Snowy Range is a small ski area in southern Wyoming that lies about an hour west of Laramie, Wyoming and about five miles from Centennial. It is situated in the Medicine Bow – Routt National Forest on the Snowy Range Mountains. The peak elevation for the trails lies at 9663 feet, just below Medicine Bow Peak. Base camp can be found at 8798 feet, giving the ski area an overall vertical of 865 feet. The area encompasses 250 skiable acres and is serviced by four chairlifts and one surface lift. There are 27 marked trails, with a difficulty mix of seven novice, 12 intermediate, and 8 expert trails. (As always, this is a relative scale for this ski area, not to be measured against larger resorts such as Jackson).
An Overview of the Trails
Because Snowy Range is located deep in the Medicine Bow – Routt National Forest, you aren’t going to get any bowl skiing conditions. What you do get is a nice friendly blend of steeps and cruisers. These trails have paths which are well laid out and bounded on both sides by beautiful trees and gorgeous views. For novice skiers, head up the leftmost chairlift, Pioneer to either take the gently angled Pioneer trail straight back down, or take a tree-lined route down Warpath to Lower Drifter to end up at the Sundance Lift. Sundance will take you to a great spot where you can test your mettle on one of seven intermediate or two novice cruisers.
For the more adventurous, head up one of the two right hand lifts to reach the top of the ski area. The Virginian will take you straight up where you have five intermediate steeps or two gamboling novice trails. The right hand most lift is for the experts among you, and is called the Chute lift. This will take you up where your choices narrow to one of four expert trails. The Chute is an expert steep that take a single line straight down in the shadow of the lift. The other three are also steep but take a less direct route down the mountain.
There are also two terrain parks for those who want to jib through the park. Both feature boxes and rails with plenty of moguls and jumps to keep you going back for more. Additionally, staff are constantly changing the terrain park’s layout, so just because you master a run one day, doesn’t mean it won’t be completely different the next.
Adding it Up
Snowy Range is a decently sized resort that doesn’t seek to challenge its larger and flashier neighbors in the Rocky Mountains. What it does offer, it does so effortlessly and beautifully. Tree-lined trails with a spectacular view combined with a down-home feel and extremely friendly staff. Snowy Range also offers tubing all days of the week. Perhaps even better for families is the ski day care offered. Meant for kids, ages 1 to 9, you can also bundle your kid’s stay with a ski lesson package. Snowy Range caters to families, so if you’re looking for a great place to spend a family vacation, spend some time at Snowy Range.