If you are a fan of the Canadian version of “The Amazing Race,” you might have seen the Montmorency Falls in the season finale of 2017.
If you are a fan of old movies, you might have seen the falls in that famous scene of 1947 movie “Whispering City”.
The waterfall is at the end of the Montmorency River where it drops over a cliff and feeds into the Saint Lawrence River.
These falls are 272 feet high, which makes them 99 feet taller than the Niagara Falls. The Montmorency Falls also glow yellow during the summer.
While the waterfall is the main tourist attraction here, the surrounding area of this place- known as the Montmorency Falls National Park- is also protected. The protected area is known in French as “Le Parc de la Chute-Montmorency.” Along with English, French is one of the official languages in Canada.
How we ended up at Montmorency Falls
When we were visiting Montreal, we heard about the village of Tadoussac; we would eventually go on a whale watching trip there in July 2019.
Getting to Tadoussac would take us about six hours. On our way, we decided to stop for a while in a little café in Quebec City to get some refreshments and rest.
After shopping around, we found out on Google Maps that there was a waterfall near the city, and we found out that it was also a famous natural wonder.
We checked out the website of this place to find out that it is 30 meters higher than the Niagara Falls, so we were very excited to see it!
3 ways to get to the Montmorency Falls
After staying in Montreal for a while, we rented a car and made our way to the Montmorency falls using a GPS device.
When we arrived, we parked our car near the bottom of the park.
To make things simpler for people who won’t be traveling from Montreal to the waterfall, I will tell you how to get there from Quebec City.
a. By Car
If you are near the Esso St-Paul gas station in Quebec, the fastest way to get to the falls by car is to follow Côte Dinan. This road will take you to the Joseph Samson Tunnel, where you will turn left onto 1 rue and then left again onto Autoroute 440 E.
You will need to follow Autoroute 440 E until you reach Exit 3, turn left at the fork, and follow Boulevard Saint-Anne; thereafter, you need to turn onto Côte Saint Gregoire and then onto Boulevard des Chutes.
Car rental prices in Quebec usually go up during summer, but you can still get a car for less than CA$30 a day.
b. Cycling to the falls
There are many bike tours available in Quebec that will take you to the Montmorency Falls via trails; these trails will show you the best spots around the area.
The best bike tour to go on is one that will take you along the Corridor du Littoral cycle path because it ends at the Montmorency Falls’ entrance.
c. Using public transport to get the Montmorency falls
The cheapest way to get to the Montmorency Falls by public transport from Quebec is to use the Line 800 bus, which can be found at Gare-Palais.
The fastest way to get to the bus station is by taxi. You will arrive within 10 minutes if you use a taxi. It will take about 30 minutes if you choose to go by bus.
While the site is accessible all year round, there are other places in its vicinity that are only available during specific months of the year. One of these amenities is the parking lot; we found out that it would close from November 4th until the dates of Christmas (December 24th/25th). It was also closed from January 6th to February 7th, 2020. At all other times, the parking lot opens at 10 AM and closes at 4:30 PM. It’s important to note that the access to the cable car also runs according to this same schedule.
The Manoir, along with its shops, is also only open at certain times of the year- from November 23rd to December 23rd. The Manoir opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM; however, the shops open at 10 AM and close at 4 PM. This is relevant for both weekends and weekdays.
The Manoir then reopens the day after Christmas and closes its shops on January 5th; during this period, the opening times are 10 AM to 4:30 PM. On February 8th, the shops reopen until the entire establishment closes on April 19th.
For the latest information regarding the schedule, it’s best to check out the official website, keeping in mind that the opening times can vary from year to year.
What you can do at the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
The main attraction at the park is the Montmorency Falls because they are massive. You can also dine in or visit the Manoir Montmorency during your visit.
Frederick Haldimand- a prominent Canadian official in 1781- built Manoir Montmorency. Interestingly, Queen Victoria’s father (the Duke of Kent) lived there from 1791 until 1794.
The Montmorency Falls are a great place for adrenaline junkies because there is a double zip line that is almost 1,000 feet long. There are three zip lines via Ferrata routes that allow you to observe the waterfalls and the surrounding cliffs from a different angle. To take part in these high-octane adventures, you can make a reservation with the company that offers this service in the park.
Are you still unsure whether or not you would like to visit the Montmorency Falls?
To get a taste of what the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency has to offer, you can take a tour through a virtual visit, which is offered by the park’s official website. Through the website’s virtual visit, you can go on one of the trails, ride a cable car, zoom down the zip line or go inside the Manoir to see its many reception halls.
How much we paid for visiting the Montmorency Falls
We paid a little over CA$41 in total for two adult daily access passes, two cable car round trips and access to the Montmorency Falls’ parking lot. A family with two adults and two children between the ages of 6 and 17 would have paid CA$55.66 to access everything covered in our trip; a family with one adult and two children would have paid CA$36.31.
Our tour’s length
While the Montmorency Falls official website said the minimum duration of our trip would be two hours, we spent about an hour and 15 minutes there. During this time, we went over the suspension bridge, rode the cable car, went down the 487-step staircase and took selfies along the way.
Our trip details
First stop: The parking lot
When we were driving towards the main parking lot, we had to go through toll booths. The staff will take your payment here; this is where you will need to tell them how many people you are visiting with and that you would like to go on the cable car ride during your visit.
Accessing the Montmorency Falls without taking a cable car will cost around CA$5 per adult (excluding the cost of parking). However, you will have to go up and down 487 steps, and you will have to do this without any shade. We finally decided to take the cable cars; they gave us two purple wristband tickets for the ride.
Second stop: The cable car ride
There is a waiting area for the cable car at the entrance of the Montmorency Falls National Park. We left quickly because our ride was ready almost as soon as we arrived. When we took the cable car up the cliff, it led us to the Manoir, where there was a gift shop, an interpretation center and a restaurant.
The waterfall looked very underwhelming when we saw it from afar while riding in the cable car; my partner and I were visibly shocked! We even looked at each other in disbelief and thought
“You’ve got to be kidding me!“
Comparing the Montmorency Falls to the Niagara Falls was like comparing a Komodo dragon with Godzilla; the Niagara Falls are much wider than the Montmorency Falls, and the height difference is hardly noticeable.
To be honest, when it comes to the thrill and amazement factors, the Niagara Falls are a lot better in my opinion. If you want to see some more impressive waterfalls, try to get to Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Third stop: Enjoying the view from the suspension bridge
At the top of the cliff, there was a footpath that led us to the suspension bridge; this location has the perfect “birds-eye-view” of the area. On your way to the bridge, don’t forget to check out the La Baronne Observation Deck.
The splendid view that we got at the suspension bridge made up for the fact that we got fooled by the website when we were looking at it back in Quebec. Seeing that there were some “mini-waterfalls” at the top, along with the yellow glow of the iron-rich waterfalls and an old sawmill’s previous location made for a beautiful scene.
Hiking time: The 487-step staircase
After enjoying the views, we walked back along the path so that we could go down the 487-step staircase to get to the foot of the waterfall.
The staircase had great views too, and although it’s mostly made of wood, it was very sturdy; I wasn’t frightened to be walking on it.
While zigzagging our way down, we enjoyed how the Saint Lawrence River sparkled in the sunshine.
The waterfall in the background made it a great spot for taking selfies, but you should be careful of the stairs so that you don’t fall while taking photos of yourself or your surroundings.
Last stop: Be ready to get wet at the last stop of this tour
At the bottom of the staircase, we found a podium that allowed people to see the foot of the Montmorency Falls up close. Because we were standing right near the waterfall, a lot of the water splashed on us when it hit the river and it was like having a shower! However, since it was sunny and a bit hot that day, the “waterfall shower” was actually very refreshing!
We liked getting a little wet and so did everybody else, but we had to be careful when we walked on the podium because it was a little slippery. However, we didn’t mind this because taking pictures of the misty water rising from the falls was a fun experience. We even got shots of the river’s dark water.
The bottom line
Are the Montmorency Falls worth seeing? Yes, it is worth it if you’re traveling around Quebec City and would like to explore the local natural wonders; this place is definitely a must-see.
If you are passing through Quebec City to go whale watching in Tadoussac, stopping by these falls would be a great idea. However, you don’t want to get super hyped up, like we did when we saw it advertised on the website.
I can admit that a brilliant marketing team came up with the tagline
“taller than the Niagara Falls”
All in all, the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is a great hiking spot if nothing else!