My 9 year old and I had an opportunity to take a two hour snow mobile tour with Grand Adventures this weekend in Winter Park. It was AWESOME!
Grand Adventures (www.grandadventures.com) is located in the Winter Park Mountain Lodge, across from the ski resort for guided tours, and at Beaver Village for unguided snow mobile rentals. Both have easy access via the FREE resort shuttle bus.
Grand Adventure has one hour Adventure tours for families with small children who may be hesitant about going on the two hour ride. This one does not go to the Continental Divide - but does cover some groomed and single track trails. Eight years old and younger ride free. They recommend children be at least 3 to ride.
Prices: $65 driver, $35 passenger; Departs 9 a.m. and 4:30 pm
We signed on for the Continental Divide Tour lasting 2 hours since my son is 9 and eager for adventure. This is good for the beginner to intermediate rider. We arrived 30 minutes early to sign our releases and get our helmets and snow boots. Snow suit rentals are available for $6. Its best to dress in layers -- it is Colorado mountain country -- including neck gator/scarf, googles, sunscreen. Don't forget your camera. We were assigned our new 2009 Polaris snowmobile and hit the happy trail! We followed the Moffat Railroad route to the Corona Pass. We went to about 12,000 feet with fabulous views of Winter Park Ski area and the Fraser Valley. Although our day was a little cloudy, the skies opened enough so we could get some awesome pictures on our snowmobiles at this altitude.
I highly recommend our guide, Snowmobile Steve. Not only is he a guide but also a photographer. He lead us to all the perfect photo op locations, where he took pictures for us with our cameras, and used his fancy camera to take additional photos. Snowmobile Steve has a website [www.SnowMobileSteve.com where he posts all the shots from the tour the next day for purchase. He takes nice family portraits with breathtaking views! Snowmobile Steve ensured our group was happy, safe and warm.
I'd have to say the most fun I had was at the "playground". I thought it was an area where we'd throw snowballs or something lame. NOPE! Here, the passengers take a break at the picnic tables -- while the drivers get to be rockstars! We had a marked track where we could go as fast as we could handle (I thought I was cool at 40 mph) without flipping our snowmobiles. I felt the need for speed!
We probably covered 20 miles of trails riding through trees line trails and breathtaking views - stopping again on the Continental Divide for one more shot at the perfect photo.
We had so much fun -- We will definitely do it again!
Prices for the two hour tour are $100 driver, $45 passenger; Departures 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 a.m., 12, 1, 2:30 and 3:30 pm.
Grand Adventures has group discounts, Corporate Away Days and other specials. If you have a specific requirement you can contact Melinda@grandaventures.com, (970) 726-9247 or (800) 726-9247 to set up you Grand Adventure!