Gorges de la Langouette

Useful Information

Location: 50 Rue de la Langouette, 39150 Les Planches-en-Montagne.
From Champagnole D127 south to Les Planches-en-Montagne.
(46.655856, 6.005067)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: Ymax=140 m³/s, Ymin=2 m³/s, Ywinter=7 m³/s, L=370 m, VR=47 m, W=4 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cascades & Gorges de la Langouette, 50 Rue de la Langouette, 39150 Les Planches-en-Montagne, Tel: +33-651-26-07-70, Tel: +33-384-51-93-11.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1871 mill/sawmill built.
1959 sawmill abandoned.
SEP-2011 registered as a classified site.


The Gorges de la Langouette (Langouette Gorges) is a short but spectacular gorge in limestone. It is only 370 m long, but it is 40 m deep and extremely narrow with only 4 m width. And quite impressive: 280 m of the gorge are absolutely straight. If you stand on the bridge of the Rue de la Langouette you can see the whole gorge. The gorge is located inside a village, Les Planches-en-Montagne, or probably the village was built along the gorge, which was used to power mills for centuries.

The river Saine springs north of Foncine-le-Haut, unlike the other karst springs in th Jura this spring is quite unspectacular. A slope of limestone debris is the source, the water flows out of hundreds or thousands cracks in the loose sediment. Obviously it's a karst spring, the whole area is karstified and there is a cave behind. But it is covered by many meters of sediment, and the cave is not accessible. The Sain is a left tributary of the river Ain and only 19 km long.

The gorge developed in the plain of Planches-en-Montagne, a result of retrograde erosion of the Saine. It seems the erosion followed a crack, a weakness in the rock, that's the reason why the gorge is so straight. As a result the river flows on the plain, falls down into the gorge and then flows through the gorge until the valley finally widens. The highest height difference is at the upper or southern end of the gorge, and here a sawmill was installed, which was powered by the water. There is today a turbine in the gorge, which produces hydroelectric power. The whole structure is easy to see from a platform which was built at the edge of the gorge, right below the sawmill. The trail and the outlooks are free.