Even though the mighty cold has finally settled in, it doesn't mean we Montrealers need to stay cooped up in our apartments! Many of my favourite activities can be done all year round, such as day tripping outside of the city to take in some nature feels in the beautiful surrounding areas. And what better way to feel uplifted during these short winter days than to go skiing?!
If there's one thing that can turn your winter blues around it's hitting the slopes. And if you're already a ski enthusiast, you probably already have your go-to ski mountain. But if you're looking for a new adventure, there are many spots nearby you that you simply must try.
Here are 10 ski resorts that are less than three hours away from Montreal and among the best road trip destinations for this winter season!
If you’ve already been, chances are Bromont is already your go-to ski resort. Only a one hour drive away from Montreal, Bromont offers something for both skiers and riders of all levels of experience. Famous for staying open til the wee hours, they have 99 lit trails out of 114, including 30 glades, and also have 5 Snowprks with jumps and ramps of all levels of difficulty.
Ski Bromont also have seriously great vibes all around, with an enthusiastic team that dresses to a different theme each week, and the bistro-bar La Débarque which is a great place to wind down and enjoy after-ski beers and snacks - so much so that residents from surrounding areas often come for drinks even if they haven't been out on the slopes all day!
Only a two-hour drive from Montreal in Lake Placid, NY, Whiteface Mountain is a gorgeous, gigantic mountain with a vertical drop of 3,430 feet and has a total of 87 trails over three peaks! You can also try out their world-class cross-country ski trails, as Lake Placid hosted to the 1980 Winter Olympics and has 50 km worth of trails in the beautiful Adirondack terrain.
The resort also offers a huge range of off-mountain attractions, such as dogsled rides with Alaskan huskies, snowshoeing, fully-equipped hockey rinks, and even toboggan chute rides from a 30 foot high slide!
3- Mont Sutton
With 60 trails and located only an hour-and-a-half drive away from Montreal, Mont Sutton offers amazing scenery and is a most charming winter destination for ski enthusiasts of all levels.
And if you want to take a break from the slopes, try some freestyle tricks and improve your skills as their snow park that offers 15 different modules, including boxes, trails and jumps. At the end of the day, bar Le Tucker provides a fun after-ski atmosphere with open mics on Thursdays and live bands on Fridays.
4- Jay Peak
I'm sure you've at least heard of Jay Peak Resort, so allow me to remind you of it's awesome features! With 78 trails, slopes and glades, and an abundance of amazing hidden spots to discover and explore in its tremendous backcountry, Jay Mountain is totally worth the two-hour drive!
At Jay Peak Resort, you can also rent fat bikes and ride through 20 km worth of trails, or snowshoe if you prefer, and learn some new tricks on their terrain parks which include a multitude of jumps, rails, boxes, bonks and jobs.
The Pumphouse is Jay Peak's massive indoor water park and offers everything from water slides, a drop-zone-type ride called La Chute, Flowrider (which is basically a combination of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding), as well as hot tubs, and of course, food and drinks. You can also go skating at Jay Peak in their NHL-sized skating area located at the base of the resort!
The Sommet Saint-Sauveur was one of the first ever to open in Québec. Located only 45 minutes away from Montreal, it's known for offering the longest ski season in the province as well as day and nighttime skiing over 40 trails. Though it isn't the most challenging of ski hills, Saint-Sauveur is a beautiful place to escape to with friends.
Moreover, on Tuesdays, ladies can get a day pass for only $19, including gear rental!! Worth the drive? I think so.
6- Mont Orford
Just an hour drive away from the city, Mont Orford is the highest ski mountain in the Cantons-de-l'Est and offers some of the best slopes in the region which are sure to satisfy beginners and experts alike! Mont Orford also offers one of the nicest snow parks in the province, as it was designed by the renowned company: Today's Parks and Creations.
In one word, Tremblant is just breathtaking. Offering an amazing view of the Laurentians, every skier has to try this destination at least once, not only for the slopes, but for the overall experience! With 96 trails on 4 slopes for all levels, Mont Tremblant is an extraordinary holiday destination, offering a first class resort experience as well as cultural, sports and family activities year round in it's unique, pedestrian-only village.
Trust me, if you're feeling blue, this ski resort will make you fall in love with winter all over again, and it's only an hour-and-a-half drive away!
8- Mont Blanc
If you've already been to Tremblant but want a different-yet-still-awesome ski experience in the Laurentians, Mont Blanc is sure to satisfy and is a huge favourite for many serious ski enthusiasts! With 41 ski trails, Mont Blanc is the second highest peak in the region and also offers exceptional spa facilities including hot tubs, saunas, steam baths and massage services. How nice would it be to escape the city for a while and recharge that battery?!
9- La Réserve
Also located in the Laurentians (last one I promise), at about an hour-and-a-half drive away and next to the most charming village of St-Donat, Ski La Réserve offers 40 trails ranging from easy to extremely difficult.
At Ski La Réserve, you can even try a new winter sport: the Snowscoot! They also have snow tubing, which is loads of fun and doesn't take much effort if want to give your body a little break. Their new Snowpark also includes 17 modules so there's no shortage of fun things for you to do here.
10- Vallée du Parc
Located next to Shawinigan (where that tasty Trou du Diable beer is brewed) and a two-hour drive away, Vallée du Parc offers the ultimate outdoors experience, with 20 ski trails, two of which are glades, as well as a snowpark which is spread out along the trail, so you can do a wide variety of tricks on your way down. Vallée du Parc also offers snow tubing and 2.5 km-worth of downhill sledding and they are open all week until 10 p.m.!