Photo: Steve Deschênes | Sépaq

Grands-Jardins National Park

Scale a rock garden like no other

Climb

Beginner-friendly

Full day

Grands-Jardins means “great garden,” but there’s more than just plants and trees growing here. Huge crags rise from the ground and attract rock climbers of all levels. Many routes are suited to serious trad climbers who know their cams, nuts and other safety gear, but there are long routes accessible to rookies too, along with a via ferrata for beginners.

Grands-Jardins National Park

Parc national des Grands-Jardins, Saint-Urbain, QC, Canada

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Planning your climb

Get ready to defy gravity

Mont de l’Ours

As you enter Parc National des Grands-Jardins, the first main cliff you’ll see on your right is Mont de l’Ours. The routes are all trad with some glued bolted belay/rap stations, and they range in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.11. Anywhere in this park you’ll need two ropes, since the routes can be 50m long. When rappelling down La Directe, watch that the ropes don’t get caught in the many slots, flakes and pockets.

Climbers: before you head out, make sure to check out the climbing info on the Sepaq site, along with the FQME’s detailed Grands-Jardins climbing page (see “voir le topo” for a French pdf).

Le Dôme

Another main summit is Le Dôme. You’ll be in awe and maybe slightly anxious when you first come face to face with this massive monolith. Climb ratings vary from 5.5 to 5.13. A truly classic route is the 200m La Granuleuse (5.6) which requires four lengths of rope.

 

Mont Gros Bras

Climbing Mont Gros Bras is an adventure best left for experienced climbers. The routes are long, the rock quality can be iffy, and because you can’t see the clouds from this angle, the weather brings surprises. Compared to the other climbing walls, the routes here are more vertical and can be harder to read, which makes this an exciting challenge for more experienced climbers.

Still learning the ropes?

Rookies need not worry. You can still enjoy this alpine experience if you’re new to climbing. There’s a via ferrata on Mont du Lac des Cygnes. That means a steel cable runs along the route and is attached to the rock every few metres. When you join a group led by a certified guide, you can secure yourself to the cable and climb worry-free. You’ll be hooked – literally.

Stay a while

After a day of climbing, you’ll want to rest your muscles and bask in nature’s silence. The park has four campgrounds, all with beaches and hot showers. Don’t have a tent or camping gear? Rent a fully equipped Huttopia just down the road at Pied-des-Monts and sleep tight.

Essential gear

Protect yourself with the proper equipment.

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