Two Top Snowmobile Trail, Montana

The Two Top Trail is famous for its ghost trees, also known as snow ghosts.

National Recreation Trail

Designated in 1979

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Two Top Trail is a popular choice for snowmobilers due to its varied terrain and 2,000-foot elevation gain. The trail is a 30-mile loop that both begins and ends in West Yellowstone. It is well-groomed and powder fields are abundant, attracting snowmobilers of all levels. The trail offers plenty of off-trail riding for those seeking more adventure, including numerous bowls with drop-offs and overhanging cliffs. While the bowls are great to ride, it is important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. With its diverse terrain and scenic beauty, Two Top Trail is one of the most frequently visited snowmobiling trails in the region.

The Two Top trail is famous for its ghost trees, also known as snow ghosts. These trees are covered in crystallized snow, and when viewed from a distance, they look like white ghosts. The snow ghosts are created by constant-driven winds that create ghostly ice patterns on the trees at the mountaintop. The winds, clouds, and fog that frequently buffet and blanket the ridge tops and summit of the mountain are the architects of these snow ghosts. Although these clouds are colder than the freezing temperature of water at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, they are made of masses of suspended liquid water droplets. These super-cooled water droplets can exist in a liquid state between 32 and minus 40 degrees because they lack freezing nuclei. These droplets freeze when they encounter ridge top and summit obstacles, such as trees, lift towers, buildings, and even skiers and snowboarders if they sit still. This process results in a coating of rime ice, which is similar to taking very small, but multiple buckets of cold water and splashing them onto these objects, causing them to freeze into a thick accretion of ice. The snow ghosts remain until the weather gets well above freezing.

On clear days, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Teton Mountains, along with an incredible panorama of the entire region. From the upper areas, you can see the surrounding mountain ranges, including the famous Centennial Mountain range in Idaho, the Grand Teton Mountain range in Wyoming, and the beautiful wilderness of Yellowstone National Park. And if that's not enough, the panoramic view from the top also includes Sawtell Peak.

If you're planning a snowmobile vacation in West Yellowstone, this is a must-visit attraction. You'll experience the thrill of riding on untouched snow, a welcome break from the established trail system in Yellowstone National Park. Mount Two Top is a popular starting point for enthusiasts, who often continue on to the Idaho trails and refuel at Valley View. The Two Top Mountain Trail offers a unique opportunity to straddle the Continental Divide, which doubles as the border between Montana and Idaho.

photo credit: Allyson Orange

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