If you’re looking to extend your ski season and have a rad new adventure, check out Wyoming’s Beartooth Basin!
Below is a list of 10 reasons why you should go check out Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area!
Founded in the 1960’s as an off-season ski race training center and formerly known as the Red Lodge International Ski and Snowboard Camp, Beartooth Basin has had a few changes over the years, including lift upgrades, the addition of terrain park features and ownership changes. Today it serves as a quasi-backcountry Spring and Summer ski area that is open to the public for anyone skilled and daring enough to come ski it.
The ski area, which straddles the Wyoming/Montana border has two Poma surface lifts that service about 1,000 vertical feet of ungroomed Advanced to Expert level terrain in a large open bowl layout called the Twin Lakes Headwall. Another 2,000 vertical feet is possible below the lifts and lets out to a road below for those with a designated backcountry driver.
Beartooth Basin’s season (conditions dependent) is usually from late May through early July, open to the public, cash or check.
#1: THEY HAVE SNOW, LOTS AND LOTS OF SNOW!
Winter is often long and bitter cold in the Wyoming and Montana high country, and the fluffy snow doesn’t see much melt off between November and March. So come Spring, if the snow god Ullr has been generous enough, this little known 10k foot tall mountain pass comes alive for Summer skiing at it’s finest! The proof is in the snow banks!
#2: The snow is primo!
Summer skiing at its finest! With daytime temps in the 50-60s Fahrenheit, and nighttime temps returning close to freezing, it’s the perfect place for an epic corn snow cycle to be established, and it’s Northeasterly aspects ensure for maximum Summer Sunshine.
#3: The drive up is epic!
Besides the epic snowbanks at the top, the drive up from nearby Red Lodge, MT. or even the trek from neighboring Cody, WY. are nothing short of amazing. The Beartooth Highway runs along beautiful Rock Creek coming up from Red Lodge, and US 296 to Cody, WY. has it’s own stunning mountain, river and valley views that are worth a summer’s drive.
#4: IT’S a great place to air things out
You might catch a case of Cornice Envy if you visit Beartooth Basin because they’ve got some monsters, and the locals don’t mind sending it off of a few of them! Also Beartooth Basin usually sculpts out some terrain features and a big air park near Poma #2.
#5: IT’S Steep AF!
With a mandatory Black to Double Black drop in around the whole perimeter of the bowl, steep pitches up to 50 degrees, and a vertical of 1,000ft, Beartooth Basin will satiate even the most ardent thrill seeking snow lovers. Summer skiing here is a fun and challenging experience and should be a staple on any skier or rider’s bucket list.
#6: IT’S BASICALLY LIFT SERVED BACKCOUNTRY!
Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love earning turns as much as anyone, and if you continue on a little further into the Wyoming side off of US 212, there’s plenty of that to be had as well. The benefit to shredding Beartooth Basin is that it feels like you’re in the Backcountry, you can just use their Pomas to get a little more vert than you normally would. Nothing groomed, no lodge (except for the lift ticket trailer), no lines, no crowds. Just some die hard skiers and snowboarders doing what we all enjoy, shredding snow with our friends!
#7: IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO BEAT THE HEAT!
Tired of the Summer heat already? Well at Snow Life my favorite saying is “Altitude improves my attitude”, and at 10,900ft Beartooth Basin definitely has the altitude to get you cooled off and get your mind right for a few hours. With the aggressive steeps and ungroomed piste, it doesn’t take long before you feel like washing down some cold ones while staring at the beautiful surrounding scenery. Because after all, you are on top of a mountain! Bring your camp chairs, and BYOB!
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#8: THE EMPLOYEES ARE PRETTY COOL!
Between manually hand shoveling cornices, digging out Poma lines, or staffing the “lift ticket trailer,” Beartooth Basin is far from a normal ski resort job. It’s obvious that these hard working folks are as big of snow lovers as those who visit. Staffing seems minimal, but that helps add to the backcountry feel of the place. Thanks for showing us a good time BTB staff!
#9: Did I mention the scenery?
I think I glossed over it in a few of the earlier points, but let me be clear: The Beartooth Mountains and surrounding Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness is amazing! With frozen lakes, rugged rock formations, and seemingly endless snow covered peaks, the stage is set for a truly awe inspiring experience.
#10: IT’S Super cheap!
Beartooth Basin is usually open daily through early July from 9am-3pm with $50 day tickets, $40 half days. Beartooth Basin also sells a Summer skiing season pass for $395. Go find a friendly staff member at the ticket trailer, or at the top of Poma #1. Have fun!
Beartooth Basin can receive between 250″-350″ of snow during the Winter and early Spring resulting in summit snow banks in excess of 10 feet tall!
When both Poma lifts are operational, Beartooth boasts about 1,000 vertical feet of lift served skiing and riding. Nothing groomed here, just slushy goodness.
A normal Summer season for Beartooth Basin is roughly from late May after the road is plowed, through to early July, snow pack permitting.
BYOB! Not much here besides a ticket trailer with a little bit of merch. Plenty of parking though, so bring your camp chairs and some cold ones.
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Where to stay
Looking to visit Beartooth Basin? these two rad nearby towns have their own unique taste.
Red Lodge, MT
About 32 miles to the North of the ski area, is the funky town of Red Lodge. Home to a Winter ski area by the same name, Red Lodge has several quaint motels, a rustic main street, and several watering holes. Oh, and did I mention that wild turkeys roam around the streets?
A little further away from BTB geographically (89 miles South), and worlds away culturally, is the Western themed town of Cody. Home to the longest running Night Rodeo in the World (every night from June-Aug) and chocked full of eclectic shops and down home eateries. Abundant lodging can be found here, and some good fun to boot!
Location and Hours
Listed below is the address and normal Spring/Summer operating schedule for Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area.
US-212 Cody, WY. 82414, USA.
Spring/Summer Schedule: Late May – Early July
Season Hours: Daily 9am-3pm
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