Beartooth Basin is far from your average ski area in many ways. Located about 23 miles up the Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge, it is one of the few ski areas in North America open during the summer months and the only operating only summers. When most people are starting to dust off their bikes and dip into the water, the basin is just starting to turn its surface lifts.
When you talk Wyoming skiing and snowboarding, no conversation can take place without mentioning the legendary Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. But just down the road, holding peaceful watch over the town of Jackson is Snow King Mountain Resort, a hidden gem with a wide variety of terrain to explore.
It may seem the only movers and shakers in the ski resort industry these days are the mega resorts, with hundreds of ski trails, multi-million dollar base lodges and well-connected regional season pass partnership deals. With the bright optics of these flashy resorts, it's easy to forget the “mom and pop” style ski areas are just as critical for the ski industry’s future.
With the growth of skiing into the 20th century, small ski hills used to dot the land, providing great accessibility and affordability for beginners looking to access downhill winter sports. Today, these “town” ski areas are a rarity with only a smattering left nationwide.
Wyoming, home to the Grand Teton Mountains and America's smallest population. Both these attributes bode well for skiers and snowboarders flocking to the state because after all who doesn’t love short lift lines, untouched powder and down-home service?