Photo: Luc Rousseau | Sépaq

Acropole-des-Draveurs dans le Charlevoix

See summit views like no other

Trail / Hike

A little tougher

Overnight

Reaching the summit of Acropole-des-Draveurs should be considered a rite of passage when it comes to hiking in Quebec. Located smack in the middle of a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve and home to some of the largest cliffs on this side of Canada, it really is a must-hike. Bring your A-game – you’re gonna need it.

Acropole-des-Draveurs dans le Charlevoix

47.84911, -70.43083

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Driving time from Quebec City

2 hours

Length of Acropole-des-Draveurs trail

Over 10km (round trip)

Total trails in the park

7

Planning your day

Get prepped for a long trek

Start your day early

It takes about 2.5 hours to get to Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie from Quebec City, and the hike itself will be almost a full day, so it’s a good idea to spend the night there. Also, the Acropole-des-Draveurs trail can see some pretty high traffic in peak season, so heading out first thing in the morning is your best bet if you want to have the summit all to yourself when you get there.

From the park, you’ll hop on a shuttle that makes stops at all the trailheads and campgrounds. Bear in mind that you have to use the shuttle in the high season. Keeping vehicle traffic to a minimum is one of many efforts in place to preserve the land.

This ain’t no walk in the park

This hike is tough – there’s no point sugarcoating it. At more than 10km round trip, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve come prepared for a workout. You’ll be climbing 800m to the summit, and it’s uphill both ways (kidding – though it might feel that way). If you love a challenge that comes with a massive reward, the Acropole is for you.

On top of the world

The view from the summit is one of the best you’ll find east of the rockies. The Laurentians stretch as far as the eye can see, and you’ll see the Malbaie River snaking its way through the valley below. Take a nice long break before beginning the tramp back down.

Want something smaller?

The Acropole isn’t the only way to enjoy the park, so if you’re not feeling up for the mother of all hikes today, there are six other trails to choose from. The Riverain hike is a one-way 7km gravel path that eventually gives way to a series of switchbacks, taking you to a gorgeous view of the valley.

Conk out at camp

Now that you’re at this national park, might as well make a weekend out of it, right? If so, then you’ve got three options when it comes to campgrounds. Le Cran and Le Pin Blanc are both semi-serviced with a number of ready-to-camp sites, while L’Équerre is a bit more of a backcountry experience.

Essential gear

You’ll want to have these from start to finish.

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