The Rhône rises from the Rhône Glacier (at an altitude of six
thousand feet) in the Alps of south-central Switzerland, and, over its course of over
five hundred miles, flows westward through Alpine valleys, through Lake Geneva (near which it is joined by the Arve), into France, going south through the Jura Mountains, joining with the Saône at Lyons, and
into the Mediterranean at Arles, west of Marseille.
The Rhône's strong and turbulent current long made it
difficult to navigate; only in the middle of the twentieth
century were dams and canals constructed to make it more