Snow King Gondola mechanics work to get the new gondola ready on Dec. 9, ahead of the Dec. 18 opening for scenic rides only. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — Snow King Mountain Resort will open the new gondola for scenic rides only, this Saturday, Dec, 18.

The gondola will not be open for skiing and snowboarding until snow conditions permit; however, scenic rides will be available daily starting Dec. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., said Snow King in a press release.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with free beverages for the first 100 passengers and live music at the base of the gondola by Lazy Eyes.

In addition to the gondola, Snow King Mountain installed a fixed-grip triple chairlift on the backside of the mountain and relocated Cougar lift 500 feet uphill to make way for the gondola. A new snowmaking pipe and fixed tower snowmaking guns have been installed on the back bowl and summit ridge to cover terrain accessed by the new Sunnyside lift. Two new expert ski runs have been cut on the face of the mountain and other runs have been widened to make them more accessible. A new beginner teaching zone at the summit of the mountain with two magic carpets was constructed this summer along with a new easy way down ski route from the summit to the base.

The magic carpet, which opened on Dec. 11,  is currently the only feature open to skiers and snowboarders.

The mountain originally planned to open for the season on Dec. 4, 2021, but only recently did evening temperatures allow for successful snowmaking to take place. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

“Our team and partners have worked extremely hard this summer to transform Snow King Mountain, we are excited to thank the many people who contributed to this effort at the gondola grand opening and share the new Snow King Mountain with the public,” said General Manager Ryan Stanley.

Last March, the Forest Service approved Alternative 4 of Snow King’s improvement plan. Phase 1 is currently underway. After Snow King completes Phase 1 development, the Bridger-Teton will assess that development considering the effectiveness of design criteria on scenic quality, noise, and other environmental and social resources.

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.