How difficult is the Manaslu circuit trek?

If you have come here to read this post, you are probably thinking of trekking in the Manaslu circuit or just interested in learning more about the Manaslu circuit. So, before thinking of trekking, you might want to know how difficult the trek will be so that you can prepare yourself for what’s about to come. 

Hence, in this article, I will talk about all the difficulties you will face on the Manaslu Circuit Trek, its dangers, and the best ways to prepare for this trek.

What is the Manaslu Circuit trek?

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a popular off-the-beaten-path Himalayan trekking route in Nepal that offers many attractions, such as beautiful and traditional villages, monasteries, rich culture, fascinating history, beautiful landscapes, and mountains.

Manaslu circuit trek is a 13-17 day trek starting from Seti Khola and ending at Besisahar. The trek takes you around the world’s eighth-tallest mountain in the world, Mount Manaslu.

Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek

Some of the Highlights of the Manaslu Circuit trek are:

1. Amazing view of some of the highest mountain peaks in the world, such as  Manaslu, Annapurna II, Himalchuli, Langpo, etc.

2. Friendly people and rich culture and history of Nepalese and Tibetan people with beautiful villages and monasteries.

3. Trekking through Larkya La Pass, standing at 5167 meters which is the highest point on the trek

4. It is far less crowded than the Everest base camp and Annapurna circuit.

5. Trek through Budhi Gandaki River valley.

6. Raw and unspoiled nature and trekking route.

7. Diverse wildlife and nature.

So, now here are all the things that make trekking to the Manaslu circuit trail difficult. 

Distance and Duration

Manaslu circuit trek lies in the west-central region of Nepal, where the landscape is quite rough and hard to trek through, and to add salt to the injury, the distance you will have of the whole trail is more than 177 kilometers. So, to complete the trek on time you will have to trek around 8-15 Km a day for 3 weeks in the unpredictable weather, high altitude, and rough trail walking for 5-6 hours. 

The trekking starts from a point as low as 228m and goes up to 5167m in the Larkya La pass.  If you are a first-time trekker or not used to trekking much, remember that trekking in the circuit is going to be pretty hard, so preparing yourself by training is advisable. 

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness is another big reason that makes trekking in Manaslu difficult. So what is altitude sickness? The answer to this question is actually pretty simple. Altitude sickness happens when you are at a high elevation, and your body doesn’t adjust correctly to the lower oxygen levels in the air. This means that you may feel dizzy or nauseated or even have difficulty breathing.

What causes altitude sickness? Altitude sickness can happen to anyone exposed to an elevation of 1,500 and 5,000 feet above sea level. The highest point of the Manaslu trek is Larkya La pass which is 5167m, so yes, there is a very high chance of you getting altitude sickness.

Some early symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, dizziness, and loss of appetite. So, if you get these kinds of symptoms, make sure to take enough rest and trek slowly to prevent altitude sickness from increasing further. 

Difficult trail

As I have mentioned previously, Manaslu Circuit trekking is an off-the-beaten-path Himalayan trekking which means that the trail is not well made or rugged/rough, and not a lot of people have traveled through these trails. 

The trekking is long, and then we have to trek on these jagged terrains for 5-6 hours a day for 3 weeks straight. Because of these reasons, this makes trekking in the Manaslu circuit is difficult. 

Lack of proper Accommodation and Food choice

Manaslu circuit trekking is not as popular as the Everest base camp trek or the Annapurna circuit trek. There is not a lot of accommodation, and food choices are scarce. The food choices are generally Dal Bhat Tarkari, noodles, and bread. Accommodation there is not as proper as in other trekking places and the further you trek away from the civilization, the harder it becomes to find proper accommodation and choices in food.

So, buy snacks whenever you get the chance to satisfy some of your hunger while trekking, and make sure to bring a sleeping bag without forgetting cause the temperature at night gets super cold. 

Photo by Neha Maheen Mahfin on Unsplash

Factor affecting the difficulty of Manaslu Circuit Trek

Now you know that the Manaslu trek is hard, but there are a few factors that will make the trek more difficult. So here are all the factors that affect the Manaslu circuit trek difficulty. 

  • Unpredictable weather and Climate

One of the biggest hindrances of the Manaslu trek is the weather and climate. The weather and climate in the Manaslu region are quite unpredictable. It may be hot one day, and you are freezing the next day. The climate changes rapidly.

Wind storms, heavy snowfall, blazing heat, and rain are some problems you might face in the Manaslu region that will make this trekking much more difficult. 

In summer, you will be affected by heavy rainfall, and winter will be super cold as it is the freezing time of the year. In spring and autumn, the climate is good, but it’s not always sure.

So make sure to prepare yourself for any kind of weather problem by having a proper set of clothes and clothes and make sure to book your accommodation in advance because there is not a lot of accommodation in the Manaslu region and you don’t want to be left without a roof on your head for a night. 

  • Lack of Training

If you didn’t train yourself properly or did not train at all, you will have one hell of a time. The trekking is long and tedious, and the terrains are rugged and jagged. There are a lot of challenges you will face, and you will have to trek for five to six hours every day which is hard for the experienced trekker. So, if you don’t do proper training, you will suffer many problems. 

So make sure you are training every day and properly before taking this difficult Manaslu trek. You can do some of the training: lunges, squats, running, step-ups, pull-ups, press pull-ups, etc. 

  • Guide and porter

The Manaslu circuit trekking will have lots of challenges along the way, so having a guide and porter will help you a lot as the porter will help you carry your bag, the guide will give you proper direction, and knows what to do if some difficult problem arises.

But of course, if you didn’t get one because you are on a budget or didn’t want one to begin with, then the trek will be difficult for you. You will have to carry your backpack yourself and have to find the route yourself too, which will make it harder. 

So, if you think you might need a guide or a porter or have some kind of health problem, then it’s better to have one. 

  • Health

I don’t think it is really necessary for me to explain why having a health problem will affect your trekking experience. If you are suffering from mild health before trekking or have health problems while trekking, such as altitude sickness, then make sure to walk slowly and take proper rest on the trek. 

  • Time of the year

Another thing that will affect your difficulty is the time of the year you will go on trekking. Autumn is considered the best time of the year to trek, whereas winter is considered the worst time of the year to trek.

It will get pretty rainy in summer, and in spring, the weather is moderate. So, if you chose a bad time of the year, you would have a pretty bad time. Even if you go in the good season, it is not always sure that the weather is going to be good all the time but even so, make sure to do Manaslu circuit trekking in the proper season of the year.  

  • Heavy Backpack

While trekking in the Manaslu circuit, you must carry a heavy Backpack. The Manaslu circuit is less popular than other trekking routes, so there are fewer facilities. Because of this, you will have to carry some stuff such as toiletries, snacks, etc., which will make your bag heavy.

And then you will have to trek carrying this heavy bag for 5-6 hours every day for 3 weeks. Of course, if you can get a porter, it will make your trek much easier. 

  • Age

If you are of old age or have children with you and trekking, it will have a big impact on your trekking. When one gets old, you will get tired quickly and need to rest more often than others your age.

And if you have a kid with you, then you not only have to take care of yourself but also have to take care of the kid. And taking care of the kid normally is hard, but trekking with them is a whole different ordeal. 

So because of these reasons, age will also increase or decrease your trekking difficulty. 

Few tips to help you overcome the Manaslu circuit trek difficulty

  • Hydrate yourself regularly

    Drinking a lot of water is essential when hiking. In order to avoid dehydration, it’s necessary to drink enough water to replace what you lose by sweating. You should also drink at regular intervals. The best way to ensure that you are drinking enough water is to have a water bottle with you at all times so that you always have access to water. Hydrating yourself regularly will also help prevent you from getting altitude sickness.
  • Take it slow

While trekking at such a high altitude and for a very long time, it is essential to go slowly. This is the best way to prevent any kind of fatigue or weakness in your body. The key to a good trekking experience is to take it easy but still keep yourself active. You can easily do this by keeping yourself active with short breaks in between.

  • Carry only the essential

Carry only what is important, and don’t try to trek carrying everything with you. You will have to walk a long day every day while on the trail, and carrying unnecessary items with you in the bag will just increase the difficulty in trekking, fatigue fast, and make you physically tired.  

Manaslu region offers accommodation and food services. So, there is no need to carry extra food or camp with you. You can carry some snacks and other essential needs only.

  • Proper clothes and equipment

It is a given that when trekking in these long and mountainous trekking, it is a must to have proper clothing and equipment with you. Carry all the essential clothes and equipment and make sure that they are reliable. You will face many difficulties on the trail, such as weather and trekking routes. So having the proper equipment to face these problems will help you a lot on the trail.

  • Hire a guide and porter if needed

If you have a kid or have some kind of health problem or you are not used to trekking or are a first-time trekker then I highly recommend you get at least a guide or a porter because the trail has a lot of challenges and the difficulty level is high and so it is better to be safe than sorry. 

  • Train Yourself

Make sure to train yourself. The difficulty of circuit trail is seriously hard and if you don’t take the training seriously too, you will have a very bad time and will face many problems while doing the Manaslu trek. So, make sure to train before you think of Manaslu circuit trekking. 

  • Book the accommodation in advance

There are different challenges in the Manaslu trek, and you don’t want to add one more challenge. Manaslu region does not have a lot of accommodation, and if you come in the peak season, there is a high chance you might not get a room in the tea house. It is a first come, first serve rule. So, booking the accommodation in advance is essential so that you don’t have to face the problem of not finding the room. 


Can you see Everest from the Manaslu Circuit?

Yes, Everest can be seen from the Manaslu Circuit. The magnificent view of the world’s tallest peak is one of the major attractions of the Manaslu circuit.

How long does the Manaslu Circuit Trek take?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek takes about 13-17 days once you’re acclimatized after the flight to Nepal. It involves a lot of hiking and camping but no major technical climbing.

The trail is well-maintained, and the teahouses are spaced several kilometers apart, so you get to do a lot of day hikes.

Do you need a guide for Manaslu Circuit?

Yes, Manaslu Circuit Trekking can be made easy if you have a guide with you having knowledge of the trail.

How much does it cost for the Manaslu Circuit trek?

The Manaslu circuit trek can cost anywhere from US$1,500 to US$3,000 based on the preferred trekking routes and preferred facilities.

Is trekking to the Manaslu circuit trek safe?

Trekking to the Manaslu circuit is safe, but it’s highly risky. Safety is guaranteed if you are with a tour or an established guide, but you have to pay the amount.


The Manaslu circuit trek is popular in Nepal and one of the world’s most challenging treks. The main reason is that it is a high-altitude trek and the highest point of the trek is 5,545 meters above sea level.

This trek is also popular because it takes you to some of remote Nepal’s most unexplored off-the-beaten places. If you want to trek in Nepal and are looking for a difficult trekking experience, then this is the one for you.

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