Indy Pass Road Trip To Local Hills Kelly Canyon, Snow King, White Pine
Many of us cut our teeth lapping runs on small local hills, so taking an Indy Pass on a nostalgic road trip back to our roots should appeal to most skiers and riders.
One such trio of local slopes sit around the Wyoming-Idaho border and within a four-hour drive of each other. Each is under 800 acres, has modest vertical drops around 1,000 feet, brings a definite localfeel from the nearby town it serves -- and takes the Indy Pass.
Start the Indy road trip at Kelly Canyon just outside Idaho Falls. Four fixed-grip chairs -- the newest and longest is an 8-minute ride on Gold Rush -- deliver to Kelly's ample choice of greens and blues. With 1,000 vertical drop on 740 acres, Kelly gives novices and intermediates more choice than most. Frontside full of broad groomers, and upper mountain basically wide open.
New owners came in 2019, and they remodeled base lodge, put in Gold Rush triple, and upped snowmaking capabilities. Day tickets top at $79, so half price on third Indy day is a deal. Night skiing six days a week, closed Mondays.
Head across the Wyoming border to Snow King, rising out of the town of Jackson. Expect the unexpected once at town-owned Snow King. Its compact 500 acres combines with vertical drop of 1,500 feet to produce more steeps (60% of terrain) than most local hills. Snow King even has a small back bowl.
And for sure, no U.S. in-town hill has a gondola. Installed in 2021 for both winter and summer visitors, the four-seater takes five minutes to reach the 7,808-foot-high summit. Double-black a-plenty on both sides off gondola summit. For plenty of blues and a few greens, take the Rafferty quad which has a midstation. Night skiing six days a week, and third day on Indy costs $37.50.
Final stop finds Indy roadies making a two-hour drive to White Pine. Pinedales's go-to hill packs plenty into its 370 acres, including 1,100 feet of vertical drop. A triple fixed-grip takes eight minutes to the 9,500-foot summit, and all 29 trails run off it. Plenty of short steeps to skier's left, while blues and greens weave in and out of each other on the other side. Limited novice slopes at bottom with short chair, but a great resort to learn to ski at.
A third half-off Indy day tops out at $30. White Pine spins its lifts on Friday through Monday.