Frigid weather is the delight of winter enthusiasts. A special breed of people who may skate, take to snow-covered slopes or find the trail less traveled. No matter how bitter the conditions, these individuals simply bundle up and head out.
If the above description seems like it was written about you, you need to check out the following four destinations that are among the top snowmobile trips in the United States.
1. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Take to the Continental Divide this winter to enjoy one of the best snowmobile destinations anywhere. The area averages about 166 inches of white powder annually with double that in the mountains.
Take the Grizzly Creek trail to access Buffalo Pass or if you’re up to the challenge, Round Lake Cutoff gives you four miles of intense riding until you reach Sawmill Creek, one of the easier trails in the area. Whether you head north or south on the Continental Divide trail, you’ll enjoy unparalleled scenery, especially as you reach the Georgia Pass at 11,598 feet.
2. Green Mountains, Vermont
Vermont can not claim the snow totals of Colorado, but the state’s proximity to major urban locations in the northeast makes it one of the top snowmobile trips. Credit must be given to the state for working with local clubs to map out and maintain more than 5,000 miles of carefully groomed trails.
The Missisquoi Valley Rail-Trail starts in St. Albans and meanders north to Richford, near the Canadian border. You’ll pass through farms, forests and fields, taking in picture perfect scenery along the way. The Delaware and Hudson Rail-Trail explores western Vermont along the New York border, taking in rolling hills and farmland. At one point it crosses into New York with the trail passing through Granville, noted for its 140-foot pedestrian bridge spanning the Mettawee River, known for its rapids.
3. Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Sunny California boasts some of the best beaches in the world as well as pristine skiing. The Sierra Nevada Mountains run north to south across much of the state, providing an ideal place to enjoy winter sports, including snowmobiling.
The Mammoth Lake Trails System in the eastern Sierras offers numerous groomed trails from Shady Rest to Bald Mountain, to Deadman Creek and on to Minaret Vista. You’ll pass through the dense the forest, open terrain and breathtaking views of the Owens River and the Long Valley Caldera. Trails range from easy to difficult with provisions available at June Lake Junction.
4. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and North Carolina
You may think there are better snowmobile areas in the country beside the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina. What makes this area worth a mention is its proximity to the southeast, a region of the country where snowfall is generally uncommon. Still, you must pay special attention to the local mountain conditions as snow tends to come and go throughout the season.
A winter visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reveals changing weather conditions with snow much more likely to fall at elevations topping 5,000 feet. Purchase Knob and Sugar Mountain are areas where snow is likely to fall and hang around, with local hiking trails and back roads offering the best opportunity for snowmobiling. Even when the trails are spotty, the Appalachian Ski Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort will be ready for you as they make snow for skiing and snowboarding.
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Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.