Wyoming Weekend Getaway: A Winter Visit to Pinedale

Views of the Wind River Range are part of the stunning scenery near Pinedale.
Views of the Wind River Range are part of the stunning scenery near Pinedale. Philthy54
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About 90 minutes from Jackson is the town of Pinedale, Wyoming, home to the small but robust White Pine Ski Resort and gateway to the Wind River Mountains. With 20 feet of snow a year and spectacular scenery, Pinedale is a great place to enjoy a variety of winter sports and outdoor activities.

Pinedale is also near the Continental Divide Trail and it is the first Wyoming community to receive the Community Designation by the Continental Divide Trail (CDT Trail) Coalition. Keep an eye out this summer for events and activities related to the designation, but in the meantime, enjoy these fantastic ways to enjoy winter in Pinedale.

Flamingo Cup Ski Race (March 12)

Interested in getting in on the action? Registration is open until March 10, with age categories for adventurers of all ages, from under 8 to 50+. Registration is $10 (plus a $27 racer lift ticket).

White Pine Ski Resort

Take advantage of the snow days left in the season.
Take advantage of the snow days left in the season. Laurel F

Even if you can't make the Flamingo Cup, head to the slopes of White Pine Ski Resort for some family fun through the end of ski season. The resort, which originally opened in 1940, is open Thursdays through Sundays through the winter.

High-level skiers can ride the lift to the top of 9,500-foot Summit Peak and race down the black-diamond runs Temple or Sky Pilot. Beginner and intermediate-level skiers, meanwhile, can opt for the green Wind River run and some of the mellower blues on the way down. Another option is the terrain park, full of jumps and slides. Non-skiers can still enjoy the snowy action at the tubing hill, and cross-country buffs will find plenty of options on the 35 kilometers of Nordic trails.

 

Mush & Skijor

Bring your pups and go for a skijor along one of Pinedale's many excellent trails.
Bring your pups and go for a skijor along one of Pinedale's many excellent trails. Doug Noon

Why head out on your own when you can bring a few of your favorite canines along for the day? Mushers and skijorners can select from a number of local trails , from the CCC Ponds Trail to the Continental Divide Trail to Irish Canyon, a 26-mile ungroomed trail south of town. Pinedale also is a stop along the annual Stage Stop Sled Dog Race , which takes place in late January or early February each year.

Ice Skating & Hockey

Enjoy indoor skating and hockey at the Sublette County Ice Arena or venture out to Fremont Lake and Half Moon Lake for an outdoor skating adventure. Skate beneath soaring mountains and twirl your heart away on these frozen lakes. Typically in winter, the lakes freeze to 17 inches thick or so, but be sure to check with the Forest Service or Game & Fish Office for current conditions before heading out and always be aware of open water, overflow, and thin ice.

Cross-Country Skiing

There are plenty of places to cross country ski in Pinedale.
There are plenty of places to cross country ski in Pinedale. Pixabay

Pinedale is packed with fun for cross-country skiers . Head to the south end of Fremont Lake for the CCC Ponds or head to Skyline Drive for miles of trails. The CCC Ponds loop is 0.8 miles, but this network of trails can be connected for a full-day adventure. Or head to Kelly Park or White Pine for even more trails to explore.

Museum of the Mountain Man

For history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, no trip to Pinedale is complete without a stop at the Museum of the Mountain Man. Learn about fur traders and Native American history, and examine old photography equipment at this museum run by the Sublette County Historical Society. Artifacts like Jim Bridger's rifle and a Shoshone sheephorn bow make today's modern-day gadgets seem downright futuristic—and the pioneering men who used them even more impressive.

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