When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Gaspesie National Park, in the centre of the Gaspé Peninsula, is a vast sea of mountains and a paradise for hiking enthusiasts.
Because of the varied climates and morphology of the region, Gaspesie National Park hosts a tremendous diversity of wildlife that is unique to Québec, including the mountain caribou.
The park contains more than 25 peaks that rise above 1,000 metres, several of which are the highest peaks in Quebec. The spectacular scenery of the Chic-Chocs makes this mountain chain a preferred destination for lovers of the great outdoors.
Season: mid-June to end of September.
Mont Albert has a unique ecosystem, with its harsh climate, its alpine tundra and its reddish soil rich in serpentine, a rare orange mineral with a high calcium and magnesium content. The summit is a vast plateau where a herd of caribou can often be seen grazing.
At 17.4 km (6 to 8 hours) and with an elevation gain of 870 metres, the Tour-du-Mont-Albert is considered a difficult trail, but it is a hike that you won't soon forget! It offers a combination of steep climbs, lookout platforms with exceptional views and trails that follow a stream.
The trail climbs steadily right from the start. One third of the way up, the Belvédère de la Saillie lookout platform offers the first spectacular view of the Sainte-Anne river valley below. The trail then continues to rise towards the summit of Mont-Albert, where hikers can take a break at the Rabougris rest stop before carrying on to Belvédère du Versant. An even more scenic but no less difficult trail then follows Ruisseau du Diable through the beautiful Vallée du Diable , where you can take a break at the Serpentine rest stop just before reaching Lac du Diable. The trail then follows Rivière Sainte-Anne back down to the Visitors Centre. A challenging must-do hike for experienced hikers and the physically fit.
Departing from: Gaspesie National Park Discovery and Visitors Centre (you will need to pay the park entry fee).
Season: end of June to end of September, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you only plan to take one hike in the area, and you are physically fit, it should be Mont Jacques-Cartier. At 8.3 km round-trip, or 4 to 5 hours of hiking, this excursion is perfect for those who want to see wild caribou and who like a challenge. A complete change of scenery guaranteed!
A rocky trail leads straight up to the summit of the second highest peak in Quebec, and an exceptional site for caribou sighting. The summit, which is often snow-covered even in summer, offers a spectacular landscape of alpine tundra at an altitude of over 1,000 m.
At the top, you can take the free "Vivez le Grand Nord" educational hike with a park warden/naturalist, which lasts around 45 minutes (certain days only).
A shuttle leaves the Visitors Centre at 9:00 a.m. (arrival at the trailhead at 10:00). The same shuttle leaves Mont Jacques-Cartier at 4:00 p.m. (arrival at the Visitors Centre at 5:00). This is a challenging but well-maintained rock trail and has an elevation gain of 465 metres.
Departing from Discovery and Visitors Centre, June 24 to September 3, 2018. Additional departures available from Mont Jacques-Cartier campground. Charges apply for the park entry fee and the shuttle.
What should you bring for your hike?
Season: early May to end of November.
If you are travelling with children and are looking for a short hike, we strongly recommend Lac-aux-Américains. At 2.6 km (round trip), this easy hike takes about one hour. Lac aux Américains is located in the centre of a glacial cirque and is an exceptionally beautiful site.
ECOTOURISM SEA EXCURSION
Season: daily from early June to end of August, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (by reservation from early September to early October).
If you would like to experience an ecotourism sea excursion, Ste-Anne-des-Monts is your destination. For a first contact with the St. Lawrence River and witness the hauling of waved whelk and rock crab traps, choose the "Discover the St. Lawrence" excursion (duration: 1.5 hr; departing at 11 a.m. daily).
1 Rue du Quai, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts / 418-763-2500
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Restaurant et poissonnerie du Quai ($-$$)
This restaurant attached to the fishmonger's shop is owned by Jean-Guy Vallée, who catches everything he sells (turbot, halibut, crab, scallops, etc.). Simple, hearty fare made with fresh ingredients, served with a smile! Caution, it is often packed in summer. Open May-October for lunch and dinner.
3, 1st Avenue Ouest, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts / 418-763-7407
Auberge Château Lamontagne Restaurant ($$$-$$$$)
This magnificent inn is the former home of Madame Blanche Lamontagne, Quebec's first female poet. Perched on a rocky headland overlooking the sea, the building itself is listed as a historical monument and is worth a detour. The restaurant prepares tasty fish, seafood, lamb, beef and foie gras dishes, combining local products and world flavours. Open daily at 3 p.m. for snacks and at 5:30 p.m. for dinner in high season.
170 1st Avenue Est, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts / 418-763-7666
La Broue dans l’Toupet / Restaurant, bar et grill ($$-$$$)
Located in the heart of downtown Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, La Broue dans l’Toupet restaurant offers a varied menu that changes with the seasons and features local and regional ingredients. House specialties: grilled meats and seafood. The modern, friendly atmosphere and excellent service contribute to a memorable dining experience. Open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. an d daily from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
90 Blvd. Sainte-Anne Ouest, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts / 418-763-3321
Restaurant du Gîte du Mont Albert ($$$)
Chef Rémy Michaud will welcome you to the friendly dining room of Gîte du Mont Albert for his renowned table d’hôte with its fine gourmet dishes prepared using the best local and regional products. You can even have a picnic lunch to take with you when you visit the national park (order the day before!) Note that dinner is by reservation only. Open daily from mid-June to early October. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
2001 Route du Parc, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts / 418-763-2288
Where to sleep ?
Fête du vol libre (hang-gliding festival)
Dates: July 25 to 29, 2018
Dozens of hang-gliding and paragliding pilots from around the world gather in Mont-Saint-Pierre, between sea and aky. In addition to watching the colourful air show, visitors can enjoy the many outdoor activities and music events and sample local products.
In Mont St-Pierre:
- Very Favourable