The Verdon river

Verdon level and whitewater activities: understanding the role of dams

Verdon level and whitewater activities: understanding the role of dams

In the Gorges du Verdon, water releases from dams regulate the flow of the river. An operation to know to practice sports activities in white water.

The Verdon river constitutes a true geological wonder which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

To discover its beauty, nothing like trying out whitewater sports, which will offer you, in addition to spectacular landscapes, beautiful sensations!

To practice these activities, it is necessary to understand how the level of Verdon . The river takes its source above the Col d’Allos. It then flows for nearly 170 km and is regulated by hydroelectric dams . These are the Castillon and Chaudane dams upstream of the Gorges, and the Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron dams downstream.

Castillon lake view of the dam - Alpes de haute Provence

It is on the Chaudanne dam that we linger since it is the one that regulates the flow of the Verdon from Castellane to Lake Sainte-Croix, the part of the Verdon on which our activities take place. When the dam is open , the flow of water is strong and the flow is rapid: the conditions are then ideal for the practice of rafting and canoeing . If this is closed , the level goes down but the river is not dry. The water flow is lower and it is then possible to do aqua-hiking and canyoning without a rope in the Grand Canyon du Verdon .

Castillon dam - Verdon lakes

Summer period: opening of the dam on Tuesday and Friday

Our activities depend on information provided by EDF , which regulates the dam. In July and August, water releases are regular . Thus the water flow allows the practice of rafting and canoeing Tuesdays and Fridays . The other days, the river is not dry but the water flow is lower. All you have to do then is let yourself be carried by the current in aqua-rando, or try a canyoning outing. In September, the releases are irregular but more frequent . Do not hesitate to contact us, our teams will be happy to inform you about the activities that you can practice!

In spring: irregular water releases

During the spring season, the releases are carried out depending on weather conditions . They are therefore irregular . They may be more frequent due to precipitation or snowmelt. EDF only gives us the information on the release days a few days in advance. They are often scheduled on weekends, especially during the May holidays .

These periods are then particularly suitable for the practice of rafting and canoeing. In spring, it is also possible to discover the Haut-Verdon, which does not depend on water releases! And allows you to discover a completely different aspect of the region, less known and wilder. Or even go further downstream towards the Gorges de Baeaudinard or the lake of Quinson or Esparron and why stop on the way at the village of Trigance and learn about the Trott’Elec !

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