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Mont Du Dome: One of Quebec’s Best Fall Hikes

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Mont Du Dome

Distance: 8km loop Elevation Gain: 467 metres Time: 3 hours Dog Friendly: Yes Toilets: None along the trail or in the parking lot

Mont Du Dome is an amazing hike located in Zec Des Martres in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, right next to Parc national des Grands-Jardins and my personal favourite in this area. The Mont Du Dome hike is accessible for hiking all year round but is one of the best Fall hikes near Quebec City to do during leaf peeping season. It is about a 1.5 hour drive to Mont Du Dome trailhead from Quebec City.

The trail is an 8km loop with 467m elevation gain. It will take you about 3 hours to complete the hike and those of you with 4 legged companions will be happy to hear that this trail is dog friendly.

We did the hike at sunset during Fall and it was absolutely magical to see the colours in the sky light up the gorgeous red and yellow trees!

This hiking guide will tell you everything you need to know about hiking Mont Du Dome and also give you tips on doing the hike in Fall and at sunrise or sunset.

couple sitting at the top of Mont Du Dome hike at sunset

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Finding the Trailhead

The best way to reach the Mont Du Dome trailhead is by car. The carpark is pretty small and there aren’t any toilets. The closest toilets to Mont Du Dome are in the Grand Jardins visitors centre.

The trailhead is located along the route 381. You will need to drive past the Grand Jardins visitors centre and keep going for about 2.4km (2 minutes). The trailhead parking lot will be on your right.

Click here to open the map in Google Maps!

Hiking Pass

Before you head out on the trail, you will need to register at the welcoming area at the trailhead and pay a $5 fee. Here, you will need to take a slip and fill it out. It asks you for details like your hiking start time, and then place it on the dashboard of your car. I recommend making sure you have a pen with you as there was not one there when we did this hike.

Trail Difficulty

Mont Du Dome Trail Difficult sign

Mont Du Dome is a moderate to hard hike in terms of difficulty. It is hard due to a bit of scrambling on a section of the loop. There is a sign that warns you when you are approaching this section of the trail and you can actually choose to avoid it by taking the easy way there and back. If you do this, you will end up doing more kms however.

In the scrambling section, you will be hiking up large boulders, which, in the Fall are also covered with leave so they are quite slippery. I did this hike with hiking poles but actually found this section easier without them so that I could use my hands.

The trail also became quite muddy at the top. We found our hiking boots useful for this section.

The Trail Itself

Girl sitting at viewpoint on Mont Du Dome hike

I’ve told you about the difficult section of the hike, but not about the rest of it. The hike starts out pretty mellow and takes you through the trees. For the entire hike you will be in the forest and will not see any views until very close to the viewpoint. The gradient is not too steep until the difficult section. Once you have completed this section, the trail becomes more muddy and a little narrower with less boulders.

There are a few wooden planks to help you cross certain sections. Be careful because it can be quite slippery. Soon you will emerge from the forest and come across the viewpoint I was talking about. You will recognise it from our photos when you see it.

Even though this is the best viewpoint, I still recommend hiking all the way to the top because it is not much further from here. Keep walking, following the trail through the shrubs until you reach the some more granite rocks which you will need to hike up. These lead you to the top of Mont Du Dome and you have views of the other side of the park. Not as good but still beautiful!

Tips for Hiking Mont Du Dome at Sunrise or Sunset

Girl sitting at viewpoint on Mont Du Dome hike

Mont Du Dome is an amazing sunset or sunrise hike! We actually found the view from the false summit better than the summit and this is where all of our photos are from. This viewpoint looks out over the park into a sea of trees and you can see the main road cutting through the park. The trees are even more impressive during Fall when they have turned bright orange, especially at golden hour with the golden light on them!

If you are hiking at sunrise or sunset, make sure you have the following:

  • A headlamp for hiking in the dark.
  • Layers in case the weather turns. On this hike at sunset during Fall, we each had
  • Navigation device such as All Trails maps – The trail is pretty well marked but it is always good to have a back up, especially when you are hiking at night
  • Snacks for enjoying whilst watching the sunset and plenty of water.

Where to Eat Near Mont Du Dome

man eating in Baie-Saint-Paul Restaurant

The closest town with a large variety of restaurants and even an IGA is Baie-Saint-Paul. This is also a great town for accommodation options if you are looking to spend a few days in the area. Alternatively, you could do a day trip from Quebec City to hike Mont Du Dome.

Baie-Saint-Paul has a beautiful old town which you should definitely visit while you are there. We went to a few restaurants in Baie-Saint-Paul and our favourite was Bistrot Des Artistes. You can check out the menu on their website.

When is the Best Time to Visit Quebec for Fall Colours?

Quebec is a bucketlist destination for Fall colours and is still very much under the radar. The colours in Quebec during Fall are absolutely bonkers and some of the views could easily be mistaken viewpoints in New Hampshire in the USA.

It can be hard to plan a trip around the best Fall colours as they change every year. The Fall colours only last a couple of weeks, with the peak colour time window being even smaller. Luckily, there is a way to help you plan your trip.

There is a Fall Foliage Map available which shows each national park in Quebec with a colour coding chart showing what stage the leaves are at. The map is not updated until the leaves start to change colours, but when it starts, it becomes a lot easier to predict where and when the peak leaf peeping will occur.

If you are looking to plan a trip to Quebec to see the Fall colours, check out our guide!

Our Thoughts

This was our favourite Fall hike in Quebec! We would highly recommend doing this hike at sunrise or sunset if you can as the colours in the sky make the view even more spectacular!