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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Recommendations for 1st time heading West from Twin Cities

    With the lack of snow everywhere, I'm looking for some advice any of you may have for a 1st time riding group heading west. Closest, best riding, lodge, etc.? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    pine city
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    I would go to the big horns first time out. Dont know what they have for snow right now though

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Bayfield, Wisconsin
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    I did my first time out west ride with two friends last January at Beaver Creek Lodge, Utah. It was a fantastic experience. So much that we are going back with our wives, my brother and two others. Just a month away and we are very excited. The lodge has it all www.beavercreeklodge.com And the service, sleds, etc and meals are all first class. New sleds, KLIM gear, etc. and meals that you will die for.

    I would best describe the area as the Disney World of Snowmobiling. From the lodge, ride the well groomed trails, get off on the numerous adjacent meadows, basins and climb the small hills and slopes right next to the trails. Have your fun and back on the trails. Or go back country to areas that you would never find without a guide. We did that the first day and it was absolutely awesome.

    We fly from MSP to Salt Lake City and then a three hour drive up to the lodge. For us it works great as none of us want to spend four days driving tagging along with trailers out and back. We think their rates are very reasonable and the airfare to SLC is very reasonable. We did ours for $272. Last year $228. Plus we don't have mountain sleds which is a must if you want to enjoy the area.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    NE Pa
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    maybe you could add WHAT type of riding you want to do, off trail, or ON trail
    do you want challenging terrain, or do you want to just play here and there?
    do you want conveniences of lots of places to stop and eat/drink
    or you want more remote and less traffic??
    you can always get better packaged deals in the bigger places , like west yellowstone and Island park, many places offer go deals on stay and rental packages, and these places cater to sledders really well,
    alot of WHERE to go out west has to do with what experience your looking for if you ask me

    the more populated places off free airport pick up, and can save you on a car rental too,

    but the west is for sure a great place to go at least once, most times you go, you will want to go back, and have a better idea on what you want after that, then you can pick better
    NOTHING beats the popular places for a first time trip I think, unless your really experienced and want the bigger challenges, they, there are better places for sure with a LOT less crowds

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Chicago
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    Albany Wyoming is probably your closest but the snow is sketchy right now for off trail riding. If you go there stay in Laramie and drive to Albany. We are going to the Glen eden resort in Clark Colorado in 2 weeks. It is just north of Steamboat and the riding is great. You can go to Steamboat for dinner and nightlife or Hahns Peak right up the road. You can ride several places nearby in the Routt National Forest or go up to Rabbit Ears and ride there. They have good snow with the storm that just came through and they are supposed to get more this week. Once you go you will be hooked.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Illinois
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    79

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    Albany is a 15hr drive for us, if that truly is the closest place to ride, it sucks to think about it.... renting a sled while I own two makes my skin crawl hahaha

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    NE Pa
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    Quote Originally Posted by hudson056 View Post
    Albany is a 15hr drive for us, if that truly is the closest place to ride, it sucks to think about it.... renting a sled while I own two makes my skin crawl hahaha
    well renting a sled can make a difference in getting out there to ride or not for many, as like me its a 40 hr drive one way, and the costs of fuel alone out and back about covers the rental fee;s
    and don;t have to put wear and tear on a personal sled(don;t have one right now but still)

    and if your like me, you can fly out cheaper than driving, and NOT waste 2 days driving each way

    so for many again iots a better deal to fly and rent, than drive and tow
    all comes down to what you want and can swing I guess

    but al the rentals I have had, have all been great so far, even broke a few and just got a new one on the spot!, NO down time

    where had it been MY sled, I would have been waiting to get into a local dealer for repair and been siting while others rode. so that's also another reason a rental can make since, when far from home??

    it sure sucks to have your own sled all set up as you like and be riding a rental, LOL
    that's for sure, but when there is NO snow at home, and too far to tow to get to it, a plane ride and a rental can make a season IMO

  8. #8
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    Dec 2009
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    Waterford WI. / Rockland MI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicagosledder View Post
    Albany Wyoming is probably your closest but the snow is sketchy right now for off trail riding. If you go there stay in Laramie and drive to Albany. We are going to the Glen eden resort in Clark Colorado in 2 weeks. It is just north of Steamboat and the riding is great. You can go to Steamboat for dinner and nightlife or Hahns Peak right up the road. You can ride several places nearby in the Routt National Forest or go up to Rabbit Ears and ride there. They have good snow with the storm that just came through and they are supposed to get more this week. Once you go you will be hooked.
    will be in Glen eden in 2 weeks as well. see you there!

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    South Central Wisconsin
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    Albany lodge reported 30 inches of fresh up high.
    Lake Effect Snow, my three favorite words.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2011
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    EASTERN ia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
    Albany lodge reported 30 inches of fresh up high.
    I'm taking my crew to Laramie Dec 26
    We will probably end up at Albany lodge for food/drinks at some point.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2009
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    Chicago
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    Quote Originally Posted by teestarr00 View Post
    will be in Glen eden in 2 weeks as well. see you there!
    Look for the blue Silverado 2500. We can't go into anything hairy this trip as we have two teenagers with us this trip.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2009
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    Twin Cities , MN
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    Thanks for the insight folks!

  13. #13
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    Jan 2010
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    ne ia, new hartford
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    Quote Originally Posted by T- BONE View Post
    I'm taking my crew to Laramie Dec 26
    We will probably end up at Albany lodge for food/drinks at some point.
    We will be at Albany too staying in the box car 26-jan 2

  14. #14
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    Dec 2009
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    Waterford WI. / Rockland MI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicagosledder View Post
    Look for the blue Silverado 2500. We can't go into anything hairy this trip as we have two teenagers with us this trip.
    will be in the "hiker" cabin and look for a grey duramax with sled deck. we got a teenager too.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2009
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    Chicago
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    Quote Originally Posted by teestarr00 View Post
    will be in the "hiker" cabin and look for a grey duramax with sled deck. we got a teenager too.
    I think they put us in the North Star cabin.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbb View Post
    well renting a sled can make a difference in getting out there to ride or not for many, as like me its a 40 hr drive one way, and the costs of fuel alone out and back about covers the rental fee;s
    and don;t have to put wear and tear on a personal sled(don;t have one right now but still)
    40hrs? whats up grandpa I have driven from NY to san fran in less time than that .
    the other thing to think about is when U total a rental . I have been there when a guy in our crew did that one . it ended up cheaper for him to buy it haul it home and fix it

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowho96 View Post
    We will be at Albany too staying in the box car 26-jan 2
    Quote Originally Posted by teestarr00 View Post
    will be in the "hiker" cabin and look for a grey duramax with sled deck. we got a teenager too.
    Quote Originally Posted by chicagosledder View Post
    I think they put us in the North Star cabin.
    any of u guys trailer to the sierra madre after the range gets wind blown and piss pounded ? it is a extra drive around but staying in ryan park gives u a pretty ez trailer over to the madre's and ez night drive to the hobo pools in Saratoga

  18. #18
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    Feb 2012
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    iowa
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    another option for you to check into is the blackhills. closer and short tracks do fine and if you stay in deadwood there are plenty of options for night life. we always stay at the deadwood gulch hotel located on south end of town and if there is a lot of snow the trail starts out front.if they don't have snow in town you trailer your sleds up the hill about 5 miles to a parking lot and unload there.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2009
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    NE Pa
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezra View Post
    40hrs? whats up grandpa I have driven from NY to san fran in less time than that .
    the other thing to think about is when U total a rental . I have been there when a guy in our crew did that one . it ended up cheaper for him to buy it haul it home and fix it
    well from NY to CA is like 2600+ miles, so NOT sure HOW Fast you drive , but NON stop , GO gas or food stops and you still close to 40 hrs
    from my door to the place I stay in WY was just under 40 hrs
    a lot of side roads, bad weather and traffic on the hi way at major city;s I cross thru

    Ran from my place to Belfield ND a few dozen times, just under 2,000 miles and it runs me any where from 38-36 hrs, driving when possible at 75+ on cruise control, and run NON stop, minus fuel stops
    SO< unless your driving a LOT faster than 75??
    I think your MATH on time is off LOL
    been driving across the usa back and forth for 25+ yrs
    (and yes into CA several times)
    so, I think my numbers are rather accurate for me and depending where others live at


    NEXT as for totaling a sled
    been with friends that did the same

    they had to pay a $750.00 deductible when they totaled there rental

    MY deductible on my personal sleds was $500.00
    so, that means it would have cost me an extra 250 bucks IF I totaled a rental, which I have YET to do

    so again, I am NOT sure where your math is coming from

    the rental agreement forms SPELL all the details out, you can see them LONG before you decide to go, so you can DECIDE IF its worth it to you or not

    but a rental can be a BIG time saver and a way to salvage a NO snow season where you live by traveling, and riding where GOOD snow is
    NOT looking to start a feud here either
    just giving honest info on travel times and rental info

    there are always GOOD deals and BAD deals, when it comes to contracts, its the fine print you need to read before you sign
    if you agree to HIGH crazy terms IF a crash happens, that's, well on you
    I never had them issue's with all my rentals
    I do my home work before I sign anything, and know what I am getting into
    as I suggest all others do as well

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowho96 View Post
    We will be at Albany too staying in the box car 26-jan 2
    Quote Originally Posted by teestarr00 View Post
    will be in the "hiker" cabin and look for a grey duramax with sled deck. we got a teenager too.
    Quote Originally Posted by chicagosledder View Post
    I think they put us in the North Star cabin.
    I have no prob rolling 90plus with out a trailer +85ish if dry with not much wind yanking .highway patrol gives me a talking to and poss a award every yr or so
    my bud who totaled was under the assumption his insurance covered him so he never bought it. last time a bud rented a sled in WY it was a grand deductible not bad but still a chunk if u wreck.

  21. #21
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    Dec 2009
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    NE Pa
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezra View Post
    I have no prob rolling 90plus with out a trailer +85ish if dry with not much wind yanking .highway patrol gives me a talking to and poss a award every yr or so
    my bud who totaled was under the assumption his insurance covered him so he never bought it. last time a bud rented a sled in WY it was a grand deductible not bad but still a chunk if u wreck.
    yes a grand isn't too bad, BUT again, that's more likely what most folks have on there own sleds too, so, not much of a difference if you total a rental or your own sled is there???

    and I have had me a few check up from hi way patrol units, with speeds of over a 130 mph
    used to have a issue with fast traveling
    BUT since you pointed out you dis like costs of rentals, a ticket isn't so cheap either LOL
    all the more so when you get enough to get the insurance CO to crank there rates up on you
    so a faster trip can cost a lot more down the road

    key I find traveling is go with the flow, be it 75 or 85 or??
    a little travel time on me, is YRS back me and a buddy ran back and forth from our place here in PA< to Omaha NE, always trying to out do each others time
    1180 miles
    My best time was 11 hr and 20 minutes and I stopped to eat inside a place LOL
    so trust me, I have many times pushed the limits traveling Hahaha
    guess I grew up watching too many speed movies, like Smoky and the Bandit and Cannonball run.
    Showing my age here some !!
    the good old days !!

  22. #22
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee
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    Headed to Ten Mile Lodge arriving Dec 28 - see you on the trails! Say hello to me in my rasta hat...

  23. #23
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    Dec 2009
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    Milwaukee
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezra View Post
    any of u guys trailer to the sierra madre after the range gets wind blown and piss pounded ? it is a extra drive around but staying in ryan park gives u a pretty ez trailer over to the madre's and ez night drive to the hobo pools in Saratoga
    Staying near Ryan Park but don't want to trailer. Do the trails get beat bad?

  24. #24
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    Dec 2009
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    Freeland MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by bladeguy View Post
    Staying near Ryan Park but don't want to trailer. Do the trails get beat bad?
    You shouldn't have to trailer at all from 10 mile, even in low snow years they typically push some of the snow from the road into the ditch so you have something to ride on. Then from ten mile to were the elevation starts to climb isn't that far so you will see the snow get deeper quick. When we stayed at 10 mile the trails were always very good. We would typical ride trail N to the areas where MC, M, and X intersect then jump off for some of the deepest offtrail.
    Or if you meant trails to the Hobo pool, there is rarely enough snow to ride down that far.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bladeguy View Post
    Staying near Ryan Park but don't want to trailer. Do the trails get beat bad?
    no trails not bad . off trail in the snowies can be hit or miss lots of heavy wind and traffic can set up snow in a hurry. that is a good thing if running your crossovers . lol I think the busiest trail I have ever seen was a morning in fr of s hit house hill

  26. #26
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    Jan 2016
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    Chetek, WI
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    1

    Default Crroked Creek Guest ranch

    Quote Originally Posted by machz2005 View Post
    With the lack of snow everywhere, I'm looking for some advice any of you may have for a 1st time riding group heading west. Closest, best riding, lodge, etc.? Thanks in advance!
    Been out west a few times, always had good luck at Crooked Creek Guest Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming.
    They sled rentals, lodging, gas, everything right there along with guides if you want to go back country riding.
    highly recommend it.

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