I enjoyed my hikes in the last few weeks, but it had been a few months since I’ve done a real mountain hike and I was missing it! I therefore decided to go hiking at Montagne d’Argent in the Laurentians, as it is a trail that is part of Rando Québec’s 75s hiking challenge.
My last visit to the Laurentians dates back to last April, when I went to hike in the Rivière-du-Nord Regional Park in Saint-Jérôme. I was eager to be back in this region that I love so much! On a sunny Saturday morning, I drove to La Conception, close to Mont-Tremblant, where Montagne d’Argent is located.
The trails on the mountain are managed by the Montagne d’Argent Climbing and Hiking Park. After paying my entrance fee, I headed for the Érablière trail to start my climb.
The Montagne d’Argent takes its name from the fact that the many blueberries that grew on its sides provided a livelihood for the community after devastating forest fires at the beginning of the 20th century (argent means “silver” in French, but also “money”). I don’t know if the blueberries on the mountain still bring in a lot of money, but today the site is particularly popular with rock climbing enthusiasts.
The Érablière (Maple Grove) Trail passes near some of the mountain’s rock faces. After following the trail for a few metres, I decided to not start hiking right away on the very tempting La Crête (Ridge) Trail (even though I love hiking on rocky ridges!), choosing instead to hike the 300 metres of the Petit Canyon (Little Canyon) Trail first.
And I’m glad I did. Even though it follows the bottom of the rocky cliff, the trail gave me a good taste of what the hike at Montagne d’Argent was to offer: a rocky trail, a beautiful forest, and a physical and technical climb.
The Petit Canyon Trail eventually joins La Crête Trail (yeah!) and that’s where the hike got tougher, but also really interesting. The many climbs and descents were often steep, and at some moments I had to use ropes or ladders to go up or down, or even hold on to roots and rocks.
Although I really like mountain hiking, I am also a little afraid of heights. And I admit that at a few moments, I had to muster all my courage to descend along a steep rocky ridge, holding only to a rope. Let’s say that I was progressing very slowly along the trail.
But at the same time, what a pleasure it was to do this hike! I absolutely love hiking in the beautiful mixed forests of the Laurentians. And I wanted a more physical and challenging hike, so let’s just say I got it!
La Crête Trail may not have been easy, but it gave me some nice viewpoints en route to the top.
I still had one last stretch to hike before reaching the summit. After leaving La Crête Trail, I followed Le Plateau Trail, which would lead me to the large rocky summit of Montagne d’Argent.
At 455 metres above sea level, it’s not the highest mountain in the Laurentians, but the 180-degree view at the top is still worth the hike (and the effort!). I rested at the top for a few minutes to catch my breath before starting the hike back down the mountain.
I thought the descent would be easier, but it wasn’t quite so. Le Plateau Trail also had many sections where I had to use a rope to help me hike back down. Same thing for La Forêt Enchantée (Enchanted Forest) Trail, which I followed afterwards.
Every time I thought I was done with the tough sections, the trail found a new way to surprise me.
In order to complete the big loop on the mountain, I took the Chemin Caché (Hidden Path) Trail, which (finally) allowed me to descend slowly into the forest, to the shore of Lac d’Argent.
It’s funny, because the lake just happened to have almost silvery hues under the beautiful summer sky… It’s just a shame that someone close by was loudly playing La Macarena, it made the moment feel a little less serene.
After a last look at the lake, I followed the trail along it and covered the last kilometre I had to do in order to return to my starting point.
I hiked just over 7 kilometres in total (according to Strava), with an elevation gain of 418 metres. The Montagne d’Argent hike is definitely not a hike for beginners, but it offers a great technical challenge for those who are not afraid of ropes and ladders!