The Southern Alps is famous for its white water and has some of the best rivers in the Alps. People come from all over the world in the spring and summer to take advantage of the melting snow and enjoy a sensational white water ride amongst the stunning mountain scenery.
In the Southern French Alps we use several rivers for our white water descents: the Séveraisse, the Drac, the Bonne, the Durance, and the Ubaye.
All these rivers are at their highest in the spring from May to July. After that the levels drop as the snow melting slows down, and most white water bases are closed by the beginning of September, with some closing mid August depending on the years.
For rafting, the biggest and most exciting rivers are the Durance and the Ubaye and it is possible to raft right up until September on these rivers. The Drac and the Séveraisse are best for rafting up until the beginning of July, and then the levels are generally too low and it is better to do inflatable canoeing or "airboating" in these rivers - that's great fun too! For more information about the different white water descents, please have a look at the rafting and canoeing overview page.
The Bonne river has a narrow gorge section which is too narrow for rafting but is great for inflatable canoe and airboats. High water levels are dangerous on this river so it is actually better for this slightly later in the season, in July and August. The Bonne is the river we use the most for hydrospeed too.
When you book your white water descent, we will choose a river that works best for you logistically and our guides will make the decision on whether you are rafting or inflatable canoeing depending on the conditions and the make up of your group. All our guides for the white water activities are fully qualified to French and European standards with a thorough knowledge of the rivers.
If you have a particular preference, we will of course take this into account too, so please just let us know!