I recently tagged along on a family orientated tour provided by Golden Snowmobile Rentals (GSR) and was rewarded with a great day in Quartz Creek with an experienced guide to tour us around some of the easier terrain. If the more aggressive terrain available in Golden isn’t your cup of tea, or maybe you don’t own a snowmobile, hiring a guide and renting a machine could be the answer. GSR delivers your late model rental snowmobile to the parking lot and picks it up, or if you have your own truck you can transport it yourself. If you are a more experienced rider and would like a guide to show you around some of the more aggressive terrain around Golden, then they can provide you with that as well.
Other snowmobile rental and guiding options in Golden.
Our day started with getting fitted with the proper gear: boots, jacket, pants, helmet, goggles, gloves, airbag, and a probe, beacon, shovel combo.
We then travelled to the Quartz Creek parking lot where we were given instruction on how to deploy the airbag in the event of an avalanche, and how to operate the beacon, shovel, and probe. All of this equipment is a must have, trail rides are the safest way to snowmobile in the mountains but can take you across some potentially hazardous areas.
With a quick stop to see Norm at the ticket booth to pick up passes that are included in the rental fee, we were on our way down the groomed trail. The clear skies the night before made for a cold, crisp morning so the trail set up nicely and was fast and smooth. We turned off the main trail a few kilometers from the parking lot to head to a large clearing that our guide knew of and we were pleasantly surprised to find that no one else had been there to track up the meter and a half of snow. Perfect conditions to get the feel for the machine; here we were given tips and instruction on learning a few basic moves to maneuver the snowmobile through deep powder easily and efficiently. A few photos and some hot tea and we were on our way back down the main trail towards the newly renovated Quartz Creek cabin. Once at the cabin we headed inside to warm up and have a snack by the woodstove that someone had just stoked; the cabin was renovated this past summer to repair a leaky roof and add an extension to cover the new deck making it easier to keep free of snow. This is where our day ended and we headed back to the parking lot, but if you are a more experienced rider you could push past the cabin into the alpine. Guided trips are available into areas such as Old Cabin Valley and Area 51. These areas involve some tricky climbs through trees and gullies to break out into the alpine but once you’re there you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Columbia valley to the north east and some impressive peaks and glaciers in Glacier National Park. Mt. Sir Donald is the big triangular peak visible to the south west from the area in Quartz known as Top Of the World. If you are already an experienced rider, taking a newcomer to the sport on a trail ride is a great way to introduce them to snowmobiling, especially kids.