Although it often plays second fiddle to its more famous neighbor, Jackson Hole, Snow King Mountain ski resort stands out all on its own. Besides being the first ski area in the state of Wyoming (celebrating its 75th anniversary this year), Snow King also has the steepest north-facing International Ski Federation race course in the continental United States. For even the most casual of ski bunnies, there's another great reason to book a trip: lift tickets here are considerably cheaper than in Jackson Hole. A full-day adult ticket at Snow King costs $42 this season, while the same ticket at Jackson Hole goes for between $99 (in March/April) and $112 (February).
What to Do (Besides Skiing):
There’s snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and an ice climbing wall. The resort also recently started offering a ski mountaineering course with Exum Mountain Guides. You can also take a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge. If you really have your heart set on skiing Jackson Hole, which SKI Magazine recently named the top ski resort in America, Snow King Resort also offers daily shuttles to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which is about 25 minutes away.
Snow King Resort sits closer than the other resorts to the town of Jackson, putting you closer to the town's Old West charm. Jackson is home to the Million Dollar Cowboy bar, which dates to the 1890s, hosts live musicians, and is decked out in western memorabilia, cowboy murals, and has genuine saddle bar stools. It also has its own downstairs steakhouse where prices range from $9 for smoked elk and huckleberry bratwurst to $56 for a 20-ounce dry-aged cowboy-cut rib eye.
Snow King Mountain recently collaborated with the Snake River Brewing Company to create a special Snow King Pale Ale in honor of the resort's 75th anniversary. The ale is an American/English hybrid that uses classic English hops along with U.S. hops and is available in limited-edition cans at local liquor stores. It's also on tap at Snow King Resort’s new restaurant at the Snow King Hotel, called Hayden's Post. Snow King Mountain will also host a 75th Anniversary Grand Celebration on February 8, complete with a snow bike race, randonee race, and a free concert.
Where to Stay:
The Snow King Hotel recently completed a major renovation, and has a new activity center that offers ski, snowboard, mountain bike, and other rentals. It also provides information on nearby trails, hikes, and other outdoor activities near the hotel and in the Jackson Hole area. Nightly rates start at $135.