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The Manaslu Circuit route, like the classic Annapurna Circuit route, offers a spectacular and complete Nepal experience. The journey begins in lush sub-tropical forests and deep canyons slowly ascending to remote mountain villages with jaw-dropping vistas of snow capped peaks.
The Manaslu Circut is a circuit of the Manaslu massif – Manaslu is the world’s seventh highest mountain at 8,156m. Located along the border of Nepal and Tibet, this region is both beautiful and fascinating. While the trek is fairly long, the rewards are well worth the commitment. Trekking here was only allowed since 1991. Both a Conservation Area fee and a restricted area fee are required to trek here.
This region is geographically spectacular and culturally fascinating. Hindus (Brahmin/Chhetris) and Gurungs (Bonpos and Buddhists) inhabit the lower Buri Gandaki region (sub-tropical). In the upper parts (sub-alpine and alpine) of the Buri Gandaki river, Buddhists who are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants settled here in the early 1600’s. Once over the Larkya la pass, you will descend back to the sub-tropical regions inhabited by the Hindus (Brahmin/Chhetris) and Gurungs (Bonpos and Buddhists). The crux of the trek is the high pass of Larkya La (16,700ft) which is one of the most dramatic pass-crossing in the Himalaya.
All our Manaslu Treks are private treks for a minimum of two participants. We are proud to give back to our community through our giving arm – 3 Summits For Nepal – managed by Crystal Mountain Treks staff. Contact us to learn more…
On this running trip, you will only be required to carry your running pack with provisions for the day and a camera (5 – 10 lbs). Your main gear should be packed into a duffel bag (not weighing more than 25lbs) which will be carried by our porters. The porters will leave early every morning taking the bulk of your duffels to the next destination. You may run at your own pace and we have a guide to client ratio of 1:3.
Our running guides are mostly graduates from the Mira Rai Initiative (MRI) who either aspire to race competitively (both domestic and international races) or have retired from competitive racing. At MRI, aspiring young female trail runners are not only provided training for trail running competitions but are also empowered with important life skills.
Total Distance: approximately 89 miles
Highest Elevation: 16,950ft
Total Elevation gain: 21,800 ft.
Daily running time: 3 to 5 hours (with one longer day of around 6 hours)
PER PERSON PRICE (valid until December 31, 2022)
2-4 participants: US$ 3,000 per person
5 or more participants: US$ 2,550 per person
Single Supplement: US$200
This trek is not recommended for the Winter months of December, January and February.
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during dinner.
Overnight Hotel Tibet.
Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicateed to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Here, you’ll probably witness a Hindu cremation along the banks of the Bagmati River.
Then drive to Bhaktapur, the city of Devotees, for lunch and a tour of the royal palace square. Bhaktapur is a medieval city inn the Kathmandu valley and is least disturbed by modern life. Here, you can absorb the architectural splendor of the five-storied Nyatapola temple, or the sculptural delight of the Peacock Window. In the evening, back at the hotel, make final preparations for your Manaslu Circuit trek.
Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar.
MEALS: B, L
Board a chartered bus to Arughat. We follow the Trishuli river on paved highway for about three hours and then head north on the bumpy jeep track at Dhading Besi. Arughat is a good size settlement by the Budi Gandaki river where your permits will be checked at the police station. Continue for another hour towards Soti Khola. The total drive can take up to 9 hours.
Today is the first day of running. It’s best to ease into the running trip. Today’s run should be between 8.5 to 9 miles and should take us around 5 hours. The trail does not involve substatiantal elevation gain/loss but it can be hot and humid as we follow the Budi Gandaki river to Maccha Khola.
Another day of short ascents and descents of approximately 14 miles which should take us another 5-6 hours. We soon cross Tatopani (Hot-spring). Continue to Jagat.
Jagat is a beautiful stone-paved village with a rudimentary trekker’s hotel, shops, and a customs office. Jagat is the entrance to Manaslu Conservation Area, an area where the concept of integrated conservation and development is being implemented to achieve conservation and sustainable development objectives. There is also an MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Project) office here where your permits will be checked.
Today is 10 mile day which should take us around 4-5 hours. We cross the Buri Gandaki river over a long suspension bridge at Ghatta Khola, then follow the route ustream. Climb up a steep incline to reach Philim (1,590m/5,216ft). Philim is a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet. The hillsides become steeper beyond Philim until Aga.
The trail then passes through a narrow, dramatic gorge with towering walls, and past a thundering waterfall. Cross the river on locally-built bridges and then leave the gorge to climb to the small village of Deng (1,800m/5,905ft). The ‘Nupri’ region starts here at Deng. Nupri translates to “the Western Mountains” and the people of Nupri are direct descendants of Tibetans immigrants who settled here in the 1600s.
The trip today involves running approximately 11 miles and should take us 4-5 hours. We cross the Buri Gandaki again and from here you will start observing Mani walls (stones carved with prayers on their surface and stacked to form a wall) – a sign of Tibetan Buddhism being practiced in the area.
The trail is level, then climbs and drops and climbs again to the village of Ghap (2,110m/6,922ft). Run through barley fields lined with mani walls and continue towards a fir forest, where you might catch sight of the Danphe – impeyan pheasant which is also Nepal’s colorful National bird. Continue climbing into a dense, rhododendron-fir forest and enter Namrung (2,660m/8,727ft) through a stone kaani arch.
Today, we will run 10 miles for approximately 5 hours. Beyond Namrung, the trail enters upper Nupri where the residents are of Tibetan origin. Climb through a fir-rhododendron-oak forest. The trail passes through another stone kaani and enters Lihi (2,900m/9,514ft). Lho is a closely-packed village with unusual architecture: the stone houses are grouped together into units of five or six that share a common roof and courtyard. Most roofs are made of heavy wood shingles.
Today’s run to Samagaon is approximately 10 miles and should take us around 5 hours. Head towards Sho (2,960m/9,711ft). From Sho onwards, and towards Lho (3,180m/10,433ft), you will also start viewing Manaslu north (7,157m/23,480ft) and Nalike Peak (5,5515m/18,093ft).
Samagaon – or Ro, as the locals call it – sits in a bowl at the foot of the pastures leading to high peaks. There are two gompas (monasteries) here with unique architecture. The residents of Samagaon are Tibetan descendents, and they continue to maintain an active trade with Tibetans across the border. A lay over day is planned at Samagaon during which you can trek towards the Manaslu Base Camp.
Today’s run of approximately 10 miles (3 hours) to Samdo on a mostly level-small incline pleasant trail. Another layover day is planned at Samdo for exploration and acclimatization.
Today’s short trek of approximately 7 miles (2 hours) takes usto the base of Larkya la pass. This is a short day of around 3 hours. Retire to bed early to prepare for an early and long pass crossing day. Since rooms are limited, it is possible that you might have to sleep at the semi-permanent tents set up by the lodge owner. Camp is at 4,480m/14,700ft.
Today’s final day involves running of approximately 10 miles in about 4 hours. Descend through Rhododendron and oak forests to the Gurung village of Tilje with spectacular mountain views on either side. The trail joins main Annapurna Circuit trail at Dharapani.
Board a chartered vehicle for the bumpy ride to Besi-Sahar. We are now on the classic Annapurna Circuit trail where a jeep track has been built. From Besi-Sahar, we continue a short distance to Dumre where we join the highway to Kathmandu.
Farewell dinner at your hotel.
Overnight Hotel Tibet.
Meals: B, L, D
Transfer to the airport for final departure.