The complete guide to Gaspésie National Park

Welcome to Gaspésie National Park, located in the heart of the Gaspé Peninsula.

With more than 25 summits over 1000 meters, it is here that we find several of the highest mountains in la Belle Province.

In this guide, you will find a ton of information about this must-see during a self-drive tour in Canada.
 

Map of the National Park

map of hiking trails gaspesie park
Map of the Gaspésie National Park

 

What to do in Gaspésie National Park ? 

Hiking in gaspesie national park
Lac-aux-Américains

Gaspésie National Park is an incredible playground for all outdoor enthousiasts. It is definitely one of Quebec's National Parks to discover.

The elevation of the many mountains present in the park allowed for different climates to develop, which attracts a diversity of living species, many of which are unique in the world.

On foot, by canoe or on the water, it's hard not to marvel at this generous nature!


#1. Hiking trails 

best hikes gaspesie national park
Mont-Albert trail

Hiking is undoubtedly the most popular activity in the park.

Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, there are trails for all levels, some of which are particularly worth seeing:


:footprints: emoji MONT-ALBERT LOOP

  • Length : 17,4 km (loop)
  • Duration : 6 to 8 hours
  • Elevation : 870 m
  • Level : Difficult
  • Starting point : Visitors Center, Mont-Albert sector
  • Dates : from mid-June to late-September
     

This trail will leave you speechless with its sustained climb, all along magnificent viewpoints. This is a must if your physical condition allows it!

If you have a little less time, you can also focus on the north slope only, by retracing your steps once at the top.

  • Length : 11,4 km total
  • Duration : 5 hours
  • Elevation : 850 m
  • Level : Difficult
  • Starting point : Visitors Center, Mont-Albert sector
  • Dates : from mid-June to late-September
     


:footprints: emoji MONT-ERNEST-LAFORCE

  • Length : 4,5 km (loop)
  • Duration : 2 hours
  • Elevation : 155 m
  • Level : Intermediate
  • Starting point : Parking lot of Mont-Ernest-Laforce, on Route 16, in the Monts-McGerrigle sector
  • Dates : May to November
     

If you don't have a full day or are a little less experienced hiker, this is the trail to prioritize.

The observation deck at the top offers a very nice overview of the mountains of the park.

Be careful on your journey, because moose are very present in this sector of the park!


:footprints: emoji MONT-JACQUES-CARTIER

  • Length : 8,3 km total
  • Duration : 4 to 5 hours
  • Elevation : 465 m
  • Level : Difficult
  • Starting point : Mont-Jacques-Cartier campground, on Route 16, in the Monts-McGerrigle sector
  • Dates : End of June to the end of September, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
     

The second highest peak in Quebec, Mont Jacques-Cartier is home to a herd of caribou.

As the presence of hikers can disturb the animals, it is forbidden to use the trail before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.

Once at the top, at an altitude of more than 1000 meters, you will be left speechless by the alpine tundra landscape. Moreover, it is not uncommon for the summit to be snowy still, even in the summer!


:footprints: emoji LAC-AUX-AMÉRICAINS

  • Length : 2,6 km total
  • Duration: 1,5 hour
  • Elevation : 80 m
  • Level : Easy
  • Starting point : Parking lot of Lac-aux-Américains, Route 160, in the Monts-McGerrigle sector
  • Dates : From early-May to late-November
     

This short trail is ideal if you are on a Quebec road trip with the family or the less athletic! In less than 30 minutes, it will take you to a panorama that is postcard worthy.

Impressive at any time of the day, but particularly at the end of the afternoon, Lac aux Américains is considered by many to be the most beautiful lake in the region!

 

#2. Wildlife observation 

what to do gaspesie national park
Looking over the wonderful panoramas of Gaspesie National Park

As the climate varies enormously in the park, a diverse fauna coexists there: white-tailed deer, arctic char, golden eagles, moose, caribou, etc.

These last two are of course the big stars of the territory.


:fleche: emoji CARIBOU

caribou hike gaspesie national park
Caribou in Gaspesie National Park

Contrary to the European myth, it is not that common to see caribou in Quebec.

Mont Jacques-Cartier is the best place to observe these impressive deer.

Estimated at more or less 230 animals, the Gaspé caribou herd is considered endangered. For this reason, the Gaspésie park is an extremely protected environment.

In fact, as mentioned above, it is forbidden to travel on the trail outside of authorized hours. A park warden ensures that the rules are respected and can also answer any question hikers may have.
 

:fleche: emoji MOOSE

wildlife gaspesie national park
Moose in Gaspesie National Park

Gaspésie National Park is home to one of the highest densities of moose in the province. Also known as "American elks", they are the largest deer in the world.

The observation of moose is extremely impressive. Be careful when walking in the park, as it is not uncommon to see one or more on the side of the road or on a trail.

For food, moose seem to be particularly fond of the Mont Ernest-Laforce trail because of the large number of birches, firs and young shrubs that can be found there.

 

Where to sleep inside of the park? 

lodging options gaspesie national park
Where to sleep inside the park?

If you want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible during your Quebec travel, the Société des establishments de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) offers several categories of accommodation located inside the park.


#1. Camping

camping gaspesie national park
Camping in Gaspesie National Park

For the more purists, a campsite is the accommodation of choice to be in perfect harmony with nature.

The sites with or without service(s) are spread over 4 different sectors (Mont-Albert, de la Rivière, Cascapédia and Mont-Jacques-Cartier). They can accommodate campers in tents and / or RV.

In addition to these campgrounds, you will find a space offering completely cleared sites specially designed to accommodate RVs.
 

#2. Glamping

glamping huttopia sepaq gaspesie
Huttopia glamping

Located at the Mont-Albert campsite, the 14 Huttopia tents offer a very comfortable camping experience.

This is a great option if you are not equipped for camping or if you are traveling with the family. This ready-to-camp option can accommodate up to 6 people (maximum of 4 adults).

All tents are equipped with an additional heater, which can be very useful on cooler nights.

Sanitary blocks (toilets, sinks and showers) are available nearby.
 

#3. Gîte du Mont-Albert

inn inside gaspesie national park
Gîte du Mont-Albert

This magnificent inn renowned for its warm welcome and gourmet cuisine offers travelers and outdoor enthusiasts a luxury stay in the heart of the mountains.

Rated 4 stars, this quaint accommodation enjoys an impeccable reputation.

With 60 rooms with private bathroom and an outdoor swimming pool, this is the ideal place if you are traveling as a couple and want to spoil yourself a little!
 

#4. Cabin

cabin gaspesie national park
Chalet inside the park

Cabins can accommodate up to 8 people and they are located around the Gîte du Mont-Albert and the Saint-Anne river.

They offer a full kitchen, a wood stove (or fireplace), a toilet, a shower and hot water.

Outside, you will also find a picnic table and a fire pit.

Not to mention that in summer, tenants can enjoy the swimming pool at Gîte du Mont-Albert!

 

When to visit Gaspésie National Park ? 

  • Very Favourable
  • Favourable
  • Unfavourable

The best time to visit the Gaspésie National Park is from June to the end of September.

Note, however, that in June, mosquitoes are more of a nuisance. If you choose to go during that month, choose a good mosquito repellent, preferably the "Watkins" brand.

October can be beautiful, but very cold. In addition, since the region depends mainly on tourism, several attractions around the park have stopped operating for the season.

 

Price list for 2021

fees entrance gaspesie national park
Entrance fees for Gaspésie National Park

Gaspésie National Park is managed by the Société des establishments de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) and you can expect access fees.

  • Adult : 9$ CAD for daily access
  • Children 17 and under : Free
     

Note that every dollar raised through entry fees is reinvested in the territories protected by Sépaq.

To find out the costs related to accommodation or equipment rental, click here.

 

There you go ! 

You are now ready to explore this magnificent park.

If you have any questions and / or suggestions, feel free to express yourself using the comment box below.

Karolane Lessard

An enthusiast of both our vibrant cities & great oudoors, my life revolves around travel & adventure. It's a no brainer that I have to share the wonders & secrets of my neck of the woods with other travelling souls. Enjoy the journey !

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your e-mail address will not be shared

I have read and accepted the Terms of Use*