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The Vallée des fantômes, a snowshoeing paradise with breathtaking panorama

There is a place in Quebec that receives, year after year, more than 5 meters of snow during the winter and where the trees, entirely covered with snowflakes, look like spectres and mummies.

Do you know theVallée des fantômes ?

Trail in Monts-Valin national park
On the way to the Vallée des fantômes

The vallée des fantômes

Snowshoeing trail at Monts-Valin

Nestled at an altitude of over 980 meters in the heart of the Monts-Valin Park in Saguenay, the Valley of the Ghosts welcomes visitors with breathtaking scenery.

You can get there on your own with snowshoes but you can also take a 45-minute Snowcat ride aboard the Fantôme-Express along the picturesque and panoramic Bras-des-Canots Road (for a fee).

SEPAQ Shuttle
SEPAQ Shuttle

Once at the top, the shuttle bus drops us off at the foot of the trail. The arrival is already impressive even if we are not yet in the valley.

While in Chicoutimi, located about forty minutes from the park, there is little snow but here, everything is covered in white.

Then begins our hike to Pic Dubuc, the summit of the Vallée des fantômes, located about 3 kilometers away.

Sloping trail at Monts-Valin
Not always easy to climb the slopes with snowshoes…

The landscapes are breathtaking.

It’s like being alone in the world, lost in an ocean of snow.

Alone in the world at Monts-Valin
The trees are gradually covered with snow - Monts-Valin
The trees are gradually covered with snow
Alone in the world at Monts-Valin

At the top, only small peaks stick out. It is difficult to imagine that what we see is only the tip of the conifers, the rest being buried under the snow.

Pic Dubuc summit - Monts-Valin
Arrival at the top of Pic Dubuc, surrounded by treetops sticking out of the snow

Off-roading in the valley of the ghosts

Summit of Monts-Valin
The trees are buried under the snow, only their tops protrude.

It is now possible, with a guide, to explore the Vallée des fantômes by going off the trail.

The snow buries the trees but small pockets of air sometimes form between the branches.

The result? In off-road, it is very likely that you will stall in the snow quite deep, up to your waist and even more in some places.

Hence the interest to be accompanied by a guide equipped with a GPS and the necessary equipment to help us if we fall, because the snowshoes sometimes get tangled up in the branches and it is less easy to get out of the holes.

But the fun is guaranteed!

A ghost in Monts-Valin
A ghost in the valley

The Monts-Valin Park in brief

Accommodation in the park

SEPAQ offers different accommodation options on site. It is possible to stay in Chicoutimi but I strongly recommend you to stay in the park to enjoy the panoramas longer.

There are cottages at the entrance of the park or, accessible by shuttle in winter, directly at the foot of the valley of ghosts.

It is also possible to stay at the Antoine-Dubuc Pavilion, also located at the foot of the valley.

Other activities to do at Monts-Valin Park

If the Vallée des fantômes is a snowshoeing paradise, the park also has other trails to explore, including the Tête-de-Chien trail, perfect for a half-day hike.

You can also do cross-country ski, Nordic ski or fatbike in the park.

  • For more information on the trails and the shuttle, visit the SEPAQwebsite.
Monts-Valin, Saguenay : a winter paradise

This article was originally written in 2014 and updated following my 2nd visit in 2018.

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