From Vallon Pont d'Arc to Sauze in two days, overnight in bivouac

Distance : 30 Km

Time to paddle : about 7h00.

Meeting point : Vallon Pont d’Arc.

Departure time : Even if you have time, start in the morning (ideally between 10 am and 12 noon) that allows you not to run to arrive at the bivouac at the end of the afternoon and to take full advantage of your descent.

Difficulties : Succession of water bodies and rapids  (7 rapids class III, 25 rapids class II)

Start :  Vallon Pont d’Arc.

Arrival : Sauze.

Descente en deux jours en canoë kayak dans la Réserve Naturelle des Gorges de l'Ardèche
Two days of pleasure and adventure

Two days in the Natural Reserve "Les Gorges de l'Ardeche"

This descent allows you to experience something that has become rare, two days of life in nature. Take your time, appreciate the beaches, the landscape, the river and the bivouac, in short, take advantage of this descent in a majestic environment.
The Cathedral Rock, two and a half hours before arrival to Sauze

Discription :

It’s really important to be well prepared for this descent: there is no supplies possible during your trip, because after the first rapids and half an hour after passing under the Pont d’Arc, you enter the Gorges de l’Ardèche Natural Reserve. 

The river is bordered on both sides by cliffs that can reach two hundred meters. This landscape will be the same until your arrival the next day. Throughout this descent, you cross rapids and cross bodies of water. Many beaches welcome you all along the river. Enjoy the evening and the morning, the ideal moments to observe the flora and fauna of the Ardeche Canyon.

The night in the bivouacs of the Nature Reserve (Gaud or Gournier) is compulsory. It is imperative to book your overnight stay before the descent (unfortunately we cannot do it for you).

Information and reservation:

by the website of the Nature Reserve

by phone: 04 75 88 00 41

by email:

The prices vary from 5 to 10 Euros per person to sleep with your tent or under the stars and more than 10 Euros to sleep in the marabouts (collective tent of 20 places). The prices depend on age and the period. The purchase of bivouac tickets is compulsory and you must present them to the reception desk of the canoe kayak rental before taking your equipment.

Our advice: prefer the Gaud bivouac (first one). Usually it is less busy and you will have plenty of time to do the second part of the descent the next day.

In the bivouacs  you will find toilets, showers, drinking water, garbage cans and some common barbecues with charcoal available.

But you must bring all your meals, no supplies possible (except for drinking water) and beware, alcohol is prohibited in the Natural Reserve. 

When you are at the Cathedral rock, you will have (depending on the water level) 2 to 2h30 of paddling to reach the arrival in Sauze.

Our opinion :

It is a descent that everyone can do, we recommend it to families who want to spend two days in the heart of nature with their 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 and food.

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.

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