we tested for you sport and pleasure in the gorges of the bourne

Elisa and Edith, travel advisors at the Tourist Office, experienced the new Au Fil de la Bourne hiking trail in its entirety over two days in May from Rencurel to Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans and combined the effort to comfort with a night halfway to Châtelus in the bed and breakfast of the Clos farm.

view of the cliffs of presles from the path along the bourne

First of all…

View from the road to Bournillon on the path along the BourneJean-Roch Larde

what is the trail along the bourne?

Between Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans and Rencurel | 33km | 1500m of elevation gain

For 2 or 3 days of hiking, starting from its confluence with the Isère, the Au Fil de la Bourne trail offers the opportunity to discover the near and distant landscapes of the course of this river, between plain and mountain plateau. You will discover the challenges of yesterday and tomorrow to adapt continuously, developments made by man (walking on the water of an aqueduct, Himalayan footbridge, hanging houses, old corbelled road) or by the nature itself (Choranche cave, Bournillon circus, gorges
de la Bourne). The journey is punctuated by numerous points of view, moments of relaxation and contemplation… or the opportunity for a small snack purchased from a local producer.

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what is the closed farm?

Put on your boots and push the door of the Farm
du Clos for a real homecoming. Cocooning bed and breakfast, romantic trailer, camping on the farm or rustic wooden chalets, there is a choice of accommodation. Take advantage of the joys of the farm by participating with Angélique in the care of the many animals that make up the farm and then by tasting the tasty organic products produced on site around a good meal.

210 chemin Le Clos 38680 CHÂTELUS
06 01 35 20 49 • 04 76 36 10 94 contact@lafermeduclos.fr
Open all year by reservation except Christmas holidays

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the story of our adventures along the Bourne

small village of Rencurel in the middle of the mountains in the coulmes
pine forest in the coulmes
view of the gorges of the bourne

Day 1

hike from rencurel to châtelus

Motivated by the idea of ​​discovering this much-talked-about trail, we chose to do it in May before the heat of summer and the influx of visitors. We therefore begin this journey by leaving early in the morning. To park, head to the parking lot of the Basse-Valette power plant. Luckily we had warm things planned, it's cool by the river!

The hike begins very quickly with a long gradual ascent in the undergrowth perfumed at this time by the profusion of wild garlic and where you can also observe various orchids. The end of the climb is rewarded by a belvedere overlooking the village of Rencurel.

Practical information: public toilets in the village of Rencurel (below the town hall) and picnic table.

We then arrive at La Balme de Rencurel, we take the opportunity to take a break at the bar (which is also a grocery store) and chat with the locals on our itinerary.

Shortly after La Balme de Rencurel, there is a shaded picnic table on the edge of the path, we decide to picnic there.

We resume walking after a good meal, we begin a beautiful descent in the undergrowth arranged in places with steps.

Be careful, this descent can be impressive for people prone to vertigo. And can be difficult to climb in the other direction.

The moment comes when we arrive at one of the essentials of the itinerary: the Belvedere of the Tunnel de l'Arbois which was unfortunately not finished during our visit. We still enjoyed a beautiful view of the Gorges de la Bourne. No choice, we will have to come back!

We continue on the last part of the day, the path between the river of Bourne and the road of the Gorges is pleasant with in particular a beautiful small waterfall, we will still take more time than the indications on the signage of the Regional Natural Park from the Vercors.

We then arrive at the Bournillon power plant and it will only be road to reach the Clos farm, this portion is long and mentally tiring with the heat and the kilometers in the legs.

Night and morning

immersion on the farm

Always so well received by Angélique, the owner of the place, we settle in our well-equipped room with a shower room, a WC located on the ground floor and a fridge in the living room.

One regret: we arrived too late and no longer had the motivation to go down and enjoy the river after the long day of walking!

As agreed at the time of booking, no meal on site that evening, so we went to eat in a restaurant in Villard-de-Lans, a member of our family having come to pick us up by car.

Before leaving, Angélique asked us about our preferences for breakfast and offered to accompany her the next day for the farm activities, so the appointment was made for the milking of the goats!

The next day, after a tasty breakfast, we joined Angélique at the farm and accompanied for the milking of the goats during which we can cuddle the goats in their stall. We participate in the feeding of all the animals: geese, hens, ducks, chicks, rabbits, pigs, goats and Thônes and Marthod sheep (we will have the chance to carry a very soft and really too cute baby).

“Angélique willingly shares her universe with us, an authentic experience in learning, caring, knowledge sharing, in immersion. Do not miss! »

dam of auberives en royans on the path along the bourneElisa Gautier
Panorama of the Bourne from Auberives-en-Royans on the path along the BourneElisa Gautier

Day 2

hike from pont-en-royans to saint-nazaire-en-royans

We leave at the end of the morning from La Ferme du Clos with our picnic (well stocked!) prepared by Angélique for our second day of hiking. Departure a little late but we take advantage of having a car to avoid the part of the road to Choranche and a portion of the path that we already knew.

So we start this second part at Pont Rouillard, just before Pont-en-Royans. The path is nice up to Auberives-en-Royans, with in particular the footbridge over the Bourne which offers a magnificent view of the river and the Vercors.

Beware of vertigo! The footbridge swings a lot, respect the recommendations.

Before Auberives-en-Royans, you get closer to the river, it's very pleasant. We take a picnic break in the village before leaving for the last part of the hike. It will be the hardest for us because it is almost exclusively on the road with blazing heat. We can't wait to finish even if we enjoy some beautiful views of the Vercors.

Watch out for the two dangerous road crossings towards Saint-Just-de-Claix.

During a last stage that we enjoyed, we finally arrived at our destination in the village of Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans. We take the opportunity to have a drink and a well-deserved ice cream at the bar of the Grotte de Thaïs!

Video capture on the trail over the bourne mountains in the background with walkers

some advice and recommendations

  • In the direction of Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans towards Rencurel, you should enjoy beautiful views of the Vercors which you gradually approach but can be physically harder. In the other direction, once out of Pont-en-Royans, the Vercors is behind us and you can't see it if you don't turn around.
  • To be avoided with children uninitiated in hiking, or otherwise only do a few sections between Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans and Pont-en-Royans.
  • Avoid with dogs between Auberives-en-Royans and Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans: almost exclusively on the tarmac road.

More information