Snowmobile enthusiasts want to make the most of a riding season exploring areas boasting the earliest rideable snow that sticks around as late as possible. Whether you prefer the trail, or the backcountry, here are five great family-friendly snowmobile destinations to visit this winter.
West Yellowstone, Montana, is best known as a gateway to the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park. An average season snowfall of 150 inches transforms this region into a postcard-worthy playground, featuring three national forests and two national parks to explore - and the best way to see it all is by snowmobile. You’ll find rugged mountains, open meadows, alpine lakes and plenty of wildlife to view (keep a safe distance). Over 1,000 miles of easy-to-access wintertime trails wind through what is arguably some of the most stunning scenery in the lower 48 states.
The Black Hills National Forest offers some of the nation’s best snowmobiling. Starting near Spearfish, 350 miles of pristine snowmobile trails run to Custer, Wyoming, and back to the eastern edge of the Black Hills. At 3,648 feet elevation, Spearfish Canyon gives access to a well-developed snowmobile trail system and receives a monthly average of 15 snowy inches. This family-friendly riding area offers snowmobile rentals and tour guides, amenities for pit stops, fuel and warming shelters.
This rugged stretch of Lake Superior shoreline reaches to the farthest northern ends of the state and is 146-miles of quintessential Minnesota snowmobile experience. The C.J. Ramstad North Shore Trail defines snowmobiling excellence thanks to its wide, well-groomed and well-marked trail system. Here, an average season snowfall of 60-inches comes early, stays late and is greeted by some of the most scenic beauty found anywhere in the snowbelt.
Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula boasts over 270 inches of snowfall annually and has an incredible 230 miles of snowmobile trail traveling near the scenic coast of Lake Superior. These well-groomed trail systems lead you through dense forests and over rolling terrain following ancient mountain ridges to some of the most picturesque opportunities in the state. The Keweenaw is snowmobile-friendly for anyone who visits, with ample dedicated trail access, parking spots and a wide variety of restaurants and lodging to enjoy when the ride is over.
Old Forge is the eastern epicenter of New York’s Adirondack Mountains and showcases a vast network of 500-plus miles of groomed, interconnected snowmobile trails. An annual snowfall of 200-inches per season pads the base for some of the best riding to explore the winding trails through dense forests, frozen waterways and scenic mountain settings.
Riding a snowmobile is a thrilling opportunity for anyone to get out and enjoy the snowbelt’s beautiful winter scenery. Whether on a groomed trail ride, or in the more challenging deep powder of the backcountry, always check local regulations for access to public or private lands, then get out and enjoy some great snow this winter.