There’s finally, officially snow on the mountain, so grab your tire chains and head on up to Mt. Hood for a day trip or a weekend excursion with your little snow bunnies. Most spots have all the equipment you’ll need, as well as activities for even the tiniest of tobogganers. Whatever hill you choose, don’t forget to bring more food and water than you’ll need, a change of clothes for a dry ride home and all your cold-weather gear – even some spare mittens and hats in case you lose one on the hill.

Skibowl Tubing

photo: Mt. Hood Skibowl by Alex T. Lockwood via creative commons

 Mt. Hood Skibowl

Travel time: Just over one-hour from Portland

Location: Hwy. 26 at Government Camp

Cost: Tubing is $19/child; $25/adult for a two-hour shift (which is usually plenty of time), or $47/child; $59/adult all day; other activities may include fees as well. See their detailed pricing list online.

Gear: All tubes are provided.

Fun details: Parents will love it here because it is very safe and organized to prevent accidents – they have special areas for kids under the age of three and even an indoor play area to warm up frozen little toes. Besides the tubing hill with several runs and mini snow mobiles, they also have a Kid’s Tubing Carousel and an awesome conveyor belt lift that takes you and your tube back to the top of the hill.

Little John Sno-Park
Travel time: Just under two-hours from Portland

Location: 30 miles south of Hood River on Oregon Highway 35

Cost: There’s no fee to play in the snow, but your car will need an Oregon Sno* Park Permit, which costs a mere $4 for a day pass. Check out for details on where to pick one up.

Gear:  BYO inner tube or sliding discs – no sleds, toboggans or snowboards allowed on the snow play hill.

Fun details: The best of the undeveloped, DIY sledding spots near Portland, Little John is a great option for families who have their own tubes and want to do their own thing in the snow. Don’t expect much order, organization, or tow ropes, at Little John – just a snowy hill and good, old-fashioned fun.

Summit Ski Area

photo: Snow Bunny and Summit Ski Area via Yelp

Snow Bunny and Summit Ski Area
Travel time: Just over one-hour from Portland.

Location: Hwy. 26 at Government Camp

Cost: $10-$15/kids, $20-$25/adults for an all-day pass and tube rental at Summit; $10/kids and $20/adults for an all-day pass and tube rental at Snow Bunny.

Gear: All tubes and devices are provided.

Fun details: Two fun tubing spots in one! Summit and Snow Bunny are right next door to each other and both offer specific areas for little ones to tube safely, letting older kids, extreme-seeking teenagers and adults to the bigger hills (or you can take them with you on those hills for some big fun). Both locations have easily accessible bathrooms right at the hill.

Tubing Center Cooper Spur Mountain Resort
Travel time: Just under two-hours from Portland

Location: Take I-84 east toward Hood River, Exit 64

Cost: $12 per person for either morning (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) or afternoon (noon-4 p.m.) tubing.

Gear: They provide the tubes for everyone 42″ and taller – no personal devices allowed.

Fun details: This super-family friendly resort near Mt. Hood not only has an easy to use rope lift to take you to the top of the slope, but an over-the-snow, merry go round ride that little tubers (under 42″ tall) will think is a blast.

What’s your favorite sledding hill? Let us know in the Comments below!

— Suzie Ridgway