The Upper Chamkar Chhu (aka Bumthang Chhu) is a fun, continuous Class IV run in the upper Bumthang Valley through beautiful pine forests. Due to it’s continuous nature it’s nice to do this one at lower water flows. If it seems pushy then you’re going to be in for some excitement.
Wood is fairly common on the Upper Chamkar Chhu. The Enchanted Forest is where some logs have been dropped into the right hand side of the river by the locals and a particularly important place to scout and/or portage.
After paddling this section of the Chamkar Chhu you should visit Jambay Lhakang on your way back to Jakar. The Tibetan King Songsteng Gampo built 108 temples across the Himalayas in the 7th Century to spread Bhuddism. This temple and a similar one in Paro are among these temples and the oldest in Bhutan.
Mile 0: Put-in below a bridge crossing the Chamkar Chhu near a small village. The next mile is nearly continuous Class IV whitewater. Just downstream is an area known as the Enchanted Forest where a few trees have been dropped into the river.
Mile 4.1: Pipeline (IV+ is a long rapid that has a pipe crossing the river high above the first drop. It can be scouted on the right side by catching a large eddy high up or a smaller one just before the first drop.
Mile 6.1: A small creek enters from the right side. This is an alternate put-in or take-out.
Mile 7.2: Take-out just past a bridge on the right bank. You can also continue downstream for a few miles of Class II and take-out in Jakar.