Descent in 2 days - 30 km

Les gorges de l'Ardèche avec une nuit en bivouac... L'aventure !

Descent in 2 days – 30 km (18.64 miles)
  Off-season High season
Adult 50 55
Child 7 to 15 years 35 35
Child 7 to 12 years in third seat ... ...

High season : July and August.

These costs include canoe or kayak hire, life jackets meeting the European standards, paddles, waterproof containers, neoprene tracksuits, windcheaters, directions and other information you might need, the trip back with a private bus, a cup of coffee before leaving, and some refreshment upon arrival.

This is the best option to discover and make the most of the Ardèche Gorges nature reserve. The river zigzags through varied vegetation, chalky cliffs affected by time, and diverse fauna.


You have to foresee around 6 h 30 min of paddling to cross this canyon:

  • Foresee … h of paddling from Vallon-Pont-d’Arc to the Gaud bivouac and … h the next day.
  • Foresee … h of paddling from Vallon-Pont-d’Arc to the Gournier bivouac and … h the next day.

You will have to leave between 8 AM and 2.30 PM. However, we recommend you to leave as soon possible in order to make the most of your journey.
Attention: it is obligatory to buy camping tickets (see link below) because the bivouac space is strictly forbidden for others, who will be subject to a fine!

Bivouac reservation on www.gorgesdelardeche.fr or by phone on +33 (0)4 75 88 00 41.
Book your places as soon as possible as the bivouac capacity is limited.


It is necessary to have your camping tickets before you communicate your reservation.

Gradual proceedings of your journey

 

Gradual proceedings of your journey
To start your day well after having arrived, you will be offered a cup of coffee.
First of all, everyone will have a 55-litre container at his disposal. Please take the time to prepare your container and to mark it with your name above where you put your belongings, meals, etc… This will save you from constantly opening and closing the containers throughout the 2 days. (with the risk of not entirely closing them, which would mean less waterproofness…) In general, the tents and the ground sheets are being put in bin bags and attached to the containers. We will provide you with a very small waterproof container that will serve as your “handbag” in which you can put your mobile phone, keys, etc. (the small container in the larger one offers you double security) In order to help you with bringing the right belongings and meals, we refer you to our tips below…

 

Once you’re ready, one of our team members will inform you about the route. With the aid of maps and pictures, we will show you some landmarks that help you to position yourself properly in certain rapids like “la Dent Noir”, “la Toupine du Gournier”, or “la Pastière”. These rapids will also help you to estimate the time remaining before you arrive. Finally, along with some security guidelines, you will be given some basic knowledge on how to handle the kayak. You will be provided with a buoyancy aid jacket corresponding with your weight.


As soon as you arrive at the bivouac, a nature reserve guard will note down your arrival. Please remember to moor your boat properly as you would risk losing it because of the current. Take your paddle, containers, and jackets with you so that others wouldn’t have to do that instead.
From then on, it’s up to you to settle in.
The bivouacs are equipped with bins requiring selective sorting, potable water, a shower (cold), toilets and, most interestingly, large barbecues including charcoal will be at your disposal starting from … PM. In order to respect other people, but also the nature reserve and its feathered, long-and short-haired or scaled inhabitants, please preserve this vulnerable site by avoiding illegal dumping and picking plants, but also by keeping the volume down.
For this reason, but also because of the risk of accidents, alcohol consumption and transport is strictly forbidden in the reserve since 2012. (frequent checks with the risk of confiscation and fines)
Please don’t hesitate to hand this over to the nature reserve guards.

The Gaud and Gournier bivouacs: free activities related to the natural, geological and historical heritage of the Ardèche Gorges are regularly offered. Slide shows and film screenings will be shown on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings in July and August. There is some space reserved for groups accompanied by a qualified instructor, also called a “nature guide of the Ardèche Gorges”.
In Gaud: discovery trail with free access (around 3/4 h).
In Gournier: “le Dolmen du Chanet” trail (family trail) or the down-river trail of the gorges (challenging trail) .
Groups as well as individuals can also book a night in a large conical tent for 20 people.


We ask you to arrive between 4 and 5 PM at the landing stage of Sauze. Respect this schedule and you respect the others. Once arrived, a Castor-Canoë team member will take your jacket, paddle, and kayak and show you the way to follow. Although several shuttles buses will be available, filling the vehicles will take some take before they can leave. We will do our utmost to let you wait for as less time as possible. However, in case of delay, you will be shown a small open-air café, where you will be able to quench your thirst in all peace in the shadow. (very welcome after an entire day in the sun).


Your way back to Castor-Canoë will take around 45 min, but you will be rewarded with a cold drink. (rosé, squash, etc.) Being together and sharing your experiences will be beneficent for you after this journey.

Belongings we recommend: a dry pair of shoes, socks, trousers, a fleece jacket, and a T-shirt. Meal suggestions: a sandwich for the first afternoon. Freeze your meat beforehand in order to avoid your meat from heating up in the container. Precook your potatoes and pack them in aluminium foil… This would make an excellent dinner meal among the barbecues provided at the bivouac.
A brioche, a milk roll, and some fruit for breakfast.
Rice salad or tabbouleh for the second afternoon. (avoid tuna and eggs).