Ice Skating & Ice Hockey
Page Summary: Recreational and hockey skaters will find plenty of winter ice on Sublette County's rinks and lakes.
Recreational as well as hockey skaters will find plenty of winter ice in Sublette County, whether "domesticated" (rinks) or "wild" (lakes). The season for good ice is usually late December through February, depending on temperatures and snow conditions.
Pinedale's ice arena, designed primarily for youth through adult hockey players, offers public skating times most days. Maintained by the Pinedale Hockey Association (360-7877), this is an indoor rink is a large two story metal building. The Sublette County Ice Arena is located on the west end of town near the golf course, one block south of Hwy 191. The ice is prepared daily with a Zamboni owned by the PHA. A schedule of practice times and public skating is posted at the rink.
The indoor Pinedale Ice Arena is located on the west end of Pinedale on Washington Street, three blocks south of Hwy 191. The building is a metal quansut hut with the main entrance on the south end of the building.
Facilities include three team changing rooms, concession area, restrooms, spectator bleachers, and handicapped accessible viewing area. Upstairs facilities include a meeting room and archery range. The archery area may be used for viewing games at the rink as long as no archery practice is taking place. The building is kept cool, so bring warm clothes & coats to watch games.
The Learn to Skate program offers classes at the ice arena for recreational and hockey skaters of all ages. Every February, Learn to Skate hosts the Celebration on Ice, a themed public skating recital set to music, in which students' figure skating skills are showcased. For more information on Learn to Skate, call 307-367-2616.
The town of Big Piney sets up an open-air boarded hockey rink south of the high school, next to the football field. This rink is used for public and Big Piney Viper youth ice hockey during the winter. Call the Town of Big Piney for information – 307-276-3554.
These hockey and skating rinks have ample parking but minimal facilities. Please remember that ice conditions are subject to current weather conditions.
Skating on Sublette County's spectacular lakes, when conditions permit, is an experience not to be missed. Every few years, sustained cold temperatures early in winter cause the lakes to freeze over with several inches of clear ice. If it doesn't snow, consider yourself in skating heaven! Pack a thermos of cocoa, snacks, warm clothes and skates. The easiest lakes to drive to are Fremont and Half Moon; roads to other lakes are not plowed and may be accessible only by snowmobile. There is a touch of magic to skating on smooth, dark lake ice, which can look very similar to the lake's unfrozen surface. Skate to the middle of one of Sublette County's huge glacier-carved lakes and find yourself surrounded by a stunning view you would normally need a boat to reach. If it's windy, hold up a big scarf and sail away!
To reach Fremont and Half Moon lakes, take Fremont Lake Road just east of Ridley's in Pinedale. The turnoff for Fremont Lake is 3.2 miles from town. Turn left and take the left fork for Sandy Beach or the Lower Boat Ramp. The turnoff for Half Moon Lake is about 7 miles from town on Fremont Lake Rd. A few miles' drive will take you to the boat ramp, and a little farther to Half Moon Lake Resort.
As with any outdoor recreation, go with a buddy when planning to skate on frozen lakes, and let someone else know where you are going and when you expect to return. Area lakes typically freeze to 17" thick and more, plenty to hold the weight of skaters and snowmobilers. If you're unfamiliar with the current lake conditions, ask someone who is knowledgeable about the current status (Forest Service, Game & Fish office, or local sporting goods store personnel ). Caution is advised at all times when going onto frozen lake ice as unstable areas are common and not always easy to see. Watch for and avoid lake overflow, wet areas and open water.