Manaslu Circuit Trek

Welcome to the trail with a thousand waterfalls! Well, too many to count, at least. Quietly nestled away in central Nepal along the Tibetan border, between two of Nepal’s more popular national parks is the protected Manaslu Conservation Area, home to the world’s 8th highest peak, Mt Manaslu (8,163m). Despite being situated above Nepal’s most historic city, Gorkha (origins of Nepal’s first king) and being home to its namesake Himalayan giant, Manaslu, few know the secret beauty of this region therefore it is only beginning to gain popularity for trekkers.

Unlike other more popular trails in Nepal, this trail begins close to sea level in a subtropical climate at 530m! We follow the Budhi Gandaki river upstream into Upper Manaslu via a deep and narrow gorge trail with countless cascading waterfalls that feed into the river in summer and autumn. The trail meanders through traditional Gurung farming villages and dense forests on both sides of the river, so we will cross suspension bridges on the way. As you trek on a warm day, you will be tempted to cool off under an invigorating waterfall, and then just keep on trekking – a magical experience.

We steadily climb into low and high alpine climates, to lands inhabited by Bhotia people (Tibetan descendants). In Sama gaon we take an extra day to acclimatise and explore Pung Gyen monastery or, for those feeling energetic, a day trek to the base camp of Mt Manaslu and a beautiful glacier lake.

We will then make a long traverse of Larkya La pass (5,106m) from which you will enjoy a panoramic vista including Manaslu, Cheo and Himlung. Over the pass, we walk out through the Marshandgi valley, following the Dudh river, now in the Annapurna Conservation Area in Manang, and through Magar villages.

The significant altitude range involved in this trek requires a good level of fitness. Some days include long steep ascents and descents. Prior trekking experience is recommended to join this trip. You won’t be disappointed. This trip is truly magical. Get your friends together and let us know your preferred dates, or join our scheduled departure, and we can make it happen.


Trip Facts

  • Price Starts From: USD 2,500

  • Duration: 20 Days, 19 Nights

  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging Trekking

  • Type:

  • Activity: Trekking

  • Max. Altitude: 5160m

  • Destination: Nepal

Trip Highlights

  • Stunning views of Mt Manaslu
  • Beautiful gorge trek through subtropical forests
  • Buddhist culture of Bhotia tribes
  • Traditional farming villages of Gurung and Magar hill tribes
  • Manaslu base camp and Pung Gyen monastery
  • Crossing Larkya La pass


Trekking permit fees including special permit required for this area, 4 nights in Kathmandu hotel equivalent to Hotel Tibet or Radisson (Lazimpat or similar), experienced trekking guides, team transport in Nepal, teahouse accommodation on trek, extensive high altitude wilderness first aid kit, all meals outside Kathmandu plus breakfast in Kathmandu, porters to carry personal/group equipment on trek, plus receive complimentary trekking duffel. (All accommodation is on a twin share basis - single share can be arranged on request at an additional cost).


International flights to and from Kathmandu, lunch and dinners in Kathmandu (allow USD $10- 15 per meal), aerated and alcoholic beverages, personal items (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry), tips, travel insurance (incl. early departure, evacuation / rescue) and personal trekking gear.

Trip Map

Short Itinerary

Day 1:   Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 2:   In Kathmandu
Day 3:   Drive to Arughat (530m) -6 hrs
Day 4:   Trek Arughat (530m) to Khursani Bari/Liding (860m) -6 hrs
Day 5:   Trek Khursani Bari (860m) to Machha Khola (930m) - 6 hrs
Day 6:   Trek Machha Khola (930m) to Dobhan (1,070m) -5.5 hrs
Day 7:   Trek Dobhan (1,070m) to Philim (1,570m) -6 hrs
Day 8:   Trek Philim (1,570m) to Deng (1,860m) -6 hrs
Day 9:   Trek Deng (1,860m) to Namrung (2,582m) -6 hrs
Day 10:   Trek Namrung (2,582m) to Sama gaon (3,525m) -6 hr
Day 11:   Acclimatisation in Sama gaon
Day 12:   Trek Sama gaon (3,525m) to Samdo (3,860m) -3 hrs
Day 13:   Trek Samdo (3,860m) to Dharmsala (4,460m) -3.5 hrs
Day 14:   Trek Dharmsala (4,460m) to Bimthang (3,610m) via Larkya La pass (5,106m) -8 hrs
Day 15:   Trek Bimthang (3,610m) to Tilje (2,300m) -4.5 hrs
Day 16:   Trek Tilje (2,300m) to Tal (1,707m) -4 hrs
Day 17:   Drive Tal to Besisahar -5 hrs
Day 18:   Drive Besisahar to Kathmandu - 6 hrs and in Kathmandu
Day 19:   In Kathmandu
Day 20:   Depart Kathmandu

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Kathmandu

On arrival, you will be met at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport by an Expedition Base
representative and taken to your hotel. It’s then a free day to recover from your international
flight. Later in the evening, there will be a group briefing and welcome dinner with the team.

Day 2

In Kathmandu

This is a free day for you to explore the fast paced but wondrously beautiful city of Kathmandu.
It is home to 5 World Heritage sites. Kathmandu is a stunning landscape of handcrafted
wooden palaces (durbar or palace squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur) and glorious
Buddhist stupas (Swayambu and Boudhanath).

Day 3

Drive to Arughat (530m) -6 hrs

We drive out of the Kathmandu Valley exiting via the busy west gate of the city, and down the
hillside with direct views of the Langtang mountain range. The windy road eventually turns
right into Gorkha district and up to Arughat, our trailhead. We have the afternoon to explore
this little riverside town as we prepare for our trek.

Day 4

Trek Arughat (530m) to Khursani Bari/Liding (860m) -6 hrs

We follow the Budhi Gandaki river north passing Gurung and Magar farming villages, and
through forests noisy with monkeys. During summer especially and also autumn, large
waterfalls stream down gorge cliffs feeding the Budhi Gandaki river. It’s a refreshing sight in
the heat at this low altitude. However, be prepared for fun and wet stream crossings! The
scenery is breathtaking.

Day 5

Trek Khursani Bari (860m) to Machha Khola (930m) - 6 hrs

We continue to follow the undulating trail along the river and through forests. The gorge
narrows against steep cliffs and dense forest, and then widens for pleasant riverbeds. There’s
a steep climb up to Machha Khola or ‘fish river’ for our night’s stop.

Day 6

Trek Machha Khola (930m) to Dobhan (1,070m) -5.5 hrs

At Tatopani or ‘hot water’ you can stop to enjoy a natural hotspring bath under a cliff. After
crossing a suspension bridge to the other side of the river, there’s a climb up stone steps to

Day 7

Trek Dobhan (1,070m) to Philim (1,570m) -6 hrs

The trail continues on the true left of the river until Thado Bharyang just below the town of
Jagat. We cross the river to Jagat, and
 to more prominent Buddhist communities as seen by
chortens and mani walls in the villages. The route crosses the river again and up to Philim.

Day 8

Trek Philim (1,570m) to Deng (1,860m) -6 hrs

From Philim we enjoy more thunderous waterfalls and a sensational gorge walk high above the
river. The trail then wanders through pine and bamboo forests to the Gurung town of Deng.

Day 9

Trek Deng (1,860m) to Namrung (2,582m) -6 hrs

The Budhi Gandaki river thins further as 
we continue the journey now high in Upper Manaslu.
We trek north-west in parallel to the Tibetan border only 5km north when we reach Ghap. We
trek through forests filled with alpine rhododendrons and oak trees up to Namrung.

Day 10

Trek Namrung (2,582m) to Sama gaon (3,525m) -6 hr

As we journey deeper into the Nupri valley, the Bhotia way of life and devote Buddhist culture
can be appreciated in each village. Old monasteries or ‘gompas’ can be seen positioned high
above the trail route. Look south-west for your first views of the twin peaks of Manaslu
(8,163m), and south to take in Himal Chuli (7,893m, 18th highest mountain in the world).

Day 11

Acclimatisation in Sama gaon

To allow for adequate acclimatisation before crossing our highest point at Larkya La pass, we
will spend an extra day in Sama gaon. You can visit the local monastery that offers splendid
views of Manaslu, spend the day trekking the steep trail up to Manaslu Base Camp (4,500m, 7-
8 hr for the 1,000m climb and return) that passes the beautiful Birendra Tal glacier lake or you
can otherwise relax with a good book.

Day 12

Trek Sama gaon (3,525m) to Samdo (3,860m) -3 hrs

Today is an easy day that traverses north up the valley through birch and juniper forests. We
pass stone huts, mani walls and cross wooden bridges to reach Samdo. Samdo is the old
trading centre for routes between Tibet and Nepal.

Day 13

Trek Samdo (3,860m) to Dharmsala (4,460m) -3.5 hrs

It’s a slow but short climb towards Larkya glacier and our pass crossing. We walk to the glacier
terminal moraine passing through a barren high altitude landscape consisting mostly of juniper
shrubs. The popular north- west ridge route to Manaslu can clearly be seen as we trek up to Dharmsala.

Day 14

Trek Dharmsala (4,460m) to Bimthang (3,610m) via Larkya La pass (5,106m) -8 hrs

Depending on conditions, the pass is a long snow and rock traverse on Larkya glacier. To avoid
unpleasant afternoon winds, we start the crossing early in the morning. Trekking first up the
rocky glacier moraine and then onto the pass itself, it’s a slow trudge at high altitude. However,
the panoramic view from the high point is a spectacular scene encompassing Himlung, Cheo
and Kang Guru. The 1.5 hr descent follows steep switchbacks on rock scree. Trekking poles
are advised, and even crampons if conditions are icy. Eventually, the track drops into a grassy
meadow, which we follow to Bimthang.

Day 15

Trek Bimthang (3,610m) to Tilje (2,300m) -4.5 hrs

This is mostly a downhill day except for a crossing of Karche pass (2,710m) as we now follow
the Dudh river or “milk river” south into Manang and the Annapurna Conservation Park. The
trail to the classic Annapurna circuit trek connects at Dharapani. We see the familiar sights of
Gurung villages in Tilje as we move further south from the Tibetan border and Bhotia

Day 16

Trek Tilje (2,300m) to Tal (1,707m) -4 hrs

Our last day of trekking is another gorge 
trek down the beginnings of the mighty Marshyangdi
river. The evening meal at Tal will be shared with our portering staff whom we will farewell the
next day.

Day 17

Drive Tal to Besisahar -5 hrs

We take an interesting drive down a new road that connects Tal to Besisahar along the river.
You’ll be happy to see the small town of Besisahar, our rest for the night.

Day 18

Drive Besisahar to Kathmandu - 6 hrs and in Kathmandu

We return to Kathmandu via the same route. Once in Kathmandu, you have the afternoon to
have a shower and relax.

Day 19

In Kathmandu

Relax or catch a spot of shopping and sightseeing before your departure home. The choice is

Day 20

Depart Kathmandu

You will bid Kathmandu and Nepal farewell... until next time. We will be sad to see you go.

Expedition Base Pvt. Ltd.

Bansbari-3, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: +977 01 4371291