Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, CA
|Usual Difficulty||IV (for normal flows)|
|Jacques-Cartier at Jacques-Cartier, Rivière|
|qbec-050801||20.0 - 120.0 cm/s||IV||02h39m||112.3 cm/s (running)|
|Flow is measured in Cubit Meters per Second|
The Tewkesbury section of the Jacques Cartier is the premier class IV whitewater
destination river in Central Quebec. Located only twenty minutes northwest of Quebec City
it is a wonderful run with challenging rapids, and many incredible play spots.
This is a summer run. The river runs with natural flow all year long; however summer levels are usually preferred. Be aware that rainfall (or lack thereof) can vary the level greatly; a heavy rain can raise the level much higher then most boaters are comfortable with. Or a couple weeks with limited rain will drop the level to below what most people consider reasonable. Check the levels beforehand and be prepared with an alternate plan
Put in elevation........ 767.7'
Take out elevation...... 656.1'
Total drop.............. 111.6'
Average drop/mile....... 25.4'
Maximum drop/mile....... ~80'
River profile type...... Discontinuous, mixed easy and difficult
rapids with quickwater and two lakes
Distance................ 4.4 miles
Duration................ 2-5 hours
Shuttle length.......... 4.5 miles/12 minutes
River width average..... 50-100'
River water quality.....
Drainage area........... 707 sq miles
Scenery................. Woods, hills, a few cabins.
Distance from Quebec.... 27 miles
Distance from Montreal.. 181 miles
Les Excursions Jacques-Cartier Located at put-in. Rafting, horseback
riding & camping. 418-848-RAFT (7238)
Valcartier Rafting-Plus Full service resort, Canada's largest water
park, located 20 minutes from river. 418-844-RAFT
Boréal Design Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures (Quebec) 418-878-3099
Full service paddling shop for both whitewater and sea kayaking.
Camping Juneau (Paddlers' Favorite) St-Augustin-de-Desmaures
418-871-9090. Full service campground located between Tewkesbury, Pont
Rouge and Donnaconna sections. Both wooded & grassy camp sites, cottages
& trailers. Pets ok; lake w/boat ramp, but no beach or pool. Restaurant,
playground, laundry & WiFi. No store on premises, but Wal-Mart, Home
Depot and everything else close by. No bugs. Reservations recommended.
Les Excursions Jacques-Cartier (Paddlers' Favorite) 418-848-RAFT (7238).
Typical paddlers' campground (ie, primitive and cheap)! Basically small
field on premises of raft company at Tewkesbury put-in. Showers and
flush toilets across parking lot in rafting building. Healthy mosquito
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier 800-665-6527 418-890-6527.
Jacques-Cartier Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful wilderness
parks in Eastern Canada. Canoeing, Backpacking, Mountain Biking,
Skiing, Snowshoeing, etc. Camping (both primitive and with facilities),
Cabins & Lodge. Close to upstream sections of river only. Plenty of
mosquitos, black flys & bears. Additional info.
Camping L'Égaré Neuville 418-876-3359. Full service campground; rural
location near Donnaconna and Pont Rouge river sections. Small and quiet;
grassy sites with some trees. Excellent facilities with dishwashing
& laundry area, spotless restrooms, pool and snack bar. Somewhat paddler
and large group unfriendly, although some folks may appreciate the
extensive rules and strict enforcement thereof. Beautiful view with
sites overlooking St Lawrence River. No bugs. Gate closes 11PM sharp!
Camping un air d'été Pont-Rouge 418-873-4791 877-873-4791. Full
service campground; both wooded & grassy sites. Rural location between
St. Catherine & Pont Rouge river sections. Gate closes 11?? PM.
Camping Riv-O-Pom Neuville 418-876-3359. Full service campground.
Mostly wooded. Rural location close to Pont Rouge and Donnaconna
sections of the river. Healthy mosquito population. Gate closes 10PM.
Valcartier Rafting-Plus Valcartier Village 418-844-RAFT (7238). Full
service campground and resort; Canada's largest water park. Surburban
location northeast of Quebec City, 20 minutes from river.
Camping De La Joie Charlesbourg 418-849-2264. Full service campground,
Surburban location; half-way between Quebec City and Tewkesbury
section of the river. Large and crowded but convenient location.
Camping Stoneham Saint-Adolphe, 418-848-2233; Exit km66 off Rte 175.
Full service campground; rural location not too far off highway, about
3 miles north of Tewkesbury section exit (5 mi South Jacques-Cartier
Provincial Park). Pets ok, but extra charge. Store on-site, cottages,
internet access, pool and pond.
Full List of Quebec City area campgrounds here.
Comfort Inn — 7320 boul Wilfrid-Hamel Ste-Foy, Quebec, QC 418-872-5038
Gas/Convenience Stores.. In Stoneham, on Boulevard Talbot, near
Route 371 and Highway 73/175 Exit 167.
Nearest Restrooms....... Rafting building at put-in.
Supermarket/food........ None close by, many in city.
Restaurants/Pizza/etc... none nearby
Internet Access......... Dream Cite Internet Cafe; 2323, Galvani,
Sainte-Foy, 418-686-0606; in small industrial
park; intersection of Rue Galvani and Avenue
Nérée-Tremblay (near and just off the exits
and intersections of highways 440 and 740);
GPS location 46.7916°,-71.2846°.
|Guide des rivières sportives au Québec, by Gilles Fortin. The original guidebook to the whitewater rivers of Quebec (75 rivers described, 81 maps). Long out of print, this was the bible for years; used copies sometimes available but expensive. In french only. Published 1980, Éditions Marcel Broquet, 445 pages, ISBN: 978-2890000285. Available online at MYOSIS.CA.|
|Les rivières sportives du Québec, by Éric Leclerc. Newer updated guidebook to whitewater rivers of Quebec (154 rivers listed, 93 maps). Available by mail-order from the author; in french only. Published 2005, Paru aux Éditions Expédition Plein Air, 265 pages, ISBN 2-9808873-0-7.|
|Carte-Guide Rivière Jacques-Cartier, by La Fédération Québécoise de canot et kayak (Canoe and Kayak Federation of Quebec). Guide and map to the entire 93 miles of river showing each boatable section, rapids, put-in & take-out locations, portages, and other points of interest. In french only, but since majority of book is maps doesn't really matter. Published by the Federation, 14 pages (9 pages of maps), ISBN 2-891010149-X.|
|Let It Rain, by Alden Bird. Beautiful coffee-table book and guide to rivers in Ontario (6 rivers), Quebec (38 rivers, 23 maps), Gaspe Peninsula (6), Newfoundland (7), plus many in New England, New York and the Delaware Water Gap. Focused on the more famous (and difficult IV–V+) runs. In english only. Published 2007, Malbaie Press, Bethesda, MD, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0615154077. Also at Amazon.Com and NRS.|
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Upper Put In|
|1.0||Les Frangins (Brothers)||IV|
|1.2||Le Chapeau melon (Bowler Hat)||IV|
|1.6||Le Hache-Viande (Meat Grinder /or/ Mincing Machine)||IV+|
|2.0||Défilé des marmites (Cauldron Narrows /or/ Whirlpool Gorge)||III|
|2.8||Sac à noeuds (Bag of Knots /or/ Tangled Web)||III+|
|3.0||La Surprise (Surprise)||IV|
|4.0||Le Champ de roches (Rock Garden /or/ Field of Rocks)||III|
Below Meat Grinder the river narrows and makes an abrupt right turn. There is a meaty play wave here in the center of the cauldron. A nice lunch spot is on the right where the gorge opens up into a lake.
There is a huge and deep hole here at the bottom of the drop extending from the river-right bank almost all the way across. Avoid the hole on river-left at the top, then cut left to avoid the big one.
Translation note: While the french 'Sac a noeuds' literally translates to the words 'Bag of Knots'; there is no simple cultural equivalent in english of the french phrase. The actual meaning is 'a complicated, confusing, or tangled affair or set of circumstances'. Other suggested meanings are the english slang phrases 'a tangled web', 'three-ring circus' or 'cluster ****'. It is a common french phrase; there's even a movie by that title 'Sac de noeuds (1985)' [English description here], with the english release title 'All Mixed Up'. For more info see this Wikipedia entry in french.
English speakers sometimes translate 'bag' into the english slang 'capture'; As in—The river 'bagged' another paddler and tied the bag shut with a knot. This makes more sense to paddlers scouting the hole at the rapid bottom. It's the only hydraulic where the Streamkeeper has seen both a paddler plus boat recirculated as a single unit.
A big wide-open rapid with multiple routes. A hard boat slot along the left edge. Two raft routes over the big drop, and thru the pothole in the center. And a technical hard boat route on river-right. At the bottom the channels come together into a large wave-train that is a fun ride.
This drop is one of the most difficult on the river. There was a fatality here in 2005. Scout from the island in the center of the river just at the top of the rapid.
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