The Snowmobile Blog
If you're watching the Winter Carnival street events today or tomorrow in downtown Steamboat, please visit our booth - it's located at the corner of 8th Street and Lincoln Avenue. We'd love to talk snowmobiling and help plan your upcoming snowmobile tour!
One of our guides shoveling in the Park Range mountains on Christmas Eve
In addition to the special nature of the snow Steamboat receives, the volume is another amazing quality. The Park Range mountains, where we conduct our tours, receive the most winter precipitation in all of Colorado. The reason the Park Range receives the most precipitation is due to the way rain or snow is generated by mountains through orographic precipitation. Orographic precipitation is a term for the process by which moist air is forced up the slopes of mountains to produce rain or snow. Snowfall in our area is the result of storms that originate over the Pacific Ocean and travel inland, producing orographic precipitation in the mountains of California, Utah and Wyoming before reaching Colorado. Fortunately for us, there is a gap of relatively low terrain before Pacific storms reach the northern Colorado mountains. This results in moisture-rich clouds running perpendicularly into the Park Range, where they dump the brunt of their precipitation before traveling on. For a more thorough explanation of this phenomena, please take a look at the research paper “Why is the Park Range Colorado’s Snowfall Capital?” in Colorado Climate. Otherwise, you can come see us – we’d love to show you our record-breaking volume of snow firsthand.
Photo courtesy of Afar.com
Afar Magazine sent New York-based reporter Ashley Castle to Steamboat Springs earlier this month for the article "A Perfect Week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado." Ashley noted Steamboat Snowmobile Tours as a major highlight of her trip and aptly titled the segment "Live Adventurously." The article has great ideas for places to visit while you're in Steamboat, including cowboy outfitter F.M. Light & Sons, Strawberry Park Hot Springs and Steamboat Mountain. Check out Ashley's Instagram for more cool pictures of her snowmobile adventure. Thanks to Afar for the exciting piece and to Ashley for taking a tour with us. We love helping all our guests "Live Adventurously."
After arriving at Steamboat Snowmobile Tours, the first step of your adventure is getting situated at our toasty cabin in Routt National Forest. The small building is one of a limited number of buildings allowed on Routt National Forest land, and it exists through a grandfather provision. Because it was built without toilet facilities, portable toilets have been placed shortly outside the cabin for our guests and staff.
Once inside the cabin, you'll check in, fill out a waiver form, meet with your guide and get fitted for a helmet, which is required by the Department of Transportation. You may leave anything that you don't care to take on the tour inside the cabin. There are no lockers, so we discourage you from leaving any valuables. However, the cabin is always manned by members of our staff.
Inside the cabin, you can also take advantage of several complimentary items for use during your tour including:
You may also help yourself to complimentary hot chocolate, cider and tea before and after your tour.
There are granola bars, candy bars and other snacks available for purchase, in addition to Steamboat Snowmobile Tours baseball caps and kids T-shirts. You may also purchase a face mask. Many of our guests have recommended a face mask to protect from blowing snow and wind while snowmobiling.
If you have any questions about what to wear or how to otherwise prepare for your tour, please take a look at Advice for First-Time Riders or call us at 970-879-6500.
We can't wait to see you!
Snowmobiling in Northwest Colorado's Routt National Forest gives you a powder experience unique to this part of North America. Powder is defined as freshly fallen, uncompacted snow, and the powder in our area is prized for its low moisture content (about 6 percent, compared with 10 percent for most other mountains). Our powder is so dry due to the way winter storms make their way to the Steamboat Springs area from the Pacific Northwest. Clouds of supercooled water blow in from the ocean and travel about 1,200 miles east through Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. The supercooled water remains a liquid despite being colder than the freezing point. The clouds encounter cold temperatures in the lower troposphere – about 2,000 to 2,500 miles above the Earth. At these elevations, the wet clouds see their moisture attach to dust, creating large snowflakes known as stellar dendrites. When the clouds run into the Park Range encompassing the Steamboat area, they are forced above the mountains and cool. The clouds lose their moisture, sending us dry stellar dendrites that characterize our amazing powder.
For snowmobilers, the powder will blow around you in a glittering, snowglobe-like wonderland as you and your guide sled through Routt National Forest. Snowmobiling allows us to take you to places you could not otherwise reach during the winter, to see sights that few people get to enjoy, all while having a powder experience available nowhere else. Come join us and see for yourself what makes the Steamboat Snowmobiling Tours adventure so unique.