Snow is expected this weekend in northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota and not a moment too soon for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the area’s snowmobiling and cross country trails.
Big Horns: The mountains have more than 300 miles of groomed trails and 50 miles of ungroomed trails, as well as many miles of cross country skiing areas. Willow Park and Pole Creek, in particular, offer great cross country skiing opportunities
Brian Boden with the Powder River Ranger District is reporting adequate conditions for snowmobiling and cross country skiing.
“The snow quality is really good, but the quantity is not there yet,” Boden said. “We are just slightly above average on snow pack for this time of year. I was impressed, having just skied last weekend.
“A lot of people have been using the Pole Creek Ski Area and the Willow Park Ski area. Both of those are groomed, nordic areas. We are anticipating snow this weekend, which should help.”
Black Hills: The 1.2 million-acre Black Hills National Forest offers unlimited off-trail riding, in addition to the 350 miles of trails groomed by the South Dakota Snowmobile Program.
Northern Hills Ranger District recreation specialist Bonnie Jones is reporting conditions near Spearfish, S.D., are good and more snow is expected over the weekend.
“The Big Hills Ski Area (8.5 miles south of Spearfish) is fair. We can always use more,” she said. “We have two snowshoe trails at Big Hill. By Saturday morning, the snow will be better.”
Snowmobilers can expect fair conditions in the area. Jones is recommending that snowmobilers stay on the groomed trails to avoid hitting any hidden obstacles.
“A lot of people from Gillette like to come up to Eagle Cliff Ski Area (on Highway 85 between Meade, S.D., and Newcastle). We’re logging up there this winter,” Jones said. “We have the north half of the trails open, but the south half are closed.”
Meadowlark Ski Lodge:
Snow: Powder machine groomed with a base of 12-17 inches.
What’s open: Fourteen of 14 trails and both lifts.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Snow: Powder machine groomed with a base of 8-14 inches.
What’s open: Two of 24 trails and two of three lifts.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
Mystic Miner Ski Resort:
Snow: Power machine groomed base of 12-24 inches.
What’s open: All runs serviced by chair lift on front side are open.
Hours: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, and 8:30 a. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Deer Mountain.
Snow: Power machine groomed with a base of 16-24 inches.
What’s open: Ten of 30 trails and four of five lifts.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.