Snowmobiling to the Continental Divide + Snow-Tubing

January 27, 2015

One of the highlights of my trip to Winter Park, Colorado was snowmobiling up to the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide (or also known as the Great Divide) follows a line of high peaks along the Rocky Mountains here in the States. Rain and snow that falls to the west of the Divide drains into the Pacific Ocean. Rain and snow that falls to the east of the Divide drains into the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. I booked a two hour Continental Divide guided tour through Grand Adventures. They also offer unguided tours by the hour for anyone that is interested, but since I have never driven a snowmobile before I opted for the guided tour.

You have to arrive 45 minutes before your start time and good thing I was early because Grand Adventures has numerous locations around Winter Park and I went to the wrong location first. On the plus side, I got a pretty cool shot of some rustic buildings with the sun and mountains in the background while at that location. Once I got to the correct location, they broke us into groups of 5-6. Each group got two tour guides, one rides in the front of the line and the other rides in the back. Let me just say that driving a snowmobile is way harder than it looks. I thought it would be like driving a jet ski but for someone petite like myself, a snowmobile is pretty tough to steer. My arms were so sore after the two hours! I had to tell Aiden to lean into my our turns (he was riding behind me) to make it a little easier for me to maneuver. 

But everything was worth it after we all got up to the Continental Divide. We stopped our snowmobiles at about 11,500 feet up (the Divide is at about elevation 12,000 feet) and the views were breathtaking. We could see for miles and miles and behind us was the Continental Divide, not too shabby. Our guides said we got lucky cause it was pretty calm once we got up there. They said usually it is so windy and cold up there that they can't stop for long. 

On the way down, our guides must have thought we did an amazing job going up cause they said they wanted to take us down some 1-way trails through the woods. We were going through trails that were barely wide enough to fit the snowmobiles and pretty dang steep too. I was riding my brakes most of the way down... I wasn't in the market for a snowmobile and didn't feel like having to pay for one on our tour! But I do have to admit, the trails were super picturesque.     

After spending the morning riding snowmobiles, it was time to go snow-tubing! Probably my favorite activity of the weekend! I went to Fraser Tubing Hill after a recommendation from my co-worker. Supposedly there are two tubing hills right next to each but Fraser Tubing Hill (the left at the fork in the road if you go) is the original so all the locals go to that one. Holy crap, I had no clue how fast you can go down on snow/ice. People were clocking it at 30 mph easy down the hill! The good thing about Fraser Tubing Hill is they have a lift for your tube once you are down the hill. So no carrying your tube all the way back up, you let the lift take you and your tube to the top! My neighbors went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado to go skiing and when they went tubing, they had to carry their tubes up every time and the mom said it was horrible... I can only imagine cause a. those things are not light, and b. the hill is pretty steep and long (and icy).  


What is your favorite snow activity? 

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28 comments

  1. Those views are amazing. I've never been snowmobiling (would love to try) but I've been quading with friends and I much prefer just hopping on the back and letting someone else do the work, haha! I think my favourite winter activity is skating on the river back home! :)

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  2. I went snow tubing last year and had a blast! I would love to go again. Fortunately when we went there was an escalator going up the hill so that we didn't have to keep walking back up with our tube!

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  3. Sounds fun and oh, so beautiful! Mountains, snow and blue skies fill me with happiness :D

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  4. Wow, what gorgeous pictures! I've never gone snowmobiling but I'm only 5'2'' so I probably would have sore arms too! Looks like the views were totally worth it. And the snow tubing looks so fun! Love the video at the end!!


    I've been seeing all my friends posting about snow on the East Coast - I would really love just one snow day this year! Not to do any snowy activities other than walking around and taking some photos, and then being cozy and snowed in for a day!

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  5. Haha... what's funny is that I told my husband the next time we go, I'm going to ride behind him! I was so focused on steering the thing that I didn't take in all the beautiful scenery until we got to the top. Skating on a river sounds like so much fun... sure beats skating on an indoor ice rink!

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  6. The hardest part about tubing is carrying that thing around! ha An Escalator sounds awesome! We had to sit in our tube while the lift pulls us to the top and when we got to the top, we had to hop out real quick and carry the tube... soooo many people fell when they tried to hop out on the icy snow! lol

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  7. We got so lucky with the weather! It snowed that morning but it stopped after breakfast and right before our tour! It made for clear beautiful skies :)

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  8. Thanks! New England got hammered with snow, it's crazy! Does it not snow that often (or ever) in Paris? Paris would look so beautiful covered in some snow... perfect for taking pictures!

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  9. No, winter is just overcast and rainy in Paris. In the 3 years I've lived here, it snowed a couple of inches once...when I was in NJ visiting my family! Of course the one time I'm out of town it snows! And one other time there was a little dusting, but that's about it. It would be gorgeous if it snowed though!

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  10. Gorgeous photos!! The second to last is my favorite, the sun flare is beautiful. I've never been much of a fan of snow, but it does photograph nicely :)

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  11. Thanks! I'm right there with you... being a Texan, I'm not really a fan of cold weather in general ha. Snow is nice to play in but not to live in! :)

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  12. That looks like so much fun! Although I hate the cold... But it's worth it for a few hours to get some views like that!

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  13. I'm with you... I love playing in snow, just not living in it! But honestly, I'll take a jet-skiing over snowmobiling any day! :)

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  14. This is SO cool, and your photos are gorgeous!! I've always wanted to go snowmobiling but haven't had the chance yet. Looks like Colorado is the place to go!

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  15. This all looks like so much fun!!!! I'm not much of a winter sports person, but I'd like to be! The Go-pro videos are awesome! I just got one from my boyfriend for Christmas and I can't wait to shoot some more footage! Hope you all had a great time! :D

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  16. Thanks Julie! It was a really cool experience... especially to snowmobile up the Rockies!

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  17. We got our GoPro for Christmas too :) It's so much fun to use! We want to get a GoPro harness for our dog! ha

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  18. Wow, those views are incredible! Great photos! I've never driven a snowmobile; sounds fun. I may have to try it!

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  19. Oh my goodness, these pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I've never been on a snowmobile either but I'd LOVE to try it someday. It is definitely on my bucketlist :)

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  20. Thanks Keisha! It's a lot of fun! Bonus, you get to work out your arms at the same time! lol

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  21. Thanks Ragan! It's a lot of fun! At first I was going SUPER slow, everyone behind me probably hated me ha... but it didn't take long to get use to the speed/power (and crazy hard steering)!

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  22. We are headed to Sweden in two weeks where we'll be riding snowmobiles for the first time, too. I'm half excited/half nervous about it! Hopefully we'll be as good on them as ya'll were!


    BTW - We have the same blog design! Funny!

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  23. Oh wow! That looks amazing! I've tried sandboarding but I'm guessing that's nothing compared to this. I'll have to try that someday!

    www.jeannechristinemarie.blogspot.com

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  24. Sandboarding sounds like so much fun... and hard! lol Where did you try sandboarding at?

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  25. I thought the same thing when I saw your blog! I thought "She has good taste!" ha That's so cool that you're going to Sweden! I was nervous too, I started out going really slow... but once I got used to it, I picked up the speed!

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  26. That looks so awesome! Next time I'm in Colorado I will have to visit there and ride snowmobiles! I've always wanted to ride one! And I love go-pro videos everything always looks like such a good time!

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  27. That snowmobiling trip sounds like a dream. And isn't snow-tubing so fun? It's tradition for my friends and I to go every winter at Soldier Hollow in Utah. I love it!


    brilliantriots.weebly.com

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  28. Snow-tubing was by far my favorite! Crazy how fast you can go down in one! Would love to visit Utah, we have friends that moved to Heber City!

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