La Traversée de Charlevoix is a 7-day cabin-to-cabin hiking trip in the Charlevoix Mountains (the Switzerland of Quebec). The Traversée de Charlevoix is the longest organized wilderness hiking trail in Québec and is considered to be one of Québec’s greatest outdoor experiences. The trail is 100 km (60 miles) long and traverses the beautiful rugged topography of the Charlevoix Mountains with summits between 600 and 850 m (2,000 - 3,000 feet) and valleys 200 to 350 m (650 - 1,200 feet) deep. It was built primarily for cross-country skiing, is well maintained, and is now used in spring, summer and fall by hikers and mountain bikers. The topography is quite surprising for this part of the country. Half way through the trip we cross the Riviére Malbaie. The trail is for intermediate hikers. 30% of the total distance involves climbing, 25% is considered flat and 45% is in descent. 91% is on magnificent trails cut through the woods and old abandoned logging roads. 9% is on old gravel logging roads.
We will be staying in 6 two storied wood stove heated, well insulated log cabins called chalets with propane gas for cooking and lighting. They are extremely comfortable but there is no indoor plumbing or electricity. There are outhouses. Sleeping is done on the second floor. Drinking water is brought in each day by a four-wheel drive vehicle. Additional water is taken from lakes and streams. Our packs and food supplies will be transported for us each day. We only have to hike with a day pack containing some rain gear, extra clothes and lunch. You will require a sleeping bag and mattress. A list of required personal gear and clothing is attached or will be sent on request. Speed is not “of the essence”, we are out to have a good healthy outdoor experience and your guide will allow you to hike at your own pace. You will need a backpack, sleeping bag and mattress (Thermarest). For a full list of clothing and equipment that you should bring, contact Bill Pollock.
We usually start the day early rising around 6:30 hrs to get on the trail before 9:00 hrs. This allows us more daylight if we need it in the event of bad weather, difficult hiking conditions or an accident. We try to finish early (between 14:00 and 17:00 hrs) each day and this allows plenty of time for relaxing, snoozing, reading, drying clothes, playing games or to explore the surroundings.
The trip starts 24 km (15 miles) north of St. Urbain, a village 120 km (75 miles) from Québec City on route 381 near the Parc des Grands-Jardins. The trail crosses the majestic valleys of the Parc des Hautes-Gorges and ends near the Mont Grand-Fonds, an alpine ski center. The distances to be hiked each day vary between 13 and 21 km (7.5 and 13 miles) with the exception of the first day, which involves only 3.6 km (2.2 miles). However, we could do some optional side trips to take in the full beauty of the rugged mountains.