• Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during a ride
  • Become familiar with the snowmobile you ride
  • Operate at safe and reasonable speeds and within your own abilities
  • Avoid traveling on unfamiliar frozen bodies of water
  • Use extreme caution at night
  • Keep your snowmachine properly maintained
  • Inspect it regularly and learn to do basic repairs on your own
  • Reduce speed on unfamiliar territory
  • Check the weather forecast before you leave
  • Always wear an approved helmet and suitable clothing
  • Never ride alone and let someone know where you are going
  • Carry emergency supplies and learn basic survival skills
  • Keep extra belts, plugs, bulbs, tool kit, etc. on your snowmachine
  • Stay on the right side of the trail
  • Use extra caution when crossing roadways
  • Never ride alone
  • Never leave children unsupervised on "kiddie snowmobiles"
  • Take a snowmobile safety course

Trail Safety Information


A safe rider enjoys the outdoors. They treat their surroundings with respect. They wait for enough snow cover to protect vegetation. They avoid running over trees and shrubs. They appreciate, but don’t disturb, animals and other outdoor users. They respect wilderness boundaries and winter wildlife areas. Be a respectful trail user!


A safe rider enjoys the outdoors. They treat their surroundings with respect. They wait for enough snow cover to protect vegetation. They avoid running over trees and shrubs. They appreciate, but don’t disturb, animals and other outdoor users. They respect wilderness boundaries and winter wildlife areas. Be a respectful trail user!

Drowning is a leading cause of snowmobile fatalities. Check with the locals or lodges for local ice conditions before venturing out on the ice.  If overflow conditions are known, stay on the packed or marked trails. If you hit slush, don't let off on the throttle. If you are following someone who hit slush, veer off to make your own path. Also keep in mind that the ice thickness in one area on Lake Louise may be different from another. As a rule of thumb, "If you don't know, don't go".

Every winter it becomes very important to know when the ice is safe to use. Here are some guidelines for determining the safety of freshwater ice. The following table of safe loads is valid ONLY for ice that is clear and sound, with no flowing water underneath. it is not reliable for stationary loads. When in doubt, stay off the ice!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Because there can be many variations in the structure, thickness, temperature and strength of the ice, it is essential to carry out some fairly simple field observations of the ice you want to support a load. Be cautious! Never go out on an unknown ice sheet alone, and always probe ahead of yourself.


The main thing to determine is the ice thickness. This can be done by drilling holes with an ice auger. Note whether the ice is clear (sometimes called black ice) or white (due to air bubbles sometimes called snow ice). Measure the thickness of both kinds. Take note of the frequency of cracks and whether they are wet or dry.

Wind Chill

LOADS ON ICE


Required Minimum Ice Thickness in inches    
Description of Safe Moving Load
 1-3/4 
One person on skiis 
2One person on foot or skates 
3One snowmachine
3A group of people walking single file 
7A single passenger automobile
8A 2-1/2 ton truck 
9A 3-1/2 ton truck 
10A 7 to 8 ton truck 
US Army Corps of Engineers


Ice Thickness

Take care of the trail

Observing trail etiquette is a necessity, particularly when trails are heavily used and non-snowmobiles may be present on the trail. Use proper hand signals when turning or changing directions or speed. Stay a safe distance behind the snowmobile ahead of you. When making a turn, remember that a blind corner and the noise of the machine may prevent you from hearing another machine coming toward you. Approach all turns carefully. Always stay to the right on trails. Slow down, or pull off the trail if necessary when encountering skiers, snowshoers, dog sleds are other trail users. They all enjoy the outdoors like you. Set a good example and be a respectful trail user. 

Wind Chill is the term used to describe the rate of heat loss on the human body resulting from the combined effect of low temperature and wind. As winds increase, heat is carried away from the body at a faster rate, driving down both the skin temperature and eventually the internal body temperature. While exposure to low wind chills can be life threatening to both humans and animals alike, the only effect that wind chill has on inanimate objects, such as vehicles, is that it shortens the time that it takes the object to cool to the actual air temperature (it cannot cool the object down below that temperature).

Snowmachine Safety

Trail Etiquette