Manaslu Circuit Trek for Beginners | Ultimate Guide with Best Tips

November 21, 2023

Manaslu Circuit Trek for Beginners

We all know how fun and exciting trekking in Nepal is. Imagine trekking through lush forests, terraced fields, and stunning mountain ranges to reach the ultimate viewpoint of the world’s eighth-tallest mountain, Mount Manaslu.

Are you one of those who loves trekking in Nepal but hasn’t had any trekking experience? Don’t worry; in this blog, we will discuss the Manaslu Circuit Trek for beginners and the best tips to make your trek even easier.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging yet rewarding trek in Nepal and one of the most popular treks in Nepal. The traditional villages, the unique culture, and the stunning views around are the major highlights of this trek.

But, as it is challenging, is it accessible to beginners? Yes, it is accessible for beginners. With proper planning and preparation, anyone with a moderate level of fitness can complete the trek.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Overview

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a 12- to 17-day of trek that initially starts in Kathmandu city. This challenging yet rewarding trek passes through some of the most beautiful and untouched scenery in Nepal, and it offers hikers the opportunity to experience the culture and traditions of the local people.

Manaslu Circuit Trek view

During this trek, you can expect the stunning scenery of Mount Manaslu and other towering Himalayan peaks. As the trek passes through lush forests, terraced fields, and traditional villages, you can expect stunning views around.

As the Manaslu Circuit is a remote trek and there are few villages along the way, you will have the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Nepal in its pure form.

On this trek, the maximum altitude you will reach is 5,160 meters (16,572 feet) at the Larkya La Pass. With this, you will also get the experience of high-altitude trekking.

The major highlights of the Manaslu Circuit Trek are:

  • A remarkable variety of landscapes, from lush subtropical forests and terraced fields to alpine meadows and high mountain deserts.
  • Traditional Tibetan-influenced villages where you can experience the rich culture of the region, including unique monasteries and festivals
  • Close-up views of Mt. Manaslu and other snow-capped peaks in the Mansiri Himalayan range
  • Breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the challenging Larkya La Pass
  • Less crowded in comparison to treks in the Everest region and Annapurna region

Small village during the Manaslu Circuit Trek

How challenging is the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a moderate to challenging trek in the Manaslu Region of Nepal. During this trek, you need to pass through several high altitudes and most of them are above 5,000 meters.

For beginners with no trekking experience, this trek is challenging as it involves several difficulties that are risk factors. You are required to hike on steep ascents and descents, which is tiring and difficult for trekkers.

As Larkya La Pass (5,160m) is the highest point you will cover in this trek, altitude sickness is a concerning factor. If you are a beginner, then having proper acclimatization is important on this trek.

The difficulty doesn’t end here, as the Manaslu region is less developed than other popular trekking areas like Everest and Annapurna. The facilities, like teahouses and medical services, are basic, while the trail is less defined in some sections.

In addition, this trek takes 12-17 days to complete so as a beginner, the length of the trek might be too much. The length of the trek combined with an average daily walking hour can be difficult for naïve trekkers who aren’t used to trekking for hours.

Beginner trekker on Manaslu Circuit Trek

Last but not least, crossing the Larkya La Pass is one of the significant highlights but also a challenging part of the trek. You need to be prepared for a strenuous ascent and descent, as well as the possibility of adverse weather conditions.

What kind of physical fitness do I need?

For the Manaslu Circuit Trek, you need to have moderate physical fitness. The trek involves trekking for 6-7 hours on average every day. As this trek involves walking in varied terrain, ascending to high altitudes, and navigating challenging trails, as a beginner, you need to have a moderate fitness level for a successful and enjoyable trek.

For better physical fitness, you can participate in the following activities:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance: The trek involves long hours of walking each day so cardiovascular endurance is vital for sustained activity. You can engage in activities such as hiking, running, cycling, or brisk walking to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
  • Leg strength and muscular endurance: For trekking in the Himalayas, you need to have strong leg muscles. You can incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and leg presses into your workout routine.
  • Core strength: For better balance and stability, especially on uneven terrain, having a strong core is helpful. You can include exercises like planks and leg raises in your training.
  • Flexibility: Flexible muscles reduce the risk of injuries, particularly during steep ascents and descents.
  • Balance and stability: The trail of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is uneven and you can encounter rocky or narrow paths. It is better to work on balance and stability exercises.
  • Mental flexibility: Trekking to Manaslu Circuit can be mentally challenging, especially at higher altitudes. Develop mental resilience through meditation, mindfulness, or other stress-reducing activities.

Packing List for Manaslu Circuits for Beginners

As a beginner, you need to have a proper packing list so that you don’t find difficulties while trekking on the trails. A good packing list will help you get the essentials when needed. It keeps you away from the cold during the high-altitude trekking, and more than that, it makes the journey way easier and more comfortable.

Here are some of the important items on your packing list during your trek to Manaslu Circuit. Remember, this is suitable for both beginners and those who have already trekked in the Himalayan region.

If you are a beginner, then avoid the monsoon and winter seasons. This packing list covers the essentials for the autumn and spring seasons of trekking:


  • Sturdy, waterproof boots with good ankle support
  • Moisture-wicking and comfortable socks
  • Lightweight, quick-drying pants
  • Long-sleeve tops and bottoms
  • Fleece or down jackets for warmth
  • Waterproof and insulated gloves for cold weather
  • Wide-brimmed hat for sun protection and a warm beanie for colder days
  • UV protection sunglasses
  • Buff or scarf

Backpacking Gear

  • 40—50 liter backpack to carry your essentials
  • 3-season sleeping bag suitable for colder temperatures
  • Adjustable trekking poles for stability
  • Headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries
  • Reusable water bottle or hydration system
  • A water purification tablet or a water filter

Personal Items

  • First aid kit (bandages, pain relievers, and altitude sickness medication)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soaps, and wet wipes
  • High SPF sunscreen for protection at high altitudes
  • Lip balm to prevent chapped lips


  • Camera with extra batteries or charger
  • Portable charger
  • Smartphone
  • Adapter (Nepal used Type C and Type D electrical sockets)


  • Trekking map/guidebook for navigation
  • Identifications and permits
  • Money (Nepali rupees, carry changes)
  • Snacks (energy bars and protein bars)

What is the best time to trek to Manaslu Circuit for beginners?

Choosing the ideal time for trekking is one of the most crucial factors in the Himalayas of Nepal. So, what is the best time for trekking to the Manaslu Circuit trek that is not just for beginners but also for trekkers who have already trekked in the Himalayas?

The Himalayas region has colder temperatures and frequent changes in the weather, so it is important to choose a season that offers warm temperatures and clear weather.

Spring and autumn are called the trekking seasons in Nepal. With the stable weather, clear and sunny warm temperatures, clear skies, and clear views of the snow-capped mountains, autumn, and spring are the best times to do the Manaslu Circuit trek.

On the other hand, the monsoon and winter seasons are not considered the best or ideal times to trek to Manaslu Circuit. The monsoon season receives heavy rainfall that leads to unfavorable trails and weather for trekking in the higher altitudes. Additionally, there are risks of landslides during the monsoon season.

Heavy snowfall in Larkya La Pass during the trek in winter

While trekking is possible in the winter season, it is not suggested for beginners as the temperature during this season is extremely cold and can lead to altitude sickness. Even though you have experience trekking at higher altitudes, if you aren’t prepared for extreme cold temperatures and altitude sickness, you must not trek to Manaslu Circuit during the winter.

Best Manaslu Circuit Itinerary for Beginners

  • Day 01: 8-9 hours of drive to Maccha Khola from Kathmandu City
  • Day 02: 6-7 hours of trekking from Maccha Khola to Jagat, located at an altitude of 1,340m.
  • Day 03: Trekking for hours to reach Deng from Jagat (around 6-7 hours)
  • Day 04: Trekking to Namrung from Deng for 5-6 hours
  • Day 05: Trekking to Lho from Namrung (4 hours)
  • Day 06: Trekking to Sama Gaun from Lho (4 hours)
  • Day 07: Acclimatization day and a short hike to Manaslu Base Camp
  • Day 08: Trek to Samdo from Sama Gaun (3-4 hours)
  • Day 09: 4-5 hours of exciting trekking from Samdo to Dharamsala
  • Day 10: Challenging trek to Bhimthang from Dharamsala, passing Larka Pass (9-10 hours)
  • Day 11: Trek to Dhrapani from Bhimthang (6-7 hours)
  • Day 12: Drive to Kathmandu from Dharapani (9-10 hours)

Trekkers crossing the suspension bridge during the Manaslu circuit trek

Dos and Don’ts for Beginners During Manaslu Circuit Trek

Do take acclimatization seriously. Spend a day at the higher altitudes to help your body adjust to the altitudes.Don’t rush the trek, as this is not a race. Take your time and enjoy the scenery and the experience.
Follow the guide if you are trekking with a guide.Don’t ignore the symptoms of altitude sickness. If you experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, or difficulty breathing, descend to lower altitudes.
Do drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Staying hydrated helps against altitude sickness.Don’t enter monasteries or temples without permission, and always remove your shoes before entering.
Pack light snacks for a quick boost of energy during the trek.Don’t litter and respect the environment by leaving no trace. Pack out all of your trash, and don’t leave anything behind.
Do your research and prepare adequately, as the Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging trek, and it’s important to be well-prepared before you set off.Avoid alcohol, as it can dehydrate you and make altitude sickness worse. Avoid drinking alcohol until you’re back at lower altitudes.
Do listen to your body and take rest if you feel difficulty walking. Take a break when you are tired and don’t be afraid to turn back if you aren’t feeling well.Don’t underestimate the challenges of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Get prepared physically and mentally.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunglasses and sunscreen while trekking during the day.Don’t ignore local advice or advice from the guides.
Respect the local culture and traditions. Follow the local rules and leave no trace of waste throughout the trek.Don’t forget the essential items like permits, identification, or trekking gear.

Hassle-free booking with Blue Lake Travels and Tours

Are you scared to prepare for the trek as a beginner? Let Blue Lake Tours and Travels be your full-time assistance during the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Book the Manaslu Circuit Trek with us and get the best experience of trekking in the Manaslu region with quality services and better safety.

To book, you can visit our package details here, where we have mentioned the cost, includes, excludes and itinerary. Or, you can contact us through our contact page or send us an email at

Lastly, how do beginners overcome difficulties during the trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging trek and it requires a higher fitness level to compete with fewer difficulties. If you are a beginner and of old age, then you should avoid the Manaslu Trek from the very beginning. You can try different short hikes around Kathmandu or short treks from Pokhara.

Remember, to avoid unnecessary difficulties, always choose the easiest trails. Get a guide and follow the trail made by the guide, as they are well-versed in the trails and terrain.

Get the right packing list and gear, and choose one of the months of autumn or spring. I personally suggest you choose April and October. The crowd may be larger, but the time is best to trek to Manaslu Circuit, especially for beginners.

Rather than trekking on your own, join a group with Blue Lake Travels and Tours. We guarantee discounts on group joining, which is better for saving money.

Lastly, prepare mentally and physically before embarking on the journey. Stay hydrated, be cautious about altitude sickness and always listen to your body.

Let us know in the comment section if you like this ultimate guide to the Manaslu Circuit Trek for beginners. For any inquiries, you can always reach out to us, as we are open 24/7.


What permits do I need for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

You will need a special restricted area permit for the Manaslu region, as well as an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). It is recommended to obtain these permits through a registered agency.

How difficult is the Larkya La Pass crossing?

The Larkya La Pass is challenging due to its high altitude (5,115 meters). Beginners would be prepared for a strenuous ascent and descent, and proper acclimatization is crucial.

How long is the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek typically takes 14–17 days to complete. However, the length of the trek can vary depending on your pace, the weather conditions, and whether you choose to add any side trips.

What is the best time of year to do the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are the best times of the year for Manaslu Circuit Trek, as these seasons offer the best weather, warm temperatures and the best views of the snow-capped mountain peaks.

What kind of physical fitness do I need for the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

To complete the Manaslu Circuit Trek, you should be in moderate physical condition. This means you should be able to hike for several hours each day, carrying a backpack weighing 15-20 kg. You should also be able to handle steep ascents and descents.

Are there teahouses along the Manaslu Circuit?

Yes, there are teahouses along the Manaslu Circuit, providing accommodation and meals. While facilities may be more basic than in more popular trekking areas, teahouses offer a unique experience.

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