Gorges de la Jonte – spectacular canyons
The river Jonte is less than 38km long!
However, it carved its bed through the limestone plateau of the Parc Naturel Regional des Grands Causses and by the western entrance to the Parc National des Cévennes, two natural regions UNESCO classified as ‘protected areas’.
The Gorges de la Jonte are not as famous as the neighbouring Gorges du Tarn to the north, but they are equally rugged and spectacular!
Untamed gorges de la Jonte
La Jonte delimits the departments of Lozère, on the north bank, from the department of Aveyron to the south.
It flows underground for 7km, resurfaces by a place called Douze, and flows into the tumultuous river Tarn in the town of Le Rozier.
Tiny villages and abandoned 19th century textile factories that one time produced silk, wool and cotton dot its banks.
This untamed area was also a historic Protestant retreat, where Huguenots found refuge, away from persecutions.
A popular destination for nature lovers
The area’s economy mostly depends on tourism and agriculture.
The Gorges de la Jonte have indeed become a favourite destination for campers, climbers and bird watchers.
Agriculture is the result of backbreaking terracing; this is indeed the only way farmers can exploit the steep hillsides.
A weather station, situated at 1567m of altitude, boasts spectacular views over the Causse, but also of the Mediterranean on a clear day!
A mountain path leads to it via the Col du Pas (833m), a lonely mountain crossroad marked by a huge Cross of Lorraine.
This memorial pays tribute to the locals Resistance fighters who hid in this wild area during WWII.
Department of Aveyron
Coordinates Gorges de la Jonte: Lat 44.200790 – Long 3.348745