From Chames to Sauze

Distance : 24 Km

Time to padlle : about 5h30.

Recommended time : 6h00 – 7h00.

Meeting point : Vallon Pont d’Arc.

Departure time : 8:30am, 9am, 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am.

Difficulties : Succession of bodies of water and rapids (6 rapids class III, about twenty rapids class II) 

Start : Chames.

Arrival : Sauze.

Rapide du Gué de Guitard en kayak. Le plus long rapide des gorges de l'Ardèche.
The longest rapid in the Ardeche Canyon; The Gué de Guitard.

One day to cross the Ardeche Canyon

During this descent, you are going to discover the wonderful Nature Reserve « Les Gorges de l’Ardèche ». The rapids and the bodies of water follow one another, the landscapes are magnificents, the cliffs are grandiose, you are surrounded by nature (no car or house in sight). A day in the Gorges is a day out of time, on the river, far away from everything and in nature.

The Cathedral Rock, two and a half hours before Sauze
Carte de la descente en canoë kayak de Chames à Sauze.

Discription :

This descent is a whole day spent in the Ardeche Canyon. A few hundred meters after the start, you enter the Nature Reserve « Les Gorges de l’Ardeche ». The river is bordered on both sides by cliffs that can reach two hundred meters. You cross a succession of rapids and bodies of water. A multitude of beaches can accommodate you for lunch or a swim.

Above all, try to descend regularly, the ideal is to be in the middle of the course (towards the Gournier bivouac area) for lunch.  When you are at the Rocher de la Cathédrale, you have two to two and a half hours left (depending on the water level) before arriving in Sauze.

Each boat must be self-sufficient in water and food, especially if you are in a group. It often happens that the members of the group lose sight of each other and only meet in the evening upon arrival.

Our opinion :

It’s a descent anyone can do if you start early in the morning.

Young children do not always enjoy sitting in the boat all day. For this reason we do not recommend it for families with children.

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.

Provide sufficient quantity of drinking water.

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.

Dogs (even on a leash) and alcohol are prohibited in the Gorges de l’Ardèche Nature Reserve.


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

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

Your renter in Vallon Pont d'Arc : Loulou Bateaux

Passage de la première Armée, 07150 Vallon Pont d’Arc.  GPS : 44°23’51.3″N 4°23’20.0″E