Beginners Guide to Snowmobiling

Unlike snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or off-piste backcountry skiing, snowmobiling affords almost anyone the opportunity to access truly remote backcountry. In Grand County, that means accessing more than 1,000 miles of trails in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

While snowmobiling does not require years of practice or training, it does require proper preparation and awareness. Here are our tips on what to wear, how to prepare, and links to helpful resources and outfitters in Grand County to make your snowmobiling trip a success:

What to Wear

Stay warm and — just as importantly — dry by dressing in layers with a water-proof outer shell. Begin with a layer of thermal underwear and warm socks.

You may want to wear another layer of fleece, followed by snow bibs, a wind-and-snow-resistant winter coat, a neck gator and thick gloves. Another essential item is a snowmobile helmet, which will not only protect your head, but offer insulation from the cold.

Hint: Be sure to avoid cotton layers. Cotton absorbs moisture and once you are wet, you will not only get cold, you will stay cold.

Who to Travel With

If you are new to snowmobiling, we strongly urge that you go out with an outfitter for the first time. Their knowledge of equipment and operations is only surpassed by their in-depth study of local terrain and familiarity with changing conditions. Not only will you be in great hands with one of Grand County's outfitters, but you will enjoy yourself more.

Outfitters provide snowmobiles as well as safety equipment, such as helmets. Inquire directly with an outfitter on what else may be included in a packaged tour.

What Outing to Choose

Snowmobiling tours vary by length of outing and terrain covered. When you inquire about a tour, put some thought into the type of setting and trails you'd like to explore.

Tamer journeys can follow meadow and forest backcountry trails; more adventurous trips can take in steeper pitches and open bowls where you can open the throttle a bit and play in the powder. View our terrain guide for more information on some of the rides you can find in Grand County.

Either way, traveling with a guide allows you to explore the right terrain when conditions allow.

What Restrictions to Consider

Snowmobiling is undoubtedly fun for the entire family. However, Colorado law dictates that no person under the age of 10 years old can operate a snowmobile. For more on age restrictions and regulations, visit the FAQ page of the Colorado Snowmobile Association's website.

Where to Snowmobile

Grand County includes some of the most dazzling snowmobiling terrain in the country. We've compiled a Terrain Guide to Snowmobiling Grand County to help sort out the features of the different areas.

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