I had never heard of Montmorency Falls before I visited. A bit strange since this waterfall on the Montmorency River outside Québec City is almost 100 ft. higher than the more famous Niagara Falls, and even more scenic. While Niagara Falls may be more dramatic in-person, Montmorency Falls allows visitors to get up close and personal with the cascading waters and enjoy astounding views over the Saint Lawrence River and Île d’Orléans region- over 350 feet from the ground.
At Montmorency Falls in Quebec, Canada– you won’t find a Ripley’s Believe it or Not or Hard Rock Cafe panhandling to tourists. You won’t see people hawking souvenirs out of a plastic bag, persuading visitors that they need an overpriced waterfall themed snow globe to remember their visit either. Other than the clunking sounds of the cable car which brings visitors to the top of Parc de la Chute, and the historic residence turned bistro, Manoir Montmorency, the only thing you’ll find at Montmorency Falls is solitude and an overwhelming awareness of nature.
Don’t get me wrong- tourists visit Montmorency Falls in hoards, and you can fully expect large groups making their way across the suspension bridge with cameras in tow. Nevertheless, there is stillness. The sounds of the tumbling waters hurdling over the cliffside seem to either drown out the chatter or entrance visitors to silence with the sheer power of their plunge.
Montmorency Falls Attractions
The cable car brings visitors from the lower terminal, near the St. Lawrence River, to the foot of Manoir Montmorency- within just a few minutes. The gondolas steadily climb the wires, providing plenty of opportunity to take great shots of the falls from a variety of vantage points. You can also walk up to the top of the falls by climbing a designated staircase from the parking lot level- there are panoramic view points along the way and it saves you the slightly exorbitant ticket cost to take the cable car both ways.
The highlight of Parc de la Chute, besides Montmorency Falls themselves, is the suspension bridge which runs across the crest of the falls. I enjoyed taking in the contrasting sides of such a powerful force of nature. On one side of the bridge you have the calm Montmorency River, steadily inching closer to the cliff before it transforms into something altogether different. On the other side you have the falls underneath your feet, with the unique opportunity to look straight down at the waters free-falling below you before they make their way into the massive Saint Lawrence River.
The Calm before the Storm.
If you are afraid of heights- you may want to avoid looking down!
Hungry? Manoir Montmorency offers a full menu of typical Québec cuisine. The interior rooms are full of charm, but if the sun is out you can have your lunch on the outdoor patio. There are also public restrooms inside, accessible to customers and non-customers alike. Consider bringing a picnic lunch, the grounds are extensive and there is also a covered patio area adjacent to the Manoir.
How to Get to Montmorency Falls at Parc de la Chute in Québec, Canada
Montmorency Falls is located 13km from downtown Québec City, Québec. You can take the #800 bus leaving from Place D’Youville, which will take around 45 minutes and costs $2.75 one-way. Alternatively, by car, take exit 322 from auto route 40 and follow the signs for “Chute de Montmorency’. Parking at the site costs $10 per vehicle, there is no charge if you arrive by bus or tour.
Admission for cable car:
Adult: One-Way $9.25, Return $11.25
Child 6-17: One-Way $4.75, Return $5.75
Have you been to Montmorency Falls at Parc de la Chute? What is your favorite waterfall?
Disclaimer: My trip to Québec, Canada was part of a press trip organized by KLM UK, AirFrance, and Tourisme Québec. A big thanks to all involved that made this trip possible. All content, thoughts and opinions on The Fly Away American are always my own.