About Chute Sainte-Anne
Chute Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre (or Saint Anne Waterfall of Beaupre) was an enjoyable waterfall experience for the whole family for many reasons.
Not only were Julie and I pretty mesmerized by the 74m drop of the Sainte-Anne-du-Nord River over several twisting and thundering tiers nestled within the deep Canyon Sainte-Anne. but our daughter also seemed to enjoy the experience.
Granted, her enjoyment was probably for reasons that weren’t necessarily waterfall-related, which we’ll get to later.
Indeed, it was one of those places where it seemed like there was something for everyone.
The Canyon Sainte-Anne Experience
In order to experience the Chute Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Waterfall, we had to explore the Canyon Sainte-Anne, which was actually a commercialized adventure park.
As of our October 2013 visit, Julie and I paid about $12 CAD per person to enter the facility (which didn’t open until 9am), but our two-year-old daughter came in for free.
We figured that given the amount of infrastructure that was here, the price was probably justified.
The commercialism in the complex seemed to toe that fine line between natural attraction to be respected and left alone while providing a playground of monetization.
However, we felt the star attraction here remained the Canyon Sainte-Anne and its waterfall, which we got to enjoy via a comprehensive walking route.
All three of us spent a little over 2 hours at a very leisurely pace to pretty much do the entire walk.
The walked involved crossing suspension bridges, standing on protruding lookouts, and skirting gorge rims on both sides of Canyon Sainte-Anne.
Thus, we were able to experience the Chute Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre waterfall from almost every angle imaginable.
The developed walkways were actually quite family-friendly as fences were erected where dropoff exposure was the most prevalent.
We still had to keep an eye on our daughter since anyone (even two-year-olds) can climb the fences if persistent.
However, I appreciated the fact that I didn’t need to carry her around in the child carrier the entire time, and that made the all around experience even more enjoyable.
As for other ways to explore and enjoy Canyon Sainte-Anne, we saw people partaking in rock climbs, ziplines, and wire walks.
We didn’t partake in these additional paid activities, but they seemed to be for those restless souls who needed to spice up their visit to Canyon Sainte-Anne.
Finally, regarding the things that our daughter enjoyed, there was a playground near the entrance, large statues of animals on the way to the canyon, and just the simple fallen leaves around the picnic area before the visitor center.
Photographing and Timing the Chute Sainte-Anne Waterfall
Our visit took place right at opening time in October of 2013, which yielded plenty of Autumn colors adding a lively contrast to our photos.
The morning sun also just started to break free from the morning clouds for good, which resulted in some harsh sidelighting as well as some frontal lighting as we faced the waterfall.
Since Canyon Sainte-Anne was deep, there always seemed to be shadows in the canyon’s depths throughout the day.
Thus, as far as getting the best lighting for taking pictures, I’d say the early afternoon might be the best time for backlighting and minimal shadows.
As for the waterflow, as you can see in the photos on this page, the waterfall didn’t disappoint.
This suggested to me that the Chute Sainte-Anne Waterfall is likely to flow year-round since our visit was pretty much very late in the season’s flow before the next season’s round of precipitation by snow and/or rain.
Detailed Description of the Chute Sainte-Anne Waterfall Walking Route
Our walking route took on the shape of a lower-case “g” where we took a counter-clockwise approach to the looping part of the route with an out-and-back detour at the bottom of the Canyon Sainte-Anne.
After getting to the top of the canyon where the “g”-route commenced, we first crossed a sturdy bridge upstream of the falls before walking downhill towards the suspension bridge fronting Chute Sainte-Anne.
All throughout this part of the walk, we enjoyed overlooks offering profile and angled views of the falls.
This sturdy bridge provided us a view upstream towards the calm Sainte-Anne watercourse, which complemented the Autumn foliage around it nicely.
Meanwhile, we managed to get comprehensive views of the entire drop of the Chute Sainte-Anne Waterfall since most of the views here faced the majority of the twisting waterfall.
On top of the bouncy and narrow suspension bridge, we were perched 60m directly above the shadowy depths of floor of Canyon Sainte-Anne.
While this bridge yielded full frontal views of the waterfall (the photo at the top of this page came from here) and the mouth of Canyon Sainte-Anne, it definitely tested one’s fear of heights.
On the other side of the suspension bridge, we then continued further downhill towards steps that ultimately led to a lower suspension bridge and a dead-end.
That lower bridge was practically within the depths of Canyon Sainte-Anne so the visual magnitude of the gorge walls was very apparent.
Our included park map called this spot the “mini canyon” probably because the gorge opened up shortly downstream of this lower suspension bridge.
At the dead-end, we also spotted some hidden waterfalls spilling nearby the lower suspension bridge.
The Chute Sainte-Anne could barely be seen from down here, but we figured that getting down to this point of the well-established walk was more of an exercise in admiring the canyon depths from within.
Finally, we headed back up the steps and then up the other side of the canyon to complete the rest of the “g”-shaped route.
Along the way, we passed by even more vantage points that seemed to be much closer to the rushing waters of Chute Sainte-Anne than earlier on.
Thus, the views here were more about feeling the waterfall’s power as opposed to admiring it from afar, especially since this side only offered partial views of the Chute Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.
In fact, the overlooks on this near side of the Canyon Sainte-Anne were so close to the rushing water that the loud noise made it difficult to even have a conversation without shouting!
The Chute Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre (Sainte Anne of Beaupre Waterfall) resides near Beaupre in the province of Quebec, Canada. It is adminstered by the Canyon Sainte-Anne. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.
In order to reach the Canyon Sainte-Anne and the Chute Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Waterfall from Quebec City, we took the Route 440 east.
The road then briefly became Route 40 before becoming Route 138 past the Pont de L’Ile d’Orleans (the Bridge of Orleans Island).
We followed Route 138 through the town of Beaupre (passing by the impressive Basilica of the Sanctuary of Sainte-Anne of Beaupre) before eventually reaching the signposted turnoff for Canyon Sainte-Anne on the left.
The turnoff was right where the Route 138 was in the midst of its climb east of Beaupre.
It took us about 45 minutes to do this drive.
Regarding that turnoff from the Route 138 into Canyon Sainte-Anne, we do have to caution that since we had to make a left turn across traffic in order to leave the Hwy 138 for the parking lot.
However, in order to do that, we had to do it from the passing lane of the highway (i.e. when people were speeding up in the fast lane to pass slower drivers on the right lane).
That could be potentially dangerous, especially when people making left turns are stopped to wait for oncoming traffic to pass.
Indeed, imagine how dangerous it would be if passing motorists were to suddenly slam on the brakes due to stopped cars in this lane!
I wonder if this traffic situation will change to make it less hazardous by the time you read this, but it was definitely on my mind during our October 2013 visit.
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