Grands Jardins

This trip began with an overnight stay in Québec City, including a stop at the ice hotel.  I was skeptical, but must admit that it was impressive, if somewhat crawling with tourists.  The next morning we drove two hours to Parc national des Grands-Jardins, which is a place I have wanted to visit for many years now.  The feature hike here is the 8.2 km round-trip walk up to Mont du Lac des Cygnes, which is an exposed summit on the edge of an ancient meteorite crater.  With the ambient temperature at -20ºC and wind gusting to 70 km/h we opted to hike in the forested plateau instead of going for the summit on the first day.  Our 13 km route took us past and across a number of frozen lakes, and while mainly sheltered was still brutally cold at times.  Our luck changed the next morning, and we were greeted with -6ºC at the parking, and -12ºC on the summit of Mont du Lac des Cygnes, with the wind making matters only somewhat uncomfortable.  After coming down from the summit, we decided with plenty of light and time left, to venture up La Chouenne, and had a wonderful view back at Mont du Lac des Cygnes.

The Ice Hotel - Chapel
The Ice Hotel - Bar
The Ice Hotel - Lighting
The first day's route
Lac Perrault
Lac Sainte-Anne
The Virtual Hiker stretches his legs, relaxing on his bed in Baie-Saint-Paul
Second day route
Looking north along the trail to Mont du Lac des Cygnes
Looking west from the summit of Mont du Lac des Cygnes
Lac des Cygnes, looking towards the Saint Lawrence River
Looking back at Mont du Lac des Cygnes from La Chouenne
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