Along the Ardèche Gorges, there is a 22 kms trail which alternates between cliff sides, wideopen spaces, rocks, and sandy beaches. If you are an experienced hiker, this is an experience not to be missed!
Everything you need to know about the trail
The 22 km historic trip downriver through the Ardèche Gorges links Châmes, near Vallon-Pont-d’Arc to Saint Martin-d’Ardèche, located at the end of the Ardèche Gorges. It is a linear trail, not a loop. Crossing varied landscapes by following the Ardèche river, the trail guidesthe hikers to discover a wide range of landscapes that shelters a preserved nature.
The hike is divided into two parts:
The upstream trail from the Ardèche Gorges, whichcould be described as a sporty excursion, is 10 km in length. It starts from Châmes, precisely from the bridge ‘Pont du Tiourre’ and stops at the Gournier bivouac.This trail has two fords: the ‘Gué du Charmassonnet’ and the ‘Gué du Guitard’ ones. You have to check the water level before leaving.
The downstream trail of the Ardèche Gorges,from the Gournier barrier to Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche, is more difficult because it includes handrails, ladders, cliffside passages and chimneys to cross, and is 12 km long.
The hikers can hike half of the trail either with a round trip, or hike entirely andsleep at the bivouac within the Nature Reserve of the Ardèche Gorges. We advise you to sleep at the Gournier bivouac, located halfway of the trail, the Gaud bivouac is located in the first third of the hike by starting from Châmes.
Map of the Ardeche Gorges
Hiking on the 22 kms trail in Ardeche Gorges
You are an experienced hiker? You can do the Historic trip downriver through the Ardèche Gorges in 2 days! You will be entertained thanks to the connection with nature, swimming in places dedicated to you, admiring the black kites (Milvus migrans)… If you would like to hike entirely, you can sleep in the Nature Reserve of the Ardèche Gorges. However, wild camp is forbidden, so you must book your overnight stay at the bivouac. Sleeping in the heart of the Nature Reserve is a unique experience and to make the organisation of your hike easier, we have prepared you an all-inclusive stay with an overnight stay at the bivouac, a guidebook included and, above all,a bus transfer either from Vallon-Pont-d’Arc or Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche. What you will have to do? Prepare your backpack and your hiking shoes!
Book your bivouac with shuttle transfer between Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche and Vallon Pont-d’Arc here !
Before leaving: a few practical information
- Look at the weather forecast (if it rains, the trail is slippery) and the water level of the Ardeche river HERE. The water level must be less than -0.7m to start from Châmes (less than -0.3m from Gournier towards Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche). If you sleep at the Gaud bivouac, the water level must be less than -0.7m for the two days of hiking. If needed, contact us to change the date of your stay.
- Car parks from Châmes:
– In low season: at the exit of the hamlet of Châmes, then walk 200 metres to the start of the trail at the bridge ‘Pont du Tiourre’.
– In high season: Car park Chastelas’ in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, then take the free shuttle bus to the last stop called ‘Parking Belvédère’. Walk for 1km (about 0.6 mi)to the start of the trail at the bridge ‘Pont du Tiourre’.
- Car parks from Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche: at the Sauze beach. There is no bus shuttle along the tourist route, so remember to book a means of transport for your return (either another vehicle or a taxi at the arrival).
- To put in your backpack or to wear :
– Water and food for 2 days, mosquito repellents
– Anti-slip hiking shoes
– Sunscreen, hats or caps, swimsuit
– Warm clothes for the evening and changing ones
– 1 tent and a mat, unless you book them at the bivouac,a sleeping bag
– A headlamp (other lamps are forbidden at the bivouac)
– Accessories and the essential for eating (barbecues available at the bivouac): cutlery, plates, stove