Volunteers operate Elko SnoBowl (sometimes spelled Snowbowl or Snow Bowl), the only ski area in eastern Nevada, on weekends from January to mid-March, weather permitting. The Elko Snobowl is situated just six miles north of town. It’s so close, in fact, a shuttle runs every hour from the end of Fifth Street right to the ski area.
The small but thoroughly enjoyable Elko Snobowl features a rope tow and a double chair lift, which was added to the ski area in 1998. The lift’s 99 chairs carry skiers and snowboarders from a base elevation of 6,300 feet to the summit, which tops out at 7,000 feet. The Snobowl has a vertical rise of 700 feet, with different sides of the “bowl” offering runs of varying difficulty. Half of the mountain’s runs rank as beginner, while the other half are designated intermediate.
To keep things interesting and to add a little extra challenge, some of the Snobowl’s trails aren’t groomed. The ski area does have snowmaking capabilities, and ski patrollers certified by the National Ski Patrol are on duty during the Snobowl’s operating hours.
In addition to both downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding, the Elko Snobowl is a local’s favorite for family-friendly winter activities like snowtubing and sledding. The relaxing and uncrowded Elko Snobowl is a well-kept secret, meaning virtually no lift lines. Lift tickets are fantastically low, with no fee charged for use of the rope tow, and discounts for students apply. Tickets and season passes can be purchased at the Elko Chamber of Commerce.
The Elko Snobowl also offers a ski club with benefits including a pre-season ski swap, a 10 percent discount on season passes and instruction. Guests at the Snobowl will also find an on-site snack shack with a selection of refreshments.
In the summertime, the entire place turns into a mountain bike park.