The grooming of the trail system by the Snowgoers is permitted by the Lolo and Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and supported by the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks.
Under the Special Use permit administered by the Forest Service, the Missoula Snowgoers may begin grooming any time after December 1st. They will begin grooming in the Lolo Pass area to the warming hut and out the East Fork. The remainder of the system will be groomed as snow accumulates at the lower elevations.
Although some trails will not yet be groomed at lower elevations due to lack of snow, all gates providing access to the snowmobile trail system will be closed to prevent vehicle access and ensure the roads/trails are available for snowmobiling. Snowmobiling is prohibited on the Granite Ridge Trail #5 from the Fish Creek parking area to Junction J in Granite Creek due to administrative harvest operations. If trail restrictions are necessary for administrative use, maps with the trail restrictions will be posted at affected trailheads, the Lolo Pass Visitor Center, and the Lolo Hot Springs Resort. The maps will be updated as restrictions change.
The West Central Montana Avalanche Center http://www.missoulaavalanche.org will also soon start operations, with the first advisory to be posted on Friday December, 12. Two advisories a week will be issued -- on Fridays and Tuesdays at missoulaavalanche.org. The Avalanche Center, in cooperation with the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation and the Lochsa Powell Ranger District, will once again have a beacon park set up this winter near the Lolo Pass Visitors Center for those wanting to test and practice using their avalanche beaconshttp://www.missoulaavalanche.org/beacon-training. The beacon park is available for use seven days a week.
Winter recreation passes will be required to park at the Lolo Pass Visitors Center beginningDecember 6. Day and season passes will be available at the Visitor Center Thursday throughMonday from 0730 – 1615 Pacific Time. After regular hours, only day passes will be available at the Visitor Center. Season and day passes will be available at Lolo Hot Springs, The Trailhead, Outdoor Supply and Rental in Trempers shopping center, as well as the Lolo National Forest Supervisors Office at Fort Missoula.
For additional information or questions please contact Carl Anderson at (406) 329-3976.