Overview: The Chic-Chocs Mountain Lodge offers sustainable, modern accommodation among the oldest mountains on the planet. Relatively cozy—18 rooms hold a maximum of 36 guests—it sits at 2,017 feet nestled against the 3,300-foot-plus Chic-Choc Mountains of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula. The great room's windows offer gobsmacking views of waterfalls and pyramid-like Mont Coleman.
Notable: A rule of thumb in the East: The further northeast you go, the better the powder. Follow that bearing 315 miles from Quebec City to the Chic-Chocs, and you'll agree. Bowls carved by glaciers and 40-degree glades attract big dumps off the Atlantic. The Réserve Faunique de Matane is 20 square miles, and lacks a single chairlift. Powder lingers for weeks, and staffers hand out avalanche beacons with room keys.
Stay Here If: You seek isolation in the ever-crowded East. There is no access by car in winter; guests ride a snowcat the last 25 miles. The preserve is chock full of wildlife, so visitors are all but guaranteed to see moose.
Our Take: The lodge should top any backcountry skier's wish list. The only drawback is the hot tub isn't nearly hot enough, so warm up in the sauna.
Information: Open mid-June to late September, and late December to early April. Packages begin at $240 per night. quebecmaritime.ca
From the Winter 2012 issue