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Trans-Labrador Highway Route: Quebec City to Deer Lake

What to See & Do along the Trans-Labrador Highway?

This route is new for 2022! From beautiful and historic Quebec City  in the province of Quebecyou drive along the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence until you can no longer see the other site and at Baie Comeau, head north to Labrador City. Labrador City is just inside the Newfoundland and Labrador border, where you travel through rugged terrain and timeless boreal forest. From there, the Trans-Labrador Highway begins crosses southern Labrador past Churchill Falls to Happy-Valley-Goose Bay and then cuts southeast across a peninsula to the Atlantic coast, connecting serval isolated fishing villages. Take the ferry across to the Island of Newfoundland. From the ferry crossing, head down the rugged west coast beside the  Long Range Mountains, passing through Gros Morne National Park before arriving in Deer Lake.

Trans-Labrador Highway

This route travels from the main Trans-Canada Highway at Quebec City east along Route 138 along the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence  to Baie Comeau and then north on Route 389 north to the Quebec-Labrador border and Labrador City where it connects to  The Trans-Labrador Highway, designated as Newfoundland highways 500 and 510 which connects to the Atlantic coast (from Goose Bay south to Red Bay, Blanc Sablon, and Forteau). This highway route replaces a coastal ferry from Sept-Îles to Blanc-Sablon, which stops at a string of otherwise-unreachable coastal villages and takes roughly half a week end-to-end.

From Blanc Sablon, the ferry connects to the island of Newfoundland. In Newfoundland, you  can head north a bit to the L’Anse aux Meadows World Heritage Site (early Viking settlement) near St Anthony. Drive Highway 420 south down the Long Range Mountains and through Gros Morne National Park  to Deer Lake, where you connect to the main #1 Trans-Canada Highway route.

From there you can head east to the provincial capital at St John’s (and in the summertime catch the ferry at Argentia back to Nova Scotia). Or you can head south to Port-aux-Basques, where you can catch the year-round Newfoundland ferry to North Sidney, in Nova Scotia‘s beautiful Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail.

Edge of Scrub Forest -sliver
Edge of Scrub Forest -sliver

Trans-Labrador Highway History

The last Trans-Labrador section (Cartwright Junction to Goose Bay) opened as packed gravel in 2009, which made the road drivable end-to-end. Route 500 between Labrador City and Goose Bay was paved by June 2015, and the long stretch from Goose Bay to Red Bay and Cartwright was paved by 2022. The road bends southward along Labrador’s south coast to reach the Newfoundland ferry at Blanc-Sablon.