• 4 days in the Saguenay region – Saint-Jean Lake •

4 days in the region of Saguenay – Saint-Jean Lake

The few days I’ve just spent in the region of Québec (article here) set the bar real high. Therefore, it’s with stars in my eyes (and blisters on my feet!) that I start these 4 days in the region of Saguenay – Saint-Jean Lake.

Day 1

After these days full of hikes, I decide to take a little break. Thus, it’s only after noon that I arrive at the Fjord du Saguenay National Park with an idea in mind! Indeed, it’s not rare to be able to do kayaking in the parks but also via ferratas. As I missed it at the Mont Tremblant park, I decide to get some information as I arrive at the discovery centre: tomorrow afternoon, I’m doing the average guided parcours “La Grande Dalle”.
It’s about time to start my daily hike which will be the “Sentier de la Statue” (Statue’s trail, 7,6km return, 4h, average, 280 drop). I’m not sure to be objective because after the two hikes going straight to my Top 5 of the best hikes of Québec, this one impresses me less. However, it still gives access to nice points of views to admire the Fjord and the history of the statue placed at the end; it’s quite an atypical one!

Fjord du Saguenay National Park

This last little day is already coming to an end. I therefore go to the Camps de Base youth hostel (which I recommend).

Day 2

The day before, I randomly realised that most hotels and hostels will be closed when I next go to Gaspésie (article available here). I had to spend my morning booking hostels for later. So far, I was doing it day-to-day.
That being done, I peacefully go to the discovery centre of the Fjord du Saguenay national park for my first via ferrata!
We are a small group of 10 people. The guide helps us with the equipment and we start by a little warm up on a test wall. So far, so good!
Then come the serious business. We go to the start of the parcours “La Grande Dalle”, ranked as average. We quickly get higher and higher, which allows us to see the Fjord from a new perspective.
The big thing of this via ferrata is going through the ladder! You have to climb up a ladder, held by rods to the wall, all of this with your back facing it and therefore you face to face with the vertigo… After this, I didn’t see anything the same! The more we were going into it, the more I was getting worried by it. I was glued to the wall and it got complicated to enjoy the view. I had to fight and struggle to continue. I don’t know where I could’ve gone anyway!
At the end of the via ferrata, there is a big suspended gateway where I can finally chill. I can focus on the landscapes again!
I go back to the hostel, happy to have overcome my limits.

Day 3

After a bowl of emotions yesterday and lots of hikes, my feet require a day of chilling… And I’m not disliking it! To have holidays during the holidays, that’s mad lux!
To do so, nothing better than doing something the Canadians love: the outside spa in the middle of the nature. I found one that’s almost on my way towards the Saint-Jean Lake: the Eternal Spa. The road to it is in the middle of nowhere! For $64CAD (they made it a bit more expensive after I went), you get a day of chilling in the middle of firs. Really, I can only recommend you to come here to have a break because there are a lot of installations: so many hot baths, saunas, hammams in small wooden houses which you can access by a wooden gateway over the river, yurts… Anyway, paradise!

Eternal Spa

To end this day well, I got myself the first Airbnb of this stay to have a break of youth hostels and the 10 persons dormitories.

Day 4

Here I am, full of energy and ready to conquer Québec again… I let you imagine my disappointment when I realise it’s raining very hard!
My stay in Alma is mostly because it’s nearby the Saint-Jean lake. I decide to discover it through a SEPAQ park (included entrance in my pass, all the tips for your trip to Québec available here): the Pointe Taillon one.
At the discovery centre, I had 2 options:
Rent a bike for 4h ($29.5) to go around the park and enjoy the Saint-Jean lake a maximum.
Walk on a path bordering the lake.
If the weather was on my side, I probably would’ve picked option 1… But as it’s still pouring rain, I prefer to save money and choose the second option.
Here I am, leaving, equipped with my waterproof jacket and ready to discover the lake.
What’s surprising is the immensity of the lake: it’s impossible for me to see the opposite shore, it’s like being at the sea… Except for the very dark sand.

Saint-Jean Lake

Alright, after 4km walk, I’ve arrived at Le Prospecteur camping (I’m soaking wet!). I’m a bit disappointed of what I saw of the Saint-Jean Lake. Therefore, I decide to go back to the Airbnb. There, I wrote a small article on Bank N26, available here.

Tomorrow, I’m taking the road to go to the north coast of Quebec, more details here.

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