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Snowmobile West Yellowstone


Due to the various types of snowmobiling terrain available outside the park and the regulations that govern the type of snowmobiles that are allowed within Yellowstone National Park, different types of sleds are best reserved for a guided park tour, a long trail ride outside the park, a  fast paced ride across a frozen lake or a high altitude deep powder mountain adventure.

Because of the daily restrictions on the number of sleds and coaches allowed within the park, it is suggested that you reserve your snowmobile or snow coach as soon as your room reservation is confirmed to assure availability for your dates in advance, especially during holiday weeks or popular events. Once the daily park limit is reached it is impossible to rent additional sleds or coaches for park tours so  providers may sell out early.

We have partnered with the most experienced snowmobile providers in the Yellowstone area to provide all the expertise, guidance, equipment and clothing you will need to explore any and all of the entire Yellowstone area.

The first step to a memorable winter adventure is to reserve your room as early as possible directly with us on this web site or call us at 800-259-4672 for any lodging questions. The next step is to call one of West Yellowstone's most experienced and trusted snowmobile providers who are highly recommended by us. Tell them the dates that you have a room confirmed at the Kelly Inn and that we recommended that you call them to match your adventure goals, skill level and itinerary so that you can reserve the ideal sled for your total needs.

Their expert snowmobile providers and tour guides can provide you with all the information you will need to choose the type of snowmobile that best fits your needs for exploring outside the park trails, off trail mountain riding or to arrange a guided snowmobile tour of Yellowstone National Park. You may even decide on a combination plan to try different activities on each day of your stay. They can reserve your choice of sleds, clothing sizes and equipment you may need for each day of your snowmobile adventure well in advance so you will be assured of the availability of exactly what you need when you arrive.

For outstanding service with guided park tours, outer trail riding and mountain sledding with Arctic Cat or Polaris brand snowmobiles, we highly recommend that you call Backcountry Adventures at 800-924-7669 to reserve your sled today. For more information visit their web site at

For outstanding service with guided park tours, outer trail riding and mountain sledding with Ski Doo brand snowmobiles we highly recommend you call Yellowstone Adventures at 800-231-5991 to reserve your sled today. For more information visit their web site at


Kelly Inn West Yellowstone can help you arrange a comfortable heated Snow Coach tour of Yellowstone National Park for yourself or your entire group.  You can check local weather conditions and make your room reservation directly with us on this web site or call us at 800-259-4672 for answers to all of your questions.  Have breakfast with us and leave your car safely in our lot while you take a day trip into the park. If you elect to stay in the park overnight you can pick up your car the next day at no additional charge. See the Backcountry Adventures web site and call them at 800-924-7669 to arrange an affordable and comfortable snow coach tour with some of the most experienced guides in town who can pick you up and drop you off at our front door.

Weather in Yellowstone is very unpredictable. The roads from the West Gate into Yellowstone National Park close for all wheeled traffic early in November every year to prepare as trails for winter use. They normally reopen for guided over the snow vehicles only from mid December through mid March when they again close to prepare the roads for summer use. Those roads into the park normally reopen mid April for wheeled traffic but many of the roads leading to the various attractions then open weekly as weather permits. Most roads throughout the park are usually fully open from mid May through mid October depending on construction, weather or forest fire situations. A phone call to our hotel at 800-259-4672 can provide the latest updated park information, road conditions or weather predictions throughout the year.


The West Yellowstone snowmobile trail system, outside of Yellowstone Park, will keep you busy with over 400 miles of groomed trails in the Gallatin and Targhee National Forests.  West Yellowstone has a great variety of trails from flat trails that have little elevation gain to trails that take you up to spectacular vistas-and a little of something everywhere in between.  What makes West Yellowstone so appealing is that regardless of whether you decide to just trail ride or explore the off trail possibilities - or both - it can be as mild or wild as you like.  As you get more confident (daring?) you can choose the terrain that best challenges you.  There is something for every kind of riding skill.

Today, the West Yellowstone trail system ranks as one of the best anywhere in the snow belt.  The off trail riding is some of the best you will find anywhere too, with challenging mountains, awesome boon docking and terrain that is as varied as those who come to ride it.  And because West Yellowstone is an established tourist destination, you will find all the services you ever need while on a snowmobile trip.

The elevation of the trial system ranges from 6,666 -10,000 with snowfall averaging 143 inches a year.  The town is surrounded by mountains, some of which top out at more than 10,000 feet.  it is not hard to pick out Lionhead (elevation 9,574 feet) Horse Butte (7,077) or Two Top Mountain (8,710) from the streets of town.  Below is some information on some of the trails in our system.

Click on this link to see a map of the trails next to West Yellowstone in Gallatin & Targhee national forest.  For current snow depth in the West Yellowstone area click here.   or check out to compare snow conditions across the country. For Trail conditions in Yellowstone National Park and for the groomed trails in the West Yellowstone area click here.

Madision Arm Loop:  Is located just north of town and is 20 miles long.  As the name suggests, this trail is a loop, rather than a go from point A to point B trail.  It's pretty tough to get lost on this trail, which makes it an excellent trail for beginners or anyone looking for a sweet, smooth ride through the forest.  The northern edge of the Madison Arm Loop skirts along the edge of Hebgen lake (the ice is unsafe to ride on) while the west edge of the loop goes along the South Fork of the Madison River.  There's not a lot of off-trail riding available on this trail.  Once you make the loop, though, and want more of a challenge, then hit the Little Snowy Trail, which takes you to the Two Top Loop.

South Plateau Trail:  Is located South of town off of Electric Street and is 13-16 miles long.  The South Plateau Trail gives sledders lots of options.  You can ride out to the end of the trail and then head back to town or make your ride longer, depending on which route you choose to come back to town.  there is also plenty of off-trail riding in this part of Montana and Idaho but know where you are because the South Plateau Trail skirts the western edge of Yellowstone National Park and it is illegal to ride into the Park from this trail.

Soon after you leave West Yellowstone on the South Plateau, you gain elevation and hit some hairpin turns on your way to the Madison Plateau.  This trail also winds through a section of burned out forest (great off-trail riding here), which creates some great scenery.

Now here are some options on getting back to West Yellowstone.  At the end of the South Plateau Trail, you can head west on the Black Canyon Trail to where it meets the BPA Powerline Trail or go a little farther to the Railroad Trail, turn north and head to the Two Top Loop and take the back to town.  Its about a 45 mile trip.  Taking the Black Bear Cutoff, off the South Plateau Trail to where it meets the Black Canyon Trail shaves off six miles.  You can make the trip even longer if you take the western part of the Two Top Loop back to West Yellowstone.

Two Top Loop:  Is located West of town accessed from Iris street at the old airport and is 28 miles long.  This just might be the most famous snowmobile trail in North America.  First, its a great trail with lots of elevation changes and second, the view from the top is awesome.  From the top of Two Top you can see three states:  Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  On a clear day you can see the Madison River Canyon in Yellowstone National Park, the Teton Mountains,  Sawtelle Mountain, Mt. Jefferson and more.

Then there's the snow ghosts on top.  Snow ghosts are wind-driven snow plastered trees that take a form all their own during the winter.  The trail has plenty of charger too, with steep grades, windy, twisty sections and lots of off-trail opportunities.  You can extend your ride by taking one or more rouges that leave the Two Top Loop.  Or you can cut a little of the trail off by taking the Mosquito Cutoff.  The western edge of the Two Top Loop crosses the Montana/Idaho border several times.

Lionhead Trail/Loop:  This trail is located about 10 miles west of West Yellowstone and is about 10 miles in length.  The Lionhead Trail and Loop is accessed from the northwest edge of the Two Top Loop.  This area is a favorite for hill climbers and off-trail riders because of its challenging terrain and deep snow.  The trail itself is one of the more challenging ones near West Yellowstone.  Some parts of the trail make you feel like you're going straight up or straight down.  The adventuresome head off trail once they get to the back part of the loop where they can do some serious boon docking and hill climbing.

There is a reason the area is named Lionhead.  The mountain really does look like a lion's head but its best viewed from the east and a mile or so from the mountain, like from U.S. Highway 20 when you're driving toward Targhee Pass.  Targhee pass, which crosses the Idaho/Montana border on the Continental Divide, is also where the west part of the Lionhead Loop crosses the highway.   It's also here where you can loop up with Idaho's Valley View Trail.

Horse Butte Trail/Loop:  This trail is located about four miles north of West Yellowstone and is about 12 miles long.  Much like the Lionhead Trail and Loop, you take a trail (Horse Butte Trail: 4.8 miles) to the loop part of the system.  You access the Lionhead Trail from the Madison Arm Loop.  You can add another 15 or so miles to this trip by taking the Cougar Creek Trail.

This is another gentle, easy trail ride, even if you decide to climb Horse Butte (elevation 7,077 feet), where a fire lookout is located.  The loop portion of the trail hugs Hebgen Lake's eastern shore and give some great views of the mountains north of the lake.  The loop also nearly completely circles the Horse Butte Peninsula.

There is some off-trail riding through the trees and meadows on the trail portion of Horse butte.  Be sure to pay attention to the posted signs as off-trail riding is prohibited in some spots.

Big Sky Trail:  Is located about 8 miles north of West Yellowstone and is 8 miles long.  to get to the Big Sky Trail, take the Madison Arm Loop to the Cougar Creek Trail to where it meets with beginning of the Big Sky Trail.  This junction is just sought of the U.S. Highway 191 and U.S. Highway 287 junction.

This is the trail aggressive riders take to hit some of the best back country riding this part of Montana has to offer.  Most are headed to Carrot Basin and Skyline Ridge.  There is some off-trail riding even before you get to Carrot Basin but the really good stuff begins after you leave the groomed portion of the trail.

The trail itself isn't too difficult, although it does have some ups and downs that are fun. 

In addition our trail system will connect with many of the trails in Island Park, Idaho.  Stay tuned for more information on the Island park snowmobile trails.


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