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Manaslu Circuit Trail Run

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16 days, 15 nights
Availability : April - June and October - December
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 12

The Manaslu Circut Trail Run program circles the Manaslu massif – Manaslu is the world’s seventh highest mountain at 8,156m. This route offers a spectacular and comprehensive 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. Located along the border of Nepal and Tibet, this region is both beautiful and fascinating. Consequently, the rewards are well worth the commitment.

This region is geographically spectacular and culturally fascinating. Hindus (Brahmin/Chhetris) and Gurungs (Bonpos and Buddhists) inhabit the lower Buri Gandaki region. And the upper parts of the Buri Gandaki river are inhabited by Buddhists who are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants. The Tibetan migrants settled here in the early 1600’s. Once over the Larkya la pass, you will descend to the sub-tropical regions inhabited by the Hindus (Brahmin/Chhetris) and Gurungs (Bonpos and Buddhists). The crux of the Manaslu Circuit Trail run is the high pass of Larkya La (16,700ft) which is one of the most dramatic pass-crossing in the Himalaya.

What to Expect:

On this Manaslu Circuit run trip, you will only be required to carry a small running pack. The pack will contain provisions you will need during the day. 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. Additionally, besides porters, we will have several running guides at a guide to client ratio of 1:3.

Our Manaslu trail running guides are mostly female graduates from the Mira Rai Initiative (MRI). These runners either aspire to race competitively (both domestic and international races) or have retired from competitive racing.

  • 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 to 7 hours)

Also check out other trail running program to the Ultimate Everest Trail Run

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

The Manaslu Circuit Trail Run is a lodge trek. Consequently you will sleep and eat meals in local lodges along the trail. The quality of the lodges in the Manaslu region are not comparable to those on the Everest trek but are getting better every year. Additionally, meals are also quite varied with many options including rice with veggies, noodles, local breads etc. Read our article about food options on treks in Nepal.

BEST SEASON

Like most treks in Nepal, the best seasons for the Trail running in the Manaslu region are Spring (March-May) and Autumn (October-November). It is NOT recommended to do this trek in Winter months of December, January and February. But you could come in late monsoon in September.

TREK RATING

The Manaslu Circuit Trail Run is rated “STRENUOUS”. It is rated 4 on a rating scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging). The highest altitude reached is at the Larkya La pass (16,700 ft) and the highest overnight elevation is at Dharamsala (14,700 feet). There are two acclimatization days and a couple short days to allow for proper acclimatization. And average daily hiking times is 5 to 6 hours with one long day of around 8-9 hours. Regardless of the rating, it is important to prepare for any trek in Nepal. Read our advice on training for treks.

WHY TRAVEL WITH US?

All our Manaslu Circuit Trail Run programs are private journeys for a minimum of two participants for a date of your choosing. We do NOT nickel-and-dime on services – all inclusions and exclusions are clearly listed in cost details. Some companies will advertise trips for very low prices but they have a lot of exclusions that is usually not clear. Most of our trekkers are either repeat clients or referrals. We have been in business for over 30 years and we employ only the most professional and friendly staff.

We are also proud to give back to our community through 3 Summits For Nepal managed by Crystal Mountain Treks staff. Contact us to learn more…

Trip at a glance

Brief Itinerary

Day Description Overnight Altitude
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,200ft
Day 2 Exploring Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,200ft
Day 3 Kathmandu to Arughat. Drive onward to Macchi Khola (8 – 9 hours) Machhi Khola 910m/2,950ft
Day 4 Machhi Khola to Jagat (6 – 7 hours) Jagat 1,410m/4,625ft
Day 5 Jagat to Deng (6 – 7 hours) Deng 1,800m/5,900ft
Day 6 Deng to Namrung (6 – 7 hours) Namrung 2,630m/8,750ft
Day 7 Namrung to Sama Gaon (6 – 7 hours) Sama Gaon 3,530m/11,600ft
Day 8 Acclimatization day in Sama Gaon Sama Gaon 3,530m/11,600ft
Day 09 Trek to Samdo (3 hours) Samdo 3,860m/12,700ft
Day 10 Samdo acclimatization day Samdo 3,860m/12,700ft
Day 11 Samdo to Larkya Phedi (4 hours) Larkya Phedi 4,460m/14,700ft
Day 12 Cross Larkya pass (16,700ft) to Bimthang Bimthang 3,720m/12,300ft
Day 13 Bimthang to Dharapani (6 hours) Dharapani 1,960m/6,500ft
Day 14 Drive to Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,200ft
Day 15 Sightseeing in Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,200ft
Day 16 Final departure    
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu

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.

MEALS: D

Day 2Exploring Kathmandu

Full day exploration of the sights, sounds and pleasant chaos that is Kathmandu. Visit Bodhnath which is a sacred destination for Buddhists from all over the world. Circum-ambulate the sacred monument with devotees, spin the prayer wheels along the stupa walls, and immerse yourself in the experience of Bodhnath.

Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the God of Destruction. The main temple has a two-tiered golden roof and an ornate silver door. However, visitors cannot enter the main temple sanctum and must view it from across the sacred Bagmati River.

Then drive to Patan. After lunch, visit the well-maintained Patan Museum which houses ancient Nepali artifacts, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar (Palace) Square. The medieval architecture of Patan is the finest with stunning architectural designs of palaces and temples including the Krishna Mandir. Return to hotel. Free evening to prepare for your Manaslu Circuit trek.

Hotel Tibet or similar.

MEALS: B, L

Day 3Kathmandu -Machhi Khola

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 couple hours to Macchi Khola. The total drive can take up to 9 hours.

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

Day 4Macchi Khola to Jagat

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.

DISTANCE: 10 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 2,880 feet
Elevation Loss: 1,320 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

Day 5Jagat to Deng


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.

DISTANCE: 10.6 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 3,490 feet
Elevation Loss: 1,750 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

Day 6Deng to Namrung

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.

DISTANCE: 9.6 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 4,180 feet
Elevation Loss: 1,730 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

Day 7 and Day 8Namrung to Sama Gaon

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.

DISTANCE: 9.4 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 4,350 feet
Elevation Loss: 1,400 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

Day 9 and Day 10Samagaon to Samdo

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.

DISTANCE: 5.7 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
Elevation Loss: 300 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

DAY 11Samdo to Dharamsala

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.

DISTANCE: 3 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 2,120 feet
Elevation Loss: 200 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

DAY 12Cross Larkya La to Bimthang

Today is the crux of the trek with walking/running of approximately 16 miles (6 to 7 hours). Wake up early to begin the crossing of Larkya la (5,100m/16,700ft). The guide will decide the exact time but most groups start time is around 3 – 4 am. The climb is long but gentle and mostly follows the moraine. Prayer flags and a large sign board mark the top of the pass. The descent begins with a steep descent on loose gravel but slowly becomes more gradual. The valley widens as you cross several meadows ending at a large meadow at Bimthang.

DISTANCE: 9.6 miles approximately
Elevation Gain: 2,380 feet
Elevation Loss: 4,790 feet

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

Day 13Bimthang to Dharapani

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.

DISTANCE: 13 miles approximately

Overnight Lodge.

MEALS: B,L,D

DAY 14Drive to Kathmandu

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

Day 15Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Full day of sightseeing in Kathmandu: visit Swayambhunath, the monkey temple. Then drive to Bhaktapur, the city of Devotees, for lunch and a tour of the royal palace square.

Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar.

MEALS: B,L,D

DAY 16Final departure

Transfer to the airport for final departure.

MEALS: B

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Detailed Cost Information

PER PERSON PRICE (valid until December 31, 2023) 

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.

Payment policy:

  • A 20% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking.
  • Balance is payable a week prior to departure.

Cancellation policy:

  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • No refunds for unused services once trek begins.

Price Includes

  • All chartered transfers 
  • 1 full day sightseeing in Kathmandu as in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments 
  • 3 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu 
  • Lodge accommodations and Meals as indicated in the itinerary 
  • Guide ratio 1:3
  • Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals 
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Fee and Manaslu Conservation Area Fee 
  • Manaslu Restricted Area permit 
  • Gamow Bag or supplemental oxygen

Price Excludes

  • Your international airfare
  • Nepal Visa
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you)
  • Travel insurance (Required)
  • Other expenses of a personal nature
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Map

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

When is the best time to do this trip?

There are two preferred seasons for the Manaslu Circuit Run: Spring (March through May) and Fall (October through November). Day time temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s (10 to 15 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 30’s and 40’s (0 to 5 Centigrade). Expect night time temperatures of below or near freezing near Dharamshala and at the pass. Expect some late-afternoon showers in the Spring which is the season for rhododendrons and magnolias. October is historically regarded as the best month to trek with clear skies and better views of the mountains.

Do remember to bring micro-spikes and gaiters for the passes.

What kind of meals should I expect?

Meals on the Manaslu Circuit Run are quite varied. In general, expect porridge (Oatmeal), toast, eggs (any style), muesli, hash browns, sausages etc for breakfast. And sandwich, pizzas, momos, noodles (dry and with soup), rolls, fried rice, Indian bread with vegetables etc for lunch and dinner. And expect Nepali dal-bhat (rice-lentils with vegetables and/or meat) at all the lodges.

Ours is an OPEN menu. Meaning we allow our clients to order anything from the lodge menu besides bottled beverages, specialty coffee and packaged snacks. We also don’t limit the number of items per meal as long as you aren’t wasteful. When choosing your trekking company, ask if meals are fixed or if you are only allowed to order one item from the menu. If this isn’t the case, costs can add up over 15/16 days.

Can I drink tap water on the trek? How can I get water that is safe to drink?

Nepali tap water is NOT safe to drink. Even if you see the locals drinking water straight from the tap, never drink water before boiling or sterilizing. Bring water purifying tablets or other water purifiers. At higher elevations during the coldest times of year the water will freeze, so you’ll need to buy boiled water from teahouses. If you plan to use a STERIPEN, bring wide mouth water bottles. You would need at least 2 one-liter water bottles for the trek. Even if you plan to bring a hydration pack, bring 1 one-liter water to sterilize the water before pouring into your hydration pack.

Crystal Mountain Treks will provide you with a Steripen to use on the trek for no charge. We also provide boiled water twice a day for NO extra charge. Since water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitude, it’s best to sterilize the boiled water as some lodges may not bring the water to a boil for long enough to eliminate bacteria/protozoa in the water.

Do read our blog on safe drinking water options: Hydration on treks in Nepal

Are there ATM's on the trek route? Can I pay with my credit card?

No. Bring cash.

What are the toilets like? Will I have a chance to shower?

Most tea houses have a common toilet. Now-a-days, many tea houses, especially those at the beginning of the trek, have en suite rooms. While squat toilets are more prevalent, newer lodges have Western style toilets.

It is possible to shower in almost all the lodges. And hot shower usually means a bucket of boiled water. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $2-$5 for this service.

What vaccinations are required for trekking in Nepal?

No vaccinations are REQUIRED. There are some that are recommended. Check out websites of the following for immunization that are recommended:

1) CIWEC hospital in Nepal

2) CDC (Center for Disease Control)