Snowmobiling Grand Lake: The Snowmobile Capital of Colorado

Share on Facebook
by Jack Welch,
BRC Special Projects Consultant
Associated Image
The Pedersens at the Idleglen trailhead, jazzed up and ready to go.
Associated Image
Kensey Pedersen pauses for a picture at the trailhead.
Associated Image
Jack Welch and Katie Pedersen stop to view Grand Lake.

I have snowmobiled in Colorado for over forty years and the first place I snowmobiled using my 1968 Sears Snow Cruiser was at Grand Lake, Colorado. Their trail system was great then, and it, of course, was even better this last December. Their system of trails, play areas and hills to climb provides something for every type of rider! Maybe that is why Grand Lake has aquired the title of Snowmobiling Capital of Colorado.

The Grand Lake snowmobile area is located just 100 miles west of Denver. It is easy to get to using I70, US 40 and US 34. The town of Grand Lake and Grand County treat snowwmobilers very special. Here are examples of that special treatment: First, if you stay in the town of Grand Lake, or choose to unload there, you can ride your snowmobile on the city streets and most county roads just like an automobile. In other words, you can park your vehicle and use your snowmobile as your only source of transportation. Second, the town holds many special activities for snowmobilers, such as Poker Runs, Bon Fire/night cookout rides and special fireworks on New Year's Eve.

The Grand Lake trail system can be accessed by either the idlegate trailhead/parking area or one of several parking areas in the town of Grand Lake. On my family trip in December, I parked at the Idleglen Parking area. This is a great place to start a day trip because it has an information kiosk, restrooms and good plowed parking. I should note, if you unload at Idleglenn Trailhead be sure to have your machines fueled and take a lunch if you plan to be gone all day. The nearest food and fuel are in the town of Grand Lake.

This year's December holiday trip started at Idleglen and included what I call the "Loop," starting from Idleglenn, through Whiskey Park to North Supply, with a stop at "On the Trail Snowombile Rentals" to see their new operation, then on to Pony Park; from there, the loop continues around Gravel Mountain, a stop at Super Chicken Hill, then back to Idleglenn trailhead. The total distance was about 40 miles and with stops and lunch break, took about two hours. This year my nephew, Evan Pedersen and two of his daughters, Katie and Kinsey, joined us on this adventure. It was a great start to the 2007-2008 snowmobile season.

There are over a hundred miles of groomed and marked trails in the Grand Lake system. A map is available online (www.sharetrails.org/fwd/mp108). New this year, the snowmobile trail map has GPS coordinates for additional reference. As mentioned earlier, the terrain on the Grand Lake system offers every kind of riding experience you can imgine. There are miles of well-groomed and marked trails, many play areas, hills to climb and, of course, excellent views of the Continental Divide, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, Lake Granby, and Rocky Mountain National Park.

This trail system is maintained by Grand Lake Trail Groomer INC. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce at 970-627- 3402 or 970-627-3372. For up to date information on trail conditions at Grand Lake go the Colorado Snowmobile Association's website of www.coloradosledcity.com and click on Grand Lake. Please note: in order to snowmobile in Colorado, trail permits are required by Colorado law. These Colorado snowmobile user fees, for both residents and nonresidents, provide for the grooming and marking trails.Information on Colorado snowmobile trail permits are available by calling 303-791-1920 or going online (http://parks.state.co.us/OHVsandSnowmobiles). In addition, for snowmobile rental information for "On the Trails Snowmobile Rental" call 1-888-627-2429 or visit them online (www.onthetrailrentals.com).

--Questions or comments regarding this article should be directed to the BlueRibbon Coalition: 4555 Burley Drive,Suite A, Pocatello, ID 83202. Phone: 208-237-1008, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email address: .

NOTE: A trail map for this ride is available online (www.sharetrails.org/fwd/mp108)

April 26, 2016 9:54 AM

POCATELLO, ID (April 26, 2016) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is pleased to announce the recent release of issue #4 of the BlueRibbon Magazine. This issue is packed with outstanding winter articles and a variety of recreation topics.

Hard copies of the BlueRibbon Magazine should be arriving at doorsteps this week (if they have not already arrived). If your copy has not yet arrived, there's no need to wait! The digital edition of the BlueRibbon Magazine is available today, in FlipZine or PDF versions.

Read more...
April 13, 2016 10:04 AM

It's time once again for the annual COW TAG event! Please join KLIM and the Sharetrails/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) at this one-of-a-kind ride to be held on Saturday, June 25 at Kelly Canyon, ID. Proceeds benefit trail organizations and Sharetrails/BRC. Enter to win a 2016 Beta 300RR Race Edition!...

Read more...
March 31, 2016 12:13 PM

Do you know someone who belongs in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame? April is nomination month for the Hall of Fame. There are many well deserving people in off-road who should be in the Hall of Fame, yet until they are officially nominated, they cannot be considered for induction. The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame accepts nominations

Announcement from the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame below:

Read more...
February 5, 2016 10:20 AM
(Announcement)
December 16, 2015 10:43 AM
(Announcement)
December 15, 2015 12:02 PM
(Announcement)
December 15, 2015 10:00 AM
(Staff Column)
(BRC Board of Directors)