Accessibility, Per Season
Location: Situated at 8,650 ft elevation, Snowshoe Lodge is nestled in Snowshoe Pass of the Bighorn National Forest, which is above Ranger Creek Station and approached via Forest Road 17. Nearest town is Shell, Wyoming.
November through April, accessible by snowmobile: Due to the high altitude, the snow-pack winter season starts early and lasts into what is springtime down in the high-desert Shell Valley below. Snow season up in the Big Horn Mountains usually runs late November through May -- when Snowshoe Lodge can only be reached by snowmobile or helicopter (landing pad near Lodge). Due to heavy snow-pack that winter outdoor enthusiasts long for, one can not access Snowshoe Lodge by four-wheel-drive vehicles during these months.
People, food, drink, and necessities are packed in and out by snowmobile. However, there is a parking lot located on the side of Highway 14 where you can leave your vehicle and snowmobile trailer when you ride your machine up to the Lodge via Forest Road 17. See Driving Directions.
Mid June into November, accessible by vehicles: One can drive to Snowshoe Lodge usually only for five months of the year, from mid June into November. Following a maintained gravel road that climbs beautiful mountainous countryside, past the Ranger Station, crossing bridges over sparkling streams, and through alpine forest up to Snowshoe Pass. See Driving Directions.
Note: Snowshoe Pass area of the Big Horn National Forest is closed to the public during the month of May due to elk-calving season. Then, until heavy snow pack has melted and gravel roads dried up some, Snowshoe Lodge is not usually accessible by vehicles until mid June.
- From the village of Shell, WY, go 17 miles on paved Hwy 14 up Shell Canyon.
- From Sheridan, WY, take Hwy 14 over Burgess Jct Pass, Antelope Butte Ski Area on your left, continue 5 miles.
Look for sign for Ranger Creek Station (and turn off onto gravel Forest Road 17. There is a parking area on the side of Hwy 14 across from this turn off where you can leave your vehicle and snowmobile trailer, as Snowshoe Pass is only accessible by vehicle five months of the year.
Whether by vehicle or snowmobile, proceed 6 miles on Forest Road 17: past the Bighorn Nat'l Forest Ranger Creek Station on your left. Cross bridge and follow road to Snowshoe Pass (see sign). Climbing until you get up on top, turn right then immediately left where you can easily spot Snowshoe Lodge out in the open.