Québec’s Ultimate Mountain Adventure Base Camp
The Laurentians region’s namesake mountains are home to superb skiing, snowboarding, dogsledding, and more
The Laurentian Mountains, of which Québec’s revered Mont-Tremblant is but a single peak, punch well above their East Coast weight; their high, craggy peaks, wooded valleys, and vast frozen lakes are all brimming with winter adventures. Add to that the vibrant, sophisticated, and inviting scene centered around Tremblant’s base village and you’ve got a truly exceptional winter adventure destination. From alpine and backcountry skiing to fat biking and dogsledding, here’s how to maximize the fun in Québec’s most famed mountain region.
Explore On- and Off-Piste at Mont-Tremblant
There are a handful of reasons Ski magazine readers have ranked Tremblant as the best resort in the East for 19 of the past 23 years, but terrain tops the list. The mountain boasts 102 runs on four distinct slopes, with a vertical drop of over 2,000 feet—stats that rival or best some western resorts. Translation: skiers and snowboarders of all levels and abilities can ride for days without running out of new zones to explore. The other cool thing about Tremblant is its vibrant alpine touring culture: the resort now rents backcountry gear for use on its 10 dedicated climbing trails and skiable off-piste areas. For more advanced skiers and riders looking to more deeply immerse themselves in Tremblant’s wilderness—and score some fresh, secluded turns in the process—strapping on skins is a must.
Dogsled Near an Endangered-Bison Preserve
A scenic 30-minute drive from Mont-Tremblant transports you to the wilderness of Kanatha-Aki Nature Center, where a herd of wood bison (Bison bison athabascae)—the largest North American land mammals—roam the forest. “Traditionally, these bison would have migrated from northern Canada down to Mexico every year,” local guide Léana Denis explains, noting that this herd of 15 to 20 is part of a smaller subspecies of plains bison. The best way to view the rare and majestic animals while taking in the preserve’s stunning frozen landscape? By dogsled, of course. Just be sure to pull up your neck gaiter and bundle up thoroughly—your team of eager Alaskan huskies, driven by an expert mushing guide, will have you careening through the forest tracks and across frozen lakes at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.
E-Fat-Bike Tremblant’s In-Town Trails
Back in Mont-Tremblant village, link up with the guides at D-Tour for an e-fat-bike excursion on the local network of more than 30 miles of snow-packed trails that crisscross the village, frozen rivers, and dreamy pine forests. “The joy of e-fat biking is that it allows you to cover twice as much—if not three times more—terrain that on a regular fat bike. It's the perfect way to discover the Mont-Tremblant area in a short amount of time,” says local guide Audrey Leclerc. If you opt to explore the trails unguided, Leclerc recommends pedaling the Discovery Tour, a roughly 2.5-hour loop highlighted by a stretch along the Diable River and views of a beautiful frozen waterfall. After riding, head to downtown’s main strip and check out La Sandwicherie Café et Bistro, a hybrid bike shop and eatery favored by locals for its cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious assortment of homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Unwind at a Nordic Spa
You’ve skied, ridden behind a team of huskies, and pedaled frozen trails. Perhaps it’s time to relax at Scandinave Spa, which is nestled in the woods along the bank of the Diable River on the outskirts of Mont-Tremblant. The spa’s luxurious, rustic facilities are all about the traditional Finnish ritual of hydrotherapy. Start with the calming, blood-vessel-dilating hot installations—Finnish dry saunas, hot baths, and thermal waterfalls—before shocking the system beneath a Nordic waterfall, in a cold-plunge pool, or in the river, which is accessed through a hole carved out of the winter ice. The refreshing cold promotes a shift in blood pressure, relaxing muscles and relieving tension in the process. That relaxation continues in the spa’s solariums or in a hammock near the fire, the perfect place to reflect on the epic winter adventures you’ve just experienced.
Home of one of the best ski resort in North America, the Laurentians is a winter paradise. With enchanting landscapes, large quantities of snow, vast forest, beautiful mountains, and festive villages, the Laurentians has it all. And if you are up to a more relaxing experience, the Laurentians has the highest concentration of Nordic spa facilities in Québec, so come unwind and enjoy a well-deserved pause in this winter wonderland.