Tsum Valley and Manaslu (Larke-La Pass) Trek

Trip Overview

Manaslu region, the Tsum Valley, also known as the Hidden Valley a land of monasteries and hamlets with totally Tibetan population lies on the northern part of Manaslu on the Nepal-Tibet border and used to be a restricted area until 2008. Although the region lies within Nepal, the Buddhism influenced region is a world of its own. Traditionally, Tsum used to be a separate area different from both Nepal and Tibet. The Tsum Valley region is still less exposed in comparison to other tourist areas, with relatively virgin and less beaten paths in comparison to the more popular regions. The Tsum people have their own way of family life, which may be quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry. Compared with other areas, The Tsum Valley and Manaslu area is full of imminent mountains, passes, deep gorges, hamlets, gompas, chortens, and mani walls.

The trek to Tsum Valley takes you into the majestic surroundings of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal, and Boudha Himal ranges. In the initial days of the trek, we explore the Budhi Gandaki Valley through a mix of dense forest, terraced fields and hill villages. As we leave the main Manaslu Trail for the Tsum valley, suddenly we get a feeling of entering truly into the hidden valley. While on the trek, we also pass through the alpine forests, glacial rivers, and enjoy the warm hospitality of ethnic people. We also visit the ancient Buddhist Gombas of the region including the Milarepa's Cave, Rachen gompa, Mu Gompa among others.

Highlights

  • Explore the Manaslu National Park
  • Good views of Mount Manaslu
  • Ganesh Himal ranges
  • Rich variety of flora and fauna
  • Unique culture with varied customs

Trip Map

Tsum Valley and Manaslu (Larke-La Pass) Trek  Map

Short itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Sotikhola [710m/2328 ft] 8 - 9 hours

Day 2: Soti Khola - Maccha Khola [900m/2952 ft]: 6 - 7 hours

Day 3:  Maccha Khola -Jagat [1410m/ 4625 ft]: 6 - 7 hrs

Day 4: Jagat to Philim (1,590m/ 5215 ft): 3hrs

Day 5: Philim to Chumling (2363m/7775 ft):6/7 hours

Day 6: Chumling to Chokhangparo (3010m/9903ft): 5/6 hours

Day 7: Chokhangparo to Nile (3361m/11058ft), via Milarepa cave: 6/7 hours

Day 8: Nile to Bhajyo (Chhekya) (4030m/13218ft): 4 hours

Day 9: Rest at Bhajyo (Cheekya)

Day 10: Bhajyo to Rachen Gompa: (3240m/10627ft): 6 hrs

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Chumje (3230m/10,595ft): 5/6hrs

Day 12: Chumje for Bihi (3130m/10,266ft): 4/5hrs

Day 13: Bihi to Namrung (2540m/8331ft): 6 hrs

Day 14:  Namrung – Samagaon [3530m/11,578 ft]: 6-7 hours

Day 15:  Samagaon - Pungyen gompa - Samagaon: 6 - 7 hours exploration

Day 16:  Samagaon - Samdo [3860m/12,660 ft]: 4 - 5 hours

Day 17: Rest Day in Samdo

Day 18:  Samdo - Dharamsala/Larkya B. C. [4460m/14, 628 ft]: 4 - 5 hours

Day 19:  Dharamsala - Larkya la [5160m/16, 924 ft] - Bimthang [3720m/12, 201 ft]: 8 - 9 hours

Day 20: Bimthang - Tilije [2300m/7544ft]: 5 - 6 hours

Day 21:  Tilije - Tal [1700m/5576 ft]: 5 - 6 hours(1700)

Day 22:  Tal - Syange [1080m/3542 ft]: 6 - 7 hours

Day 23: Syange - Kathmandu: 8-9 hours

Detail Itinerary

Detailed itinerary

Day1: Drive from Kathmandu to Sotikhola [710m/2328 ft] 8 - 9 hours: After breakfast we will be driving to Sotikhola,  Upon reaching Arughat, a major town in the region we drive further towards Sotikhola. Overnight in Soti Khola.

Day 2: Soti Khola - Maccha Khola [900m/2952 ft]: 6 - 7 hours: At the crossing of the bridge, we trek through the beautiful Sal forests, then climb onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. We then reach Khursane upon which the rocky trail weaves its way up and down, past two tropical waterfalls on a steep, rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff. It eventually makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. We further climb behind a rocky outcrop, where the valley opens up and the Budhi Gandaki meanders among wide gravel bars. Dropping to the sandy river bed, we walk along rounded stones before climbing over a side ridge. We head down again to the river and cross another suspension bridge to reach Machha Khola village. Overnight in Machha Khola.

Day 3:  Maccha Khola -Jagat [1410m/ 4625 ft]: 6 - 7 hrs: The narrow trail makes some minor ups and downs and eventually crosses the Tharo Khola and reachingKh orlabesi. After a few more ascends and descends we come across a small Hotspring in Tatopani. From the hot spring, we climb over another ridge, then cross the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge. At this juncture, we climb on a wide, well-crafted staircase, then across a landslide and over a ridge to Dobhan. Upon crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, we climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Crossing the west bank of the Budhi Gandaki, we climb over a ridge, trek along the river and then climb towards the village of Jagat. Overnight in Jagat.

Day 4: Jagat to Philim (1,590m/ 5215 ft): 3hrs: Climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri, and then descend to Setibas. The valley widens a bit as the trail continues up to Ghatta Khola. Continue upstream to a long suspension bridge. Climb up to Philim, a large Gurung village.

Day 5: Philim to Chumling (2363m/7775 ft):6/7 hours: Walk past Philim to the north across a forest with the views of the narrowing valley. After Ekle Bhatti cross the gorge, and enter the pine tree forests. Descend down to trail going to the Tsum Valley. Climb through pine and rhododendron forests. Enjoy the views of Himalchuli mountains. Pass Lokpa, climbing further north through pines and rhododendrons.  Climb down to Ghumlong, and climbing up to Ripchet. Crossing the Shiar Khola, finally arrive at Chumling. Visit the old Chumling gompa, and the stone streets of the village.

Day 6: Chumling to Chokhangparo (3010m/9903ft): 5/6 hours: Cross the suspension bridge onto the opposite bank. Enjoy the great views of Ganesh Himal. Walk past Rainjham to Serpu Khola. Now we enter the hidden valley of Tsum. Another steep climb takes us to the village of Chhokangparo. Weather permitting, enjoy the views of Himalchuli at 7893 meters.

Day 7: Chokhangparo to Nile (3361m/11058ft), via Milarepa cave: 6/7 hours: While climbing above Chokhangparo, better to be careful of altitude problems. Walk past Lamagaon to the Rachen Gompa. Climb up to the Milarepa’s Cave.  Then we cross the Shiar Khola. Continue walking through the villages of Phurbe and Pangdun. After crossing the village of Chhule, climb upstream and cross the bridge to finally arrive at Nile.

Day 8: Nile to Bhajyo (Chhekya) (4030m/13218ft): 4 hours: We are now almost close to the Tibetan border. Walk to the west bank of the valley through the Tibetan landscapes. Climb up to the Mu Gompa. From Mu Gompa, climb further up to Bhajyo and We are quite close to Tibet and get a good view of the Tibetan peaks as well as the Ganesh Himal range. Bhajyo is a remote area there is not any local houses. Only we can see some yak farm house. After having the lunch, we will explore the area.

Day 9: Rest at Bhajyo (Cheekya): We take rest at Bhajyo both for acclimatization and sightseeing. Discover the highland around Bhajyo. If the weather is clear, you can also enjoy the magnificent views of Ngula Dhojyang pass as well the glaciers of the Yamdro Valley.

Day 10: Bhajyo to Rachen Gompa: (3240m/10627ft): 6 hrs: From Bhajyo, we descend down to Rachen Gumba. Established in 1905 AD, the Rachen Gumba is a nunnery in the Shiar Khola Valley.  The nunnery is one of largest in the region is of great importance. The interior of the Gumba is splendidly painted with Buddhist mural paintings.

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Chumje (3230m/10,595ft): 5/6hrs: Continue south until a bridge crosses to the west bank then descend again to Chhokangparo. Drop below Chhokangparo on the previous trail for about 2hrs, until a small gompa is reached at Gho (2485m). Then taking the northern route in the lower Tsum Valley, we finally arrive at Chumje via Yaju.

Day 12: Chumje for Bihi (3130m/10,266ft): 4/5hrs: From Chumje, we continue on the northern route in the lower Tsum Valley.  Pass the village of Dorjon Kharka just before reaching Rana. Crosss the large suspension bridge in the main valley of the Manaslu Budhi Gandaki River. If interested, walk further up to the village of Bihi.

Day 13: Bihi to Namrung (2540m/8331ft): 6 hrs: The initial part of today's trek is on a relatively flat terrain. Soon, the trail moves uphill through the forest path. Thus we arrive at Namrung while enjoying at the same time the magnifiscent views of Manaslu, among others.

Day 14:  Namrung – Samagaon [3530m/11,578 ft]: 6-7 hours-Namrung village is a good viewpoint for Siring and Ganesh Himal and from the village one can also see Mt. Himal Chuli in the south. We climb steadily and pass through forests and reach Lihi, a fine village with many chortens and barley terraces. The trail drops and crosses the side valley of Simnang Himal with Ganesh Himal always close by. We further pass through Sho, Lho and Shyala villages before reaching Sama Village. We enjoy extraordianary views of Mt. Manasly from Lho village and also explore the famous Ribung Gompa. In Shyala village we will be surrounded by high mountains like Himal Chuli and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli) to the left, Manaslu and large glaciers straight ahead, and other snow summits to the right, and at the far end stands Ganesh Himal. Today’s journey ends in Samagaon where we spend the night.

Day 15:  Samagaon - Pungyen gompa - Samagaon: 6 - 7 hours’ exploration-We spend the day at Samagaon both for rest and acclimatization. Today, we get acquainted with the rich Sherpa culture. We enjoy the sight of thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts and pictures and the Sherpa women clad in traditional clothes and ornaments. On a little hill near the Sama village is an old Gompa (Pungyen Gompa), a monastery with great views of the glacier. It is named after Manaslu, Pungyen means bracelet, a good description of the two peaks. It was destroyed a year after the first unsuccessful Japanese attempt to climb Manaslu. The locals believed that the climb angered the gods, and when the Japanese came back a year later they met with a lot of resistance that they had to give up their attempt. They were finally successful in 1959. Overnight in Samagaon.

Day 16:  Samagaon - Samdo [3860m/12,660 ft]: 4 - 5 hours-Today, we descend to the Budhi Gandaki River, that has turned north and follow it to a bridge over a side stream. The trail to the left leads to the Manaslu Base camp. The Larkya la Trail passes several mani walls as the valley begins to widen. It is an easy trail on a shelf above the river passing the juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We drop off the shelf, cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge and climb steeply onto a promontory between two forks of the river. From a stone arch we can view a large white kani. Finally passing through the kani we find Samdo. Overnight in Samdo.

Day 17: Rest Day in Samdo-This is another day set aside for proper acclimatization. There are two options for us today. The option that we highly recommend is a hike, up the valley directly at the back of the Samdo village. This hike will take us to one of the trade passes to Tibet for excellent views of Mt. Manaslu along with other Himalayan ranges including Simrang, Hiunchuli, Ngadi, Larkye Peak, Cheo and possibly Kang Guru behind the pass.  En route to these viewpoints we pass many seasonal herding settlements called doksas and sight some beautiful mountain birds like the Lophophorus (the national bird of Nepal), Lammergeyer and Himalayan Griffin soaring high above us. Another option for today could be a trip to the Gya La ('large pass') to the north of Samdo, a more frequently used trading route to Tibet. But, this is a rather longer hike (whole day) and hence could be a little tiring. Overnight in Samdo.

Day 18:  Samdo - Dharamsala/Larkya B. C. [4460m/14, 628 ft]: 4 - 5 hours-Even today, we continue our walk down the edge, cross the wooden bridge over Budi Gandaki and begin walking upward. Upon crossing two streams and witnessing the Larkya Glacier we go around the valley of the Salka Khola and climb up again to the stone guest house (4450 m), which is not a lodge but a kind of shelter called Dharmshala, also known as Larke Phedi. The short walk today also leaves plenty of time for acclimatization and relaxing in the afternoon. Overnight in Dharmashala.

Day 19:  Dharamsala - Larkya la [5160m/16, 924 ft] - Bimthang [3720m/12, 201 ft]: 8 - 9 hours-After a short climb, we reach a valley on the north side of the Larkya Glaciers from where we can enjoy great views of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section of the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. It is a longer day than usual to Bimtang, but to walk into these low pastures with the evening mist coming in with Mt. Manaslu looming close by is an overwhelming experience. Overnight in Bimthang.

Day 20: Bimthang - Tilije [2300m/7544ft]: 5 - 6 hours-From a ridge at Bimthang, we can enjoy great views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Himlung Himal and Cheo Himal. We descend further and cross a high pasture (Sangure Kharka) followed by a bridge over Dudh Khola. We walk through rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land of the valley at Karche, 2785 meters. We pass across fields before making a steep climb over a ridge. The trail comes off the ridge in a big, sweeping arc to the river bank at 2580m. A short distance beyond is the village of Gho. Due to yesterday's tiredness we might take an overnight rest at Gho but better lodges are available at Tilije, so Himalayan Glacier recommends we stay at Tilije. Overnight in Tilije Village

Day 21:  Tilije - Tal [1700m/5576 ft]: 5 - 6 hours(1700)-We climb over a small ridge and enjoy the stone paved trail as it passes through a beautiful village. We then cross the bridge over Dudh Khola and climb up through a chorten-shaped arch, pass a mani wall and reach the Thonje village. At the village, we go through a police checkpoint and continue to Dharapani. We have entered the Annapurna circuit section from Dharapani. Further down, we come across Karte village and after quite a bit of walking we cross a bridge over Marshyangdi Khola. We also come across some mani walls before reaching the village of Tal, situated at the foot of a large waterfall. Overnight in Tal.

Day 22:  Tal - Syange [1080m/3542 ft]: 6 - 7 hours-We follow the trail to Chyamje village crossing the Marshyangdi Khola once again. The Marsyandi valley opens with its terrace fields and villages clung very high to the hillsides. The trail then descends through rhododendron and and pine forests to Syange. Overnight in Syange.

Day 23: Syange - Kathmandu: 8-9 hours-The drive from Syange to Kathmandu via Besi Sahar offers one an opportunity to enjoy both hill and mountain landscapes. The drive is often along the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers. We also drive by some beautiful villages with farming terraces on both sides of the road.

Includes/Excludes

Cost Includes:

  • Transportation to and from the starting and ending points of the trek as per itinerary.
  • 3 meals per day during the trek (breakfast, lunch & dinner) including the coffee and tea.
  • Accommodation in tea houses or in tents as per itinerary during the trek.
  • Highly experienced Government licensed guide and necessary porters during the trek.
  • Proper Insurance of all staff including porters.
  • Government / Local taxes, Tourist service charge, guide / porter insurance and salary, general equipment, national park and conservation area fees.

Cost Exclude:

  • International airfares
  • International airport departure tax.
  • Trekking equipment
  • Major meals, lunch and dinner during your stay in Kathmandu
  • Any type of personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages and drinks, phone and laundry.
  • Nepal entry visa fee; A single-entry visa valid for 15/30/90 days costs US$25/40/100 - you may easily obtain the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport - Kathmandu.
  • Rescue & travel insurance, trip cancellation costs, accident or health emergency, evacuation, loss, theft or damage to baggage and personal effects. We strongly advise you to take out personal travel insurance.
  • Tips & Gratuities

Date & Price

Date and price

Useful Info

Useful Info

Price from per perosn
book this trip Customize Trip

Trip Facts

  • Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Best season: February, March, April, May, October, November
  • Per day walking: 6 hours in average
  • Type of trek: Hotel and Lodge
  • General Duration: 23 days
  • Maximum Altitude: 5160m

Quick Inquiry Form

Verification Code