The Manaslu region is rich for its vegetation, wildlife, and culture. This is mainly because of its geographical diversity. And, the Manaslu Circuit Trek in March offers you the best of the Manaslu Region.
March, the beginning of Spring with moderately stable weather and picturesque views. So, it is the perfect time for the Manaslu Circuit trek. March initiates the second best trekking month in Manaslu region. So, you will find the trails quite peaceful as compared to other peak months.
This makes it just right time for trekkers seeking to enjoy the unscathed trails of the Himalayas but in peace and solidarity.
Lying in the central western part of Nepal, at around 64 kilometers east of Annapurna is Mt Manaslu. It stands 8,136 m tall and is the eighth highest peak in the world.
The area surrounding Mt Manaslu is a conservation area and it covers a total of 1,663 sq km. It is also home to 33 species of mammals like the snow leopard, musk deer, and Himalayan Thar.
Other than animals, you will also find over 1500-2000 species of flowers and over 110 species of birds.
Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek in March
- View rhododendrons, local flora, and fauna in full bloom.
- Crystal clear weather of March will provide you with the best views of the mountains.
- Crossing the longest and the most dramatic pass, the Larkya La Pass- 5,153 meters is safest at Spring.
- Amazing experience of witnessing the wildlife of the Manaslu Conservation Area.
- You will get an opportunity to see the glacial and fresh-water lakes and waterfall in March which otherwise dries out by mid-spring.
- The famous off the beaten trails of the Manaslu Circuit will neither be muddy, slippery or covered with snow.
- The trails will not overcrowd which promises a peaceful trek and accessible accommodations and food.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Weather in March
One important factor to consider during Manaslu Circuit Trek is the weather.
Manaslu is a high altitude trek and takes you to a maximum altitude of 5,213 meters. So, the high altitude regions have cold weather throughout the year.
Also, the weather in high altitudes normally remains unstable. So, it is best to prepare yourself for the weather changes that you may face.
The month of March falls in the spring season in Nepal. It is the first month of Spring. The weather is neither too cold nor too hot. Hence, it is a great time to trek in Nepal.
Spring is the season for flowers and vegetation and you will see plenty of flowers blooming on the trail.
Since it is also the first month after winters in Nepal, it is also the coldest month of Spring. The temperature can go as low as -6 degrees in the higher regions of the trail.
You may even experience slight rain in the lower sections of the trail, so come prepared for the rain.
Permits Required for Manaslu Circuit Trek in March
Trekking in the Manaslu Region requires an additional restricted area permit. It is also mandatory that you take a registered guide with you during this trek. Solo treks are not allowed to trek in this region.
Here is the list of permits you will need for the Manaslu Circuit Trek:
Restricted Area Permit:
USD 50 for first 7 days and USD 7 per day thereafter.
( During the peak seasons, the cost of this permit is a bit more expensive i.e. USD 70 for the first week and USD 10 per day thereafter.)
Manaslu Conservation Area Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit:
SAARC Nationals: USD 2 per person
Other nationals: USD 20 per person
Tsum Valley Permit
If you are trekking Manaslu Circuit via Tsum Valley, you will need to get an additional Tsum Valley Permit.
Its cost is USD 25 for the first 8 days for the months of December-August.
Otherwise, for the peak months September-November it is USD 35 for the first 8 days.
The starting point of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is Soti Khola and the ending point is the Dharapani Village.
There are various options of transportation to get to Soti Khola from Kathmandu and Pokhara. Similarly, you will get as many options to get to Kathmandu and Pokhara from Dharapani.
Kathmandu to Soti Khola via Arughat
Since there is no direct public transportation, you will have to change vehicles at Arughat. It will take you approximately 6-7 hours to get to Arughat from Kathmandu.
You can take a local bus from Kathmandu to Arughat. From there you will find jeeps and minibuses frequenting the Arughat-Soti Khola route.
Private jeeps: The another way of getting to Soti Khola is by a private jeep. This is an easier and more comfortable way of traveling but is much more expensive compared to the local transport.
The private tourist jeeps with the green plate will take you directly to Soti Khola. But private jeeps with the red plate will have to stop at Arughat from where you will have to switch to a locally owned private jeep.
Dharapani to Kathmandu/ Pokhara via Beshi Sahar
After you finish your trek and reach Dharapani, you can either take a local jeep or a private jeep to get to Beshi Sahar. It takes approximately 5 hours to reach Beshi Sahar from Dharapani.
Local jeeps depart almost every hour or when fully loaded with passengers. And for private jeeps, you will need to make reservations.
And once you reach Beshi Sahar, you can take a local bus to Pokhara or Kathmandu. You will easily find local buses leaving on a frequent basis and it will be an easy and smooth ride home.
You can also take a private jeep or other private vehicles to Pokhara and Kathmandu.
The trip to Pokhara will take approximately 4-5 hours and 5-6 hours to Kathmandu.
Food and Accommodation
March is the time when most of the tea houses open after closing down for winters. Trekkers slowly increase in numbers and the trail starts getting busier.
You might want to make bookings for accommodation and food in advance to ensure you have a good place to stay and eat during your trek.
Most teahouses offer standard accommodation. Some might offer additional services too.
It is mostly a simple twin bedroom with an attached bathroom which is usually shared between two people. But, since March is not the peak season, you might get a room to yourself if you want.
The food on the tea houses is quite basic. The menu mostly consists of Dal-Bhat, Chowmein, Mo: Mo, etc.
The most popular choice being the local Dal-Bhat, which is a meal consisting of steamed rice with side vegetables and a bowl of lentil soup. It is a very healthy and a fulfilling meal.
For drinks, you will usually have choices of some soft drink, tea, coffee, flavored hot, and cold drinks.
In March, the trail is usually not overflowing with trekkers, hence you will not have to wait for your food in line and the service will also be better.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek begins from Arughat with a scenic drive from Kathmandu.
From Arughat, the trail follows the beautiful Manaslu Valley. You will then pass through villages like Soti Khola, Machha Khola, Jagat, Samdo etc.
March falls in the Spring season which is the season of flowers and greenery. You will witness rhododendron and other wildflowers in full bloom in the lower regions. The forests and vegetation will also be lush green and pleasing to the eyes.
Since the skies are mostly clear with almost no rain in the upper regions, you will get crystal clear views of the magnificent mountains like Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal and many more.
March is also the month when most wild animals come out of their winter hibernation. And, if you are lucky you might get a glimpse of it.
The Manaslu Conservation Area is home to many wildlife like the snow leopard, Asian black bear, blue sheep etc.
Packing List for March
- Base layers: Thermal shirts and trousers to lock in heat.
- Mid layers: Lightweight fleece jackets and hiking pants.
- Upper Layers: Warm, waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers. This is to protect yourself from the cold in the higher altitudes and occasional rain.
Handwear and Footwear
- Light and insulated gloves
- Sturdy but comfortable hiking boots
- Breathable and moisture absorbing socks
- Comfortable sneakers or sandals for walking around in the villages and tea houses after the trek
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Dark UV protected sunglasses
- Warm beanies or buff for higher altitudes
- Lightweight and foldable trekking poles. These are great for using when ascending and descending to take some pressure off your legs.
- Crampons to use when crossing the Larkya La Pass.
- Torchlight or headlamp to use when trekking early morning or for walking around at night.
- It is important to stay hydrated during trekking so bring a water bottle to use on the trail.
- Camera to take pictures of the amazing views of the mountains and scenery.
- Get a good portable charger to charge your electronics.
- A rainproof backpack to fit in all your essential items during the trek.
- Good Quality Duffel bag for rest of your trekking items.
- Sleeping bag with liner
- Get an ebook to pass time during acclimatizing days.
- Microfiber towels
- Travel size toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissue paper)
- Light snacks like energy bars and chocolates.
Tips for Manaslu Circuit Trek in March
- Travel as light as possible and bring only the necessary items with you. The Manaslu Trail is an off-the-beaten-trail and you do not want to be adding additional strain with your heavy load.
- The lower regions might experience some rain, so come prepared with the proper rain gears.
- It is advisable to book your accommodations and food in advance before starting the trek to ensure yourself a good place to stay and eat.
- Please research in advance about the trek to avoid any misconceptions and problems.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek in March is a perfect choice to trek in Manaslu region. The nature with blooming flowers, fresh and green vegetation is absolutely blissful.
If you like your space and want to enjoy the beauty without a lot of people around, March is a good time. It is a great way to avoid the crowd of trekkers flowing in during the Spring.
Since it is the first month after winter, the flow of trekkers will only increase thereafter. The clear skies make it a perfect time to get amazing views of the mountains.
For further questions and information, please contact us.