The 12 best places to snowmobile in Montana are as follows:
- Cut Bank
- Elk Lake Resort
- Flathead Valley
- Garnet Ghost Town Trail System
- Kootenai Country
- Lolo Pass
- Mission Mountains
- Seeley Lake
- Skalkaho Pass, Hamilton
- Skyline Guest Ranch and Beartooth Mountains
- West Yellowstone
Montana, especially western Montana, is a great location for winter adventurists. There is a plethora of room to explore, with snow that sweeps the mountains and meadows. There are many backcountry trails that haven’t been touched that include rugged ridgelines, logging, and Forest Service Roads and frozen lakes
Montana does offer plenty of groomed trails – more than 4,000 miles worth – including the eight trail system of Glacier County.
While some people are content with sitting out by the window with a roaring fire going in the background and a mug of cocoa in their hand, others want to explore all the state has to offer. Get on your snowmobile and zip through the different backcountry trails to see the natural beauty the state awaits you.
With thousands of miles of taken-care-of trails, you will find a spot to get out and enjoy.
Let’s take a closer look at the most popular snowmobile trails in Montana!
12 Best Places to Snowmobile in Montana
1. Cut Bank
Winter enthusiasts can test their skills at the Marias Pass Trail Complex, which sits along the Continental Divide. Here, the trails are rough and secluded, which are suitable for both intermediate and expert riders. There are 80 miles of groomed and rugged trails, and it’s advised to have a guide for some trails. Some of them are steep, and extreme weather conditions make them harder to travel. It’s best to have someone with you.
The popular trails that begin at Marias Pass include Pike Creek, Skyland and Two Medicine, with the Flathead and Lewis and Clark National Forests’ rugged trails. You can also find more rugged trails throughout this year.
2. Elk Lake Resort
Elk Lake Resort is a popular spot for snowmobilers because of the plethora of fresh powder and amazing scenery. There are hundreds of miles of trails across the national forests and wilderness for you to explore. Regardless of what kind of country-country skiing you like, Mt. Bachelors Nordic Center can meet your expectations. You can spend your time strolling the terrain of this backcountry before heading back to the Elk Lake Resort.
3. Flathead Valley
There are more than 200 miles of treated snowmobile trails in northwest Montana for snowmobilers to enjoy, and that doesn’t include the 2,000 miles of Forest Service roads you can go along down as well. Snowmobiling along these trails can take you to the great heights of Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Here, you can watch the wildlife and do a little snow hill climbing.
Not only that, but you have another 3,000 miles of Whitefish Mountain Resort terrain to have fun. You can go dog sledding, ice skating, ice fishing, etc. There is so much to do that it’s a real winter wonderland of enjoyment.
Flathead Valley is made up of four communities – Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Whitefish – so there are plenty of places to begin your winter fun.
4. Garnet Ghost Town Trail System
If you want a snowmobiling experience you can’t get from other places, then you need to visit and ride the Garnet Ghost Trail System. It’s got more than 100 miles of flat and steep trails that ride into the Garnet Ghost Town that can only be accessed in the winter via snowshoeing, snowmobiling or skiing. This gorgeous area includes the places of Bob Marshall Wilderness, Mission Mountains and Pintler Range.
When you’re looking for places to go snowmobiling, Haugan has it and more for you to enjoy. As a family-friendly area, there is plenty of places to go joyriding on a snowmobile. The trails can be enjoyed by novices and experts alike, with loop tours that begin in the Lolo National Forest. Many of the trails have been cared for, making them easier to ride along. The Montana Nightriders Snowmobile Club provides updates on the trails.
6. Kootenai Country
There are hundreds of miles cared-for miles throughout the region of Kootenai Country, including the trails of Purcell Mountains, the Keeler-Rattle Trail System and Peter Creek Trail. The Ten Lakes and Grave Crack Trails start at the Birch Creek Recreation Site and head up to the Canadian border. Begin your venture in Troy and hit the area of Libby to enjoy a little bit of relaxation and warm drinks.
Both the Try Snowmobile Club and Lincoln County Snowkats take care of all these trails.
7. Lolo Pass
200 years ago, Lewis and Clark’s expedition members experienced the many ventures Lolo Hot Springs has to offer visitors. Snowmobilers can begin at the Lolo Pass or the Lolo Hot Springs and go along any of the 250 miles of treated trails that run through Clearwater or Lolo National Forests. You’ll need to get a parking pass at Lolo Pass.
Some of the trails that are found in the two forests include Elk Fork, Elk Meadows, Lost Park System and Moose Ridge – all of which head into Bitterroot Range with its many play areas and meadows.
8. Mission Mountains
Most people tend to overlook the Mission Mountains and its offerings but become one of those who check it out. It’s not just about jagged mountains, so you really need to step into the country. Snowmobilers will need a special recreational permit to ride the trails that run through the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Bear in mind that there is no snowmobiling allowed in the Mission Mountains Wilderness Area. Around Flathead Lake is the Boulder Trails, with the initial 10 miles cared for, but then connects to the rugged trails that amount to 60 miles. One such rugged trail is the Jocko Lake Trail, which is 35 miles long and runs into the groomed trails near Seeley Lake.
9. Seeley Lake
Along Highway 83 sits the area of Seeley Lake, a popular Montana destination for recreational sports. It has roughly 365 miles of terrain that those willing to enjoy can do so. The scenery is breathtaking, including the frozen-over lakes that provide you ample chances to enjoy the speed. Get out and about and enjoy the area wildlife.
The Driftriders, a non-profit group of snowmobile enthusiasts, take care of the trails and offer ample resources for people looking for a place to sleep, eat, or rent snowmobiles. Novice riders are encouraged to take a 15-mile course enveloping Marshall Lake.
10. Skalkaho Pass, Hamilton
Between Hamilton and Georgetown Lake lies Skalkaho Pass, which is quite popular during the summer with vacationers. However, it’s just as popular with winter enthusiasts, but it’s closed to automobiles during this season. It’s an enormous sight with all kinds of canyons and hills to ride along and see.
Since it’s a well-kept secret, there are very few people along with this trail system, making it the ideal place for beginner group riders or families. There are 26 miles of prepared trails with a plethora of miles of rugged terrain to explore. More than 30 miles of cared-for trails in the Skalkaho Sleeping Child-Rye Creek region reach higher elevations.
11. Skyline Guest Ranch and Beartooth Mountains
Cooke City, home to Beartooth Mountain and Skyline Guest Ranch, gets more than 500 inches of snow on average a year. As such, it’s a prime destination spot for snowmobilers. The Skyline snow lodge is inaccessible to wheeled vehicles during the winter, making it the ultimate ride for snowmobilers – trails to ride among the million acres of snow that is only accessible by winter enthusiasts.
As the sun begins to set into the horizon, you can enjoy a nice roaring fire with hot cocoa in hand or relax in the hot tub out on the deck to settle down for the night.
12. West Yellowstone
If you’re looking for snowmobile heaven, you can’t get much better than the West Yellowstone area. Here, it seems the trails go on for miles. There are over 200 miles of cared-for trails in Yellowstone National Park for snowmobilers can enjoy. There are all kinds of natural elements that may take you by surprise.
Enjoy a guided tour with Two Top Snowmobile. Visit the Yellowstone Grand Canyon or the Old Faithful Geyser Basin, or both. As you ride up in elevation, you can check out the naturally-occurring tree goblins, which are trees that are entirely covered by the snow and don’t look like trees anymore.
There are all kinds of wonders in West Yellowstone that you’ll continue to be surprised by the thrills the area has to offer while on your snowmobile.
There are plenty of places for snowmobilers to go in Montana when you want an outdoor winter excursion. Since the state has thousands of miles of both groomed and rugged trails, you are never going to run out of places to explore and wildlife watching. And, when you decide you had enough for the day, go back to your rental in town and enjoy some hot chocolate and a roaring fire to ready yourself for the next day. So let’s go and visit one of the best places to ride a snowmobile in Montana!