Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: What You Need to Know

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Among the trekking routes of Nepal, the Manaslu Circuit Trek stands out for several reasons. Situated in the Manaslu Region, this trail brings breathtaking views of the majestic existence and their surreal snow-covered Himalayan Peaks.

The purpose of this blog is to provide comprehensive information regarding the Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty. Factors that affect the difficulty of the Manaslu Circuit Trek will also be discussed, in addition to the Preparation and Training to ease the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty. In addition to providing advice for a safe and enjoyable trip to Manaslu Circuit Trek, it will discuss the dangers you might face and what to keep in mind to avoid it.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is only meant to provide information. It has nothing to do with a doctor or a patient, so it shouldn’t be used instead of a doctor’s opinion.

Overview of the Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty

If you don’t know, Manaslu Circuit Trek has always been known for having fewer tourists. Despite being such a surreal place, the lower flow of tourists can make it easy for you to analyze the Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty. Not “Difficult”, but “Challenging” is a better word for Manaslu Circuit Trekking.

Is the trek good for everyone, though? How hard is it to get around Manaslu? Is it possible for someone healthy to do it? Do you need to get more training? The following article contains information about the Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is the ideal journey for those interested in having an exciting time in the remote Manaslu region. The Manaslu Circuit is commonly referred to as a “Challenging trek” for this and other reasons: you sometimes feel like heading on an expedition into uncharted territory, as opposed to a commercial trek.

Of course, what one person finds “easy” maybe “difficult” for someone else. However, the review can show how an active person will find a certain trek. Like the type of trails, the number of days, the number of hours of walking each day, and so on, it also looks at the geography of the area.

We will talk more about the physical challenges and demands of the Manaslu Trek in the sections that follow. We will also give you tips on how to get ready for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Below is our popular 14-day Manaslu Circuit trek itinerary. We have made a daily route overview for you. You can learn how much you are going to ascend or descend each day, along with the difficulty level of trekking from one particular village to another.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,600 ft)

Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola
Duration: 7-8 hrs (Bus)
Max Elevation: 700 m/2296 ft

Day 03: Trek from Soti Khola to Maccha Khola
Duration: 6-7 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 930 m/3051 ft

Day 04: Trek from Maccha Khola to Jagat
Duration: 5-6 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 1340 m/4396 ft

Day 05: Trek from Jagat to Pewa
Duration: 5-6 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 1804 m/5918 ft

Day 06: Trek from Pewa to Namrung
Duration: 6-7 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 2630 m/8628 ft

Day 07: Trek from Namrung to Sama Gaun
Duration: 7-8 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 3530 m/11581 ft

Day 08: Acclimatization day (hike to Manaslu Base Camp or Pungyen Gompa)
Duration: 7 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 4400 m/14435 ft

Day 09: Trek from Sama Gaun to Samdo
Duration: 3-4 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 3865 m/12680 ft

Day 10: Acclimatization Day (Day Trip to Tibet Border)
Max Elevation: 5000 m/16404 ft

Day 11: Trek from Samdo to Dharmasala
Duration: 4-6 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 4460 m/14632 ft

Day 12: Trek from Dharmasala to Bimthang via Larkya Pass
Duration: 9-10 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 5,106 m/16,752 ft

Day 13: Trek from Bimthang to Tilije
Duration: 7-8 hrs Trek
Max Elevation: 1790 m/6063 ft

Day 14: Drive from Tilije to Kathmandu via Besisahar
Duration: 10-11 hrs (Bus)
Max Elevation: 1400 m / 4965 ft

Factors that affect the difficulty of the Manaslu Circuit Trek

From this point on, we should have known that the Manaslu Circuit is not an easy trek. The Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty is affected by several things. Some of them are out of our control, but most of them we can stop.

1. Elevation

Many things happen to climbers in the Himalayas because of the altitude. Since the air is lighter and has less oxygen as you go up in altitude, it is harder to breathe.

The International Society of Mountain Medicine says that anything above 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above sea level is considered to be high. They divided these heights into three groups:

  • High Altitude: 1,500 – 3,500 meters (5,000 – 11,500 feet).
  • Very High Altitude: 3,500 – 5,500 meters (11,500 – 18,000 feet)
  • Extreme Altitude: Above 5,500 meters (18,000 feet)

Larkya Pass is the highest point you will reach on the Manaslu Circuit. It is 5,106 m (16,752 ft) high. That means we will be at a Very High Altitude. 

Simply put, there is less pressure in the air to push oxygen molecules together. Since they are farther apart, each breath you take has less oxygen.

Some of the most important heights on the Manaslu Circuit Trek are shown below in the table:

PlaceElevation Distance (in km)
Arughat570 m/1,870 ft0
Soti Khola700 m/2296 ft14
Machha Khola930 m/3051 ft8
Jagat1340 m/4396 ft12
Deng1860 m/6102.36 ft9
Namrung2630 m/8628 ft11
Samagaon3530 m/11581 ft10
Samdo3865 m/12680 ft8
Dharamsala/Larkya Phedi4460 m/14632 ft13
Larkya La Pass5,106 m/16,752 ft7
Bhimthang3590 m/11778 ft8
Tilije1790 m/6063 ft11
Syange1,100 m/3609 ft10

Headaches, tiredness, losing balance, trouble sleeping, losing appetite, feeling dizzy, sick, and throwing up are some of the first signs of altitude sickness.

If you want to avoid getting altitude sickness, you should slowly get used to higher levels by taking rest days and slowly climbing up. Also, staying fresh and drinking a lot of water can help keep you from getting altitude sickness.

2. Terrain and Distance

Though skilled trekkers do plan to go through difficult terrain, they wouldn’t just pick it out of the blue. When you are on a trail, staying safe for yourself and others is the most important thing. There are different trails, and some are harder than others.

The trail to the Manaslu Circuit Trek goes through a lot of different types of terrain, from steep mountain paths to rocky ground. To handle this difficult terrain, mountain and steep trekkers need to be fit, stable, and able to adapt to different conditions.

The ground may be rough and dangerous, so you need to pay attention to stay safe. Also, be ready for long days of climbing, sometimes for 6 to 8 hours or more, on the way to and from the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

3. Weather and Temperature

The challenges and risks that come with the weather can have a big effect on how much the Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty can increase. The weather, good or bad, can make or break a walk, and if we don’t pay attention to dangerous weather, it can also put our safety at risk.

In the table below, you can see what the temperature will be like each month, which help you track the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty.

MonthTemperature (°C)Precipitation (mm)Weather Conditions
January-8 to 650 to 100Cold, dry and snowy
February-5 to 850 to 100Cold, dry and snowy
March-3 to 11100 to 200Mild with occasional rain and snow
April2 to 1650 to 100Mild with occasional rain and snow
May7 to 1950 to 100Mild with occasional rain and snow
June11 to 21100 to 200Warm with occasional rain and thunderstorms
July12 to 22200 to 300Warm with occasional rain and thunderstorms
August12 to 21200 to 300Warm with occasional rain and thunderstorms
September9 to 19100 to 200Mild with occasional rain and snow
October3 to 1550 to 100Mild with occasional rain and snow
November-3 to 1050 to 100Cold, dry and occasionally snowy
December-7 to 750 to 100Cold, dry and snowy

4. Length

The Manaslu Circuit Trek lasts between 14 and 18 days. To trek for this long, you need to have a lot of energy and stamina. You need to be in good shape to do this hiking. So, the length of the trip is also a big part of how hard the Manaslu Circuit trip is.

There are also some difficult parts to the Manaslu Circuit trail. It will not be easy on your 14–18-day trip because the paths are rough and slippery.

Although, if you do it right, these long, tiring walks can be fun. For example, if you go trekking with the right friends and the right things to pack, these long, tiring walks will be fun because you can talk and laugh for hours. You’ll also have a great group of people to help you, and you can get through a lot of problems on the trip.

5. Isolation

Manaslu Circuit is one of Nepal’s best options for trekking in a remote area. It can be hard to tell where is safe when trekking through breathtakingly beautiful landscapes.

It can be scary to find yourself in the middle of a field full of bulls or wandering through an area set aside for cultural purposes because there aren’t many designated footpaths outside of national and natural parks. That’s what makes traveling through Nepal’s rough landscapes so appealing.

Due to the area’s remoteness, rescue and emergency services may not be able to get there as quickly or at all if there is an accident or injury. We strongly suggest that you carry a complete first aid kit and be ready for any emergencies.

However, this will be an amazing journey if you like new experiences and adventures.

6. Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can make your time in a foreign country very different, whether you are just visiting or taking part in a work exchange where you get a place to live and work in that area. It could be something small, like what is eaten for breakfast or when dinner is served.

Manaslu Circuit Treks goes through remote villages where people have lived in the same way for a long time and haven’t been exposed to other cultures much. It is very important to respect their traditions and customs, even if they are different from yours.

Please be aware of this and fully immerse yourself in that culture. Not only is it fun, but it also helps you understand its unique aspects better.

7. Trekking during the off-season

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is the most beautiful and charming walk in the world, and it’s perfect for tourists. You can travel all over the world, but Nepal’s sheer variety of natural and cultural problems makes it stand out.

There are good and bad things about trekking outside of peak season. One benefit is that the trails are quieter because fewer people are visiting during the off-season. The downside is that you need to be ready for anything that could make your Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty harder.

Preparation and Training for the Manaslu Circuit Trek

So, you need to exercise your body through aerobic conditioning, elevation training, and strength endurance training to ease your Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty. Given its growing popularity over other well-known trekking routes, like as the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek, we don’t want you to take this trek lightly.

Anyone may complete Manaslu Circuit Trekking with the right planning, physical fitness, and guidance. There are other factors, such as ensuring your body is capable of handling all the ascents and descents during the journey and creating a well-planned schedule with plenty of days for acclimatization.

1. Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is essential for trekking, and we advise you to engage in a variety of enjoyable activities in preparation for the trek to maintain motivation. Additionally, it is essential to engage in outdoor trek training, instead of simply jogging on plain terrain.

A significant time spent crossing the trail, ascending hills, boulder hops, and rock hopping provides a comprehensive physical exercise that enhances one’s agility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness.

Here are some key preparation suggestions for overcoming the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty:

  • Start Your Training Early
  • Warm Up
  • Get Hiking!
  • Cardiovascular Activity
  • Strength Training
  • Cool Down and Stretch

2. Mental Preparation

You should plan and work on your mental toughness before going on a long-distance trek in the mountains or the wild, like the Manaslu Circuit trek.

“Mountain climbing is all about being comfortable in uncomfortable places” – Sir Edmund Hillary

Experts say that only 20% of meeting a task is physical and 80% is mental. A lot has been written about how to get physically ready for a trip, but not much about how to get mentally ready. Here it is: these are the things we’ve learned to do to get mentally tougher and less stressed before our Himalayan trips.

  • Be prepared to minimize stress
  • Make a mental image of yourself there.
  • Get ready for simple living conditions
  • Ease yourself in
  • Enjoy your nighttime
  • Stay healthy
  • Do not try new things – Test Everything First (including footwear, backpacks, and foods you carry with you)
  • Survive at high altitude
  • Build your flexibility

If you are a female, few more tips:

  • Using the toilets is quite harder than it is for guys, so be ready to go behind the bush, and use squat themed toilet.
  • Be prepared, practice good hygiene, and dispose of used sanitary items with care; for example, to reduce odor, cover them in tinfoil before placing them in a plastic trash bag.
  • Be mindful that due to body stress and other reasons, your menstrual cycle may not return to normal for an additional two to three months if you trek at a high altitude.

3. Acclimatization

Low oxygen saturation levels, also called desaturation, can happen in people who live at high elevations. It happens because the air pressure is low at high elevations. Oxygen saturation numbers show how much oxygen is bound to hemoglobin. This saturation amount goes down at high elevations.

Acclimatization, or getting used to different elevations, is a very important part of making sure you stay safe and do well on high-altitude hikes. If we don’t get used to our new surroundings, we could get AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HAPE, or HACE.

Yes, even fit mountain climbers and hikers must acclimate before climbing or trek at high elevations. This is because, no matter how fit a person is, their body needs time to get used to the lower air levels that come with going higher.

4. Packing and Gear

The size of your backpack depends primarily on whether or not you have porters on your trip. Those with porters usually carry a daypack with water, snacks, a camera, and rain gear. Those without porters will need a larger pack to fit all of their personal supplies and sleeping equipment.

Certain items can be purchased in Nepal, but purchasing critical outdoor equipment is not recommended.

Here we prepared a common packing list to ease Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty.


Base Layer (Thermal Set)2
Down Jacket1
Hoodie/Fleece Pullover1
Fleece pants1
Water/windproof Jacket and pants1
Lightweight Thermal Tops1
Hiking Short pants2
Hiking T-Shirt/Shirt3
Hiking Pants2
Gloves thick/thin 1/1
Sports Bra/underwear6-10
Woolen Hat1
Microfleece Buff1

These basic yet important clothes packing will help you ease the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty and avoid overpacking.



Hiking Boots1 pair
Sandals/Running Shoes1 pair
Hiking Socks7-8 pairs
Inner Socks7-8 pairs
Snow gaiters1 pair


Gears and Equipment for Manaslu Circuit Trek

Duffle Bag 1 (70L)
Rucksack1 (50-60L)
Daypack with Rain Cover1 (25-30L)
Trekking Poles 1 pair
Sleeping Bag1
Sleeping Bag Liner1



Water Bottle2 (1L Each)
Trash Bags2
Phone Charger1
Power Bank1 (20,000 mah+)
Head Torch1


Personal Hygiene and First Aid to ease Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty

ToiletriesPack a toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, and other essential toiletries.
Personal MedicationsBring any necessary prescription medications and basic over-the-counter remedies.
First Aid KitYour first aid kit should include bandages, antiseptic cream, pain relievers, and any specific medications you might need.
Small Wash TowelLight and quick-dry.

Taking care of your hygiene can be a tough task while trekking. Don’t think about it too much, take care of your basic hygiene and take essential aids with you to simplify your Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty.

Tips for Packing Light

  • Packing light is essential for a more enjoyable trek:
  • Choose lightweight and multi-functional gear.
  • Minimize unnecessary items.
  • Share some items with your trekking partners to reduce weight.

5. Trek with a Licensed Guide

Starting from April 1st, 2023, solo trekking isn’t allowed in Nepal. So, do you need a trekking guide? Yes, you must hire one. However, there are many advantages to having a guide when trekking in Nepal. They play a huge role in easing your Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty.

Trekking guides handle all logistics ahead of time, such as booking hotel rooms, arranging transportation, and packing bags. They are required to have a government license, obtained through rigorous training, ensuring they possess skills like first aid, environmental awareness, and cultural sensitivity.

By emphasizing sustainability and delivering exceptional experiences, trekking guides contribute to Nepal’s tourism industry and provide visitors with unforgettable memories of their Himalayan adventures.


The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a breathtaking journey through the remote Himalayan foothills of Western Nepal. This trek presents a moderate to challenging level of difficulty.

However, as often emphasized, with determination, proper planning, and a strong desire to complete the journey, conquering the Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty is feasible. Anyone capable of walking for a few hours can undertake this trek.

Therefore, it is essential to be in good physical and mental condition. Training and exercise can help strengthen leg muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness. As mentioned previously, daily walking practice is beneficial in preparing for the trek.