Lander, WY — Snowmobiling generates a total of $175.5
million per year for the Wyoming economy, according to a survey by the
University of Wyoming’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
The top three reasons Wyoming
is an attractive snowmobiling area include snow conditions (No. 1 at 36.1
percent) and off-trail powder (No. 2; 35.1 percent) followed distantly by trail
availability/quality (No. 3; 6.0 percent).
The University of Wyoming survey also reported the economic impact of
snowmobiling was close to $8 million in Fremont County
for snowmobile expenditures (not including equipment).
Residents of Wyoming
spent an average of $98.29 per day on snowmobiling (46 percent for gas, 15
percent for food, 14 percent for lodging) and also spent an average of $3,367.28
on snowmobile equipment.
Non-residents spent an average of $159.80 per day on
snowmobiling (33 percent for gas, 29 percent for lodging, 17 percent for food)
and only spent an average of $624.86 on snowmobile equipment.
While the State Trails Program manages 12 snowmobile trail
systems, 86 percent of all use by resident and nonresident snowmobilers occurs
at four particular areas: Continental Divide (26 percent), Snowy Range
(25.8 percent), Bighorn Mountains (20.7 percent) and Wyoming Range
The majority of snowmobile outfitter use was
reported at four state-managed trail systems plus Yellowstone National Park.
Out of the 70.2 percent of outfitter client use reported at these four areas,
the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail topped the use at 31.4 percent.
The Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST) is described
as “the granddaddy of trail systems in the West.” It is one of the West’s
largest and longest trail systems, with 608 miles of groomed trails
and hundreds more ungroomed. With unbelievable views of the Wind River and Absaroka Mountains,
the trail runs along the Continental Divide from Lander, WY, to Pinedale, near
Dubois over Togwotee
Pass, northwest to West
In Fremont County, snowmobilers can start at the Wyoming end of the trail on South Pass, accessing through
the Loop Road
on U.S. Highway 28 or out of the Sinks
Canyon trailhead on the Shoshone National Forest. There are many trail
access points and newly built parking areas on Highway 287 near Dubois and on Togwotee Pass.
The CDST is ranked the No. 3 snowmobile trail in the West
again this year, according SnoWest’s
Guide to Snowmobiling. The Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail has consistently
ranked in the top three trails for over a decade. “It’s still one of the best
in the West,” stated SnoWest’s Guide
These standings were the result of a survey by the readers
of SnoWest Magazine, the sport’s
leading authority on adventure snowmobile riding. This designation is published
in the annual “Western Guide to Snowmobiling,” which ranks scenery, grooming,
signage, map, off-trail, snow quality, crowds, terrain, services and weather by
the people who know it best, the riders. Four Wyoming trails were ranked in the top eight
spots by snowmobile enthusiasts again this year. For more information on the
entire CDST, visit http://www.sledwyoming.com.
The University of Wyoming survey also estimated that the $146.8 million
in direct snowmobiler spending results in another $29.0 million in secondary
activity in the Wyoming
economy. This economic activity supports the equivalent of 1,300 annual jobs
with labor income of $35.3 million. Plus, the economic activity associated
with snowmobiling generates $7.4 million in state and local government revenue
in the state of Wyoming.