Montana offers over 4,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trail. Trails are groomed by local clubs or the chambers of commerce with grant money provided by Montana State Parks. Grooming funds are derived from snowmobile gas tax refund and decal fees. Trail maps are available from local clubs or Forest Service offices or contact the Montana Snowmobile Association .
"Snowmobile" means a self-propelled vehicle of an overall width of 48" or less, excluding accessories, designed primarily for travel on snow or ice, that may be steered by skis or runners and that is not otherwise registered or licensed under the laws of Montana.
Laws for Road Riding
MCA 23-2-631 states that snowmobiles may operate on maintained streets, roads, or highways only if:
- the roadway is drifted or covered by snow to such an extent that travel is impossible by other motor vehicles;
- the local government allows snowmobiles to travel on plowed roads with wheeled vehicles;
- the snowmobile operator posseses a motor vehicle driver's license or a snowmobile safety certificate and travels under the visual supervision of an adult.
Snowmobile Safety Education Courses
Snowmobile Field Safety Education Course
To obtain a snowmobile operator's safety certificate, a person must attend and successfully complete a Montana-approved snowmobile safety education course. Classes are taught by volunteer instructors across the state. Certficates expire on June 30 following when the course is completed. Contact your local club or Montana State Parks at (406) 444-3753 to find out where and when these courses are offered.
Snowmobile Online Safety Education Course
The Montana Snowmobile Safety Course is now available online. You may work at your own pace, and save and restart the course at anytime. At the completion of each chapter, you will take a quiz. At the end of the online course, you will take a final exam. When you pass the snowmobile safety certification exam, you will be able to print a temporary snowmobile safety certificate, and your permanent card will be mailed to you within a few weeks. There is a modest cost for the course, but the certificate has no expiration date, so this is a one-time fee. If you cannot afford the fee for the online course, you may call Montana's snowmobile education coordinator at (406) 444-3753 to discuss other certification options.
Nonresident Snowmobile Safety Education Certificates
Nonresidents should contact their state snowmobile association or the agency responsible for their state's snowmobile education program to find a snowmobile course offered locally. Official safety certificates from other states are accepted in Montana.