One of the most famous and recognizable state
symbols in all of America is
cowboy riding a bucking bronc. You can’t see that symbol without thinking of Wyoming.
In fact, one of our favorite ads from last
season was from the state of Wyoming,
which featured a snowmobiler riding in untouched powder and the shadow cast on
the snow being a cowboy on a horse. Underneath the picture, it said, “There was
a time when getting away from it all was called exploring.”
That very aptly sums up what snowmobiling in Wyoming is all
about—exploring wide open expanses that are draped deep with light, dry powder
for much of the winter.
And whether you’re a cowboy or not, it doesn’t
matter. You won’t be able to resist the urge to ride somewhere in Wyoming sometime or
another in your lifetime.
Yes, the snowmobiling in Wyoming is that good.
is the complete package when it comes to sledding. More than 2,000 miles of
groomed trails, some of the best hillclimbing anywhere to be found, plenty of
snow, excellent boondocking in all kinds of terrain from the very easy to as
tough as you can handle—it’s all there.
The deep snows and steep mountains attract
snowmobilers from all over to tackle its terrain and get stuck in its powder. From
the Snowy Range
to the Big Horns, from the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail to Alpine, from
the Beartooths to Yellowstone and Grand
Teton National Parks, Wyoming
is most definitely on most snowmobilers’ to ride list.
can also boast of having the largest single trail system in the West, the CDST,
with its 600-plus miles of groomed trails.
For as many big name snowmobile riding areas
there are in Wyoming,
there are dozens more off the beaten path that will appeal to snowmobilers of
all riding abilities. These areas are usually less crowded than the more
popular spots, but just know that even in the big name places, there is plenty
of room to roam, explore, backcountry boondock and hillclimb.
That’s what helps Wyoming to be such a big draw to snowmobilers—even
though there are all those popular riding areas, you can still find solitude
and untracked snow. And, in many places, you can bring your own pony or rent
one at your destination.
is just behind Colorado (No. 1) when it comes
to states with the highest mean elevation in the United States. And elevation is
what riding in the West is all about, so you can be sure you won’t be
disappointed when it comes to snowmobiling in Wyoming.
state parks department is responsible for the grooming in the state’s 14
recognized snowmobile areas, but there are a handful of other locales you might
want to check out, like the trail south of Jackson Hole, which leads to a hot springs and some
stellar backcountry riding. Another excellent backcountry riding area is near Bedford, on the west side
of the state, where there is bowl after bowl for those who like to test their
horsepower (and personal stamina). Then there is Evanston, located in the extreme southwest
corner of the state. Riding here is in the High Uintas and Wasatch-Cache National
Forest. For more information contact the Evanston
Chamber of Commerce (800) 328-9708. A lesser known spot are the remote Shirley Mountains, north and east of Rawlins.
Riding here is on BLM land with about 90 miles of ungroomed trails. Access to
the area is available along the Shirley
Mountain Loop Road. For more information on this
area, contact the Carbon County Visitors Council (800-228-3547).
Or there is some great riding in the Laramie Mountains
between Laramie and Douglas (in the Medicine Bow National Forest).
Contact the Douglas Chamber of Commerce (877) 937-4996 for more info on that
part of Wyoming.
One of the
attractions of snowmobiling in Wyoming—besides
the light, dry powder and varied terrain—is the length of the season. In some
areas you can begin riding around Thanksgiving time and not have to put the
sled away until May, or even June.
Of course, no
snowmobile trip would be complete without a ride through Yellowstone
and Grand Teton National Parks. Yes, you can still
snowmobile in these two national parks. In Yellowstone
all snowmobiles are commercially guided and are required to meet NPS best
available technology requirements.
entering Yellowstone and Grand Teton National
Parks are restricted to the same road system used in the spring, summer and
fall by more than 1.5 million automobiles, busses, SUVs, trucks, recreational
vehicles and motorcycles. Snowmobiles
account for less than 4 percent of annual vehicular traffic in the Park. Since
snowmobiles are allowed only on the groomed road surface, snowmobilers have
access to less than 1 percent of Yellowstone
Park, which is 2.2 million acres or
half the size of the state of Connecticut.
Another plus for Wyoming is that it
welcomes snowmobilers with a western hospitality not found many places in the
For more information,
check out www.gosledwyoming.com.
Wyoming Travel Commission www.wyomingtourism.org
State Parks &
Historic Sites 307-777-6323
Road Conditions 888-996-7623
Wyoming Snowmobile Association www.snowmobilewyoming.org
Groomed Trails 2,300
Number of Registered Snowmobiles 19,060
Highest Point Gannett Peak (13,804 ft)
Greatest Average Annual Snowfall Snake
River 270.1 in.
Coldest Recorded Temperature Riverside Ranger Station minus-66
averages 7,000 feet, side trails to 10,500
Lander, Pinedale, Dubois
Riverton, Cody, Jackson,
River Visitors Council 800-645-6233; Lander Chamber of Commerce 800-433-0662;
Dubois Chamber of Commerce 307-455-2556; Buffalo Bills Yellowstone Country
800-393-2639; Sublette County Visitors Center 888-285-7282
Alpine, Thayne, Afton
Nearest Airport Jackson, WY
Information Star Valley
Chamber of Commerce 800-426-8833
Nearest Airport Laramie (30 miles)
County Tourism Board
Chamber of Commerce 866-828-8855; Carbon
County Visitors Bureau
Groomed Trails 342
Nearest Airport Sheridan, WY
Information Sheridan 888-596-6787,
Wyoming Range (South End)
Kemmerer, La Barge, Big Piney, Cokeville
Nearest Airport Rock Springs, WY
Kemmerer Chamber of Commerce 888-300-3413
Yellowstone National Park
Jackson, Cody, West Yellowstone (some services
available in Park)
Nearest Airport Jackson (55 miles)
Information Yellowstone National Park 307-344-7381
Snowfall 260 inches
Groomed Trails 32
Information Buffalo Bills Yellowstone Country 800-393-2639
Groomed Trails 17
Nearest Airport Jackson
Jackson Chamber of Commerce 307-733-3316
Groomed Trails 46
Nearest Airport Casper
Information Casper Convention and
Visitors Bureau 800-852-1889
Sierra Madre Mountains
Groomed Trails 50
Nearest Airport Laramie (109 miles)
Information Platte Valley
Chamber of Commerce 866-828-8855
Groomed Trails 78
Gillette (62 miles)
Sundance Area Chamber of Commerce 800-477-9340