Friday, November 23, 2012

Snowmobiling is just around the corner

Trails are being prepared for grooming, awaiting new snow


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Express file photo A snowmobiler travels through the Wood River Valley near Hailey.

As winter approaches, snowmobilers are getting their machines ready in anticipation of riding some of the 500 miles of snowmobiling trails in the Sun Valley area.

The Sawtooth Snowmobile Club, headquartered in Bellevue, began clearing trails in October to make room for a groomer. Grooming will start once there’s enough snow. The club shares the cost of grooming trails with Blaine County.

The club meets the second Wednesday of each month at Woodside RV Center on Glenbrook Drive in Hailey. Anyone wanting to join or just wanting more information can contact club President Chad Sluder at 788-2771 or sluderconst@aol.com.

Events already scheduled by the club include its “snowmobilers ball” on Feb. 23 at McClains Pizzeria in Hailey.

Anyone interested in vintage snow machines from the early days of the sport can contact the Vintage Snowmobiles of Idaho organization headquartered in Hailey. Contact organization President Perry Hesteness at 309-1750 or idahopk@msn.com.

The organization participates in vintage snowmobile shows throughout Idaho.

The Southern Idaho Living magazine website reports that there are 7,200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in Idaho, with many of them located in the Sawtooth National Forest. There are snowmobiling opportunities in the South Hills areas south of Twin Falls County, about 20 miles north of Gooding, in the Sublett area of Cassia County and in Howell Canyon on Mount Harrison near Pomerelle Ski area.

Closer to home, favorite snowmobiling spots are in the Baker Creek area about 10 miles north of Ketchum and in the Wood River Recreation Area about three miles west of Hailey.

North of Galena Summit there are about 170 miles of trail in the Smiley Creek and Stanley areas.

To the southwest in Camas County, there are some 200 miles of trails in the Fairfield area.

For information on equipment, rentals and guided tours, visit the Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce website at www.visitsunvalley.com. For information about snowmobiling in the Stanley Basin, visit www.snowtracks.com/idaho/stanley.

Mountain-area snowmobilers should always be cognizant of avalanche potential. Information is available at www.sawtoothavalanche.com.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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