Snow King Activities Expanding; Avi Beacon Area Added
Snow King sits at edge of town. (Snow King/Facebook)
A three-year makeover at Snow King works to transform the struggling Jackson Hole town hill into a full-blown winter playground for locals and visitors alike.
Facing mounting losses, owners and town officials have worked to add attractions to the increase activity at the mountain area that sits on the southeast edge of town. Over the years, it’s main appeal has been night skiing and cheap lift ticket passes.
This season, mountain officials have added an avalanche beacon practice area at the base next to the tubing center. Skinners and backcountry skiers can now hook up to the Backcountry Access Wireless Beacon Training System to hone their backcountry search skills.
Eight waterproof boxes are located around the practice park, and participants can switch them on or off to create a different searching scenario.
The Teton range that looms over the town has long been a backcountry paradise, attracting those who are willing to climb outside the ski area ropes to find isolated slopes to ski and ride.
“For many Jackson residents, the opportunity to ski in the backcountry is what draws them to our community,” Snow King’s Ryan Stanley said. “Snow King is committed to safety in the backcountry, and this free beacon park allows us to do our part in keeping area residents and visitors safe.”
The avalanche beacon park is just the latest of improvements at Wyoming’s first ski area, opening in 1939. The main Rafferty Lift became a fixed-grip quad in 2015. Plus, there’s now a 3,200-foot Cowboy Coaster; an aerial adventure park up on the hill with ziplines, swings and suspended bridges; and a mini-golf course.
Visitors can buy a single day ticket for skiing and riding, tubing and coaster rides. Or, the mountain offers multi-day, half-day and night skiing passes. For X-C enthusiasts, it costs $10 to climb up and slide down.
In addition, owners have put money into the base lodge and have an ambitious plan under town consideration that would include a gondola to replace the Summit chairlift, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant at the summit, an observatory, bike trails and new skiing and snowboarding terrain.