Activities at Thunder Mountain Lodge & Grand Mesa National Forest
Grand Mesa National Forest offers many different activities throughout the entire year. Thunder Mountain Lodge is centrally located and offers many different equipment rentals. Our guides would love to take you on a scenic snowmobile tour of the Grand Mesa National Forest!
Snowmobiling on the Grand Mesa
The Grand Mesa is known for having amazing snowmobiling! The mountains up here are untracked and beautiful. Thunder Mountain Lodge offers premium snowmobile rentals and gas on location. The local snowmobile club, the SnoKrusers, works with the forest service to provide groomed trails for snowmobilers in the area. Grooming Report Click the link for the grooming report, and there will be an option to see a map of the area. There is also a GPS tracker on the groomer, you can look at the last hour, 24 hours, or the last week. There are tons of groomed trails, but even more off-trail riding! The Grand Mesa has snowmobiling for all levels. There are easy rolling hills and meadows for beginners and steep hill climbs for advanced riders. No matter what your ability level, the Grand Mesa has snowmobile terrain for you and your group.
Bringing your snowmobile from out of state? We sell Non-Resident Snowmobile stickers in the office.
Thunder Mountain Lodge offers rentals of all Ski-Doo Mountain Sleds. We have 2022 Ski-Doo Summit 850cc! (Sorry no turbos) You can choose from different rentals and guided tour options.
Guided Snowmobile Tours: Snowmobile tours on the Grand Mesa are a great way to get out and see the beauty of the national forest. Our guides will lead your snowmobile tour on groomed trails, forested single track trails, open meadows, and lead you to beautiful scenic vistas. These tours are family friendly and a great way to spice up your Colorado vacation. For families with children 6 and under, we recommend the two hour guided snowmobile tour. We also offer a 3 hour guided snowmobile tour.
|Scenic Guided Snowmobile Tours||2 Hour||3 Hour|
|Upgrade to a Ski-doo Summit 850 (single seat only)||$165||$205|
Benefits of a guided snowmobile tour: do not worry about a map or where you are going, have a guide show you around. The guides know the best scenic viewpoints and safe riding areas. Our snowmobile tours include: snowsuits, boots, gloves, helmets, goggles, neck gators, the price of gas and oil. We also include hot cocoa (with plenty of marshmallows) after your snowmobile tour to warm you back up! 16 and 17 year olds may drive their own snowmobile when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Guided tours are offered on our Ski-doo Summit 600 snowmobiles. You have the option of upgraded to a Ski-doo Summit 850 for a guided tour.
We ask for you to arrive at either 8:30 or 12:30 for the 3 hour snowmobile tour or at 9:30 or 1:30 for the 2 hour snowmobile tour. This arrival time includes time to sign waivers, finish payments, get gear, and listen to the safety and operating instructions before heading out.
If you book online, you will pay in full at the time of booking. We can offer a full refund if you cancel prior to 72 hours of your scheduled tour. Within 72 hours, we can refund 50% of the total. For groups of 6 snowmobiles or more, we can offer a full refund if you cancel prior to 2 weeks of your scheduled tour. Within 2 weeks, we can refund 50% of the total.
If you call to book, we will ask you to pay 50% as a deposit. This will be refundable up to 72 hours prior to your scheduled tour. Within 72 hours, the deposit is non-refundable. For groups of 6 snowmobiles or more, we can offer a full refund if you cancel prior to 2 weeks of your scheduled tour. Within 2 weeks, the deposit is non-refundable.
|Snowmobile Rentals*||1/2 Day |
9-1 or 1-5
|1/2 Day Cabin Guest Rate|
9-1 or 1-5
|Full Day |
|Full Day Cabin Guest Rate
|Ski doo Summit 600||$240||$225||$290||$275|
|Ski doo Summit 600 - Multi Day / day rate||$275||$260|
|Ski doo Summit 850cc||$290||$275||$340||$325|
|Ski doo Summit 850cc Multi Day / day rate||$325||$310|
Please call our office to make a reservation. We require a 50% deposit. You will pay the remaining balance at check in. The deposit is refundable up to 72 hours prior to your scheduled rental. Within 72 hours, the deposit is non-refundable. For groups of 6 snowmobiles or more, we can offer a full refund if you cancel prior to 2 weeks of your scheduled rental. Within 2 weeks, the deposit is non-refundable.
We recommend that you bring your own avalanche gear and know how to use it. We have three backpacks that have a beacon, shovel, & probe for rent at $35/day.
Private Guiding & Learn to Ride Clinics: If you’re new to the area, you may want to hire a guide for the day or the week. Or maybe you want to push your riding to the next level. The same pricing will get you some instruction and hands-on tutorials.
Please call to make a reservation. We require a 50% deposit. You will pay the remaining balance at check in. The deposit is refundable up to 72 hours prior to your scheduled rental. Within 72 hours, the 50% is non-refundable.
|Private Guide Service||Full Day (1st Day) Price per group||Full Day (2nd Day & each additional day)|
Cross Country Skiing
Thunder Mountain Lodge is located in a prime spot for cross country skiers. Situated above 10,000 feet and averaging 33 feet of snowfall per season there are very few places on the Mesa that are unskiable and yet even fewer adventurers willing to track it up.
In addition to the endless acres of snowy forest, the lodge is mere feet from the Grand Mesa Nordic Council’s trail system. The GMNC, a donation based organization, maintains over 54 kilometers of groomed classic and skate trails, marked backcountry, and snowshoe trails all wholly contained within nonmotorized zones. The trails not only challenge nearly all skier types, but they also offer stunning views of the many peaks and valleys that dot the Mesa. Here is a map where you can see the trails right near Spruce Lodge. It’s been a while, but Thunder Mountain Lodge was once named Spruce Lodge. Thunder Mountain Lodge is located on the border of the motorized and the non-motorized areas. So you can leave your cabin on your skis!
You can rent a cross country ski set up for $18-$25 a day. If you are driving to the Grand Mesa through the town of Mesa, stop at Odin Recreation. If you will travel through Cedaredge, you can stop at Grand Mesa Outdoors.
There are mountains out there to be explored! Snowshoeing is a great way to find unexplored areas in the national forest. There are some easy hikes right out of our back door. You can easily walk to the visitors center, just a mile down the road from Thunder Mountain Lodge. As we are also located right on some of the groomed trails for cross country skiing, you may also use this trail system. The Grand Mesa Nordic Council does allow snowshoers on their groomed trails, but they do encourage you to snowshoe off trail. Read more here.
Downhill Skiing at Powderhorn Ski Area
Thunder Mountain Lodge is located just 14 miles from Powderhorn Ski Area. Powderhorn is located on the face of the Mesa. While skiing you will enjoy the views of high alpine forests all the way into the Grand Valley which features red rock faces and many other unique rock features. Powderhorn boasts 1,600 acres of terrain and 1,650 vertical feet at a fraction of the cost of other Colorado resorts.
Try something new! Rapid Creek Cycles rents snow/fat bikes in Palisade. You can bring one up and ride on some of the groomed snowmobile trails.