Tsum valley and Manaslu Trek - 21 Days

Trip Cost
US$ 1375 (Per Person)

Trip Details

  • Destination: Nepal
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Transportation: NA
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The Tsum Valley and Manaslu Trek is one of the best off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal. The most prominent of the peaks are Baudha Himal, Gorkha Himal and Himal Chuli. the area is bordered by two major river systems.  To the east Budhi Gandaki and to the west Marshandi Khola.  The biggest attraction of this trek is the views of the Manaslu range and the Annapuna ranges, combined with the forest and animal life along the ridge. The route starts from Gorkha.  The route follows the rugged gorge of the Budhi Gandaki river through native Gurung country.  A number of large Buddhist monasteries are to be seen in the upper reaches of the Budhi Gandaki.

The range of geographical and climatic regions has led to a diverse variety of flora and fauna with in this region.  These parts of area are heavily cultivated and the landscape, therefore, largely consists of terraced paddy fields and rolling hills. The area is also famous for its winter crops of oranges, which can be purchased fresh from the trees along the trails in the foothills. As you progress higher up into the hills the natural vegetation changes from the tropical species to more temperate stands of forest trees including oak, beech and rhododendron. These finally give way to coniferous forests of pine and, ultimately, juniper just below the tree line. In the rain shadow, to the north of the mountains, the landscape is quite barren being an extension south of the Tibetan plateau. The higher up in the hills the natural vegetation changes from the tropical species to more temperate stands of forest trees including oak, beech and rhododendron. There is a variety of animals that can be spotted, including the barking deer and Himalayan marmots above the tree line. Pheasants may be seen in the jungles just below the tree line as well as all of the usual alpine birds including ravens, coughs and various birds of prey.

This is a challenging trek that is not without some risks. The crossing of Thorong La can be dangerous at times, especially during unexpected snowfall so potential trekkers must make sure that they are well prepared and equipped for all events. The trek can be completed in a minimum of fifteen days, starting in Kathmandu and finishing in Pokhara. If a few extra days are allowed for it is then possible to enjoy several of the possible side trips and add immeasurably to the experience.

The first few days of the trek follow the Marshyangdi through scattered farming communities by a mixer predominantly composed of Gurungs but with a sizeable numbers of Brahmin communities. A feature of this section of the trek is the number of high waterfalls that cascade down into the main river. The valley rises slowly slow altitude sickness is rarely a problem at this stage.  After a four days on the trail the river, which has been flowing from the north changes its course and flows from the west. At this point the landscape changes with steep rocky gorges on its side and large stands of pine making up the forest cover.  Look for a number of ancient temples, some of which represent the pre-Buddhist, Bon religion.

The Tsum Valley has long history of Buddhism. The Buddhist saint Milarewa is believed to be meditated in the caves of these mountains. Traditionally, the valley was a culturally distinct geographical called “Tsum Tso Chuksum”, which means thirteen provinces ruled as a single territory. The ancient remains of the Tsum Kingdom are still visible today. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, this sacred valley and its people have been bypassed by mainstream development for centuries. As a result, the unique culture of this valley has remained intact.

The valley is drained by the Shear Khola, which originates from the western glacier of Ganesh Himal and east and southern glaciers of Sringi Himal and meets the Budhi Gandaki at Nyak.
The valley is uniquely rich in wildlife, especially the Himalayan Thar and Blue Sheep which congregates in herds of 50 to 200. Hunting and fishing are not permitted in the Tsum Valley. The valley also boasts some unique and historic monasteries, including Rachen Gumba and Mu Gumba, which lie on a pretty plateau nestled in the lap of the valley, and Gumba Lungdang which is situated at the base of a conical hill.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01:Arrival and Transfer to Hotel in Kathmandu (1340m)
  • Day 02:Free day in Kathmandu or self sightseeing around valley (option are)
  • Day 03:Kathmandu to Arughat bazar (870m) by local bus or by private jeep. the bus journey will take 6 -7 hours then jeep 4 to Soti Khola (790m).
  • Day 04:Soti Khola to Machha Khola (869m) 5 hour of walking
  • Day 05:Machha Khola to Jagat (1340m) 6-7 hour of walking (Resticated area start)
  • Day 06:Jagat To Lok Pa (2240m) 5-6 hour of walking
  • Day 07:Lokpa to Chumling (2386m) to Chukkum Paro (3031m) 7-8 hour of walking
  • Day 08:Nile/Chule (3300m) 4 hour of walking
  • Day 09:Mu Gompa (3700m) and Nile 5 hour of walking
  • Day 10:Return back to Chumling village. 8 hrs of walking
  • Day 11:Nyak Phedi (1760m) 7 hour of walking
  • Day 12:Nyak Phedi to Bi Phedi (1990m) 5-6 hour of walking
  • Day 13:Bi Phedi to Namrung ( 2630m) 6-7 hour of walking
  • Day 14:Namrung to Sama Goau (3520 ) 6-7 hour of walking
  • Day 15:Sama Gompa to Manasulu base camp and return back to Sama Gompa
  • Day 16:Sama Goau to Samdo (3790m) 3-4 hour of walking at the afternoon side trip to local village.
  • Day 17:Samdo to Larke Bazaar (4460m) 4 hour of walking. it is good day for acclimatization before crossing Larke pass.
  • Day 18:Rest house –Larke pass to Bhimathang village (4066m) 8-9 hour of walking
  • Day 19:Bhimthang to Tilje ( 1963m) to Dharapani village. 8-9 hrs of walking
  • Day 20:Dharapani to Besisahar by local jeep, Besisahar to Kathmandu by local bus.
  • Day 21:Departure from Nepal

What's Includes:

  • 17 nights and 18 days of food and accommodation during trek (local lodge)
  • Transportation from Kathmandu to trekking departure point, and back to Kathmandu after trek
  • English speaking local expert guide, porters(porter carry maximum 20 k.g and one porter between two person)
  • Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) fees
  • Annapurna Conservation permit (ACAP)
  • Special permits for Tsum Valley (valid for 8 days) and Manaslu (valid for 10 days) regions - bring three photos for the permits
  • Three nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu at bed and breakfast
  • Airport transfers and escort
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • Equipment & clothing for porter & staffs
  • Equipment (sleeping bag, first aid kit, oximeter etc.)
  • Insurance for all staff & porters.

What's Excludes:

  • Nepal visa - Multiple Entry 30 days - USD 40  (Details in Visa Page)
  • International flight & all domestic airfare
  • Insurance for clients (i.e. helicopter evacuation, etc.)
  • Lunch & dinner during hotel stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Shower and electronic charging fees at guest houses during the trek
  • Hot shower during trek
  • Alcoholic drinks, candies, etc.
  • Extra accommodation and meals outside of itinerary
  • Personal gears & clothing (available on hire)
  • Tips, any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/road block due to any reason, table drinks, snacks while walking. 

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01Arrival and Transfer to Hotel in Kathmandu (1340m)Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the Adventure Himalayan representatives will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel. After refreshment, you will be briefed in short about your tour by our guide or tour leader. If you have any questions or doubts about your trip then they should be asked and clarified at this time. Overnight stay at hotel.
  • Day 02Free day in Kathmandu or self sightseeing around valley (option are)Kathmandu Valley includes several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Pashupatinath (famous Hindu temple and cremation ground) Boudhanath (massive Buddhist stupa). We can also visit Swyambhunath, also known as Monkey Temple, which was built roughly 2000 years ago. Finally, we can visit Patan, city of fine arts. In the afternoon, you will be meeting with your trekking guide and will check all the necessary things. Overnight stay at the hotel.
  • Day 03Kathmandu to Arughat bazar (870m) by local bus or by private jeep. the bus journey will take 6 -7 hours then jeep 4 to Soti Khola (790m).The road till Dhading has a asphalt. The unpaved road from Dhading to Arughat Bazaar is sometimes impassable after heavy monsoon rain. In this case it takes 3 to 4 hours of walking. Arughat Bazar is small market town that lies next to Buri Gandaki river. From here, we take a jeep to Soti Khola. Overnight in Tea house.
  • Day 04Soti Khola to Machha Khola (869m) 5 hour of walkingFrom here, the course will repeat ascents and descents to Almara, a village on the flank.
    Move on, traversing the forest area. Continue a steep ascent on the rocky path, you will come across a stream. The trail makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up to the Gurung village of Lapubesi. Eventually, we make it to Machha Khola.
  • Day 05Machha Khola to Jagat (1340m) 6-7 hour of walking (Resticated area start)From here, we travel along the slope that has farm fields and rice paddies. Further ahead, the valley becomes wider. There are lots of views of Sringi Himal also called Chamar (7187m). The path then descends to the shores of white sand. After passing several more villages, we will reach to Kholabesi. We pass the village and the valley, follow the narrow path and soon you will reach to Tatopani, where it has a hot spring. Finally, we reach to Jagat.
  • Day 06Jagat To Lok Pa (2240m) 5-6 hour of walkingThe trail from Jagat descends to the pleasant village of Salleri. It has a slate paved main street and friendly villagers. About 2 and half hours from Jagat you reach Sirdibas (1430m), a compact village with nice stone houses and slate roofs. We then pass the small village of Ghote Khola before crossing the Budhi Gandaki on one of the longest suspension bridges of this trek, followed by a steep climb to Philim.
    We cross the Budhi Gandaki yet again, the trail hugging the cliff-side, up and over ridge backs, as we gaze across the valley at cascading waterfalls. Within two hours the trail splits, with one route heading northwest up the Manaslu Circuit towards the Larkye La pass, and our route heading northeast along the Syar river toward the Tsum Valley. After a steep climb through pine forest the trail levels out and we reach the Lokpa where there is a small teahouse on the main trail a few hundred meters below the village. Overnight in tea house.
  • Day 07Lokpa to Chumling (2386m) to Chukkum Paro (3031m) 7-8 hour of walkingAlthough we will only gain a few hundred meters altitude overall today it will be up and down all the way along the steep valley walls above the Syar river. We start by descending down to the river, then climb steeply and staying high above the river for a long stretch before returning to cross an old bridge to the north side. From here it’s a steady climb up to Chumling, surrounded by open meadows that contrast starkly with the deep forest on the opposite side of the valley. We stay overnight at the spacious teahouse here with splendid views. Across the valley we can spot the trail leading through Ripchet, an alternate route from Lok Pa. Traveling for a couple more hours, we reach to Chokkum Paro and stay in a teahouse for the night.
  • Day 08Nile/Chule (3300m) 4 hour of walkingIt’s an easygoing hike along well-constructed trails and through neat little villages toward the larger villages of Chule and Nile, which face each other on opposite sides of the Syar river at the base of the steep valley. A huge headwall with an icy waterfall dominates the background of Chule. About 100 meters above the village looms a 700 year old Buddhist monastery that we can visit before or after crossing the river to Nile. This will be a relatively easy day with lots of time in the afternoon for relaxation and exploration.
  • Day 09Mu Gompa (3700m) and Nile 5 hour of walkingWe will start the trek early in the morning alongside the Syar River, which leads up the valley to Mu Gompa. The trail steepens sharply as we approach the Gompa after an hour or two of hiking. We will still be engulfed in the shadows of the deep valley but will see the monastery above us lit up brightly as the sun’s rays spill down another high valley to the east. There will be plenty of time to explore the monastery complex and its gompa. The views looking back down the valley toward Ganesh Himal are spectacular, with the stark valley terrain serving as a perfect backdrop for the sparkling whiteness of the snow-capped peaks surrounding us. Depending on our trek pace and group interests it may also be possible to explore other gompas and vistas in the mountains surrounding Mu Gompa. There are overnight accommodations at Mu Gompa where we will have the option of staying, or return to Nile (one and a half hours away) for the night.
  • Day 10Return back to Chumling village. 8 hrs of walkingAs we start to make our way down the valley you will have a different mountain views, dominated by the broad face of Ganesh Himal. You should also have a fresh and well-informed perspective on the region and its culture as you visit the villages that lie along the route. Along the way we will stop at Ranchen Gompa, a sprawling nunnery that hosts hundreds of Buddhist devotees from around the world each year. As we approach Chumling the terrain will once again be transformed, this time from arid high plains to verdant forests. Overnight in tea house.
  • Day 11Nyak Phedi (1760m) 7 hour of walkingWe descend rapidly from the Tsum Valley today, although not without some challenging ascents and descents on the valley walls, before reaching Lok Pa where we will have lunch. From Lok Pa, we soon meet the Budhi Gandaki river again as we make our way back to Phillim. At the juncture of the Syar and Budhi Ghandaki below Lok Pa the trail splits off to the Manaslu Circuit route heading northwest. This is where the combined Manaslu/Tsum trek route diverges, while we continue towards to Nyak Phedi.
  • Day 12Nyak Phedi to Bi Phedi (1990m) 5-6 hour of walkingAfter climbing over a rocky ridge of Salleri, there are a good views of Sringi Himal. We pass through several Gurung villages to reach to Ekle Bhati, where there is a strong Tibetan influence.
  • Day 13Bi Phedi to Namrung ( 2630m) 6-7 hour of walkingAfter breakfast, we leave the village and make a small ascent. The path will go down, following along the river shores. As we pass the Gata khola village and Shar Khola, we take a pleasant walk through bamboo forests to the Deng Khola. After reaching the tiny village of Deng, you enter to Nepri. This part of Nepri is known as Kutsang. It is small Gurung village and it has a strong Tibetain influence. Steep cliffs continue to surround the valley. We cross a suspension bridge to reach to Lana. The path will becomes a gentle ascent until Bih. From here on, traverse through the forest to come to farm fields and go through the khani then you are in Ghap.
    The path will become steeper till Namru village. At this stage the Tibetan border is only a few kilometers to the north. Overnight in tea house.
  • Day 14Namrung to Sama Goau (3520 ) 6-7 hour of walkingAfter passing through several villages, you will come to Hinan khola. Crosses the streams, you will come to Sho village, where we see spectacular views of Naike peak, Manaslu north peak and Manaslu. Lho has wide farm fields on the gentle mountain flank, it is a large village with many houses and a fine Gimpa. The views from here are excellent. After crossing Pungen glacier, the valley becomes wider. Move on from one Chorten to another to reach sama. Which is surrounded by a large number of Mani stones and Chortens. The Gompa on the top of the hill is very fine and worth visiting. Overnight in tea house in Sama Goau.
  • Day 15Sama Gompa to Manasulu base camp and return back to Sama GompaAfter Breakfast take a side trip to base camp to help our bodies acclimatize to the high altitude, and at the evening return back to same lodge.
  • Day 16Sama Goau to Samdo (3790m) 3-4 hour of walking at the afternoon side trip to local village.Crossing by the foot over the great Manaslu Glacier we pass the trail that branches off to Manaslu Base Camp. Our path enters a woodland where we might see marmots in the birch and juniper bushes, when a final steep ascent brings us to the charming village of Samdo. The village has a well-established Tibetan refugee community –with Tibet being only a morning’s walk away.
  • Day 17Samdo to Larke Bazaar (4460m) 4 hour of walking. it is good day for acclimatization before crossing Larke pass.After an easy first part of the of day, we cross the Budhi Gandaki for the final time before the trail gradually rises through juniper and tundra with a viewpoint overlooking the Larkya La Glacier. Climbing further, we arrive at the Spartan Larkya guest house.
  • Day 18Rest house –Larke pass to Bhimathang village (4066m) 8-9 hour of walkingAn early morning start is needed for strenuous, yet rewarding day. A pre-dawn start to avoid the anticipated heavy wind is important.
    After a long gradual climb alongside the moraine we make a short descent to a glacial lake and reach the head of the moraine (4,700m) which we cross to climb to the ridge top. Four frozen lakes lie below and then it is up to the crest of the Larkya La (5,100m).
    The reward for these difficult trekking conditions is brilliant westerly views of Himlung Himal, Kangurru and Annapurna II as well as the looming omnipresence of Manaslu.
    On the steep descent we drop around 600m in less than an hour. Our trail then levels off onto yak pastures before finally reaching Bhimthang, a collection of typical summer kharkas.
  • Day 19Bhimthang to Tilje ( 1963m) to Dharapani village. 8-9 hrs of walkingWe descend on easier terrain through meadows and pine and rhododendron forest, until arriving in Hampuk. Then the path drops further, following the course of the Dudh Khola. Crossing the stream fed by the snows of the Kichke Himal, we arrive at Karche and continue on to the village of Gho – where rice is back on the menu and Nepalese ‘dhal bhat’ is revisited. Keeping to the west bank of the river, our afternoon is one of gradual descent to the Gurung settlement of Tilije. From here trail decends to Thonje. Cross the Marshyandi River to reach to village of Dharapani. Overnight in guest house.
  • Day 20Dharapani to Besisahar by local jeep, Besisahar to Kathmandu by local bus.In the morning, we catch a jeep to Besisahar, and conclude our journey with a bus ride to Kathmandu. Celebratory Nepali dinner in Kathmandu upon arrival. Overnight in hotel.
  • Day 21Departure from NepalWe will transport you to the airport. Thanks for trekking with Adventure Himalayan Travels. We look forward to seeing you again!

Trip Map

Tsum valley and Manaslu Trek Map
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