Route 389 is an awe-inspiring road through remote areas of Canada

The Quebec Provincial Highway 389 is a very challenging drive linking the province of Quebec with Newfoundland and Labrador, the most easterly province of Canada. In places, it is narrow and twisty. There are few services.

Route 389

How long is the Quebec Provincial Highway 389?

The road is 567km (352.3 mi) long. It runs from Fermont, a town in northeastern Quebec, to Baie-Comeau, on the Quebec-Labrador border (on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River).

Is Route 389 paved in Quebec?

Located on the eastern part of Quebec, the twisty road alternates between sections of asphalt (narrow and winding) and gravel (various states of quality).

Surface of the road Route 389

Kilometre Surface Description
0 to 213    Paved Correct, narrow winding road
213 to 317 Gravel Bad, narrow winding road
317 to 394  Paved Correct
394 to 495  Paved Correct
495 to 547  Gravel Bad, narrow winding road
547 to 564 Paved Good
564 to 567 Paved  Good

Is the Quebec Provincial Highway 389 open?

It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions can be extremely challenging. If you're travelling in winter, check the road condition updates provided by the Quebec Ministry of Transportation. Make sure that you have winter tires on your vehicle (not so-called all-season tires - it is illegal to drive a Quebec-plated car in Quebec in the winter if it does not have winter tires) and have a winter emergency kit with you. In the event of particularly poor road conditions, certain stretches of the road might be closed to traffic (closed completely or to heavy vehicles only).

Is Quebec Provincial Highway 389 dangerous?

This Route 389 (R-389) passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. Expect zero visibility on gravel sections. The road is unpaved in parts, and there are few gas stations en route. Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order, and that you have a spare tire and the necessary tools. Gravel highway can be hard on vehicles and tires. There's no mobile telephone signal on most of the route (a satellite telephone may work) and roadside assistance is expensive in such a remote location if it can be had at all. The northbound route is used by logging trucks returning empty. They can and do travel very fast. For your safety, pull to the side where it is safe to do to let them pass.

How to get ready to travel on the Quebec Provincial Highway 389?

It is wise to pay attention to where you are and what your fuel level is so that you do not end up getting stranded. Bring food and water - the water you will find along the way may not be potable. Be sure to keep your gas tank filled. Motorists continuing to the Trans-Labrador (where there's a 410 km gap between stations at one point) often carry a spare can of fuel. When there is severe weather, portions of this road may be closed to ensure your safety. Be prepared for unforeseen events and do not rely on your cell phone. You will not have service for a significant stretch of the road between Baie-Comeau and Fermont.