James Bay Road

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling the James Bay Road

James Bay Road is the name of a very remote road located in northeastern Canada, in the province of Quebec. Only drive this road with a well-maintained, reliable vehicle.

Can you drive to James Bay Quebec?

The remote wilderness highway is totally paved. It’s 631 km (392 miles) long running south-north from Matagami (north of Amos, on Matagami Lake) to Radisson (near the Robert-Bourassa hydroelectric power on La Grande River). It’s well maintained but bumpy in parts. The road has mostly gentle curves and hills and wide shoulders.

When was the James Bay Road built?

The long and lonely road, also known as Route de la Baie James and the Route Billy-Diamond Highway, was built in the 1970s for the Hydro Quebec James Bay Project. It was completed in October, 1974.

Is the James Bay Road remote?

Tucked away in the northeastern part of the country, the area is really remote and there's so little traffic. You should definitely travel this road only in a reliable vehicle with good tires. There are no towns along the road (except at either end), and only one place, a full-service station, to buy gas in between at 381 kilometres (237 mi). It’s the longest service-free stretch of road in the country. A vehicle breakdown of any sort will likely be costly in terms of towing fees.

How long does it take to drive the James Bay Road?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 7.5 and 9 hours.

Is the James Bay Road open?

The road is plowed during the winter and open year-round; however, it gets very cold up there in the winter (-40 degrees C), so if you go in the winter, or even the fall or spring, be prepared. In the summer it can get just as hot as down south.



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