Manaslu trek in December

Manaslu trek in December

Manaslu Circuit Trek is a pleasant off the beaten trails in the Gorkha district of Nepal. The month of December serves as an opportunity for the adventurers to trek this peaceful trail. You can enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna-Manaslu range in all its glory.


This virgin trail is less crowded than the other popular treks like the Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Circuit trek. Mt. Manaslu is the world’s eighth highest mountain at 8163m and we trek along the foothills of this magnificent mountain. The  diverse Manaslu trek in December passes through the subtropical forests at lower elevations and himalayan foothills at the higher elevations. 


We also cross the challenging Larkya La Pass (5,213 m) along the trail. December is in no doubt cold, but the region also looks its best with clear skies and stable weather. Some of the major attraction of the trek include frozen lakes, waterfalls, and streams. There is warm temperature during the day but the mornings and the nights are cold. 


Trekking the region in December has its own sets of challenges but for an adventure seeker it is also quite rewarding. If you want to know more about the Manaslu trek in December, you have come to the right place. Read below for detailed information regarding the trek and book your trip now!


Major Highlights of the Trek:


  • Exploring the diverse natural beauty of the Manaslu region
  • Crossing the stunning Larkya La Pass (5,213 m), the highest point on the trek
  • Exploring the rich culture of the Tibetan ethnic groups
  • Spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains including the Manaslu, Annapurna II, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang, Cheo Himal, and Kang Guru
  • Spotting rare wildlife including Agali (Blue Sheep), Tahr (Mountain Goat), Pika (Highest living mammals), and snow leopards
  • Exquisite sunrise and sunset view in the backdrop of the himalayan panorama
  • Experiencing the warm hospitality of the Nepalese people


What is the Weather Like in Manaslu Region in December?

December is the beginning of winter season in Nepal. The cold and dry conditions of the mountains make the trek challenging. However, you get compensated with clear unobstructed views of the mountains and the clear blue sky.


The weather conditions get harsh as you rise in elevation. The day time temperatures are moderate, whereas the nights and mornings are quite colder. The temperature can drop to -20 degrees Celsius in the night.


The trekking is best suited for an avid trekker looking for a quiet trekking adventure. The frozen landscapes of the Manaslu region will enthrall you. Overall, the weather is perfect for trekking in the daytime.



How Difficult is the Manaslu Trek in December?

The Manaslu trek is quite pleasant, especially if you trek the region in early December. However, the region turns extremely cold in the mornings and nights. 


There is a difficult Larkya La Pass (5,213 m) along the trail that is hard to cross in case of snowfall. Thick layers cover the trail making it difficult to locate the right path. Locals also migrate to lower altitudes to brave the cold. 


There are only a few tea houses open on the trail. The trek is an exciting and fulfilling experience. The Manaslu trek in December is a great way to test your inner strength to the core.



Why Trek the Manaslu Region in December?


✔ Off-The-Beaten-Path

Manaslu region is one of the stunning off-the-beaten teahouse treks in Nepal. Manaslu Trek is in close proximity to the capital city of Kathmandu and has been immensely popular since the trail was officially opened in 2010. Trekkers who had to camp previously can now stay in various teahouses. 


✔ Beautiful scenic trail

In terms of beauty, the scenic Manaslu circuit trek is second to none. Surrounded by mountains in all directions, the scenic trail passes through scenic lakes and waterfalls, and also the Larkya La Pass at 5,000m. The beautiful scenic trail is the primary attraction of the trek.


✔ Safe For Hikers 

Manaslu Trek starts to form a low altitude of 710m to the high pass of 5,150m. The trek is at a languid pace and takes about 9-10 days to its highest point. 


This ensures there is ample time to adapt and cope with altitude sickness through acclimatization. The moderate trek is safer in comparison to other treks in Nepal.


✔ Less Tourist 

The Manaslu region is less crowded compared to Everest base camp, Annapurna base camp, and other trails. The number significantly decrease in December. Only 8,000 tourist visits the Manaslu region as compared to 30,000 visitors every year for the Everest base camp trek. 


✔ Budget trek at a bargain price

Manaslu Trek is cheaper than the famous Everest Base Camp trek. Manaslu Trek doesn’t require an expensive flight ticket like the Everest region trek. 


Manaslu Trek well connected via land and can reach via a local bus service to the trailhead. Furthermore, you will get accommodation, meals, and other facilities at a bargain price since December is the offseason.



Other Trek Packages: 12 Days Manaslu Trek | 16 Days Manaslu Trek



Food and Accommodation in the Manaslu Trek during December?


The trails are empty are most of the tea houses shut shop. However, the ones open will serve you wholeheartedly, and you will get the typical Nepal meal of “Dal Bhat” twice a day. Dal Bhat usually consists of rice, dal (pulses), lentils, spinach, meat, and a variety of pickles.


In Samagaon, you can enjoy various western and continental cuisines, as well. As you move up the altitude, the food and accommodation facilities get limited. However, you can get thukpa, which is a noodle soup, even the highest of altitudes. This hot meal keeps you warm and charges you for the trek.


You can get a shared room with bathroom along the trail for USD 6- 9. In the off season month of december, you can get a room all by yourself.


Is Hiring a Guide and Porter Necessary in the Manaslu Trek?


For the Manaslu Circuit Trek, a guide or porter is essential you hire a guide or porter. The change in the weather in the mountains over a short period can cause various problems along the trail. There are also occasional snowstorms during this time of the year. 


Your safety is of prime importance, and you must take a guide, especially at the Larkya Pass. They can guide you to the safest route and lead you to the closest tea houses. If the trail gets covered with snow, walking the Manaslu trail with heaps of luggage can be quite taxing. Thus, you can also hire a porter to shred some weight off your back.


Hiring a porter will set you free from the baggage burden, and this will allow you to focus on your own safety. A guide is available for around USD 25 per day and a porter for USD 15 -20 before tips.


Altitude Sickness in the Manaslu Trek during December


The Manaslu trek walks along a high altitude region with the maximum altitude reaching 5213 m. So, altitude sickness is quite common in trekkers. During late December, the weather is extremely cold, which can cause other problems as well.


You should acclimatize properly and rest well along the trail. The trek of Manaslu might be moderate, but the long walks can get quite strenuous. We start our trek from Soti Khola(710m) and trek towards the majestic Larkya Pass (5213m). 


The risk of altitude sickness is high in the mountains. Trekking in a slow and steady pace helps you to cope with the AMS (Acute mountain sickness). It is always better to descend some elevation if the sickness doesn’t go away. You should also forfeit the trek if necessary.


Consult your guide or porter and take the necessary precautions as it can turn fatal. One pro tip is to avoid alcohol at all costs. The consumption of alcohol increases the risk of altitude sickness.



Trekking Permit for Manaslu Trek

The trekking permit for the Manaslu trek cost varies upon the season you seek to trek. The regular permit fee from September to November, is USD 70 per week and an additional USD 10 per day after that.


From December to August, the trekking permit fee is USD 50 per week per person, with an additional USD 7 per day. Hence this cost is perfect for budget travelers.


The cost of the Annapurna Conservation Area permit, and Manaslu Conservation Area permit is USD 20 each. The TIMS card is only necessary if you plan to trek the Annapurna Base Camp as well.



Things to Pack for the Manaslu Circuit Trek in December:


Since you will be traveling in December, you need to pack heavy. To make your journey successful, you will undoubtedly need essential trekking equipment and gears on the way. So, you must pack these items for the trek:


  • Waterproof trekking pants/trousers
  • Trekking boots
  • Short-sleeved trekking shirts
  • Thermals
  • Water and windproof outlier jacket and pants 
  • Fleece sweaters
  • Down jacket
  • Woollen trekking socks
  • Warm woollen cap and gloves
  • Liner socks
  • Ski goggles 
  • Umbrella or raincoat



  • Quick-dry towel
  • Shampoo
  • Soap 
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Sanitizer 


First Aid

  • Diamox tablets
  • Sunscreen
  • Water purification tablets
  • Anti-nauseant medication
  • Mosquito and insect repellent
  • Rehydration salts 


Five Essential Tips for the Manaslu Trek:


Pack properly

You will be traveling during the start of the winter season; hence, you need to pack sufficient protective gear and warm clothes. Dress in layers so that you can add or remove layers of clothes when required. 


Also, carry comfortable sleeping bags and down jackets to protect yourself from the harsh winters. Use a trekking pole if the trails get covered in snow. 


Furthermore, you need to pack regular trekking items like trekking shoes, trekking clothes, thermals, gloves, emergency lights, ski-goggles, toiletries, first aid kit, and others. 


Start your trek early 

The winter days are short in the region. You have to trek for more than 7-8 hours on an average foro nine to ten days at a stretch. There can be some occasional rainfall that may require you to stop the trek at times. Hence, by starting early, you can reach your destination safe and sound before it gets dark. 


Acclimatize and hydrate regularly

The Manaslu trek moves along the height of 4000m and above, which means the oxygen levels are at a bare minimum leading to altitude sickness. The main “mantra” to trek the Manaslu region and cope with altitude sickness is to go slow and steady with regular acclimatization and hydration.


All trekkers trekking the region must go through this process and should not skip it. You can also relax and observe the beautiful scenic landscapes around the region. Hydrating regularly also increases the oxygen levels in your body. Trekking uphill and downhill simultaneously also helps to cope with the altitude sickness


Get proper training and preparation

The Manaslu trek is moderate, but preparing for the trek never goes to waste. A proper training regime will help you increase your fitness level. Along with that, you need to maintain a nutritious diet and regular water intake. 


You can also do some cardiovascular activities like cycling, hiking, swimming, and others. This will help you with the rough terrains of the Manaslu region. 


Get A Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must when you trek these high altitude conditions. You are vulnerable, and accidents can happen at these harsh terrains. The travel insurance changes according to the companies offering it, and generally, they cover injuries, flight cancellations, evacuation, and other headings. 


The cost of the helicopter evacuation at these high altitude conditions is around $5000 to $10000. So, get yourself travel insurance before you commence on the trek. Many insurance packages only offer coverage up to 4000m. Hence, you should get yourself an insurance package that covers an altitude of 4000m and above.


The Final Say:


Manaslu Trek is a moderate level trek and anyone with a basic level of physical and mental fitness can complete this trek. You also get to experience the diverse flora and fauna of the region. 


There are lesser number of trekkers in December and you can get the accommodation and other facilities at a bargain price. Overall, Manaslu trek in December is perfect for someone who loves trekking in a quiet trail at their own pace.        


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