Wyoming Skiing And Riding Goes Big, Stays Small
In the state of Wyoming, the major resorts hang tight to the Tetons in the west, while a host of smaller, town hill-type mountains spread out across much of the western half of the state.
Those skiers and snowboarders from afar likely know that Jackson Hole is the grand-daddy of them all in the Cowboy State and, to a lesser degree, Grand Targhee looms large just over the ridge of the Tetons.
At Jackson Hole this season, novice skiers will get their own lift back after crews put in a four-seat fixed-grip chair on the line that the original Eagle's Rest double chair ran for 50 years out of the base are -- before 2016 closure. Jackson still boasts a top-five vert of 4,139 feet, and 2,500 acres in-bounds and another 3,000 in the backcountry.
And, after 50 years, Grand Targhee is looking to the future. At the Wyoming-Idaho border near Atla, Wyo., this favorite of off-the-beaten-track skiers and riders is getting ready to add new lifts and upgraded existing lifts in the coming years. For now, the predominately intermediate resort spreads 2,600 acres across two peaks with vertical at 2,270 feet.
Now for the others: Day-trip mountains, where the locals go, town hills, whatever you want to call them.
In the city of Jackson, Snow King has run for 80 years as a locals' hill. Recently, difficult negotiations got underway on proposals to add 100 acres of terrain, put a gondola to the summit, and add housing and a hotel at the base.
Thirty-two miles from Laramie in south-central Wyoming, Snowy Range Ski Area is a compact hill with three lifts over 400 acres and nearly 1,000 feet of vert. A new carpet conveyor lift went in this summer. The mountain, which brings in the storms to its 10,000-foot summit, also lets anyone over age 69 to ski or snowboard for free.
After years of neglect, Hogadon Ski Area has come back to life as the town hill for Casper. The base lodge got overhauled in 2017 in hopes of becoming more of a year-round mountain. This winter, Hogadon is open Wednesday through Sunday with 60 acres of slopes and a terrain park.
Northeast of Pinedale in the Wind River Range of the Tetons, White Pine will run without a permanent base lodge this winter because of a fire this summer. It has 370 skiable acres and spectacular views of the highest ranges in Wyoming from its 9,500-foot summit.
The oldest Wyoming ski area that opened in 1936, Sleeping Giant sits right at the edge of Yellowstone National Park about 50 miles from the town of Cody. Operating as a non-profit, about half of Sleeping Giant's runs are expert or advanced on 184 acres of terrain and 810 feet of vert.