The Ubaye River

The Ubaye River

The Ubaye River is a mountain torrent located in the Southern Alps, In France. This river is one of the natural jewels of the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region, offering breathtaking landscapes and whitewater activities all year round.

History of the Ubaye River

The Ubaye river has its source in the Southern Alps massif, near the Italian border at Lac du Longet at an altitude of 2655 m in the town of St Paul sur Ubaye. This mountain river flows over a distance of 82km before flowing into Lake Serre Ponçon. Its main tributary is the Ubayette which takes its source from Lake Lauzanier at the Col de Larche followed by two other tributaries the Bachelard which arrives straight from the Col d'Allos and the Rio de la Blanche du Laverq valley. We count 72 tributaries on the Ubaye.

In the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Ubaye river crosses fourteen communes: Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye, La Condamine-Châtelard, Jausiers, Enchastrayes, Faucon-de Barcelonnette, Barcelonnette, Saint-Pons, Uvernet-Fours, Les Thuiles, Méolans-Revel, Le Lauzet-Ubaye, Saint-Vincent-les-Forts, Le Sauze-du-Lac, La Bréole.

The flow of the Ubaye River experiences seasonal variations following a typical snow-pluvial regime. In spring and summer, high water is mainly due to snowmelt, leading to a increase in average monthly flow from May to June, with a level between 40 and 150 m3/s (the maximum being reached in June). This period ends in July with a flow of 20 m3/s, followed by a rapid drop which leads to a short low flow at the end of summer, with a flow of 12 m3/s in August and September.

In autumn, precipitation in the form of rain increases the flow rates, with a monthly average of 20m3/s and 30 m3/s in October and November respectively. This second peak is followed by a long period of winter low water, from December to March inclusive, with a decrease in the average monthly flow to a minimum of 4 m3/s in February.

According to the water level of the Ubaye the difficulty of the routes evolves. Crazy Water follows the real-time evolution of the river flow, online access is available on the internet via the flood monitoring site on the Roche Rousse cell in Lauzet.

Nowadays, the Ubaye River is best known for its role in tourism. Visitors come from all over to enjoy its crystal clear waters, of its breathtaking landscapes and many activities that she offers.

Activities on the Ubaye River

Ubaye is a destination of choice for nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

  • Rafting : the tumultuous waters of the Ubaye river are ideal for rafting enthusiasts. Visitors can sign up for rafting trips with professional guides for an unforgettable experience.
  • The kayak : for the more adventurous, kayaking is an excellent way to discover the Ubaye River in a sporty way on an excursion on the river for 2 hours or half a day.
  • Hydrospeed : for those who love water and swimming, it is ideal for living like an Ubayan fish and discovering real gliding sensations.
  • Canyoning : between river and hiking, Canyoning is perfect for visiting the tributaries of the Ubaye.
  • Hiking: the region's hiking trails offer breathtaking views of the Ubaye River and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can choose trails for all skill and endurance levels.
  • Mountain biking: the region's mountain bike trails offer a unique experience for visitors. Cyclists can explore the surrounding hills and mountains while enjoying the breathtaking views.
  • Fishing: the Ubaye River is also a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Anglers can fish for trout on No Kill routes.

The Ubaye: one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe

When it comes to an exceptional Rafting experience, few destinations rival the descent of the Ubaye in France. Nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps, the Ubaye River offers a perfect combination of breathtaking landscapes, thrilling rapids and an enchanting ambiance. This is why many adventure enthusiasts consider Rafting on the Ubaye as the best descent in France.

2. Rapids for All Levels

The Ubaye is renowned for its diversity of rapids, offering options for all levels of paddlers, from beginners to seasoned experts. Whether you are looking for quiet rapids for a gentle initiation or more technical sections for challenges, Ubaye has everything to offer. This adaptability makes it an ideal place for families, groups of friends and corporate teams, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a tailor-made experience.

3. A Stunning Natural Setting

The banks of the Ubaye welcome you in a spectacular alpine landscape. The snow-capped mountain peaks are reflected in the crystal clear waters of the river, creating a breathtaking backdrop. Rocky gorges, lush forests and picturesque valleys follow one another along the route, adding an aesthetic dimension to the Rafting adventure.

4. A journey through history

Ubaye is isteeped in history and culture, which adds an extra layer of interest to the descent. As you navigate the river, you will discover historical remains, ancient bridges and picturesque villages. This creates an immersive experience that combines the excitement of rafting with an immersion in local heritage.

5. Experienced Guides and Assured Safety

The rafting experience on the Ubaye is completed by experienced and highly qualified guides. Their in-depth knowledge of the river, safety expertise and ability to provide information about the area greatly enriches the experience. You can venture out with confidence, knowing you are in good hands.

6. An Adventure for All the Senses

Sailing the Ubaye is not limited to the adrenaline of the rapids. It's a multi sensory experience which encompasses the soothing sound of water, the wind caressing your face and the smell of the surrounding nature. Every moment on the river offers you an opportunity to reconnect with nature in a deep and enriching way.

Rafting on the Ubaye is much more than a simple white water descent. It is an experience that combines the excitement of adventure, the natural beauty of the Southern Alps and an immersion in local history and culture. The Ubaye offers rapids suitable for all levels, breathtaking panoramas and an atmosphere that makes every moment spent on the river an unforgettable adventure. For those looking for the quintessence of rafting in France, the Ubaye is the answer.

Places to visit near Ubaye

The river is surrounded by picturesque villages and historic sites to discover. Here are some of the places to visit:

  • THE village of Barcelonnette : located near the Ubaye river, the village of Barcelonnette is a place not to be missed. This charming village is rich in history and culture.
  • THE Fort de Tournoux : this historic fort overlooks the Ubaye River and offers breathtaking views of the region. Visitors can explore the fortifications and learn about the city's Franco-Italian history.
  • THE Lauzet Ubaye : Small village at the entrance to the Ubaye valley, rich in culture thanks to these gorges, its medieval bridge and these famous tunnels of the old railway line which intrigue young and old.
Caroline Aalbers
Caroline Aalbers
Wat een geweldige ervaring, raften over de Ubaye! Prachtige natuur, mooie afwisselende tocht (inclusief zwemmen en in het water springen!) en geschikt voor elk niveau. Onze kinderen (6 en 9 jaar) hebben een super eerste raft ervaring gehad, mede dankzij onze leuke en goede gids. Ze willen zeker nog een keer :-)
Ziga Budja
Ziga Budja
Wonderfull family rafting experience. Just a little bit too much for my sensitive eight year old, but great overall. The river is beautiful with nice surroundings. The guide was excellent (forgot his name 🙄) and the whole team was very nice. The trip down the river took about one and a half hour with some stops. If you visit this place, your're not gonna be sorry! 👍🏻
Un lieu calme et agréable, accueillit par une équipe sympathique. Mise à disposition du barbecue pour le repas du midi avant le rafting. Tout est là pour votre bonheur.
Jerome Henry
Jerome Henry
Merci @CrazyWaterRafting pour les moments géniaux en famille. Nous avons fait rafting, rando aquatique et kayak avec 2 adultes et 2 ados : génial !! Guides super sympa, très pro, Contrairement à ce que l'on entend a la télé, le niveau d'eau dans cette rivière et plus que suffisant pour s'éclater ! Nb: la rando aquatique n'est pas très connue mais super aussi, descente de la rivière en nageant, dans un secteur plus calme que celui pour le rafting. Explication sur la nature, superbe paysages, surprise à la fin... Encore merci. Jérôme, Caroline, Charlotte et Manon.
Shameer Habibi
Shameer Habibi
Really fun, and a really good guide! Overall amazing
Melanie Macias
Melanie Macias
Top top top
Lorenzo Van Loon
Lorenzo Van Loon
We did two descents, one by raft and one by kayak, both with Julien as a guide. He seems totally crazy when you first meet him, but he was a great guide and made our day. Really spectacular river, with a lot of rapids and great views. We got out of the boats to swim a bit in one of the rapids and they took us to a rock where we could jump in to the water. Julien and the crew of Crazy Water are real professionals, but in for a laugh and a joke. A pity we could'n do the 'sport' descent, because of bad weather. But we sure come back. One remark; their 'bar' is quite empty, so make sure to bring your own drinks and food if you're planning to stay for a day.
verriez virginie
verriez virginie