Snowmobiling FAQs

You’ll find lots of useful information about our snowmobiling program below. And, our reservations specialists are always happy to share tips about the most suitable lodging for your group, suggestions on eateries about town, or even what gear is best for conditions. Don’t hesitate to call–we enjoy consulting with our guests!  (208) 263-6959 from 7:30AM – 4:30PM PST

  • When can we go snowmobiling? When are tours available?
  • Our snowmobiling season typically runs from Thanksgiving to mid-April.

  • What times are your snowmobile tours available?
  • Ridge Runner Tours are offered three times daily, at 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM

    The Middle Fork Valley Tour is only offered at 8:30 AM due to longer riding times.

  • How long are your snowmobile tours?
  • Ridge Runner is 2.5 hours, and Middle Fork Valley tour is up to 5 hours, including a break for lunch. Tours includes chairlift rides and casual time at the Selkirk Powder lodge.

  • Do you drive your own snowmobile?
  • Yes, after an orientation and self-driving demonstration you will drive your own snowmobile and are led by a licensed snowmobile guide.

  • Can I have a passenger on my snowmobile?
  • Yes, but for safety reasons our combined weight limit is 350 lbs.

  • What prior snowmobiling experience do I need?
  • None required. We provide you with instruction on how to operate a snowmobile or ride as a passenger. Tours are tailored to each group’s experience level.

  • How old do you have to be to drive your own snowmobile?
  • Minimum age of 15. Every snowmobile driver must possess a valid and current state driver’s license or learner’s permit.

  • How old do you have to be to ride as a passenger?
  • 5 years or older.

  • How many snowmobiles can you have in a group?
  • Selkirk Powder operates at a one (1) guide to six (6) guest driver ratio. Each snowmobile can also accommodate a passenger, for a maximum of 12 people per tour.

  • What equipment does Selkirk Powder provide?
  • Selkirk Powder provides a snowmobile, open-face helmet, and goggles if you don’t have your own.

  • What kind of clothing do I need?
  • Snow boots, snow pants, parka, snow gloves/mittens, sunglasses or goggles and a warm, winter hat. No sneakers or sandals, please.

  • Can we rent snow parkas, snow pants and snow boots?
  • Yes, Schweitzer’s Ski and Ride Center [208 255-3070] can fully outfit you for your winter adventure. Make arrangements ahead of time and come early to prepare correctly.

  • Do I need to bring snacks and water?
  • We provide lunch on the Middle Fork Valley tour with snacks and water, and we provide hot cocoa after all tours. We recommend that you bring along any additional items that you may need to get you through the day. We have plenty of room to stash knapsacks at the lodge or bring them along with us on tour.

  • What kind of snowmobiles do you use?
  • We use  2 and 4-stroke touring snowmobiles. These snowmobiles are powerful, comfortable, and easy to operate.

  • Can a driver and passenger switch out?
  • Yes, as long as both are licensed.

  • I am traveling with my family--- some of them are not ready for the backcountry. What can they do?
  • There are plenty of other activities for your group to enjoy while you’re snowmobiling including skiing the resort, snowshoeing, tubing and zip lining, shopping in Sandpoint, or even sleigh rides.

  • What time do I need to show up?
  • Our registration desk is located by the cafe in the Lakeview Lodge, in Schweitzer Mountain’s village. You must be at our check in desk by 8:30 am, 11:00 am or 1:00 pm, according to your tour time.

  • Do I need to buy a lift ticket?
  • No. We provide a single ride ticket to our lodge on the summit.

  • What is the avalanche danger?
  • Avalanches occur in the backcountry. Our experience however has been that we see few, if any, natural avalanches in our snowmobile terrain.

  • Can I bring a camera?
  • Yes!

  • What if a snowmobile becomes damaged?
  • When you register you will need to sign a waiver contract agreeing to cover any repair costs for damages caused by negligence.

  • Can I bring a snowmobile to Schweitzer?
  • Yes, but you may only access via the Middle Fork Trail within the designated Priest Lake trail system. Please contact our reservations desk for additional information.

  • Where do you snowmobile ride?
  • On Schweitzer Mountain Resort private property and the Priest Lake State groomed trail system.

  • How far do you go?
  • That depends on the individual party. Guides will tailor the speed and distance of the tour to the needs of each group. We have about 21 miles of our own mountaintop trail system which feeds into a 400-mile groomed trail system.

  • Are there places to “play” or are there off-trail riding/high-marking areas?
  • No. Our Idaho permit requires that we stay on the forest logging road system or groomed snowmobile trails.

  • What is your Payment Policy?
  • 25% non-refundable deposit is required upon confirmation of your reservation with us. If paying by credit card, please ensure the same credit card is used for both deposit and final payment.

    Full payment is due no later than 60 days from your tour date. Failure to pay in a timely manner will result in forfeiture of your reservation and your deposit. Reservations made 59 days or less from your tour date are payable in full.

  • Does the price include tips?
  • No. A standard tip is 10-20%, the same as you would for service in a restaurant or similar service industry. Tips are pooled and shared by guides and your reservations representative.

  • What if I need to make a change to my reservation?
  • If you need to reschedule your tour during the current season (and we are in receipt of your full payment), you will be charged a $40 administrative fee. We will endeavor to honor new tour dates, but please be aware that any changes are subject to space availability.

  • What is your Cancellation Policy?
  • If you must cancel your tour with us and we receive your notice more than 30 days in advance of your scheduled tour date (and we are in receipt of your full payment), you will be credited for a new tour with us for a period of up to 5 years from your original date.

    Any cancellations 30 days or less from your scheduled tour date are 100% non-refundable. We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance through an outside provider.

    A Note About Weather: We have no control over Mother Nature. We tour in sun, snow, rain, wind or any combination of interesting weather. It is, after all, an alpine environment. Be prepared, and dress accordingly. We reserve the right to cancel a tour for safety or mechanical reasons, as conditions warrant. In such an instance you will be credited for a new tour with us for a period of up to 5 years from your original date.

  • Should I buy travel insurance?
  • Sure. To limit your exposure from life experiences or traveling related accidents, and for peace of mind should you wish to cancel for conditions not up to your liking, we recommend travel insurance policies with enhanced “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage.

  • When should I register?
  • Some of our guests make their reservations up to a year in advance, so don’t wait too long to contact us.

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© 2017

(208) 263-6959

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Road
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864