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Old 01-02-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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I am thinking of moving to Colorado and I love snowmobiling. Where are the good snowmobile trails in the state? Are they easily accessible?
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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In a normal year, there are a lot of good snowmobiling areas in the state. This is not one of those winters, so far. Snow conditions are just pitiful all across the state, but especially so in the southern half. I know--I traveled back and forth across the state about 6 times in the last 6 weeks. Areas in the high mountains that typically would have 5'-6' of snow by now have less than 3', with lots of bare ground showing on south slopes. So far, this is worst early winter for snowpack that I've seen since the winter of 1976-1977, which was the worst year for snowpack statewide since records were kept. The La Niña weather pattern, which appears stronger this year than last, tends to persist for the whole snow season once it becomes entrenched, which means that there is a good possibility of this being a very poor season for snowpack. I don't give a whit about that as far as snowmobiling goes--but it portends very serious water shortages come next summer if the pattern continues through the winter season, which the USDA Drought Forecast indicates will be the likely case.

As far as long-term, Colorado is considered a snowmobiling "hot spot," but the climatic regime here is such that the snowpack from year-to-year can be pretty variable and unreliable. Some years are great, some are lousy--with the latter circumstance seeming to be more common in the last 10-20 years.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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Jazz is right about the snow pack right now. I live near Vail and have no snow at all in my yard, last year at this time I had a couple of feet. My neighbors were out on their dirt bikes yesterday, so you can always do that if you can't snowmobile. I know in the winter I always see lots of snowmobiles out by Camp Hale between Red Cliff and Leadville. Many of the resorts have snowmobile tours for the vacationers, maybe you can manage a job with one of them and get paid to do what you enjoy for a little bit.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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It was just a few days ago that the Denver Post had a snowfall percentage chart and a related sizable story to go with it. Almost all of northwest Colorado is sitting at 65% of normal to date. And according to KKCO 11 news Grand Junction the five day forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 40's all the way through the weekend (ten to twelve degrees above normal)

While I favor the warmer than average temperatures over here, the lack of snow is becoming worrisome to me.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
While I favor the warmer than average temperatures over here, the lack of snow is becoming worrisome to me.
That is because you, like me, are a long-time Coloradan who knows the serious consequences of a severe snowpack shortfall in this state--an understanding quite obviously lacking in a number of other less experienced and less knowledgeable posters on this forum.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:27 PM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
That is because you, like me, are a long-time Coloradan who knows the serious consequences of a severe snowpack shortfall in this state--an understanding quite obviously lacking in a number of other less experienced and less knowledgeable posters on this forum.
It's bothering me. I hope we have a very snowy March.

Now to the OP, here's some links:

Colorado Snowmobile Tours|Colorado Snowmobile Rentals|Colorado Snowmobile Trips

Home - COLORADO SNOWMOBILE ASSOCIATION

Snowmobile Program | Colorado State Parks

Colorado - Snowmobiling Vacations - Trip Ideas & Best Weekend Getaways
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:54 PM
 
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The place I have always gone is Camp Hale. Unless something has changed, you can rent snowmobiles right there at the lodge with Nova Guides. But there is a whole trail system there. Also up on Vail Pass, a lot of people snowmobile up there and there is quite a travel system.

I'd caution to remember that fatalities and injuries are very common as a lot of people are unprepared for avalanches, bad visibility, bad weather, harsh cold conditions and all sorts of issues. I remember about 10 years ago on one of those flat light days, 3 brothers died up near Vail Pass. One went over what he thought was a dip and it turned out to be a cliff. The other 2 followed him over not realizing that.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:13 AM
 
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Another good article about the snowpack here, not good.
Snowpack Alarmingly Low As Dry Spell Continues In Colorado Mountains
RP
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerstudent18 View Post
I am thinking of moving to Colorado and I love snowmobiling. Where are the good snowmobile trails in the state? Are they easily accessible?
Two large places for snowmobiling are the San Juan mountains near the New Mexico border and the Grand Mesa in western Colorado. Of course there are other places, but these two are very good because they receive tons of snowfall every year, are high elevation (so the snow stays put), and with lots of big open areas.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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Cottonwood Pass out of BV and Monarch Pass are usually good, might have to wait till March this year. RP
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