The Best Spots to Go Climbing and Canyoning
The Québec City area is an outdoor wonderland. Drive in almost any direction and you’ll find rivers and rock walls where you can go canyoning or rock climbing, with all the thrills and spectacular views that come with. If the weather isn’t cooperating, there are plenty of indoor climbing gyms with fun and challenging routes. Here’s a list of the best spots:
There are lots of good climbing gyms in Québec City. Whether you’re an advanced climber or simply curious, it can be a fun family activity or a good way to spend time with friends. A lot of people like climbing for the full-body workout. Others see it as a way to step outside their comfort zone. Whatever your reasons for going to a climbing gym, you’ll find a friendly community of climbers there to welcome you.
Roc Gyms is the oldest indoor climbing gym in Québec. It was founded by François-Guy Thivierge, a climber and mountaineer who’s summited Everest more than once. Located just steps away from the Videotron Centre, Roc Gyms has 3 bouldering rooms, a huge main space with 13 m routes, a ninja warrior training course, and 3 small indoor via ferrata routes, all in a gym that’s friendly and welcoming.
Délire Escalade is a bouldering gym with 3 locations (Sainte-Foy, Beauport, and Lebourgneuf) so you’re never too far from your next climb. The gym also has a three-storey indoor climbing space—the highest in Québec City. Every week, experienced setters create new routes for all levels, from beginner to expert, along the blocks and climbing walls.
Outdoor Rock Climbing
Outdoor climbing sites in Québec are affiliated with FQME, the province’s mountain and climbing federation. You’ll need to be a member to enter the sites or get a day pass. You’ll also need to have your own equipment.
Here are a few popular spots for outdoor climbing:
Rivière Sainte-Anne, Gorges Sector, in Saint-Alban
This outdoor climbing spot has the highest concentration of hard mixed (rock and ice) routes in the province. The rock is limestone, deposited in horizontal layers perfect for climbing. On your way to the rock face, you’ll pass the remains of a hydroelectric power plant built in 1926. There are also a number of hiking trails in the park.
Forêt Ancienne Park, Mont Wright
Located less than 30 minutes from the city centre in a deciduous forest, this rock face has mostly easy routes, which is why it’s used to teach rock climbing. It’s a popular site, so be sure to get there early: no more than 225 hikers are allowed in the park at any one time.
Ice climbing is a winter experience unlike any other. Try it at Montmorency Falls Park, where the frozen face of the waterfall is exposed to the sun for most of the day and can reach up to 83 metres high. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll love the view on the pain de sucre, or “sugar loaf,” that forms in winter at the bottom of the falls. With ice pick in hand and crampons on your feet, you’ll be ready for a thrilling winter activity.
Does the thought of rappelling down a waterfall, swimming or hiking through a rocky river, and jumping off a cliff into a river seem exciting? Then canyoning is for you. You don’t need to have any rappelling experience, but you will need to be in good shape.
This company has 2 great rappelling sites: Jean‑Larose Falls near Mont‑Sainte‑Anne, and a couple different spots at Vallée Bras‑du‑Nord. In the summer, you’ll need a swimsuit, sneakers or hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and a beach towel. In the winter, you can go rappelling down a frozen waterfall on an ice canyoning excursion.