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  1. #1
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    Default Montana Sggestions??

    Anybody have experience with Montana, besides Cooke City? Its looking like this may be the best spot in the country for decent snow conditions next week. Problem is, I am riding with 3 Newbies. They all have gear but no training yet. With the instability of the snowpack and the notorious avy terrain at Cooke, I would rather steer clear. Thinking maybe Lolo??

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Does it have to be Montana. Looks like Tog. got good snow just recently. Stay at Lava Mtn.

  3. #3
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    We were thinking that may be a possibility also. It looks like the temps are going to be pretty warm there though. Looks to stay a bit cooler in Montana and they are saying possibility of 20" by Wednesday.

  4. #4
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    Head out to Lolo Pass MT. Was very suprised with the area and there is stuff to make any rider happy! From gradual slopes with few tree's to steep and deep! Stay at the Lodge at Lolo Hot Springs and you will be set. 87" base on the snotel and more at and above 6,000'. Clutch for 6,000 give or take and you will be able to ride with very little power loss! Excellent Riding!!!

    These pics are from two weeks ago!
    Lolo Pass 2012 033.jpgLolo Pass 2012 013.jpgLolo Pass 2012 023.jpg

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info cooksend. Looks like they have awesome snow. Didn't realize the elevation was that low.

  6. #6
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    I thought after going to Cooke that I would be dissapointed by Lolo. Far from that! The riding is awesome! The Breeze was out two weeks before myself and had epic snow conditions! It is the time of year for hero snow or mashed potatoe snow though. We found a couple spots that were like golf courses on the side of the mountain! Maybe a bit different but you get my drift. Just getting into some of the spots is amazing!

    The Missoula Snowgoers have a great warming hut sitting out a ways and is a good spot to set up base camp. If you get some good snow overnight you can unload at the visitors center and jump to the north side of the highway and be playing immediatley! That spot is great when covered with freshies and it is where the snotel site is at! If ya head that way PM me and I will send ya to a couple sweet spots!

    The first pic is of Skookum Butte. It is an old fire tower that is cabled down to the last rock on top of the mountain. It was the most magnificent 360* view I have ever seen! If condition are right that is a great spot to check out and the mountain it sits on is a great play spot on three sides!

    lolo pictures 098.jpglolo pictures 078.jpglolo pictures 009.jpg

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the help cooksend. So do you have to trailer up from the lodge? The only thing that concerns me about this area is the low elevation. If it getz warm its going to set up fast. Is the majority of riding around 6k or can you get up higher?

  8. #8
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    Depending on snow conditions you may be able to ride from the Lodge. From the Lodge to the riding is probably 10 to 15 miles. We rode from the Lodge for 3 days then put them on the trailer for the 7 mile drive to the parking lot. The riding is from 5300 to about 7000 in a few secluded area's! Getting to the upper elevations spots in most of the fun!!!

    It can set up quick and did when we were there! We had 3 days of sweet POW followed by some mashed and some hero snow! The mountain forecast for that area looks like snow and some warm weather so not really sure what you will get. This year is going to be a bit tough I would think to find many places with champagne powder! It has been so warm and low snow in most area's! We picked this spot as it had great snow depth and Avy Danger in most of this area is very minimal!

    Jump on Google Maps and go west of Missoula on HWY 12. Find where it hits the Idaho border and follow the border south a bit. If you are on the terrain setting you will see Skookum Butte and Beaver Ridge. You will also see Elk Meadows Rd. The road is the snowmobile trail in area's and Skookum is awesome. It overlooks Elk Meadow as well. Beaver Ridge has some gnarly stuff on it and you will find some small area's with drifting and some cornices. This would be the area that may have some Avy Danger!

    This is really an amazing spot for cutting sidehills through the trees or climbing just about anything but big chutes! Shoot Creek was one of our favorite area's and you will find a road on each side of the creek. Take them both and just keep climbing up. You will find some area's to start climbing right off these old logging road cuts!

    lolo pictures 043.jpglolo pictures 067.jpg

  9. #9
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    Dec 2009
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    Sussex, WI
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    I would not hesitate on Lolo for a second! I think it really is one of the hidden gems of the west. The riding area is large, the snow is DEEP, you and your sled will actually make some power and be able to breathe since your not riding 10k plus.

    The locals are very welcoming and we met a lot of great people while riding, and hanging out there. They dont get a large influx of midwestern riders, and seem to really appreciate those that do show up! There are some great club members from the Missoula Snow Goers that are more than willing to show you around.

    The pictures are of the warming hut, and the Lodge at Lolo Hot Springs at night. Very cool place to stay with two indoor hot springs that are fed with water from underground.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Awesome info guys!!! Thanks a bunch! Cooksend you have mail.

  11. #11
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    Did I mention the warming hut is awesome! Lolo is where I rode the mountains for the first time, and was a great place for a first trip. There is terrain that is friendly, appealing, and challenging if you wish, to all levels of riders. I rode the snowies, and cooke city many times since Lolo, and was worried I would be dissapointed compared to Cooke, etc but that was not the case at all when I returned there a few weeks ago. I will definately be heading back and really encourage people to give it a try. I think its fun to go to some of these low profile riding areas that you rarely hear about, and find out what gems they can really be.

    The only drawback of the area IMO is:
    -No real options for rentals in the case of a breakdown
    -No fuel on site

    However, it is a short drive into town to fill up some gas cans, and a good excust to make a detour to The Lumber Jack which is a really old log bar that is a must see spot. Great food, huge burgers, and the lof trusses and walls are filled with crazy chainsaws and logging equipment from back in the day.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    I'm thinking this might be the place. I'm just really worried about the low elevation and the forecasted temps. I called the lodge and they said it was only 30 there today, but they weren't much help on what conditions are like for snowmobiling. I guess they are new owners and this is their first winter there. What about trail passes and such? And what is this "parking pass" for Lolo pass? Do you need stickers for both ID and MT and a parking pass for your rig?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
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    When we were there three weeks ago, there was 8-9' of base at elevation. They just got some fresh, and have more on the way. I would NOT worry about adequite snow depths for quite a while. The forecast for Lolo, Mt is always very warm all winter long. You see 50 + regularly even in February. The Lodge is at 4300' and there is never much snow around there. The forecast at that point is also never much for cold and snow. You really need to do a point forecast on noaa.gov to get an accurate weather forecast and the point needs to be 6000 feet atleast to get an idea of what is really "going down up top". The day the deep powder pics were taken, it was 40 degreed, and raining really hard at the lodge.

    You will not see any real snow untill you get to the riding, so that can mess with your mind on the truck ride out, but have faith. There is snow in them there hills, and lots of it! In fact, some of the best snow depths in the Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming areas are precisely where you will be riding if you hit up lolo. When you get into northern Mondana, and Idaho, the gereral elevation of the mountans are always lower, but they get just as much snow as any of the higher terrain to the south.
    Last edited by thebreeze; 03-20-2012 at 08:33 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Thanks. Thats what I needed to hear!

  15. #15
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    Madison Lake, MN
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    how about trail riding? Looking at coming out next week and want to do mainly trail riding for 3-4 days. Are they still grooming?

    Thanks. Tom

  16. #16
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    Trail riding the Lolo area could be cool! Maybe a trip to Lochsa and oh yeah don't forget your camera! Just dont let your guard donw on some of the trails!

    Snoluver I just sent you a lengthy PM.

  17. #17
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    Dec 2009
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    Eagle River, WI
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    Hey Snoluver! Hoping you found some of the hotspots and taught them Rookie's a thing or two about the mountains! Post up some pics when you get back!

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