Montana Snowmobile TrailsMaddy Scheinost
Montana Snowmobile Trails
The Best Places to Go Snowmobiling in Montana
Montana, known as both The Treasure State and Big Sky Country, could have chosen the Winter Adventures State as their nickname thanks to a prodigious snowfall, long winters, spectacular snowmobiling terrain and stunning landscapes. 4,000 miles of groomed trails weave through vast mountain-meadows, rugged backcountry, rocky ridgelines, past frozen lakes, and through old mining country, highlighted by logging and Forest Service roads. The best snowmobiling in Montana can be found around and between the state’s two national parks. Known to the snowmobiling crowd as “Glaciers to Geysers,” both areas provide world-class sledding. Where are the best snowmobile trails in Montana? Which is the best snowmobiling near me when I’m in the state? Are there any “absolutely can’t miss” trails when I’m snowmobiling in Montana? Below is a list of just a few of the most popular Montana snowmobiling areas, compiled by the experts at Treadworld. It’s always a good idea to check out Montana snowmobile trail conditions before you head out for your snowmobile adventures.
Cut Bank – when you’re looking for rugged and remote wilderness to test your snowmobiling mettle, this area is a great choice, specifically at Marias Pass Trail Complex, located midway between Cut Bank and Kalispel. Straddling the Continental Divide in the Lewis & Clark and Flathead National Forests south of Glacier National Park, the area offers challenges for intermediate to expert snowmobilers, with 45 miles of groomed trails and another 35 miles of ungroomed trails, punctuated by steep slopes and a chance for sudden storms. Popular snowmobile trails in the area include Two Medicine, Skyland and Pike Creek.
Flathead Valley – when you’re looking for the best snowmobiling in Montana, you can’t do better than this for your snowmobiling adventures. The area, right next door to Glacier National Park and encompassing the communities of Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Kalispell and Bigfork in northwest MT, offers more than 200 miles of groomed trails and nearly 2,000 miles of Forest Service roads, with spectacular hill climbing and open meadow areas, with jaw-dropping views of both the wilderness landscape of Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies, as well as a diversity of wildlife. Every year, snowfall is ample.
Greenough/Garnet Ghost Town Trail – offers over 115 miles of the state’s best snowmobile trails, and not only that, takes you to the Montana’s most intact ghost town, the Garnet Ghost Town, an old gold mining encampment hidden high in the Garnet Mountain Range. In 1898, the town was thriving, with a population of around 1,000 people as miners dug gold out of the quartz in the surrounding mountains. The trails in the area, most groomed but some ungroomed due to the continual drifting, offer a variety of riding conditions, climbing above 7,000 feet to offer unforgettable views of the Montana wilderness.
Haugan – is a hospitable, family-friendly area where every member of the family regardless of expertise can ride snowmobile. Trails begin at the I-90 Montana-Idaho border in northwest MT offering plenty of open meadows and wilderness views. Trails that keep Montana snowmobile riders coming back for more include Old Mullan Pass, Packer Creek, Dominion, Big Creek, Deer Creek and Taft Summit.
Kootenai Country – known for sparsely populated terrain and blankets of snowfall each year, this area offers over breathtaking landscapes with over 200 miles of big sky snowmobiling. You may want to consider sledding the rugged Keeler-Rattle Trail System overlooking the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, the 70 miles of groomed trails in the Purcell Mountains; and the Pete Creek Trail, traveling into mountain bowls and alpine lakes.
Lolo Pass/Lolo Hot Springs – when you think about snowmobile trails in Montana, you likely don’t also think about hot springs, but in this case you should. Located near the Montana-Idaho border 45 miles southwest of Missoula, MT, Lolo Hot Springs offers the same soothing soak that the fatigued members of the Lewis & Clark exploration party enjoyed nearly 200 years ago. Snowmobilers can start either at the hot springs or at Lolo Pass, about 7 miles apart, to explore over 250 miles of groomed trails in the Lolo and Clearwater National Forests, along with miles of challenging Montana backcountry. Moose Ridge, East Fork, Lost Park System and Elk Meadows are some of the trails that will take you through the Bitterroot Range.
Seeley Lake Area – flanked by the Mission and Swan Mountain ranges, between the Bob Marshall and Mission Mountain Wilderness areas, following along the Glacier Parkway, the Seeley Lake area makes snowmobiling Montana a magical experience. Though the trail is designated non-motorized during the winter months, snowmobilers can follow the trail along the highway through Seeley Lake, part of the nearly 400 miles of groomed trails in the area that takes riders through mountainous regions and over snow-packed open meadow and rolling hills. The area receives some of the earliest and heaviest snowfall in the state. Consider popular Double Arrow Lookout, when you’re interested in views of the Swan Range and Clearwater Valley, and Lake Elsina, a scenic 15-mile loop, when you want to spend some time in the Montana wilderness.
Skalkaho Pass – something of a local secret, here you’ll find some of the least traveled Montana snowmobile trails, that also happen to among the most fantastic rides you can find anywhere, offering inspiring scenic views of frozen Skalkaho Falls, tall peaks and deep canyons. Skalkaho Pass, sitting between Hamilton and Georgetown Lake, offers 26 miles of groomed trails, and more backcountry trails are plentiful, Plus, the road closes to regular traffic in the winter so you can ride without interference. Check out Skalkaho-Sleeping Child-Rye Creek Area which provides 32 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails, looping through higher elevations and a burn area, then back to the head of Rye Creek. This system also includes trails near the Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski area, which receives the greatest annual snowfall depths in Montana.
Absaroka – amazingly scenic riding through the Custer Gallatin National Forest, and the Beartooth, Absaroka and Crazy Mountains, including both wide-open vistas and deep forested canyons.
Big Sky – because this area is known more for skiing, it allows the spectacular snowmobiling to fly a bit under the radar. When you snowmobile Big Sky, you’ll find plenty of open areas here to test your sled’s capabilities, and if you take the 16-mile Buck Ridge Trail, a local favorite, you’ll find yourself at around 9,500 feet above sea level.
Boulder River Valley – the groomed Boulder River Snowmobile Trail stretches for 16 miles through the wilderness. The Boulder Canyon Trail runs 25 miles along the river through scenic mountain ranges to the old mining town of Independence, a popular stop for sledders, and the 7-mile Dry Fork Trail, though ungroomed, has plenty of room to roam.
Bozeman – considered one of the best places to go snowmobiling in Montana, in large part because of the surrounding community, the area offers over 350 miles of groomed trails, including the Olson Creek Trail with 24 miles of phenomenal views of the Bridger and Crazy mountains. Other popular trails include Brackett Creek, Buck Creek, Olson Creek, Hyalite Canyon and Squaw Creek.
Cooke City – one of the entrances to Yellowstone National Park, Cooke City snowmobiling often starts in November, and can last into June and sometimes even July. The area is known for offering some of the best backcountry snowmobiling in the world, with trails and terrain for every type of skill level, from novice to expert.
Gallatin Corridor – mostly experienced riders will love this area, spreading through the Custer Gallatin National Forest and Gallatin Canyon, for its stunning mountain views. The Big Sky Snowmobile Trail includes over 123 miles of connected trails, both groomed and ungroomed.
West Yellowstone – known as one of the best places to snowmobile anywhere, this area offers more than 400 miles of trails, some of which lead into Idaho. Snowmobile on your own on popular trails like Two Top, Horse Butte, Madison Arm, Big Sky, South Plateau and Lionhead, or take a professionally-guided snowmobile tour through Yellowstone Park, America’s first national park, for a remarkable experience that could include steaming geysers and majestic wildlife set against a stage of big blue skies and all the powdery snow you could want.
That’s Only A Few…
If you love whipping past snow-dusted trees and frozen lakes at high speeds, you’ll find plenty of that sort of thing on Montana snowmobile trails. The long snowmobile season provides some unique and stunning riding opportunities while you take in the unmatched beauty of the west. We’ve only highlighted a few of the outstanding Montana snowmobile trails here, but you won’t have to look very hard to find many others, all guaranteed to provide a wonderful cold weather outdoor experience.
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Whether you’re in Montana or somewhere else, when you decide to snowmobile outside your own backyard, one of the safest ways to transport your sleds is with a snowmobile trailer. And you can count on us to provide you with the high performance tires for snowmobile trailer that will get you safely to where you want to go. Even the best snowmobile trailer is worthless if it’s not equipped with dependable tires. Here at Treadworld, we have the right trailer tires for every occasion, along with a huge selection of UTV and ATV tires, farm implement tires and ag tires, lawn & garden tires, forklift tires and more. You can count on Rubbermaster brand trailer tires to provide the finest in top quality, long-lasting, never-let-you-down reliability, manufactured with strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, then covered by our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have.