Snowmobiling: Exploring off the Ski Trail

Posted by Linda on February 19, 2011

As my girls have now reached the “beyond toys” gift demographic--they are now 11 and 14-- my husband came up with a brilliant idea for a family gift this Christmas - a day of snowmobiling and family togetherness!

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Me & my Snowfamily - ready for our adventure!

We’ve been locals going on 11 years now and we had yet to board a snowmobile and explore the back country of the Wasatch Mountains in our own backyard. So my husband’s gift idea was a good one, and appropriately accompanied the girl’s’ cozy new down jackets.

My husband did all the planning (happy me) and found a great outfitter -  Lofty Peaks Adventures in nearby Midway, UT.

So instead of hitting the slopes the day after Christmas, we took a short 30-minute drive over to picturesque Midway and embarked on a new adventure.

We opted for two tandem snowmobiles - with the promise of letting the girls get in the driver’s seat for at least part of the trip. We chose a 3-hour afternoon group tour ($155/snowmobile, plus $35 for the add’l passenger). While we had the appropriate mountain gear (warm ski jackets, waterproof ski pants,gloves and goggles), but we opted to rent helmets. Lofty Peaks also offers some pretty stylish one-piece snowsuits for if you need some warm gear.

I admit, I was a little nervous. There had been tons of snow the week prior, and it was still dumping. I kept thinking about avalanches and getting lost  and left in the wilderness. But I got over it fast when I went full throttle as we climbed, along a forested trail, to nearly 10,000ft.

Once we made it to the top, our guide let us loose in a deep, powder-filled meadow. We could go as fast as we wanted, and we did. The girls drove, we drove, we went over jumps, caught big air and had a blast.

Then, I tipped my snowmobile. Fortunately, I wasn’t going fast, but I got stuck in some deep powder and over we tipped - with the snowmobile pinning my 11 year-old’s leg underneath. It was scary, but she was ok, thankfully. So much for letting loose, it was time to head back down.

My 11 year-old decided to ride with Dad (not surprisingly), and took it easy in the back of the pack. And down we went for about a mile when my snowmobile started to sputter. The tank was empty. The day had quickly gone from excellent to bad to worse. Thank goodness we were with a guide.

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Lucky me, I picked the broken snowmobile.

My snowmobile was officially kaput, so our guide gave us a tow until we hit a freshly groomed section of the trail. Normally, I love corduroy, but it’s not the best terrain when you are towing a snowmobile. All we could do now is laugh, and sympathize with the rest in our group who were stuck with our high maintenance family.

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Maybe a tow will work.

We made it down safely, and just before dark- I on the back of the guide’s snowmobile, while my husband and the girls rode as a trio. Sadly, my snowmobile was left all alone, out in the dark, snowy wilderness, just as I had feared.

After all that outdoor adventure, we were famished. Midway has lots of great little restaurants, but it was Sunday, and most were closed. We found the lights on at a cute Victorian off Main Street - Cafe Galleria - and had the best wood-fired pizzas, ever!

Looking back it was a fun and memorable family adventure, all our limbs were in tact (just a small bruise for my 11 year-old), and we made it home safely, with smiles on our face.


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