Great Canadian Trails: Charlevoix Explorer Hike

Enjoy the best of Quebec’s famous Traversée de Charlevoix with Great Canadian Trails.

Considered to be one of the most magical hiking trails in Quebec, the route is located in the mountainous Charlevoix region and at the heart of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Meet like-minded outdoor enthusiasts, take in the beauty of Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park and experience the freedom and pure joy of hiking while only carrying a daypack.


Please consult the latest updates from the Government of Canada, as well as your province/territory, your municipality and the organization that manages your chosen section of the Trail.We strongly encourage everyone using trails in our network to abide by all public health guidelines.

Overview | Inclusions

Duration: 4 days

Activities: 4 days self-guided hiking

Accommodation: 3 nights multi-share basic huts

Meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

What’s included

  • 3-night accommodation, multi-share backcountry huts (non-private) with comfortable 3-inch foam sleeping mat
  • 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners with shared use of cooking equipment and dishes in huts
  • Drinking water delivered daily to each hut
  • Daily luggage transfer (1 piece per person, not exceeding 20 kilograms)
  • Pick-up from Baie-Saint-Paul and drop-off in Baie-Saint-Paul or La Malbaie
  • Information pack including trail maps (1 set per two hikers)
  • Park entry fees
  • Emergency hotline
  • $50 donation to Trans Canada Trail

 What’s not included

  • Travel to/from Charlevoix
  • Guide (this is a self-guided tour)
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals and transfers not indicated in the itinerary
  • Airfare, visas, applicable taxes, travel insurance (required)

Book your self-guided journey now!


Photo: Tourism Charlevoix

Day 1      Arrive Baie-Saint-Paul to Squirrel Hut (transfer + approx. 4.2 km)

You’ll be picked up this morning from either your accommodation in Baie-Saint-Paul, the bus station or the train station for your transfer to the trail office. After a quick briefing, you’ll hit the trail to Lac-à-l’Écluse.

Day 2      Squirrel Hut to Marmot Hut (approx. 14.9 km)

Follow the Trail along Ruisseau aux Mouches, then southwest along the Rivière du Gouffre and enjoy views of fir and spruce trees, as well as a fabulous view over the edge of an impact crater. There’s an alternative route option available that’s slightly more demanding, but it’s highly recommended for the fantastic views.

Day 3      Marmot Hut to Owl Hut (approx. 10.5 km or 19.4 km option)

It’s strongly recommended to ascend the extra nine kilometres to the top of Mont de la Noyée (based on weather) – the view is incredible! Descend and follow the Trail to the Owl Hut.

Day 4      Owl Hut to Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park to Baie-Saint-Paul (approx. 17 km + transfer)

Although you’ll be covering a long distance, it’s mostly downhill. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the valley and the Malbaie River. Continue on to the pick-up point where you’ll be transferred back to Baie-Saint-Paul or to La Malbaie.


Photo: Tourism Charlevoix

Getting there

  • By car: If you plan to drive, you will need to make your own way to the trail office near Saint-Urbain and park your car there.
  • By bus: Intercar services Baie-Saint-Paul with regular departures from Quebec City. Visit their website for the latest schedules and more information. On Day 1, you will be picked up and transferred to the trail office, at the time and location indicated on your tour voucher.
  • By train: Train de Charlevoix services Baie-Saint-Paul seven days a week from mid-June to mid-October. Visit their website for schedules and information.
  • By air: The nearest airport is Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). From Quebec City, you can either rent a car, or take the public bus or local tourist train to Baie-Saint-Paul.
  • Transfer service: If you have chosen to drive, the package includes a service to transfer your car to a parking area on the final day. Full details and driving instructions will be provided with your information package.

Book your self-guided journey now!

Great Canadian Trails: A note on self-guided adventures

Self-guided walking requires individuals to use problem-solving skills, to be adaptable and to have a keen eye. It’s recommended that individuals are comfortable reading a map and referring to route notes, while having a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!)

Sometimes route finding, losing your way, and asking the locals for help are all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self-guided trip, you’ll get the hang of it after the first couple of days, as the vast majority of first-time travellers with Great Canadian Trails attest.

Written route-finding materials issued by Great Canadian Trails are updated regularly. Great Canadian Trails provides a seven-day service hotline to help solve problems and answer questions.

Why travel with Great Canadian Trails?

Expertise: They’re a team of hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region.

Great value: Quality services at the best price means great value for your money.

ECO friendly: Great Canadian Trails are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. They aim to “leave no trace” in both an environmental and cultural sense.