J&L Snowmobile Rentals - Best Snowmobiling Near Flathead Lake
Updated: Nov 25
Distance from Mt. Forge: 1 hour 15 minute drive
Back on the East Coast, if you want to go snowmobiling normally you're only able to go in small areas or on private property, with large groups, and only with a guide if you don't own your own sled. That's now how they do it in Montana.
J&L Snowmobile Rentals in Columbia Falls gave us an unparalleled experience. We decided to hire a guide (not required) for our first time out to show us around and make sure we didn't get lost. We met him at the office, got our helmets, snow gear, and avalanche beacons, and were on our way. We drove to the parking lot which was the entrance to the snowmobile trails. We learned that if you have your own sled in Montana, with the purchase of a trail permit you can access hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails all over.
The next few hours was an unreal adventure. We drove through the rural Montana countryside with some incredible views. Everything was covered in a beautiful white blanket of snow. We went through a bunch of "play areas" where you can mess around and then passed through some unreal terrain. It changed from tall trees into short pines as we worked our way up the back side to the lodge at Whitefish Mountain. After stopping at the summit lodge for lunch and a beer we headed back down on our way. We passed some cross-country skiers and our guide even gave a lift to a snowboarder who was riding his way down the back of the mountain. I got us stuck in some deep snow and our guide had to help us get the sled out (extra tip for him!). We are definitely looking forward to renting sleds again and exploring this winter wonderland even more next time!