Water Levels in Spring 2023 and Whitewater Sports in Serre Chevalier

In this article, we will discuss the water levels this spring and the impact of the winter snowpack on the Guisane River. Our goal is to provide information to future vacationers who may not be familiar with this activity and who want to fully enjoy their descent and stay in Serre Chevalier.


Impact of Winter Snowpack

The winter snowpack serves as a precious reservoir to feed the meltwater and maintain water levels in the Guisane River. The larger the snowpack, the more abundant the melt, which ensures optimal conditions for whitewater sports. Thanks to the generous snowfall this winter, we can expect stable and sufficient water levels throughout the spring.

Snowpack above 2,500m as of 06/04/2023 – There will be water this summer

The water level forecasts for this summer are encouraging. With a significant snowpack above 2,500 meters, there will be ample water to enjoy whitewater navigation on the Guisane River this summer. The mountains of Serre Chevalier have been generously covered in snow during the winter, forming a natural water reserve for the region.

The accumulated snow above 2,500 meters is particularly valuable as it gradually melts throughout the summer season. This melting process provides a constant water supply to the Guisane, thus maintaining sufficient water levels for whitewater sports.


The Importance of Good Water Conditions

To safely practice whitewater sports in Serre Chevalier and fully enjoy the experience, it is essential to have good water conditions. Appropriate water levels ensure a steady flow, allowing for easy navigation through rapids and natural obstacles. This will make your descent smoother and more enjoyable.

Benefits of Snowmelt

Snowmelt is a natural process that occurs in spring as temperatures rise. The surrounding mountains, which were generously covered in snow during the winter, act as a significant water reservoir for the Guisane River. As the snow melts, water flows into streams, rivers, and eventually into the Guisane, increasing water levels.

Glacial meltwater is also a source of water for the Guisane River. The glaciers, which have accumulated considerable amounts of snow over the years, gradually melt during the summer, releasing additional water into the river. This combination of snow and glacier melt ensures a constant water supply for whitewater navigation.

Snowmelt offers several advantages for whitewater sports. Firstly, it guarantees sufficient water levels throughout the summer season, ensuring a consistent rafting experience. Additionally, water from snowmelt is naturally cooler, adding a refreshing touch to your whitewater adventure.

Furthermore, snowmelt promotes lush vegetation along the riverbanks. Plants and trees benefit from this abundant water source, creating a spectacular natural environment for whitewater enthusiasts. You can enjoy magnificent alpine landscapes while navigating the rapids, adding an aesthetic dimension to your experience.

Moreover, snowmelt helps maintain a balanced ecosystem in the river. The regular water supply from snowmelt helps sustain the biodiversity of the Guisane, providing a habitat for many aquatic species. You may be able to observe fish, birds, and other wildlife during your whitewater descent.


Safety Equipment and Professional River Guides

Before embarking on whitewater sports adventure, make sure to have the proper equipment. Essential safety gear includes a life jacket, helmet, wetsuit, and water shoes. The guides at Rafting Expérience will provide you with all the necessary equipment.


Unforgettable Experience

A whitewater descent on the Guisane River is an unforgettable experience. You will be immersed in a beautiful natural environment, surrounded by the majestic mountains of the French Alps. The rapids will provide an adrenaline rush, while moments of calm will allow you to admire the peaceful beauty of the surrounding nature.

Adrenaline and Family Fun

Whitewater sports are an ideal activity for the whole family. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, you will find suitable courses for all skill levels. Children and adults can share moments of fun and excitement while strengthening family bonds. The memories you create together will stay with you for a long time.


Additional Activities

Serre Chevalier offers much more than whitewater sports. You can enjoy numerous complementary activities during your stay. Whether it’s mountain hiking, mountain biking, climbing, or visiting picturesque villages, there is something for everyone. You can design a comprehensive program for a memorable vacation by combining whitewater sports with other outdoor adventures.

Accommodation and Dining

Serre Chevalier offers a diverse range of accommodations, including hotels, chalets, and apartments. You will undoubtedly find a comfortable place to relax after an exciting day on the river. Moreover, the region is filled with restaurants offering delicious local cuisine. You can savor delightful meals and immerse yourself in the culinary culture of the region.


The water levels this spring and the remaining winter snowpack above 2,600m are favorable for rafting and whitewater sports in Serre Chevalier. Snowmelt sustains the Guisane River, providing optimal conditions for an unforgettable rafting experience. Prepare yourself with the proper equipment and enjoy this thrilling adventure with your family. By combining whitewater sports with the many other activities available in Serre Chevalier, you are guaranteed to have an exceptional vacation.

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  1. What is the best time to practice whitewater sports in Serre Chevalier?
    The ideal period is generally between May and September when water levels are most stable, and the weather is pleasant.
  2. What tool is available to predict water levels?
    The Avalanche Risk Bulletin (BRA), published daily by Météo France in winter and once a week in spring, is a very useful tool for knowing the snow quantities at higher altitudes.
  3. What tool is available to view live water levels?
    The website www.rivermap.org is the reference site in the whitewater sports community in Europe. It lists numerous rivers and provides real-time water levels using data from hydroelectric dams.
  4. How can I know if the rivers are swollen in the Durance Valley area?
    When a river reaches a high water level, its color changes, and the Durance at the L’Argentière-le-Bessée whitewater stadium is a good indicator. You can check the webcam of the whitewater stadium on the website of the Regional Committee for Kayak Training and Knowledge (CRFCK), which provides valuable information on this subject.
  5. What other water level indicators exist in the region?
    The height of Lake Serre-Ponçon serves as a general indicator of the state of watercourses in the region. You can consult the website www.serre-poncon-locations.fr, which provides relevant measurements in this regard.