The Beginner’s Guide to Your First Snowmobile Adventure

Winter vacations are all about relaxing with your family. The crowded resorts right around Lake Tahoe don’t offer much privacy for relaxation. For mountain fun with no crowds, look north toward the Plumas National Forest area.

The best way to explore the forest during winter is by snowmobile. Anyone over 16 with a license can operate a snowmobile. Your older teenagers will learn to love the outdoors during their snowmobile adventure.

There are a few key things to learn before going on a snowmobile tour. This short guide lays out what you need to know before starting your first snowmobile.

How to Stay Comfortable on Your Snowmobile Adventure 

The area north of Tahoe stays cold for six months with an average of 20 inches of snow. That’s tons of time for your family to venture out into the forest for an adventure.

To stay warm, you need to pick the right clothes for your snowmobile tour. Look for windproof clothing that traps a pocket of air against your body. Don’t forget a hat, gloves, and waterproof boots to keep the snow off your skin.

Other items you should pack:

  • Water and calorie-heavy snacks
  • A basic first-aid kit
  • Ski goggles
  • Whistle for emergencies
  • Space blanket
  • Duct tape

If you forget anything important, ask your tour guide for help. It’s important that you’re dressed right to avoid frostbite.

Learning How to Operate a Snowmobile

If you don’t know how to use a snowmobile, go on a tour as your first adventure. The tour guides are experts on safely operating snowmobiles. Most tours start in an open area so new drivers can practice without any hazards.

There’s not a steep learning curve to operating a snowmobile. If you know how to drive a car, you can figure out the basics with a little guidance.

Should You Join a Snowmobile Tour?

A downside to traveling with your snowmobiles is finding parking for the towing rig. There’s no guarantee that the hotel or B&B you’re staying at has enough parking. You also need to consider the danger of traveling to new places in the snow with a trailer.

Tour companies maintain fleets of newer generation snowmobiles. You won’t need to worry about gassing up before you hit the trails. 

Local snowmobile tour companies maintain miles of manicured snow trails. Their hard work ensures there are no surprises on the trail like rocks. 

Ready to Book Your Snowmobile Adventure?

Don’t hide from winter weather; embrace it and go on a snowmobile adventure. There’s no better way to explore the lush forests in Northern California.

Explore! Sierra Touring Company offers 2 or 3-hour snowmobile tours. Bring the family or your friends for a weekend getaway in the forest. Children may ride with licensed adults so everyone can enjoy the tour.

If you don’t think you’re prepared for the cold, that’s okay. We offer affordable gear rentals for snowmobile riders of every size.

Contact Explore! today to book your snowmobile adventure. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have about the tours.

4 Reasons a Snowmobile Tour Is the Best Weekend Getaway

There are hundreds of miles of winter recreation trails in the Sierra National Forest alone. 

Just imagine all the secret spots that are waiting to be explored on private properties throughout the California countryside. There’s no better way to explore stunning winter landscapes than speeding along on a snowmobile.

Read on to learn why a snowmobile tour is perfect for get-togethers: from families on their annual vacation to bachelorette parties.

1. Gets You off Well-Trod Trails

Snowmobiles are fast, powerful machines. They’ll get you over rugged terrain, through forest-edged trails, and up steep slopes with no sweat at all.

This means you can get to places you wouldn’t be able to when donning winter sports equipment like snowshoes, skis, or snowboards. And because you have to rug up on a snowmobile–with warm clothes, helmet, and gloves–you’ll arrive there much warmer and drier, too.

Choose your snowmobile rentals company carefully and you’re guaranteed to end up in some off-the-beaten-path locations. Look at photos of past tours, route maps, and customer reviews to get an idea of what you might experience.

2. Indulge Your Hobbies

If you have a hobby, like bird watching, photography, or hunting, tell your guide when you book your snowmobile experience.

Private ranches usually have thousands of acres of land with amazing wildlife and no shortage of places to enjoy the silence of nature. If your guide grew up in the area, they’ll know the best spots to take you to, whether it’s an Instagram-worthy vista or a quiet, ecologically abundant valley.

When you’re in the lodge, check with the staff for any guide books they might have on hand. Brush up on the local flora and fauna before you head out on your next snowmobile rides.

3. A Snowmobile Tour Is Fun for the Whole Family

The littlest ones in your family get crabby when cold and hungry. Teeny legs get tired quickly when skiing or snowboarding.

Snowmobile tours provide all the fun of gliding over the snow and all the beauty of a walk through the winter landscape without any of the hard work. The kids piggyback with you, so there’s no need to slow a tour down for them to keep up.

Young kids are welcome on most tours and teens over sixteen with a valid license can even drive themselves.

4. Stay and Play

Choose a tour provider with their own ranch and you’ll be able to get out of bed and right onto your snowmobile rental.

Most ranches are luxurious, with everything from glamping adventures to enjoying a good wine with your food in the saloon. Sit back and relax while your tour operator organizes the details of your snowmobile ride: the trails you’ll take, any extra gear you might need like a full-face helmet, and all the stops you’ll make along the way.

All you need to do is bundle everyone in the family up before you leave your cozy cabin.

A Knowledgable Guide Makes All the Difference

No matter the reasons to choose a snowmobile tour for your next winter vacation, it’s important to choose a tour provider with experience.

Explore! Sierra Touring Company knows the most exciting snowmobile ride trails, the most beautiful lookouts, and the most secluded spots. With an entire lifetime spent in the Sierra Mountains, founder Ken Smith knows the area inside and out.

Contact Explore! to book a once-in-a-lifetime snowmobile tour today.

5 Snowmobile Safety Tips Every Beginner Needs to Know

Can you imagine anything more fun to do in winter than exploring the snowy lakes, trails, and countryside of California on your very own snowmobile?

It’s a huge adrenaline rush and one of the most memorable winter experiences you can have, but it needs to be done safely.

Snowmobiling isn’t without risks, but you can minimize them by following a few simple safety precautions. To learn more, keep reading for our top five snowmobile safety tips that will keep you safe out on the trails.

1. Snowmobile Safety Starts with Appropriate Gear

You need the right clothing and gear to stay safe and warm, as snowmobiling is a cold activity!

If you’re wondering what to wear snowmobiling, you’ll need a full-face helmet, snowmobile suit, gloves, boots, and a warm hat. It’s recommended you dress in warm, polyester layers, as they can help wick away moisture from your skin.

2. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Snowmobiling safety means always keeping your eyes on the road. Be on the lookout for branches, potholes, skiers, animals, or other debris that could cause an accident.

By constantly looking ahead, you avoid obstacles that could lead to accidents.

3. Don’t Go Alone

Snowmobiling should never be done alone, as you need support in case of an accident or malfunction.

The best way to try it out is with snowmobile tours, as it lets you experience the fun of snowmobiling with the safety of a trained guide. It’s a great option for snowmobiles for beginners, as a full briefing on how to drive and operate is included before you set off.

4. Follow the Weather Conditions Closely

Weather conditions can change quickly in the snow, so riders should always be aware of the forecast and conditions.

Check the weather right before heading out, and head back if heavy snowfalls or wind come in. Riding in white-out conditions is dangerous and an easy way to get lost.

5. Stay on Marked Trails

If you’re wondering how to drive a snowmobile safely, the easiest answer is to always stay on marked trails.

Trails are groomed so that they’re smooth and debris have been removed, making them the safest place to ride. Trails can also run through private land, so going off the trail into private property isn’t allowed.

Always follow the signposts when it comes to speeds and right of way as well. Also, follow the snowmobiling state laws in the state in which you’re riding. 

Contact Us to Book a Snowmobiling Adventure

Now that you know more about snowmobile safety tips, are you ready to book an epic adventure in the snow?

If so, Explore! Sierra Touring Company is here to help. We offer two or three-hour tours, departing from J&J’s Grizzly Store in Portola, CA. Clothing rental is available and the tours are a lot of fun for both beginners and expert riders.

To book in your next snowmobiling tour, contact us today. We are also glad to answer any of your questions and we look forward to taking you out through the snow!