Tremblant winter activity guide

There are more winter activities in Tremblant than you could possibly tackle in a single visit. We’ve been somewhere in the region of seven or eight times during winter months and still haven’t tried everything.

Best winter activities in Tremblant

So, this list will continue to evolve as we return and add more notches to our proverbial Tremblant winter activity belt.

Alpine touring

Alpine touring skinning in Tremblant

(Photo credit: Daniel K. Cooper)

I admit it: I agreed to try alpine touring rather begrudgingly. I like the speed of downhill skiing and was hesitant about the slower, uphill pace that alpine touring requires.

Think of it as a cross between cross-country (albeit a more extreme version) and downhill; you wear special boots and skis and use marked trails designated for touring — also known as skinning. The bottom of the skis have faux mohair skins on them that grip the snow, so you could be standing on an incline and you don’t slip. Long, adjustable poles assist your forward motion.

There are guided tours once a year in February during Tremblant’s Alpine Festival, but if you’re experienced, you can simply buy a trail ticket for $10 to skin and ski to your heart’s content. It took me a little more than an hour to make it halfway up a six-kilometre trail, and that was moving at a very easy pace.

You’ll do well if you have good cardiovascular endurance and strong legs, and I suggest bringing a backpack because you need to carry water and have a place to stash your extra layers. You will be HOT going up (even on a -25 kind of day) and need to suit up for a regular ski day on the way down.

In the end, I enjoyed alpine touring so much that I’m determined to go back and make it all the way to the summit.

Aqua Club La Source

A must during every visit we make to Tremblant! This indoor water park has an area for babies and toddlers, a rope swing, jumping platform and mini slides. There is also a warm tub (I shan’t call it a hot tub because it’s not so hot that your kiddies can’t go in) inside and a heavenly adults-only hot tub outside.

There’s a big fitness studio in there, too, but I’ve never used it. Looks nice.

MAKE SURE TO BRING A LOCK! If you don’t, you’ll need to buy one at the front desk ($3.50). We have a nice collection of locks now if you need one. You can buy an access pass for three hours ($7-16 per person) or the full day ($11-21); we have never used the full three hours.

Casino

Casino in Mont Tremblant

For the 18+ crowd, you can’t beat a night at Casino Tremblant. It also houses the only restaurant where children aren’t allowed, which makes for a nice break from the rest of the village that’s so family-friendly. Take the free shuttle from the lower village roundabout or the casino gondola during its specified hours and you won’t need to worry about imbibing.

Dogsledding

Dogsledding in Tremblant

Not only will you get to help bring your team of dogs to and from your personal sled, but depending on your comfort level, you might even get to drive the sled from beginning to end. This exhilarating 1.5-hour tour through the woods is breathtaking. Suitable for even young children, the tour stops halfway for a hot chocolate and maple cookies in a warming hut en route.

Once all of the dogs are back home, you’ll get a kennel tour. Ask your guide to get the dogs to howl! If there’s been a litter of Husky pups, you might even get a chance to interact with and hold them. SQUEE!

All of the dogs who participate are treated ethically and are either rescues or have been born at the kennel.

First tracks

If you stay in a participating Tremblant property, you’ll get a free first tracks ticket when you check into your hotel — good for the length of your visit provided you have a lift ticket. If not, you have to pay to get this added to your daily lift ticket. Essentially, first tracks means you have early access to the gondola and the runs before the general ticket-holders.

Head out at 7:45 a.m. to get to the summit for 8 a.m. and be one of the first on the mountain to experience fresh corduroy. It rocks.

Heli-tour

Helicopter tour Tremblant

The helicopter tour literally begins on Lac Tremblant. It can be a chilly walk out onto the frozen ice, so dress appropriately. Your pilot will ensure you get in and out of the four-seater comfortably and there isn’t a bad seat in the joint. Every view is Insta-worthy so be sure to take a camera!

You’ll circle around the lake and the fabulous cottages (mansions) that surround it, owned by people such as Mario Lemieux and the guy who owns Tommy Hilfiger. (Who is not, incidentally, Tommy Hilfiger.) Then you’ll fly to Mont-Tremblant itself, sweeping up over the summit; we loved seeing some of our favourite runs with a bird’s-eye view.

This tour is about 15-20 minutes long, and perfect for romance or family adventures.

Horse-sledding

This is horse-sledding:

Now…it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s fast and takes some co-ordination and guts. I don’t recommend this for little kids, but a fearless seven year old could happily ride with the professional guide. Each person drives their own modified dogsled that’s hooked up to a miniature horse.

Do.Not.Underestimate.The.Mini.Horse.

These little guys are strong and speedy! You’ll use the same woodsy tracks as the dogsledders but whip through at a quicker pace, veering around corners and racing up and down the hills. It’s hilarious and exciting and super fun.

Ice skating

Rent ice skates onsite or bring your own, because there’s a little frozen pond down near the chapel just beyond the lower village. With your Tremblant Privileges (the same hotel-related pass that gives you first tracks access), you’re entitled to free skate rentals, but use of the pond itself is not restricted to passholders.

It’s not the smoothest surface so new skaters may find it a bit challenging, but there are chairs to hold onto if you can nab one of them, and a cozy fire nearby. There are also big hills made out of all the snow that’s been cleared off of the pond that’s fun for climbing and sliding.

Le Studio Créatif

One of the best ways to après with kids in tow at Tremblant is at Studio Créatif, where the whole family can spend some downtime painting pottery. This meditative activity will certainly help balance all of the adrenaline you’ve expended out on the mountain. Just be sure to do it a couple of days ahead of your departure date, because each piece needs to dry and go in the kiln — about a 24-hour process ­— before it can be picked up.

Mission Laser

Mission Laser Tremblant village

Wear your darkest clothes and be prepared to sweat! Laser Tag is made extra-fun here with points being given and taken away from teams based on shooting opponents’ designated areas and not just opponents themselves. Make a reservation in advance to get the time slot you want.

Mission Liberté

If you want a specific escape room at a specific time, you’ll need a reservation here, too. Some rooms are easier than others, so if you’re a family with littles who’s never done an escape room before, start in the Pirate Room. Our kids were 6 and 8 when we did it, and we came really close to solving the final riddle in time. Close, but no cigar…but it was a blast.

Skiing

Skiing in Tremblant

We have yet to try cross-country skiing in Tremblant, but suffice it to say that we owe our ski-family status to the fine folks here. It’s where we learned and we’ve continued to return multiple times each season because the skiing and ski instruction at Tremblant is so good. There are 96 trails and a major expansion expected to be completed in time for the 2018/19 season. You have to ski here.

Sleigh ride

Sleigh ride Mont Tremblant

Picture everything you’ve ever conjured about a mountainside sleigh ride — this is it. Wrapped up in warm blankets, you’ll sing folk songs with a French Canadian guide and master storyteller, stop for hot chocolate in the Laurentians, learn how Mont-Tremblant got its name, all while being pulled by two massive hitched horses in a fairy tale sleigh. Our kids loved this during our first visit to Tremblant.

Snowmobiling

Head out with your partner or the entire family (provided your kids are 5+) and zip through some of Quebec’s 30,000-kilometres’ worth of designated snowmobile trails. Each sled is set at “tourist” speed and if it’s your first time, you’ll be given full instruction. There are twists and turns but nothing too strenuous, plus several straightaways where you can really feel your need for speed.

If you don’t have really warm boots, you can borrow a pair when you arrive. And your whole suit and helmet is also provided. But wear super-warm mitts and bring a neck gaitor and/or balaclava, because it’s a cold, windy ride. A helluva fun ride at that!

Snowshoe & fondue


What a magical tour! Appropriate for the 12+ crowd, whether or not you have any snowshoeing experience. You’ll need warm boots and a backpack to keep the layers you’ll inevitably remove once you get moving. Because snowshoeing — even downhill — is heart-pumping exercise.

First thing’s first: after checking in with your group, you head up to the summit on the last gondola ride of the day. After an orientation in Le Grand Manitou (the summit lodge), you strap on your snowshoes and begin the first two-thirds of your descent, which ends up at Le Refuge where you have dinner. This all happens just in time for a glorious mountaintop sunset.

Le Refuge is accessible during the day via blue and black ski trails, and at night for these fondue dinners. There’s no electricity, so you sit amidst the warm glow of gas lanterns. Where you eat wonderful, traditional fondue with all the fixings and drink lots of wine. (Just remember: you still have to get to the bottom of the nearly 3,000-foot mountain, so go easy on the wine.)

I wish I’d been introduced to snowshoeing before this, because I did find it challenging to be a first-timer and climb all the way down. I was also pretty out of shape at the time, which definitely didn’t help. But I loved the sunset, atmosphere and experience regardless.

T-Bar

Make a T-shirt! Well, choose a print for a T-shirt in the colour of your choice and watch it get screen-printed. A good souvenir from your time at Tremblant.

Tubing

This is the third freebie if you’re in a hotel that offers the Tremblant Privileges pass. There’s a bunny hill over by the Fairmont Tremblant that’s transformed into a tubing hill on select evenings each winter. Music blares under the stars and the magic carpet returns everyone to the top to tube or toboggan down (using provided sliders!). It’s a lot of fun, but it can get busy so go early to sneak in as many turns as possible before the crowd arrives.

What else?

There's so much to do in Mont-Tremblant! Check out this post for all of Tremblant's winter activities.

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All of these activities are bound to work up an appetite, so don’t forget to consult my Tremblant pedestrian village restaurant guide when you’re looking for some nosh. Need a place to rest your beautifully weary head? Consider the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tremblant or Chateau Beauvallon.

And if you have any questions at all about one of our favourite places in the world, just ask.

 

DISCLAIMER: I frequently partner with Tremblant on content creation for my site and social channels, along with other freelance outlets. All opinions and suggestions are my own.

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