Montagne d'Argent, La Conception, QC, Canada
Driving time from Laval
1 hour and 20 minutes
Before you head out, prep your packing checklist because it’s easy to forget the little necessities (like a can opener, for example). You’ll need a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat and a tarp if there’s risk of rain. Your checklist should also include toiletries, hiking clothes, a swimsuit, a warm outfit for the evening, footwear, bug repellent, a flashlight, food and drinks, a stove, dishes and utensils and a small backpack for day hikes.
Don’t forget the chalk bag and climbing gear if you’re here to tackle the crags.
Watch where you’re going
From Laval, take the 440 west from Montée Monette and Desserte Nord. Get on Highway 15 North and follow route 117 up to La Conception. The park is 11km west of Saint-Jovite and 18km from Mont-Tremblant.
Camping costs $8, which is considerably less than provincial parks, or it’s free with an annual pass. The campgrounds are located on the sandbanks of the Rivière-Rouge, and there are 300 serviced or semi-serviced sites with platforms to choose from. Pets are allowed, with some fees and restrictions. This isn’t roughing it: the washrooms are the good kind, complete with flush toilets and hot showers. The park also has firewood, a snack bar, convenience store, laundromat, ice, and more.
There’s no drinking water available, so make sure to bring enough water for your stay.
Climbers: chalk up
If you’re a climber with experience climbing outside, get ready to go. There are nearly 250 climbing routes, many with anchors and top-cliff access for setting top-ropes. For a climb that’s accessible to climbers of all levels and has an easy walk up, try Château de pierre. For some good multi-pitch climbing that’s farther from the crowds, try Le Fou.
Head for the hills
Want to hike instead? No problem. The trails here are generally well maintained for hikers. Head uphill to a panoramic lookout of La Conception village and surrounding area, or to a lake in the heart of the mountain. Of the 16km of trails, most routes are intermediate to advanced. In the summer, you can swim in the lake off a large floating platform, or just lounge on the sandy beach.