The modern day snowmobile has evolved from a 1958 design by Joseph-Armand Bombardier who dreamed of building a vehicle that could “float on snow”. Coming from snowy Quebec Province in Canada, it’s easy to understand why Bombardier wanted a utility vehicle to go to where cars could not. In the first year he sold just 225 snowmobiles but within four years sales had risen to 8210 and these days hundreds of thousands of these versatile machines are used across the globe.
The popular alternative name for snowmobiles is “skidoo” which originated from “skidog” because Bombardier intended for them to replace dog sleds. However, a painter working on the first prototype painted “skidoo” on the side instead of “skidog” and the name stuck!
Their immediate impact was to vastly improve communications between isolated communities across North America and very soon after, Scandinavia, allowing people to travel quickly in even the deepest winter months. Snowmobiles soon became the preferred method of transport over husky sleds as they moved faster and were cheaper to maintain. Today they also play a significant role in the lives of Sámi reindeer herders allowing them to cover greater distances and gather their herd who are often dispersed across the wilderness.
Snowmobiles today do not just have a practical purpose, they also offer exciting safaris for visitors to these far flung corners of the world, allowing you to explore this remarkable landscape via a mode of transport that is also exceptionally good fun. The majority of our active winter holidays include a snowmobiling expedition and there are a vast variety of lengths and distances to choose from. Some holidays also include snowmobiling at night – an altogether different experience as the shapes of the landscape are seen in a whole new light, with the Aurora in the sky hopefully lighting the way.
For those who have enjoyed snowmobiling in the past you should take a look at our dedicated snowmobiling holidays which offer days filled with snowmobile safaris which head into Finnish Lapland’s wildest territory. Our Harriniva Five Day Snowmobiling experience in particular includes snowmobile trips to where Finland, Sweden and Norway meet as well as driving to the summit of Halti, Finland’s highest mountain. There can be few experiences in life which compare to this.
What we say about it...
Snowmobiling is an activity that seems to be universally loved by all of our guests. Northern Scandinavia has endless wilderness that calls out to be explored – snow-laden forests, vast frozen lakes, fells and dramatic mountainous backdrops all create an immense arctic panorama as far as the eye can see, and the quickest way to really make the most of it is via snowmobile.
It is an exhilarating feeling to traverse the landscape at speed, and for those who have never travelled in such a manner, it is a wonderful new experience to enjoy.
Providing you both have a driving licence (snowmobile police patrol the wilderness making occasional checks!), you will travel two people per snowmobile and take it in turns to be the driver.
Snowmobiles are powerful machines, so full instructions and a safety briefing will also be given. You should always respect the speed at which they can travel and never embark on a safari unless you are satisfied that you are confident enough to proceed. For our more gentle trips, there is the option to travel via a sled pulled by the snowmobiles, which is still a very fun way to travel across this land of snow and ice.
What you say about it…
“We particularly enjoyed driving the snowmobile and the ride for me as pillion passenger was exhilarating- such great fun!” H Overton-Smith, Luosto Jan 2012
“I'm not really an adventurous person but really enjoyed the snowmobiling- the feeling of racing over frozen lakes with nothing but snow and trees in sight, with no other people around, was amazing.” C Almond, Harriniva, March 2013
“The snowmobile safari was fantastic. Lake Inari is so vast and this trip really made me feel inside the Arctic Circle!” M Taylor, Nellim, March 2013
“Out of the organised activities, my favourite was the daytime snowmobiling excursion - I had never been on a snowmobile before but I loved it and will definitely be seeking out further opportunities to do more of it! This was my favourite activity as you could really get out into the wilderness - we went up a hill in the middle of the day to take in some amazing views and still got to experience the peace and silence of the forest when we took a break in the middle of the day for a picnic lunch.” A Helliwell, Tarendo, March 2013