Just 25 miles from Québec City, Mont-Sainte-Anne is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although the resort is best known for its advanced skiing, over a third of all trails are for experts, there is a good spread of terrain for all levels of skier. Snowboarders will be impressed with the large terrain parks, complete with special learning areas and excellent tuition for freestyle and free riding. This school is also a very well regarded ski centre, making Mont-Sainte-Anne a good choice for a group with mixed abilities. The resort is home to Canada's largest cross-country ski facility, featuring 212 kilometres of trails, and the views of nearby St. Lawrence River and Laurentian Mountains make it one of the most beautiful places to ski, too.
The separate nursery area has a magic carpet and two other surface lifts. These are free of charge for everyone at all times, allowing beginners to be escorted by more experienced skiers without any inconvenience. There is also a beginner run from the very top of Mont-Sainte-Anne to the foot. This means that skiers and snowboarders of all levels are able to take in the breathtaking views over the St. Lawrence River.
Intermediate skiers have a great choice of well-groomed pistes to choose from on Mont-Sainte-Anne, and snowboarders have access to all trails as well. There is a terrain park located just off La Grande Allée, an easy run on the South side of the mountain, which is one kilometre long.
Mont-Sainte-Anne is famous for its toughest trails and has played host to several World Cup events. The double black runs are exceptionally steep and the biggest vertical drop is 625 metres. There are 17 floodlit ski runs at night, including the highest night-skiing vertical drop in Canada. For snowboarders, there is a second terrain park off Le Court Vallon trail. This comprises a 579 metre boarder cross course and two groomed half-pipes.
Mont-Sainte-Anne is an excellent choice for families, as the facilities are excellent. The award-winning Children's Centre caters for children as young as 6 months old and houses a nursery, day care services and ski and snowboard lessons. All instructors in Mont-Sainte-Anne speak both French and English. It's worth baring in mind that Mont-Sainte-Anne can become very cold during the middle of the season.
Mont-Sainte-Anne has one of the longest ski seasons in North America, making it a great choice for a late season break. The best snow is generally found during January and February, so be sure to check weather reports to ensure that the conditions are good during other months of the ski season. The close proximity to Québec City also makes Mont-Sainte-Anne perfect as a twin-centre destination.
The main lodge at the base of Mont-Sainte-Anne houses the very popular Chouette Bar. This friendly place has pool tables and DJs playing to a lively dance floor. The Chateau Mont-Sainte-Anne hotel houses the altogether more genteel T-Bar, where live music is provided through the latter half of the week. Dining at La Crete Lodge is highly recommended both for the food and for the gondola ride to the mountain summit, followed by the scenic snow walk to the restaurant entrance.