Wyoming boasts some of the most awe-inspiring views in the Rocky Mountains. From Yellowstone National Park, to the Wind River Range, Bighorn Mountains and down to the Snowy Range, it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to take advantage of these views in the winter is on ski or snowshoe.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing provide an authentic human-powered winter experience. You can bypass the lift lines, enjoy the pristine winter landscape and get right to the adventure.
Here are our top cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails in Wyoming to help you plan your next ski adventure.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing Trails in Yellowstone National Park, WY
Winter enthusiasts will find miles of groomed and ungroomed trails open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing across Yellowstone National Park. Before adventuring out, contact park rangers or talk to the pros at Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful ski shops to check out the conditions; some parks close to protect wildlife and trails might not be favorable for traversing.
Snow Pass Ski Trail
The 4.2-mile Snow Pass Ski Trail features three trailheads for varying skill levels. This skier-tracked easiest to most difficult one-way ski trail winds through a heavily forested area to wide open views of Swan Lake Flats. Some curves have steep drop-offs requiring caution. Bison and elk frequent the area; federal regulations require you to stay 100 years away from bears and wolves and at least 24 yards away from bison and other wild animals.
Lone Star Geyser Trail
An easy route is the partially machine-groomed Lone Star Geyser Trail that tracks along the Firehole River to Lone Star Geyser. Skiers can choose from 9-mile or 6.9-mile round-trip trails. Skiers are treated to 20-minute eruptions of Lone Star Geyser about every three hours. The ground is unstable in hydrothermal areas, so stay on boardwalks and designated ski trails. Bison and elk frequent the area; federal regulations require you to stay 100 years away from bears and wolves and at least 24 yards away from bison and other wild animals.
Bannock Ski Trail
The 2-mile Bannock Ski Trail is an easy path that follows an old road bed. The trail’s namesake is from the Bannock band of the Shoshone, who once traveled this route to the Great Plains buffalo grounds. Bison and elk frequent the area; federal regulations require you to stay 100 years away from bears and wolves and at least 24 yards away from bison and other wild animals.
The southeastern corner of the state offers diverse terrain and ample snow. Just a few miles east of Laramie, the Tie City/Happy Jack trail network boasts 15 miles of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. This trail network also offers miles of packed multi-use trails for fat biking and snowshoeing or untouched snow if you can find it.
A short trip west of Laramie to the Snowy Range provides numerous opportunities for endless backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Chimney Park and the Medicine Bow Rail trail are family favorites with terrain gentle enough for the youngest of skiers.
A mere fifteen minutes from Laramie is one of the most popular cross-country ski areas—the ⅓ mile Summit Loop. Classic Nordic and skate skiers alike enjoy the steady 9,000-foot climb to majestic views of the Laramie Valley, the city of Laramie, and the Snowy Range and Colorado Rockies. This major hub lets skiers climb before sliding and gliding down to complete the loop. Parking is available for $5 a day.
Chimney Park Trails
The classic Nordic skier and snowshoer will want to trek the forty-five minutes southeast of Laramie to the Chimney Park Trail system. The fifteen miles of trails are groomed weekly by the U.S. Forest Service, with both a flat portion for skating and snowshoeing with classic tracks as well that wind through a dense lodgepole forest. The float trails are ideal for families and beginners, while advanced skiers will enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Barber Lake Trail
Within the Medicine Bow National Forest in the Snowy Range Mountains lies the Barber Lake Trail. Groomed for classic-style cross-country skiing only, the Barber Lake Trail features long downhill sections that wind through the snow-covered forest. Most skiers park a vehicle at the bottom of the trail to enjoy the magical descent. For those looking for a more strenuous experience, skiing back up the trail is an option. Skiers can access the trail from the Green Rock Winter Trailhead, where the snowplows stop at the Green Rock Picnic Area. Parking is available for $5 a day.
You might not expect to find a world-class biathlon (cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship) venue in Wyoming, but just south of Casper, cross-country skiers can ski in luxury over 26 miles of groomed ski trails, some of which are even lit at night for after-work skiing.
Eight miles south of Casper, Wyoming, you’ll discover approximately 28 miles of groomed cross-country trails, including a lighted lop for the avid or novice skier to enjoy during the evening.
Casper Mountain is also home to former Olympic skiers and biathletes, as well as adaptive cross-country skiing. You might just find yourself skiing alongside an Olympian or Paralympian. Adjacent to the Casper Mountain ski trails, skiers can find a biathlon venue that rivals some of the best in Europe, making Casper an ideal place for ski touring and a destination for ski racers looking for a top-notch training and racing facility.
Trail passes are available to purchase at the fee boxes located at the information kiosks at the old Trails Center, online or by phone. Passes are $10.00 for adults and children and are valid for 24 hours from the purchase date and time.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing around Pinedale can be described as scenic with ample solitude, but don’t be fooled by that description. Pinedale is a gem of a ski town. Skiers can hit the trails from the south end of Fremont Lake, Kelly Park or White Pine for packed and tracked snow or untouched fresh powder.
The 6.3-mile Sweeney Creek trail spans from Fremont Lake Road to Trail H junction. Generally for intermediate and advanced skiers, the trail follows a gentle valley before a steep climb.
At 9.9 miles, Grouse Mountain is a difficult trail more suited for advanced cross-country skiers with an overnight trip in mind. Those who brave the terrain are rewarded with beautiful views over Half Moon Lake.
The 3.5-mile Kelly Park is for the beginner, with easy terrain to traverse beginning at Fremont Lake Road with connections to Trails H and E. The option to Trail H is the most difficult with a steep climb up Fortification Mountain.
Jackson Hole offers a little something for everyone with its diverse cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. Skiers can find groomed trails with a dog-friendly loop not far from town at The Shooting Star Nordic Track. Or skiers can look for moose and wildlife at the Teton Pines Cross Country Ski Center just four miles south of Teton Village.
If a destination resort is more your style, check out the Turpin Meadow Ranch for a little over 12 miles of pristine groomed ski trails and gourmet meals. If backcountry skiing or snowshoeing is your passion, all you need to do is look no further than the Tetons.
Snake River Dike
Stunning views of the Tetons and well-traveled trails are what skiers and snowshoers will find at Snake River Dike. This popular flat, groomed trail is perfect for beginners on up. The trail is most populated for the first mile or so with skiers, winter trail runners and dog walkers before thinning out.
Moose-Wilson Road is a groomed 5.8-mile roundtrip ski path in the Grand Teton National Park. Expect 500-foot elevation gains. Cross-country skiers can take a side route to Granit Canyon; just be careful of avalanche danger.
Lander is a thriving ski community offering plenty of backcountry options in the Wind River Range, or on 6 miles of packed and tracked trails 22 miles south of town off of Highway 28.
Beaver Creek Ski Area
Long winding trails through the trees await Nordic skiers at the Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area located 25 miles outside of Lander, Wyoming. Just over nine miles of groomed trails range from easy to difficult, and there’s a Yurt to dip in to warm up from the cold.
Join skiers, snowshoers and sledders along the nature trails in Sinks Canyon. The area includes a total of 15 miles of trails for people and their pets located 34 miles south of Lander, Wy. What’s more, a warming hut located in the Sinks Canyon State Park includes bathrooms.
What’s not to love about skiing on the edge of Yellowstone? From Cody you can find cross-country ski and snowshoe trails that start from Sleeping Giant Ski Area and Pahaska Tepee Resort near the east entrance to the park. There are over 15 miles of groomed trails through the forest here, offering fun and challenging terrain.
Wherever your skis or snowshoes take you this winter, be sure to be prepared with warm clothing, water and an energy boosting snack. There’s no place quite like Wyoming, especially when you’re traveling on a pair of skis or snowshoes.
Sleeping Giant Ski Area
Fifty miles west of Cody, Wyoming, is Sleeping Giant Ski Area offering 35 acres of cross-country ski trails near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Skiers and snowshoers can explore the Absaroka Mountain Range on the banks of the Shoshone River.
Wood River Valley Ski Park
Twenty-three miles southwest of Meeteetse is the Wood River Valley Cross Country Ski Touring Park, offering more than 15 miles of groomed trails through the Shoshone National Forest. Visitors can rent a cabin and skis, and there is a warning hut.