Guided Snowmobiling for the First Time in Tahoe with Kia #SorentoFamily

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Okay so, if you’ve been following us for any length of time, then you know we went snowmobiling last winter in Finland. However, Sean had never been snowmobiling before so, when Kia asked us to join them for a Sorento family winter adventure in Tahoe, we were stoked. First time or not, snowmobiling is the jam! If you are snowmobiling for the first time you can get nervous. Here are a few things to know before you head out, my car of choicemy snowmobiling tips and travel tips below.


Snowmobiling for the first time



Snowmobiling for the First Time – Things to Know


In my opinion, the most important thing to know about snowmobiling for the first time is that you can get hurt however, it’s really hard to do if you’re trailing a guide. Snowmobiles are wide and made to withstand impact so you can take bumps. Still, it’s smart to always be on the safe side of a moving vehicle and it does require some skill and physical strength.


Snowmobiling for the first time, christa thompson, gauge rybak, kidfriendly

My son and I ready to ride out with the #SorentoFamily


  1. Be sure you are dressed for the wind chill. Where there’s snow there’s chill and when you’re moving 40mph it’s even more cold. Make sure you plan your gear for expected (and unexpected) temperatures.
  2. Use a GoPro to catch all the footage (rather than trying to hold your cell). There are many talents which can be performed on a snowmobile. Holding your cell phone while driving with one hand is not one of them.
  3. Get ready to react. I, unfortunately, learned this one on my own. While you may be able to react quickly in a car should a situation arise, don’t expect to be as sharp when reacting on a snowmobile. We don’t have the same muscle memory when we’re operating a snowmobile for the first time. Or even a second or third time for that matter. Make sure you are overly familiar with where the gas and brake are.
  4. Wear warm gloves that fit. Another thing I learned the hard way. If your gloves are even a little bit too big, you can slip when trying to clench the brake and end up bumping into something or someone.
  5. Be sure to use the restroom before your trip. When you’re up in the mountains like we were in Tahoe, there’s little in the way of restrooms. Make sure you go at the trail base before you head out.
  6. Call ahead to ask what the midpoint vista view will look like. I wish we had done this, and now I know which is why I’m sharing it with you. When you’re in the thick of it all, it’s really hard to flesh out photo composition. If you call ahead and ask if there are photos of the view, you can take your time in planning out that epic family photo.


Snowmobiling for the first time, sean overstreet

Sean getting ready to embark on his very first ever snowmobile adventure!


Kia took us on an epic snowmobiling adventure in the North Lake Tahoe area through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We were guided on trails in a snowmobile safari which led us to an insane vista overlooking Lake Tahoe.


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An incredible vista overlooking Lake Tahoe!


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My kiddo loved the view too!


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Photo Cielo Roth for Kia 2017 Lake Tahoe


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Photo Cielo Roth for Kia 2017 Lake Tahoe


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Photo Cielo Roth for Kia 2017 Lake Tahoe


Getting to Tahoe Travel Tips – My Ride of Choice the #KiaSorento #SorentoFamily


Snowmobiling for the first time, kia sorento, tahoe

2017 Kia Sorento #SorentoFamily Lake Tahoe area photo Christa Thompson 2017


Proud Kia Sorento owner here. If Tahoe was on my side of the country, I would have driven my own up there. But, Kia was cool enough to hook us up with a fully loaded 2017 Sorento for the ride. I wouldn’t recommend any other ride ever. Check out these deets:


  • Super huge panoramic sunroof which extends from front to rear for ultimate scenic drive views
  • Seat warmers in front and back
  • Steering wheel warmer
  • Built in navigation so you don’t get lost in the mountains
  • Equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so you can use your driving apps on the screen
  • Space, space and more space – third row offers extra human hauling, lay-flat seats offer extra cargo hauling
  • Smart cruise control with braking – yeah it sets the pace between you and the car in front of you and brakes for YOU
  • Auto hold so you don’t roll when you’re stopped in gear
  • 360 camera for complete camera views of the vehicle
  • Center lock differential button for extra traction (when to use)
  • Electronic parking brake


Not to mention the ride is smashing. I would choose the Kia Sorento a thousand times over for any road trip. Also, for extreme snow conditions, Kia had my Sorento outfitted with Michelin winter/snow tires which really came in handy on those icy roads without the need for chains.


Snowmobiling for the first time, kia sorento, gauge rybak, kidfriendly

This kid loves the sunroof, who wouldn’t? Photo Christa Thompson Lake Tahoe area


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Sean loves the steering. This ride is such a babe. Photo Christa Thompson 2017


Travel Tips: Anytime you’re traveling in winter / snow conditions, it’s always smart to make sure you have water, blankets and charged cell phones. You never know what weather conditions can cause and it’s always safe to be prepared for anything. Be sure to let friends or family know where you are going and when you expect to return. Never text and drive and always be aware of falling snow and ice on the road.


Snowmobiling is so much fun. Be sure to pay attention to the instructions from your guide and follow my easy tips for snowmobiling for the first time and you’ll have an incredible experience. Special thanks to Kia for making this trip possible. It in no way shapes my opinion of the Kia brand. I’m an owner and a true Kia family member.

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

40 Comments on this post

  1. Snowmobiling is so much fun! We did it for the first time a few years ago in Colorado, and we were instantly hooked.

  2. How fun of a day! I haven’t been snowmobiling in years! What a gorgeous place to do it! Still never been to tahoe!

    Karissa WithOurBest / Reply
  3. Oh my goodness, that looks like it would be a blast! You guys look like you had fun!

    Louise Bishop / Reply
  4. I’ve never been snowmobiling (that’s a mouthful of a word) but I would love to go. We love Kia too!

    Sheena Tatum / Reply
  5. That looks super fun! We live in a tropical country. Playing in the snow and snowmobiling are something I would for my granddaughters to experience.

    Dogvills / Reply
  6. I have not been snowmobiling in years. I will have to look into going somewhere around here. I think the kids will have a great time.

    Ann Bacciaglia / Reply
  7. My family really loves snowmobiling! I’m glad that your family had fun adventure.

    My Teen Guide / Reply
  8. Snowmobiling sounds really fun to do with my nieces, they will surely love it as well.

    Victoria Heckstall / Reply
  9. I need to do more adventurous things like this. It looks so cool and yet so thrilling. I could actually see myself really enjoying snowmobiling.

    Stephanie Jeannot / Reply
  10. I haven’t been on a snowmobile since I was a kid. Your post brought back great memories

    alisonrost / Reply
  11. Lake Tahoe is simply beautiful & it’s good to see everyone with big smiles. Clearly, you all had a blast during this trip. I’d love to try snowmobiling in one of my future trips.

    RUSS / Reply
  12. love the photos and advice! couple of my guy friends invited me to go snowmobiling, I haven’t actually gone yet, but I’d love to and now I’ll feel better prepared : ) thanks!

    Eloise / Reply
  13. This trip looks like so much fun! I have never been to this part of the US, and now I am looking forward to going.

    E H / Reply
  14. Kia has come a very long way over the years. I am impressed.

    I would love to go snowmobiling with my husband. It would be fun to go see some of the back trails in the winter.

    uprunforlife / Reply
  15. Looks like you all had a blast! Snowmobiling is one thing that I really want to try one of these days. I want to experience the thrill!

    Lynndee / Reply
  16. I would love to do that! It looks like so much fun. I’m a big fan of things with engines. LOL

    Vera Sweeney / Reply
  17. That sounds like an awesome experience. I think my family would love it. I know I and my oldest would certainly have a blast.

    Bill Sweeney / Reply
  18. I have never been snowmobiling but I am sure my cousins would enjoy this type of adventure! It does look like fun but I think they’d like it more than I would.

    LisaFavre / Reply
  19. I bet this was so much fun to be a part of! I’ve never been snowmobiling before.

    wildishjess / Reply
  20. We have two snowmobiles and love riding them. Definitely have to wear a ski mask. Even with a windshield you can have a frozen face!

    reviewerpam / Reply
  21. I have never been snowmobiling but it looks way super fun!! Great post!!

    Ricci / Reply
  22. I think my kids would love to go snowmobiling. I will have to see if there is somewhere local that can take us out.

    Claudia Krusch / Reply
  23. What an incredible excursion! We’ll keep this in mind for the next time we visit Tahoe!

  24. Snowmobiling is something I would love for my family to experience. It sounds super fun.

    OurFamilyWorld / Reply
  25. Oh that looks like so much fun! I’ve never been snowmobiling but would love to try this, just may have to wait until next winter! I don’t think we’re getting anymore snow.

    Ady from VGB / Reply
  26. I haven’t had a chance to go snowmobiling. It sounds like a ton of fun and I would love to take one into the back country.

    up run for life / Reply
  27. I’ve never been snowmobiling before, but it sounds like a lot of fun! I would love to go snowmobiling some day!

    Shannon Gurnee / Reply
  28. I haven’t been snowmobiling in so long! It would be so much fun to do again. Especially in Tahoe!

    The Mad Mommy / Reply
  29. I don’t drive at all – a part of being born and raised in NYC we take public transpo everywhere to avoid the insane traffic. I have never tried snowmobiling – I’m more of a white sandy beach kinda gal – but that vista and view look amazing!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

    ascendingbutterfly / Reply
  30. Omg now that is one awesome ride!!! I just love kias. Such great cars for and awesome price

    The Trophy WifeStyle / Reply
  31. I don’t know if I am brave enough to go snowmobiling, but those amazing views sure are tempting. And that car….*wolf whistle*.

    tiffanyhathorn / Reply

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