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Destination: Nepal - Upper Seti River

Destination: Nepal - Upper Seti River

The Upper Seti is a roller-coaster of non-stop white-water action. It is the classic ‘home run’ for all those in Pokhara as it is only a 30 min journey from Lake Side. It’s a great little adventure to add onto any journey. It can be busy and you’ll often see others on the river too, but don’t let that put you off this river. With the scenery, closeness to Pokhara and white wild rapids, it’s a playful day river trip!

Logistics and Location

  • Put in point: – Bamboo Bridge (30 mins from Pokhara)

  • Take out point: – the Dam (20 mins from Pokhara)

  • Camp locations: – none, this is half day tour


The River

The Seti Khola, meaning White River, has two parts: Upper and Lower. The upper section runs off the South East slopes of Machapuchare (aka Fishtail Mountain for the tourists) and flows down to Pokhara where it is dammed for Hydroelectric Power before naturally disappearing below the city and re appearing 16km away. The Lower Section (described seperatly in this article) then meanders its way east before joining the Trisuli and heading south to India.

A short drive in brings you to a rocky beach just below a crossing bridge known as ‘Bamboo Bridge’. Due to all the quarrying of the river bed, the bridge is no longer made of bamboo. As you get on the river look up behind you and have a stunning view of the Annapurna mountain range! Look down in front of you see the boiling froth of white-water.


The Upper Seti is an awesome run! It is pretty much constant grade 3 white-water with some grade 4 and an impressive grade 5 as you enter a canyon. There are tight lines and boulders everywhere so this is one to do without a hangover!

After a quick safety brief you’ll be thrown in the thick of it. The river starts with a grade 3 where you can get your team work in sync before hitting some of the harder grade 4’s. Pin ball your way between boulder gardens and hold on as you drop over small technical drops.


About halfway down the river, a five foot drop brings you into a big pool where you’ll have to eddy out and scout the next section. This is the apex of the run, a grade 5 at the entrance to the canyon. Tight lines, big holes and bigger boulders make you take the right hand line. Listen to your guide’s commands and hold on tight as you bounce your way down. Capsizing here is not an option.  As you emerge from the rapid you’ll find yourself in a short but tight flatwater canyon where your screams will echo so scream to your heart’s content. And as you emerge from the other side there’s the chance for a cliff jump if the water is high enough!

Following the canyon, the valley opens back up and there are some bouncy grade 4 rapids before it calms back down to grade 3 for the rest of the trip. Offering a chance to catch your breath and take in what you’ve just done, your surroundings whilst enjoying the moment. This river is really made for thrill seeking, go getters and very different from its sister, the Lower Seti.

What I can expect from an Upper Seti Trip?


As a guide, this river is the chance for clients to push themselves, step out of their comfort zone and really get into some wild river rapids. We want to see guests smiling, screaming, laughing and bonding with not only one another, but the environment there in as they rush down the river.

Upper Seti Season

This river is pretty shallow and so does need some water to be able to get a raft down it. The best season is October to December. This is prime levels!

The Upper Seti is not really run in September by commercial rafting operators as it’s seen as too dangerous due to the high water level from the monsoon rains.

March and April are also good as there is some snow meltwater from the Himalayas. Don’t leave it too late in the season though or you’ll find yourself pushing the raft over a braided section of river!

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