Want to find the best places to ski

Read our weekly resort feature

 

Sitting on the east side of the Snowy Range Mountains in South Eastern Wyoming is the Snowy Range Ski and Recreation area.  Where exactly are the Snowy Range Mountains??  Or Wyoming for that matter??

If you are familiar with the central Rocky Mountain region encompassing many major ski resorts in Colorado; places like Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Vail or Breckenridge then you are really close.  This range is northwest of Denver, Colorado approximately 200 miles.  Whilst not in the State of Colorado this resort is actually closer to the populations of Fort Collins and Loveland than most resorts in Colorado itself.  Fighting I70 traffic in Colorado can make for a long day – why not head north across the state line for a shorter and much quicker drive?

The Snowy Range Ski Area is primarily a day trip resort rather than a destination.  Having said that this is cowboy country USA, and with local guest ranches and western style hotels this could be a vacation trip unlike any other.  Remember the tenth largest state in the Union also has the smallest population at 500,000 so towns in Wyoming are small – very small, and spread apart by large distances.

 The nearest town to the resort is Centennial – named this because it has a population of 100 people.  There are two western styled hotels and NO ski stores, rental or otherwise.  Snow sports in this part of Wyoming are made up of snow machines, and lots of them.  The Medicine Bow National Forest has miles and miles of trails catering to the ever increasing number of snowmobilers. 

Centennial, Wyoming

 

If Centennial is a bit small for you then a thirty minute drive down the road would be Laramie.  A much larger town, and home of the University of Wyoming, Laramie has much more to offer the ski crowd.  Whilst still not a destination town Laramie does have a vibrant down town, with many decent bars and restaurants.  During the season there are regular events at the university including basketball games in the 11,600 seat capacity Arena Auditorium.

 

 

If you show up to ski at the Snowy Range and need equipment there are a few choices in Laramie:  The Cross Country Connection on 2nd street carries lots of outdoor gear and clothing.  For ski specifics there is just one place to go – Westgate Sports at 1979 Snowy Range road.  It is easy to spot with one of the old gondolas from Steamboat Springs, Colorado standing out front.  The owner Lew is a personal guy who can kit you out with equipment for rental or for sale.

Westgate ski and sports

 

The resort itself does have a full equipment rental facility and a ski and snowboard school on site.

The lack of, rental and retail stores catering to the sport, along with few skiers and boarders does however have a positive effect on the ski area.  This would be crowds, or the lack thereof.  Even at peak holiday times you aren’t likely to get stuck in any lift lines, the parking lot will always have space and you will be able to get a seat in the lunch area.

But what about the terrain?

 

 

Mountain Statistics

Fun Facts about Snowy Range Ski Area

 

Open 7 Days a week:

 

 
   

Base Elevation

8,798 Feet

Summit Elevation

9,663 Feet

Skiable Area

250 Acres

Annual Snowfall

245 Inches

Number of Chairlifts

4

Number of Surface Lifts

1

Longest Run

1.8 Miles

Number of Terrain Parks

2

Easy Runs

30%

More Difficult Runs

40%

Most Difficult Runs

30%

From: www.snowyrangeski.com

 

Whilst “the range” is not a large resort it is nicely balanced in terms of terrain variation and difficulty level.  A beginner skier or boarder will have a great time learning here as there is plenty to keep you busy for days.  More advanced skiers will exhaust the terrain at a faster rate but there are still some great challenging spots on the mountain.

This part of the world does not boast snowfall like the Wasatch Range in Utah but at almost 9,000’ it does snow quite a lot here.  When conditions are right it is not uncommon to have significant snowfall, and at this elevation temperatures stay cold keeping the snow fresh.

But what about lunch??

Being a day ski resort there aren’t condos and restaurants on the mountain but the base is easily accessible in a short time from anywhere on the mountain where there is a large building which houses the ski school, lift ticket office and restaurant.  Offering snacks, pizza, burgers and the usual ski fare the lodge has plenty of seating.  Prices are reasonable and there aren’t any problems if you want to brown bag your own lunch and eat it inside in the warm.  The facility really shines if you have munchkins in tow.  The accessibility of the lodge for the 14th hot chocolate break of the morning is great for kids and there is plenty of space for them to run around or for you all to take a break if skiing or boarding is getting too much!

So we have a largely unknown ski resort with great facilities, rentals, parking so you can walk to the lifts, and no crowds.  What does this Wyoming hospitality set you back for the day?

Adult (18-69)

$45

$34

Teen (13-17)

$39

$26

Youth (5-12)

$28

$18

Student (Valid ID)

$39

$26

Military (Active)

$39

$26

Senior (70+)

FREE

FREE

Child (Under 5)

FREE

FREE

 

 

Season passes are also available for all age groups – see www.snowyrangeski.com for more details.

So next time you are in the region why not check out Southern Wyoming’s hidden gem in the Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area?  You’ll be glad you did!