Montana COVID-19 Updates

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.

Take the Ride of a Lifetime

Discover some of the West's best highways, byways, backroads and small towns by motorcycling from Glacier Country to Yellowstone Country. Plan your trip with a free Montana Motorcycle Guide.

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

Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.

Featured Listings

Action Rentals in Western Montana.

Action Rentals

6235 U.S. Highway 93
Whitefish, MT 59937


Enjoy Montana Vacation Rentals in Western Montana.

Enjoy Montana Vacation Rentals

20 Summit Ave.
Somers, Montana 59932


Kandahar Lodge in Western Montana.

Kandahar Lodge

3824 Big Mountain Road
Whitefish, Montana 59937


Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area in Western Montana.

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area

I-90, Exit 0
St Regis, Montana 59866


Rich Ranch in Western Montana.

Rich Ranch

939 Cottonwood Lakes Road
Seeley Lake, Montana 59868


Rye Creek Lodge in Western Montana.

Rye Creek Lodge

345 Rye Creek Road
Darby, Montana 59829


Snow Bear Chalets in Western Montana.

Snow Bear Chalets

3872 Winter Lane
Whitefish, Montana 59936


Snowbowl Ski & Summer Resort in Western Montana.

Snowbowl Ski & Summer Resort

1700 Snowbowl Road
Missoula, Montana 59808


Swan Mountain Outfitters in Western Montana.

Swan Mountain Outfitters

12000 U.S. Highway 2 E.
West Glacier, Montana 59936


Whitefish Marine in Western Montana.

Whitefish Marine

5960 U.S. Highway 93 S.
Whitefish, MT 59937


Whitefish Mountain Resort in Western Montana.

Whitefish Mountain Resort

3889 Big Mountain Road
Whitefish, Montana 59937


Other Listings

Relics Retreat

  • 4800 Graves Creek Road Eureka, Montana 59917
  • 406.882.4211
  • Visit Website
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 50 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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