Have you ever thought about snowmobiling? Are you intrigued enough to learn more about a snowmobile experience for the first time? Well, that was me just a few weeks ago. I was one of those curious but scared people, before I was approached by the company Polaris to be an ambassador and join a Snowmobiling adventure in Colorado. I had mixed feelings at first: a little fear of the unknown, excitement and curiosity, but let me tell you that now, I’m so happy that I said ‘yes,’ took a leap of faith and headed to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I had the snowmobile adventure of a lifetime, which inspired me to write this post! I want to share with you what it feels like to go snowmobiling in Colorado from a first timer’s perspective.
Note: This trip was sponsored by Polaris but, as always, my opinions are all my own.
Let me first start by saying that as a Caribbean girl, who was raised in Puerto Rico, I’ve never been too fond of the snow. I usually escaped the winter in New York by going someplace warmer. I thought that a winter activity would be too cold for me and that I wouldn’t enjoy it. Boy, was I wrong about this! I actually regret not trying snowmobiling sooner. Let me share with you some tips, myths, misconceptions and my full experience snowmobiling.
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 The snowmobiling experience for first timers
- 1.1 Does it get too cold when snowmobiling?
- 1.2 Was it difficult driving a snowmobile?
- 1.3 Is it safe to ride a snowmobile?
- 1.4 What did it feel like to ride a snowmobile?
- 1.5 Snowmobiling tips and what to expect
- 1.6 Snowmobiling in Colorado: Why you should consider Steamboat Springs for your own snowmobile experience
- 1.7 What should I wear for snowmobiling? Here are the packing essentials for any snowmobile adventure!
- 1.8 My personal tips for packing carry on style for a winter adventure
The snowmobiling experience for first timers
Let me first address the most common questions and comments I got while I was posting my instagram stories, photos and videos while snowmobiling in Colorado.
Does it get too cold when snowmobiling?
One of the biggest misconceptions about snowmobiling is that people think, “Oh no, it will be freezing; I can’t handle that.” But the reality is that it’s really all about the gear that you wear. If you have the proper snow gear and, in this case, snowmobiling gear, you won’t really feel cold. Actually, I felt quite warm with my body suit on + the clothing I had on underneath, in addition to gloves, helmet and goggles. Obviously, if you take the gloves off for a long time or if you are touching the snow without gloves (more common than you’d think) your hands will get cold. I must add that the adrenaline rush also helps to keep you warm and happy.
Was it difficult driving a snowmobile?
To my surprise, driving a snowmobile was easier than driving a car. It was quite straightforward. As long as you have your hands in the right place, always keeping a finger close to the brake, and do not go too crazy with speed, you can easily master directing the snowmobile quite easily and quickly. It is almost like driving a motorcycle, but much easier than even that.
Tip: Make sure to move your body, towards the left or right of the snowmobile, while taking a curve or trying to turn. This was my first mistake but once I managed to understand this, it was super easy riding around on the snowmobile.
Is it safe to ride a snowmobile?
While anything can happen while participating in any given sporting adventure, I found snowmobiling quite safe. Of course, a lot depends on factors like the trail you’re driving along, the weather conditions, your preparation and experience. As a first timer, it is mostly safe, since you won’t start learning on a hard trail, you will have instructors who will teach you, not only how to drive the snowmobile, but also will share tips for your own safety.
The instructors also give you a backpack with essentials, in case of any issue that you might encounter. For example, you get a radio to communicate, a gps, a tool used in case of an avalanche, etc. Note: It is less probable that you’ll need anything in the backpack as a beginner, since they do not take you on hard trails and my instructors from Colorado Sled Rentals were also there with me as a beginner. I appreciated the ability to ask any questions and have them all answered. But the best news is that, falling onto the snow feels as if you’re falling on fluffy clouds. It is way harder to get hurt, so I would say it feels less scary as a first timer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that snowmobiling is not really a solo adventure, it is more of a group activity, since you should never go snowmobiling alone. I truly loved this aspect because it creates more of a sense of safe fun + community, since you get to enjoy the trails with other people.
What did it feel like to ride a snowmobile?
While I was driving the snowmobile, I felt different emotions: freedom, exhilaration and excitement. It was this kind of amazing feeling that is sometimes hard to describe. Feeling of the wind on your face, surrounded by the majestic landscape vistas, along with the sense that you are in control and the incredible feeling of seeing everything around you fully white, snow covered – it’s heavenly! This was my experience snowmobiling in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Just incredible!
Snowmobiling tips and what to expect
The best time to go snowmobiling as a first timer is in the morning, since you’ll have better visibility. Keep in mind that you should always wear sunscreen. Even if it’s not summer, the sun reflects off of the snow, so you can still easily get sunburned.
The time you spend snowmobiling can vary, but the one I signed up for lasted around 3 hours round trip. During the 3 hours, they also included a break to eat and drink by a fire pit. It was a wonderful moment to interact with others while enjoying your meal.
Note: The 3 hours on the road does not include the time in which they review safety tips and precautions. This lasted around 30 minutes and then getting dressed took about another half an hour or a little more. In total, the whole activity lasted about half a day.
Afterwards, I was still riding high from the experience, but I was exhausted too. Remember most of what you put on must come off, so that takes a little extra time too. I recommend a nice long soak once you return to your room, another meal and then get some rest (if you’re sore, take something for that). You might experience a wonderful, deep sleep so prepare to enjoy it.
Snowmobiling in Colorado: Why you should consider Steamboat Springs for your own snowmobile experience
Steamboat Springs is a fairy tale city. Wandering around makes you feel as if you are starring in a christmas movie from the Hallmark channel. I swear, it is just ‘wow’ views, never-ending panorama and nothing but charm. The people are quite friendly and warm.
Best part is that you can enjoy more than snowmobiling there, since there are hot springs in the city, or whirlpool/jacuzzi in most places you can choose to stay.
There are other snow activities you can enjoy in Steamboat Springs such as skiing, snowtubing, fly fishing, sleigh rides, etc. I must also mention the cute restaurants, coffee shops and bars all along the main street. It is definitely a great place to go on a girls weekend getaway, as a family or even for couples. Lots of options. I was lucky to snag a cottage and it was too wonderful.
In terms of snowmobiling, Steamboat Springs is perfect because you can find great trails, wonderful companies where you can rent the gear and snowmobiles (I personally used Colorado Sled Rentals), and great weather conditions during the snowmobile season which can start as early as December 1st depending on the snowfall, but January 1st through April 15th is usually the most reliable time to book your reservations. Steamboat Springs is truly a paradise for sled heads!
What should I wear for snowmobiling? Here are the packing essentials for any snowmobile adventure!
First of all, acknowledge that you will be traveling to a place where there will be cold weather and snow, so it is important to dress warmly. For your snowmobile ride needs, you can rent snowsuits, helmets, goggles, riding gloves and safety gear. I wouldn’t recommend buying this kind of gear, unless you are constantly going on snow adventures and prefer using your own gear rather than renting.
Here is a packing list of things that are advisable to bring with you:
- Polypropylene style long underwear (top and bottom) or thermal underwear Long Johns – and women will appreciate wearing a good sports bra
- A good pair of ski socks (polypropylene or wool, avoid cotton)
- Comfortable middle layers such as sweatshirts, sweatpants, and polar fleece
- Waterproof and windproof outer layers (ski or snow pants and jacket). I really love this set.
- Warm gloves, scarf and hat
- Warm shoes suitable for the snow
My personal tips for packing carry on style for a winter adventure
These are the items that I brought with me when preparing to visit Colorado to brave the cold, but I limited myself to only one travel bag. I wanted to also share with you some of my quick packing tips for coping with the winter’s cold weather:
- Pack One coat (I personally love the one I just brought on this trip since it’s reversible: One side is mustard colored and the other dark navy blue, so it can match with many things; plus, it has a hoodie).
- Keep warm by wearing layers…
- Speaking of layers, I usually bring thermals for underneath or you can just simply wear tights, if you don’t have any thermals.
- One pair of boots is enough (I wore my long boots to travel + they are waterproof).
- Wear your bulkiest clothing to the airport so that you don’t have to pack them.
- Select Mix & Match clothing items for increasing number of options.
- Simply roll the clothes or invest in small packing cubes to save space, such as these ones.
- Don’t pack bulky sweaters, unless you wear one on the plane. I tend to pack this travel blanket for every flight.
- Pack only one scarf, hat, and gloves that match everything.
- If this is an extended trip, plan to do laundry rather than pack for every day. I always bring this dirty laundry bag with me.
- Pack only essentials (I personally put my shower gel, lotion and other things in my small refillable bottles or, if I’m staying in a hotel, then I know they will provide them so, I leave mine home). Here is a good TSA approved cosmetic kit with must haves.
I hope that you find these quick tips helpful.
In summary, I found snowmobiling to be a life changing experience. I could definitely say that most people who try it, like it. Of course, it is always up to choosing the right time to go, the right location, and finding the right gear and knowledgeable instructors.
I personally fell in love, not only with snowmobiling but also with the dreamy-like snow around me. I definitely appreciate winter just a little bit more than before and I cannot wait to go on my next snowmobiling adventure! Special thanks to Polaris for making the magic happen! I always say ‘yes’ when adventure calls and this experience did not dissapoint!
Share your thoughts with me. Have you ever been snowmobiling or would you now consider planning a snowmobile adventure? Tell me below about your experience or whether you’re going to try it now?
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