Yellowstone National Park

West Yellowstone - "Snowmobile Capital of the World":

For Reservations, Call Toll-Free 1-866-646-0388

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As soon as the first snowflakes begin to fall, residents of West Yellowstone can hear the rumble of snowmobile engines echoing through the woods. Store owners and hotel managers hurriedly prepare themselves for the arrival of snowmobiling enthusiasts that rush to the area each winter. Tucked away in the southwest corner of Montana, West Yellowstone has rightfully earned its reputation as the "Snowmobiling Capital of the World." West averages over 150 inches of powder snow each year that blankets 400-plus miles of groomed trails in the national forests surrounding West and another 200 miles of trials within Yellowstone National Park. From its groomed trails to its backcountry riding, from its wildlife viewing opportunities to its majestic scenery, West Yellowstone certainly entertains all of its winter visitors.

For the first time rider, many of the trails in and around West are ideal. The twenty-mile Madison Arm Loop trail is a recommended starting point since it has little elevation change. After practicing turning and steering techniques for a few hours, you may feel comfortable to ride to the top of the world.

The famous Two Top Trail takes snowmobilers to 8,666 feet, a 2,000 foot gain from town. Although the trail is groomed, there are many opportunities to glide through powder fields, as well as spectacular scenery. On clear days, you can see the Teton Mountains in Wyoming, Sawtelle Peak and the Centennial Mountains in Idaho, Lionshead in Montana and Yellowstone National Park. Another moderate, scenic climb starts from Horse Butte, just north of Hebgen Lake. This loop takes riders through thick pine trees, vast meadows and along the shores of Hebgen Lake.

In addition to its intermediate terrain, West has trails to challenge even the most hardcore of riders! Rising over 10,000 feet, the Lionshead Trail follows the east side of the Continental Divide. Although the trail is only ten miles long, it has some of the steepest terrain, deepest snow and greatest photographic opportunities of any of the trails, so bring a camera! To escape from the crowds, take a ride on the South Plateau Trail. Travelling south for thirteen miles, the trail provides spectacular views of the mountain ranges, creeks and rivers that the trail follows.

The most reknowned of all the trails is the challanging 110-mile Big Sky Trail. Beginning just north of West, this trail travels to Taylor Creek and provides some of the best backcountry riding in southwest Montana. Although the first portion of the trail is groomed, it soon turns into an ungroomed, powder-filled winter wonderland. Fields of snow, up 28 feet deep in places, and hill climbing opportunities abound off of this trail.

Just a few miles to the south, snowmobile enthusiasts will find Island Park’s incredible system of trails adding another 500 miles of groomed trails, dozens of meadows, rolling hills and some of the best hill climbing in the area to a system of winter trails unrivaled in the world. Regarded not only for its light, dry snow, but also for its enourmous quantity, Island Park tips the scales with over 250 inches a year! With easy access to West Yellowstone’s system of trails, Two Top being the most popular common destination, Island Park is the snowmobiler’s answer to less crowds and fabulous riding.

West Yellowstone and Island Park also connect to the Continental Divide Trail, a unique trail that travels from central Wyoming and connects to both communities via Yellowstone National Park. The trail itself begins in Sinks Canyon near Lander, Wyoming, moves through the Wind River system near Pinedale and Dubois, passes through Togwotee and Moran, through Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, passing through the Rockefeller Parkway, and finishing at Yellowstone’s southern entrance.

While the forests surrounding West abound with a variety of trails, it would be nearly impossible to pass up a chance to travel through Yellowstone National Park during your visit. The most popular destinations within the park include Old Faithful, the Lower and Upper Falls of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake, and Mammoth Hot Springs. Elk, bison, coyotes, moose and even wolves are frequently spotted on trips through the Park.

As you can see, no other place in the nation offers such extensive winter time options for over snow exploring and adventuring. It’s no wonder that, with such incredible sights, endless tracks, and bottomless snow, the readers of "Snow Rider" have again named West Yellowstone and Island Park the first and third best wintertime destinations in North America.

For Reservations, Call Toll-Free 1-866-646-0388

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