One of my many fascinations include ski areas that operated in non-traditional states when you think of places to go skiing.
Most of them were created during the ski boom of the 1970s, and unfortunately didn’t last very long. For example, Nebraska was home to a ski area for a couple of seasons.
I’ve just learned that the great state of Oklahoma was home to a ski area called Snow Valley for “2-3 days” according to a 2018 article by Oklahoma’s News 4.
You can read the full article by Oklahoma’s News 4 here.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Sooner State had a legitimate ski area with snowmaking and a rope tow for less than a week back in 1971.
Snow Valley was started by a man only known as Willis on a small pasture off Route 66 near Kellyville, OK. Sounds pretty Oklahoman, right? Well it only gets better.
The ski area was flanked by barbed wire fence meant to keep cattle in the pasture. That included a fence at the bottom of the ski hill that guests constantly ran into.
Dwight Davidson, an employee at Snow Valley, told Oklahoma’s News 4:
“Being a farm boy you don’t cut the fence. You cut the cloth to get people out of the fence.”
The ski area might have lasted longer, but a war veteran who recently returned from Vietnam filed a noise complaint. A court injunction later shut down the ski area for good.
Just so we’re all on the same page, let me summarize:
Somebody bought snow guns and a rope tow to operate a ski area on a cow pasture in Oklahoma in 1971.
Skiers had to make sure that they didn’t run into the barbed wire at the end of the ski runs, and it only operated for 2-3 days because a Vietnam war veteran filed a noise complaint about the loud snow guns.
It just doesn’t get any better than that folks. I love everything about this story. I just wish we could see some photos that were captured in those 2-3 days!
If you, or somebody you know, has any photos of Snow Valley, Oklahoma please send them to me. I’d love to see them and hear your story about skiing Oklahoma’s only ski area. firstname.lastname@example.org