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Where to Snowmobile in Winter Park, CO

By Carrie Dow

Fraser Valley is well-known for challenging ski terrain at Winter Park, but did you know the area is also great for snowmobiles? Surrounding the towns of Winter Park and Fraser, Fraser Valley has what those who ski with an engine want; trails, powder, and the pro shops to keep those engines tuned. Whether you haul your own for a week or rent one for a day, snowmobiling can be a fun winter adventure.

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Snowmobiling in Winter Park

For those who have their own machines, Arapaho National Forest offers plenty of trails. These are maintained and groomed trails so even beginners can enjoy the freedom of where a snowmobile can take them. West of Winter Park are the Elk Creek, Church Park and Experimental Forest Trailheads surrounding Ptarmigan Peak. On the East side of Highway 40 is the Meadow Creek Reservoir Trail. The high points on this trail overlook the ski runs of Winter Park. For the advanced rider, there are plenty of bowls to play in and hills to climb on these trails.

A reminder that those who bring their own sleds must purchase Out-of-State snowmobile permits from the state parks commission and are valid until September 30 from the date purchased. Learn more or apply online at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

For those who want to rent, plenty of snowmobile operators are available. Anyone with a valid driver’s license can rent, but those 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Rental companies also require two snowmobiles leave together for safety reasons. For riders going it alone, there may also be an authorization fee. For anyone who is new to Fraser Valley, beginning riders and/or families, a guided tour is the best way to see the mountains. Several outfitters offer two-, three- and four-hour trail rides to suit a variety of abilities and some even take riders up to the Continental Divide.

Snowmobiling is a great way for people to experience much more terrain in Fraser Valley’s “back country” and get to places they couldn’t reach by hiking or snowshoeing. Everything from high peaks to open meadows are available to snowmobilers.

However, like any sport proper training and equipment are a must. That’s why rental shops and tour groups operate with the safety and security of their customers in mind at all times. While outfitters provide helmets and proper boots, it is up to the customer to wear the appropriate clothing (always dress in layers) and to follow the rules.

Whether you rent or bring your own, at no time can anyone snowmobile off marked trails and go onto private land. Pay attention to all instructions and safety rules before hitting the trails. Finally, always sled with a buddy. To learn more about snowmobiling in Arapaho National Forest, visit their website. For a list of Fraser Valley outfitters, try VisitGrandCounty.com.

Permits - http://www.parks.state.co.us/OHVsandSnowmobiles/Snowmobileprogram/Registrations/Pages/SnowmobileRegistrationServices.aspx

Arapaho NF - http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/arp/recreation/wintersports

Visit Grand County - http://www.visitgrandcounty.com/activities/winter/snowmobiling/

Vacation Rentals in Winter Park

Only 65 miles west of Denver, Winter Park is close enough for a weekend, but with so many trails, a week might be needed. Check out the ByOwner vacation rentals in Winter Park and find your perfect vacation accommodation.