Colorado is a winter sports lover’s paradise with plenty of snow and wide-open terrain to explore. Snowmobiling is a popular activity here, and there are some truly unique locations to take advantage of on a sled.
My name is Chaz, and I’ve been snowmobiling for nearly 30 years. Most of that time has been spent in Colorado, and I’m very familiar with the region. It’s where I grew up riding, and I’ve explored most of the popular locations you can access on a snowmobile.
This article will highlight the best places to snowmobile in Colorado. From deep backcountry lines to easily accessible trails near popular resorts, this state has a lot to offer.
Load up the truck, and let’s go.
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6 Best Places to Snowmobile in Colorado
There are so many great spots for snowmobiling in Colorado and I have picked the 6 best locations to share with you.
1. Rabbit Ears Pass/Steamboat Springs
I’ll start this list with a location I’ve been visiting since I was a kid. Steamboat Springs is a well-known resort area but also boasts some fantastic places to snowmobile. There is a wide variety of terrain and trails, all easily accessible within an hour’s drive of town.
Rabbit Ears Pass is my favorite location in the Steamboat Springs area. You can drive your sleds to one of the parking lots near the top of the pass and be exploring deep backcountry lines within minutes.
The snow typically stacks up deep here, so it’s a great spot to find untracked powder lines, and the aspen grove forests with rolling hills are simply beautiful. Some of my favorite backcountry riding days in Colorado were spent around Steamboat.
The Flat Tops Wilderness Area is another spot in the region I’d recommend checking out. It’s often not as busy as Rabbit Ears.
You can find rental shops that offer guided tours in town, and I would highly suggest soaking in Strawberry Hot Springs after a long day on your snowmobile.
2. Vail Pass
Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area is another incredible spot for snowmobilers to check out in Colorado. You’ll need to purchase a day or season pass to access this area, but it’s more than worth it for all of the terrain and fresh tracks you can find here.
The area is open from November through May, and that’s when the snowflakes fall consistently. You can explore 55,000 acres here, alongside 119 miles of trails designated for snowmobilers, skiers, and other winter enthusiasts.
It can get pretty crowded on Vail Pass over the weekends during the winter. I’d suggest riding on a weekday if you want a more secluded experience. The area is very easy to access because it sits right off Interstate 70 – the main highway into the Rockies.
3. Grand Lake
If you visit Grand Lake in the heart of the winter, there’s a good chance you’ll see as many people driving around on snowmobiles as you will in cars. This is a fun, family-friendly location that has a variety of easy to intermediate terrain to explore.
A lot of people in Colorado and beyond have second homes in the Grand Lake area. This means you can usually find an affordable rental for a winter vacation – some might even include snowmobiles.
The town itself is beautiful in the winter. You’ll have views of the Continental Divide and the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. There are hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails to explore right outside of town.
And when you are finished riding, there are many good restaurants and bars to grab a bite to eat and warm up.
4. Wolf Creek Pass/Pagosa Springs
Wolf Creek Pass is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s often one of Colorado’s snowiest locations. If you’re up for an adventure or live in one of the towns nearby, this area offers some amazing opportunities for snowmobiling.
The pass covers a large section of the Rio Grand National Forest between the towns of Del Norte and Pagosa Springs. Check out this list of some of the dedicated snowmobiling areas here.
Being a little bit more remote and harder to access, you should pay attention to avalanche conditions and always keep people informed of your whereabouts. The weather can change quickly, and the snowstorms here are impressive.
In Pagosa Springs, the Springs Resort and Spa offers around 30 different hot springs pools and a number of rooms. The pools are set by the river and are open 24 hours a day for hotel guests.
Breckenridge is another popular skiing destination that has some solid snowmobiling in the areas surrounding town. A lot of the trails you will find around Breck are part of the White River National Forest.
There are many backcountry riding opportunities here, and the area gets hit with a lot of snow. Views of the Continental Divide and some other impressive peaks are all around, and bluebird powder days are standard.
I’d suggest going on a guided tour if you are unfamiliar with the area. The trails and places to ride surrounding Breck are all high elevations with extremely variable conditions. Be prepared for changing weather and lots of snow.
Georgia Pass Road is one spot where you can find both groomed trails and backcountry access near Breckenridge. You’ll need a Colorado trail pass to operate a snowmobile here if you are an out-of-state resident.
6. Jones Pass
This is another area where I often visited as a kid and still do at least a couple of times each winter. It’s not as well known as some of the other options on this list, but Jones Pass is well worth a visit for anyone who loves snowmobiling.
If you are a fan of snowmobile skiing, Jones Pass can open up a world of untouched powder lines and all-day laps. There is a local club that helps maintain a few trails in the winter, and you’ll find a lot of backcountry skiers here as well.
This is another area that can be prone to avalanches, so always be prepared with a safety plan and the appropriate equipment.
Colorado is a great place for all kinds of snowmobilers. The locations listed above are some of my favorites, but there are plenty of other spots to explore here as well. Check out this list of popular trails and their conditions if you are planning a day on the Rocky Mountain trails.
Have you ever ridden in Colorado? Where did you go? Let us know in the comments below.About Chaz Wyland