Winter in the Wild
As the temperature drops and snow begins to fall, the Bighorn Mountains are transformed into a winter wonderland with endless recreational possibilities. Whether it’s the thrill of flying over fresh powder atop a snowmobile or the quiet solitude of traversing unchartered territory with snowshoes and skis, let the fresh powder of the Bighorns be your playground.
Note: You may rent equipment from lodges or local outfitters in Sheridan, such as The Sport Stop.
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
Winter fun around Sheridan includes ski and snowboard runs in the Bighorn Mountains. Afterward, enjoy a hot drink by the fireplace.
The Northern Bighorn Mountain Trail System’s 218 miles are continuously rated in the annual ‘Top 15′ by SnoWest magazine. “You can throw snowmobilers into that rough and tumble mix–because we like a rollicking good time on a snowmobile and Wyoming definitely delivers. You just about can’t go wrong riding a snowmobile anywhere in the Cowboy State.”
Deep snow, spectacular scenery and the vastness of the West draw snowmobilers from far and wide to the Bighorn Mountains. Riding opportunities are both challenging and endless in these rugged and inviting mountains, offering some of the most enticing snowmobiling in the world.
“You can throw snowmobilers into that rough and tumble mix–because we like a rollicking good time on a snowmobile and Wyoming definitely delivers. You just about can’t go wrong riding a snowmobile anywhere in the Cowboy State. The snow is light and dry and that leads to power riding that many snowmobilers crave. Add to that some of the best hill climbing the West has to offer—along with some of the best trails—for those who don’t like that part of the rough and tumble riding. …you can be sure you won’t be disappointed when it comes to snowmobiling in Wyoming,” states SnoWest Western Guide 2006.
Elevation: 7,500′ to 10,000′
Season: November through April; peak season is January and February
Season Temps: +30 degrees F to -30 degrees F.
Snow depths: 1 – 10 feet
Thousands of acres of meadows, 22 miles of ungroomed trails and 218 miles of well marked, groomed trails all await off of Highway 14 in the Bighorn Mountains. Gas, food, and limited lodging are available in trail areas while complete facilities and services are available in Sheridan, Greybull and Lovell. Snowmobile rentals are available in Sheridan and at Bear Lodge.
Several permit-selling agents are in the Northern Bighorns for your convenience.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING & SNOWSHOEING
Escape on a pair of snowshoes or skis and enjoy the tranquility of a winter wonderland in one of Sheridan’s parks or enjoy Sibley or Culter Ski Trails, two of the groomed trails in the Bighorns.
SIBLEY LAKE NORDIC SKI TRAIL – #558 — Trail Map
The Sibley Lake Ski Trails consist of approximately 15 miles of groomed routes, ranging from 7700’ to 8400’ in elevations and offering a variety of loops and tours. A warming hut nestled in the lodge pole and spruce forest provides skiers a sheltered opportunity to relax, have a picnic and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Blue diamonds on the trees and directional maps posted on trail intersections ensure that the trails are well marked and easy to follow. Dogs are not permitted on the Sibley Lake Ski Trails, to protect the groomed surface.
Directions: Heading west on I-90 from Sheridan, take exit 9 onto Highway 14. Head west on Highway 14, through the towns of Ranchester and Dayton and into the mountains. Parking for the trailhead is approximately 25 miles from Dayton.
CUTLER HILL NORDIC SKI TRAIL – #552
The Cutler Ski Trails consist of approximately 3 miles of packed routes that average from 8100’ to 8600’ in elevation. Blue diamonds on the trees and directional maps posted on trail intersections ensure that the trails are well marked and easy to follow. Dogs are permitted on the Cutler Ski Trails.
Directions: Heading west on I-90 from Sheridan, take exit 9 onto Highway 14. Head west on Highway 14, through the towns of Ranchester and Dayton and into the mountains. Parking is located on the right (north) side of the road, approximately 19 miles from Dayton.
A selection of this content was adapted from posts by Sheridan Travel & Tourism.