There is something different about the Wyoming winter, with the crunch of crisp, untouched powder snow, the creak of the trees, and miles of trails to trek. With even more sunshine skies in winter than the rest of the year, you can bet on bluebird days up in the mountains of Wyoming.
One of the state’s best kept secrets is southeastern Wyoming’s Snowy Range. Just over the Colorado border and west of Laramie, the Snowy Range Ski Area is a budget-friendly ski resort without any the pretense or jaw-dropping lift ticket prices. With a drive of a mere two hours and 51 minutes from Denver International Airport straight to Snowy Range Lodge, no traffic, and no lines, it is an under-discovered gem of a destination.
Proximity to Colorado’s Front Range and low cost of doing business in Wyoming make the Snowy Range a premier budget stop for the savvy skier and snowboarder. A family of four can get in and out of “Snowy” with lift tickets and overnight lodging for as low as $258. The runs range from beginner to expert difficulty, with 250 acres of skiable area as well as two terrain parks.
If flying around the mountain on skis is not your style, the Snowy Range also offers more than 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 120 miles of marked and ungroomed trails that take riders all across the range. Laramie is home to multiple snowmobile rental services as well as expert guides. So whatever your experience level, you can get away from the crowds and be transported to the solitude of the mountains. Enjoy grand mountain vistas, dense forests, and the wide open sky, and be warm and cozy in your hotel by evening.
East of Laramie, additional trail systems have been gaining in popularity for fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Just 15 minutes east of city limits, it’s an easy way to grab a bonus adventure over a weekend. For a change of pace from the Snowy Range, you will find yourself surrounded with the towering granite boulder hoodoos of Vedauwoo Recreation Area.
Back down in the valley, Laramie is the perfect place to warm up after a day of outdoor adventure. Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming, and in the winter months locals enjoy men’s and women’s Division I NCAA college basketball, live music, and cozy eateries. In fact, six of Laramie’s restaurants were featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2022! After your meal, head to downtown Laramie’s five walkable breweries for a night cap and a taste of true Wyoming hospitality.
For a change of pace, Laramie’s Wild West museums are a family favorite. Laramie is home to the flagship Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, with its Wild West outlaw heritage as the only place ever to incarcerate Butch Cassidy. Each museum on the University of Wyoming campus is free, including the University of Wyoming Art Museum, American Heritage Center, and Geological Museum.
With its abundance of outdoor recreation, deep Western roots, and vibrant cultural scene all at 7,200 feet, Laramie is the perfect place to be this winter. Whether you spend the day in the historic downtown district, up in the mountains, or grabbing a taste of local culture and recreation, Laramie promises a plethora of activities and sights for a getaway full of memories.