Desert River

CanadaQuebec04 Ottawa
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
60 km
3 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
150 m
Longest Portage: 
90 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Hwy 105 north from Maniwaki to hwy 117.
Start at Lacs du Pont, 18 km from Hwy 117 along the road into ZEC Bras-Coupe Desert.
A second vehicle should be dropped off near the bridge in Chute-Rouge (along the country road to Montcerf).
South to Lac Rond
East through Lac Rond
PL60 around CI and CII rapids under bridge
Island Rapids CI
Grande Rapids CI-II
One CII and two CI rapids
PL90 around Chute de Pin (trail ends very close to lip of falls)
Rapide Penche CII (Portage L 600 shown on map does not exist. First cascade must be looked at from the bank before running)
Rapide a la Cauene CII
South along the river, finish at Chute-Rouge before the rapids.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

We ran this route on the Labour Day weekend 2000.
To our surprise, the Desert River turned out to be a place of solitude - in three days we have not seen any other people along the way.

The marked campsite on the left side of a small lake after Grande Rapids is very small. However, there are no places to camp on until a marked site near Chute de Pin.

After Rapide a la Cauene the river meandres a lot, but the current is fast. There are a lot of sand beaches

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
31 K/9
Special Comments: 

The route may be extended to Montcerf with portages around Chute-Rouge (PL400) and PL20 around CII rapids or all the way to Maniwaki with Chute a Mercier to portage around, but this may be a monotonous paddle.

Most Class II rapids cannot be portaged so at least moderate whitewater experience is needed.

In addition to the regular fishing license, a separate one needs to be purchased at the entrance to ZEC Bras-Desert Reserve.


Post date: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 15:08


As noted, good campsites are scarce until Chute de Pin. Unfortunately, the Chute de Pin site now features a brand new bridge and road. It's still a nice place to camp, if you like logging trucks. They seem to work all night, but really get busy at about six-thirty in the morning.

The river itself is lovely -- fun rapids and, in the lower meanders, heavenly beaches -- but we were almost always within earshot of heavy machinery. In this particular "zone d'exploitation contrôlée," the "exploitation" is a little out of control, and the loggers have been rather casual about concealing their work from the river's recreational traffic. From the water and access roads you glimpse some pretty ugly cuts.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


des info sur la zec

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


Kevin Callan, describes in his book, "an obvious portage on the left that we missed". He says that this was a mistake and cost him a half a roll of duct tape and some fibreglass. Well the Rapide Penche portage does not exist and doesn't look like it ever did. Bring some duct tape.