Snowmobiling Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Snowmobiling

Enter to win a one-year pass to Montana’s Glacier National Park (plus 2,000 federal recreation sites).

Enter to win a one-year pass to Montana’s Glacier National Park.

Snowmobiling: A Sledder's Paradise

The wilds of wintered Montana provide the perfect backdrop for your sled. There's something remarkably thrilling and freeing about whipping past snow-dusted trees and frozen lakes at high speed. Or if a leisurely ride is more your style, let a horseless carriage carry you past beautiful views to breathtaking vistas. Whatever your desired speed, we have you covered. Montana has trails and play areas, as well as logging and forest service roads (closed by winter's snowfall) that provide plenty of options for exploring your own backcountry playground.

Play, Dine and Relax Lakeside

Located on the shores of pristine Flathead Lake, KwaTaqNuk Resort offers year-round specials and entertainment, whether you're here for the casino, watersports or skiing.


Snowmobiling in Western Montana: Trail Complex

Cut Bank

Those who like their winters wild can test their mettle at northwest Montana's Marias Pass Trail Complex. Straddling the Continental Divide, these trails are rugged and remote. A wide range of riding is available, from intermediate to expert, on 45 miles of groomed trails and another 35 miles of ungroomed trails. Guides are advisable on some trails. Steep slopes and sudden storms make for extreme weather conditions.

Popular trails originating at Marias Pass are Two Medicine, Skyland and Pike Creek. These are rugged trails on the Lewis & Clark and Flathead National Forests south of Glacier Park and north of the Great Bear Wilderness. There are additional ungroomed trails in the area.

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Getting Here:

Marias Pass is midway between Cut Bank and Kalispell on U.S. Highway 2. Amtrak has scheduled east-west service with winter stops in Cut Bank, Browning, Essex, West Glacier and Whitefish.

Company
Phone
Location

Cut Bank Snowgoers
P O Box 301
406-424-8000
Cut Bank

Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce
P O Box 1243
http://www.cutbankchamber.com
406-873-4041
Cut Bank

Rocky Mountain Ranger District
101 15th St N
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lewisclark/
406-791-7700
Great Falls

Flathead Valley

Northwest Montana's recreation wonderland boasts over 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, with nearly 2,000 miles of Forest Service roads that take you into great hill climbing, powder play areas, wildlife viewing and spectacular ridgetop views of Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Add that to the 3,000 acres of terrain at Whitefish Mountain Resort, ample cross-country and Nordic skiing, ice fishing, ice skating and dog sledding and you have a true winter playground.

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Getting Here:

The Flathead Valley encompasses the communities of Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Kalispell and Bigfork in northwest Montana and can be accessed via US 93 and US 2. Air service is centrally located at Glacier Park International Airport. Amtrak has regular east-west rail service to Whitefish, just minutes from trailheads.

Company
Phone
Location

Flathead Snowmobile Association
P O Box 5041
http://www.flatheadsnowmobiler.com
Kalispell

Kalispell Convention and Visitor's Bureau
15 Depot Park
http://www.discoverkalispell.com/
406.758.2800
Kalispell

Flathead National Forest
650 Wolfpack Way
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/flathead
406-758-5204
Kalispell

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
490 Merdian Road
http://www.fwp.mt.gov/r1
406-752-5501
Kalispell

Winter Wonderland Sports

http://winterwonderlandsports.com
406-257-2627
Kalispell

Extreme Motorsports

http://wfmextrememotorsports.com
406-862-8594
Whitefish

Valhalla Adventures

http://valhallaadv.com
406-250-8092
Whitefish
snowmobile

Haugan

Haugan offers snowmobiling opportunities for all abilities. It's one of those great places that combines vast riding possibilities with a family atmosphere. Trails begin right off I-90, with lots of cross-country ski trails nearby as well. You'll see friendly faces at trailside stops in Haugan, De Borgia and Saltese, with designated trails, open meadows and scenic views. In Haugan, popular groomed trails on the Lolo National Forest are Ford Hill/Old Mullan Pass, Packer Creek/Randolph Creek, Milwaukee/Dominion, Big Creek, Deer Creek/ Up Up and Taft Summit. These are easy-to-intermediate trails that follow travel routes and provide loop tours.

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Getting Here:

Haugan is on the I-90 Montana-Idaho border in northwest Montana, 90 miles west of Missoula on I-90 and 110 miles east of Spokane.

Company
Phone
Location

Thompson Falls Chamber of Commerce
P O Box 493
http://www.montananightriders.com
406-827-4930
Thompson Falls

Cabinet Ridge Riders
P O Box 1577
http://www.crr.m-s-a.org
406-827-9305
Trout Creek

Kootenai Country

The mountains of Kootenai Country provide breathtaking views and hours of recreation. After a day of snowmobiling in the Purcell Mountains (via US Highway 2), drive to Troy or the nearby Scandinavian town of Libby and enjoy the atmosphere and congeniality that the area and its residents offer. On the northeast side of Kootenai Country (via US Highway 93), Eureka, Trego and Fortine offer historical views of small town life in Montana. Several groomed trails are available throughout Kootenai Country. Of special note is the rugged Keeler-Rattle Trail System, giving views of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness; the 60 miles of loop trails in the Purcell Mountains; and the Pete Creek Trail traveling into mountain bowls and alpine lakes. The Grave Creek/Ten Lakes Trail begins at the Birch Creek Recreation Site parking facility and leads into the northeast corner of Kootenai Country.

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Getting Here:

The northwest corner of the state is where you'll find Kootenai Country. Nearest airports are Kalispell (65 miles southeast of Eureka, 90 miles southeast of Libby) and Spokane (160 miles west of Libby). Libby and Eureka also have smaller airports.

Company
Phone
Location

Troy Snowmobile Club
P O Box 1002
http://www.troysnowmobileclub.org
406-295-4322
Troy

Lincoln County Sno-Kats
P O Box 1180
mailto:toysrs1@hotmail.com
406-293-8585
Libby

Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club
P O Box 404
http://www.ridetenlakes.com
406-889-5074
Eureka

Kootenai National Forest
506 Us Hwy 2 West
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/kootenai/
406-293-6211
Libby

Libby Chamber of Commerce
P O Box 704
http://www.libbychamber.org
406-293-4167
Libby

Superior Ranger District
P O Box 460
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lolo
406-822-4233
Superior

Thompson Falls Chamber of Commerce
501 Main Street
http://www.thompsonfallschamber.com
406-827-4930
Thompson Falls

I Ride Adventures

406-882-4929
Eureka
snowmobile

Lolo Pass

At Lolo Hot Springs visitors enjoy the same soothing waters that bathed the weary members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition nearly 200 years ago. Starting at either Lolo Hot Springs or at Lolo Pass seven miles west, snowmobilers can conduct their own modern-day explorations using 250 miles of groomed, connecting trails in the Lolo and Clearwater national forests. A parking pass is required at Lolo Pass. A series of interconnecting loop trails straddle two national forests on the Montana-Idaho border. East Fork, Lost Park System, Elk Meadows and Moose Ridge are just some of the trails that lead deep into the heart of the Bitterroot Range, with lots of meadows and play areas along the way.

Learn More
Getting Here:

Lolo Pass is on US Highway 12 at the Montana-Idaho border 45 miles southwest of Missoula. Nearest airport is in Missoula.

Company
Phone
Location

Missoula Snowgoers
P O Box 2441
http://www.missoulasnowgoers.org
406-777-1570
Missoula

Powell Ranger District
192 Powell Road
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/clearwater/index.htm
208-942-3113
Lolo

Missoula Ranger District
Building 24A, Fort Missoula
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lolo/
406-329-3750
Missoula

Kurt's Polaris

http://www.kurtspolaris.com
406-677-2833
Seeley Lake

Mission Mountains

Few people are content merely to look at the Mission Mountains. Maybe more than other mountain ranges in Montana, these jagged peaks beckon visitors to come closer and explore. Because the trails are on the Flathead Indian Reservation, snowmobilers need special recreation permits widely available at gas stations and convenience stores on the reservation. Snowmobiling is prohibited in the Mission Mountains Wilderness Area. The Boulder Trails start just off MT Highway 35 near Finley Point on Flathead Lake. The first 10 miles are groomed to the top of the range, where the trail connects with nearly 60 miles of ungroomed trails through forest openings. The ungroomed Jocko Lake Trail provides a 35-mile ride over the Missions that connects with groomed trails on the Seeley Lake side.

Learn More
Getting Here:

Ronan is between Missoula and Kalispell on US Highway 93 in Western Montana. Nearest airports are Missoula, 55 miles south and Kalispell, 65 miles north.

Company
Phone
Location

Mission Mountain Snowmobile Club
111 Round Butte Road
406-676-5000
Ronan

Swan Lake Ranger District
200 Ranger Station Road
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/flathead/
406-837-7500
Bigfork

Seeley Lake

Tucked between the Mission Mountains and the Swan Range on scenic MT Highway 83, Seeley Lake is one of Western Montana's most popular year-round recreation areas and a prime snowmobiling destination during winter, with 350 miles of groomed trails. Starting from town, snowmobilers can fan out in nearly every direction to scenic lookouts, cozy lodges, cafes and backcountry lakes for ice fishing. Popular trails include Double Arrow Lookout, with views of the Swan Range and Clearwater Valley; Elsina Lake, site of Sunday cookouts with the Seeley Lake Driftriders Snowmobile Club; Seeley Lake-Ovando, a favorite for those who like to dine and dash; and Marshall Lake, a scenic 15-mile loop.

Learn More
Getting Here:

Seeley Lake is 15 miles north of the junction of MT Highway 83 and 200 in Western Montana. Nearest airport is Missoula, 60 miles west via MT 200 and I-90.

Company
Phone
Location

Seeley Lake Driftriders
P O Box 174
http://www.driftriders.org
406-677-7777
Seeley Lake

Seeley Lake Ranger District
3583 Mt Highway 83 N
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lolo/
406-677-2233
Seeley Lake

Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
P O Box 516
http://www.seeleylakechamber.com
406-677-2880
Seeley Lake

Seeley Lake Recreational Rentals

http://Seeleylakerecrentals.com
406-677-7368
Seeley Lake

Hamilton / Skalkaho

One of Montana's least-traveled snowmobile areas is one of the most scenic. In summer, the Skalkaho Highway from Hamilton to the Georgetown Lake area is a scenic alternative to I-90. In winter, it is the kind of trail that snowmobilers dream about. Closed to automobile traffic, it allows privileged views of frozen Skalkaho Falls, tall peaks and deep canyons. Skalkaho Pass Area offers 26 miles of groomed trails. From there, open areas and ungroomed trails offer a wide variety of terrain for all skill levels. The Skalkaho-Sleeping Child-Rye Creek Area has 32 miles of groomed trails, looping through higher elevations, through a burned area and back to the head of Rye Creek. The loop can also be entered from Rye Creek, south of Darby.

Learn More
Getting Here:

Access to the Skalkaho snowmobile area is 2 miles south of Hamilton, then 15 miles east on Skalkaho Highway 38. Hamilton is 50 miles south of Missoula on US Highway 93 in southwest Montana. Nearest airport is located in Missoula.

Company
Phone
Location

Bitterroot Ridgerunners
P O Box 265
http://www.ridgerunners.org
406-360-1509
Hamilton

Bitterroot National Forest
1801 N First St
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot/
406-363-7100
Hamilton

Darby Ranger District
P O Box 388
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot/
406-821-3913
Darby

Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce
15 E Main Street
http://www.bitterrootvalleychamber.com
406-363-2400
Hamilton

Bitterroot Adventures

http://www.bitterrootadventures.com
406-821-4844
Darby

Trails Map

Avalanche Safety Tips

Avalanche is a real and present danger. Carry and know how to use avalanche equipment, including transceivers, probe poles and shovels. A wall of moving, suffocating snow leaves few survivors in its wake. The best way to avoid an avalanche is to understand avalanche conditions and reroute your trip to avoid them.

Avalanches occur when loose snow or a slab of snow starts moving down a slope. They are triggered by a variety of slope, snow and weather conditions; many times they are triggered by human impact. Slope conditions to watch out for are steep slopes or smooth, open slopes. Short slopes can be as dangerous as long ones. Leeward slopes are dangerous because wind-deposited snow adds depth and may create unstable slabs of snow.

Avoid avalanches by staying away from mountainous terrain after heavy snowfall or prolonged periods of high wind. Avoid crossing steep side hills or entering narrow, steeply sided canyons. The safest routes are on ridge tops and on the windward side, away from cornices. The next safest route is out in the valley, far from the bottom of a slope.

If you are caught in an avalanche:

  • Call out so other members of your party can track your location.
  • If snowmobiling, discard all equipment and get away from your snowmobile.
  • Make swimming motions and try to stay on top; work your way to the side of the avalanche.
  • As you feel the avalanche slow, try to thrust your hand, other part of your body or ski pole, above the surface.
  • Before the snow settles, slip your arm in front of your face to clear an air space.
  • Try not to panic; you need to conserve oxygen.
  • If you are a survivor, you are a victim's best hope of survival:
    • Mark the place where you last saw the victim and keep your eyes fixed on the moving mass of snow in which he or she is trapped.
    • Search for the victim directly down slope from the last sighted area when the snow stops moving.
    • Use a ski pole or stick to probe the snow.
    • Stay with the victim unless help is only a few minutes away; after 30 minutes, the victim has only a 50 percent chance of survival.
    • If the victim is found, treat for hypothermia, suffocation and shock.

Non-resident Snowmobile Permit Program

The Montana legislature passed a law that requires snowmobilers visiting Montana to pay a fee to support the grooming of snowmobile trails. A visitor who plans to ride his/her snowmobile in Montana this winter must purchase a non-resident temporary snowmobile use permit for $25 per machine. Permits will be available December 1 from FWP license agents, some snowmobile equipment retail businesses, hotels and motels and other business serving snowmobilers. The best advice to snowmobilers planning a snowmobile vacation in is to complete the application online at the Montana State Parks website. For more information visit the Montana State Parks web page or call Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks at 406-444-2950.

Featured Listings

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Company
Phone
Location

J & L Snowmobile Rental
7358 US Hwy 2 E
jandlsnowmobile.com
406-892-7666
Columbia Falls

Bitterroot Adventures
458 Rye Creek Road
http://www.bitterrootadventures.com/
406-821-4844
Darby

Silverbow Outfitters
500 East Fisher Road
http://www.silverbowoutfitters.com/
406-293-4868
Libby

Winter Wonderland Sports
16 Bell St
http://www.winterwonderlandsports.com/
406-881-2525
Olney

Seeley Sport Rentals
3112 Hwy 83 S
http://www.seeleysportrentals.com/
406-677-3680
Seeley Lake

Swan Mountain Smowmobiling
26356 Soup Creek Rd
http://www.glaciersnowmobile.com/
406-387-4405
West Glacier

Discover

Snowmobiling in Western Montana & Glacier National Park

Western Montana's Glacier Country

News from Glacier National Park: Currently all of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open for travel.

Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northeast section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.

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