We are lucky to have the mountains close by. And with fresh snow finally starting to dump in the hills, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about adding a sledding or tubing day to your winter to-do list. If you’re ready to take in all the powdery goodness, bundle up your little snow angels and keep reading for a list of our favorite sledding and tubing parks all within a few hour’s drive of Seattle.
The Washington State Sno-Park nearest Seattle is Hyak Sno-Park, which is close to, but not associated with the Summit East area of Snoqualmie ski resort. The glorious sledding hills are groomed up to five times weekly, but the hill or parts of it can be closed if there’s too much ice. The surrounding park areas are also great for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing or just making snow angels. Take note though that the hill or parts of it can be closed if there's too much ice.
The best news about Hyak is that the sledding is free; the parking however, is not. You'll need a Sno-Park day permit as well as your annual or daily Discover Pass to get into the park, but you can stay as long as you want once you're there! Be sure to bring your own everything (food, water, sleds, tubes) because potties are the only amenities offered here. If you're looking for quieter snow play, check out the other non-motorized Sno-Parks and Snow Play Sno-Parks around Washington.
Exit 54 off I-90
509-656-2230 (snow report)
Cost: $20/daily Sno-Park permit; $30/daily Sno-Park permit + daily Discovery Pass; $40/Non Motorized Sno-Park Permit valid for the entire winter recreation season.
Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., daily (subject to snow availability)
Summit Tubing Park at The Summit at Snoqualmie
The Summit Tubing Center is snow tubing at its picture perfect best. There are 12 individual lanes of groomed snow on gently sloped hills the length of a football field as well as commercial-grade tubes and a conveyor belt tow to make your ascent back to the top effortless. Your tubing ticket for this winter wonderland of tubing fun is good for a two-hour session (beginning at 9 a.m.), and this will be plenty of time to frolic and tire the kids out. There’s also small café on site for post-tubing snacks.
Good to Know: Everyone in your tubing group will need a signed Tubing Liability Release which must be completed electronically during ticket checkout. Space in each session is limited and The Summit Tubing Park cannot guarantee availability for walk-up ticket purchases due to high demand. Buying your tickets in advance online is the best way to ensure that you get your desired session. If tickets for a particular day or session are not available online, it means that session is sold out or the Tubing Park is closed that day.
Summit Tubing Park (S.E. corner of the Summit Central main parking lot)
1001 Route 906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068
Cost: 2019 pricing is coming soon. 2018 prices were $26-$30/Adults; $24-$26/Youth (6-11); $8/Kids (5 & under); $5/viewing ticket (any session). Tubing tickets will be available for purchase online soon.
Hours: Fri.-Sun. and holidays from 9 a.m.-10:15 p.m. Hours are dependent on natural snowfall. Check their website for opening tubing days and times.
Lt. Michael Adams Tubing Park
Families with older kiddos can check out the Lt. Michael Adams Tubing Park in Leavenworth. Kids ages 8 and older will love this thrilling, 100-foot tubing hill which offers daily passes good for six runs, tubes and tows up the tow rope. The best part? Everyone can relax in the cozy Ski Hill Lodge before and after your play.
Good to Know: Kids as young as 4 years old can enjoy this hill. All tubers must be able to ride safely, independently and follow verbal and/or written instruction. The park offers a 1-Time-Free trial ride prior to purchasing a ticket and a Liability Waiver must be signed in order to get a 1-Time-Free trial. This tubing hill is also available for private rental. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info about private parties and start planing your tubing party now!
Insider Tip: Leave your ski boots (and your tubes and sleds) at home; they're not allowed on this tubing hill. Tubes will be provided with your tubing ticket. Save time in line and bring your Tubing Waiver with you.
Lt. Michael Adams Tubing Park
10701 Ski Hill Dr.
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Cost: $23 plus tax/person (valid for six runs throughout the day purchased). Tubers under 8 years old must be supervised by an adult. Season passes available.
Hours: Dependent on weather conditions; extended holidays hours also available. Check their website for dates and times.
Paradise Visitor's Center on Mt. Rainier
The Snowplay Area at the Paradise Visitor's Center on Mt. Rainier is usually open late December through mid-March. (At least five feet of snow-pack is required to open the Snowplay Area, so check online before heading out). Be sure to BYO tubes and sleds (only soft/flexible sleds and saucers are allowed; no hard runner sleds or true toboggans). If you're tired of sledding and tubing, grab lunch inside the Visitor Center or for families with kids 8 and older, you can head out on a ranger-led snowshoeing adventure (at 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.) from late December through March. Psst...be sure to dress warmly though, as the snow shoe trek lasts about two hours.
Insider Tip: All cars are required to carry chains in winter while in the park. And don't forget your park pass. Psst! All fourth graders (and their families) can get their free park pass by going to the Every Kid Outdoors website and following the instructions. Be sure to check the status of road and avalanche conditions before leaving home.
Mount Rainier National Park - Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise
Paradise Rd. E.
Paradise, WA 98304
Cost: $30/day per family for up to seven days; $55/family for Mt. Rainier Annual Pass
Hours: Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. See website for opening date and special holiday hours.
Hurricane Ridge Tube Run
Located just 17 miles from Port Angeles in the Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge boasts a small skiing and snowboarding area plus a fun walk up tubing run. If you need to warm up your cold toes, stop by the Visitor's Center where you will find restrooms, exhibits and a spacious warming area. There is also a snack bar for hangry snow bunnies.
Insider Tip: Be sure to check weather and road conditions online or by phone at 360-565-3131 before you head up. And fill out the liability form before you arrive to save time in line
Good to Know: You must use the tubes provided by Hurricane Ridge. They are provided at no extra charge. Tubing runs on a first come, first served basis, so this means if space is available your sessions starts when you check in. If the hill is at capacity, you will be given a time to return and start your session. Sessions are sold in one-hour increments and you may purchase as many as you want. The National Park charges an entrance fee, $15 per car, or you can purchase a yearly pass for $30. The road generally opens to uphill traffic at 9 a.m. and closes to uphill traffic at 4 p.m. All cars must be down the hill by 5 p.m.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor's Center
3002 Mount Angeles Rd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Cost: $14/hour. You may purchase as many hourly passes as you want. Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis.
Hours: Check their website or Twitter feed for tube run dates (dependent on weather conditions). Typically open Fri.-Sun. & holidays.
Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel Inner Tubing Hill
Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel has made a name for itself with families across the Sound for being just a hop, skip and a jump away from Seattle and a whole universe of adventure and pampering for kids and grown-ups alike. Turns out, their Winterfest doesn't disappoint either. There's ice skating, a tubing hill and lots of snowshoeing as well as snowy horse-drawn carriage rides, cross-country skiing and snowmobile tours. If you're making a trip up there anyway, be sure to bring your snow gear and be ready to play. If it's not already on your calendar...maybe it should be!
Good to Know: Tubers must be 36” tall; the minimum age for a child to ride is 3 years old. Adults and children must ride alone for safety reasons. Inner tube included with lift ticket purchase (no private sleds allowed). Kids 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult. No pets allowed on the hill. Adults must fill out a waiver for anyone under 18 years old.
Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel
3600 Suncadia Trail
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Cost: $20/session per rider. Sessions are two hours long: 10 a.m.-noon, noon-2 p.m. & 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Hours: Tubing hill is weather dependent. Check their website for daily updates.
White Pass Winter Carnival
Looking for an all-out snow festival? Plan ahead and mark your calendars for the White Pass Winter Carnival, set for Feb. 29-Mar. 1, 2020. This family oriented event features a huge snow castle for kids to slide on, snow sculptors, live music, a carnival and snow sports competitions for kids and adults. There’s also a fireworks show in the evening and Ski 4 Kids fundraiser games and races to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The best news? The castle and most of the events are free!
Good to Know: The White Pass ski resort experienced a serious upgraded a few years ago (including a new lodge!), so if you want to get in a few ski runs as well, it would be a fun place to do it.
Insider Tip: If you have little ones, plan on arriving around 4 p.m. The kids will have time to play in the snow castle, but won't be too worn out before the fireworks start at 7:15 p.m. View Saturday's activities here and Sunday's activities here.
White Pass Ski Area
48935 US Hwy. 12
Naches, WA 98937
Dates: Feb. 29-Mar. 1, 2019
Good to Know:
There’s nothing quite like a full day of snow-bound play to make all the comforts of home and family so delightful. If you get a snow day off from school or work, be sure to try these local golf courses available for snow play: Jackson Park, Jefferson Park, Interbay and West Seattle.
—Kristina Moy & Katie Gruver
Feature photo courtesy of Emily Williams.