by Dani and Brian Harrington, photos courtesy of Brian Harrington
Top 5 Reasons to Try Snowmobiling this Winter
If you’ve never tried snowmobiling before, you’re missing out on a unique and fun way to experience the winter months. Let us make the case for why you should follow your curiosity this season and finally give snowmobiling a go. You won’t be disappointed.
But where to snowmobile? The Snowy Range Mountains in southeastern Wyoming boast some of the country’s best snowmobile territory. The Snowy Range is located about 30 miles west of Laramie and is both scenically beautiful and remote while also offering plenty of amenities and a superb trail system for snowmobilers of all levels.
It’s time to get out there and hit the trails! Here are five reasons why:
1. Snowmobiling Beats the Winter Blues
As with any winter activity, snowmobiling is a worthwhile endeavor for the simple but important fact that it’s a reason to get outside during the cold months and beat those winter blues. Staying active and keeping your adventurous spirit alive during the winter works wonders, and snowmobiling does not fail in this regard.
In comparison with other winter sports, snowmobiling in particular offers a unique sense of freedom, allowing riders to experience the thrill of cruising through miles and miles of mountainous scenery largely unhindered. Feel your stress and worries melt away as you glide down the trails and connect with the winter landscape that has become your playground for the day.
2. It’s Easy To Learn
I’ll admit it: I was somewhat intimidated by the idea of operating a snowmobile on my own during my first trip out. But don’t be! Snowmobiles are pretty intuitive and are easy to learn to drive.
If it’s your first time snowmobiling, you will most likely find yourself in need of a rental. Located in the foothills of the Snowy Range Mountains, Albany Lodge is a great option for snowmobile rentals. The staff are very knowledgeable and friendly, and can help you determine which snowmobile is right based on your needs. They will also give you some basic pointers and tips as they outfit your ride. If you’d like extra support, you can even sign up for a professionally guided tour.
In addition to guided tours, you can also take advantage of Albany Lodge’s backcountry riding school. The school is a great option for both the inexperienced who want to learn to snowmobile, and the experienced who would like to enhance their skills. The classes are grouped by beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and class sizes are deliberately small (maximum of 3 people per instructor) to allow students to receive personalized instruction.
3. It Allows You to Go Where You’ve Never Gone Before
Snowmobiling allows you to access areas that are otherwise, for the most part, inaccessible. This is because winter conditions suddenly render large swaths of land only accessible via snowmobile. To put it another way, snowmobiling is an opportunity for you to experience scenery and locations that you have never experienced before, even in mountainous areas that you are otherwise very familiar with.
A quick word on safety here: while one of the main joys of snowmobiling is that it allows you to reach remote destinations in quick time, this also means that it is important to maintain your bearings and bring extra food, water, and warm clothing. Add some emergency supplies to your list as well, such as a fire starter.
4. Snowmobiling is a Safe and Fun Way to Spend Time with Family and Friends
These days, finding safe ways to get together with family and friends has become more difficult. Luckily, the great outdoors have proven to be the perfect arena around which to plan such gatherings, and snowmobiling is particularly well-suited for this. You can safely share in the camaraderie and adventure of cruising through the mountains with your family and friends, stopping to chat or eat lunch as you please.
5. Snowmobiling in the Snowy Range Offers an Exceptional Experience
The Snowy Range is an exceptional and renowned location for snowmobiling for its amazing scenery, trail systems, and backcountry terrain, so take advantage of it!
Snowmobiling in the Snowy Range typically means choosing to depart from either Albany Lodge or Green Rock Trailhead. At the base of the Range, Albany Lodge offers easy access to hundreds of miles of groomed (300 miles) and marked (200 miles) snowmobile trails. Alternatively, the Green Rock Trailhead is located above Centennial higher up in the range and offers quicker access to spectacular backcountry territory that features truly stunning scenery. Regardless of your starting point, Albany Lodge and Green Rock eventually connect via the area’s incredible trail systems.
Besides the trails, backcountry, and scenic beauty, snowmobiling in the Snowy Range is also special for the vast amount of space that riders get to experience without having to fight through crowds common to other snowmobile destinations in the Rocky Mountains.
What are you waiting for?
Note: Brian and Dani Harrington are independent writers contracted by Visit Laramie. Views and opinions expressed here are their own and do not reflect those of the Albany County Tourism Board.