That is correct, there’s skiing in Missouri, and you know what? It’s not half bad. On the border of Kansas and Missouri, you can find this tiny ski area by the name of Snow Creek. This is where I and thousands of other Midwesterners first clipped into a pair of skis and learned how to make our first turns before heading to the big hills out west.
Even with its small size of only 25 acres, Snow Creek has plenty to offer its guests. This includes five lifts consisting of three chairs, a rope tow, and the infamous magic carpet. On top of that, Snow Creek has 12 trails: 30% Green, 60% Blue, and 10% expert (including the terrain park), which leads to healthy progression for new skiers and enough terrain to keep those more skilled, entertained. There’s also a bar, plenty of food and a tubing park.
Now, with only 21 annual inches of snow, you may be wondering how we can ski out there. Luckily, the Snow Creek team has invested heavily into their snow-making capabilities by having 60 snowmaking machines that pump 3,000 gallons of water per minute. So, as soon as the temperature hits 28 degrees, it’s go time! They let their snowmaking machines run, and they can cover the entire 25 acres in just 72 hours. With their snowmaking capabilities, they can have the season start as early as Christmas and last all the way into early March.
With its small size, Snow Creek has invested a lot in its community through its events each year. Snow Creek has held events like the Snakebite Banked Slalom, the Heartland Winter Games, and the 1718 Log Jam. Lastly, we cannot forget about the most intense competition of them all: The Duct Tape Derby in which competitors race down the mountain in their duct tape sled creations for a chance at eternal fame and glory.
Snow Creek is for everyone, which is why it attracts so many people from around the area. For those who are just learning how to make your first turn, hitting your first jump, or trying to set a new land speed record down the Six Shooter Trail, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. You will have serious skiers decked out with all the premium gear money can buy, then you have the people that are just out there to learn and have a good time, and of course, because it’s the Midwest, we have our classic jeans + camo gear family. And you know what? We love that out here!
If you haven’t noticed, Snow Creek is just a plain ol’ fun time. There’s not a whole bunch of terrain or snow to go around—nobody will argue with you about that. But for the people who ride Snow Creek, it’s not about that. It’s about racing your friends down the holiday bowl 25 times in an hour. It’s about telling your beginner skiing friends to go down the sliver of black diamond on Six Shooter and telling them it’s a green. It’s about getting all your buddies together and getting that ever so coveted $39 college night pass that makes college students smile ear to ear. People make do with what little there is and they have a great time doing it.
Snow Creek is a great stepping stone for new skiers in the Midwest before heading out to Colorado or further to tackle much bigger hills. This is where I learned to snowboard, and my passion for snowsports began. Nowadays I may be out riding the beautiful Rockies more often than I am the Midwest, but I will always remember the great times my buddies and I had on that little hill named Snow Creek. If you’re ever in Kansas City, then stop by and catch a few laps.
Total Terrain: 25 acres
Peak elevation: 1,099 feet
Base elevation: 799 feet
Vertical: 300 feet
Average Annual Snowfall: 21 inches
Trails: 12 trails total, 30% Green, 60% Blue, and 10% expert (including the terrain park)
Terrain parks: 2, Rattlesnake Terrain Park, Gunslinger Progression Park