Snowmobiling gives you access to Grand’s farthest corners, highest peaks
There are no views quite like those from a mountain peak, but when the slopes are covered in feet of snow, trekking up can be less than ideal. That’s where snowmobiles come in.
Whether it’s riding up to the top of the Continental Divide or exploring the Arapaho National Forest, snowmobiling allows riders to really explore Grand County because there’s something for everyone.
“(There’s) much easier access to the backcountry, so you really get those kind of unparalleled views that people wouldn’t be able to access in the winter time,” said Ryan Barwick, owner of Grand Adventures, a snowmobiling outfitter in Winter Park, Fraser and Grand Lake.
Grand Adventures offers both guided tours in one, two and three hour increments and rentals for unguided exploring for two or four hours. Grand Adventures also offers mini snowmobiles for kids ages 4-12, so the whole family can enjoy riding fresh powder trails.
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One reason snowmobiling is a staple winter activity in Grand County is because of the unique territory. According to Grand County Tourism, there are over 1,000 miles of snowmobiling trails to choose from locally.
Kremmling offers access to some of the best ungroomed trails in the county, including Rabbit Ears Pass, Gore Pass and Spring Creek. For a complete guide of the public lands terrain around the town, contact the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.
Not only are there national forests and hidden backcountry acres to explore, but riders can also cruise along Main Street in Grand Lake. Grand Lake earned its title as Snowmobiling Capital of Colorado because its one of the few places in the state where snowmobilers can venture on to the streets. Right on Main Street, Spirit Lake Lodge provides unguided snowmobile rentals for two, four and eight hour increments, for in-town explorations.
Outside of downtown, the Grand Lake area is known for top notch trail grooming throughout the season, which means riders have plenty of places to explore, such as Gravel Mountain, Blue Ridge or Porphyry’s Peak.
Bordering Arapaho National Forest, On the Trails, a snowmobile outfitter in Grand Lake, offers a variety of snowmobiles from touring models to highpower machines, as well as a two hour guided tour.
All of the outfitters recommend riders prepare by dressing in layers, bring water and wear sunscreen to maximize the enjoyment of the rides. Helmets are provided by all three outfitters, but other snowmobile gear, such as goggles, are not always included.
NATIONAL FORESTS: The Arapaho National Forest has designated snowmobile trails, both near Fraser and Winter Park, such as the James Peak Protection Area, as well as in Grand Lake.
Snowmobiles are never allowed in wilderness areas, including the James Peak Wilderness Area and the Fraser Experimental Forest. A map of snowmobile trails is available on the Forest Service website.
BLM: The Kremmling Recreational Management Area is 377,900 acres of Bureau of Land Management property with access in Kremmling that is open to OHV use. For more information, contact the Kremmling Field Office at 970-724-3000.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK: Snowmobilers can access Rocky Mountain National Park on a two-mile stretch of the North Supply Access Trail in the southwest corner of the park. This trail connects the town of Grand Lake to a system of approximately 300 miles of groomed trails in Arapaho National Forest.
TOWNS: With the exception of Grand Lake, snowmobiles are not allowed on town roads, nor on US Highway 40 or US Highway 34 per state law.
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