Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, CA
|Usual Difficulty||V (for normal flows)|
|virtual-49446||5.0 - 40.0 cm/s||V||33h36m||64.581 cm/s (too high)|
This steep creek in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec is one of the more popular Class-V runs in
The first of the many wonderful sections of the Jacques-Cartier; this section is the most difficult and remote. Fifteen miles long with over 20 difficult rapids, the majority of them class V, and some of them very long. This entire section runs thru the remote wilderness of Jacques-Cartier Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful in Eastern Canada. If you are up to the challenge you are in for a wonderful and wild time.
Logistically this is a difficult river. The river is very inaccessible for most of this section; all the roads and bridges date from the logging era. The shuttle is very long—fifty (50) miles, the majority of it over dirt roads. Expect the shuttle to take at least three hours. Generally running this river is a two-day event. Many paddlers shuttle cars to the take-out a day ahead of time. This allows for an early start on the river, which is advised due to its length and large number of rapids.
Another option is to camp in the park close to (or at) the take-out, or put-in. Some paddlers also opt to backpack camping gear to a half-way point allowing them to stop in the middle of the run and spend the night.
First-timers are also advised to travel with a guide who knows the river and can show you the proper lines thru all the drops since you won't have time to scout them all.
Alden Bird wrote in the Northeast Paddlers' Massage Board:
"The Taureau is awesome. I mean, since I ran it this summer I have done lots of runs that had more concentrated fury -- Upper Blackwater, Green Narrows, Big Branch, etc. But the Taureau is completely different. I've never run a river that was so isolated and so long and so hard for so long. The Big Branch is like running a mile - you can definitely gut it out if you've got the skills. On the Green you can pick and portage and take your time. But you can't bluff your way down 15 miles of class IV-V or whatever the Taureau has straight, and if you start to get out of the boat too much, you're going to be spending the night in the middle of God's country. Basically, you have to keep it together - paddlingwise, and in your head - for a long time, which is a skill I didn't even know rivers required before I ran the Taureau.
"Also, while it sucks to hike out of the Big Branch or Middlebury (experience speaking here, of course), it's nothing compared to having to traverse like three ecosystems to get out of the Taureau (others' experience speaking for me).
"I don't know. I definitely got pretty high off the whole wilderness exposure thing. I might even have gotten a little bit scared by it, but in a way that fascinated me. I can't wait to go back. I felt like I was paddling into a place that nobody had ever been to before, and when I made it out the end, it was very moving. You don't get that on short river trips, or river trips that are easy or that pass through suburbs."
Put in elevation........ '
Take out elevation...... '
Total drop.............. TBD'
Average drop/mile....... TBD'
Maximum drop/mile....... TBD'
River profile type...... Staircase, with some long rapids.
Distance................ 15 miles
Duration................ 6-14 hours
Shuttle length.......... 50 miles/3 hours
River width average..... 10'-65'
River water quality..... excellent
Drainage area........... 253 sq miles
Wildlife................ Bears, moose, etc.
Distance from Quebec.... 47 miles
Distance from Montreal.. 202 miles
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. Wooded and grassy camp sites, cabins
& trailers. Lake with 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.
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.
Full List of Quebec City area campgrounds here.
Comfort Inn — 7320 boul Wilfrid-Hamel Ste-Foy, Quebec, QC 418-872-5038
Nearest Restrooms....... Park facilities.
Restaurants/Pizza/etc... none nearby
Internet Access......... Internet cafe; in small industrial park
at 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.