The Karnali, is the longest and largest river in Nepal at 315 miles, and most definitely one of the best. In the far western region of the country, often affectionately named the 'Wild West', it gives you an insight to the lives of rural Nepal. It is big volume, and drains most of the water from western Nepal. The river rises in the vicinity of Tibet's Mount Kaliash and then carves it's way through the Himalayan landscape.
Paddling this river at high volume (September) is a serious undertaking and should only be attempted by experienced paddlers. It is often described as Nepal's mightiest river, even in low water the levels are pretty impressive, there really is no bad time of year to go, but October and November are when the levels are ideal and the weather is perfect.
There are plans to dam this river so if it's on your bucket list we recommend you get there quick.
For kayakers this river will take approximately 4 days. A typical commercial raft supported trip takes 7 days on the river.
The first 12 miles include class II-III wave trains and small warm up rapids.
- Rapid #1 - Sweetness Light - (IV)
- Rapid #2 - Shake rattle and roll
- Rapid #3 - Humans for lunch
- Rapid #4 - Jail House (IV)
- Rapid #5 - Inversion
- Rapid #6 - God House (V) (a hole which is the size of a bus!)
- Rapid #7 - Juicer (IV)
- Rapid #8 - Gorge
- Rapid #9 - Flip and Strip (IV)
- Rapid #10 - Totali Ghat
- Rapid #11 - Snap shot
- Rapid #12 - Touching the void
- Rapid #13 - Freight Train
The Seti Karnali, entering from the right, will mark that the river starts to mellow out.
Mile 112: Take out at Chisopani Bridge.