Regular readers of SnoWest Magazine, and particularly of the Western Guide to Snowmobiling, were probably a little puzzled when they opened this season’s Western Guide to find we only included five states in that travel issue.
To not include all the states in the West and where you can ride in each of those states was a painful decision for us, but it all came down to the number of printed pages available in this year’s Western Guide.
Well, we’re here to make it right in this issue of SnoWest. Here is all the information we couldn’t include in this season’s Western Guide.
After all, we love to ride the mountains and every state in the West gives us that opportunity. It’s not just that we live in the West, but it’s that we live for snowmobiling in the mountains of the western United States.
We’re not really any different than most everyone else who rides the West. We’re all looking for those mountains that soar into the sky, deep powder, wide open spaces to ride, great trail systems that gain sometimes thousands of feet, scenery that takes your breath away and places where you can ride into May, sometimes June or even July.
However, try as we might every winter, we still haven’t ridden everywhere we want to. That makes it somewhat tantalizing for us to put together this issue each year. We would love to ride each and every area there is listed in this travel guide.
We have plenty to choose from. The sheer number of areas you can ride from north to south is extensive. Of course there is snowmachining in Alaska, but that’s a story all by itself. Take that snow state out and you still have 12 western states—plus western South Dakota—that stretch from Canada to Mexico and there is snowmobiling in each one.
The snowbelt (where enough snow falls to allow for consistent snowmobiling) in much of America sags down to maybe an imaginary line that roughly follows the northern border of Kansas and Missouri, through the middle of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and a bit farther south in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The snowbelt in the West, though, is much different. Because we can throw mountains into the mix, it’s possible to snowmobile in southern New Mexico, down around Cloudcroft in the Lincoln National Forest. That is about the same latitude as say Dallas, TX or Talladega National Forest near Birmingham, AL, where there is definitely no snowmobiling.
Mountains make all the difference and that’s our ace in the hole in the West. Every state in the West has mountains and that means you can ride a snowmobile in every state in the West. Sure, some states get more snow than others, but every state at least provides some opportunities to ride. That’s why we continue to highlight the riding in each western state.
And we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and again. We may live in the West, but we never tire of riding the West.