Snowmobiling is extremely popular in Colorado, the winter sports lover’s paradise. There is plenty of snow and wide terrain to explore. The national forests of Colorado are entwined with snowmobile trails where you get to combine the thrill of a high-speed ride with breath taking snowy alpine scenery. There are more than 3,000 miles of snowmobiling trails throughout the state. This lets you explore the beautiful backcountry as much as you need and you are never short of options when it comes to finding a place to snowmobiling in Colorado. You also can find convenient and easy snowmobile rental options in the state with profusion of guided tours if you are a first timer. This article explores some of the truly unique locations for snowmobiling in Colorado. So prepare your sled to get past the winter snow and winds!
The list of the best snowmobiling in Colorado includes places that seek heavy traffic as well as those which are quiet. Most of these locations are easily accessible. These areas will let you have the best experience in the winter by capturing your spirits and taking your snowmobiling experience to the next level.
Let’s see the best places to go snowmobiling in Colorado!
Steamboat Springs, the well-known resort area is also a great place to go snowmobiling. The Yampa valley features some of the incredibly expansive and rideable terrain. The trails are also easily accessible within about an hour reach from the town. Rabbit Ears Pass, located to the east of the town makes a great place to start your adventure. You can discover the magic of snowmobiling Colorado’s Continental Divide on Rabbit Ears Pass. This extensive trail system located in the middle of Routt National Park is a snowmobiler’s dream. With snow stacked deep, you can explore the deep backcountry powdery lines and rolling hills here. There are tree lined trails to big open meadows to play around. The Rabbit Ears pass is the busiest area here. Southwest of Steamboat, we have the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. The adjacent deep pine country provides more riding area. The area is also not as busy as the Rabbit Ears Pass. To the northwest, the deep winter with good snowfall offers miles of virtually treeless terrain towards the city of Craig and beyond. Steamboat offers many rentals and tours which are easy to access. Also, after your long snowmobiling adventure you can soak in the Strawberry Hot springs to feel rejuvenated.
Breckenridge is another famous snowmobiling destination. The areas surrounding the town offer unrivalled views. This includes the great views of Continental Divide and some other peaks as well as miles of groomed trails which are mostly part of the White River National Forest. The area covered with heavy snow has a lot of options for backcountry riding. The area is characterised by high elevations and changing weather conditions. So better have a guided tour in case you are unfamiliar with the area. The Georgia Pass Road has access to both groomed trails and backcountry. From late November to late May, this area near Breckenridge is closed to all vehicles except snowmobile riding. The pass which is 11,585′ displays the Ski Mountains of Keystone and Copper Mountain. Keep in mind if you are an out of state resident, and then you may need a Colorado trail pass to operate a snowmobile here.
Vail Pass Recreational Area
Another best snowmobiling destination in Colorado is the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area. Located west of Denver, this easy to access area lies off I70, the main highway into the Rockies. With perfect powdered snow and views, the region is bit crowded as it serves as one of the best spots for snowmobiling as well as backcountry skiing. There is a wide terrain to explore with over 119 miles of trails. Open from November through May, you need a day or season pass to access this area of fresh tracks.
The people of Grand Lake just enjoy snowmobiling. After the onset of winter, you will find the area flooded with local snowmobile riders. The people of Grand Lake have like snowmobiling running through their veins. The location is hence known for its family friendly and fun vibes. The terrain offers a variety of easy as well as intermediate areas. With about 300 miles of snowmobile trails to explore in the Arapaho National Forest, you get to have the views of the Continental Divide and the western side of the Rocky Mountain National Park. A second home to many in Colorado, the best time to go snowmobiling in this region is January and February. There are affordable rental options for maximizing your snowmobiling adventure.
Only a two-hour drive away from Denver lies the town of Kremmling, which is easily accessible. There are about 300 miles of dedicated trails which run through the Arapaho National Forests and Routt National Forests. The area is easily accessible to most riders. About half of these trails are groomed. The Rabbit Ears Pass also lies within reach and is about 45 minutes away. Between Kremmling and Silverhome, the Spring Creek offers less crowded trails.
Wolf Creek Pass
If you are someone looking for scenic, fun rise, then this is the best option for you. Covered with powdery snow, the San Juan Mountains’ trail system is worth checking out. Wolf Creek Pass is deeply snow packed, but is quite remote and hard to access. The Wolf Creek Pass covers largely the Rio Grand National Forest and lies between Del Norte and Pagosa Springs. More snow falls in this area when compared to other parts of Colorado. There is chance of sudden weather changes and avalanche conditions. So you need to carefully as you set out for adventure in this area. It is better to have the services of a guide as there is also chance of getting lost. It also includes the Eagle Mountain, and Black Head Peak.
West of Leadville, as you go toward the Continental Divide, there are many snowmobile trails to explore. The Lake Country stretching for about 50 miles have some of the best trails groomed by the High Riders Snowmobile Club, a local area club. Leadville has an altitude of about 10,152 feet with wild open spaces suited for backcountry explorations. During winter, the groomed trails passing through the East Side Mining District, allows visitors to view the historic gold rushes.
Located at 10,800 feet, the Marshall Pass is a mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. You can enjoy deep powder of the Rocky Mountains. Also, the Shirley Snowmobile area offers about 45 miles of cared-for snowmobile trails where newbie snowmobilers can set on a gentle ride.
Meeker can offer snowmobiling experiences to riders of every level. There are about 180 miles of snowmobile trail in Rio Blanco County. This includes about 78 miles of groomed trails and 100 miles of natural ungroomed trails. These are maintained by White River Snowmobile Club. You get to see awesome scenery as you ride through the White Forest National Park. Less crowded than many other winter attractions, the area of Meeker also includes many snowmobiling resorts. There are options for guided rentals as well. During summer there are events like OHV driving or horseback riding and winter time is all about snowmobiling and related special events.
Cottonwood Pass, Colorado’s hidden playground also offers great snowmobiling adventures for experienced as well as beginner riders. Located on the main road that connects Buena Vista and Taylor Park, the terrain and snow conditions of this area rival that of Vail Valley which is one of Colorado’s premier snow sports destinations. There are groomed trails ideal for novice and intermediate riders. For the amateur rider, Ptarmigan Lake offers a challenging ride. With a final lake destination of over 12,000 feet, there is scenic view of snow-capped mountain views for miles.
Fast machines roaring through the piles of snow can be a great time. If you look for such an adventure, then South Fork offers 150 miles of groomed trails as well as many off trail options on wide open ridge, steep climbs and rolling parks. The trails are maintained by Powder Buster Snowmobile Club. Located at 12,000 plus feet, the area is Colorado’s wintertime vistas. It is better to go for guided rentals. The area also remains bit uncrowded.
Ophir Creek/Greenhorn Mountain Trail System
The area has a low elevation and hence is well suited for mid winter explorations. The San Isabel National Forest has the Ophir Creek and Greenhorn Mountain Trail system. As you ride through the area, you get to have the scenic views of the Wet Mountains. The Greenhorn Mountains is less than a 1-hour drive from Bakersfield. The snow-covered forest roads provide great terrain for the snowmobile enthusiasts. The Sangre Snow Runners Club groom about the 70 miles long trails.
Riders at any experience level can explore this area as there is no shortage of excitement or trails. The Snowmobile trails in the Lake City/Creede Area lets snowmobilers have all types of riding adventures. There are the steep mountain passes, open meadows, and soothing groomed trails. There are over 200 miles of well cared for snowmobile trails that run through the Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forests. These trails span from Lake City to Creed crossing over the Continental Divide. The elevations of these trails range from 8,500 to 12,760 feet. Many of the trails give riders the feel like they are on “top of the world”. With average yearly snowfall of 250-300 inches, the area always own snow to ride somewhere on the system. Group riders can have great fun exploring the area.
Gunnison and Crested Butte
If you are someone interested in snowmobiling in a quiet area, then this area is not meant for you. Kebler Pass is the prime area to explore. The Kebler Pass lies to the west of Crested Butte and north of Gunnison. This is a heavily used motorized corridor. The area offers deep powder. The roads are closed off in the winter so as to get them ready for snowmobiling. There are about 55 miles of conditioned trails. The area is groomed by Gunnison Country SNOtrackers. Other regions to explore snowmobiling include Lost Lakes, Ohio Pass Road and Splains Gulch, Lake Irwin and Erikson Springs.
Keystone features snowmobile trails for amplifying your winter experience. You can have an adventurous high country escape, with an endless supply of powder-filled areas and wild meadows to explore. Dillon and Silverthorne, the mountains surrounding Keystone have snowpack lofty altitudes which are great for snowmobiling. There are both guided tours as well as rental options so both inexperienced as well as experienced backcountry riders can make use of these trails.
The forests and mountains of Winter Park, where elevations exceed 12,000 feet give you great opportunities for snowmobiling. Guided and unguided opportunities are available. The area is closer to Fraser and has 120 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, located in Arapaho National Forest, taken care of by the Mile Hi Snowmobile Club.
Sunlight Mountain to Powderhorn Trail System
Also known as the SP Trail, the location is famous for snowmobiling. Located on the Grand Mesa, the trail system consists of a single 120 mile route marked from Sunlight to Powderhorn. There are 180 more miles of associated trails. The trails feature both groomed and ungroomed sections. There are options for lodges as well as rentals.
The Jones pass may not be that well known among the other spots mentioned in the list. This massive backcountry skiing zone is actually more frequented by snowmobiles than backcountry skiers. You can explore many untouched powder lines which can make your winter exploration worthy. The snow packed trails are maintained by a local club. This area is also prone to avalanche slides and hence it is recommended to go on guided tours and take necessary safety precautions.