Mandy Fabel enjoys a bit of sunshine during an otherwise frigid late-December day of snowmobiling near Brooks Lake in the Absaroka Mountains. (Brian Fabel)

It’s been said that Wyoming enjoys four full seasons each year — almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction. On days like the one pictured here Lander snowmobile enthusiast Mandy Fabel wouldn’t have it any other way.

Snowmobiling is an important facet of the state’s winter outdoor recreation economy and actively promoted by the Wyoming Office of Tourism. The agency’s website TravelWyoming.Com boasts “more than 2,500 miles of groomed and ungroomed trails” in Wyoming and lists 17 guides, outfitters and lodges ready to capitalize on the sport’s popularity.

But the pursuit is about a lot more than dollars and cents to Fabel and her fellow riders. “For me snowmobiling is about the pure joy of playing outside in a beautiful winter environment,” she said. “Somehow an entire day of being in below-freezing temperatures passes and you are left driving home with a smile on your face, a lot of sore muscles, and the hope of doing it all again next weekend.”

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Matthew Copeland is the chief executive & editor of WyoFile. Contact him at or (307) 287-2839. Follow Matt on Twitter at @WyoCope

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