Skiing in and around Montreal includes some of Canada's best and most popular ski resorts. Nevertheless, skiing in eastern Canada offers a different experience than skiing in western Canada, where you find much more challenging terrain in Alberta and British Columbia and arguably one of the best ski destinations in the world, Whistler/Blackcomb, about two hours from Vancouver.
The Montreal ski experience may be better suited to beginner and infrequent skiers, with more intermediate runs and a variety of resorts easily accessible from the city. A day or more on the slopes adds some activity in a non-urban setting to your Montreal winter vacation itinerary.
Saint Bruno is the only urban ski hill, located just 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) from Montreal. Saint Bruno is a perfect spot for beginners and has a famously efficient and impressive snow school, with lots of instructors on hand to give lessons.
Many Montreal skiers prefer Mont Sutton over any other ski resort west of Quebec City. Located 71 miles (114 kilometers) southeast of Montreal, Mont Sutton is located in Quebec's Eastern Townships, a charming travel destination year-round. In winter, skiers head to Sutton for the long runs and glade skiing (off-trail skiing through trees or on defined woods trail), which many consider the best in Canada. Mont Sutton is situated close to three other ski hills, so visitors can mix up their ski adventure every day.
If you are not an experienced winter driver, be prepared for back roads that can be slippery and challenging to navigate. In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory, but if you are visiting from another province or country, you can have any type of tire.
Tucked into the Laurentian mountains about 84 miles (135 kilometers) from Montreal, Mont-Tremblant is one of the most popular ski destinations in Canada and Eastern Canada’s most magnificent peak.
Mont-Tremblant is a one-hour-and-45-minute drive from Montreal, plus has the convenience of an airport (Porter Air offers flights to Mont-Tremblant from cities including New York or Toronto). Despite its convenience and a charming, albeit expensive, pedestrian village and scenic location, Tremblant attracts more "tourist" skiers than locals.
Be forewarned that Tremblant gets cold (-22 F (-30 C) and colder with wind chill). Consider beefing up your ski garb with a balaclava, heated glove inserts ("Hot Shots"), and wool socks. You can buy everything you need in the village.
Skiing at Mont Blanc, located about 78 miles northwest of Montreal (126.5 kilometers), allows you to enjoy the beautiful Mont-Tremblant region in the Laurentians without inflated Mont-Tremblant resort prices (for example, a one-day Mont Blanc ski lift pass costs about half that of Tremblant). Mont Blanc is hailed for its affordability, especially given the well-groomed runs, short lift lines, and the second highest vertical in the area.
Mont Blanc's 41 runs cover wide-ranging terrain suitable for a variety of skill levels and makes a good choice for families; a pool and giant indoor playground round out its kid-friendly allure. Enjoy the lively aprés ski bar and a sugar shack at the top of one of the hills where they make maple taffy in the snow.
Sommet Saint-Sauveur is a ski area located about 45 minutes northwest of Montreal (44 miles, 71 kilometers), with 40 trails across two hillsides ranging from a bunny slope to expert chutes and mogul runs. A tube slide, snow park, and alpine coaster make Saint-Sauveur a good family resort.
Saint-Sauveur also operates night skiing until 10 p.m., maintains powerful snow-making capabilities, and enjoys the longest ski season in the province.