Yawgoo Valley always has held a sort of mystical presence to many skiers and riders, a trivia answer that Rhode Island can boast, as the only one of its kind within Little Rhody’s state borders. Yawgoo, located in Exeter, is surprisingly not a household name, even in Rhode Island itself, where Hartman said that she still meets plenty of residents who are surprised the ski area is located right in their backyard.
According to New England Ski History, the idea for the ski area dates back to the 1960s, when Richard Downs was working on his parents’ summer camp property and sought to develop a winter business. At the suggestion of a neighbor, Downs acquired property on the 295-foot, southeast peak of Yorker Hill and began cutting trails. Yawgoo opened in time for the 1964-65 season.
Since the beginning, getting the word out about a ski area in Rhode Island has always been challenging. But that’s nothing compared to what the weather can do in a state more known for sailing.
“Skiing in a bunch of powder without a vertical is very difficult,” Yawgoo general manager, Tracy Hartman, said. “That’s one thing people don’t understand. They like to come out in the powder. What’s actually better for us is if it’s a couple of inches of powder over our base.
“Rhode Island, I think, is a little more used to the ups and downs, the roller coaster, because of where we are situated, right near the ocean,” Hartman continued. “We have a lot more to contend with those rain/snow lines. A lot of the time we’re in the rain line.”
It is, of course, no surprise, then, that snowmaking — and getting creative with the product — is vital for Yawgoo’s viability.
“It’s taken a very long time to get people to understand that we do make our own snow,” Hartman said. “We know how to strategically make some piles that last a couple of days and then we put it back together. Like a puzzle, really.”
With snowmaking on 100 percent of its terrain (14 trails serviced by two lifts and two rope tows) Yawgoo also depends on temperatures cold enough to make snow, something that isn’t as consistent as it might be in more northerly regions. “It’s all weather-dependent for us,” Hartman said.
Yawgoo has 17 snow guns at its disposal, pumping out 56,000 gallons of water per hour.
The Ski Area at Yawgoo is operational early December through late March and the Snow Tubing Park opens later into December through March. They make their own winter happen at Yawgoo with 100% snow-making.
For a unique and truly exciting adventure, right in our “neck of the woods,” pack up the entire family and head to Yawgoo in Exeter, RI. With beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails, every person in your party will find what fits them. In all, there are a total of 12 unique trails for different skiing experiences.
SKI & SNOWBOARD TICKETS
All guests using trails and/or Lifts are required to obtain one of the following: Season Pass, Daily Lift Ticket, or participating in a Yawgoo Valley sanctioned lesson. Ticket sessions vary by time of season & day.
PURSUANT TO RIGL 41-8-2 H PEDESTRIAN (FOOT) TRAFFIC OF ANY KIND IS NOT PERMITTED ON ANY TRAILS. THIS INCLUDES THE BEGINNER ROPE TOW AND “FLAT” AREAS.
WHAT DOES MY SKI LIFT TICKET INCLUDE?
A ticket or lift ticket, grants you unlimited access to open terrain and lifts within the session on the date purchased. The purchase of a ticket does not include lessons, equipment rentals, or snow tubing access. Pricing is per person; they do not pro-rate missed or unused portions of tickets. Lift tickets are NOT valid at the Snow Tubing Park.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Uphill traffic or skinning, ski bikes, or snow decks are not permitted. Management reserves the right to adjust hours, sessions, and pricing, without notice, based on snow making capabilities, conditions, weather, or other operational restraints. Review all of their terms, conditions, & policies below. By purchasing a lift ticket, you agree to all terms and conditions and agree to adhere to all park policies.
HOW TO PURCHASE
Tickets can be purchased online and at the ticket window. Tickets at the window cannot be guaranteed and are only available if not already sold out online.
Tickets will be available up to 1-week prior to the desired date in case of inclement weather. See the session below for the corresponding ticket link.
AT TICKET WINDOW – day of only
Tickets purchased at the window can only be purchased 30-minutes prior to the start of the session, tickets will not be sold sooner than 30-minutes before the start of the session. Due to high demand on weekends, holidays, snow days, or other peak periods – it’s recommended that you do not arrive without a ticket or rental reservation. THEY CAN NOT GUARANTEE ANY WALK-UP TICKETS OR RENTALS.
A valid ticket, season pass, or Yawgoo Valley Snow Sports School Lesson Voucher IS REQUIRED to access any terrain, trails, lifts, and/or tows Pursuant to RIGL 41-8-2H Pedestrian Traffic of any kind is not permitted on any trails.
220 Yawgoo Valley Road
Exeter, Rhode Island 02822
Note: This line is only staffed when the tubing park is open.
There are many winter activities out there that can have you enjoying the great outdoors in the winter, and snow tubing is definitely one of them.
Snow tubing is a recreational winter activity that involves sliding down a snowy hill, while riding on an inflatable inner tube. Typically, these hills are divided into lanes and offer automatic pulley systems to take you to the top. The steeper the hill, the faster and more thrilling the ride!
The tubes you ride on look similar to very large doughnuts that have the center cut out of them, and sometimes, they are shaped like the number 8, so you can go down with a friend.
The rider generally sits in the tube facing upwards, with their behind planted firmly in the center. Some locations may also allow riders to lay on their stomachs, although this is less common, mainly due to safety issues.
Tubes have ropes or handles to hold onto for a bit of added stability. Tubes usually don’t have very much control, as they have no steering or brakes.
Because they are round, it is also possible to spin around, which means you will likely not be able to control the spin.
Tubing generally takes place on ski hills, or specifically smaller portions of ski hills, usually near the bottom. These are groomed and maintained to provide riders with a smooth & exhilarating experience.
90 MINUTE SESSION:$30 PER PERSON
Must be 42 inches or taller to participate. Tubes are single-rider only.
Ticket Sessions are 90-minutes and include an unlimited number or runs within that period.
The Ticket fee includes the use of a snow tube and a lift ride back to the top after each run. They do not pro-rate or discount unused portions of the session.
Tickets MAY BE PURCHASED ONLINE or DAY-OF at the window. DAY-OF tickets are not guaranteed to be available.
The rental shop is open during ski area operating hours. You must be 18 years or older with a valid Photo ID to rent equipment. Helmets are NOT available for rent, nor are they required at Yawgoo. They offer a selection of helmets for purchase at the Pro Shop at Yawgoo Valley.