We may have saved one of the best spots for last on our trip to Quebec City. After a busy few days wandering the city streets, marveling at the fortified walls, and exploring the sites of this historic UNESCO site, we ventured outside of the downtown area to Montmorency Falls. We stopped here before embarking on the eight-hour drive home, and it was one of the highlights of our trip. It is a given that if you’re a fan of waterfalls, you’ve gotta see this.
Montmorency Falls, or Chute Montmorency, is a huge waterfall located along the Montmorency River. And I’m not exaggerating, it is a huge waterfall. At 275 feet high and 150 feet across, it is the highest waterfall in all of Quebec. It’s even nearly 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls! There are several different ways to enjoy views of the waterfall: from down at the base of the waterfall, from several staircases beside the waterfall, and from a suspension bridge over the crest of the falls!
Riding the Cable Car
We parked our car at the parking lot within the entrance to Montmorency Falls Park, located at the top of the waterfall. From there, we chose to ride the aerial cable car down to the bottom of the waterfall. There are two trams running back and forth all day long, so it does not take long to wait for one to arrive. The ride from top to bottom was very smooth, and we were provided with incredible views of the waterfall on the way down.
Base of Montmorency Falls
There was a huge path leading to the falls that would accommodate many visitors. Thankfully, it actually wasn’t too busy when we arrived. For a Friday in August, I was surprised by that! We saw many visitors arriving by bicycle, which leads me to believe that the waterfall is along a bike path out of the city.
The waterfall itself was absolutely gorgeous. The mist got quite intense at times right beside the falls. Some puddles had accumulated on the ground, but there were some ledges that you could step on above the puddles to avoid getting your feet too wet. We stood here for quite some time, marveling at its beauty and the sheer force of the water as it endlessly pummeled over the cliff.
Staircases Below the Falls
When you reach the base of the falls, there are some staircases directly to your right that lead up the side of the cliffs for additional views. There were several little gazebos on the way up that provided excellent viewpoints. We walked up to the first one for a fantastic look at Montmorency Falls. While we weren’t feeling especially lazy, we didn’t feel that it was necessary to climb up to the upper gazebos. They likely didn’t offer a vastly different view, but I could see that it would be useful if there were a lot of people gathering at the waterfall. Climbing up to that top gazebo would be a great way of escaping the crowd. I would definitely recommend hiking up to at least the first hut as we saw a lovely rainbow at the base of the falls that wasn’t visible when we stood at the very bottom.
Suspension Bridge Above the Falls
After we were finished viewing the falls from the base, we ventured back up to the top of the waterfall for yet another scenic lookout! This time, it was from right above the waterfall on a suspension bridge that extended completely across the top of Montmorency Falls. We took the cable car back up to the top (another fun ride!). From there, we walked beyond Montmorency Manor (Manoir Montmorency) on a five minute walk to the bridge.
Montmorency Manor was the summer residence of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria. It was constructed in 1781. Nowadays, it contains a restaurant with a lovely patio, and an interpretive centre.
After a short scenic walk, we were rewarded with impressive views of the surrounding region, as well as the waterfall. It was quite loud as the water rushed over the rocky cliff edge. While the view of the waterfall itself was best from down below, the suspension bridge offered fantastic area sights of the bridge to Île d’Orléans and the Montmorency River.
- Try to go here on a weekday in the summer. It wasn’t very busy for us, even on a Friday with a cruise ship in port! I could imagine it getting busier here on the weekends during the summer. Either that, or visit during the Spring, Fall, or even the Winter for an alternate snowy and icy view!
- Parking is $10 per car. A round-trip ride on the aerial cable car is $13.25/adult, $6.75/children. You can buy a pass for a couple that includes parking and unlimited rides on the cable car for $29, or a pass for a family for $38. This might be the most cost effective option for families and couples!
- The entire cove of the park is lit up at night. While we didn’t go here in the evening, that could be a great sight!
- Snowshoes are available for rent here in the winter. You can also winter camp here and go ice climbing!
5300 boulevard Sainte-Anne
Disclaimer: We were guests of Montmorency Falls, hosted by Quebec City Tourism. Our thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely our own. Be sure to follow the hashtag #QuebecRegion on social media for the latest and greatest places to visit in Quebec!