Skip to Content

Mingan Archipelago: monoliths, upscale camping and grandiose nature

Organize your stay when visiting the Mingan Archipelago where you can fin the greatest concentration of erosion monoliths in Canada.

Mingan
Monolithes de l’île Quarry

Composed of islands and islets located between Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Aguanish, the reserve of the Mingan Archipelago National Park is the largest concentration of erosion monoliths in Canada.

Whether you visit it during a cruise for a few hours or camping on the islands, magnificent landscapes await those who venture there.

Here’s a look at what you can do and see there.

Stay on Quarry Island

The park can only be accessed by sea, mainly from Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan or Havre-Saint-Pierre.

Our boat to go to Quarry Island
Here is our boat that will take us to Quarry Island

From the first minutes, as our boat sails on the water, the crossing takes on the air of a whale watching cruise while we stop long enough to observe a whale swimming a few meters from us.

This trip is promising!

Alone on Quarry Island
Alone on Quarry Island

Once we arrive there and our equipment is unloaded, we can see all the beauty this nature has to offer.

We’ll be alone there with only the company of a few other campers, sea birds and a few small animals.

Peace at last!

People walking on Quarry Island -
Sunset on Quarry Island
Sunset on Quarry Island

Stay in an oTENTik tent

To fully enjoy the island and its calm, observe the monoliths at leisure and go hiking, it’s best to stay there for a few days.

You can camp there with your own tent, but in my opinion the oTentik tent is still the best option (at the least, you will have less equipment to haul on the boat!).

oTENTik tent - Quarry Island

And let’s face it, this is 5 star camping! The tents are furnished, heated and lighted.

There is a small terrace, a covered place for the bbq and a pit for the campfire.

When the wind picks up in the evening, the thick material of which the tent is made and the extra heater are more than appreciated.

The monoliths of the archipelago

One of the main reasons to visit the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is to admire the monoliths found there.

Monoliths on Quarry Island - Mingan Archipelago
Monoliths on Quarry Island - Mingan Archipelago
Monoliths on Quarry Island - Mingan Archipelago

The retreat of the great glaciers some 10,000 years ago, coupled with the continued action of waves, wind, frost and thaw, have shaped these gigantic stone sculptures.

Perfect point of view on the monoliths. Picnic tables close by allow you to have lunch with a view.
Perfect point of view on the monoliths. Picnic tables close by allow you to have lunch with a view.

Hikes

A must-do activity on these islands is definitely hiking.

Several trails allow you to walk across the islands, passing in turn in the middle of peat bogs, in the forest and on the beaches.

You can observe at leisure the monoliths and the flora. It’s also possible to do some hikes with a Parks Canada guide.

The trails, of varying difficulty, can go from 15 minutes to 5 hours.

Hiking trail on Quarry Island
Trail on Quarry Island that takes us through a small forest
A small glimpse of the flora found on the island
A small glimpse of the flora found on the island where lichen meets colorful flowers.
A small glimpse of the flora found on the island where lichen meets colorful flowers.

On Quarry Island, it’s possible to do a 10km trail that goes completely around the island.

While it allows for unique perspectives, I personally found it quite challenging.

Hiking on Quarry Island

Although you’re always on level ground, walking through sand and small rock slowly wears you down.

But the effort was worth it!

Hiking on Quarry Island

You should also look at the tide times (handed to you before departure) since some trail segments are only passable at low tide.

Hiking on Quarry Island - Mingan Archipelago - Côte-Nord, Québec
Within minutes, clouds covered part of the shore during the hike.
Within minutes, clouds covered part of the shore during the hike.

Stop on the island of Niapiskau

It’s also possible to combine a return from Quarry Island with a stop at Niapiskau Island, to explore one more island!

Niaspiskau monoliths
Niaspiskau monoliths
Niaspiskau monoliths - Mingan Archipelago -  Côte-Nord, Québec
There are also several monoliths there. A hiking trail allows you to see dry monoliths.

Here is the Lady of Niapiskau, emblem of the park and thus baptized by Roland Jomphe, poet of Havre-Saint-Pierre.

the Lady of Niapiskau - Mngan Archipelago - Côte-Nord
 The Lady of Niapiskau

Practical information :

The park is open from mid-June to early September.

To get to the islands, you must book your transport with a certified boat operator.

From Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, there are also cruises that go to Île aux Perroquets where you can observe puffins.

Staying on the Islands: There are various accommodation options available on the islands.

In addition to stays in an oTENTik tent, you also have the options to stay at the Auberge de l’île aux perroquets or camp on the island of Niapiskau.

Are you going to the Côte-Nord soon? Pin this article on Pinterest!

Mingan Archipelago
Thanks to Tourisme Côte-Nord, Parks Canada and their partners who made this trip possible.

Partager

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.