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Thread: Mont Jacques Cartier – Parc National de Gaspésie (Quebec)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Mont Jacques Cartier – Parc National de Gaspésie (Quebec)

    Getting there is half the fun as the old cliché says, but not much in between Forillon and Gaspe National Parks can measure up to those destinations for their unique beauty and outdoor opportunities (also see my paddling report from Forillon) … except the view along rt. 132 and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of this route which, in my mind, rivals the Cabot Trail of Cape Breton.

    Here is a shot taken from a vantage I don’t usually risk … be comforted that I never text from behind the wheel:

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    Our main objective on this trip to Gaspésie was Mont Jacques Cartier and the caribou herd which hangs out there. Access to this trail is controlled in the interest of the caribou and limited to the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM and departures are not permitted after noon. Although there is public parking near the trailhead, the best access is by shuttle bus which most hikers take from the facilities (campgrounds, chalet, and hotel) near the Discovery Center on rt. 299. This shuttle includes a guide who leads the trip until hikers start to spread out and you can eventually rendezvous with her at the summit. The shuttle also makes it possible to do a through hike back to the aforementioned facilities, 24 km (15 mi) with considerable exposure, a campsite and “refuge”.

    Jacques Cartier Trail round trip is 9.3 km 465 m elevation gain (6 mi, 1500 ft.) including a 1 km side loop and is well improved and maintained:

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    Go quest young man:

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    On the rocks:

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    More alpine rocks and a lush pond below:

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Mont Jacques Cartier - Parc National de Gaspésie (Quebec) - part II

    The summit tower was a popular place for lunch on this cool windy day and, while intrusive, the convenience is not only convenient, it preserves the zone for caribou and visitors alike:

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    We saw two caribou (is that deux cariboux?) browsing in the bush and couldn’t get a good photo but here’s evidence that not everyone uses the conveniences:

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    Descending:

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    Another signature hike in this park, which we reserved for hopefully another visit, is the Mont Albert loop, 17.4 km, 870 m (11 mi, 2900 ft.). Mont Xalibu and Lac aux Américains also offer good hikes. Lac Cascapédia has camping and cabins and offers hiking, the IAT passes here, and scenic paddling. Though billed as an 8 mile round trip paddle to the end of the lake from the landing at the north end, another two miles takes you to the outlet of Petit Lac Cascapédia where a beaver dam seems to make the river between the two more feasible.

    Lac Cascapédia outlet at south end of lake:

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    Beaver dam at outlet from Petit Lac Cascapédia:

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    Gaspe Park is also a popular winter destination. Here is a link to the park websites:
    http://www.sepaq.com/pq/gas/information.dot

    Whether you stay at a campground, chalet or the hotel, Gîte du Mont Albert, the four star restaurant at the hotel is worth a meal, mais tres cher. Here’s a link to the hotel which also books the chalets:
    http://www.sepaq.com/pq/gma/index.dot?language_id=1

    My thanks to “spider solo” for much sound advice on this and other stops on our Canadian Maritimes tour.


    August 2012

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sunshine Chris's Avatar
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    I love the Gaspe Pennisula and Park. I got to hike there for 3 days with my brother in 1999. We stayed at huts each night and hiked from summit to summit. It was a wonderful experience and I would love to do it again. I enjoyed being reminded of that wonderful time by your trip report and pics. Thanks again

  4. #4
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    All of your recent Eastern Province trip reports have been fantastic, and actually more helpful in getting a real idea of what to expect in a region that has held a long-time fascination for me. I look forward to the time I finallly get a chance to visit.

    Now I have to add another in the same general region since it caught my fascination while cruising google earth:

    Lac Manicouagan- ahh the life list grows.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nif's Avatar
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    This is a really nice area Stan. Nice to see pictures in the summer and read about your trip. I've done a couple ski trips in the winter, Gaspié is quite popular for that. I've stayed at the Madeline Mines hut, and friends went over to Jacques Cartier, but I have yet to go. (Too focused on the goods right at my ski tips ;P) Someday however I will.
    It's only 0.2 how bad could it be?

  6. #6
    Senior Member spider solo's Avatar
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    HI Stan
    I'm just now catching up reading about your trip up through the Gaspe and beyond. Great pictures and text.

    We've hiked and traveled most any where that was allowed in the Parc and area. The parc is also adjacent to Reserve Faunique Matane a fine though rugged destination unto itself..just in case I can tempt you up that way again.
    Glad you got to see the Caribou ..it wasn't till our 4th trip that we saw any, though now we are better at spotting them. Surprising how well they blend into a treeless expanse, love seeing the huge antler racks on the bucks.

    Congratulations on making it up there, hope it lures you back again as it has to us these past 20+ years

    (now I'll go look your reports and see how the rest of your trip went... :->


    I see one person mentions Lac Manicougan...the"eye of Canada".... tempting eh ?
    "you've got to stand for something
    or...you'll fall for anything"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    I did the Mont Albert loop 2 summers ago, there were still snow patches. Spectacular views. Also did Mont Jacques Cartier last summer. Nice day, but no Caribou. The bus driver scared us more than the hike. LOL. Nice pictures, BTW.

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