When it comes to winter recreation, Wyoming has you covered. Whether your winter self begs for steep slopes, immense powder-filled meadows or a secluded cabin with a romantic fire, Wyoming won’t disappoint.
Wyoming’s untouched terrain attracts downhill and cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, and fat-tire bikers to destinations all over the state, from the Bighorn Mountains to the Snowy Range and everywhere in between. After a day on the slopes, enjoy a sleigh ride, take in a snowboarding competition or simply relax by a fire.
Sprawling blankets of snow, unlimited terrain to explore and an undeniable spirit of adventure make Wyoming a genuine winter wonderland. With an endless variety of activities, there’s something to suit everyone, from the casual explorer to the seasoned thrill-seeker. Here are 10 essential winter adventures that can be found in Wyoming.
1. Dog Sledding
If a unique experience is what you’re seeking, a dog sledding adventure will not disappoint. Mush your way across the pristine white landscapes with eight of your newest canine companions. The Teton and Shoshone national forests in northwest Wyoming are rich with trails and guide companies.
Dog Sledding in Jackson Hole
Experience the original Jackson Hole sled dog tours with Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours hosted by eight-time Iditarod veteran Frank Teasley. Full and half-day tours are offered from late November into April, snow permitting. The full-day experience lasts from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and includes a hearty lunch with hot soups and beverages.
Along with the exciting dog sledding, you’ll get to swim in the warm Granite Hot Springs. The half-day trip starts at 8 a.m., ends at 1:30 p.m., and includes hot beverages and soups.
2. Sleigh Rides
Gliding through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh will forever be a fond family memory. You can personalize your experience with plenty of package options, such as a trip to and from an elegant dinner or a cozy campfire in the Wyoming wilderness.
Sleigh Rides in the National Elk Refuge
Experience a century-long tradition with National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides. Your guide will share fascinating facts about the largest migrating elk herd in North America and other majestic animals that call the refuge home while you glide across the snow-covered ground surrounded by the breathtaking Grand Tetons mountains.
Every ride is unique, and you never know what you might see, from thousands of elk to eagles, bison, coyotes and more.
3. Cross-country Skiing
Wyoming has 11 resorts dedicated solely to cross-country skiing in addition to our state and national parks. Flat, open valleys are plentiful and great for beginners, while more difficult grades and gentle hills offer challenges for seasoned cross-country ski enthusiasts.
Cross-Country Skiing Adventures in Grand Teton
See unparalleled winter views of the Tetons along Teton Park Road. From mid-December to early March, this roadway is groomed for skate skiing, classic cross-country skiing, and walking, with some additional trails along the road.
The route is accessible from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge along the base of the Teton Range, offering spectacular views of the winter wonderland.
While this serene winter sport might seem intimidating to newbies, no training is necessary. Once you’ve stepped into a pair of snowshoes, you need nothing more than a trail map to get started on your adventure. Of course, there are also professional guides that will help you navigate if you prefer.
Explore Laramie in Snowshoes
Laramie, Wyoming, offers a few excellent snowshoe trails. The Tie City Trailhead and Happy Jack Recreation area are reserved for snowshoers, fat-bikers, and runners. Traverse the lodgepole forest in Chimney Park or the hilly terrain of Green Rock Trail in the Snowy Range Mountains.
An easy trail is found at the Snowy Range Ski Area. No matter where you explore, avoid snowshoeing over any groomed cross-country skiing trails. And it’s recommended that you go with a friend.
5. Yurt Trips
Jaunting from one rustic round cabin to the next amid knee-deep powder is an excursion you can’t find just anywhere. You’ll be busy for days in southwest Wyoming, where a well-developed trail system connects five yurts. Or, stay awhile in Sinks Canyon State Park in central Wyoming.
Cozy Up in a Sinks Canyon Yurt
You can reserve a yurt at the base of the southern Wind River Mountains in the Sinks Canyon, named for a unique geologic formation where the river vanishes underground near the mouth of the rugged canyon. Four yurts are offered for rentals through the Wyoming State Parks year-round.
Each yurt features one bunk bed with a twin on top and a full size on the bottom, one full-size futon, a dining table, two chairs, a captain’s chair, a bench, a heater, a ceiling fan, and a barbecue grill. Outside the yurt are two parking spaces and a picnic table. An ADA yurt with accessibility ramps and accessible toilets is also available.
6. Downhill Skiing
The powder princess, the backcountry baron and the duke of downhill will all relish the majesty of Wyoming skiing. Find a luxury experience at the top-ranked Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or enjoy several off-the-beaten-path destinations such as White Pine and Snowy Range ski areas.
Why Snow King Mountain Is a Must-See for Downhill Skiers
Jackson Hole’s hometown ski hill is a world-class ski resort with over 500 skiable acres, three lifts, and 41 named runs for beginners to experts. You won’t have to go far for equipment with Snow King Mountain Sports performance rental packages that include skis and boots.
Plus, there’s much more fun to be had here with snow tubing, scenic gondola rides, and the cowboy roller coaster. After a thrilling day on the slopes, you can gather at the King’s Grill and enjoy a burger, chocolate milkshake, local beer, and more.
7. Fat Biking
Don’t limit your biking adventures to the warm summer months. The large tires on snow bikes make it possible to glide over the snow on two wheels. Trails for snow biking are abundant in the Jackson and Wind River areas, and many outfitters are ready to set you up with your wide tire transportation.
Discover Casper WY through Fat Biking
Casper, Wyoming, is a top destination for the growing sport of fat biking, and the Casper Mountain Trails Center is the best place to start with two main winter trails. The Maze Loop is approximately one mile long and is perfect for beginners. The Eadsville Loop is about 3.5 miles long, ideal for intermediate-level riders.
Along this loop are two additional trails, Jacobson’s Cut-Off and Cooper, for shorter rides. Day passes for $10 and individual season passes for $35, or family of four passes for $100 are available at the Casper Mountain Trails Center and select locations in Casper.
8. Hot Springs
Outdoor swimming in the winter? Yes, this is a dream that can come true in the numerous hot springs around Wyoming. You can scurry from the locker room to the steamy pool and then enjoy the relaxation and scenery.
Take the Whole Family to Star Plunge in Thermopolis
Take the whole family to the hot spring water park, Star Plunge. This unique attraction offers indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, water slides, a vapor cave, and a fitness and weight room in the Hot Springs State Park. Guests can enjoy the hot springs year-round, with both pools heated by warm water from the Big Spring.
The inside pool can reach 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and the outdoor pool can reach 94 degrees. The hot pool reaches 104 degrees and is a truly relaxing experience with water and air jets.
9. Ice Climbing
Ice climbing has become a visitor and local favorite in the Cody area, which hosts the annual Cody Ice Festival. The festival welcomes climbers of all abilities to northwestern Wyoming.
If you’d rather skip the ice and stick to rock, head to Sinks Canyon near Lander. This climbing mecca is popular year-round — even during the coldest winter months. Due to the sun hitting the south-facing rock and inversion, climbers are often treated to t-shirt weather in any season.
The South Fork of the Shoshone River: An Ice Climber’s Paradise
Discover one of the largest concentrations of waterfall ice climbing in the lower 48 at the South Fork of the Shoshone River Valley. This area offers steep and rugged approaches, stiff grades, fluctuating conditions, and complicated descents to challenge any advanced ice climber.
Ice climbing routes include the Main Vein (W13+) with five to six excellent pitches overlooking the upper South Fork Valley, the Stringer (W13) in a narrow slot canyon, Smoked Turkey (W13), and the Drumstick (W15), Too Cold to Fire (W14) with one of the shortest approaches in the South Fork, and Broken Hearts (W15-6) one of the finest multipatch ice climbs in North America.
If the roar of an engine is music to your ears, then snowmobiling is the activity for you. Saddle up on a 500-pound machine that will get your adrenaline pumping on more than 2,000 miles of groomed and ungroomed trails. Togwotee Pass, the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail and Medicine Bow National Forest are just a few parts of Wyoming that feature world-class snowmobiling terrain.
Explore the Bear Lodge Mountains on a Snowmobile
The Bear Lodge Mountains are a small mountain range protected in the Black Hills National Forest and are one of three mountain ranges that comprise the Black Hills region. You can explore 78 miles of groomed trails accessible from Sundance, Wyoming, in the Bear Lodge Mountains. Ideal for short jaunts, the trails loop through smaller hills and valleys and reach elevations of 5,00 to 7,000 feet.
You can make Bear Lodge Mountain Resort your home base for snowmobile excursions. The resort offers cabins with full kitchenettes, including a refrigerator, microwave, cookware, dishware, a two-burner stove, and more, plus RV sites.