Ski Wyoming • 2006/2007 Season

-Lauren Barnett
Wyoming Nuggets

 

With world-renowned ski destinations like Big Sky Resort in Montana, Vail and Aspen in Colorado, and Park City in Utah, Wyoming’s ski areas can often seem like the lost little sibling trailing in the distance. But for those who ski Wyoming, they know that everyone else has been missing out on a surprising world of unrivaled powder and fabulous skiing at fairly affordable prices. Although you won’t hear them complain! Keeping Wyoming’s winter treasures under-the-radar is what keeps their lift lines non-existent and their slopes wide open. Check out these Wyoming ski areas for yourself, and discover that there is more to the Rocky Mountain skiing world than Montana, Colorado, and Utah. Discover what Wyoming’s powder hounds have known for years!

 

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
By far the most recognizable name in Wyoming skiing, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts legendary terrain amid the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Teton Mountains. Ranked 3rd in Skiing Magazine’s recent Top 25 Ski Destinations, Jackson Hole provides 2,500 acres of inbound terrain on two mountains, Apres Vous and Rendezvous. With a vertical of 4,139 feet (the greatest continuous rise in the U.S.), average annual snowfall of 459 inches, and an open backcountry gate system accessing over 3,000 acres of unbelievable powder and expert terrain, it is easy to see why true skiers love this place. Jackson Hole’s terrain is 50% expert, 40% intermediate, and 10% designated beginner. A majority of the mountain is the ungroomed, powder skiing they are famed for, while still allowing 22 miles for those who love a good groomer. The resort also offers skiing and snowboarding lessons from experienced professionals and the occasional Olympic champion. Various kids activities, heli-skiing, wildlife sightseeing, and ski-in/ski-out lodging and dining are just a few more things this world-class resort has to offer. Open December 2nd through April 8th, 9 AM to 4 PM daily.

Snow King Resort
Nestled in downtown Jackson, Snow King Resort is recognized as Wyoming’s first official ski area and as the birthplace of the nation’s innovative “Great American Ski School.” Although the resort may be Wyoming’s oldest, it has kept pace with the latest trends and offers a variety of terrain to suit skiers and snowboarders of all capabilities. The resort’s 400 acres provide 31 trails and a vertical drop of 1,571 feet, with its longest run at about 9 miles. Snow King has been dubbed a “Racer’s Mountain” and is consistently a favorite of both National and International Ski Teams. In addition to the standard daytime downhill skiing, Snow King offers a terrain park, night-skiing, a sledding/tubing hill, 30 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, an indoor skating rink, and convenient access to shopping, lodging, and downtown dining as Jackson’s most comprehensive resort and conference facility. The resort also offers guided tours of the surrounding backcountry. Ski Snow King late November through late March, 10 AM to 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 AM to 4 PM Sunday and Monday.

Grand Targhee Resort
Grand Targhee Resort rests just 40 miles west of Jackson near the small town of Alta, on the Wyoming/Idaho border. Famous for receiving an annual average of 500-plus inches of supreme white fluffiness, Grand Targhee Resort is frequently featured in national skiing magazines for its unbeatable powder conditions. The area is also known for its affordability, family-friendly approach, and the variety of terrain its two mountains offer. The 1,500-acre Fred’s Mountain features 2,200 feet of vertical drop and has 10% beginner terrain, 70% intermediate/advanced, and 20% expert. The renouned Peaked Mountain offers 1,500 acres of skiable terrain with 9 trails—500 acres are lift served with the remaining 1,000 acres strictly reserved for SnowCat skiing. Peaked Mountain has a 2,419-foot vertical drop and is designated 85% intermediate/advanced terrain and 15% expert terrain. For those uninterested in the downhill experience, Grand Targhee also offers two freestyle terrain parks for the snowboarding and twin-tipped enthusiasts, and 15 groomed kilometers of Nordic ski trails. Discover for yourself the breathtaking beauty of the Targhee National Forest at a destination 8,000 feet above sea level. Open late November through mid April, 9 AM to 4 PM daily.

Sleeping Giant Ski Area
Sleeping Giant Ski Area is another long-standing Wyoming ski area that continues to be a favorite among those who have experienced its terrain. Established in 1936-1937, near Yellowstone National Park’s East Entrance, Sleeping Giant Ski Area receives plenty of natural snowfall, receiving 300 inches on average and up to 500 inches on a good year. Unsurpassed scenery surrounds these slopes, along with Wyoming’s abundant signature sunlight, ideal winter temperatures, and non-existent wind. The area provides 17 expertly-groomed trails perfect for beginner to expert skiers. Most of the mountain caters to intermediate skiers with 60% of the runs rated as such; the remaining 40% is split as 20% beginner and 20% expert. Sleeping Giant has 2 lifts with a vertical of 500 feet. Season opens late November and runs through April. Hours of operation are Friday through Sunday, 9 AM to 4 PM, and Half Days start at 1 PM.

White Pine Ski Area
Known for its family-friendly hospitality and hometown atmosphere, this favorite local ski hill is perfect for those days when you want to maximize your time on the slopes. Short lift lines and uncrowded slopes are the norm at White Pine. Skiers and snowboarders are treated to spectacular views of the nearby Continental Divide, Wind River Mountains, and Fremont Lake. White Pine Ski Area offers over 25 trails with difficulty designated as 25% beginner, 45% intermediate, and 30% advanced. Peak elevation is at 9,500 feet and provides 1,100 feet of vertical drop. Most slopes are no more than 30 degrees, assuring little avalanche danger. The area also offers more than 35 kilometers of Nordic ski trails and a lodge with ski-in/ski-out dining. Their typical season runs Thanksgiving until mid-April, 9 AM to 4 PM daily.

Big Horn Ski Resort
This once small ski resort situated on the western side of Buffalo, in Wyoming’s beautiful Bighorn Mountains, has garnered national attention since its 2003 renovation. Situated at the base of High Park Peak just west of Powder River Pass, Big Horn Ski Resort is known for its deep, light powder. Since it’s nestled in the wilds of Wyoming, this mountain certainly has no shortage of the white stuff and offers 14 well-groomed runs catering evenly to all levels of skiing. Big Horn is proud to call itself home to the #1 Terrain Park in the state, winning this accolade with its notable Half Pipe—the longest Half Pipe in all of Wyoming. This mountain is a unique experience with the vast range of natural elements, including cliffs located along the edge of Meadow Lark Lake. The resort also offers restaurants, bars, lodging, and snowmobile rentals during its November through April operating season. Open Thursday through Sunday, 9 AM to 4 PM.

Hogadon Ski Area
Situated just 11 miles south of Casper in central Wyoming, Hogadon Ski Area is known for its balanced mix of terrain. Located on Casper Mountain, the 60-acre ski area features 18 trails along with 600 vertical feet. All trails are open to snowboarders, and the terrain is suitable for all levels of ability. In addition to its downhill terrain, Hogadon provides a fully-accredited ski school, rentals, a restaurant, and snack bar. Nearby, the Natrona County Parks Nordic Ski Area grooms 15 miles of cross-country trails. This trail system is one of the few illuminated trail systems in the region, giving those that can brave the cold the rare opportunity for night-skiing. They also have a great snowmobile trail system consisting of 60 miles of machine-groomed trails and an additional 20 miles of ungroomed trails. Lodging is available in nearby Casper. Season opens late November.

Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area
Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area is nestled in the beautiful Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, just 5 miles from Centennial, Wyoming and 32 miles from Laramie. The summit elevation sits at 10,000 feet with a 1,000-foot vertical drop, and annually records 250 inches of snowfall. This pristine Wyoming area presents its visitors with a relaxed atmosphere, abundant snowfall, 5 lifts and 27 trails with runs for skiers of all abilities. Snowy Range also features a terrain park, the accredited Snowy Range Ski School, snowboarding lessons, the Children’s Ski and Snow Play School, equipment rental, a restaurant/lounge, and a gift shop.

 

If you are skier or snowboarder who is sick of the norm and ready to step out of those seemingly endless lift lines, it is obvious that Wyoming has numerous destinations perfect for you. There are acres of white-blanketed beauty all across the Cowboy state! This year’s ski season is just around the corner and right now is the perfect time to start planning where you’re going to enjoy your Wyoming winter. So don’t waste any time and come discover for yourself the secret-stash of winter recreation Wyoming has to offer. See you on the slopes!

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