Manaslu Conservation Area is located in the north-central Nepal. The park contains 34 named & many unnamed mountains, the tallest and most prominent peak of which is Manaslu at 8,163 m (26,782 ft.) in elevation with 3,098 m (10,164 ft.) .
The Manaslu Conservation Area is situated within the Mansiri Himal range, in north-central Nepal. The park distance is 1,663 sq. km (642 sq. mi) of land across the Manaslu region in the Gorkha District of the country.
The Elevations in the manaslu conservation area range from 1,400 m (4,593 ft.) up to the summit of Manaslu at 8,163 m (26,782 ft.) in elevation.
The valley within the Manaslu Conservation Area is numerous endangered species. Both snow leopards and red pandas find solitude in this conservation area, in hopes of helping their populations thrive.
There are Other common mammals in the conservation area include the Asian black bear, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, musk deer, grey wolf, dhole, Assam macaque, and various others. Much of the wildlife conservation in the region has been achieved through the work of monks and local monasteries, many of which have implemented hunting bans in the area.
The lower elevations, in the deep valleys of the conservation area, are dominated by a forested landscape. Here, rhododendron and blue pine are common amongst the 19 different types of forest.
The Higher elevations in the conservation area of Manaslu have sparse amounts of vegetation. Above the treeline, medicinal herbs and various aromatic plants can be found along with alpine grasses.
Major Trails & Hiking Areas
The main summit of Manaslu is rarely climbed, even by expert mountaineers, there are various other trails through the Manaslu Conservation Area. Here are some of the top hiking areas to visit in the park:
Birendra Lake in Manaslu Circuit – A famous acclimatization side trip from Samagaun
The trail to Birendra Lake starts near the Samagau village. Samagaun village is located in the northwestern region of the Manaslu conservation area. The route to the lake is just 4 km (2.5 miles) from Samagaun village with its elevation gain of 139 m (456 ft) from samagaun to the lake.
Birendra lake has awesome reflection of Mt Manaslu on its blue surface. However in the winter trekking to Manaslu circuit trail – this lake will be frozen. During winter you can walk on top of Birendra lake. But walking on the lake is not recommended from the religious prospective.
Lakes in the Himalaya are believed to be the symbol of deities. For your information – this lake is named after the late king of Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah. Birendra used to visit this lake quite often.
Tsum Valley or Larke Pass
Tsum valley trail of Manasllu conservation area is hidden valley in the mountain. In the deep river valley – walking through the narrow trekking trail takes to famous Tsum region. Village like Lokpa, Chhule, Mu gompa, Rachen Gompa, Nile,Chumling still preserves the Tibetan frangnence of the traditional life.
Whereas Larkey pass is more modern than the Tsum region. Tsum valley trail is more untouched than Larkey pass tral without Tsum valley.
For your information – you can do Larkey pass rekking without Tsum Valley. You also can to Tsum valley trekking alone. Doing Tsum valley trekking alone – will not make circuit trekking.
Whereas doing Tsum valley with Larkey pass and with Manaslu base camp will make a long circuit trekking inside Manaslu conservation area. This long trekking will be 19 days trip into the restricted region of Nepal Himalaya.
Things to do in Manaslu Conservation Area
- Manaslu Trekking
- Tsum Valley Trek
- Bhimtang Valley trek
- Manaslu Expedition
- Cultural trekking in non restricted region of Manaslu region – Lower Manaslu circuit trek
- Self Guided trekking product of Nepalgram
- Larkey peak Climbing – Peak with Manaslu cicuit trekking
Diving into Manaslu Trekking
Manaslu Circuit Trek has maximum flexibility in the finish line.
This is because the road construction in the Annapurna circuit trail. Because of motorable road – Manaslu circuit trail from Dharapani to Besishahar can be skipped with the jeep. This section of trekking trail is at the end of the Manaslu circuit trekking itinerary.
Manaslu trekking connects with famous Annapurna circuit trekking route at Dharapani village. There is road way from Besishar to Manang in the trail of Annapurna circuit. However, there are alternative routes to skip the roadways of Annapurna circuit.
Manaslu is one of the famous & most visited restricted trekking trail of Nepal. To trek in this restricted trail of Manaslu – every trekkers need to take special permit from the immigration department of Nepal government. Also, solo trekkers are not allowed. You must have a group for manaslu circuit trekking. And, you need to hire a government licence holder guide for the trek to Manaslu Larkey pass.
Manaslu circuit trekking is highlighted above all other restricted region of Nepal is because “Larke Pass” is the longest pass in the world. Also, this trek is accessible easily than other trails. From the beauty of nature – you explore wide range of mountains, lake, glacier, base camp, high pass & villages along the trekking route of manaslu circuit trek.
While walking around 8th highest mountain of the world “Mt. Manaslu” at 8163M. Trekkers will have fantastic experience – similar to walking around the temple. However the walk will be in anticlockwise direction. Anticlockwise from the prospective of scenery, altitude difference in between destinations & acclimatization point of view. Over all it is a lovely walk.
Getting to Manaslu base camp makes this trek even better. Mt Manaslu is also known as killer mountain; hence walking to the basecamp of the killer mountains will sound interesting.
Trekking pass over Larkey La; is still a trading route of people in Samagaun and Samdo. Muels cross Larkey pass to fetch things to another side of the pass.
After crossing larke pass, we will get close to the starting point of Annapurna circuit trek.
Tsum Valley Trek – an alternative option if you have spare days for Manaslu trekking
The Tsum valley is one of world’s remote Himalayan valley, bordering with Tibet. Due to its remoteness, this sacred valley and its people have been bypassed by development for centuries.
Government of Nepal decided opening Tsum valley for trekking only in 2008AD. As a result of listed under restricted trail of Nepal, the unique culture of this valley has remained intact. Amazing culture & traditional life in the Tsum region can still be witnessed in Tsum valley trek.
There are historic monasteries, Rachel Gompa and Mu Gompa nestled in picturesque valleys.
Major Attraction of Manaslu plus Tsum Valley Trek
- Less-crowded and serene landscapes
- Stunning views of Nubri & Tsum Valley
- Mountains that will take your breath away: Mount Manslu, Himchuli, Ganesh, Singri, Bouddha
- Unique traditions, ancient culture and Buddhist’s temples
- Natural hot water pond at Tatopani
- Explore remote wilderness with natural silence
- Feel the warmth of local people while visiting famous settlements like Samagaun Village, smado, Nile, Chhekampar etc…
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Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek is close to Chinese boarder & very far from the city and hazards of the crowds. Nepal china boarder is separated by mountains. For your information – one can get to the Tibet/China from samdo village of Manaslu circuit trekking trail. China is also accessible from the Tsum valley. Both of these routes used to be trading route in the history.
Tsum valley is a virgin destination located at the inner mountain behind the towering hills. One of the best destinations for those who love walking in a less crowded area is for sure Tsum valley.
Culture & Local Tradition
Many fests like Lhosar, Dhacyhang, Saka Dawa, Faning etc are common in both Tsum valley & Manaslu region. This trail comprises the dominance of Buddhist people, thus trekking to this secret part of Nepal makes trekkers see different life, amazing people and their antique tradition, unique culture and devotion to Buddha.
Manaslu conservation area has helped the villagers to keep this taste untouched. Very kind people on the trail do not hesitate to involve with you and well- come you to their home if you want.
During the manaslu tsum valley trek, we reach to a place called Tato pani where we take shower in natural hot water. Here “tato” means “hot” and “pani” means “water in Nepal”. It is believed that this natural hot spring helps to heal the skin disease.
What is the best Season for Manaslu Tsum valley Trek?
Alike to other trekking regions in Nepal; Tsum valley trek is suitable in autumn and Spring. Autumn =September, October, November whereas, Spring = March, April & May.
However, Tsum valley has enough villages and tea house along the trekking route to trek in other season as well. Most of the tea houses along the route are open through out the year. However – destinations like Dharmashala, Bhimtang might not open all around year. But a trekking guide can make sure you can open those destinations if you want to trek in the low seasons. Low season for trekking in manaslu & Tsum is in June/July, Dec/Jan.
Trekking to Manaslu in winter is completely fine if you can ignore the temperature to negative 10 degree Celsius.
About the trek Difficulty
Manaslu Tsum valley trek is not a difficult trek at all. It is a trek in the remote destination, so accommodation and food will be simple, but the trekking trail is all right.
If you forget your luxury for few days, Manaslu Tsum valley trek will give you a best adventure in your Nepal trip. Exploring the hidden part of Nepal, trip inside Manaslu conservation area is more than just a trek.
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