It’s no coincidence that the Laurentian Mountains, located just over an hour from Montreal, are some of the most popular mountains in the province. The snowstorms may come on strong, but that’s half the fun. The weather brings the snow, and the snow brings the fun. Regional temperatures can easily swing from -15 to 15 in a matter of a few days, but that doesn’t stop locals or visitors from getting into it.
Their convenient location outside of Montréal, combined with unmatched terrain, family-friendly activities, luxurious accommodation, and authentic après-ski experiences are what make the Laurentians a one-range-fits-all mountain experience.
We’ve done our research, chatted with locals, looked at the stats, and the verdict is clear: whatever you’re looking for in a perfect ski vacation, the Laurentians have it. Take a look at our resort guide below to choose the perfect fit for your next ski vacation.
The most southerly resort in the region, Sommet Saint-Sauveur is truly one of a kind with its unique combination of activities so close to the Montréal area.
Sommet Saint-Sauveur has something for everyone with the region’s best snowpark, an adapted lift for beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders, and a tube park. With the 142 acres of skiable terrain, Sommet Saint- Sauveur has enough terrain for the entire family, with a variety of terrain types for everyone from beginners to intermediates. Sommet Saint-Sauveur also lays claim to an extensively lit night skiing area, with over 26 runs open in the evenings if you haven’t had enough throughout the day!
To top it all off, cozy up by the fireplace at the T-Bar 70 for a few drinks. From there the night time activities range from the famous Viking alpine coaster and the Dragon double Zip line open throughout the winter, to the popular restaurants and shops throughout the authentic village, leaving something for everyone in the family. Looking for a good activity for everyone? Check out the enchanting ice skating trail in the village for an excellent way to work up an appetite, or finish off the night with the entire family.
While these features have long been a staple of what make Sommet Saint-Sauveur so amazing, the resort has added to it’s amazing amenities with a new high performance snowmaking system, a new groomer, and a new ski-tuning services at the on-hill repair shop. If you’ve visited in the past, Even more reasons to head back for enjoyment at a whole new level!
For 19 years, Ski Magazine has voted Tremblant the best resort in the eastern North America. Think they’re biased? Think again. With over 102 trails to choose from, world class snowparks (there are 3 on the mountain), some of the best après-ski in the region, and a bustling pedestrian village with plenty of world-class events happening on a weekly basis, it’s hard to argue with the action that Tremblant delivers.
With so much to choose from, we figured it was best to take it from longtime local Alexi Godbout, big mountain dweller extraordinaire, who cut his teeth at Tremblant before taking his talents out west.
It’s no mistake that much of the Québec freestyle scene evolved at Tremblant with its complex terrain and massive terrain parks. “My favorite part about growing up in Tremblant was seeing the local evolution of freestyle skiing. Guys like Philou Poirier pioneered the sport and made skiing cool again. The sport took off and Tremblant became a hub for freestyle skiing in Québec”, Alexi recalls.
To this day, Tremblant serves as an epicentre for the scene with numerous professional skiers calling Tremblant’s terrain park home. With that status, the resort has grown and changed immensely—just this past year they added a new high-speed detachable quad chairlift (replacing the Lowell-Thomas lift), increasing the skier volume greatly. The resort also added 90 acres of skiable terrain on the North and Edge hillsides, with five new gladed areas and one new trail.
On the amenities side of things, the main chalet at the summit has been renovated and enlarged ensuring a much cozier experience, along with an overhaul of the chalet on Versant Nord.
What’s the best time to go? Due to Tremblant’s size and snowmaking capacity, Godbout prefers the sunny days. “The main thing I miss about the skiing on the east coast is spring shredding with my buddies”, according to Alexi. Although he may have moved west, the pull of east-coast spring skiing will never leave.
As important as the skiing is on any vacation, the days are short and having good après-ski plans is vital. For Godbout, his favorite activity in the village is après-ski at Le P’tit Caribou, voted Best Après-Ski 10 years straight by Ski Canada magazine.
After you’ve fully decompressed, it’s time to hit the local eateries—which Tremblant has plenty of, offering a variety of culinary experiences from Italian specialities to gourmet dining. Why not enjoy fine French cuisine and a delectable sushi platter in the space of a single day? Enjoy a glass of wine, head back to your hotel room or condo, and do it all over again!
Slotting in behind Tremblant is the second highest mountain in the Laurentians, Mont Blanc. Here’s a hidden gem that although it flies under the radar a bit, it has excellent terrain, and it is actually closer to Montreal.
At Mont Blanc you’ll find a family-friendly atmosphere with terrain for the most experienced skiers, and plenty left for the rest of the family no matter their skill level. Their new beginner zone, “Little Giant”, adds a whole new level of family-compatibility that we are stoked to see!
Along with the new beginner zone, the mountain has added ONSKI, an all inclusive membership for young families, 30 new snow guns to ensure fantastic skiing no matter the conditions, a new layout for their snoZone snowpark, and a new rental equipment fleet with a modern system ensuring your experience is top notch.
Off the hill, the Jungle Magique is a perfect place for young children to burn off some energy, and an extensive snowshoeing network gives you a break from vertical. —ML
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