ExtraHyperActive: Snowmobiling
Showing posts with label Snowmobiling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snowmobiling. Show all posts

Winter Activities In Leavenworth, WA : Snowmobiling

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North Central Washington is the most startling and diverse region of our state, and Leavenworth is an ultimate adventure travel destination year round. No matter what season is outside, you can always find tons of exciting and adventures things to do in this beautiful town.

Winter in Leavenworth is the perfect place to capture the magic of the Christmas season !

Couple some of the best snow and terrain in the country with a charming Bavarian village complete with activities, events, dining and lodging and you have the ultimate winter getaway.

Leavenworth has a long and rich winter sports heritage. Winter brings the opportunity for all kinds of snow activities including downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, horseback/sleigh riding, and snowmobiling.

Snowmobile + Kite = SuperStoke

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... people never cease to amaze me ! I mean, when you watch Youtube videos like "People Are Awesome", it's crazy what we, as human beings, are capable of !

Sometime it seems like our physical, mental, and creative capabilities are limitless !

... I mean, who would ever thought of using a kiteboarding kite with ...a snowmobile !


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Absolutley No Sledding At Summit West

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In my post about our trip to Tubing Center at Snoqualmie , I mentioned that they really don't allow any forms of tubes, sleds, or toboggans anywhere around ski area, and I meant ANY AREA : whether it's Central, East, West, or Alpental ( "Personal sledding devices are not allowed for liability reasons").

I personally think this rule blows; it's a huge mountain, and prohibiting such a popular winter activity is just plain wrong.

But you know me, if there is a will, there is always a way...

There are a few "official/unofficial sledding areas" around Summit East, but if you don't feel like driving or paying ( one of the areas - the Hyak Sno-Park requires a Washington State Sno-Park Permit which is $20 (!) a day ), you can just park at Summit West, cross the road and head out to PCT parking lot


If you've ever gone hiking/snowshoeing there, you know that the road to the parking lot goes uphill, and is steep enough for a few good runs.

But this time, we decided to combine hiking/snowshoeing/sledding in one, and took our sled for a mile+ hike along PCP trail


With the recent snow fall, relatively warm weather, and away from the crowded ski area, we had a great trip that gave us a chance to try our new Yamaha Snowmobile, as well as challenge my son's riding skills





Only in Russia: Snowmobiling on water

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Only in Russia, and only Red Bull could come up with this incredible stunt :
Rider of Red Bull team, Daniel Bodin, went to St. Petersburg, Russia, to take a spin on the Neva River.

The phrase 'Russian winter' may bring to mind images of tall fur hats, snowcovered gold church domes, and steaming bowls of borscht. And some people think that winter in Russia is 12 months long...That's probably what the Swedish rider thought when he took his Polaris to St. Petersburg ...in August:

Guided snowmobiling tours in Winthrop

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Not being able to get my "snowmobiling fix " in Chelan, I jumped on a great opportunity to go on a guided four hour snowmobiling trip in Winthrop.

Snowmobilers use Winthrop for their adventures into the North Cascade Mountains. Two popular snowmobiling parks near Winthrop are Boulder Creek and the Eight Mile Creek sno-park on the west side of the Chewuch River. The latter was the one, we went to for our tour. Here, sledders can cruise up one of the most popular, accessible and spectacular destinations around Sweetgrass Butte.


The tour was organized by Don Lundgren, the owner of the Chewack River Guest Ranch. The Ranch is conveniently located just 10 minutes away from downtown Winthrop. You have the choice of two and four hour guided tours. If you are an experienced rider, you can rent a snowmobile for a full or half day ( 4 hours), and they will deliver it to the trailhead ( minimum two riders/snowmobiles required). For guided trips they provide all the gear ( sled,full tank of gas, helmet, snow suit, boots ).

The ride itself was awesome. Having two guides ( one leading, another "sweeping") provided a safe and fast pace. Unfortunately, the weather that day ruined the whole experience . Thick fog, that set in over the weekend, obstructed the panoramic views of the entire Methow Valley.




In my opinion, exploring the backcountry with a guide is the best option for visitors who don't know the area or winter safety practices. While learning how to operate a snowmobile is the matter of minutes, there is more to it when it comes to your personal safety. Lot's of things can go wrong : you lose control of your sled, damage the machine, get stuck in the deep snow, run out of gas, get lost in the backcountry....

Another reason I prefer guided snowmobiling tours is that they are planned, hassle free, safe and fun adventures ! You don't have to load/unload, transport, fill in with gas, fix it, think where and how far you want to go... Besides, snowmobiling is not something I would personally do on a regular basis.

Winter activities in Chelan.

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The Lake Chelan Valley ( that encompasses the resort towns of Chelan, Manson and Stehekin ) in central Washington State, is famous for its summer water recreation - fishing, boating, jet skiing, parasailing, kayaking, and ( surprisingly to me) even snorkling and scuba diving !

The whole North Central Washington ( which includes The Lake Chelan Valley ) has a very intriguing and appealing claim of " 300 days of sunshine " , which for outdoor enthusiasts means more time to do their favorite seasonal activities in more pleasant ( comparing to Seattle ) weather.

Though, the “Lake County ” is mainly associated with summer water recreation and resort activities, hoping to catch one of those " 300 days of sunshine", this February , I set out on my ( only !) second trip to Lake Chelan.

According to numerous " travel resources" :
...the area is becoming well known for a variety of winter sports , like downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing...
Just seven miles from downtown Chelan, they have a great, little known snow playground - Echo Valley Ski area ( for skiing, boarding and tubing). This year, the winter has been horrible for every ski area, and during my visit, the Echo Valley Ski ski area was closed due to lack of snow.

But 2 miles past downhill ski area, and high in the hills above Lake Chelan, ( I discovered for myself ) Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area, the scenic ridge-top location that provides breath taking views of Lake Chelan's fjord like valley and the Stewart Range. Echo Ridge has 40 kilometers of trails that follow the contours of the terrain creating interesting and exciting skiing for all ability levels. The Echo Ridge Nordic Trail system also includes trails designated just for snowshoers, but I've never been a fan of snowshoeing in an area mainly designed for xc skiing ( just not that fun for me ! ).


Pressed on time I took a quick trip to the Ridge View point. The weather that day just didn't want to cooperate , and after taking a ( very disappointing ) picture ( been there, done that ), I went back to downtown.



Whenever I travel, my first stop is always at a local visitor center. Often, here you can find information that you can't find even on the Internet.

Unfortunately, this time , even here I couldn't find any info on snowmobile guided tours, so if you know about a local outfitter, please share with us.

At the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center, I picked up several brochures to plan my summer retreat here. Among activities that I am super stoked to do are : a trip to Stehekin ( backpacking, horseback riding), wakeboarding/windserfing/jet skiing on the lake, paragliding/hand gliding off Chelan Butte, taking a trike flight over the lake, diving ( ?), and though I am not a big fan of fishing, I am willing to give it a try.

Here are a few images from Google, to consider Chelan ( and Echo Ridge in particular ) to be your next winter destination:



Snowmobiling In Leavenworth, WA

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There are several companies in the eastern Washington area that provide guided snowmobile tours. They provide all the necessary equipment: hamlet, suit, boots, goggles and even gloves.You have a choice to ride solo or with a partner. They have different trips available from 1 hour to 3. You can also choose between snowmobile and sleigh ride. For extra charge, you can enjoy a nice romantic dinner.