Due to low snow Beartooth Basin, the only summer-only ski area in North America, will not open this summer, a Facebook post this morning said. The area opened on May 29th in 2021 and May 30th in 2020.
“We worked, we worked, but in the end, Mother Nature did not cooperate with our wishes. Beartooth Basin will not operate for spring 2022. The Basin is set for a maintenance year. Have an awesome spring, a sweet summer, and here is to hoping to see each one of your smiling, sun-tanned faces at Beartooth Basin in 2023 and beyond!”
– Facebook post
Our Digital Editor made a trip there in June 2019 to see what all the fuss was about. See his report here: Beartooth Basin, WY Report: Winter Conditions on the Summer Solstice.
Two weeks ago, they announced that there was a possibility they would not open this year:
“Last Monday, we made it to the Basin and were greeted by very low snow. Over the week, Mother Nature began to cooperate and has been snowing. A snowcat is heading up this week to help farm snow into Beartooth Basin. We plan to operate, but we can not be certain of opening. No tickets are available until we are certain we are going to open. Fingers crossed!”
Sadly, it is not to be this year. Fingers crossed for 2023…
Beartooth Basin ski area, on the Wyoming-Montana border, is a summer-only ski operation with soul, and its operation depends on US-212 Beartooth Highway being open. The highway is currently closed, although plowing has begun.
The road closes each winter because of excessive snow and adverse winter conditions, typically opening by the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
Snow levels vary, and drifts can be as high as 26 feet in the higher elevations, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.
MDT is responsible for the highway to the Montana/Wyoming border, where the National Park Service takes over maintenance responsibilities through Wyoming, back into Montana, and into Yellowstone Park. MDT and NPS coordinate closely in keeping the road open throughout the summer.
Opening the Beartooth Highway is a huge undertaking. But, hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before the road is cleared, we get a little natural snow, and the lifts start spinning at Beartooth Basin.