Jacques-Cartier Provincial Park
Address City
700 boulevard Lebourgneuf, Suite 12 Quebec
Province Country
Quebec Canada
Postal Code Phone
G2J 1E2 (418) 848-3169
 
Without a doubt one of the most beautiful parks in eastern Canada. Not well know outside of Quebec, the park is easily accessible from Quebec City or Montreal. The road into the Secteur de la Vallee, the parks main sector follows the Jacques Cartier River through the valley, surrounded by steep mountains rising over 500m on either side. There are innumerable outdoor adventures waiting for you here, from hiking to biking to all kinds of water sports. Don't make the mistake of forgetting your camera.
A view of the Jacques-Cartier River from No. 4 road, which takes you 33 kilometers north into the park.
 
Phone Winter: (418) 528-8787

Location: The park's main entrance to the Secteur de la Vallee is located about 40 km north of Quebec City on highway 175. From Montreal take the 40 west to Quebec where you'll head north on the 175.

Season: The park is open year round.

The park has several sectors with different access points. The main one is the Secteur de la Vallee with its entrance in the south of the park just off the 175, 40km north of Quebec City. Further north you'll find the Secteur a l'Epaule and the Sauteriski, while at the very north of the park is the the Secteur Jumeau. All of which are also reached via the 175. The Secteur de la Vallee follows the Jacques Cartier River Valley and provides most of the facilities and activities available in the park.

 
 
Mountain Biking: There are several trails designated for mountain biking in the park. Most of them are jeep track and old logging roads. Some of the multi-use trails have been reclassified as hiking only, so check with the park before you set out. You can rent bikes at Les Excursions Jacques Cartier which is situated just beside the park office in the Secteur de la Vallee. For more information call 418-848-7272  
One of the many beautiful walk-in or canoe-in campsites along the river

Chemin du lac a la Chute: 4.8 km return. The Chemin du lac a la Chute trail is a gravel road on the east side of the park. There is backcountry camping at the trails end at Lac a la Chute campsite. If you want to load your bike with panniers or carry a backpack you can spend the night. You access the trail from the L'Epaule sector at the end of the dirt road, once at the trailhead you'll find parking. The trail should take about 30 minutes to complete one way. Secteur a l'Epaule.

Le Draveur Sud: Easy, 15km return. The trail follows the Jacques Cartier River along its west bank. The trail is primarily a rolling jeep track. There are many beautiful view points and places to access the river. This trail should take about 1 1/2 hours to complete. Access is from Le Pont Blanc in the north or the bridge beside the park office in the south. The trail connects to Le Draveur Nord, which is not open to mountain bikes. Secteur de la Vallee.

L'Andante Trail: Expert, 6.0km return (15.6km in total), multi-use. L'Andante Trail takes you to a the most spectacular viewpoint in the park, just across the Jacques Cartier River to the west. To reach the trail head you have to follow the Le Scotora Trail for 4.8km, adding another 9.6km to the return distance. They are both aggressive trails but the rewards are in the beautiful views and of course the fabulous descents. Le Scotora trail is accessed from the river road in the Secteur de la Vallee just passed the km 29 point. If you're in shape the trail should take between 3-4hrs to complete. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Scotora: Expert, 12km return, multi-use. The trail follows the valley into Lac Cook from the Jacques Cartier River in the northern region of the Secteur de la Vallee. The trail is aggressive but if you think you haven't had enough, take the turn off onto the L'Andante and head up to the parks most impressive lookout. Le Scotora trail is accessed from the river road in the Secteur de la Vallee just passed the km 29 point. If you're in shape expect the ride to be about 2.5hrs. Secteur de la Vallee.

Hiking: There are 100 km of hiking trails in the park mostly in the Secteur de la Vallee on either side of the Jacques Cartier River. Many lead to the ridges that overlook the rivers, including the difficult but most excellent Les Loupes trail. Think of visiting the park in the Autumn, the area colours are spectacular (they also arrive fairly early so check with the park before you go).

Les Loupes: Expert 10km out and back, 4-5hrs. The trail winds up Sautauriski Mountain from kilometre 15 on the river road. There are several outlooks on route and one very challenging roped section to keep you honest. The view from the top is magnificent, so leave some extra time to really appreciate it. Secteur de la Vallee.

L'Apercu: Easy, 2km 1hr. An interpretive trail just above the park office. It makes for an easy hike and a good introduction to the park. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Pardreau: Easy, 5km, 2hr. The trail starts out with a climb then levels off, taking you through maple forests as it winds around Lac Buvard beside the Jacques Cartier. Secteur de la Vallee.

Les Coulees: Intermediate, 9.7km Loop. The trail includes a moderate climb of 50 meters and should take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to complete. You're rewarded with some excellent viewpoints over the valley. Backpackers can use this route into the wilderness sites at Le Grand Duc. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Draveur Nord: Easy, 12.1km one way, 3.5hrs. The trail is actually a jeep track following the west bank of the Jacques Cartier River. Access is from La Scotora in the north or the Pont Blanc in the south. The trail connects to Le Draveur Sud in the south. There are two campsites on the trail. Secteur de la Vallee.

Les Cascades: Easy, 4.3km loop, 1.5hrs. The trail follows a stream as it cascades down to its terminus in the Jacques Cartier. You pick up the trail from Le Draveur Sud just up river from the park office. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Confluent: Easy, 1.6km, 1hr. Located at the confluence of the Jacques Cartier and the Sautauriski rivers the trail moves through a variety of habitat. The trail head is located just after the bridge above the park office. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Matteuccie: Easy/Intermediate, 4km, 1.5hrs. A short hike through a forested area following the river. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Petit Portage: Easy, 0.8km, 0.25hrs. This short hike takes you down to the river with an excellent view of the Petit Portage Rapids which range from class I to class IV. Secteur de la Vallee.

La Croisee: Easy but long, 15km return, 4.5-5.0hrs. The trail picks up where the road leaves off at the top of the valley. It's an out an back with a split into two parallel trails in the middle section. Choose one of the parallel routes on the way out and follow the other one on the way back. You can shorten the hike by looping back where the parallel trails re-join but you'll miss some excellent view points along the last section of the trail, which goes through some of the park's best scenery. The trial head is just beside Le Camp 3. Secteur de la Vallee.

There is a new trail under developement from the end of the Scotora Trail (see the Mountain Biking section) in the north the Secteur de la Vallee. The trial is projected to climb in behind the upper section of the river to Les Grandes Cimes ,looking down on the area of La Croisee Trail on the other side of the river. This promises to be an excellent hike. Consult with the park regarding the trails status. Secteur de la Vallee.

L'Andante Trail: Expert, 3.0km (15.6km in total), multi-use. L'Andante Trail takes you to the most spectacular viewpoint in the park, just across the Jacques Cartier River to the west. To reach the trail head you have to follow the Le Scotora Trail for 4.8km adding another 9.6km to the return distance. Both trails are aggressive but the rewards are there in the form of the spectacular views. Le Scotora trail is accessed from the river road in the Secteur de la Vallee just passed the km 29 point. If you're in shape the trail should take between 6-8hrs to complete. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Scotora: Expert, 12km return, multi-use. The trail follows the valley into Lac Cook from the Jacques Cartier River in the northern region of the Secteur de la Vallee. The trail is aggressive but if you think you haven't had enough, take the turn off onto the L'Andante and head up to the parks most impressive lookout. Le Scotora trail is accessed from the river road in the Secteur de la Vallee just passed the km 29 point. If you're in shape expect the hike to be about 4-5hrs (6-8hrs if you add the L'Andante Trail in as well). Secteur de la Vallee.

Backpacking: All the campsites in the park are backcountry or walk-in sites. There are 100 km of trails that take you up and down both sides of the river in the Secteur de la Vallee.. The east side is a network of dirt roads and easy hiking trails following the river. Trails like L'Andante and Les Loups head up the mountains beside the river to spectacular view points but unfortunately don't have campsites but on the rivers west bank you'll find a jeep trail that takes you about 30 km up river with backcountry campsites on route. The backcountry campsites offer pit toilettes, fir pits and a picnic table. You can get a trail map for hiking and backpacking at the Interpretation Center for a small fee.

Le Draveur Nord: Easy, 12.1km one way, 3.5km. The trail is actually a linear jeep track following the west bank of the Jacques Cartier River. Access is from La Scotora in the north or the Pont Blanc in the south. The trail connects to Le Draveur Sud in the south. There are two campsites on the trail, Le Marillon at the northern end and Le Portage B, just north of Le Pont Blanc. Both of these areas are available for backpackers or canoeists, so make sure you secure your site early. Secteur de la Vallee.

Le Draveur Sud: Easy, 7.5km one way, multi-use trail.A linear jeep track following the west bank of the Jacques Cartier River Access is from the either the Pont Blanc in the north or the bridge beside the park office in the south. The trail connects to Le Draveur Nord at Le Pont Blanc where you have the option of extending the hike. There is one campsite on route, at Le Bec-Scie. The area is available to backpackers or canoeists, so make sure you secure your site early. Secteur de la Vallee.

Les Coulees: Intermediate, 9.7km Loop. This is a moderate climb of 50 meters going in from the park office. You're rewarded with some excellent viewpoints over the valley. This route leads into the wilderness sites at Le Grand Duc along the Sautauriski River. The trail out along the Sautauriski is a jeep track which you'll share with mountain bikes if you hike out this way. Secteur de la Vallee.

Chemin du Lac a la Chute: 2.4km, multi-use trail. Located at the end of the road dirt road in the Secteur a l'Epaule, the trail provides access to the wilderness camping at Lac a la Chute in the heart of the park. There is parking at the trail head. Secteur a l'Epaule.

 
If your looking for any easy float the river has lots of quite water too.
  Canoeing: There is up to 26.2 km of linear river travel for the intermediate white water canoeist on the Jacques-Cartier River, and up to 17.3 km for beginners. These trips can take several hours to all day to complete or you can secure one of the many riverside canoe camp sites and stay the night. The rivers rapids range from class I to class IV with most being class III or lower.
All of the rapids have clearly marked portages around them (novices should be cautioned to inquire with the park regarding there route - don't get caught on the wrong side of the river above a class III or IV rapid). This provides great paddling for novices and expert canoeists alike. Given that the road follows the river, and the access points are very easy to get to, the park is a perfect place to practice your paddling. Of course shuttling is a breeze as well. If you don't have two cars, the park has a shuttle service (for a fee) to take you and your canoe up or down river. You can rent canoes and accessories at Les Excursions Jacques Cartier. For more information call 418-848-7272. You can get a canoe map at the Interpretation Center for a small fee. Note: Highwater in the Spring may make some of the rapids more difficult or impassible while low water levels may require lining of some rapids as the year progresses. Consult with the park about current conditions.
 
Kayaking: Kayaking is another great way to enjoy the white water of the Jacques-Cartier River. You can rent kayaks (sit on tops) and accessories from Les Excursions Jacques-Cartier and they will shuttle you, and your kayak to launch points on the river. For expert kayakers there is one class IV section within the parks main sector and more in the north of the park accessible from the Laurantide Wildlife Reserve. There's also some expert white water on the Jacques Cartier below the park. park.  
A good launch point on the river
 
A kayak is a great way to feel at one with the river. It's also an easy way to take the river solo.
  Rafting: There is white water rafting at the top of the park during the summer. This is easy rafting for anyone to enjoy. If you want a wild ride, you'll find it below the park at Stoneham/Tewkesbury. The company that takes care of both rafting areas is Les Excursions Jacques-Cartier For more information call 418-848-PARK (7272) or 418-848-RAFT (7238) for the Tewkesbury rafting.
 
Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing: There is miles of beautiful cross country skiing in the park. There are no tracked trails but skiing is encouraged and the park has the prospectors' huts which can be rented in winter. In the winter the park is accessible from the Camp Mercier Visitors Center km 93 on the 175. The center has snowshoe and cross country ski rentals.The phone number in the winter for the park is (418) 528-8787.

Camping & Accomodations

Walk-in Camping: There are no drive in campsites in the park. Although the walk-in distance to the nearest sites might almost classify them as drive in. Particularly some of the group sites along the lower part of the Sautauriski, as the parking is just in front of them. All of the campsites have some access to water but only Les Alluvions and the Belleau have drinking water and flush toilets. Either treat your water or get it from a reliable source in the park.

Group Camping: The lower Sautauriski, Le Heron and Le Group 3 are all group camping areas. Check with the park for details.

Backcountry and Canoe Camping: There are a number of canoe camping sites along the Jacques Cartier River. Some of the sites are also accessible from the road with a short walk. There are easily accessible wilderness sites at Le Grand Duc just a few short kilometres along the Sautauriski.Backpackers or mountain bikers with panniers can reach the Lac a la Chute backcountry area from Sector a l'Epoule.

The park has showers but they are only available to the campers at the walk-in sites at Les Alluvions just below the park office.

Cabins: The park also has cabins and prospectors tents for rent. You'll also find accomodation at the Lac a l'Epaule Lodge. Inquire with the park for details.

Flora and Fauna

The park is home to wolves, bear, moose, racoons as well as the elusive lynx. Over 200 species of birds have been identified in the park included barred owls, blue herons and osprey.

 
Note: There is a climbing area in the park at km 28, contact the park for route information. The Jacques-Cartier River is one of Canada's Heritage Rivers.

Kayaking the Jacques Cartier River - Photos1, Photos 2, Photos 3 - From the Blue Ridge Voyageurs

Accommodations Nearby: Auberge Stoneham
Hebergement Stoneham

Rafting & Equestrian: Excursions Jacques-Cartier

Quebec City Tourism - Quebec City Photos by Maciej Swulinski

Location Map of Quebec Parks
Laurentide Wildlife Reserve - Surrounds the upper reaches of the park.

Weather: Quebec City
Reservations
Official Site:
Jacques Cartier (English)
Le parc de la Jacques-Cartier (French)

 

 

Press here if you have arrived at this page without
the navigation bar on the left
 
All web site contents copyright 1995-2002 by White Cat Media