Rafting in the River Balephi

Rafting in the River Balephi

The Balephi river is a small tributary of the Sun Koshi and 50km from Kathmandu. it joins the Sun Koshi a short distance before Dolalghat. it has blue waters and offers good views of mountains. The river has it's origins in the southern slopes of Mt. Dorjee Lakpa, which is commonly seen north east of Kathmandu. Running to the east of Helambu, it is a fast flowing river that has sttp valley sides. The valley of Balephi is not quite on the trek routes so is unspoit and one comes across charming little villages and terraced hillsides along the route. This area is inhabited by people of various ethnic groups such as Chhetris, Brahmins, Tamangs, Kamis and Damais.

A 3 1/2h hour bus ride takes one to the put-in point atJalbire Gaun. Jalbire is the local  bazaar.  The road goes  past -  Dolalgnat and Balephi village turning left at the confluence. From here  it is another 14 km through a dirt road to Jalbire. The rafters are given safety talk and instructions on the use of paddles before embarking on the  trip.

This  is a short  trip on a river that is mostly Class III with encounters with a few Class IV  rapids. The river  is rocky and technical.  It is full of surprises as there are many boulders that obscure the view up ahead. Only by rafting past the boulders does one see what lies  ahead. The river goes  through forested ateas which are rich in bird life and the tops of distant mountains are also visible. The trip begins around 12 noon from Jalbire. After rafting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours past the Balephi bridge, Sukute is reached which is the put-out point. After collecting all the gear the drive  back  to Kathmandu  begins  at around 4:00pm.

The  best time to go is from  October to November.