Wyoming Places: Hogadon Basin, Casper's Upside-Down Ski Area

Hogadon Basin Ski Area outside Casper, Wyoming, is upside-down, with the lodge and runs starting at the summit of Casper Mountain, not the bottom. That means you're out of your car and on the slopes.

DK
Dale Killingbeck

December 26, 20234 min read

Hogadon Ski Area near Casper is different in that the parking and lodge are at the summit.
Hogadon Ski Area near Casper is different in that the parking and lodge are at the summit. (visitcasper.com)

Skiers at the Hogadon Basin Ski Area in Casper don’t have to take a lift before hitting the slopes to start a day of skiing.

The parking lot at this upside-down ski area is at the top of the hill, as is the lodge.

Superintendent Chris Smith said the concept isn’t normal for a ski area, but there are few other “upside down” ski runs around the country in addition to Hogadon.

“They are not as uncommon as people think,” he said, adding there are four in the Rockies, seven in the Midwest and eight in the East. But it is unusual enough that when people get out of their cars at the top of Casper Mountain, they typically comment about it.

“It’s kind of unique that you get your first run without having to ride the lift,” Smith said.

Camera For The Beginner Hill

A veteran of other ski areas, Smith said one thing that parents comment on about Hogadon is not being able to stand at the bottom of the beginner hill to watch their kids.

Instead, there’s a camera on the hill so parents can watch how their children are doing from the lodge. There are plans to expand the camera views to the intermediate slopes as well.

Upside-down slopes also don’t really affect lift operations, because different lift manufactures design their motor placements for both top and bottom of the hill. For ski patrol operations, the resort’s configuration also has little impact.

“They still have to transport the patients down the hill by toboggan and hook the toboggan to a UTV (utility terrain vehicle),” Smith said.

Other inverted ski areas in the Rockies include Blacktail Mountain in Montana, Echo Mountain in Colorado and Powder Mountain in Utah.

  • A skier catches some good powder skiing at Hogadon Ski Area.
    A skier catches some good powder skiing at Hogadon Ski Area. (travelwyoming.com)
  • This map shows the parking and staging area at Hogadon near Casper is at the summit instead at the bottom of the runs.
    This map shows the parking and staging area at Hogadon near Casper is at the summit instead at the bottom of the runs. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Making Snow

While there has been some snow over the weekend, the winter across Wyoming so far hasn’t had a lot of the white stuff.

Smith said Hogadon is making snow this week, and it has two runs open with natural snow and two runs open with man-made snow.

“We hope to add some runs by the end of the week,” he said. “And be done making snow on Thursday.”

Hogadon Basin Ski Area is open for the holiday season daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers night skiing from 3-8 p.m. through New Year’s Day.

The ski area is located 11 miles south of Casper on top of Casper Mountain, 2500 W. Hogadon Road.

More About Hogadon

Hogadon Basin Ski Area offers 25 runs to ski, many with intermediate terrain, and a vertical rise of up to 600 feet for some trails, according to online visitor information about the ski resort.

“We do have a great ski lodge up on Casper Mountain for the winter,” Wayne Stewart of Visit Casper has previously told Cowboy State Daily. “And we are really pushing that this winter, because, you know, your family ski trip is almost becoming unattainable with how expensive ski lift tickets can be.”

Visitors to popular ski towns might also spend most of their day waiting in line for the ski lift, rather than actually skiing down the mountain, Stewart said.

“Hogadon is a great solution to that,” he said. “It’s family friendly, and there’s a variety of different trail options for any level of skier or snowboarder there, with ticket prices that tend to be cheaper than your more iconic ski destinations. But you still get those beautiful scenic views of the mountain and even of Casper.”

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at dale@cowboystatedaily.com.

Share this article

Authors

DK

Dale Killingbeck

Writer