Manaslu region, lying at the bank of Budhi Gandaki River, is the hidden treasure that exudes ethereal beauty in the form of rugged terrain, verdant meadows, serene valleys, and pristine mountain ranges. Throughout the year, this amazing region allows trekkers to enjoy the solitude and tranquillity of nature. However, the month of May just adds another layer of renewed vitality to its peaceful and composed environment by unfurling the spell of nature. The Manaslu circuit trek in May brings out the best of Mother Nature which allows trekkers to experience the magic of Mansalu in all its splendour.
May falls at the ending phase of spring when the grip of freezing winter loosens its hold and spring is in full swing in the Manaslu circuit trail. The trees of rhododendrons and oaks in the lush forest are embellished by the green canopy of leaves. At the same time, the trail of the Manaslu circuit unfolds the petals of wildflowers to create a canvas full of colorful and vibrant palettes.
The Manaslu circuit trek in May is the ideal time to collect thrilling experiences of trekking. The perfect weather and clear skies with a touch of meaningful tradition and celebration will be the cherry on top of your journey. May provides trekkers on the trail of the Manaslu circuit with various reasons to enjoy the bounty of the season, filled with joy and rejuvenation.
Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek In May
- Explore the diverse flora and fauna of the Manaslu conservation area
- Cross the Larkya la pass that joins the Manaslu and Annapurna region
- Discover the unique traditions and culture of different ethnic groups like Gurung, Magar, Sherpa, Thakali, Tibetan
- Walk on the off the beaten trails alongside the untouched beauty of the Manaslu region
- Transverse through the verdant meadows, pasturelands, and dense forest to connect with nature
- Panoramic views of the Manaslu Peak, Himlung Himal, Kang Guru, Annapurna II and several other snow-capped peaks
- Explore the Himalayan lifestyle by passing various settlement areas like Lho (3,180 m), Samagaun (3,520 m), Bhimtang (3,720 m), Dharamsala (4,450 m) etc
Weather And Temperature In Manaslu Circuit Trek During May
Being the transition month between the alluring spring and scorching hot summer, May is considered to be the driest as well as warmest month of the year.
The temperature of the lower altitude in the Manaslu region can range between 12 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. However, as you rise to a higher elevation, the temperature will generally drop. At higher elevations, you can feel a significant drop in temperature, up to 7 degrees Celsius, during the morning and night.
Moreover, the Manaslu region receives longer hours of sunshine, making the weather warm and stable. Furthermore, warm weather is toned down by the fresh breeze blowing, caressing your skin. However, there is some possibility of precipitation due to the pre-monsoon during the last weeks of May. Likewise, you can come across some climbers during mid-May who are making their way to the summit of Manaslu Peak(8163 m).
Likewise, this trek will make detour of six climatic zones i.e.tropical, subtropical, temperate, subalpine, alpine, and arctic by variations within 100 km.from Arughat to Larke La Pass.
Why Manaslu Circuit Trek In May?
Favorable Climatic Condition
One of the main reasons for marking May as the peak season for the Manaslu circuit trek is pleasant weather along with a stable climate. As the full bloom spring is preparing for early summer in May, the Mansaku region experiences comfortable temperatures for trekking with a low chance of precipitation. Likewise, when you feel hot after hiking for long hours, the cool breeze blasting from the mountains will blow which carries the sweet fragrance of blossoms.
Furthermore, the longer hours of sunlight offer you more time to explore the area and allow you to go on side hikes to discover other various additional highlights of the Manaslu circuit.
One of the major highlights of the Manaslu circuit trek in May is the abundance of blossoms, which will enhance your overall trekking experience. The hillsides are blanketed with dense green forests that will make you feel the surreal beauty of nature. At the same time, the hues of crimson, pink, and purple from the bloom of rhododendron add a spark in the green canopy of landscapes.
The visual spectacle created from the contrast of verdant meadows above the white glistening mountains is something you have never seen before. Moreover, the melting of snow during May adds a soul to the waterfalls and fast-flowing streams of the Manaslu region.
Easy Access to Larke La Pass
The trails for the Manaslu circuit trek are comparatively dry, making your hike easier and much more comfortable. With favorable weather conditions and minimum level of snow accumulation, climbing Larke La Pass(5106m), the highest point in the Manaslu Circuit trek, becomes quite easier to a certain extent. Some sections may have patches of snow, which can be managed through champions and other gear.
Clear Mountain Views
The skies above the trail of the Manaslu circuit are free from clouds and haze, allowing you to have panoramic views of the mountains that seem to stretch endlessly into the horizon. Amidst the remote wilderness, the Manaslu circuit trek in May will give you serene views of vistas like Manaslu Peak, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, Annapurna massif etc, which are nothing short of awe-inspiring moments in your trekking journey.
Whether you are ascending the high Himalayan Larke La Pass or descending to the valleys, these illuminating snow-capped mountains will accompany you all along the trails. Hence, the unobstructed view of the unparalleled beauty of the Himalayan is sure to provide a picturesque backdrop for the portraits you capture on the journey.
Wildlife Exploration And Birdwatching
The Manaslu conversation area is home to various plants and animals. About 33 species of mammals along with 110 species of birds, 11 species of butterflies, and 3 species of reptiles are inhabitant in this area. . Moreover, there are 11 types of forest with approximately 2000 species of plants. With such diverse flora, the area has over 50 species of useful plants.
Hence, the Manaslu circuit trek in May is a wonderful opportunity for you to see diverse flora and fauna. Moreover, the probability of witnessing animals and birds is high as they are also enjoying nature after their long hibernation during winter slumber. At the same time, if you are lucky, you can witness the birds migrating from colder regions to warmer regions for their survival.
Be Part Of Hospitality
Witnessing the simple yet unique lifestyle of people inhabiting the Manaslu region carries a huge significance in the Manaslu circuit trek in May. The hospitality provided by them will warm up your heart and make you understand their culture and tradition. Likewise, many festivals like Buddha Jayanti, loser etc allow you to watch the cultural processions and enjoy the regional food.
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Difficulties Of Manaslu Circuit Trek In May
Altitude sickness is a common concern for the trekkers who are embarking on the Manaslu circuit trek. When the altitude increases the oxygen level decreases with thinning of air. So your body has to adapt to the lower level of oxygen in higher elevations. If you cannot adapt, then you will face the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Moreover, this trek will incline you to an altitude of 5106 m, so you have to acclimate properly and take the trek at a slow pace to avoid AMS.
Being a transitional month, the Monsoon season knocks on the gate of May. The last weeks of May can have some changes in weather due to pre-monsoon rain. The light pre-monsoon rain will make the trails wet which can make your trekking inconvenient.
The monsoon usually begins from June in Nepal, but due to factors like global warming, the monsoon itself can arrive earlier than expected. The early arrival of monsoon brings the heavy rainfall at the end of May in the Manaslu region. If you are not prepared for rainfall, then it can create a huge difficulty in completing the Manaslu circuit trek.
Manaslu region has been open for trekking since 1991, but also this area feels more remote and unexplored in comparison with other trekking routes. The landscapes are dramatic, with rugged terrains, flowing streams, lush forests, trails with stone staircases, steep ascent and descent, and loose soil. Moreover, you will come across the frigid zone of ice and glaciers while making your way through Larke La Pass.
Long duration of hike
The Manaslu circuit trek is considered to be a moderate-difficulty trek that covers approximately 180 km to 230 km, depending upon the highlights and itinerary you choose. You will have to walk on the trails with rugged terrain for almost 14 to 20 days. Likewise, it will take you about 6 to 8 hours of hike to cover 9 km daily. Hence, novice trekkers may find this trek more taxing due to long hours of hike.
Accommodation And Food Options
It is a known fact that Manaslu circuit trails are among the solitude of mountains with no advanced development in terms of infrastructure. So, you may have access to basic accommodation and food options in tea houses and lodges. You may not be able to get network reception or Wi-Fi access at higher altitudes. Hence, this trek might be uncomfortable for you if you can’t adapt under uncertain circumstances.
Packing List For Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Moisture-soaking base of layered top and bottom
- Insulating layers of fleece
- Down jacket
- Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants
- Convertible trekking shorts
- Long-sleeved shirts and T-shirts
- Sun hat or cap, woolen beanie
- Extra pairs of socks and underwear
- Pair of gloves and gloves linen
- Buff or neck gaiter
- Sturdy and waterproof-fitting boots
- sandals or shoes for evenings during stay at teahouses
- Trekking poles
- Duffle bag
- Binoculars, camera
- Sleeping bag
- Headlamps and extra batteries for it
- UV-protective sunglasses
- Reusable water bottles
- Water-purifying iodine tablets
- Power bank,
- Universal charging cord
- Reusable water bottles and thermos flask
- Ice axe
Toiletries and personal hygiene
- Toothpaste, toothbrush
- Facewash and Hand sanitizer
- Sunscreen with SPF, body lotion
- lip balm
- Soap, shampoo and conditioner
- Quick dry towels, toilet paper
- Wet wipes and face towel
- Foot powder
- Personal medication (if any)
- Small first aid kit with all basic medications
Foods And Accommodations In The Manaslu Circuit Trek
Since the Manaslu circuit trek leads you towards the tranquillity of the off-the-beaten path, you will be offered a basic level of services and facilities.
The menus in the tea houses and lodges will have traditional and regional Nepalese foods along with some Indian, Tibetan, and foreign cuisines.
For breakfast, you can expect cereals, cornflakes, pancakes, puddings, toast, soups, congee, roti tarkari, selroti, and many more.
For lunch and dinner, you can have daal bhaat tarkari, momo, dumplings, pasta, thakali khana set, chowmein, pasta and many more.
The teahouse and lodges will offer you cold drinks, hot drinks, and even hard drinks. However hard drinks and huge consumption of coffee and tea are not recommended in the Manaslu circuit trek in May as they will disturb your acclimatization process.
You will be provided with twin sharing rooms where you can find two or three adjacent beds. Similarly, the rooms may have attached bathrooms of Western style in lower elevations. But as you progress to higher altitudes, you can find a traditional squat bathroom in the shared vicinity.
Moreover, these tea houses will have a communal dining area where you can interact with fellow trekkers and share your experience to widen the horizon of your friendship.
Is This Manaslu Circuit Trek Suitable For Me?
Manaslu Circuit Trek is suitable for anyone with a good level of physical fitness and mental resilience. Even novice trekkers can embark on the journey however it is better if they get some training for stamina boosting beforehand. Furthermore, you do not require any prior high-altitude trekking experience to complete the trek. If you have one, then it can be the extra point that will make your trek easy.
How Shall I Prepare Myself To Embark On Manaslu Circuit Trek During May
There are various training packages that will help you to increase your physical strength and boost your stamina. However, if you do not want to send on those tailored packages, then you can try doing some exercise at home by watching YouTube tutorials.
You can try swimming, planks, lunges and other cardiovascular exercises to enhance your physical fitness. Moreover, you can try to go on high-altitude hikes. Likewise, it is very essential to be mentally prepared for the trek. You will be walking amidst the lush forest on the rugged terrains. You cannot Uber if you feel tired or cannot walk further. Hence, having low expectations and preparing yourself for long hours of hiking can help to prepare you mentally for the Manaslu circuit trek in May.
Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola via Arughat(730m)
Day 02: Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (890m)
Day 03: Trek from Machha Khola (890m ) to Doban (1,070m)
Day 04: Trek from Doban (1,070m) to Philim (1,570m)
Day 05: Trek from Philim (1,570m) to Deng (1,860m)
Day 06: Trek from Deng (1,860m) to Ghap (2,250m)
Day 07: Trek from Ghap (2,250m) to Namrung (2,660m )
Day 08: Trek from Namrung (2,660m) to Lho (3,180m)
Day 09: Trek from Lho (3,180m) to Samagaun (3,530m)
Day 10: Acclimatization Day at Samagaun
Day 11: Trek from Samagaun (3,530m) to Samdo (3,875m)
Day 12: Trek from Samdo (3,875m ) to Dharamsala (4,480m)
Day 13: Trek from Dharamsala (4,480m ) to Bhimtang (3,720m) by crossing Larke la Pass (5,106m)
Day 14: Trek from Bhimtang (3,720m) to Gho (2,550m)
Day 15: Trek from Gho (2,550m) to Dharapani (1,910m)
Day 16: From Dharapani (1,910m) to Besisahar (760m / 2,493ft) – then drive back to Kathmandu.
Required Permits for Manaslu Circuit Trek In May
You will need to acquire three permits to complete the Manaslu circuit trek. The first permit is a special restricted area permit that will cost you about USD 75 per person for the first 7 days. However, once you exceed 7 days, you will have to pay an additional USD 10 per person per day.
Another permit that you need to acquire is the Manaslu conservation area permit, which will cost USD 30 per person. Likewise, the Annapurna conservation area permit will also cost you USD 30 per person, which will be applicable once you enter Dharapani until you cross Besi Sahar.
Precautions And Safety Measures To Take For Manaslu Circuit Trek In May
One of the affordable methods to avoid altitude sickness is by being hydrated. So make sure you drink about 3 to 4 liters of water daily and have a proper nutritious meal. Likewise, it is very necessary to give proper rest to your body so you can sleep soundly during your overnight stay in tea houses and lodges.
Some Useful Tips For Manaslu Circuit Trek In May
- Take porters and guides with you
- Do not ignore any indications of altitude sickness
- Always be alert and cautious
- Take a trek map and a small first-aid box with the necessary medications
- Take the trek lowly and take small breaks throughout the hike to catch a breath
- Be respectful of the culture and tradition of the region