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The Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park is a provincial national park in Quebec located astride the unorganized territories of Lac-Pikauba and Mont-Élie, in the regional county municipality (RCM) of Charlevoix, in the administrative region of Capitale-National, in Quebec.

The management of this protected area is the responsibility of the Society of Outdoor Establishments of Quebec (SÉPAQ).



The park is one of the two central areas of the Charlevoix biosphere reserve which is a UNESCO biosphere reserve; the other being the Des Grands-Jardins National Park which is upstream on the course of the Malbaie River. These two preservation areas are popular with anglers, hikers, campers and vacationers.



This protected area covers an area of 224.9 km2 (86.8 sq mi) in mountainous and forested areas. It is in the eastern part of the Lac Jacques-Cartier massif, in the Laurentian mountain range and its territory borders the ZEC des Martres (west side). This park also encloses the territory of the Grands-Ormes ecological reserve.

This park is crossed by the Malbaie River, which has its source at Petit lac Tristan, which is located in a marshy area in a small mountain valley north of Quebec. The course of this river forms a half arc of a circle oriented towards the north and encircling in its centre entirely the watershed of the Gouffre River; the latter empties into the St. Lawrence River at Baie-Saint-Paul.

Get in


By car

  • From La Malbaie (40 km (25 mi), in 36 min), take Route 138 (westbound) to the village of Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs; take rue Principal (west) which becomes rang St-Jérôme, to the reception desk of the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie national park.
  • From Tadoussac (113 km (70 mi), in 1 hr 51 min), take the Tadoussac-Baie Sainte-Catherine ferry; take route 138 (westbound), to the village of Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs; take rue Principal (west) which becomes rang St-Jérôme, to the reception desk of the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie national park.
  • From Quebec City (152 km (94 mi), in 1 hr 55 min, take Route 138 (Eastbound), to the village of Saint-Hilarion; take chemin Cartier (heading north), to the reception desk of the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie national park.

Get around

Map of Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park





Summer activities

  • Day fishing (take road 381 until km 55 (about 18 km on this road)). Day fishing is organized in the plateau sector, on Porc-Épic, Argentenay and Châteauguay lakes. These three lakes are home to the brook trout and Lac Parc-Épic, the grayling. In addition, brook trout fishing is offered on the Malbaie River (wading or with a boat, angling or fly fishing), downstream from the Érables dam; as well as at Lac Noir, with a Sépaq boat. You must travel 12 km by vehicle on a forest road to reach the lake.
  • Biking. Bike paths are open from late May to early September. The park offers an 8-km (one-way) paved route, on a road shared with cars. This route connects the Félix-Antoine-Savard Discovery and Visitors Centre to the Le Draveur Visitors Centre. From there, the trail stretches for 8 km (one way) on the gravel cycle path to L'Équerre. Along the route and along the Malbaie River, picnic areas have been set up. Bikes can be rented at the equipment rental centre which is 160 m behind the Le Draveur Visitors Centre.
  • Canoe and kayak. Canoe or kayak, in a 4-hour trip (round-trip), are good way to discover the beauty of the Malbaie river. Equipment rental is available at the equipment rental centre, which is 160 m behind the Le Draveur Visitors Centre.
  • Inflatable boat (Canot pneumatique), toll-free: +1 418 439-2265, . The park offers to descend the Malbaie River in an inflatable canoe (2 places) crossing level 1 and level 2 rapids. The 7.5-km route begins downstream from the Érables dam, to the Cran campground. Two departures per day are offered: 09:30 and 13:30. In addition, the Descente Malbaie program offers three inflatable canoe excursions, with a nature interpretation component.
  • Discovery cruise by river boat. June 10 to October 11, 2021. The cruise lasts approximately 1 hour aboard the Bateau-Mouche, Menaud, can carry up to 47 passengers. The rear deck allows you to admire the landscape and photograph it. This cruise is led by the captain and the naturalist park ranger. Free access for children aged 17 and under in a family context.
  • Rabaska. Rabaska excursions are made in small groups accompanied by a naturalist park warden. The park offers a program of guided discovery activities. The park also offers hourly rental of a rabaska, for a block of 4 hours or for the day.
  • Paddle surfing (Surf à pagaie). From late May to early September 10: every day. Of Hawaiian origin and designed for calm waters, the paddle board is a longer, wider and thicker design; consequently, it offers greater stability than traditional surfboards which are designed for waves. Paddleboarding combines surfing and kayaking. The activity consists of rowing with a paddle, standing on a large surfboard. Learning to balance is simple. Equipment rental includes board, paddle and personal flotation device.

Winter activities

  • Snowshoe. The park offers 11 marked trails for snowshoeing in the Vallée des Glaces, totalling 52 km. The choice of trails is according to the level of ability of the snowshoers:
    ** the Cran des Érables sector offers the following trails: Le Riverain which offers a breathtaking view of the Malbaie River valley, the Rapides trail along the river and Lac Sans Oreilles;
    ** Leaving from Le Draveur Visitors Centre, snowshoers take the Malbaie River trail to L'Équerre where snowshoers take the multipurpose trail;
    ** the Équerre sector offers the first trails La Chute-du-Ruisseau-Blanc (1 km round trip) and La Coulée du lac à Girard (9.6 km round trip). These trails connect to the Des Orchidées trail (via the La Coulée-du-Lac-à-Girard trail) and the William Hume-Blake trail (via the Orchidées trail). A heated relay is accessible at km 7, in the Équerre sector.
  • Crosscountry skying. The park offers 50 km of marked trails, unmarked or groomed, for Nordic skiing enthusiasts, in the Vallée des Glaces. These trails are:
    **Équerre sector: La Chute-du-Ruisseau-Blanc, William-Hume-Blake and La Coulée du lac à Girard trail;
    **West section of the Valley: via the Coulée du Lac à Girard trail;
    **Cran des Érables sector: Le Riverain, Les Rapides or Sans Oreilles trails.
    From the Draveur, cross-country skiers can slide their skis to the Équerre, on the Malbaie River or on the multifunctional trail. A transportation service ($) aboard the tracked shuttle is offered between Le Draveur Visitors Centre and the Équerre sector, with a stop at Pointe-aux-Inukshuk. The heated relay (km 7) in the Équerre sector allows for a beneficial break.
  • Ice ring. Mid-January to mid-March, depending on ice and snow conditions.. The park has set up a ring and an icy trail on the Malbaie River in the Vallée des Glaces, to skate in a magical setting. Skaters meet at Le Draveur Visitors Centre. Skaters must bring their skates; the park does not offer the rental of this type of equipment.
  • Ice climbing. Mid-January to mid-March, depending on ice and snow conditions. Every winter, the park allows climbers to climb authorized ice walls offering different routes, including La Pomme d'Or; it is a wall along the Malbaie River 4 km towards L'Équerre from the Le Draveur Visitors Centre. From this last centre, climbers have three ways to reach this icy wall: on skis, on snowshoes or by caterpillar shuttle.
    This activity is aimed at high level climbers, in excellent physical condition. Each climber must practice the activity by being entirely autonomous. For ice climbing activities inside the park, each climber must first register with the park. The park recommends that climbers carry a satellite phone or spot-type emergency message device. Cell phone networks do not serve the park area and no emergency phones are available on the premises. Climbers must first read the safety instructions and the advice sheet for ice climbing.
  • Ski-snowshoeing. December to March, depending on snow conditions. The ski-snowshoe is a wide ski with a sole partially covered with a skin allowing grip when climbing. This type of ski is equipped with a universal binding in order to be able to attach several types of boots. This type of versatile equipment is positioned between snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The ski-shoe is easy to handle, even for the uninitiated; moving on snow is faster than on snowshoes. This activity is practiced mainly on ungroomed trails. Hikers can rent this equipment at the Le Draveur Visitors Centre from mid-December to late March. Park either at the entrance to the park in front of the gatehouse, at km 2 at the Pont des Érables, or at the Le Draveur Visitors Centre.

All-season activities

  • Hiking. Year-round, except for the Acropole-des-Draveurs trail. The park offers a wide range of trails for hiking, including the legendary Acropole-des-Draveurs trail (offering an exhilarating viewpoint at its summit), the Riverfront trail (with a series of magnificent viewpoints), or the Rapides trail (along the Malbaie River). The choice of trails is according to the ability of each, the desired duration of the activity and the desired environment. The park website displays the trail chart. As for the long hike, hikers are asked to contact the Traversée de Charlevoix.
  • Oversized tire bike (fatbike). The fatbike experience on snow-covered surfaces is a challenge that gives a lot of fun. The park offers a 7-km trail from the Draveur Visitors Centre to the Équerre sector. Fat tire bike rental is available from early December to late March.
  • Wildlife viewing. The park presents a self-discovery guide with a list of mammals and birds present in the park, in particular the osprey and the great blue heron. In addition, paddlers and river boat passengers occasionally see moose or beavers. Get the free self-discovery guide to discover the wildlife on the river at your own pace. Reference material is available at the Equipment Rental Centre.


  • 1 Centre de services Le Draveur (Le Draveur Services Centre). Local products from the region offered at Le Draveur Services Centre: duck sandwich, smoked trout panini, smoked pork meat, beer from the Microbrasserie de Charlevoix, etc.








  • Chalet Écho (Echo Cottage). Ten Écho cabins in the Le Cran des Érables sector. Each chalet has two bedrooms. Capacity of four people per chalet. Large windows, well-equipped kitchen with refrigerator, stove, bathroom with toilet and shower, and wood stove.
  • Prêt-à-camper (Ready-to-camp). May to October (depending on the sector, subject to change without notice). Ten Étoile ready-to-camp sites in Le Cran campground. Cubic in shape, each Étoile ready-to-camp has a wooden structure sealed with canvas. Capacity for six people (three double beds) and storage. In this concept, campers benefit from the same kitchen facilities as traditional ready-to-camp.


  • Camping Le Cran (0.5 km from the Félix-Antoine-Savard Discovery and Visitors Centre). Campground offering 75 semi-serviced sites and 19 semi-serviced sites (electricity) that can accommodate all types of equipment.
  • Camping Pin-Blanc. Campsite with 20 individual pitches and one group pitch.
  • Camping L'Équerre (rustique) (8 km from the Draveur service centre; site accessible only on foot or by bike via the bike path (8 km) or by canoe via the Malbaie River (8 km)), +1 800-665-6527. Campsite with 25 pitches in the forest or near the river. The parking provided for Équerre campers is at the Le Draveur Visitors Centre, using the identified locations.
  • Espace VR L'Épervier. May to October (depending on the sector, subject to change without notice). Campsites designed for trailers and motorhomes. Recommended for independent visitors because of the distance from sanitary services (toilet and shower)
  • Group camping (Camping de groupe). May to October (depending on the sector, subject to change without notice). The park provides sites for group camping.

Stay safe


Go next


  • 1 Laurentides Wildlife Reserve Wildlife reserve straddling the administrative regions of Quebec Region, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Mauricie. It covers an area of ​​7,934 km2 (3,063 sq mi). This wildlife reserve borders on the limit of Saint-Urbain.
  • 2 Des Grands-Jardins National Park With an area of 319 km2 (123 sq mi) and with more than 120 bodies of water, the Grands-Jardins park is located in the unorganized territory of Lac-Pikauba, in the MRC de Charlevoix. This park constitutes a protected area aimed at the conservation of the natural heritage in which certain human activities are permitted. It is one of the central areas of the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve, a status granted by UNESCO in 1988. The park is managed by the Quebec government through SÉPAQ. Visitors can enjoy a number of activities here, both summer and winter: camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
  • 3 Zec du Lac-au-Sable Controlled harvesting zone (zec) located in the unorganized territory of Mont-Élie (Quebec); the reception desk is located near the junction of chemin du Friche and chemin Snigole in Clermont. This zec is a territory for hunting and fishing, camping, hiking in nature; the zec offers certain services including boat rental on several lakes, boat ramps and various accommodation services (cottage, yurt and camping).
  • 4 Saint-Urbain (Quebec) A rural, forest and mountainous community, Saint-Urbain has a lot to offer in terms of recreational tourism (vacation, snowmobiling, ATV, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, hiking trails, picking wild fruits, observation of panoramas, flora and fauna). Nestled in the magnificent valley of the Rivière du Gouffre, tucked into the Laurentians, Saint-Urbain is the gateway to the Grands-Jardins national park and the Charlevoix hinterland.
  • 5 Notre-Dame-des-Monts Village nestled between the mountains, offering magnificent panoramas. The summit of Gros Mont overlooks the region, in the heart of the famous crater of the Astroblème de Charlevoix. The forest and mountainous nature offers many attractions including mountain biking, snowmobiling, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing.
  • 6 Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs A locality offering plenty of recreational and tourist activities (resorts, fishing, nautical activities, Trans-Canada hiking trails and local trails in the Grands Monts sector, observation of the nautre, flora and fauna). Several organizations offer many services: the zec des Martes, the Pic-bois outfitter and the Hautes-Gorges de la rivière Malbaie national park. Among the main events, there is the Charlevoix triathlon, the Charleboix rodeo (end of June).
  • 7 ZEC des Martres Controlled harvesting zone (ZEC) created in 1978 following the abolition of private hunting & fishing clubs on public lands. This territory of 424 km2 (164 sq mi) and includes 219 lakes. This wild territory is suitable for hiking, quad/snowmobile rides, camping, hunting, fishing, as well as the observation of landscapes, flora and fauna.
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