MISSOULA – The Missoula Snowgoers have begun grooming the snowmobile trail system in the Lolo Pass area and the West Central Montana Avalanche Center has started up issuing regular advisories for the winter season.
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 Fish Wildlife and Parks.
Typically the Lolo Pass and Elk Meadows areas are groomed first and the remainder of the system groomed as snow accumulates at the lower elevations.
Although some trails will not yet be groomed due to lack of snow at lower elevations, all gates providing access to the snowmobile trail system are closed to prevent vehicle access and ensure the roads/trails are available for snowmobiling.
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 is now issuing advisories on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The advisories are posted online.
The Avalanche Center, with support from the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation and the Lochsa Powell Ranger District, will also once again have a beacon park in place near the Lolo Pass Visitors Center.
Winter recreation passes are required at all times to park at the Lolo Pass Visitors Center. Day, Bundle and season passes will be available at the Visitor Center during normal hours of operation. After hours, day passes will be available at the Visitor Center front door for exact cash or check.
Season and day passes will also be available at The Trailhead in Missoula, and the Lolo National Forest Supervisors Office at Fort Missoula. The cost of a season pass is $35. Bundled weekly passes will be $20 and day passes will cost $5.
Call (406) 329-3976 for more information.