There’s nothing that says winter family fun like an afternoon filled with snow sports. Portlanders are lucky to have so many winter snow tubing choices. It’s snowing almost daily in the Cascade Range so it’s time to think about adding a sledding or tubing day trip to your wintertime fun on Mt. Hood. Read on to find out where you can catch some wind in your hair and create some family memories.

Photo: U.S. Forest Service

Before You Go

When you head out for day trips or longer excursions in Oregon, remember to grab your Sno-Park Pass, your tire chains, and head out for day trips or longer excursions. Bring plenty of food, water, a change of clothes and cold weather gear.  Remember to check road conditions and the weather before you leave. There are also trail maps at the websites listed. Many snowy destinations provide equipment and often don’t allow personal equipment use, so please call first or check online for availability and pricing. Ticket information is available online, as are changing hours and snow conditions.

Mt. Hood, Skibowl

There’s something for everyone at Skibowl’s Snow Tube and Adventure Park at Skibowl East which offers the only conveyor tube lift on Mt. Hood. Take one of the two conveyors to the top of the main hill and ride down on a specially designed tube for a scream-worthy ride to the bottom. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush, take a ride on a steeper run on the upper tube hill or hit the Extreme Tube Hill. For young children, there’s an indoor Super Play Zone where they can enjoy the Kiddie Carousel, Kiddie Mini Snowmobiles, Frosty’s Playground, and a Kiddie Tube Hill.

Take a nighttime trip for the only Cosmic Tubing in the world (or at least on Mt. Hood) and check out the fireworks (be sure to check the schedule). Cosmic Tubing means 600,000 LED lights, laser light shows, black lights, colored lights, and music.

Another nighttime adventure could include Cosmic Tubing, a DJ, fireworks, and hot food and refreshments at the lodge. Check the schedule as this is not a regularly scheduled event.

Travel time: Just over one hour from Portland
Location: Hwy. 26 at Government Camp
Cost: Daytime tubing for a two-hour shift is $20/child and $26/adult or $47/child and $59/adult for all day tickets; other activities may include fees as well. See their detailed pricing list online. Prices are subject to change without notice. Check the website often. Ticket prices are based on height.

You can reach Timberline at 503-272-3158. You can reach Skibowl at 503-222-2695


Mt. Hood, Snow Bunny and Summit Ski Area

Summit and Snow Bunny are next door to each other. Both offer specific areas for little ones to tube safely, leaving older children, extreme-seeking teenagers and adults to the bigger hills (younger children are not prohibited from these areas). Both locations have restrooms. Tubing is usually possible from late-November through late spring. Summit Ski Area offers equipment and tickets which cover unlimited day use at Snow Bunny.

Snow Bunny is a small play area about two miles away from Summit Ski Area. When the concessions at Summit Ski Area is open, personal equipment is not allowed at Snow Bunny. Please check the schedule and plan accordingly.

Travel time: Just over one hour from Portland.
Location: Hwy. 26 at Government Camp
Cost: Summit: $10-$15/kids and $20-$25/adults for an all-day pass and tube rental Snow Bunny: $20/person
Online: Summit Ski Area

photo: Mt. Hood Territory via flickr

Mt. Hood, Cooper Spur Snow Tubing Park

Cooper Spur offers a tubing park with one tubing run and a Children’s Snow Carousel for anyone 42″ tall or taller. Snow tubes are included in the ticket price. An alpine lodge serves hot food and refreshments and there’s a covered deck and a picnic area with a nearly complete view of the ski area. Cooper Spur is affordable, relaxed, and small and is a favorite for families.

Travel time: Just over one hour from Portland.
Location: 11000 Cloud Cap Rd, Mt Hood, OR
Cost: $14/person
Online: Cooper Spur Snow Tubing Park

Little John Sno-Park

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.

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. Check out oregon.com/ODOT 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.
Online: Little John Sno-Park

Do you have a super sweet snow tubing spot you like to frequent during the winter months? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Jenny Forrester