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The Manaslu Circuit Trek is the best all round tea-house hike in Nepal on the Great Himalaya Trail; the new Annapurna Circuit. No camping needed.

When to trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek takes you from just 700m altitude at Arughat (or Gorkha Bazar) up to 5160m on the pass – a tremendous range of altitudes, temperatures and micro-climates! Finding the balance between hot and cold, views and nature, peak and off peak is key. This table should give you an idea with a 1 – 5 star rating.

January 1* Cold and icy but generally clear skies. “…Sometime around mid-January. Very quiet (few people) in winter season, cold at night, fresh and beautiful,” said one trekker. Winter storms sometimes visit the pass through January and February, but changing weather patterns make it difficult to predict. Crampons needed for descending the pass. There are five or so icy sections of around 10m long. Porters and guides should also have crampons.  Key lodges (Larkya Phedi, Bimtang) still closed so bring a tent.
February 1* Cold, icy but warming towards the end of the month Towards the end of February, Rhododendrons begin to bloom in the lower reaches of forest. Key lodges (Larkya Phedi, Bimtang) still closed so bring a tent.
March 3-4* Good weather. Not too cold high up, not too warm down below. Wonderful rhododendrons from Deng up to Shyala. Check opening of Bimtang lodge 993664542.
April 3-4* Getting hot in lower Budi Gandaki Wonderful rhododendrons from Deng up to Shyala. Still few people, a great time to trek.
May 1* Hot, sweaty and hazy Last of the Rhododendron blooms can be seen.
June 1-2* Cooling down with rains Monsoon slowly begins. No trekkers around. With very early starts, you can still enjoy trekking with views.
July 2-3* Monsoon The time to see flowers and greenery. Nepal is lush in monsoon. Fewer lodges in activity.
August 2-3* Monsoon What is it actually like – read about a monsoon trekking adventure here…. Fewer lodges in activity.
September 3* Monsoon dies away, haze and rains still possible. Monsoon ending around third week in September.
October 5* Magnificent Busiest month consequently!
November 5* Fabulous, cooling down. Colder higher up, but still a great month to trek. Be careful to avoid the Manaslu Trail Race around that time.
December 5* Getting cold. Best views with crystal clear air. The villagers of Samdo pack up around mid-December and cross the pass to head to Kathmandu, Pokhara and India for the winter.

 

9 Responses

  1. swee lan said on August 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    i will be trekking with you this sept. appreciate if you can tell me the min temperature along annapurna circuit.
    thx and regards.

    Reply
  2. Liam said on February 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Me and two friends are doing the trek at the start of May (10th). Your table does seem to pick May as the worst month to go? Would you say this is relative year to year, or in general its just a terrible time to go. We have no other time to go…

    L

    Reply
  3. yoel said on June 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hello ,
    Our plan is to do the Manaslu Circuit starting September 19th .
    Is this even possible? I know there will be rain on at least a few days but are the routes generally safe on that time of year?

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on June 9, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      This is at the end of the monsoon period. I would say that it would be possible, but the risk of the trails not being in condition, and from active landslides (during rainfall usually) will be higher that say 2 weeks later. Last year I observed a lot of activity to improve the trails as soon as the dry weather hit. I’ve also walked at the end of the monsoon before, but this will be 1 1/2 year after the earthquake so I expect some landslides will have further settled might damage trails. I would say if you are careful, and walk in non-raining times, and pay good attention to what is above you, then you can manage.

      Reply
  4. Antonia said on September 23, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Will the trek be closed for the public during Manaslu Trail Race in November?

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on February 3, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Not at all. It is only 40 runners!

      Reply
  5. Jarrod Sowa said on January 11, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Hi–

    I am looking at doing the Manaslu/Tsum Valley trek in November over 23 days. I saw that there is a trail race Nov 11 to Nov 23. Is it best to avoid the area during the race? Or Is it possible to still trek during the race while avoiding the race crowds somehow?

    Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on February 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Check the race itinerary and avoid the places they stay, as a rule. Actually only Tatopani, Phewa would be an issue. Otherwise fine.

      Reply
  6. Timothy Keeley said on January 22, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    I have found that August can be a great time to trek even in Annapurna area and Jiri to EBC. If you get up early and leave before sunrise for your next destination, the majority of the days you will experience some fantastic views in the early morning hours. It usually rains in the afternoon, evening and at night.
    The air is very clear during the rainy seasons when the clouds to clear in the morning.

    Reply

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