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Snowmobiling in Western Montana + Glacier National Park

things to do in the winter

Snowmobiling A Sledder’s Paradise
Noah Couser

A Sledder’s Paradise

There's something remarkably thrilling about whipping past snow-dusted trees and frozen lakes at high speeds. Powering through winter in Montana is easy, with miles of steep climbs and flat trails, and acres of backcountry playgrounds, as well as logging and forest service roads (closed by winter's snowfall)—a paradise for sledders.

Our endless—and stunning—winter terrain can be explored by sled with or without a guide. See below for more information on where and how to sled Western Montana.

For inspiration, visit Glaciers to Geysers.

Groomed Trail System Information

Cut Bank

Flathead Valley


Kootenai Country

Lolo Pass

Mission Mountains

Seeley Lake


Resident Snowmobile Permit Program

There are two permit requirements for residents of Montana: Snowmobiles must be registered with the state of Montana, and a $20 Snowmobile Trail Pass—valid for two seasons (July 1 through June 30)—must be displayed on all machines.

Non-resident Snowmobile Permit Program

The Montana legislature passed a law that requires snowmobilers visiting Montana to pay a fee to support the grooming of snowmobile trails. A visitor who plans to ride his/her snowmobile in Montana this winter must purchase a non-resident temporary snowmobile use permit for $35 per machine. Permits will be available December 1 from FWP license agents, some snowmobile equipment retail businesses, hotels and motels and other business serving snowmobilers. The best advice to snowmobilers planning a snowmobile vacation is to complete the application online at the Montana State Parks website. For more information, visit the Montana State Parks web page or call Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks at 406.444.2950.

Avalanche Safety Tips

Avalanche is a real and present danger. Carry and know how to use avalanche equipment, including transceivers, probe poles and shovels. A wall of moving, suffocating snow leaves few survivors in its wake. The best way to avoid an avalanche is to understand avalanche conditions and reroute your trip to avoid them.

Avalanches occur when loose snow or a slab of snow starts moving down a slope. They are triggered by a variety of slope, snow and weather conditions; many times they are triggered by human impact. Slope conditions to watch out for are steep slopes or smooth, open slopes. Short slopes can be as dangerous as long ones. Leeward slopes are dangerous because wind-deposited snow adds depth and may create unstable slabs of snow.

Avoid avalanches by staying away from mountainous terrain after heavy snowfall or prolonged periods of high wind. Avoid crossing steep side hills or entering narrow, steeply sided canyons. The safest routes are on ridge tops and on the windward side, away from cornices. The next safest route is out in the valley, far from the bottom of a slope.

If you are caught in an avalanche...

  • Call out so other members of your party can track your location.
  • If snowmobiling, discard all equipment and get away from your snowmobile.
  • Make swimming motions and try to stay on top; work your way to the side of the avalanche.
  • As you feel the avalanche slow, try to thrust your hand, other part of your body or ski pole, above the surface.
  • Before the snow settles, slip your arm in front of your face to clear an air space.
  • Try not to panic; you need to conserve oxygen.
  • If you are a survivor, you are a victim's best hope of survival:
    • Mark the place where you last saw the victim and keep your eyes fixed on the moving mass of snow in which he or she is trapped.
    • Search for the victim directly down slope from the last sighted area when the snow stops moving.
    • Use a ski pole or stick to probe the snow.
    • Stay with the victim unless help is only a few minutes away; after 30 minutes, the victim has only a 50 percent chance of survival.
    • If the victim is found, treat for hypothermia, suffocation and shock.

Additional Information

Featured Listings

Action Rentals in Western Montana.

Action Rentals

City: Olney
Phone: 406.881.3510

8955 U.S. Highway 93 N.
Olney, MT 59927

Enjoy Montana Vacation Rentals in Western Montana.

Enjoy Montana Vacation Rentals

City: Kalispell
Phone: 406.203.5055

17 Second St. E., Suite 210
Kalispell, Montana 59901

Kandahar Lodge in Western Montana.

Kandahar Lodge

City: Whitefish
Phone: 406.862.6098

3824 Big Mountain Road
Whitefish, Montana 59937

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area in Western Montana.

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area

City: St Regis
Phone: 208.744.1301

I-90, Exit 0
St Regis, Montana 59866

Marina Cay Resort in Western Montana.

Marina Cay Resort

City: Bigfork
Phone: 406.837.5861

180 Vista Lane
Bigfork, Montana 59911

Rich Ranch in Western Montana.

Rich Ranch

City: Seeley Lake
Phone: 800.532.4350

939 Cottonwood Lakes Road
Seeley Lake, Montana 59868

Rye Creek Lodge in Western Montana.

Rye Creek Lodge

City: Darby
Phone: 406.821.3366

345 Rye Creek Road
Darby, Montana 59829

Snow Bear Chalets in Western Montana.

Snow Bear Chalets

City: Whitefish
Phone: 888.868.2327

3872 Winter Lane
Whitefish, Montana 59936

Snowbowl Ski & Summer Resort in Western Montana.

Snowbowl Ski & Summer Resort

City: Missoula
Phone: 406.549.9777

1700 Snowbowl Road
Missoula, Montana 59808

Swan Mountain Snowmobiling in Western Montana.

Swan Mountain Snowmobiling

City: Hungry Horse
Phone: 406.387.4405

135 Hungry Horse Blvd
Hungry Horse, Montana 59919

Whitefish Mountain Resort in Western Montana.

Whitefish Mountain Resort

City: Whitefish
Phone: 877-SKI-FISH

3889 Big Mountain Road
Whitefish, Montana 59937

Other Listings

ATV & Snowmobile Tours: Bitterroot Adventures

  • City: Darby
  • Address: 345 Rye Creek Road
  • Phone: 406.821.4844
  • Website:

Silver Bow Wilderness Snowmobile Adventures

  • City: Libby
  • Address: 500 East Fisher Road
  • Phone: 406.293.4868
  • Website:

Storm Creek Outfitters

  • City: Darby
  • Address: 241 Orr Loop
  • Phone: 406.821.3115
  • Website:

Swan Mountain Snowmobiling

  • City: Hungry Horse
  • Address: 135 Hungry Horse Boulevard
  • Phone: 406.387.4405
  • Website:

Winter Wonderland Sports

  • City: Olney
  • Address: 16 Bell Street
  • Phone: 406.257.2627
  • Website:

Glacier Country Tourism is not responsible for the accuracy of the above business listings provided by the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

News from Glacier National Park Glacier National Park is temporarily closed.

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