Where To Go Snowmobiling
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 7 miles west, snowmobilers can conduct their own modern-day explorations, using 250 miles of groomed, connecting trails in the Lolo and Clearwater National Forest.
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.
Food, lodging, swimming, camping and snowmobile rentals are available at Lolo Hot Springs. A full range of visitor services, including snowmobile rentals, sales, and service are available in Missoula. A gift shop, maps and a public restroom are located in the Lolo Pass Visitor's Center.
Tucked between the Mission Mountains and the Swan Range on scenic Montana Highway 83, Seeley Lake is one of western Montana's most popular year-round recreation areas. Starting from town, snowmobilers can fan out in nearly every direction to scenic lookouts, cozy lodges, cafes and backcountry lakes for ice fishing.
The Seeley Lake area has over 230 miles of groomed trails. 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; Marshall Lake, a scenic 15-mile loop.
Snowmobile sales, service, guides and rentals, plus lodging and food are available in Seeley Lake and surrounding areas. Limited services are available on the trail.
More than a century ago, a prosperous gold mining town that boasted a dozen saloons, numerous hotels, brothels, stores, blacksmith shops and homes for more than a thousand residents. Today, thanks to the Garnet Preservation Association and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, a 116-mile trail system has opened the town to snowmobilers and skiers, providing a link to an important era in the development of the Rocky Mountain West. Enjoy spectacular views of the Blackfoot Valley, the Mission Mountains, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Pintler Range.
The core of this trail system is the 31.5-mile Garnet National Winter Recreation Trail, which takes snowmobilers and skiers into the heart of the ghost town and the surrounding area. Secondary trails, including First Chance Gulch, Top O'Deep, Chamberlain Creek, take recreationists to higher elevations.
There are no commercial services in Garnet. Cabin rentals are available (during winter only) through the Garnet Preservation Association. A full range of services, including snowmobile sales, rentals and service, are available in Missoula, 30 miles west on MT Hwy 200 and at Seeley Lake. Food and Lodging are also available in Drummond off I-90 south of Garnet. Winter groups of 10 or more may find lodging at Lubrecht Conference Center next to the MT Hwy 200 trailhead.
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. Lots of cross-country ski territory. 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.
Food and lodging facilities are available in De Borgia, Haugan, Saltese, and Thompson Falls. Fuel is available in Haugan, St. Regis, Saltese and Thompson Falls. Limited snowmobile service in Saltese and Thompson Falls.
Few people are content merely to look at the Mission Mountains. Maybe more than other mountain range 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 Hwy 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.
Snowmobile sales and service are available in Ronan. The nearest rentals are in Kalispell and Columbia Falls. Guided tours may be arranged through the Mission Mountain Snowmobile Club in Ronan. A wide variety of food and lodging services are available throughout the Mission and Flathead valleys.