Manaslu Trek Best Time

The Manaslu trek starts at the Budi Gandaki River Valley. It continues through the barren landscape, almost touching the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, ending again two weeks later in the Marshyangdi River Valley. Elevations range from 600 to 5,179 m.

Each season is lovely in every way, so the choice is really yours. Does not the Larke Pass will be closed by snow during the winter, so you cannot go to Manaslu Base Camp and the Tibetan Boarder at that time. In addition, the teahouse (lodge) in Dharmasala remains closed in January and February.

1. Late December to Early March

The cold you will feel is balanced by the sight of frozen waterfalls and rivers. However, above the village of Namrung, you will have to trek on snow-covered trails, and it is too risky to try to reach Manaslu Base Camp. Due to the lodge at Dharmasala being closed for the winter, the Larke Pass needs to be crossed in one day. (During the times that it is open – do ask us for more details.) That is a minimum of 12 to 13 hours.

Level of Difficulty:

Proper technical gear, as well as proper winter apparel, is required. This time of year is best suited to those with extra stamina and some experience in using snow and ice gear.

2. March to Late May

Rhododendrons bloom, and Birendra and Ponkar Lakes are starting to melt. Villagers who had gone down to nearby cities for the winter have started to return home, and by mid-May, you will see climbing expeditions around Manaslu Base Camp. Although there may be the occasional snowfall, by mid-May, it is very hot at the starting and ending points of the trek, and you should prepare for this also.

Level of Difficulty:

Snow gear is unnecessary as any snowfall will not last long, so it’s good for those without technical experience.

3. June to Mid September

Rain has washed everything clean, and the scenery of forests and pastures is lush and green. This does, however, mean there are mosquitoes and bugs around! And beware of leeches, which, while not serious, are also unpleasant. The trails will be slippery; small streams will have grown so that it is not possible to cross by the smaller wooden bridges, so it may take a little more effort to walk to the higher suspension bridges. And we should be aware that there is a possibility in this season of landslides.

Level of Difficulty:

A little more care has to be taken on slippery trails. June, July, and August are the months with the most rain.

4. Late September to Mid December

This is arguably the best time to trek in Manaslu – ten out of ten! The price of the restricted permits also goes up in the season.

It is neither too hot nor too cold, the sky is blue, and the views of the snow mountains are perfectly clear. It is also the ideal time to climb Larke Peak. On the downside, this ideal window of time attracts others too. There will be more trekkers on the trails, and you may also meet those participating in the Manaslu Marathon. Think you’re fit enough for this 5,179 m holy rush? Check here for dates and how to enter.

Level of Difficulty:

Even for those who are not marathon runners, this is the ideal time to visit Manaslu!

But whichever time you choose to go, please pack accordingly. Check the general packing list for the Manaslu Circuit.

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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