The Upper Mo Chhu is a fun big water river in the Punakha Valley about an hour drive from the town of Punakha. There is a trail down to the river where you can hike down and put-in just below a big Class V+ rapid.

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The first rapid is a long Class IV followed soon after by Kingping (V) which is commonly scouted and portaged on the left. The rapids come in quick succession all the way to the take-out bridge.

Trip Highlights

Mile 0: Hike 5 minutes down to the river at Sonam's put-in.

Hiking down to Sonam's Put-in on the Mo Chhu

Hiking down to Sonam's Put-in on the Mo Chhu

Mile 0.1: The first rapid Nary (III+) will give you an introduction to what the rest of the run is like. You'll want to be conservative here since the Kingpin (V) begins almost immediately after.

Mile 0.2: Kingpin (V) has a big line down the middle and a sneak line down the left side. Scout and/or portage on the left.

Kayaking Kingpin (V) on the Upper Mo Chhu

Kayaking Kingpin (V) on the Upper Mo Chhu

Mile 0.3: The Wall (IV) is a sharp right turn with a big wall on the left.

Mile 0.8: Boof Sneak (IV+) has a nice boof on the far right that allows you to miss the big holes in the center.

Kayaking the far right boof line

Kayaking the far right boof line

Mile 2.5: S-Turn (IV) is a classic S-turn with a few big holes that need to be avoided. This rapid can be seen from the road on the drive up.

Mile 3.1: Khamsum Bridge Rapid (IV+) begins immediately after a bridge crosses the river. This rapid can be easily scouted on the left side. There is a small scout eddy on the right just before the rapid.

Rafting Khamsum Bridge Rapid in Bhutan

Rafting Khamsum Bridge Rapid in Bhutan

Below Khamsum Bridge Rapid is 3 Moles (II+) named after some big, beautiful rocks in the river. The last rapid is Phil's Turn (III) which has an optional ferry trick that can be done above the rock.

Mile 4: Take out at the trail to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. This is the put-in for the Lower Mo Chhu.

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