Is it the renowned Annapurna Circuit or the magnificent Manaslu Circuit that you prefer? In addition to difficult terrain and amazing Himalayan views, both treks offer cultural immersion. 

We’ll explore the distinctive qualities of each route in this comparison, from the isolated towns to the towering peaks, to help you choose which trip most appeals to you.

Comparison Table: Manaslu Circuit Vs Annapurna Circuit

Quick FactsManaslu CircuitAnnapurna Circuit
LocationGorkha District, West-Central NepalAnnapurna Region, West-Central Nepal
Trek Duration14-18 days12-21 days
Trek Distance173 km (107 miles)230 km (145 miles)
Maximum ElevationLarkya La Pass (5,106m/16,752ft)Thorung La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft)
Difficulty LevelChallengingModerate to Challenging
Best Trekking SeasonSpring (March-May), Autumn (Sept-Nov)Spring (March-May), Autumn (Sept-Nov)
Cultural HighlightsRemote Nubri and Tsum Valleys, Tibetan Buddhism influenceDiverse ethnic groups (Gurung, Magar, Thakali), Hinduism and Buddhism influence
AccommodationBasic teahouses and campingTeahouses and lodges
Permits RequiredRestricted Area Permit, Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, Annapurna Conservation Area PermitAnnapurna Conservation Area Permit, Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card
Crowd LevelsLow to moderateModerate to high
SceneryStunning mountain vistas, glaciers, forests, high-altitude landscapesDiverse landscapes from terraced fields to high-altitude desert


Overview of the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a marvelous trek that blends natural and cultural views in Nepal’s Manaslu region. The trail was made accessible in 1991 AD as a restricted area trip requiring a special trek permit. 

With the construction of tea houses in 2010, its recognition gained even more significance. After traversing suspension bridges, roaring rivers, and ethnic towns, you eventually reach the challenging Larkya La Pass (5106m).

The subtropical area, which is mostly covered in dense trees, is where the Manaslu Circuit walk starts. Trekking to Manalsu is an essential experience in Nepal if you’re searching for something different and daring. 

Overview of the Annapurna Circuit Trek

Of all the great treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the finest way to experience the most diverse landscape and views. It happens in Nepal’s Annapurna Region. 

Trekkers go through enormous glacial valleys, dusty high-altitude moonscapes, and the lush rice paddies of the Himalayan foothills. They also cross dizzying spans of swinging suspension bridges. 

The path is surrounded continuously by the magnificent, snow-capped peaks of the world’s highest mountains, the Annapurna range.

One of the best and most accessible ways to experience high-altitude hiking in the Himalayas is along the Annapurna Circuit. Thus, be sure to arrive prepared, be physically strong, and have a good dose of respect for the alpine environment.

Duration and Distance

Duration and Distance of Manaslu Circuit Trek

This is the main cause of the Manaslu Circuit Trek’s difficulty for hikers. Given that the trek for Manaslu Circuit spans a considerable distance of roughly 177 kilometers (110 miles), it is evident that this distance should not be taken lightly. These 177 km usually take more than 14 to 20 days to complete, depending on the schedule and level of physical ability.

Similar to that, this never-ending daily slog requires navigating a variety of terrain, such as tiny routes, rocky trails, steep ascents, and river crossings. It is really difficult to sustain endurance for such a long time. Trekking for several hours a day can be physically and mentally taxing, resulting in weariness and painful muscles.

Duration and Distance of Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trekking routes vary in length from 160 to 230 km, contingent upon the mode of transportation chosen and the destination of the trek’s conclusion. You will walk eight to fifteen kilometers each day while on the expedition.

The hike across the Annapurna Circuit takes about eighteen days total, including travel time. You can simply increase or decrease the number of days or length of days that you choose to dedicate to trekking.

While trekking in the hilly areas, the journey can be straightforward, but higher up in the mountains, it can become more challenging. It will be quite windy while you walk in the landscape, which could be grassland or even snow.

Difficulty Level

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty Level

We recommend the Manaslu Circuit Journey to experienced hikers exclusively because to its demanding nature. The walk is difficult and passes through a remote area with little supplies. The trail winds along steep, rocky, and wooded slopes with a number of uphill climbs and downhills. Similar to this, hikers have to withstand great heights and survive on the barest essentials.

Walking up and down hills and through the terrifyingly steep Budi Gandaki Gorge make the first few days of the path quite challenging. The hardest aspect of this journey is crossing the 5,106-meter (16,752-foot) Larkya La Pass, which requires a strenuous day hike over snow- and ice-covered routes. 

Altitude sickness and your capacity to adapt to the high elevations are two significant challenges that you may encounter during the walk due to the wide fluctuations in height. If you don’t try to do it in the winter, you don’t need any specific hanging, rope-climbing, or mountaineering abilities. Even if you are a novice, you still need to be in excellent physical condition.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty Level

It is thought that the Annapurna Circuit Trek (ACT) is a moderate trek. Although technical climbing is not required, some hiking experience is beneficial. The routes will change and the walk will pass through diverse terrain. 

To just a few, you can come across steep ascents and descents full of loose boulders, muddy jeep roads following a downpour, and rivers that unexpectedly cross the trail. The altitude will make the hike more difficult the higher you go, so remember to fully acclimate (no more than 400 meters per day) and take breaks when necessary.

Final Say

The treks on the Manaslu and Annapurna circuits are both excellent. They have intriguing villages, stunning mountains, and strenuous hiking routes. 

Manaslu is quieter and farther away. With more teahouses, Annapurna is more well-liked. Choose the trek experience that best suits your needs after considering the kind of trek you want to take.

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