Mont Logan isn't to be confused with its cousin the mighty behemoth from the Yukon. This is but a hill next to that giant, but for Eastern Canada and the Chic Chocs this is a worthy peak indeed. Mont Logan is the highest peak in the western section of the Chic Chocs (1135m) and is a relatively popular spot for hikers in the summer and a popular spot for backcountry skiers in the winter. The peak is located due west of Richardson and southwest of Mt. Jacques Cartier. Much like Mont Richardson the traffic that Mont Logan sees pales in comparison to what is seen on Jacques Cartier or Albert, so if you are looking to experience the rugged Chic Chocs and stay away from the crowds this a great peak to scale.
The other reason why Mont Logan sees little traffic is because it is well away from the main peaks section of the park. There are other 1000m peaks nearby, but they are known only to those who are truly dedicated to the park. Logan is the only peak in this sector that really attracts outside interest. Quite simply the western section sees much less traffic and is therefore a little more pristine and considerably quieter area.
Like most of the peaks in the Chic Chocs, Logan has a flat summit with some rugged ridges on her southern slopes and along the eastern ridge. The summit plateau is covered in tundra and weathered rock. There is also a small hut located on the top that can sleep up to six people To get to the summit from the road is about a three hour hike. The trail rises about 550m and has only a few moderately tricky sections. Tricky here is a very relative term as it is really quite an unremarkable route to the summit.
Logan has a famous bowl on its southern side that attracts skiers during the winter and is a point of interest for hikers and climbers in the summer; as this side is much more rugged than Logan's gentle northern slopes. As one can tell from the pictures winters in the Chic Chocs are majestic. The snow falls by the meter and cakes to the trees creating a winter wonderland for the outdoors enthusiast. Access to the interior in the winter is made only on snowshoes or on skis... there are no other options.
There are opportunities for bouldering and free climbing on the peak's southern slopes and along the eastern ridge. None of the sections are bolted, but the rock is supposed to be good, so if one is looking for a little practice or to simply have some fun be sure to check out the far side of Mont Logan.. its definitely the highlight of the peak.
Mont Logan is part of the 802 square kilometer Provincial Park de la Gaspesie. Its slopes are frequented by a few of the bands of caribou in the park, so one must always be prepared to yield to the animals as their needs come first here... always.
From Quebec City it takes 5-5.5 hours by car to get to the park Information Center located in the heart of the Provincial Park de la Gaspesie. Take highway 73 south to highway 20 east (the Trans-Canada highway). You will stay on this highway for three hours until you reach Riviere-du-Loup where the Trans-Canada branches south into New Brunswick. In Riviere-du-Lopu jump on highway 132 east, you will remain on this road for 1.5 hours until you reach Ste-Ane-des-Monts passing through Rimouski and Matene along the way. From Ste-Anne take route 299 for 40km until you reach the park Information Center located right nearby Mont Albert. Head west from the Park Information Center until you reach the trailhead for Mont Logan. You can stop at the Park Information Center for directions if you get lost once you are in the park proper.
There is a road that sadly runs nearly up to the summit of Logan, one can simply follow along the road to reach the summit or cut across country keeping an eye out for animals and watching where you tread. The other path to the summit is a three to four day overland trail that runs from Mont Logan over to the summits of Richardson, Albert and Jacques Cartier... and is a great way to get a real feel for the park and climb the park's
most popualr peaks. The views are fantastic, the solitude all encompassing and the Chic Chocs seldom disappoint those who venture into the backcountry.
The mountain trails are open in the summer from June 24 to September 30 and then re-open after Christmas, before closing again in the spring when the caribou return to the main peaks region. The animals are very sensitive to to people and their needs come first as this is one of the last pockets of woodland caribou in south-eastern Canada.
The view from the summit is breathtaking... one can look out over a sea of rounded peaks and jagged ridges. The area is dotted with lakes and on clear days it is possible to see the St. Lawrence. Mont Logan is the highest point around so you can look down over the western section of the Chic Chocs and really drink in their majesty.
To use the trails one must purchase a day permit which costs between $6-8. There are 4 designated areas near the main peaks region where one can camp. In winter it costs $18 per night and in the summer it costs $21 per night per site. There are also huts on some of the mountains which costs $20 per night per person.
For information on shelters one can call 1 800 665 6527. For Park information one can call 1 418 763 7811 or 1 418 763 3181. You can also email for information at email@example.com. For more information on the park you can check www.sepaq.com which is the official website for Quebec's parks. SEPAQ is an acronym which stands for the Society for the establishment of clean (plein in french) air.
When To Climb
The best time to the visit the park depends on the type of experience you are looking for. If you wish to cross country ski or snowshoe up to the summit and enjoy pristine winter weather at its finest, then the best time to visit is from January to March.
If one is wishing to visit the park during more temperate times then the best time to visit (the only real time) is from June 24 to September 30. when the mountain trails are open.
The temperature can still drop below freezing up above the trees so come prepared for weather extremes; also serious storms frequent the region throughout the year so be sure to know the weather before you leave. For info. on trails you can call 1 866 727 2427.
Camping is allowed in the park, the prices are already outlined in the Red tape section and the necessary phone numbers are provided there as well.
There are 4 major campgrounds in the park:
La Riviere has 40 sites and offers access to canoeing and easy hiking trails.
Mont Albert has 82 sites and offers easy access to many of the major mountain trails. This is one of the two recommended sites for those wanting to get away from the droves of family campers that can be found in the park... though the only way to avoid them entirely is to stay at one of the huts.
Lac Cascapedia has 74 sites and offers access to canoeing and moderate hiking trails.
Mt. Jacques Cartier is the other recommended site with access to several of the other mountain trails. It offers 27 semi-primitve sites and is perhaps the best place to camp if one needs to bunk down for the night.
There is alos a hut located on the hut of Mont logan that groups of up to 6 can use for $20 per person per night.
To find out the current weather condtions for the park and the long term forecast you can visit www.theweathernetwork.com and check the Parks forecast for Gaspe. You can also find out weather condtions for several of the nearby cities such as Ste-Anne-des-Monts or New Richmond.
Also weather conditions can be found on the SEPAQ website if one checks for the specific park you are looking for
Flora and Fauna
Over 500 woodland caribou call the park home and you can sometimes spot extended groups of up to a dozen together at one time. The park is also home to Virginia deer and moose... making it one of the few remaining places where these three large grazing animals inhabit the same area. The park is also home to black bear, wolves, coyotes and foxes. There are also 150 species of birds in the park including golden and bald eagles as well as several species of hawks and falcons.
When hiking up the mountain trail it is not uncommon to pass through four vegetation zones. The tree line is very low, between 750-900 meters, and all of the sumits are covered in tundra. Though on the summits there are over 150 varieties of plants that are usually only found much further north
Parc de la Gaspesie
The Chic Chocs are the northern extension of the Appalachian Mountains, and contain over 25 peaks 1000m or higher.... making it quite possibly southeastern Canada's most mountainous area. The Chic Chocs are known for their steep ridges and broad, flat summit plateaus. The summits of all of the higher peaks are bereft of trees, containing only tundra, ground hugging plants and broken, weathered rock.
The National Park is operated in conjunction with with the greater 802 square kilometer Provincial Park de la Gaspesie. This park was created in 1937 to protect this beautiful and unique region of Quebec. The park was known to the Algonquin peoples who once called this place home as 'the land of the twisted woods'.
There are over 150km worth of trails throughout the park which provide access to most of the major peaks in the park throughout the year. The Chic Chocs are especially popular in the winter for backcountry enthusiasts as it provides amazing downhill and telemark skiing opportunities. It also affords those seeking a more serene trip, intense quiet and spectacular vistas.