Snow King is a historic, in-town ski hill that allows uphill traffic--hiking, skinning, and bootpacking--when its lifts are open. If you want to ride the lifts, half- and full-day tickets are available.
It was 75 years old last winter year, but Snow King has the most progressive uphill policy of any area ski resort. Even when lifts are open, hikers and skinners are welcome, provided they follow the designated uphill route.
What Makes It Great
Snow King doesn’t have the terrain and amenities Jackson Hole Mountain Resort does, but we still love it. We want you to too. The rumor is that its run, Exhibition, is the steepest in-bounds run at any resort in the country. We’re not sure that is true, but its top 200 feet are pretty steep. Warning: Exhibition often has rocks poking through until well in January. Belly Roll is another favorite run of ours.
A single skin up the King is a worthy way to spend an hour.
When the lifts aren’t open, you can also choose your own route rather than follow the route that swings you towards the resort’s eastern edge.
Not that this designated uphill route is at all bad. It’s just not the most direct. But it is wonderfully mellow. You might even be able to do the whole thing without using your binding’s risers.
On the far, far looker’s right of the resort is a bootpack for those skiers/snowboarders who don’t have a skinning set-up or who prefer not to skin. The steps in this bootpack are usually more evenly spaced than those in the bootpack up Mt. Glory. Still, it’s a steep 1,500-feet.
It seems the King is also now hike-able year round. No snowshoes required. The iciest part of the trail—and hikers are requested to use the same route designated for skinning up when lifts are open—tends to be the bottom three switchbacks in the woods just above the cemetery. When it’s icy we like MICROspikes (Yaktrax are so 2000, and also so much less grip-y than MICROspikes).
And then of course is the traditional way to ski the King, using the mountain’s lifts. They’re not the fastest, but they do have some of the best views—if you remember to look behind you—of any ski resort in the country.
Who is Going to Love It
Skiiers or tubers and hikers can enjoy the King.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Snow King Resort is at 400 E Snow King Ave, Jackson, WY 83001.
Snow King sells two-hour lift passes ($25 for adults), has night skiing ($25 for adults), offers tubing (starting at $18), and prices its full-day lift passes at a mere $47 ($30 for kids and seniors).
Tubing opens around Christmas. Tubers must be 42 inches tall. The oldest known King Tuber was a 92-year-old grandmother who came with her grandkids. King Tubes is open 2 - 7 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. weekends and holidays. The track, which descends about 200 vertical feet is fastest when it’s been cold and dry. After a dusting of fresh snow, conditions are slower, but perfect to link tubes together: King Tubes allows up to eight tubers to hold on to each other.