The “Grooviest” Ski Area in Wyoming Will Open Soon – And a Lift Ticket is Just $59
CODY, Wyo., Nov. 7, 2022 – Sleeping Giant Ski Area will soon reawaken, just as it has for most ski seasons since the winter of 1936-37. And this friendly little ski area in northwestern Wyoming’s stunning Absaroka Mountain Range outside of the East Gate to Yellowstone National Park is promising another season of pretense-free fun.
One of the oldest alpine ski areas in North America, Sleeping Giant features 184 acres of skier- and rider-accessible terrain with trails for skiers of every ability. Other features of the ski area include a magic carpet for beginning skiers, slow zone, ski school and cross-country trail for Nordic skiers and snowshoers. Trails are a mix of 15 percent beginner runs, 38 percent intermediate, 35 percent advanced runs and 13 percent expert runs.
There is also an acclaimed terrain park that was constructed almost entirely of materials found on the mountain. Designed for both skiers and snowboarders, the terrain park includes quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps.
The ski area is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season as well as most days during the local schools’ spring breaks. Night skiing is available on Fridays and Saturdays. The target opening date is Dec. 2.
Lift tickets are $59 for adults ages 19-69, $46 for kids ages 13-18, $25 for kids ages six to 12 and $25 for seniors 70 and older. With lift tickets approaching or surpassing the $200 mark at other area ski areas, Sleeping Giant is one of the most affordable ski areas in the West.
Owner Nick Piazza called it the “grooviest mountain in Wyoming,” in a season reopening announcement, and many faithful locals would agree with him.
“Sleeping Giant is beloved by locals and visitors alike for its cool, friendly, anything-goes vibe,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of Cody Yellowstone, the marketing arm for the region. “Anyone who loves authentic wintertime fun that’s a little on the wild side will love Sleeping Giant.”
New this year will be a fleet of Sno-Go bikes for adventurers who want to try ski-biking, a new and fast-growing winter sport. An easy-to-learn sport that is great for beginners and non-skiers, Sleeping Giant is the only ski area in Wyoming to offer ski-biking. The ski area also offers a tubing hill and cross country ski trails that run along the Shoshone River at the base of the mountain. There’s also a lodge with reasonably priced food, and an attic-level bar, which the ski area playfully notes is Wyoming’s smallest bar.
Groups can rent a yurt or large tent for special events. Additionally, the entire ski area can be rented by groups of 50 or more.
The ski area offers a variety of instruction programs for children as young as six as well as adults. Among its adult programs is a popular two-hour “Ski and Shred Like a Girl” clinic, which is staged throughout the season.
A little history
With the invention of the ski lift in the late 1930s alpine skiing was beginning to emerge as a winter pastime among mostly wealthy outdoor enthusiasts. Many small ski areas opened from New York to California from 1936 to 1940, and Cody Yellowstone’s Sleeping Giant Ski Area was among them, with its opening season in 1936-37. With an average snowfall of 150 inches and the stunning Bighorn Basin backdrop, the ski hill quickly became popular among local ski enthusiasts.
After falling on hard times in the first few years of the new millennium, the hill seemed destined to join the ranks of the many ghost ski areas
– the vacant, deteriorating ski areas that dot mountainous regions throughout the country. In 2004, a group comprised of Cody locals and ski fans came to the rescue with the formation of the non-profit Yellowstone Recreations Foundation, which operated the ski area for several years. Current owner Nick Piazza purchased the ski area in 2020.
Ski and Stay
The ski area offers discounts to skiers staying at lodges and cabins in the area. Many visitors also stay in Cody, which offers a huge array of accommodations, restaurants, attractions and other wintertime adventures.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.