Canyoning in the clue of Saint-Auban
This canyon is the first you can do in the Esteron river. The course is extremely aquatic and varied on account of its numerous small waterfalls (up to twelve meters) and its beautiful basins. You’ll find many swimming sections as well as jumps, slides and even passages where ropes will be needed.
As descend, you’ll come across seven meter jumps which is why it is essential to be able to jump from 3 meters without hesitation (the higher jumps can be avoided abseiling). This course is therefore only possible for people confident in water and in a good physical condition.
You can park your car at the beginning of this canyon before putting on your suits and equipment. A shuttle organized by your guide will get you to the beginning; the same one will get you back to the parking lot once the canyon is finished.
You immediately enter a rocky landscape, with 200 meter cliffs on both sides. Once safety instructions are given, you’ll be able to get into this fresh and crystal clear water. It all starts with a first slide that will lead you to many obstacles until you get to the highest jump of this day trip; 6 meters above a huge pool! Successive slides, swimming sections and jumps will then bring you to an impressive waterfall. Your instructor may install a thirty meter zip-line from there. A few more jumps, swims and sections requiring a rope will lead you to the last jump to enjoy as many time as you like.
The village of Saint-Auban is located in the regional natural park of Préalpes d’Azur, bordering the regional park of Verdon. Impossible to miss the big rocky break when you go towards the village. This is where the clue of Saint-Auban is. Taking its source less than ten kilometers away, this limestone massif is the first that the Esteron has dug and carved. The course is one kilometer long. The tourist road which dominates the clue on the left side give us the opportunity to visualize perfectly the course before facing the generous waters of the Esteron. From Castellane it takes thirty minutes to reach the village of Saint-Auban and one hour from Nice.
With more than one hundred meters of negative elevations for a length of one kilometer, it is clear that the course will be dynamic. It is a real succession of waterfalls which follow one another and the rhythm does not settle down until the end of the tour. This gives rise to lots of water games, jumps (six meters maximum), slides, the washing machine, tunnels, and other surprises before reaching the highlight of the show. In the middle of the descent, a sublime sequence of suspended basins can be crossed with zip lines including the very spectacular second of forty meters above the water.
The flow of this river is always very important. But it should be noted that this descent is only possible during low-water periods (the lowest average level of a watercourse), as many passages present flow-related risks. Vigilance will be required and as usual, the guide must assess the feasibility of the exit before committing to it. It should be noted that storms and heavy rains quickly affect the flow of the river and turn it into a real torrent. Practiced in the best conditions, this canyon is super fun and its aquatic character is particularly appreciated by the participants.
Although its location seems very steep and inaccessible, it is possible to go out of the river bed in many places. There are two exits that in a few minutes walk back up to the road. Even if the civilization is not far, one finds oneself very quickly immersed in a universe mineral and aquatic with the whirring of the waters in only sound bottom.