Kayaking in the Hautes-Alpes

The Hautes-Alpes are a great playground for kayakers.

Kayaking in the Hautes-Alpes

The Hautes-Alpes is a great playground for kayakers.

One of France’s white water hot spots, in the Pays des Écrins, you can go rafting on the glacial waters of the turbulent Gyr stream or the Durance River, which is ideal for a family outing or an introduction to kayaking.

In spring, the water level of the rivers increases considerably with the melting snow and kayakers come to Vallouise and, more generally, to the north of the Hautes-Alpes to make the most of the beautiful rivers. Gyronde, Gyr, Durance, Ubaye, Guisane, Guil…


You can also choose to learn kayaking with the white-water centres in the valley. Whether you are a beginner, experienced or an expert, they will help you in your progression.


Many rivers are perfectly suitable to learn kayaking in ideal conditions and you can practise your paddling technique on the many lakes.

Canoes and kayaks

A kayak is a boat that can be used on rivers and the sea. The kayaker uses a paddle to move along, turn, and for balance. The kayaker has a watertight spraydeck, so that they are fully part of the boat.

Contrary to what you might think, these two boats are distinguished by the position that is used rather than the number of places they have.

Kayaks can be for one or two people and the kayak uses sitting position and a double paddle.

Kayaks can be for one or two people and the person kneels in the vessel and uses a single paddle.

These boats are known as ‘rigid’ and have a plug (to evacuate the water) and reserve buoyancy at the back so that the boat doesn’t fill with water if it capsizes.

You can discover this activity during an introductory or improvement course with our instructors.