Quebec claims rightful ownership of snowmobiling: local boy Joseph Armand-Bombardier practically invented it. This is why the province boasts a staggering 33,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails. Let’s press the throttle in the region of Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean, home to nine stunning snowmobile circuits, deep powder, dense forest and passionate riders. Just one of the reasons they call this Snowmobiler’s Paradise. Equinox Adventures offers rentals and itineraries for Bucket Listers in search of the whole package.
Length of Trip : 1 to 7 days
Cost : Pricing depends on what package you choose, and customized depending on what snowmobiles you need and type of accommodation needed. Click for more information.
Best time to go : January to March, when the snow is especially plentiful.
Wheelchair friendly : Call Equinox Adventures to discuss
Family friendly : Ages 14 and up. Call ahead to confirm.
Where to eat : Meals are available at auberges and restaurants along the routes. These can be incorporated into your itinerary. In most cases you’ll be able to park your snowmobile directly outside. Need help planning your own route? Tourism Lac-Saint-Jean’s snowmobiling website has tons of information and options.
Where to Stay : If you choose to go with an outfitter like Equinox Adventures, they will include accommodation at auberges along your route. Alternatively you can plan your own trip with resources available at www.snowmobilersparadise.com. Auberges are extremely accommodating to snowmobilers, many of which have restaurants attached or nearby.
Getting There : Saguenay-Bagotville Airport, home to a military base, is open to the public with direct flights by Air Canada from Montreal. The region is 210 kilometres from Quebec City, 460 kilometres from Montreal, or a 10 hour drive from Toronto. Private air charters would of course, always be an option to access the region.
Note from Robin : The region has one of the longest sledding seasons anywhere. Snowmobilers show up in late November and stick around until as late as April. Snowmobile rentals include luggage bags, winter suits and boots, and a GPS system and cell phone for mapping and emergencies. Quebec’s Federation of Snowmobile Clubs charges a trail permit to use their extensive network, primarily to cover the costs of grooming and marking the trails.
Credit: Martial Tremblay
Credit: Yves Ouellet
Credit: Charles-David Robitaille
Credit: Martial Tremblay
Credit: CD Robitaille