Winter in Wyoming can make life difficult for outdoor lovers. Wind and blowing snow make you want curl up by the fire instead of venturing forth. But the weather in the mountains can be completely different than that in town, and there are plenty of days when conditions are perfect for adventure. Plus, winter is the one season you don’t have to worry about spooking a grizzly bear.
Here are five bucket-list winter adventures in Western Wyoming that will help you not only just get through the winter, but enjoy it.
1. Ski Under the Stars: Moonlight Skiing at Pahaska
The Park County Nordic Ski Association hosts moonlight ski and snowshoe events at Pahaska Tepee Resort, 50 miles west of Cody. Skiing at night is a completely unique experience, even on trails you’ve skied for years. Darkness combined with exceptional quiet enhances your senses and sharpens your skills, especially when a moose decides to cross your path. You might even hear the North Fork wolf pack calling. Bring your skis (no rentals at Pahaska) and headlamps.
2. Enjoy Opening Day Fun at Sleeping Giant Ski Area
The Giant awakens from its summer slumber on December 15 with its soft opening. Full services will open on December 22. Sleeping Giant is located on the North Fork Highway 50 miles west of town.
3. Ski to the South Fork Cabin
There are more than 25 kilometers of groomed trails at the Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park just 30 minutes west of Meeteetse. Make this a weekend adventure by renting the furnished South Fork Cabin for $20/night. It’s a gentle, three-mile ski into the cabin through quiet forests and aspen groves. From there, you’ll have miles of backcountry to explore. Be sure to pick up the key to the cabin before leaving Meeteetse. Gear rentals are available through the town recreation district.
4. Ski and Sample at Taste of the Trails at Pahaska
Saturday, January 27 marks the fifth annual PCNSA Taste of the Trails, which is rapidly becoming one of the biggest events of the season. Tickets sell out early, so get yours before the price goes up on January 2. This ski progressive dinner begins at the wrangler’s hut next to Pahaska Tepee’s main lodge and entices diners along the trails with a warming fires and food rewards at each station. The trail is perfectly suited for beginner skiers, and what better way to get kids on the snow than with the promise of food as well as hot chocolate and dessert at the end?
5. Climb a Frozen Waterfall at Cody’s Ice Climbing Festival
Some of the best ice climbing in the world happens to be a little under an hour drive southwest of Cody. There are more than 300 frozen waterfalls gracing the sheer walls of the South Fork Valley, and come President’s Day weekend, groups of climbers will be pounding ice axes and crampons into many of them. This festival caters to experienced as well as newbie climbers with clinics and competitions throughout the weekend. Limited demo gear is available to registered attendees.
Originally written by RootsRated.
Featured image provided by Cody Ice Climbing Festival