the destination before night falls.
  • Be wary of possible avalanches due to heavy snowfall, especially in steep and sloppy areas.

About Author

Mukti is is the founder and CEO of Himalayas on Foot. He started Himalayas on Foot in 2008 after working as a trekking porter, guide and then a sales manager for a decade.

He has done most of the treks in Nepal such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Poon Hill, Langtang Trek, Annapurna Circuit, etc. Apart from Nepal, he has also travelled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Finland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, France and USA.

Mukti was also secretary of Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) for the year 2015-2017. TAAN is an umbrella association of trekking agencies in the Nepal.

He speaks fluent English, Japanese and Nepali.

Mukti is friendly and he is the one who answers most of your trip questions. So if you have any inquiry about our trip, don't be shy. Write to us.

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