Winter in Wyoming’s Wind River Country
With 235 days of sunshine each year, winter in Wyoming’s Wind River Country hits differently. The mountains–including the Wind River and Absaroka ranges–welcome hundreds of inches of snow to create a winter playground that’s prime for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing. Ample amounts of sunshine bring blue-bird days and heaping servings of vitamin D to the communities, mountains and valleys of Wind River Country. Combined with charming downtowns, fresh mountain air, wide-open spaces and comfortable accommodations, there’s more to winter in Wind River Country than you might think.
Hikers can enjoy the mountains and surrounding areas year-round. Bundle up for a beautiful clear day of hiking or snowshoeing and explore trails such as the Popo Agie Falls Trail, the Sinks Canyon Nature Trail and more. Or strap on some skis and cruise some trails. Located just 22 miles outside of Lander, the Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area is a great place to cross country ski if you’re looking for winding trails through the trees and expansive views. Ideal for intermediate to advanced skiers, the Beaver Creek area is groomed for classic and skate skiing.
Mush! Fly through the snow with fourteen sled dogs in the splendid Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests with breathtaking views of Togwotee Pass and the backdrop of the Teton Mountains in the distance. Fun fact: the Pedigree® Stage Stop Race is a sled dog race that takes place from late-January to early February each year. Mushers and their sled dogs compete in this race as they travel from Jackson, Wyoming through Wind River Country to Lander, and finishing in Driggs, Idaho.
Climbers have access to world class rock all year. Due to the inversion and the south-facing walls in Sinks Canyon, locals and visitors can enjoy rock climbing in the middle of winter. In addition, Dubois is gaining a reputation for ice climbing with mixed and multi-pitch routes that make for an excellent adventure. In and around Lander, prime fat biking locations include Sinks Canyon, the Bus Loop, Lander Municipal Golf Course and Johnny Behind the Rocks. The Dubois Overlook Trail, located right in Dubois, and the Wyoming Heritage Trail, stretching between Shoshoni and Riverton, are also great places to ride.
Fishing is perhaps what Boysen Reservoir is best known for, hosting numerous state-record-sized fish. Boysen has some of the most diverse fishing in the state, and the ice fishing season can start as early as December and usually lasts well into March. Ocean Lake is also a popular ice fishing destination in Wind River Country. This lake, on a Wildlife Habitat Management Area, is home to walleye, trout, bass, crappie, perch, bullhead and ling.
Ride more than 600 miles of groomed and un-groomed snowmobiling trails in the region, while the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail meanders through some of the most jaw-dropping terrain in the West, including sweeping views of the Absaroka and Wind River mountains.
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