The Loop Road, which climbs into the southeastern corner of the Wind River Range, often closes for the winter season around Thanksgiving. 

But in drought-stricken 2021, hardly any snow had fallen by the end of November, leading the Shoshone National Forest to keep the road open to vehicles until Dec. 16. 

At Frye Lake reservoir, some adventurous travelers discovered a surprising upside to the conditions — access to perfect ice for an alpine skate. This was perhaps especially welcome this year, because temperatures in the city of Lander were too warm to create the traditional ice rink in City Park. 

“It’s just the most beautiful ice up there right now,” Lander resident Alison Frost told WyoFile on Dec. 12. 

The opportunity was short-lived; four days later, officials closed the road. 

Do you have a striking photo of winter in Wyoming? Submit high-resolution entries to WyoFile’s Cold Snap Challenge by emailing them to under the subject line “Winter photos.” Be sure to tell us when and where the images were taken. We’ll gather the images and publish our favorites through the winter.

Katie Klingsporn reports on outdoor recreation, public lands, education and general news for WyoFile. She’s been a journalist and editor covering the American West for 20 years. Her freelance work has...

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