Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: What You Need to Know

As an experienced trekker and tourism professional in Nepal, I understand the concerns many people have about the difficulty of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. However, with its high-altitude passes, challenging terrain, and unpredictable weather, it’s no surprise that trekkers want to know what they’re getting into before embarking on this adventure. 

In this article, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to the difficulty of the Manaslu Circuit Trek, including the factors that affect the trek’s difficulty, tips for preparation and training, and recommendations for a successful and enjoyable trek.

1Group Size
2Travel Dates
3Trip Details
4Contact Details

Overview of the Difficulty Level of the Trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek’s difficulty varies depending on the individual’s fitness level, experience, and overall preparation. However, generally speaking, the trek can be challenging due to the altitude, long days of hiking, and potentially hazardous terrain.

The trek is typically completed in 14 to 20 days, with an average of 5 to 10 hours of hiking per day. The ascent and descent of the Larkya La pass is a particularly challenging section of the trek but also one of the most rewarding with its incredible views of the surrounding peaks.

In the following parts of this article, I’ll delve deeper into the physical demands and challenges of the Manaslu Trek, providing you with tips and advice on how to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s crucial to consider the recommendations of your ghostwriter to make the most efficient use of your time and energy.

Explore our comprehensive guide on Manaslu Trekking to learn about the factors that affect the trek, such as suitable weather, challenges, and average costs. Click to discover more and plan your unforgettable adventure in the stunning Himalayas!

Factors that affect the difficulty of the Manaslu Circuit Trek

1. Elevation

 The Manaslu Circuit Trek involves reaching a maximum elevation of 5,160 meters at the Larkya La Pass, which can cause altitude sickness for some trekkers. Altitude sickness can cause symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, it can lead to life-threatening conditions like high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE). To avoid altitude sickness, it’s recommended that you gradually acclimatize to the higher altitudes by taking rest days and slowly ascending to higher elevations. Also, drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help prevent altitude sickness.

The below-provided table indicates some of the key elevations along the Manaslu Circuit Trek:

PlaceElevation (meters)Distance (in kilometres)
Soti Khola73014
Machha Khola9308
Dharamsala/Larkya Phedi4,46013
Larkya La Pass5,1607

2. Terrain and Distance

The Manaslu Circuit Trek involves steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, and narrow trails that can be challenging to navigate, especially in adverse weather conditions. Trekkers must be prepared for long, arduous days of hiking, often involving up to eight hours of continuous trekking. The trek also involves crossing several suspension bridges over deep gorges, which can be nerve-wracking for some trekkers. Trekkers should wear sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes and carry trekking poles to assist with balance and stability.

3. Weather and Temperature

The weather in the Manaslu region can be unpredictable, with heavy rainfall and snowfall possible at any time of the year. Therefore, the weather and temperature in the Manaslu region can bring several difficulties during the trek.

During the winter months of December to February, temperatures can drop to as low as -8°C making the trek difficult, especially at higher elevations. Similarly, snowfall during the winter can cause the trails to become blocked or difficult to navigate. Because of that, you can expect delays or even cancellation of the trek if the weather conditions are too severe.

Likewise, heavy rain and thunderstorms during the rainy season can cause landslides or make trails slippery and dangerous.

The most favourable months for the Manaslu Circuit trek are March, April, May, September, October, and November. The weather is quite good during these months, with mild temperatures, clear skies and occasional rain and snow.

The table below gives you a general view of the weather conditions and the crowds in the Manaslu Region in different months.

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 is a long-duration trek of 14 to 20 days, requiring moderate to high levels of physical endurance and mental stamina. The trek covers a total distance of around 177 kilometres. That means you’ll walk for several hours daily and cover varying distances.

These long walks need to be done within the rugged, remote roads of the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. So, you should be physically fit and prepared for long hours of continuous trekking over several days.

However, these long exhausting walks can be fun if you do it right. For instance, if you trek with an adequate number of people accompanying you, then you can pass these long exhausting walks will be enjoyable with laughter and hours of banter. In addition, you will have a great support system and can overcome many issues throughout the trek.

5. Isolation

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the isolated treks in Nepal, and this can be both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, the trek’s remote location means you’ll be surrounded by pristine natural beauty, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But on the other hand, if you’re not used to being away from civilization, it can be quite challenging. The trek takes you through remote villages and rugged terrain where you may not encounter many other trekkers or even locals.

Furthermore, due to the region’s remoteness, rescue and emergency services may be limited or take longer to arrive in case of an accident or injury. Therefore, I strongly advise you to carry a comprehensive first aid kit and be prepared for emergencies.

In my opinion, the best solution is to always travel with a licensed guide from a reputable trekking company, as they can provide you with additional safety and support.

6. Cultural Differences

The trek passes through several remote villages, and it’s essential to respect the local customs and traditions, which may differ from your own. Trekkers should dress modestly and be mindful of local customs, including taking off shoes before entering homes or temples. It’s also important to carry out any trash and waste and respect the natural environment.

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Manaslu Circuit trek

Manaslu stands tall as the eighth highest mountain in the world. With Annapurna to the west and Ganesh Himal to the right, it forms a mountain range that is truly spectacular to behold. While most people keep their eye on Everest, this circuit goes underappreciated. However, it is great news for thrill-seekers like you as you will be able to trek here in peace and enjoy the quiet beauty along the way. You will be greeted with magnificent peaks like Manaslu, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Annapurna II, Kang Guru,…

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Preparation and Training for the Manaslu Circuit Trek

1. Physical Fitness

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a moderate to challenging trek that involves long hours of continuous hiking, steep ascents and descents, and high altitudes. To prepare for the trek, it’s important to engage in regular physical activity, such as cardio exercises and strength training, to build your stamina and endurance. Hiking on hills or stairs with a backpack can help simulate the conditions of the trek.

2. Mental Preparation

The trek can be physically and mentally challenging, and it’s essential to have a positive attitude and mental resilience. It can be helpful to read up on the trek and its challenges and mentally prepare yourself for the long hours of hiking and the potential altitude sickness.

3. Acclimatization

To prevent altitude sickness, it’s important to acclimatize to the higher altitudes gradually. Trekkers can prepare for the trek by undertaking shorter hikes at higher elevations to help their bodies adapt to the lower oxygen levels.

4. Packing and Gear

Proper packing and gear are essential for the trek. Trekkers should bring warm clothing, including a down jacket and thermal layers, rain gear, a hat, gloves, and a good pair of trekking boots. A good quality backpack, sleeping bag, and trekking poles can also be helpful.

5. Trek with a Licensed Guide

It can be helpful to undertake the trek with a licensed guide from a reputable trekking company like Nepal Social Treks and Expedition. A guide can provide additional support, advice, and guidance and ensure the trek is safe and enjoyable.


I hope this article has provided you with a better understanding of the difficulty and challenges associated with the Manaslu Circuit Trek. By taking the time to prepare yourself both physically and mentally and following the necessary safety precautions, you can make the most of your journey and fully appreciate the stunning beauty and unique cultural experiences the trek offers.

If you’re considering embarking on this adventure, I recommend choosing a reputable and experienced trekking company like Nepal Social Treks and Expedition. Our 15-day Manaslu Circuit Trekking service includes licensed guides, porters, and all necessary permits and accommodations, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

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Manaslu Circuit trek

Manaslu stands tall as the eighth highest mountain in the world. With Annapurna to the west and Ganesh Himal to…

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Basu Panday

Basu Panday started his journey in tourism and hospitality as a support staff 17 years ago. He has travelled all the Himalayan region as trekking staff and trekking guide, and have climbed 6000+ meters several trekking peaks in the Himalaya. He often leads trips in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. He had travelled to many other countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Romania, Lithuania, Greece, Denmark Spain, Australia and the USA for promotion of Nepal’s tourism.  After working as support staff, then tour and trek guide, he eventually fulfilled his desire to start his own company, Nepal Social Treks and Expedition, in 2006. Basu 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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