While most avid skiers and snowboarders venture to mountains near Jackson, those in Casper, Wyoming prefer staying at the nearby resort of Hogadon Basin Ski Area. This locals’ resort sits on Casper Mountain, just twenty minutes from the heart of the city.
Located in central Wyoming lies the second-largest city in the entire state, Casper, nicknamed “the Oil City. While much of the surrounding area is dominated by fields and plateaus, to the south lies Casper Mountain.
In the summer, Casper Mountain is a great place to go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping, but come winter, the mountain transforms into a great place to hit the slopes and try Nordic skiing. Regardless of its small size, compared to other ski resorts in the state, there are a few reasons why it’s so popular amongst the locals.
Hogadon Basin Ski Area: 10 miles | 20 minutes
Hogadon Basin is known for its abundance of bluebird days, allowing skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to see all that the small mountain has to offer. And don’t worry about too much sun melting away the snow, as this resort has snowmaking capabilities for half of its resort.
While many smaller mountains often put the main lodge at the base of the mountain, Hogadon Basin’s lodge sits at the summit of Casper Mountain. The high elevation of the lodge, positioned at 3,000 feet above the city, offers panoramic views of central Wyoming with the Casper stretching to the north.
Note: It should be mentioned that those who aren’t familiar with the high elevation should be aware of Acute Mountain Sickness that can occur while skiing or snowboarding on the mountain.
In total, the Hogadon Basin covers 60 acres with a vertical rise of approximately 600 feet. While 600 feet might not seem like much, the base of the mountain sits at 7,400 feet with the summit reaching just over 8,000 feet. The high elevation of the mountain helps provide the slopes with a good amount of snowfall.
The Hogadon Basin Ski Area offers much more than the average small ski resort. Within the ski boundary lies a modest terrain park amidst the blue and green runs. Of the 28 runs on the mountain, the trails are split almost evenly between advanced and intermediate trails, with about twenty percent of the runs rated for beginners.
With the parking lot and ski lodge being located at the top of the mountain, even non-skiers can take in the beauty of Casper Mountain. One double chair lift sits in the middle of the mountain, providing rides for all of the 28 runs, with the capacity of servicing 1,000 skiers per hour. There is also a short magic carpet located in the beginner’s section of the basin near the terrain park.
Along with a small terrain park, the Hogadon Basin Ski Area also offers over 26 miles of groomed Nordic ski trails. The trail system is located within minutes of the mountain and provides skiers with various levels of terrain.
Unfortunately, the downhill section of the mountain does not currently offer night-time skiing, however, many of the Nordic trails are lit throughout the early hours of the evening. The network of groomed trails offers a route for both classical and skate-style skiing as well as providing locals with the opportunity to go for a quick cross-country ski session after work.
Ski and Snowboard Lessons
The mountain also offers training lessons through the Hogadon Basin Snowsports School. Individual lessons are available for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and children ages 3 to 16 can take multi-session classes often lasting four weeks. Lessons are usually available Wednesdays through Sundays.
The mountain’s close proximity to nearby Casper allows for a Ski Physical Education School Program, which is available for students in elementary, junior high, and high school. Besides a school program, the resort is also home to Casper Mountain Racers. This organization offers a development team, an alpine ski team, and a high school team.
When the ski season has come to a close, often in April, Hogadon Basin Lodge transformers into a sought-after event space. Once again, the high elevation provides breathtaking views of the state of Wyoming perfect for weddings and other events.
The Hogadon Basin Ski Area is a hidden gem within the heart of Wyoming. The small-town mountain is full of unexpected surprises, like runs built for the advanced skier, a modest terrain park, and the 26 miles of lit cross-country trails. While bigger resorts within the state may be more well-known, Casper Mountain makes the most of its high-elevation terrain.
2500 Hogadon Rd, Casper, WY 82601 (Map) | (307) 235-8499
Consider Jackson Hole or Snowy Range
If you’re willing to make the drive and want to try different and more advanced terrain, consider venturing the 4.5 hours west to Jackson Hole. This one and other ski resorts near Jackson, WY, are top notch! Another favorite nearby there is Grand Targhee, right over the border in Idaho. There you can ski the opposite side of the Tetons from Jackson Hole.
A shorter option but much smaller mountain is Snowy Range in Centennial, WY. This ski resort near Cheyenne, lies 3 hours south of Casper. Big or small, Wyoming is sure to have a nearby ski resort that fits any type of rider!
On your off day from Hogadon Basin Ski Area, or while road tripping, consider some R+R at a nearby natural hot springs. There are a couple Wyoming hot springs located about two hours away from Casper, including Thermopolis to the northwest and Saratoga to the south. A bit of drive, but they’re a winter destination all in their own.