Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty

Manaslu Trek Difficulty Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost

Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty is an exciting Himalayan journey that has been growing in popularity in recent years. This trekking route stands out among other Himalayan adventures due to its untampered absolute wilderness and the less-crowded route away from the mainstream crowd. So, it is certainly a lifetime experience that introduces you to a unique experience and a more intimate connection with the mystical Himalayas.

But what is the Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty? Can you do it? These might be the first questions that you thought of after you got interested in this fascinating journey of solitude. Rest assured, this classical Himalayan adventure has just a ‘moderate’ level of difficulty, and the best part is you don’t need any experience or skills to do this trek.

Opened for trekkers only in 1991, this thrilling exploration of the high Himalayan region in the country takes you across the charming trail that circles Mt. Manaslu, the eight-highest mountain in the 8,000-meter class. In this Himalayan adventure, traversing across the culturally enthralling route, you will conquer diverse landscapes and also get the opportunity to explore popular Himalayan conservation areas: Manaslu Conservation Area (1988) and Annapurna Conservation Area (1985).

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty Breakdown

Although the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty is milder compared to other high-elevation Himalayan adventures, you will still have to overcome some challenges during the exploration.

However, the assessment of the overall difficulty factor is not universal; people have different abilities and physicalities, so the difficulty scale may differ from person to person. People living in high altitudes and cold climatic conditions may find it easy to acclimatize at higher altitudes while doing this trek.

Similarly, an athlete or person who exercises routinely may not find the long days of trekking carrying a backpack that draining. So, let’s check out some of the most significant hurdles in this iconic high-altitude trek that you have faced during your adventure.

Altitude Related Sickness

Naturally, altitude-related sickness is one of the significant hurdles in high-altitude adventures. It is also a significant hurdle in the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty. After climbing over an altitude of 2,500 meters, it is difficult for the human body to adapt to the rising elevation point.

So, the trekkers start showing the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) like headache, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, insomnia, etc. There are also severe forms of altitude-related sickness, like HACE ( High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and(HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), that trekkers and mountaineers suffer at alpine altitudes.

Although this trekking adventure doesn’t take you to such significant alpine altitudes, you will still have to pay attention to your body language and symptoms that are related to AMS.

After starting your trekking adventure at Machha Khola (870 meters), in Manaslu Circuit Trek, you will move along the high-elevation points like Lho (3,180 meters), Sama Gaun (3,500 meters), Manaslu Base Camp (4,400 meters), Dharamshala (4,480 meters), Bimtang (3,720) and Larke La Pass (5,106 meters).

Overall Trekking Distance and Route

During this circumnavigating adventure around the eighth-highest mountain in the world, you will trek about 177 km (around 110 miles). Depending on the itinerary plans of your trekking package, you will walk for about 6 to 7 hours on average during each trekking day.

Your trekking trails pass through the isolated region and are often a mixture of rock/stone, loose soil, and dirt. So, even if you don’t find trekking for long hours that much difficult, the rugged road of the trekking route can be a little bit challenging. There are also many steep sections along the trail with frequent uphill and downhill routes, which might feel draining at times.

On top of that, you will also have to carry your backpack as make your way along the ascending route. So, it is almost impossible to make this journey enjoyable if you are not physically prepared for the excursion.

Acclimatization Days

manaslu circuit trek

Another determinant factor that significantly affects the Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty is the acclimatization days in your package. To put it in simple words, an effective acclimatization process in your package is equivalent to a higher success rate for your adventure.

If your adventure is rushed without an effective acclimatization process, the chances of you catching altitude sickness are pretty high. It is necessary for you to let your body to adapt properly, taking breaks along the journey before pushing for even further altitudes.

It is recommended that you shouldn’t trek to an altitude of more than 500 meters within justa single day. You also should give your body to adapt properly to a new environment after climbing over an altitude of 1,000 meters.

The Himalayan trekking packages in Nepal are designed considering these factors. Still, choose the package with enough acclimatization days so you don’t have to strain your body during the trek.


The high-elevation alpine environment can be unpredictable from time to time. Even during the peak seasons, sometimes it doesn’t take much time for a clear sunny day to turn into a gloomy-cloudy or rainy day. So, you will have to make up your mind on taking any kind of weather challenges thrown your way and pack accordingly.

The weather factors in the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty can be especially challenging if you are planning to do the trek during the off-season. Although the Manaslu trek in Nepal can be done throughout the year, winter and monsoon are known for their unstable weather conditions.

During the winter season, the higher trekking trails are covered with pristine blankets of snow, and the temperature drops to its lowest. Monsoon season, on the other hand, has unpleasant continuous heavy downpours.

The trekking trails are also extremely difficult to navigate due to slippery conditions during monsoon. Risks of flood and landslides further elevate the overall difficulty level of the trek during this season.


The Himalayan trekking regions in Nepal are nothing like the exotic vaccination hubs. Due to the lack of proper transport modes, the high-elevation points in this trek are pretty behind in development. During your Manaslu Circuit Trek, you can enjoy basic to moderate levels of fooding and lodging facilities.

Technological aspects like the internet and electricity are also only efficient at the lower trekking trail. The settlements at the high altitude are more reliant on solar power. Similarly, there are very few number of health stations, and in case of emergency, only a helicopter rescue is a viable option.

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How to Minimize the Trek Difficulty?

Although there are several Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty factors you have to be on the lookout for during this Himalayan expedition, they are still on the milder side. The challenges of this adventure are still on a moderate scale and not strenuous at all.

However, if you take the right measures, you can even further minimize the overall difficulty for a convenient experience.

Train Adequately

Needless to say, with efficient physical preparation, you will be able to reduce the difficulty level of this Himalayan adventure by a significant portion. As you will trek for a long period across the rugged trail, you will need to emphasize on the strength and endurance training for your trek.

You are recommended to train at least 3 to 6 weeks before your adventure; this way, your body will get used to the slightly draining physical activities. For a proper assessment of your physical capabilities, you can do some practice hikes at the steep sections near you.

If you want to design an efficient and effective training regime, you can consult with a professional trainer or a trekking guide.

Recommended Exercises

For Strength and Endurance: Push up, pull up, plank, bicep curl, squat, weightlift, step up, upright row, bench press, leg extension, leg curl, box jump, etc

For Cardiovascular: Jogging, swimming, dancing, cardio, jumping rope, cycling, rowing, stair climbing, mountain climber, cardio, etc

Find the Right Package

When planning the Manaslu Circuit Trek, it is important to select the right package as determines the overall experience of your adventure. If you are a veteran high-altitude trekker, then quick-paced adventure might now be a big deal for you.

However, if you are new to the Himalayan adventures, you should consider the package with sufficient rest period and acclimatization days. You will have a more immersive experience in a slow-paced adventure, and with enough rest days, you won’t strain your body too much, either.

We here are Himalayas On Foot offer the best value trekking experience in the Manaslu region with our 13 Days Manaslu Circuit Trek. This a fully guided expedition, and we take care of all food, accomodation, permits, and other logistics details. You will be able to enjoy a remarkable adventure without worrying about a single thing.

Choose a Peak Season

Choose a Peak Season

Peak seasons, spring and autumn, are considered to be the ultimate period for high-altitude adventure in the Himalayas. If you want to reduce the weather challenges from your Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty, you should trek during the peak seasons with stable climatic conditions.

The lower trekking trails of the Manaslu region are covered with rhododendron flowers during the spring season. The trekking trails are enthralling as lush greenery takes over the region. You will also have better chances to encounter the endangered wildlife and birdlife of the Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation Areas during this season.

As for autumn, this fall season is known for its mild temperatures and the incredible clear views of the Himalayan peaks. The diverse shades of this fall season add a unique perspective to your exploration, and you will also have to opportunity to relish the festive ambiance.

Drink Enough Water and Eat a Nutritious Balanced Diet

One of the most effective ways to avoid altitude sickness during your Manaslu trek is to meet the hydration quota and eat a balanced diet. Most trekkers feel a loss of appetite as they start ascending to higher altitudes. However, you should force yourself to take a few bites, and your system will get used to altitude.

Trekkers who oversee the balanced diet aspects are usually the ones who have to struggle with the symptoms of altitude sickness. Your body needs enough fuel to replenish the energy after long hours of trek every day.

Similarly, you should drink the recommended water limit of 3 to 4 liters during your trekking adventure. As you trek for long hours at the rising altitude, your body loses its water level on a significant level, so you should keep yourself hydrated with the recommended limit during each day of your trek. This way, you will not only have a more comfortable experience while trekking but also reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

Pack Right for the Occasion

During your Manaslu Circuit Trek, you will traverse across diverse climatic zones and remote-isolated trails. You shouldn’t expect to buy the essentials along the trekking route as the teahouses/lodges in the region in the Himalayan regions are not that well developed.

You should pack all the essentials and necessary gear to make your journey a comfortable experience. Packing the right clothes and gear will also help you minimize the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty that you have to face in your trekking route.

The porter-to-trekker distribution in the trekking package is 2:1; two trekkers will receive a porter to carry their luggage. The weight limit of your luggage for the porter is around 12 kg to 15 kg; you will have to carry the extra luggage that surpasses the limit weight.

So, you will have to focus on making your packing as light as possible without missing out on the important stuff.

Packing Recommendation

Head and Body

  • Sun hat, brim hat
  • Knitted woolen hat, beanie
  • Neck gaiter
  • Scarf
  • Moisture-wicking light shirts
  • Half and full t-shirts
  • Warm sweater, insulated vest
  • Lightweight jacket, fleece jacket
  • Waterproof/windproof jacket
  • Down jacket (for minus-degree temperatures)
  • Hiking shorts
  • Lightweight trousers
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Cotton pant
  • Woolen trousers, insulated
  • Light gloves (full, half)
  • Insulated gloves
  • Several parts of undergarments


  • Trekking boots (break-in first)
  • Light socks, woolen/insulated socks
  • Gaters
  • Light trainer shoes
  • Crocks/slippers

Personal Hygiene/Toiletries

  • Soap, shampoo
  • Sunblock cream, lip balm
  • Body lotion
  • Nail clipper, small mirror
  • Wet wipes, tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorants
  • Santizier
  • Insect repellent
  • Water purification
  • Personal medication
  • Small first aid kit


  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping bag
  • Backpack, duffle bag
  • Trekking pole
  • Leg support, ankle support
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Map, GPS
  • Water bottle, thermos bottle
  • Journal and magazines
  • Card or board games
  • Extra batteries, powerbank

Is This Trek Suitable for Me?

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a wonderful exploration if you are looking for a more intimate connection with the magnificent Himalayan region. This isolated trekking trail farther from the mainstream crowd allows you to relish the true beauty of the region in solitude.

If you are worried about the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty level, you should know that it is milder than other high Himalayan adventures. You won’t spend that much time at alpine altitudes above 5,000 meters, and there aren’t any sections enroute that require technical skills.

The success rate of this exhilarating Himalayan trek is about 98% to 100%. In its trekking history, hardly any determined trekker has failed to conquer this enchanting route. You don’t even need to be in top shape for this adventure; a basic level of fitness and good health is enough to complete this trek.

Safety Measures During Trek

Safety Measures During manaslu circuit trek

During your incredible circuit trekking adventure, a government-licensed and trained professional will guide your expedition. Our guides are industry-leading experts with significant experience in the field.

The guides are also trained for immediate first aid and high-altitude response. So, you can rest assured while doing this trek and leave the concerns of health and safety to us. We conduct physical assessments of the trekkers at the end of each day to see how well they are doing and their oxygen saturation level.

As our guides are fluent in their particular field of language, you will be able to easily communicate with him/her in case of any difficulties and inconveniences. Your expedition leader will report updates about your journey with the head office in Kathmandu on a daily basis.

So, in case of sickness or any kind of emergency, your guide will swiftly coordinate with the head office, and appropriate actions will be taken without any delays. We also provide oxygen bottles and PAC (Portable Altitude Chamber) if you feel like you might need them at higher altitudes.

What About Permits and Regulations?

What About Permits and Regulations?

Gathering the permits for the Himalayan trekking adventures can be a bureaucratic hurdle if you are not familiar with the necessary steps. There are also several rules and regulations that you have to stick to during your adventure across the protected areas of the region.

If you are doing a guided trek, then your trek agency will sort out all the necessary documentation and collect the permits for you. The guide and porters are also familiar with every rule and regulation in the restricted areas, so don’t have to worry about breaking any accidentally.

You will need to get four permits to do this incredible trek that passes through two protected areas:

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP)
  • Restricted Area Permit (RAP)
  • Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS)

ACAP, MCAP, and TIMS Card can be easily obtained via the Nepal Tourism Board office located in Kathmandu. However, for the RAP permit, only a government-licensed trekking agency can issue the permit.

Required Documents for Permits

  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Scan copy of the applied RAP form
  • Photocopy of a valid passport
  • Nepal Tourist Visa
  • Travel Insurance

Some Additional Helpful Tips to Reduce Trek Difficulty

  • Start your physical preparation within the recommended period
  • Take it slow and meet the hydration quota each day
  • Acclimatize properly and eat a balanced diet
  • Don’t forget the energy bars, electrolytes and snacks
  • Strictly follow the safety tips of guides and porters
  • Familiarize yourself with the navigation system, carry a map and compass
  • Don’t drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes during the trek; it affects the acclimatization process
  • Be mindful of the wildlife in the region, don’t disrupt them, and observe from a safe distance
  • Learn basic wilderness first aid knowledge

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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