Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming

Snow King Resort is everything I love about small mountain towns: it’s local, it has personality, and it’s a whole lotta fun. Because of this, I was beyond psyched when the kind folks at Snow King Resort invited Will and me up for a weekend of chilly temps and powdery ski runs.

And did I mentioned dogs are allowed?! Tals got to come too!

The drive up from Denver isn’t terrible, although sections of I-80 can get a bit sporting if windy weather rolls through. Thankfully, we didn’t deal with any terrible weather but I did learn about some bad news: does anyone know about that tiny, one-person-and-a-gas-station town on I-80 called Buford? It’s tradition to stop there, get some coffee, and fill up on gas simply because I like to support this literal one-man town. I got into conversation with the new owner and business isn’t going well. He told me the lights are on through February but he isn’t sure beyond that. So if you’re driving through Wyoming on I-80, stop in at Buford and give this guy your support!

Snow King Resort

Back to my story.

We cruised into the Snow King Resort’s Grand View Lodge around 9:30 pm and were immediately checked in. Tals set about investigating the room. Once Baby Girl was settled for the night {because lord knows we weren’t sleeping until our fur diva was settled!}, we all crashed.

Snow King Resort

PC: Will Rochfort

Snow King Ski Resort

Day Zero began with the world’s largest breakfast burrito at Hayden’s Post, the restaurant in the Snow King Resort lodge. I kinda planned to share it with Will, but I think I blacked out. Before I knew what happened, the entire thing was down the hatch and I was ready to ski!

Don’t worry about Will; he housed an entire smoked salmon fried egg croissant sandwich without any qualms.

Snow King Resort

Snow King Resort

Snow King Resort had comped lift tickets for Will and me, so we hit the hill as soon as temperatures creeped above five degrees {seriously.} And here’s the cool thing about Snow King: it is packed full of personality.

Sure, Snow King isn’t as large or glitzy as the nearby Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, nor is it as well known. But it doesn’t mess around with its ski runs! I heard a rumor that Exhibition, one of the runs, is the steepest in-bounds runs at any resort in the country! I have no idea if that is true or not, but I sure wasn’t going to find out. You know….wasn’t all about breaking my face that!

Snow King Resort

Snow King Resort

Regardless of the size, Snow Kings runs are a lot of fun. Plus, since it is a more local hill, there were barely any people there on a Friday. Will and I skied untouched corduroy for a solid two hours because no one else was around! Eventually, the sub-zero temps got to me so we headed inside to round up Tals for a romp in the snow. {And thankfully, she had behaved so well while chilling in the hotel! I never know whether she is going to get sassy!}

Backcountry Skiing from Snow King Resort

But you know what was even cooler?! You can literally walk out of your room at the lodge, click into your touring setup, and skin up the designated in-bounds route at the resort. From there, we found some kick-ass backcountry skiing!

Let me back up. It began on Friday night after we returned to our room from our resort skiing. We knew we wanted to get some backcountry in while in Jackson, but I was worried about leaving Tals in the room for too long. With the combined drive to and from the trailhead plus our touring time, I had concerns that Tally would freak out in the hotel.

Snow King Resort

Will did some digging and we realized that there was some accessible terrain on the backside of the resort. We had no idea how good it was or what the conditions were, but let’s face it: Jackson has been buried under snow this season. Chances were good we could find something fluffy! Plus, it would eliminate the drive which would save Tals some hotel time. Win-win.

Turns out, Snow King Resort is one of the most uphill-friendly resorts in the country! The hill has a designated skinning route that winds back and forth with reasonable switchbacks leading towards the top. And if you don’t have a touring setup? There is a boot-pack trail on the far lookers-right of the resort. They truly open the uphill scene to everyone!

Snow King Resort

We skinned up the somewhat-mellow uphill route, enjoying the blue sky. Well, Will and our friends were loving it; I could not warm up! For whatever reason, my body just wasn’t generating heat that day and I was shivering, regardless of my uphill exertion AND hand warmers in my mittens. I finally borrowed a second set of hand warmers from our friend and mashed those in my mittens with the first pair. I was still supremely chilled {so weird!} but it was tolerable. Besides, who wants to put in all that effort without getting to ski?

Snow King Resort

Will risked his life to take this photo because I was NOT in the mood!

Once we crested the ridge of the resort, we left the in-bounds terrain and found a whole bunch of fresh, untracked powder! Truly, it was beautiful and I couldn’t believe that such awesome terrain was so easily accessible! I mean, we *literally* skinned from our hotel room!

We cut across an open meadow of fresh snow and ducked into the trees. After climbing a small knoll, we saw an awesome skiable ridge across the valley. There wasn’t a single track to be seen, and it was only a few minutes of extra work. Was this for real?!

Snow King Resort

Turns out, it was…for everyone else. Personally, I just couldn’t get it together. I don’t want to pretend like I’m so cool that every day is an amazing-I’m-in-great-shape-and-barely-struggling kind of day in the outdoors. Because this day of touring in Jackson wrecked me. I was cold, I was oddly tired, and I just couldn’t hang. I tried to force it for awhile because the conditions and surrounding scenery were so damn beautiful. But in the end, I accepted that it wasn’t my day. I threw on all of my layers, sat in the sunshine, and watched everyone else head over to the super cool ridge.

Eventually, I got too cold {temps were still below 10 degrees} so I clicked into my skis, and headed downhill….inbounds. No real backcountry for me! I headed back to our room, let Tals out for a minute, and turned on the bath water. If I wasn’t going to enjoy the backcountry, I sure as heck was going enjoy relaxing in the tub!

Disclaimer: Will and I received free lodging and lift tickets in exchange for our stories. Opinions are all my own.

Snow King Resort

If You Go

Activities: Not only can you ski at Snow King, but they have tubing and this ridiculously awesome roller coaster thing called the Cowboy Coaster. More info on activities.

Reservations: I’d highly recommend staying at the hotel. We loved it! More info on reservations.

Dog friendly: Yes, with additional pet fee.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Claude February 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve never seen empty chairlifts with so much groomed snow, at any time of day, here in California. That town is picture perfect, excellent views with the mountain ranges on the horizon. I’m not going to JacksonHole again until I check this out:)

    • Reply Heather February 17, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Oh man, it is SO beautiful!!

  • Reply Baby R: The Details -Just a Colorado Gal May 18, 2017 at 5:32 am

    […] be honest: we’ve known for a hot minute! Here is a fun fact: you remember that ski trip to Jackson Hole back in February? If you re-read that post, you’ll remember that I felt like hell while […]

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