Descent across The Canyon from Vallon Pont d'Arc to Sauze

"Traditional descent across The Gorges de l'Ardèche"

It's a sportive day, a day of canoe-kayak aventure, unforgettable day. You should leave early (from 8 a.m. until 9H30 a.m.) in order to have enough of time to pass thought The Pont d'Arc and to cross all the Ardeche Canyon. This is a descent to do with your friends, collegues. But this is a good choice for a romantic trip too. it seems to be not so good for the children as they should stay sitting in the kayak for a long time.

Descente de l'Ardèche, entre Vallon Pont d'Arc et Sauze, avec traversée de la Réserve Naturelle des Gorges de l'Ardèche et passage sous le Pont d'Arc.

Practical information


Distance : 30 Km

Time to paddle : about 7h.

Advised time : 7h30 - 8h00.

Difficulty : 7 rapids classe III et about 25 rapids classe II. 

Start point : Vallon Pont d'Arc.

Finish: Sauze. 

Departure time: This is a long and sportive descent, you should start early, about 9 a.m.


Our opinion



In one day you come through the most beautiful natural sites of Ardeche: The Pont d'Arc and the Natural Reserve "Les Gorges de l'Ardeche". From Chames there is no car access, so you enjoy the rives, the cliffs, a wild nature. There are many possibilities to stop for  bathing.


The regulatory imperatives   


Each participant must know how to swim; each participant must wear a lifejackets at all times.

Children ( under 18 y.o.) can not participate alone, they must be accompanied by an responsible adult. 

Prohibition of rental with childen under 7 y.o. Interdiction de la location avec des enfants de moins de sept ans.

Alcool is prohibbiten in the Natural Reserve.

Warning : Canoe Kayak rent is prohibited if the water level is too high.


In case of prohibition of rent due to a water lever too iportant, you will be (accroding to your choice) either refunded or postponed to a date that suits you.


Don't forget



Take shoes that are good for you feet and protect them, such as sneakers or water shoes (no flip-flops).

Wear an adequate and adapted to the weather clothers: cap, windbreaker, T-short, long shorts that effectiverly protects the thighs from sunburn. In the spring and in the autumn take some warm clothers. 

Provide sufficient quantity of drinking water.

Le Rocher de la Cathédrale, l'un des rare point caractéristique des Gorges de l'Ardèche.
Le Rocher de la Cathédrale à 2h30 de l'arrivée

                    To enjoy your descent


Keep a regular speed. Try to be in the middle of your way (near the campsite Gournier) about noon in order to have enough of time to finish the descent in the afternoon without running. 


When you see the Cathedral Rock (see the picture), you are in 2h30 of paddling from the finish point.


Each boat should be autonome and to have enough of water and food. It happens very often that the group is separated during the descend and you are going to meet your friends again in Sauze only. 


This is a quite sportive descent and we don't advise it for a young children. They may find it "too long". 


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