James Bay Road website

Travel Guide to the Trans-Taiga Road

Copyright © 2008 by Walter Muma

Please read Driving the Trans-Taiga Road first before traveling this road!

UPDATED & REVISED SEPTEMBER 2008. I drove this road to Km 582 and back in September 2005.

Please note that hours of operation and availability of services may change. Fuel is available only at km 286 & km 358. More info may be obtained from Hydro Quebec: call 1-800-291-8486.
Feel free to print this guide and take it along on your trip.


Km 0

Beginning of the Trans-Taiga Road, starting at Km 544 of the James Bay Road.

From Here (jct James Bay Road, km544) ) to: Km Miles
Amos 726 450
Brisay 582 361
Caniapiscau 666 413
Chibougamau 690 428
Chisasibi 146 91
Eastmain 296 184
Matagami 544 337
Nemaska 385 239
Radisson 76 47
Wemindji 122 76
Waskaganish 409 254
Km 11 Hydro-Quebec microwave tower: "Castor" - no emergency phone.
Hydro transmission lines cross the road here.

Km 23

Emergency telephone: "Sakami"

Km 31 Nice view of an unnamed lake to the south.
Km 42 Road north to dam on Robert-Bourassa Reservoir

Km 56

Sakami Lake, 1.4km from the road. Picnic tables, boat launch, toilets, fishing, camping. This is a very basic campground, little more than a parking lot.

Km 59

"Exutoire Sakami": Sakami water overflow structure. Picnic tables, toilets, shelters(2). This is the channel through which all the water diverted north from the Eastmain and Opinaca Rivers flows north into the Robert Bourassa Reservoir. There's a huge rapids visible in the distance to the north.

Km 62

Robert Bourassa Reservoir, 3 km from the road. Picnic tables, toilets, boat launch, fishing, camping, viewpoint, no shelters. There's about 10 camping sites here. Nice campground. The access road is narrow and rough.

Km 87 Hydro-Quebec microwave tower: "Aeroport LG3". No emergency phone.
Km 96 LG3 Airport.
Emergency Phone (the last one as you head east).

Km 100

Access road north to LG-3 dam and generating station (28 km) and Hydro Quebec's Sakami settlement (25 km - not open to the public - no services or accommodations). At LG-3 there is a scenic viewpoint with interpretive signs overlooking the LG-3 dam and hydro-electric complex.

Km 105 Road leads north to dam sites and Reservoir.
Km 110 Good view ahead of one of the dams and Cookish Bay of the Robert Bourassa Reservoir.
Km 150 Road leads north to the Reservoir.
Km 170-180 The Road runs along atop an esker. As a result it is narrower, winding and rougher. Nice views along here.
Km 186 Hydro Quebec "Poste Lemoyne" and microwave tower "Guyer". No emergency phone.

Km 203

Pontois River. Picnic tables, shelters(3), boat launch, toilets, fishing, campgrounds(2), viewpoint. This is the last official campground as you head east. Nice campground. Nice view of a rapids from the viewpoint. There's a second campsite just west of the bridge on the south side, but it is a very basic campground, little more than a parking lot, located under the main hydro wires.
There are two boat launches. One is west of the bridge on the south side, the other is east from the rest area, on the north side. This is the last rest area and campground on the road.
Information panel.

Km 243 Asatawasach River.
Km 256 Hydro Quebec microwave tower "Marvin" up on hill.

Km 286

Nouchimi Outfitters, at Cladonia Lake. Fuel available 8am-5pm (surcharge of $25 outside those times). Restaurant 7am-7pm. Rooms available 24 hrs. Open all year. Phone (819) 855-3373, website: www.nouchimi.com. Cargair hydroplane base (819) 854-4186. In May 2008 gas was $1.82/liter here.
This is the last fuel available on this road heading west. If you're heading west and north to Radisson, the next fuel is 362 km away. If you're heading west and south the next fuel is 449 km away at km 381 of the James Bay Road.
If you're heading east and don't want to stop at Mirage Outfitter for fuel, it is 592 km to Brisay at km 582 and back, or 760 km to the end at km 666 and back.

Km 292

LG-4 airport.

Km 306 Junction with Hydro Quebec access road leading to LG-4.

Km 307

Keyano Hydro Quebec settlement, 1 km south. Not open to the public. No services or accommodations.

Km 308

Viewpoint overlooking the LG4 dam and hydro installation to the north, accessed by a steep and narrow road leading uphill. This is marked with the French word for viewpoint, "belvedere". The lookout platform burned down in a forest fire in 2005.

Km 308

Second access road leading to Keyano.

Km 311

Second access road to LG-4 dam and generating station, 5 km to the north. Road and hydro installation not open to the public. No services or accommodations.

Km 341 LG-4 Reservoir boat launch.
Km 358 Polaris Bridge over the La Grande River.

Km 358

Mirage Outfitter. Gas and diesel available 6am-9pm; outside these hours for a $20 surcharge (which is sometimes waived). Restaurant 6am-8pm. Dormitory style rooms as well as full size luxury rooms are available 24 hrs/day: Dormitory style rooms were $75 in September 2005 and are still $75 in Jan 2011. Telephone (819) 339-3150; website: www.pourvoiriemirage.com. Open all year. In May 2008 gas was $1.47/liter here.
This is the last fuel and services available on the Trans-Taiga Road. To go to Brisay at km 582 and back is 448 km, or to the very end (Caniapiscau) and back is 616 km.
Mirage's owners took back the management of the business in late summer of 2008, and it is now a much friendlier place than it was prior to that!

Km 362 Airstrip.

Km 382

Donat Asselin Outfitter, winter only. No fuel. Phone (418) 661-0580. Fax (418) 664-1881. Website: www.pourvoiriedonatasselin.com.

Km 395

Access road to LA-1 dam and generating station, 42 km to the north. Also Hydro Quebec residences. Not open to the public. No services or accommodations.
The Kiskimaastakin Outfitter is located 63 km to the north along this road - phone (819) 853-5114, website: www.kiskimaastakin.com, fuel is available only for their customers.
Past this point the speed limit is 70 km/h, due to the narrower road surface.

Km 457 Unnamed river and bridge.
Km 516 Unnamed river and bridge. Nice rapids viewable from the bridge.
Km 521 Unnamed river and bridge. Nice lake and rapids here too.

Km 525

Access road to LA-2 dam and generating station, 7 km to the north. Not open to the public. No services or accommodations.

Km 528 LA-2 airport.
Km 542
Somewhere around here you will be the farthest north you can reach in eastern Canada along a road, except for the rougher stretch of the Trans-Taiga Road east of Brisay - there the road goes even farther north.

Km 582

Brisay dam and generating station. At this point you are 658 km from the nearest town (Radisson)!
Hydro Quebec residences, not open to the public. No services or accommodations.
There's an extensive set of Hydro Quebec interpretive signs here, along a small self-guided road tour of the hydro installation, including a high viewpoint. Well worth a visit, especially after driving all this way. No tours are available.
The road from Brisay to Caniapiscau is rougher and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended by Hydro Quebec. The main reason for this is the very coarse gravel used for this road - there's large rocks littering the road surface - and the dips in the road. However, I have heard from people who have driven this road in ordinary passenger cars and they say it is fine. You do have to keep your eyes open for the larger rocks though. However, the road becomes more scenic and rises in elevation (up to about 2000 feet above sea level).
-->To continue to Caniapiscau, when coming in to the Brisay area, turn right at the "T" junction, follow the signs to the "Belvedere", then turn left at the signs for "Belvedere" and "Caniapiscau" (the sign for Caniapiscau indicates that it is 92 km away, but all other sources say that the Trans-Taiga Road ends at km 666, which is 84 km away). Continue straight, over the control structure past the "Belvederes". There are no further signs indicating that this is the road to Caniapiscau.

From Here (Brisay) to: Km Miles
Amos 1308 811
Chibougamau 1272 789
Caniapiscau 84 52
Chisasibi 728 451
Eastmain 878 544
Matagami 1126 698
Nemaska 967 600
Radisson 658 408
Wemindji 704 436
Waskaganish 991 614

Km 666

  • Caniapiscau reservoir and Duplanter water overflow structure. No services.
  • End of the Trans-Taiga Road, 745 km from the nearest town. This is the farthest you can get from a town on a road anywhere in North America! (Not counting the private Hydro Quebec towns that are not open to the public).
  • On the left side is the runway. Although topo map says it is no longer used, in fact, it is well maintained & used for charter flights (mostly from Montreal, for outfitter's customers). Road splits here. Right branch goes to the Caniapiscau dam (very interesting place). Left branch goes to Air Saguenay base on Lac Pau and then to the garbage dump for the area.
  • Explo-sylva Outfitter. (514) 254-6345, 1-800-267-9797. Website: www.explo-sylva.com.
    Open mid-June through mid-October (thaw period). No fuel.
  • Leaf River Outfitters 418-882-6210. Website: www.leafriverlodge.com.
  • You cannot drive across country east to Labrador from here! Don't even think about trying. Not even with an ATV. Read Past the End.
From Here (Caniapiscau) to: Km Miles
Amos 1412 875
Brisay 84 52
Chibougamau 1376 853
Chisasibi 832 516
Eastmain 982 609
Matagami 1220 756
Nemaska 1071 664
Radisson 762 472
Wemindji 808 501
Waskaganish 1095 679

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