New To Ski

6 Best Wyoming Ski Resorts for Beginners

by Simon Knott | Updated: October 27th, 2022
Beginner Trail

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Wyoming has a considerable variety of resorts for beginners, from the full-scale commerciality of Jackson Hole to the more modest, not-for-profit, Antelope Butte.

Choosing the right beginner resort in Wyoming is very much down to personal choice, depending on whether you feel comfortable learning among crowds or a quieter situation.

Our Top Picks

    6. Snowy Range

    Snowy range

    Snowy Range is a popular ski area for locals and for beginner families and groups looking to practice. The resort is situated in Medicine Bow National Forest, not far from Laramie.

    What’s the Skiing like?

    From the base Lodge, beginners can take the Pioneer lift which will give access to several green trails in the beginner area. From here skiers can graduate to the Virginian lift, which takes you to the top of the mountain. From here you can pick up two green runs, Centennial and Upper Drifter, which either take you back down to the base or link up with more challenging blue runs.

    Learning to Ski

    For beginners, there are group lessons (for adults and children), while private lessons are charged at an extra cost. In the group lessons, children ages 5 to 6 years old are grouped together and ages 7 to 12 years old will be in another group.

    Off the Slopes

    There is plenty of choice for accommodation in the vicinity of Snowy Range. Many of the most popular national chains of hotels and inns offer hospitality nearby.

    What We Love About Snowy Range:

    • Tune-ups for your gear are available at the rental store
    • Instructors divide children up by ability level — so nobody gets left behind
    • One-on-one lessons available for a more personalized experience

    Snowy Range Stats

    Summit Elevation:9663 ft / 2945 metres
    Skiable terrain: 75 acres
    Lifts:5
    Runs:33

    5. Meadowlark Ski Lodge

    Ski Resort 4

    Meadowlark Ski Lodge is a hidden gem within the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. Located approximately 45 miles southwest of Buffalo the resort is sometimes called “little Jackson Hole” of the Bighorns. It’s easy to see why the comparison is made when you take in the beautiful views and the high-quality amenities offered to guests.

    What’s the Skiing like?

    Even beginners at Meadowlark Ski Lodge can start from the top of the mountain at a not inconsiderable height of 9500 ft / 2896 meters. The Cloud Peak chairlift will take you straight to the top, from where you can pick up the green trail down across the shoulder of the mountain before it splits into three alternative greens.

    As your confidence builds you can start to peel off this green and start to tackle the easier blue runs that run down to the base through the trees. Beginners and improvers have over 300 skiable acres to explore during their time at Meadowlark, so it’s unlikely that anyone will get bored.

    Learning to Ski

    Private and group lessons are available at Meadowlark Ski Lodge, where the emphasis is on improving your skills but having some fun at the same time.

    Kids will enjoy the many options available to them at this ski resort — including the longest zip line found in the lower 48! While if you’re looking to do something a bit faster, then try a snowmobile rental from nearby Deer Haven Lodge.

    Off the Slopes

    Accommodation around Meadowlark Ski Resort mainly revolves around cabins and lodges, which are detailed on the website. Meadowlark Lake Lodge sits along the beautiful shores of Meadowlark Lake, where you can book rustic cabins or rooms in the motel.

    What We Love About Meadowlark Ski Lodge:

    • Reasonably priced lessons ($20/hour)
    • A quick drive from Buffalo, Wyoming
    • Over 30 trails for guests to explore
    • Snowmobile rentals available for guests

    Meadowlark Ski Lodge Stats

    Summit Elevation:9500 ft / 2896 metres
    Skiable terrain: 300 acres
    Lifts:2
    Runs:14

    4. Hogadon Ski Area

    skiresort3

    11 miles south of the small town of Casper, Wyoming lies Hogadon Basin Ski Area across Casper mountain. There are 27 trails in total and approximately a 600 ft vertical fall from top to bottom. Unusually the resort Lodge is located at the top of the mountain rather than more commonly at the base.

    The terrain is varied with 20% designated as beginner, so there are enough trails to challenge beginners before they want to move on to more difficult terrain.

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    Hogadon truly has something for everyone — including skiing, snowboarding, and even snowshoeing! Their lessons are in-depth and led by qualified instructors who care to make winter sports fun for the kiddos. They are also one of the few ski areas that offer night skiing in Wyoming, which can be a big draw with the younger crowd.

    What’s the Skiing like?

    The main chair lift to the top of the mountain, at 8000 ft, provides spectacular views of the surrounding terrain in this remote part of Wyoming. All the runs span out from this central point, with one green run winding to the bottom and a selection of blue runs cutting through the wooded areas.

    The terrain on the mountain is compact and, as all traffic is fed via one lift to the top, you can feel comfortable letting youngsters have a bit more freedom on the mountain.

    Learning to Ski

    At Hogadon, lessons are available in 2-hour blocks or as full-day programs. For those staying in the area for several weeks, Hogadon also offers after-school programs for ages 3 to 16-year-olds that are spread over four weeks.

    See Also:  5 Best Ski Resorts for Families in The Alps (France, Austria, or Switzerland?)

    There is plenty to keep you occupied at Hogadon Ski Area if you fancy a change from skiing. There is a small terrain park where you can watch others showing off their skills or you can get involved yourself. Additionally, there are cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for those wanting to get involved in nature.

    Off the Slopes

    Parents and friends will love the short drive to Casper, Wyoming from the ski area, where they will be able to find affordable accommodation in a range of hotels and inns.

    The resort also offers reasonably priced season passes, so if you’re staying for an extended period is well worth looking at as they also offer discounted rates at other resorts in the State and even in South Dakota.

    What We Love About Hogadon Ski Area:

    • A compact mountain with plenty of varied terrain for beginners
    • After-school programs available for children and teens
    • Food court on the property with grab-and-go options and hot meals
    • Mountain Sports rentals available for any equipment needs

    Hogadon Ski Area Stats

    Summit Elevation:8000 ft / 2438 metres
    Skiable terrain: 92 acres
    Lifts:2
    Runs:28

    3. Antelope Butte

    Ski Resort 2

    Antelope Butte Ski Resort is run as a not-for-profit and as part of their remit, they must provide mountain education and training with a focus on youngsters and beginners.

    With just 28 trails Antelope Butte is on the smaller size but even so, it offers plenty of variety across the skill levels.

    The resort is less well-known than some of the other high-profile resorts and consequently, the runs are rarely crowded, and lift lines are short.

    What’s the Skiing like?

    The beginner area is located just by Base Lodge and is part of a larger ‘slow area’ that all skiers must adhere to. There are four green trails within the beginner area, some of which trail through the Enchanted Forest.

    When you’ve graduated from the beginner area the main lift to the top of the mountain will give you access to a selection of interconnecting blue trails, which take you back down to the base.

    Learning to Ski

    Antelope Butte is well geared up for teaching beginners and those improving their skiing technique and even better the resort never attracts crowds of skiers, so it’s much easier to concentrate on the lesson at hand without the diversion of loads of people around.

    Lessons are mostly taken in groups of six, lasting two hours and starting at 10 AM and 1 PM daily. Ages from seven upwards are welcome and the aim is to learn as much as you can but have some fun at the same time.

    Antelope Butte offers equipment rentals to its guests and it’s a great way to practice skiing before you make an initial investment into the sport.

    Off the Slopes

    Antelope Butte Ski Resort is in a remote part of Wyoming near Bighorn National Park. Accommodation is mostly in local inns, B&Bs, and lodges, which can be easily reached by car.

    What We Love About Antelope Butte:

    • Peaceful and quiet area for guests to enjoy nature
    • A great resort where beginners are welcomed
    • Reopened with a revitalized mission to become a destination for families
    • A surprising amount of varied terrain for a smaller resort

    Antelope Butte Stats

    Summit Elevation:1000ft ft / 309 metres
    Skiable terrain: 500 acres
    Lifts:3
    Runs:27

    2. Snow King Mountain — Jackson

    Snow King Mountain
    Photo by Dion Hinchcliffe at licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Snow King Mountain has fewer crowds than nearby Jackson Hole and it also has plenty of beginner terrain, making it a great place for your family to start learning to ski.

    If you’re on a budget as well there are other advantages, such as some of the cheapest lift tickets in the area and free parking down at the base area.

    What’s the Skiing like?

    Snow King Mountain is rarely crowded even though it is close to downtown Jackson, where accommodation is cheaper.

    In addition, Snow King offers significant beginner terrain with two long and winding green trails that run down from high up, one right from the top. Way Home and Slow Crawl are great trails to build your confidence when you’re starting out.

    Way home starts from the top of the Snow King gondola and snakes backward and forwards across the mountain, so you can take in some great views on the way down.

    As you become more surefooted on these beginner trails you can turn off halfway down onto blues to challenge yourself.

    If after all your hard work on the slopes you need a break, try out the snow tubing. It has three groomed chutes and a rope tow to take the legwork out of getting back up to the top. Alternatively, try the Snow King Cowboy Coaster, where you will fly down the mountain on a sled attached to rails.

    Learning to Ski

    If, as beginners, you feel you will gain more from one-on-one instruction, then private lessons are probably the best way forward. The lessons can be customized depending on your existing ability and your goals, so you can really concentrate on specific areas

    Lessons can be booked as a full day, or a half-day depending on your willingness to commit and are aimed at ages 6+ up to adult.

    There are individual lessons for youngsters from four years old. If you’re going to be in the area for some time, Snow King Mountain has season-long lessons lasting for 10 weeks, as well as after-school programs for the children

    See Also:  2 Best Virginia Ski Resorts for Families (Near Washington DC)

    Off the Slopes

    The resort is so close to downtown Jackson that is possible to walk to find something to eat during the day. There is shopping and lodging available too in the area — so families can stay nearby and have easy access to and from the mountain.

    What We Love About Snow King Mountain — Jackson:

    • Some long, easy winding green runs, will help beginners find their feet
    • Private lessons with instructors who specialize in teaching young children
    • Two-hour lessons include rentals and the Magic Carpet lift
    • Free parking at the base area

    Snow King Mountain — Jackson Stats

    Summit Elevation:7808 ft / 2380 metres
    Skiable terrain: 400 acres
    Lifts:4
    Runs:34

    1. Jackson Hole

    Jackson Hole

    Jackson Hole Ski Resort has no shortage of terrain that is well suited to complete beginner skiers, as well as those looking to improve their skills. It’s a great resort to visit, whether as a group of beginner friends or as a beginner family.

    The snow quality is generally considered to be excellent at Jackson Hole and there’s certainly no shortage of it each season.

    What’s the Skiing like?

    One of the great advantages for beginners at Jackson Hole is that you’re not going to be limited to easier runs, which are all down at the base next to the Lodge. So long as you pick carefully there are easier blue runs from halfway up the mountain.

    For example, taking the Apres-Vous and Teton quad chairlifts will take you to almost 9000ft (2745 m) for some great views and a good selection of blue runs back down to the base.

    When you have built up confidence on that side of the mountain you can move things up a gear and use the central Bridger Gondola up to Rendezvous Lodge, for a new set of tree-lined blue runs and glades.

    For beginners just starting out, there is a dedicated learning area with its own Teenwinoit quad chair and green runs next to the terrain park.

    Learning to Ski

    Ski School at Jackson Hole has more amenities than most ski schools and the instructors are fully qualified to teach beginners just starting out right up to competitive racing standards.

    Lessons can be booked as private or for groups and the starting age is seven years old. Some find private lessons among a small group of friends are a quicker way to progress for complete beginners.

    In this format, the instructor can devote more of his time to individuals, so you learn quicker but, on the downside, you do have to pay more for the lessons.

    Group lessons are generally more fun as there is a better social aspect to them. Learning to ski is a real icebreaker so you can’t help but make friends with your fellow students. Group lessons are put together by students whose ability level is roughly similar.

    Jackson Hole is unusual in that it provides lift tickets for beginner terrain only. If you need to rent gear, head on over to one of the local shops in town to get fitted and suited up. The resort does advise booking lessons, lift tickets, and equipment all at the same time, as the resort, does get very busy.

    If you really take to skiing in the first few days you can also take a lesson in cross-country skiing to try out some of the trails around the resort. In addition, there is plenty of wildlife spotting, as well as ice skating, and tubing.

    Off the Slopes

    If you’re looking to have a down day on your ski trip, why not head over to nearby Yellowstone National Park? Your family or friends can check out the amazing sights while resting up for the next full day of hitting the slopes.

    For beginners, on-resort lodging is the ideal option albeit more expensive. Learning to ski is bound to create a low level of anxiety, so any action you can take to minimize this is a real plus. When lodging at the resort everything is laid on and a lot simpler, you don’t have to think about cars or buses or mislaying equipment.

    Teton Village is at the base of the slopes, and it has several options for lodging, including hotels and condos that are ski-in and ski-out. If you’re looking for a wider range of stays per your budget — nearby Jackson will be your best bet. They have plenty of shopping, nightlife, and restaurants to keep you busy in the evenings.

    What We Love About Jackson Hole:

    • The unique character of Teton Village (not a cookie-cutter ski village)
    • Some good beginner runs from higher up on the mountain
    • Close to Yellowstone — beautiful views and plenty of wildlife
    • Many options for lodging that are suitable for all budgets

    Jackson Hole Stats

    Summit Elevation:10450 ft / 3185 metres
    Skiable terrain: 2500 acres
    Lifts:13
    Runs:131

    Why Choose Wyoming for Skiing

    All of the top picks we’ve chosen in Wyoming have a good provision of skiing for beginners and those improving. Unusually, for most resorts, access to the top of the mountain is often easy with simple routes back down to the base. This enables beginners to feel part of the whole skiing landscape, rather than contained in a beginner area at the base.

    Our overall top pick for the best Wyoming ski resort for beginners is Jackson Hole. Being the largest ski resort in the state, it has many amenities that will make your experience one to remember. However, if you feel you might be more comfortable in a quieter resort, as you find your feet, then choose from one of the smaller resorts where there will be fewer distractions.

    How Did We Order This List?

    To help rank our top selection of ski resorts for this list we compared the following ranking factors:

    👨‍👩‍👦 Ranking Factor📈 Power to affect Rank
    Amount of Beginner Trails (Mi) 4x
    Amount of Skiing Area (Mi) 3x
    Cost of two adult tickets + child ticket1x
    How many magic carpet lifts1x

    We gave each factor its own weighting depending on how important we feel it is for family fun across all ages. For example, a resort with more beginner trails is higher ranked than a resort with a lower-priced family ticket – with all else being equal. That’s because while cost is a factor, it’s not a primary one. We may also use our editorial judgment to remove or add resorts that we believe should make the list.

    When taking all of this into account, it gives us our awesome list above. We hope it was helpful in planning your next family ski vacation.


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    Best Ski Resorts for Families In Wyoming

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    NewToSki.com is where over 1 million people a year come to learn more about skiing. I share everything I wish someone had told me when I was learning to ski. My name is Simon & I've been skiing since 2005. This winter, our family is taking a 3-month camper ski trip across the Alps. If you enjoy our articles, please join the free email club. We'd love to have you.
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