When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Jacques-Cartier National Park is host to a beautiful glacial valley, the Vallée de la Jacques-Cartier, a spectacular channel some 600 metres deep through which winds one of Quebec's most beautiful rivers.
It is a real nature-lovers' paradise where visitors can hike and canoe to their heart's content.
JACQUES-CARTIER NATIONAL PARK
Season: The park is open year-round, but the period during which services are available varies according to sector.
Entrance fee: $8.90/adult/day and free for youth aged 17 and under.
LES LOUPS TRAIL
Distance (round-trip): 11 km
Time (round-trip): 3½ hours
Elevation gain: 447 m
Sentier des Loups, one of the park's most scenic trails, is an 11-kilometre round-trip hike (3.5 h) that offers breathtaking views of the valley.
At an altitude of 727 m, the view from the summit is exceptional. This is a difficult trail that rises more than 447 metres in altitude to reach the top. The climb is steep but quite short.
Possible from mid-May to mid-October.
LE SCOTORA TRAIL
Distance (round-trip): 16 km
Time (round-trip): 5¼ hours
Elevation gain: 405 m
This long trail will take you to the summit of Mount Andante, at an altitude of 809 meters. You will certainly have a spectacular view from the top, but you will also enjoy the scenery along the way. The climb is steady but gradual, making it not too taxing.
LES CASCADES TRAIL
Distance (round-trip): 4 km loop
Time (round-trip): 1½ hours
Elevation gain: 156 m
Nice little hike along a cascading stream. A good option if you're travelling with young children. The trail is well maintained with footbridges to cross the waterfalls. A portion of it is also a bicycle path. Let yourself be lulled by the sound of the water and enjoy the scenery!
CANOEING DOWN THE JACQUES-CARTIER RIVER
One of the park's signature activities is canoeing down the Jacques-Cartier River, which offers over 26 kilometres of pure pleasure.
As the river has several calm stretches of water, this activity can be enjoyed by the whole family including children over 5. On the other hand, thrill-seekers will get their fill of adrenaline in the turbulent white water rapids!
The park's Visitors Centre rents a variety of types of watercraft such as kayaks, mini-rafts, regular and inflatable canoes and inner tubes.
Note that additional equipment can also be rented such as wetsuits, safety helmets, dry bags and watertight casks. A shuttle service is provided to transport visitors to the different launch sites.
Possible from the end of May to early October (see the park website for shuttle schedule).
VILLAGE VACANCES VALCARTIER
Valcartier Vacation Village is an exceptional water park with more than 35 water slides, a wave pool and two theme rivers. Winter activities include ice skating and snow rafting. Good times for the whole family!
Open from early June to early September, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 7 p.m. from late June to mid-August).
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Your best choice is to bring a picnic lunch along when you visit Jacques-Cartier National Park. The park has many reserved picnic areas, or you can stop for lunch in any other scenic location that strikes your fancy.
The Discovery and Visitors Centre in the La Vallée sector has a general store that offers ready-to-eat food.
MICROBRASSERIE LA SOUCHE ($$-$$$)
This microbrewery is also a restaurant where you can enjoy a good craft beer and a tasty meal showcasing local produce and producers. The pub-style menu offers an interesting selection of pizzas, sandwiches, poutines, salads and grilled meats. There is also a shop on site.
Generally open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
- Very Favourable