5 Rugged Snowmobiling Destinations to Visit This Winter

From Yellowstone to Acadia, winter adventure awaits. 

5 Rugged Snowmobiling Destinations to Visit This Winter

Winter signals the beginning of snowmobiling season, and if you’re looking for some challenging destinations that guarantee adventure, look no further than the northern half of the United States. Here are a handful of challenging snowmobiling destinations to visit this winter to satisfy your sense of adventure—and a few places to stay if you want to make a weekend of it

Yellowstone National Park, WY/MT/ID

Between December and March, the Park Service closes all but one of the roads that criss-cross Yellowstone National Park. Once there is sufficient snowfall, usually by mid-December, the remainder of the park is open to over-snow travel only—this means snowmobiling. This means you can experience all that Yellowstone has to offer, from geysers and other geothermal features to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and its incredible waterfalls—which don’t typically freeze in the winter—all from the back of a snowmobile. It’s also a great way to see the park’s active winter wildlife, like its famous wolf packs and bison herds. The park offers commercially-guided snowmobile tours, as well as a non-commercially guided snowmobile program. Check with park headquarters for more details. Winter lodging is available in the park at Mammoth Hot Springs. Otherwise, the Yellowstone Gateway Inn, located in nearby Gardiner, Montana, is an excellent option. 

Voyageurs National Park, MN

With more than 100 miles of groomed and staked snowmobile trails, along with thousands of acres of frozen lake surface, Voyageur’s National Park is a paradise for snow machine enthusiasts. Located on the Canadian Border, adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Voyageurs is an unspoiled winter wonderland in the heart of the great boreal forest. When you’re out on the trails, keep an eye out for wolves and moose, as well as raptors like the great grey and snowy owls. Voyageurs is a designated dark sky park where you can enjoy stunning star gazing and bursts of the northern lights when conditions are right. Voyageur Park Lodge, located on the shore of Lake Kabetogama, is open to guests year-round. 

Mount Rainier National Park, WA

Mount Rainier National Park is situated just southeast of Seattle and, thanks to abundant snowfall, is a magnet for folks who love winter activities of all sorts, including snowmobiling. Snowmobiling is permitted in several areas along the park’s boundaries, as well as in the contiguous Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Greenwater/Yakima State Park, which, as a designated Sno-Park, boasts over 100 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Winter lodging is available inside the park at National Park Inn, as well as in a number of nearby cabins

Acadia National Park, ME

In winter, you can explore Acadia National Park’s stunning natural beauty and rich human history from the saddle of a snowmobile. The majority of the park’s roads—including the 27-mile Park Loop Road, the road to Cadillac Mountain, and most fire roads—are open to snowmobiles during the winter months when sufficient snowfall permits. Be on the lookout for snowy owls, which migrate to the park during winter months, and porcupines (don’t touch, though).

Black Hills National Forest, SD

Black Hills National Forest, which is adjacent to Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park, as well as Jewel Cave and Mount Rushmore National Monuments, draws snowmobile enthusiasts from all over the country. The region sees plenty of snowfall, and the ruggedly gorgeous scenery is breathtaking. Deer, pronghorn and mountain lions make their home in the Black Hills. Bison roam in Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. Badlands National Park is a short drive to the east of the Black Hills Stay at Trailshead Lodge, where you can snowmobile in and out.