Spirit of Manaslu Trek – 2 Days in the “Spirit Mountain”, the home of an ancient Tibetan population
Mt. Manaslu is located in the northern part of the Gorkha District of Nepal. Rising to an elevation of 8,163 meters (26,781 ft.), it is the 8th highest mountain in the world. The local people consider it a place of the spirit. The mountain is worshipped by those who live in its shadow. Of special interest are communities of Tibetan people who have lived on the north side of Mt. Manaslu for hundreds of years.
The Tibetan people practice a traditional form of Tibetan Buddhism that is not easily found in Tibetan China. Their villages reflect traditional building styles. Traditional clothing and foods are commonplace as well as friendly, welcoming smiles. The journey follows the wild BudhiGandaki River upstream as you ascend the trail toward Mt. Manaslu. The beautiful snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas are in sight every day of this trip.
The journey will traverse several ecological zones, hot springs, ice-cold glacial-fed streams and various ethnic groups who call this region home. Eagles fly overhead as you gaze down into deep canyons. This is a longer trek, lasting 23 days. It will take you through the Manaslu Region, across the high pass of Thorong-La (elev. 5,416 m/17,765 ft.) and then into the beautiful Annapurna Region. Several of the world’s highest mountains will be visible including Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri, the 10th and 7th highest mountains in the world, respectively.
Even more interesting will be the various cultures you will experience. There are Gurung and Magar communities as well as Tibetan. The scenery is phenomenal, the wildlife amazing and the alpine wildflowers beautiful. The Spirit of Manaslu Trek is not as popular as the Everest or Annapurna Circuit, which means that you will see fewer tourists and more of the native residents. Experience hospitality while enjoying the amazing views on the Spirit of Manaslu Trek.
Detailed Overview of Spirit of Manaslu Trek
DAY 1 – TRAVEL TO SOTI Khola(elev. 750 m/2461 ft.) The first day is travelling by private vehicle from Kathmandu across the top of the Kathmandu Valley pass and down into the Trisuli River valley. Turn off the main highway toward Dhading where you pass by farms as well as through dense jungles. At Arughat Bazar, cross the BudhiGandaki River and head north to the start of the trail at SotiKhola where you will spend the night. Travel time eight hours.
DAY 2 – TREK TO MACCHAKHOLAGAON (elev. 890 m/2,920 ft.)Follow along the BudhiGandaki through coffee plantations and past farms. The good trail along the way. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 3 – TREK TO JAGAT(elev. 1350 m/4,429 ft.) A day of climbing. Pass by the hot springs at Tatopani as well as seeing the carved Mani Walls. Jagat is a stone village with flagstone streets. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 4 – TREK TO DENG (elev. 1960 m/6,430 ft.)Cross the river, observe high cliffs and deep canyons along the way as well as impressive waterfalls. The trail eventually turns westward as you begin travelling on the northside of Mt. Manaslu. Overnight in Deng with trekking time 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 5 – TREK TO GHAP (elev. 2,380 m/7,808 ft.)We are starting to encounter the Tibetan people with their unique culture. There are farms along the way as well as forests. Spend the night at Ghap village. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 6 – TREK TO NAMRUNG (elev. 2,700 m/8,858 ft.)Enter the BudhiGandaki River valley, walking over long boulders and dense forests of rhododendron fir trees. Spend the night with the Tibetans at Namrung. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 7& 8 –TREK TO SAMA GOMPA (elev. 3,360 /11,024) SamaGompa is the heart of the Nupri Region where traditional Tibetan culture is best seen. Spend two nights in this village while adjusting to the high elevation. Explore the monastery as well as having great views of Mt. Manaslu.
DAY 9 – TREK TO SAMDO (elev. 3,780 m/12,402 ft.)Pass Mani Walls and more great views. The vegetation here is limited due to the high elevation. Reach Samdo in 3 – 4 hours.
DAY 10 – TREK TO LARKYA LA REST HOUSE (elev. 4,200 m/13,780 ft.)Trekking 4 – 5 hours to reach the base of the trail to the pass. Now above the tree line.
DAY 11 – LARKYA LA PASS, TREK TO BIMTANG (elev. 2,200 m/7,218 ft.)Reach the top of Larkya La Pass (elev. 5,135 m/16,847 ft.) for the finest view of the Himalayas in all directions. Once over the top, drop significantly to reach the village of Bimtang in the Annapurna region to spend the night. Trekking time is 7 – 9 hours.
DAY 12 – TREK TO DHARAPANI (elev. 1850 m/6,068 ft.)Enter the MarsyangdiValley, pass through small farming villages to reach Dharapani. Trekking time 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 13 – TREK TO CHAME (elev. 2,710 m/8,891 ft.)Dense forests and fast-flowing mountain streams are on tap for the day. Hot springs as well as the unique culture of the Chame people who are a small, indigenous ethnic group. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 14 – TREK TO PISANG (elev. 3,700 m/12,139 ft.)Apple orchards abound as well as pine forests along the way with dazzling views of the snowcapped Annapurna Mts. Trekking time 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 15 – 16–TREK TO MANANG (elev. 3,500 m/11,482 ft.)Manang is a Gurung village, home to many Gurkha soldiers. Incredible views all along the way. Spend two nights in Manang for acclimatization in preparation for the next mountain pass. Trekking time first day is 5 – 6 hours.
day 17 – trek to yak kharka (elev. 4,110 m/13,484 ft.) A great day for mountain views of the Annapurnas. Now again above the tree line once more. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours.
Day 18 – Trek to Thorong Phedi(elev. 4,400 m/14,432 ft.) Climb upwards along the narrow path to spend the night at ThorongPhedi. Trekking time 5 – 6 hours.
DAY 19 – TREK TO MUKTINATH (elev. 3800 m/12,467 ft.)VIA THORONG-LA PASS This is the highest pass on this trek at 5,416 meters (17,765 ft.) Incredible 360° views. Descend to the holy temple of Muktinath with its 108 sacred taps and eternally burning blue flame. Trekking time is 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 20 – TREK TO JOMSOM (elev. 2500 m/8,200 ft.)The final day of trekking. The journey is between 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 21 – FLY TO POKHARA (elev. 820 m/2,690 ft.) Short flight. Enjoy exploring the lakeside city of Pokhara with its fine views of the Annapurna Mountains.
DAY 22 – RETURN TO KATHMANDU – 6 – 7-hour journey to Nepal’s capital city.
Trip cost includes:
- Lodging in tea houses
- 3 Star Hotel in Pokhara
- English speaking, government licensed guide
- All meals while trekking
- Breakfast in Pokhara
- All entrance fees.
- TIMS trekking permit
- All local transportation
- Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara
Trip cost does not include:
- Lunch and dinner in Pokhara
- Tips and Gratuities
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