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Owl's Head

If direct access to the slopes, next-to-no queues and inexpensive lift tickets appeal, Owl is worth getting in a flap about. Overlooking a gorgeous glacial lake, some call this a “view with a ski area attached”… That wouldn’t be fair to its tough terrain. Skiers travel from across Canada and over the US border for all that Owl has going on, proof that good things come in small packages.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Ski-in/ski-out accommodation • Quiet slopes

Great for: • Intermediates • Families • Quiet ski resort

If direct access to the slopes, next-to-no queues and inexpensive lift tickets appeal, Owl is worth getting in a flap about. Overlooking a gorgeous glacial lake, some call this a “view with a ski area attached”… That wouldn’t be fair to its tough terrain. Skiers travel from across Canada and over the US border for all that Owl has going on, proof that good things come in small packages.

Owl's Head Resort

Sitting high on Mont Owl’s Head’s north face, wind rustling the pines around you, you wouldn’t guess that just off to the east sits Montréal, earth’s 2nd largest French-speaking city. Owl is blessedly quiet, serene even – but with views worth shouting about. The slopes tower over Lake Memphremagog, and accommodation which isn’t in the main Auberge building can be found almost on the lake’s shores. Founded by a family man and still family-run, Dave Korman started the resort in 1965 and has relations manning strategic spots about the resort. Mrs K. – the lovely Lilly - is behind the cafeteria’s chili recipe, and she can be found working the bar. You aren’t so much a visitor as a guest here and everyone wants you to make yourself at home. Another fact worth making a fuss about? Owl is affordable. Really affordable. It’s known for deals like ½ off lift passes which are already half what you can pay elsewhere. Your Canadian dollars go further all over the resort, meaning you can live a little lavishly. Try out a week of ski school or a few Great Owl’s Club workshops (again, affordable) to boost your technique to new highs, or take day trips to magic Montréal - to climb an urban mountain (Mont Royal), take the food tour of a lifetime and get cultural in basilicas and museums. Alternatively, just save pennies and feel wonderfully smug. Owl’s base village isn’t huge, and that’s a big bonus. Peek through the curtains of many of the condos and you can see when the lifts are gearing up. There’s a trusty cafeteria, bar and a delicious dining room, in which staff know your name by the end of the week. It isn’t much but for the Korman family it’s home, and families with little ones love it. If making your own fun for a week isn’t for you, try combining trips here with other livelier spots, like Mont Tremblant, Bromont or Jay Peak over the border in Vermont. Or split your time between Montréal and the slopes.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Quebec, Canada

Established: 1965

Open: December - April

Downhill: 163 acres / 50 runs

View our detailed Owl's Head snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Owl's Head snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Montréal International Airport (YUL)153km, 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 30%

  • 40%

  • 30%

Top Altitude:756m / 2480ft
Bottom Altitude:216m / 709ft
Resort Altitude:216m / 709ft
Longest run:1 mile
Slope Orientation:N
Vertical Drop:540m / 1770ft
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

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  • Base
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  • Forecast
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Web Cam

Owl's Head web cams
Downhill Runs:163 acres / 50 runs
Beginner slopes:30%
Intermediate:40%
Advanced slopes:30%
Lift Pass Price: $48 Canadian Dollars (adult single day pass)
Nearby resorts: Bromont

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Owl's Head

For all this resort’s family-friendliness, Mont Owl’s Head can be a demanding peak, with challenges to help all but an Olympian up their game. What the 175-acre ski area lacks in size, it makes up for in views of Lake Memphremagog and in peace and quiet – even when Owl is considered “busiest”, you’ll rarely sit in a lift line longer than a minute.

Beginners have all they need to progress quickly with the INIparc nursery area, and there are usually cost-effective INISKI packages with the ski school. The Little Rouge and Panorama quads serve green runs only, making for clear areas of progression.

Intermediates are going to have the biggest hoot... with runs from every chair and quad, including lots from the summit. Take Peak to Centennial to Upper Traverse to really get a feel for this mountain’s 1700ft vertical. Don’t miss Lilly’s Leap, a fun run with lots of switchbacks which, when skies are blue, looks all the way across the lake’s 33 miles. Did you SNO?: it’s named after the resort owner’s wife. You’ll find many narrow, pitchy blues all over the resort, ideal for a challenge.

Owl is not lacking in steeps and the black trails here are truly deserving of their colour. The narrow Grand Allée reaches a sheer 47 degrees and “The Wall” on the Colorado trail reaches 43 and is major bump territory. Glades are another local specialty. Some say you have to be bonkers to attempt the double diamond, Ponsoon, but there are other friendlier glades to work your way up to it. Check out the "Que'quepart" sector on the east side of the mountain for virtually untouched backcountry skiing.

For interested boarders and adventurous skiers, a half-pipe and terrain park are both available.

Owl's Head Apres Ski

1 cafeteria, 1 dining room and 1 bar – means 1 way to spend an evening, but this is the kind of resort where staff know you by the end of the week and you make fast friends with fellow skiers over foosball, darts, and communal TV’s. Behind the bar counter, look out for Lilly, namesake of the beautiful intermediate run from the summit and wife of the resort founder, Dave.

For more excitement, look to the many small towns nearby. Spa-goers with Owl lift tickets often see special après rates at Scandinavian-style Spa Bolton, where you can bubble in outdoor hot tubs and steam wind-ravaged skin soft again in wood-fired Finnish saunas. Venture east to Mansonville, a quiet stop along route 243 for Owl’s Bread, a bakery with chocolate croissants, truffles and cheeses you’d be willing to travel a lot further for. 30 minutes away, Magog is a pretty city on the edge of the lake you’ve been ogling all day. It’s full of fun like eclectic gift shops, spas and wineries – and now that you’re at the water’s edge, you can learn more about its Loch Ness...

Best time to go

Best time to ski Owl's Head

When is the best time to ski Owl's Head?

175 inches (450cm) of snow a year is backed up by a first-class snowmaking system that covers 90% of the skiable terrain, for which 33-mile Lake Memphremagog is the ultimate snowmaking reservoir. Many of the Quebec resorts don’t get going until the final week of December, which may have an impact on Christmas skiing. But by January things are usually running at full capacity.

This is Canada, and while Owl is too far south for the artic conditions in the north, temperatures are still pretty cold. January sees average highs of -1°C, not to mention the lows… Only in March do averages pick up out of the minuses. On the very bright side, this all gives the snow machines lots to work with! Dress warm, consider a balaclava and enjoy the snow.

Peak Dates

The most wonderful time of year is often the most expensive, so you’ll appreciate the savings you’ll make at Christmas in Owl’s Head. If early season conditions cooperate, the resort should be open in time for a brilliant week on the hill.

Spend a New Year in Owl’s Head with your nearest and dearest and enjoy the annual gourmet buffet in the dining room. Alternatively, ski in the day and throw on the glad rags to celebrate the year’s end of a lifetime at one of Montréal’s grand balls or nightclubs.

If you’ve crossed the pond to escape the school holiday hoards, pick a spot that’s truly quiet and go for Half Term in Owl’s Head. On the mountain, there’s rarely a lift line and something for all the family, while off it you can enjoy quality time and walks round the lake.

Spring has sprung by the time it’s Easter in Owl’s Head, temperatures are far friendlier and views over Lake Memphremagog dreamier than ever

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Families in Owl's Head

Small, quiet resorts like this one are always winners with families, but Owl has more going for it than just p & q. You cannot be closer to the slopes than in one of this resort’s apartments or condos, taking the stress out of getting everyone up in the mornings. If you’ve forgotten the lip salve, it’s only ever a quick dash back to get it.

The Dropoff Center will take little owls between the ages of 2 and 10, so there’s time to explore, while first timers have always been able to enjoy INISKI programs – economical taster packages that are less of a commitment than a week of lessons. For mini shredders, private and “semi-private” lessons are available from age 5 and up.

GroupsGroup Holidays Owl's Head

If savings and a good night’s sleep mean more to your group than bars and nightclubs, Owl is one for the definitely-maybe list. Accommodation may not be the newest and there’s only one place for a beer at the end of the day, but for making the group budget work, few can compare.

Celebrate the savings and live a little − taking a private mountain tour with Luc Skypowder, who’ll show you all the mountain’s best bits and kodak moments. Or, if you’re here between January and the end of Feb, workshops for groups of up to 8 will introduce you to powder, glades and moguls.

It’s personal at this mountain and just to make your memories fonder, staff have been known hold special events like wine and cheese receptions, sumo wrestling in the snow, broomball, snow volleyball, karaoke and moonlit snowshoeing.

More Owl's Head Holiday Resources


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