Talk About Perfect Geography!
By: Gary Gustafson
Wyoming’s Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail should give any snow junkie a big enough fix to keep a smile on for weeks.
The system offers breathtaking views, well-groomed trails, and nearly limitless opportunities for boondocking through alpine meadows, up mountainsides and through forests asleep under a blanket of white.
The Continental Divide follows the Wind River Range and includes trail systems in the Lander, Pinedale, Dubois, Togwotee Pass and Gros Ventre regions.
The trail runs from Lander in the southeast end, to West Yellowstone, Montana in the northwest end. By following the proper rules and regulations, snowmobilers can follow this entire 368 mile route end-to-end and travel through Yellowstone National Park in the process.
While there are plenty of miles of well-groomed trails here, playing in virgin powder is too tempting to resist.
A saddlebag loop may only cover forty trail miles per day but you’ll spend the remaining time free riding. Sledniks can hop through countless drifted-in meadows, can high mark on mountainsides or stop to watch wintering elk herds.
Elevations along the trail run from 6,000 to 10,000 feet so an EFI powerplant or re-jetted carbs are a necessity if you trailer your own power toboggans out west.
One great starting point for a saddlebag excursion is Dubois. If you don’t own a longtrack, several snowmobile rental businesses like Mackenzie Highland Ranch offer models well-suited for taking you over the summit.
Riding around Dubois is nothing short of spectacular and the high elevations help ensure a long riding season. After spending a long day playing, a wide variety of resorts and bed-and-breakfasts dot the trail system offering a roaring fire and a hot meal. You’re never a long drive from a good place to stay.
Check out the Brooks Lake Lodge or the Chinook Winds Mountain Lodge when looking for a place to dry your boots.
Another legendary Wyoming alpine playground is the Togwotee area. Togwotee has it all: Trails for riders of every skill level plus never-ending off-trail powder.
Numerous resorts here cater to sled freaks and the Togwotee Mountain Lodge is very friendly to snowmobilers and offer guided tours, too.
The resort is located close to a massive network of trails and Yellowstone National Park. Be careful about catching the mountain-riding virus…there’s usually no cure!
To learn more about the great opportunities Wyoming has and the regulations and permits required, visit: wyotrails.state.wy.us.