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Frequently asked questions

 

Last update: July 27, 2022

Frequently asked questions 

Here we answer the most frequently asked questions to help you plan your stay in Eeyou Istchee baie-James!

COVID-19

It is strongly recommended that you verify the opening hours and accessibility conditions of each site and attraction before you visit, by contacting the tourism business you wish to visit directly.

 

Opening of Cree communities

The Cree communities are open to visitors this summer 2022. It is important to remain sensitive to a potential closure if the situation changes in the community.

The Cree Nation Government determines its own accessibility conditions. For more information, visit the Cree Nation Government website.

I want to go camping. Are the campgrounds open?

All campgrounds are open this summer 2022.

The rustic sites along the route Billy-Diamond, route du Nord, route Transtaiga and road 113 are open this summer 2022.

Can I visit the hydroelectric dams?

Guided tours at the Robert-Bourassa (LG-2) and La Grande-1 are available this summer 2022, reserve now at 1 800 291-8486 or visit http://www.hydroquebec.com/visitez/baie-james/bourassa.html for more information.

ON THE ROAD

Is the route Billy-Diamond safe? What is its condition?

The route Billy-Diamond, formerly called the James Bay Highway, is safe. It is relatively busy and public telephones are available at a few locations along the road.

In addition, the Billy-Diamond Highway is fully paved and has been upgraded to km 381 in 2020 and 2021.

For updates on work on the regional road network: https://www.sdbj.gouv.qc.ca/en/james-bay-territory/roadwork/ 

How are the gravel roads?

The route du Nord and route Transtaiga are gravel, but are very well maintained. Although the risk of a flat tire increases on this type of road, they are still easily passable. It is best to bring a full-size spare tire mounted on a rim; a spare tire is not sufficient.

Are the roads safe for RVs?

It is possible to travel in an RV on our roads, although proper preparation is required, especially if you plan to use gravel roads.

Can I drive to the Caniapiscau Reservoir?

It is indeed possible to travel to the end of the route Transtaiga. You must be extremely well prepared for this type of expedition! This 666 kilometer gravel road is a "dead end". Once you arrive in Caniapiscau, you have to turn around and drive the 666 kilometers again to reach the route Billy-Diamond.

The only gas station is at the Mirage Adventure outfitter at km 358.

What are the important gas stations?

(It is important to fill up at each stop)

On the route Billy-Diamond

  • KM 0: At Matagami

  • KM 381: At the truck stop

  • KM 617: At Radisson

On the route du Nord

  • Chibougamau

  • KM 290: At Nemiscau substation (Hydro-Québec) *

  • KM 298: At the Cree community of Nemaska

*check the opening hours of these refueling points beforehand.

On the route Transtaiga

  • KM 358: At the Mirage Aventure outfitter

*There are gas stations in all cities, towns and Cree communities.

What are the stops not to be missed on the road?

There are several roadside rest areas along the way where you can take a break. Some of them offer viewpoints that are not to be missed.

On the route Billy-Diamond

  • Km 232: Broadback River. The wide river winds its way through the spruce trees and the rustic site offers you a front row seat for the sunsets.

  • Km 257: Rupert River. From the north side of the bridge, take the 1 km hiking trail and find yourself at the foot of the waterfalls, where you will feel the full power of the river.

  • Km 395: Eastmain River. At 3 km, the 1 km hiking trail will lead you under the Eastmain River bridge, where you can admire this impressive structure.

  • Km 411 the Opinaca river. The footpath leads you close to a waterfall, you can feel the power of the water.

On the route du Nord

  • Km 234: Cree memorial, located 5 km from the Route du Nord. The monument, created by artist Tim Whiskeychan, commemorates the history of the people who have inhabited this land for thousands of years. The lookout offers a spectacular view.

  • Km 238: The Rupert River stop is ideal for admiring the landscape. The river is fierce with its waterfalls and large rocks.

On the route Transtaiga

  • Km 62: 3 km from the route Transtaiga, this superb rest area allows you to admire the Robert-Bourassa reservoir.

  • Km 308: this viewpoint offers a 360-degree view; the landscape is truly breathtaking.

On route 109 :

  • Km 133: Lake Paradis stands out with its jade green color.

Some tips for safe road travel

  • Make sure your car is in good condition.

  • Locate the refuelling points on your route, and on each occasion, refuel and resupply on food and water.

  • Let your family and friends know your schedule and itinerary

  • Since the territory is poorly covered by mobile phone network, it is recommended to have a satellite transmission device (satellite phone or beacon)

FISHING

Where can I fish in Eeyou Istchee Baie-James?

The immense territory of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James is divided into categories of land. Category 1 and 2 lands are reserved for the exclusive use of the Crees. To fish on these lands, you must obtain the necessary authorizations from the band councils concerned and respect the conditions. Category 3 lands are public lands. As everywhere else in Quebec, fishing activities are permitted. You must have your Quebec fishing permit and respect the regulations that apply to the area where you are fishing (catch limits, size, species, etc.). https://www.quebec.ca/en/tourism-and-recreation/sporting-and-outdoor-activities/sport-fishing  

Do I have to go through an outfitter?

The reputation of the region's outfitters is well established! They guarantee unforgettable stays and abundant fishing. Their guides will lead you to the best sectors for trophy fish fishing! Some outfitters offer boat rentals without a guide. One thing is certain, all offer quality lodging options.

However, it is not mandatory to go to an outfitter to fish in Eeyou Istchee Baie-James. At all times, you must respect the regulations in effect for each sector. You can find the complete regulations from the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs at https://www.quebec.ca/en/tourism-and-recreation/sporting-and-outdoor-activities/sport-fishing 

NATURE

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

Good news! It is possible to observe the Northern Lights year round, and this, everywhere on the territory of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James! The winter period is more favourable because of its hours of darkness. But for those who like to observe the Milky Way, in summer, you will be rewarded!

Download an application such as "My aurora forecast" to find out the probability of observing the phenomenon.

I want to go see James Bay (waterfront). Is this possible?

Access to James Bay is through the Cree communities. Since their access is restricted and entry conditions vary from one community to another, we strongly recommend that you informed yourself about the regulation in place.

Is it true that it is cold, even in the summer?

It is true that winter lasts longer in Eeyou Istchee Baie-James! From November to April, we can snowshoe, ski, snowmobile...

But from June to mid-September, temperatures can easily climb to 30 degrees! We can easily take advantage of the beautiful beaches throughout the region to bask in the sun.

Is it true that Eeyou Istchee Baie-James is a fly's paradise?

We won't lie to you... there are flies! Eeyou Istchee Baie-James is known for its magnificent forests, thousands of lakes and rivers teeming with life. Like everywhere else, the peak season is in late spring and early summer. By the end of July, the peak has already subsided. That said, despite the flies, it is still fun to do outdoor activities in the summer. A good mosquito repellent and appropriate clothing (long and light colored, for example) are also ways to thwart the bugs!

CAMPING

Is it possible to go wilderness camping in Eeyou Istchee Baie-James?

Of course it is! It is possible to camp in many places in our region. There is at least one campground in every town and community.

It is also possible to camp without services in one of the many rustic roadside sites. Here, it is first come, first served. You are invited to make a contribution to help maintain these sites.

See the list of these sites in the tourism guide on page 29, https://e.issuu.com/embed.html?d=tbj21-23_eng_web&u=sbourgault 

 

CREE COMMUNITIES

Will I be welcome in the Cree (Aboriginal) communities?

Yes, the Cree are very welcoming people. The communities are increasingly developing their tourism offer and wish to share their culture and way of life with visitors. It is best to contact the tourism agent of the community you wish to visit before your arrival in order to have a complete experience.

What language is spoken in the Cree communities?

The first language of the Cree is Cree and the second language is English. More and more Crees are trilingual and also speak French.

Are there services in the Cree communities?

In all the communities, you will find gasoline/convenience store, grocery store and restaurant services. Each community also has a hotel to welcome visitors (with the exception of Waswanipi and Whapmagoostui).

What activities are offered in the Cree communities?

We invite you to contact the tourism officer in the Cree community you wish to visit to plan your stay. He or she will inform you of the activities available during your stay.

OTHER

What are land categories 1, 2 and 3?

The land categories are specific to our region and to Nunavik. This division is a result of the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975.

Category 1 and 2 lands are reserved for the exclusive use of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. To do any activity on these lands (kayaking, camping, fishing, etc.), you must obtain permission from the Band Council concerned. https://www.escapelikeneverbefore.com/en/what-to-do/hunting-and-fishing/ 

Category 3 lands are public lands, like everywhere else in Quebec, hunting and fishing activities are permitted.

Do I need to reserve everything in advance?

It is recommended that you reserve your campsites, your accommodation or your guided tours, so that you don't have any unpleasant surprises. Voyages Eeyou Istchee Baie-James can help you plan your itinerary and make reservations. https://voyageseibj.com/

Are dogs welcome in Eeyou Istchee Baie-James?

Your four-legged friends are indeed welcome in our region! They are accepted in most campgrounds and parks. They can also stay with you in some hotels for an additional fee.

Do I need to bring all my food with me before I arrive in the area?

No need to bring all your food! You will find grocery stores and convenience stores in every town and community.

Is there cell phone service everywhere?

There is no cell phone service on the roads. It is important to take this fact into consideration because of the distances you have to travel without a network. For your safety, we recommend that you have a satellite communication device (phone or beacon).

Travel Tips

Order the Eeyou Istchee baie-James official tourist guide. You will find valuable information in it. escapelikeneverbefore.com/en/order-a-publication/ 

To find out what packages are available in the region, visit Eeyou Istchee Baie-James Travels website. voyageseibj.com

 

For all other questions, contact us at info@eeyouistcheebaiejames.com -1 888 748-8140