By Jeff McDonald
When someone mentions skiing in Wyoming, it is easy to think of the world-class resorts like Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Resort… and rightfully so. These two resorts offer some of the best snow and most challenging terrain in the country, if not the world. But let’s not forget that Wyoming also offers a number of smaller ski areas. These may be bit out of the spotlight, and require a little more creative travel planning if you are coming from a distance, but they can also offer tremendous rewards. Think small, adventurous, uncrowded, family-friendly, affordable, and fun. If you like the sound of that, then I know just the place.
One of my favorite small Wyoming ski areas happens to be my local hill; Snowy Range Ski Area located about 30 miles west of Laramie. The ski area is situated on the east side of the Snowy Range Mountains, just outside of the small mountain town of Centennial, WY.
And they call it “Snowy” for a reason. Recent January storms have been lining up over the Snowy Range and dropping plenty of the light, fluffy white stuff that we all love to play in. In fact, over the past few weeks, the ski area has reported over 3 feet of new snow.
One day in January is particularly memorable to me. It was Sunday, January 22. I knew that a storm was forecasted to move over the Range the night before and it had the potential for significant snowfall. Right before I went to sleep the night before, the forecast was calling for anywhere between 8 to 16 inches in the higher elevations.
When I woke up at 6am that morning, I immediately checked the Snowy Range Ski Area 5am snow report on Facebook. I was a bit discouraged when they said that they only had 2” of new snow, but they also mentioned that it was snowing hard. And snowing hard it was.