Lack Of Snow Forces Sleeping Giant To Close For The Season
With less than a foot of snowfall so far this season -- and not much on the horizon -- northwest Wyoming's Sleeping Giant has called it quits without opening at all.
Early season notwithstanding, the weather gods have not been kind to this local hill this season. So, when the latest storm off the Tetons failed to drop much on Sleeping Giant, ownership decided to pull plug on the 2023-2024 season.
Season passes will be refunded or credited for next season, and reciprocal partners at Snow King, Ski Cooper, Bogus Basin and Soldier Mountain will honor free days for Sleeping Giant passholders.
Over the years, the 186-acre ski and snowboard area an hour west of Cody has had its snowfall-challenged seasons. Only nine inches fell in 2015-16, and 20 inches total in 2021-2022. The 10-year average is 68 inches, topped by 147 inches in 2013-2014.
Ownership said that it could not keep seasonal workers on payroll any longer. Fulltime staff will turn its attention to projects in the plans, including getting National Forest approval for widespread snowmaking upgrades once the spring comes.
Currently, only 18 acres of Sleeping Giant's terrain gets hit by snow guns at this point. Owners bought some $100,000 in new snowmaking equipment, but the aging pipe network that was installed in 2008 must be rejuvenated first.
Located an hour's drive east of the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Sleeping Giant has spun its two chairlifts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with night skiing on Saturday evenings.
It opened in 1936 -- one of the first in the northern Rockies -- and operated a T-bar annually until 2004. After a four-year hiatus, it reopened with a triple chairlift, under the auspices of a community nonprofit. A local resident bought it in 2020.