Quebec’s best-kept secret – the Lac St Jean Region – is best known for its gorgeous waterside scenery, wonderful hiking trails, quaint towns and pretty national parks. It’s no surprise then that camping at Lac St. Jean is becoming increasingly popular. After all, what’s better than camping under the stars at night, then having fun in the water during the day.

This lake offers a perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of never-ending city life. And in our opinion, camping at Lac St Jean, whether in a tent or RV, is the most peaceful way to experience it.

To save you time, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Lac St Jean campgrounds. Some are right on the shoreline with the best sunsets you can imagine. Others are in the forest-clad national parks where wildlife opportunities are exceptional.

But every campground is great fun and has breathtaking views. Perfect for your upcoming adventure! 

We then look at backcountry camping at Lac St Jean, and give you some bear safety tips.

Lac St Jean Camping: Our Ten Favorite Campgrounds

1. Camping Belley

If you love peace and quiet, but also want a family friendly Lac St Jean camping option with lots of things to do, then this campground could be perfect!

The campsites at Camping Belley are bordered by a sandy beach which stretches for 4 miles down the lake shore. But what makes this campground so kid friendly is the fact the staff lead activities every day to keep kids entertained and having fun. It’s a campground that creates a real sense of community.

Located in the heart of the Lac St Jean region, Belley campground has over 300 campsites, both with and without amenities.

Another plus point is that this lovely campground is pet friendly!

Amenities and Services:

Ice, wood, and propane are available. There’s also a payphone, pump-out stations, showers, washers, dryers, a convenience store, and free wifi at reception.

On-site Activities:

As this campground is situated right by the lake you can play beach volleyball and partake in many water sports. There’s also many hiking trails nearby and biking opportunities.

There’s lots of activities on-site for families, like movie nights, team games, family bingo, and craft workshops when there’s rainy days. There’s also three volleyball courts and four play areas!

Rates: From CA$50

Address: 109, ch. Belley, Taillon, QC, G0W 2X0

Website

Lac St Jean Camping

2. Camping Plage Blanchett

If you’re looking for a Lac St Jean camping adventure right on the shore, then this campground is definitely one to consider!

Plage Blanchett has over 160 camping sites, many equipped with picnic areas – perfect for families. But the real draw are the beautiful fine sandy beaches here.

The campground’s proximity to the pretty town of Desbiens makes it a popular vacation pick amongst tourists too.

Amenities and Services:

All campsites are family-friendly and well equipped with basic amenities. You can also get ice, wood and propane on site, as well as fully equipped common rooms, electricity, a payphone, kitchen, showers, and dryers.

On-site Activities:

There’s the opportunity for beach volleyball, petanque, cycling, hiking (there’s many nature paths and trails nearby), and there’s a playground for children. You can also rent bikes!

Rates: From CA$36 per night

Address: Saguenay Lac St. Jean Region, 121, Route 169, Chambord, QC, G0W 1N0

Website

Lac St Jean Camping

3. Camping Dam-en-Terre:

This picturesque campground sits on the beautiful Grande-Décharge River near Lac St Jean and has over 240 campsites.

Nearby is Glaces du Fjord where you can go on an ice fishing adventure on Saguenay Fjord. Or you can enjoy walking the stunning surroundings which include gorgeous multi-colored houses in the fjord villages where locals often host food experiences in their homes.

If you don’t want to leave the site then no issue! This campground is right on the water’s edge where there’s a beach, heated pool and you can rent games. And with pets welcome it’s possible to bring your furry friends along.

Amenities and Services:

Ice, wood and propane are all available. There’s also a marina, payphone, showers, washers, dryers, pump-out station, 24/7 electricity, grocery/convenience store, play areas for kids and a heated pool.

On-site Activities:

There’s guided tours for all ages, including boating and kayaking out to the nearby islands, as well as fishing opportunities. They also have mini golf, and of course you can go swimming!

Rates: From CA$37 per night (discounts depending on length of stay, and if staying during low season).

Address: 1385, ch. de la Marina, Alma, QC, G8B 4X4

Website

Lac St Jean Camping

4. Camping du Centre Touristique du Lac-Kénogami

This campground is located in the city of Saguenay on a sandy point at the heart of Lake Kénogami – close to Lac St Jean, halfway between Jonquière and Alma.

The Centre Touristique du Lac-Kénogami boasts a well-maintained campground slightly located away from the typical tourist chaos – perfect for peace and quiet. It has more than 150 campsites, including 10 that are Ready-to-Camp on arrival, and lakeside cabins.

If you have a bit more to spend, go for the rustic feel and comfort of a fully-equipped Hékipia tent.

Whether you want to stay at a campsite with or without services, you’re bound to experience a safe and peaceful stay in a pleasant atmosphere here. They’re also pet friendly!

Plus with ongoing discounted deals in the summers, you can choose what fits your budget without breaking the bank.

Amenities and Services:

The sites include electricity. There’s also firewood, a grocery store/convenience store, ice, payphone, propane, pump-out stations, showers, and washer and dryers. You can even rent bicycles and watercraft.

On-site Activities:

As they’re right beside a fine sandy beach, you can choose to go canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating.

There’s also opportunities to go mountain biking, play tennis, petanque, volleyball, basketball, and softball on the beach.

Rates: From CA$33 per night

Address: Centre touristique du Lac-Kénogami, Sépaq, 9000, route de Kénogami, Lac-Kénogami, QC, G7X 0H9

Website

5. Camping Vauvert sur le Lac-Saint-Jean

This wonderful four-star campground situated on the shores of the lake, but under the shade of a gorgeous forest, has the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the fine sandy beach and all the activities on the water, but you’re also close to many hiking trails that go off into the forest.

With activities like kayaking and paddle boarding available, as well as many musical and cultural events held by the campground, you’re unlikely to ever get bored when staying here.

Amenities and Services:

You can choose campsites with water and electricity, and there are very good bathrooms, showers, and sanitary facilities.

There’s also two playgrounds, picnic areas, and access to a fantastic beach!

On-site Activities:

With easy access to the beach you can sunbathe, swim, kayak and paddle board all with ease. There’s plenty of hiking and biking routes close by, while the campground also has cultural and musical events during the high season.

Rates: From CA$38 per night

Address: 488 Vauvert Road, Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC G8L 5W3

Website

Lac St Jean Camping

6. Baie-Éternité Campground

This campground situated in the Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay will be a unique yet picturesque spot for camping as it is located beside a beautiful fjord!

The campground offer several options for accommodation ranging from camping with or without services, rustic camping, ready-to-camp tents, and kayak-camping which is an absolutely special experience in itself.

In the winter months (December to March), the Baie-Éternité sector and the Anse-de-Tabatière sector offer a perfect place for tourists to take short or long snowshoe hikes. There’s plenty of routes around.

Amenities and Services:

The Baie-Éternité campground has 100 campsites with water and electricity, and accommodates tents and RVs. There’s also picnic areas nearby and a convenience store close to the visitor center.

On-site Activities:

If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s plenty of hiking trails nearby, a via Ferrata departure area, and sea kayak excursion opportunities.

Nearby, the Baie-Sainte-Marguerite sector also has around 50 other campsites which are in close proximity to an observation deck where you can watch out for beluga whales!

Rates: From CA$30 per night

Address: Le Fjord-du-Saguenay Regional County Municipality, Quebec G0V 1P0

Website

7. Camping Plage Robertson

This campground is still not very well known, but it’s becoming more and more popular each year.

Why? Well not only are the beachside views stunning and the facilities modern and clean, but this may just be the best place in the region for sunsets. Just see the photo below if you don’t believe us!

Along with the facilities you’d expect – toilets, showers, Wifi – there’s also an on-site restaurant, laundry services, dump station and more.

This waterside Lac St Jean camping option also often holds events like sandcastle competitions and live music. So along with being one of the most affordable campgrounds on the shore, you may also find yourself entertained in the evenings!

Amenities and Services:

The toilets, showers and laundry are modern and clean, and there’s direct access to the beach and water. Enjoy the exceptional sunset views here while dining in their on-site restaurant.

On-site Activities:

Alongside the events this campground sometimes holds, there’s also opportunities for kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and beach volleyball. With hiking trails nearby you can also enjoy the scenery inland too.

Rates: From CA$23

Address: 2202 Rue Ouiatchouan, Mashteuiatsh, QC G0W 2H0

Website

Lac St Jean Camping

8. Parc National de la Pointe-Taillon Campground

This wonderful national park campground is located on the shore of Lac St Jean and is beside some of the most beautiful fine sandy beaches in the area. The campsites are primitive, so facilities are basic, but it’s a great spot to stay.

It’s a perfect place for nature lovers, as well as hikers and bikers. That’s because there are many long trails nearby that will take you deep into the surrounding nature.

This campground is also one of the smallest Lac St Jean camping options by the shore. That makes it perfect if you’re looking for peace and quiet.

On top of that, the lakeside views here may just be the best in the region.

Amenities and Services:

They have several campsites, but a few are only accessible via foot, bike or by water – offering some much-needed peace and quiet away from the world!

You can also stay in one of the park’s well-heated and comfortable Huttopia tents which are equipped with beds, and cooking space.

On-site Activities:

This is a primitive campground so it’s a place for relaxing and enjoying nature. So if you stay here activities include chilling on the beach and swimming, cycling and hiking, and enjoying the national park.

You can also rent bikes and watercraft from the park – so there’s no excuses to not get out there and explore!

Rates: From CA$24 per night

Address: Discovery and Visitors Centre, Taillon Sector, Saint-Henri-de-Taillon, QC, G0W 2X0

Website

Lac St Jean Camping

9. Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux

If you’re a nature lover then Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux is another great option. Not only do they have campsites but they also promote ecotourism so have log cabins, tree houses, and even hanging spheres for camping, all available to rent.

This Lac St Jean camping option is located in beautiful surroundings too. It sits right on the edge of the photo-worthy Saguenay Fjord – a fantastic spot for wildlife spotting and whale watching. The site is accessible via the Fjord Shuttles ferry service.

They also have lots of fun activities for kids and adults alike – like zip lining!

Amenities and Services:

There’s picnic areas and a common room with a kitchen, as well as electricity, showers, washrooms, washer, and dryers.

They offer recreational activities like zip lining, hiking, beach activities, and water sports. Additionally, visitors can go fishing or take a guided sea kayaking or sailing excursion.

On-site Activities:

This nature-oriented site has many bird watching opportunities, and is near hiking and cycling routes. You can also go fishing or enjoy a cruise/boat excursion.

You can go whale watching too as minke whales and belugas have been spotted in the fjord before! In fact this is known as one of the best campgrounds in the region for whale spotting.

Address: 250, chemin de la Pointe-aux-Pins, Saint-Fulgence, QC, G0V 1S0

Lac St Jean Camping

10. Parc National des Monts-Valin

This tiny national park campground has just two campsites and is based at L’Eau-Vive. Expect beautiful backdrops of the River Valin and majestic mountain views.

Located near the park’s visitor center, it is easily accessible by car. It has clean washroom and bathroom facilities.

If you’re looking for a Lac St Jean camping experience far from the crowds, then this could be the place.

Amenities and Services:

This is primitive camping, but there are shower and bathroom facilities. Each site also features a fire pit and picnic table. You can rent watercraft from the visitor center.

On-site Activities:

This Lac St Jean camping option is all about adventure in nature. So enjoy hiking and wildlife watching in this lovely national park.

Address: 360, Rang Saint-Louis, Saint-Fulgence QC, G0V 1S0

Website

Backcountry Camping at Lac St Jean and in Canada

Wild camping, also known as backcountry camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas you are prohibited from camping in. Rather you must stay in a designated campsite. These include:

  • National Parks
  • Cities
  • Provincial Parks

It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people wild camping in these prohibited areas.

Sometimes it is possible to purchase a ‘backcountry’ camping permit. That would then allow you to camp in a park outside of a campground. Not all parks offer them – and they’re not widely advertised. If there’s somewhere you wish to camp, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these are available.

As for where you are allowed to camp, Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land – which is publicly owned land. Thankfully 89% of land in Canada is classed as ‘Crown Land’. However much of that is still off limits – National Parks, for example, are also Crown Land.

In general: If land is publicly owned, it’s not one of the prohibited areas that we listed above, and you are far from settlements – you’re likely to be on Crown Land that can be camped on for free. However, keep an eye on local maps for confirmation, and obey any signs that say camping is prohibited

There are rules for free camping on Crown Land, however:

  • You may camp in the same place for 21 days only in one calendar year.
  • After 21 days you must move to a place at least 100m away if you wish to continue camping.
  • While free for citizens and Canadian residents, non-residents must obtain a permit to wild camp on Crown Land.

Unfortunately some provinces of Canada prohibit backcountry camping completely in some regions. In Quebec, Lac St Jean is one of the prohibited areas. Other prohibited areas include:

  • Portneuf
  • Sept-Rivières
  • Matawinie

Camping at Lac St Jean: Bear Safety

Like many areas of Canada, there are bears roaming around the Lac St Jean area. You must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite. 

With that being the case we advise:

  • If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.
  • Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.
  • Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.
  • Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.
  • Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears.