Cooke City to top of the world??

Pro-8250

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Our sled set up for Cooke City is 8,000'-10,000' Bone stock.
Would it be the same for top of the world?

While staying in Cooke City. What is the better choice. Keeping in mind that less trail riding the better.

#1 Ride from Cooke City to Pilot Creek and top off with gas at the truck and then continue to top of the world.

#2 Trailer from Pilot Creek to top of the world. How far is it from Pilot Creek to top of the world by truck. And is there a place to park the truck/trailer there. How far up HWY 212 do they plow. Can you turn around.

#3 :face-icon-small-ton:face-icon-small-ton:face-icon-small-ton
 

benny7cfan

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The set-up would be the same for both Cooke City and Top of the World.

Either option would work. By car it is approx 5miles. I can't remember on sled but I want to say 6miles.(I could be off on both by a couple miles). When parking at top the world you park along side the road (212) and there was room to turn around. If I was going back to Cooke later that evening after riding I would just ride there and make sure to have fuel to top off with at the Pilot Creek lot. We left from Top of the World back to MN and some drove in the truck and some on sled from the parking lot to top of the world. No right or wrong answer I guess...may depend more upon trail conditions(grooming and snow conditions)
 

Pro-8250

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The set-up would be the same for both Cooke City and Top of the World.

Either option would work. By car it is approx 5miles. I can't remember on sled but I want to say 6miles.(I could be off on both by a couple miles). When parking at top the world you park along side the road (212) and there was room to turn around. If I was going back to Cooke later that evening after riding I would just ride there and make sure to have fuel to top off with at the Pilot Creek lot. We left from Top of the World back to MN and some drove in the truck and some on sled from the parking lot to top of the world. No right or wrong answer I guess...may depend more upon trail conditions(grooming and snow conditions)
Yeah, I forgot to ask about how far is it on the trail from the parking lot to top of the world. If it's close to the same I would just ride up after topping off the sleds at the parking lot. We should be able to check trail conditions in Cooke. We have a five day window to choose from as far as when we are going. Shooting for a sunny day! :sun: We were going to IP but it doesn't sound to great there.:nono:
 
Nov 8, 2008
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Was in Cooke last week. Rode Top of the World Tuesday thru Friday. It's close to a 30 mile ride from Cooke to the warming shack. In my opinion it's a more fun riding area and less people. It is about six miles from Pilot Creek to the east end of the plowed portion of 212. We met the groomer on that trail on Friday night. I'm not much of trail riding, but that trail when relatively smooth is a lot of fun. So me, I'd just ride. Not worth the hassle of loading and unloading in my opinion. But that's just me. Have a good time and be safe.
 

ryansmowing

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I would agree with Folger.

The trail from Cooke to TOW is about 28-30 miles - but it TRULY is some of the best trail riding there is... I usually can get out to TOW for Cooke in about 40 minutes - which is MUCH less time than it would take to load unload etc.

The views along trail are amazing AND a 6 mile section of trail is just plain fun! I obviously take a 5 gal - but that will be plenty to ride all day and make it back to Cooke just fine.

Closest you can park on 212 up to TOW is still about 13-14 miles - so you aren't saving that much - a 28 mile ride (round trip) to gas up isn't worth it anyway...

It is 5-6 miles from Pilot Creek to TOW parking - plenty of room to turn around.

As already stated - clutching would be the same - you can get up to 11 k @ TOW but most of the riding is going to be in the 9-10k range

Have FUN
 

Pro-8250

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5' of snow+sunny day=perfect

Sounds like we will ride all the way then. Fuel up at the parking lot. We will also check in with Bill at Antlers and Bob at Super 8 for additional info on weather, trail conditions, etc. before we leave. Thanks!
If anyone want's to throw in some more info please do!
I didn't realize the elevation is what it is.:face-icon-small-con
 

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Mar 7, 2008
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In last 2 weeks have ridden W. Yellowstone - Two Top, Buck, Little Belts, and Top of World. I found good powder in all locations...I have also hit stumps and/or rocks in all locations! If you go to Top of World good idea to study where the lakes are as they are pretty generally frozen over but some will say need to beware where you sit still for very long or with numerous sleds. There are boulders up there so need to watch some of this big drifts...which might really big rocks with a couple inches of snow on.
Two Top / W Yellowstone also with rocks but not giant boulders and rock fields like Top of World. Both great places just need to appreciate the particular differences. Bucks / Big Sky area - found excellent powder there ... a few tree stumps. Little Belts also good and more of a 'local' place - lots of guys from Great Falls and Billings and all places in between go there. Skiing there at Showdown, also.
Plan on Bighorns this week but have not been there yet this season so don't know how to assess that as of now. Anyway - in summary, so far all areas I'm going to about equal IMO. None of them great but all adequate.
 

ryansmowing

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MT rydn did remind me of something else - you probably know this already but I'll say it anyway...

TOW get a LOT of wind... Overall I think they have a snowpack of about 6 feet - BUT there are areas that are bare or really thin due to wind.

Ridge tops and the like are much more likely to hide rocks than areas screened by trees - this is of course true anywhere - its just accentuated at TOW - THE FLIP side is that if you know where that powder goes - you are in for a great ride.

So I would say pay attention and study the land and which way wind has been blowing - find tree areas behind ridges and you are going to have it pretty good.

One such place is ride to end of plowed 212 (just a little ways beyond the safety shelter at Island lake) and head right - you can just keep heading deeper into untracked powder vistas surrounded by trees - the riding is endless and the powder is great.
 

Pro-8250

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MT rydn did remind me of something else - you probably know this already but I'll say it anyway...

TOW get a LOT of wind... Overall I think they have a snowpack of about 6 feet - BUT there are areas that are bare or really thin due to wind.

Ridge tops and the like are much more likely to hide rocks than areas screened by trees - this is of course true anywhere - its just accentuated at TOW - THE FLIP side is that if you know where that powder goes - you are in for a great ride.

So I would say pay attention and study the land and which way wind has been blowing - find tree areas behind ridges and you are going to have it pretty good.

One such place is ride to end of plowed 212 (just a little ways beyond the safety shelter at Island lake) and head right - you can just keep heading deeper into untracked powder vistas surrounded by trees - the riding is endless and the powder is great.
This is all good to know, thanks everyone. I'm taking notes! The wind blown areas I did think about because I have been there in the summer. Maybe similar to the Bighorns in some areas?
 

samiams2

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What a wealth if info guys! Thx so much!

Clarification tho...when u talk about pilot creek parking lot????

I am not the "navigational director" of our group so please forgive me and bear with me....
We normally get to cooke from the east. We drive (I think) the chief Joseph Hwy to a parking lot about 10-11miles east of Cooke, we're they stop plowing the road. Is this the pilot creek lot u speak of?

If we rode from Cooke to this lot, topped off with gas, rode up the mountain, rode all day, rode back down, put the rest of our fuel in, rode back to Cooke, would that work? Or am I missing something? Would we run out before we for back to the truck?

Reading theses posts I was a little confused about whether u should ride to that parking lot or if u r supposed to take a trail up there.

Thanks again guys!
 
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Pro-8250

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ALWAYS HAVE EXTRA GAS AND A SHOVEL AT YOUR TRUCK

Clarification tho...when u talk about pilot creek parking lot????

I am not the "navigational director" of our group so please forgive me and bear with me....
We normally get to cooke from the east. We drive (I think) the chief Joseph Hwy to a parking lot about 10-11miles east of Cooke, we're they stop plowing the road. Is this the pilot creek lot u speak of?

If we rode from Cooke to this lot, topped off with gas, rode up the mountain, rode all day, rode back down, put the rest of our fuel in, rode back to Cooke, would that work? Or am I missing something? Would we run out before we for back to the truck?

Reading theses posts I was a little confused about whether u should ride to that parking lot or if u r supposed to take a trail up there.

Thanks again guys!

You are correct. The first parking lot 9 miles east of Cooke City is the Pilot Creek Parking Lot. We are going to Cooke City next week. We will leave Cooke and head east on trail "A" to the parking lot, top off gas there and continue east on trail "A" to top of the world. On the return trip we will stop back and make sure we have enough fuel to get back to Cooke. And we will start the truck and let it run for 20 minutes.
NOW I WILL GIVE YOU A TIP!
Check your tires! Last year when we got back to the parking lot we had two flat tires. And of course only one spare. I carry two NEW SPARES now.
NOW! The night before we leave I send two of the kids to go and check the tire pressure on ALL tires. Truck and trailer. Also start the truck up and let run for 20 minutes.
You can get the tires repaired at the Exxon in Cooke. They also will let you use their portable air tank and they have fix a flat.
The reason I say go the night before is don't expect the Exxon to drop everything and fix your tire. It's not always that simple.
They did get me going right away though. Thank you Rick Sommers.
:musicnote::musicnote::musicnote:
 

samiams2

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One such place is ride to end of plowed 212 (just a little ways beyond the safety shelter at Island lake) and head right - you can just keep heading deeper into untracked powder vistas surrounded by trees - the riding is endless and the powder is great.

Found island lake on the map...looks like at that point the road is running east/west...so the vistas/trees are west and north of the lake???

Do u take the unplowed road up there or follow the trail A that was mentioned earlier?

Didn't see a shelter on the map, but did see a campground, is it right around there?

Thanks for answering all the questions.
 
Mar 7, 2008
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Found island lake on the map...looks like at that point the road is running east/west...so the vistas/trees are west and north of the lake???

Do u take the unplowed road up there or follow the trail A that was mentioned earlier?

Didn't see a shelter on the map, but did see a campground, is it right around there?

Thanks for answering all the questions.

The shelter is basically a big trailer parked on the Highway 212 side of Island Lake. Riding in any direction from there is good IMO. Beware of rocks/bare areas. Where powder blows in is great. But more bare than usual in some areas. Be careful
 
Apr 20, 2005
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Biggest question i have is how is the snow on the trail from the lot to TOW? I'm heading out on the 25th and debating on driving in or hitting the parking lot. From the lot to the creek is usually fine, its the last mile that can get crappy and bare.
 

Pro-8250

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Biggest question i have is how is the snow on the trail from the lot to TOW? I'm heading out on the 25th and debating on driving in or hitting the parking lot. From the lot to the creek is usually fine, its the last mile that can get crappy and bare.
We always drive in from the east to the parking lot. But were coming across I-94. For us it's about three hours more going into Cooke from the west.

Were leaving on Saturday also. We'll pull into Cooke on Sunday around 2:00pm depending on the weather.
I think what we will do is quiz Bill Whittle at Antler's or Bob at Bear Claw and see what they recommend. Shooting for a sunny day.:sun:
What do you mean, from the lot to the creek is usually fine?
 

skidoo_guy

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We always drive in from the east to the parking lot. But were coming across I-94. For us it's about three hours more going into Cooke from the west.

Were leaving on Saturday also. We'll pull into Cooke on Sunday around 2:00pm depending on the weather.
I think what we will do is quiz Bill Whittle at Antler's or Bob at Bear Claw and see what they recommend. Shooting for a sunny day.:sun:
What do you mean, from the lot to the creek is usually fine?

FYI I think Bill has only been to TOW once so he might not be much help to you.
 

samiams2

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Pro-8250...there is 3 of us heading out tonight and get in sat pm. We r staying at Antlers sun -Thursday. How many are u? We plan on checking out TOW at some point that week depending on when how tracked up everything is around Cooke. 3 out of last 4 yrs we have had a collassal dump of snow the first two days in Cooke so hopefully we will be just as fortunate this yr!

We have wanted to head up to TOW for a couple yrs and haven't had any reason to leave town. But between forecast and presidents day wknd we might try it this yr.

Bill has said in the past he don't go up that way much but bob said he has maps and would show people where to go.
 
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Pro-8250

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Pro-8250...there is 3 of us heading out tonight and get in sat pm. We r staying at Antlers sun -Thursday. How many are u? We plan on checking out TOW at some point that week depending on when how tracked up everything is around Cooke. 3 out of last 4 yrs we have had a collassal dump of snow the first two days in Cooke so hopefully we will be just as fortunate this yr!

We have wanted to head up to TOW for a couple yrs and haven't had any reason to leave town. But between forecast and presidents day wknd we might try it this yr.

Bill has said in the past he don't go up that way much but bob said he has maps and would show people where to go.

There's three of us. Were staying at Super 8. Couldn't get into Antlers. We have three friends that are out there now and we are getting good reports, but it's their first trip to the mountains so I am guessing anything is good especially the way the winter is here. I would love to try TOP. We have procrastinated about it for years now.:argue:
 
Apr 20, 2005
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What do you mean, from the lot to the creek is usually fine?[/QUOTE]


From the parking lot to the creek where you cross the bridge is thru the trees and usually is got decent snow. From the bridge to the junction of 212 and Chief Joseph is the only spot that is questoinable for me. It makes life easier if I can drive into town and ride to TOW. Plan is to leave Sat the 25th and get into town on the 26th. As of right now there are 4 of us 3 Pro chassis and one assault. Maybe see ya out there!
 
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