For a city that doesn’t get a lot of snowfall, we’ve got more than a few sweet spots near Seattle to take the kids snow tubing and sledding. So bundle up your little snow angels, it’s time to find fresh powder. From groomed tubing runs to gently sloping sledding hills, here’s where Seattle families can get in on one of winter’s favorite pastimes.
Editor’s note: Remember to wear your masks, and follow state and local social distancing and group size guidelines when you hit these sledding and tubing hills. Stay healthy and safe this winter!
Summit Tubing Park at The Summit at Snoqualmie
The Summit Tubing Center is snow tubing at its picture perfect best. There are over 20 individual lanes (during peak season) 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. This year, your timed tubing ticket for this winter wonderland of fun is good for a two-hour session. Plenty of time to frolic and tire the kids out! Tickets are being released slowly this year and will sell out fast, so get yours while you can.
Good to Know: This year, tickets must be purchased online; no walk-ups allowed. And it's masks on for any tubers over the age of two, and social distancing all around (you can find the Summit's full COVID policy online). Finally, everyone in your tubing group will need a signed Tubing Liability Release which must be completed electronically during ticket checkout.
Summit Tubing Park (S.E. corner of the Summit Central main parking lot)
1001 Route 906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068
Cost: $35/adult (ages 7 & up); $12/kid (ages 6 & under); $10/season pass holder
Hours: Fri., 11 am.-8 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Hours are dependent on natural snowfall.
When it comes to nearby snow parks, Hyak is the Seattle go-to. With glorious, groomed sledding hills and a drive that kids can totally handle, it's easy to see why we spend hours playing here whenever we get the chance. Although the sledding hill is currently closed (check here for opening updates), you can still frolick and play with your bundled up kiddos on your own. Just remember your passes. You'll need a Sno-Park day permit, as well as your 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 too (food, water, sleds, tubes) because potties are the only amenities offered here.
Insider Tip: It's much busier than usual at Hyak this season as families are trying to find socially distanced ways to play outside. Consider nearby alternatives off I-90 like Gold Creek Sno-Park, Crystal Springs, even Katchess if you're willing to branch out beyond sledding (building snow people can be just as fun). Planning your snow play during the week is another great way to avoid the crowds.
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)
Lt. Michael Adams Tubing Park & Golf Course Sledding
The winter wonderland of Leavenworth does not disappoint when it comes to snow play. Families can keep it formal with the tubing runs at the Lt. Michael Adams Tubing Park or crush that casual vibe sledding. With your tubing ticket, you'll get six sweet runs on the 100-foot-long tubing hill (tubes provided), complete with a tow-rope ride to the top. Remember to save time in line and bring your Tubing Waiver with you. Sledding at the golf course is pretty much BYO. So grab your sled (those with metal runners are not allowed) and spend the day gliding over the hills. The best part of either day? Grabbing hot cocoa and a snack to-go from the Ski Hill Lodge.
Good to Know: The tubing hill is recommended for kids ages eight and up, but those as young as four can still have fun. They just need to be able to ride safely, independently and follow verbal and/or written instruction. If you're not sure they'll like it, the park offers a 1-Time-Free trial ride prior to purchasing a ticket.
Insider Tip: This is one of the hottest tickets in town, and tickets have been selling out by 3:30 p.m. After 3 p.m. call 509-548-5477 to see about availability. Take note, unlike other tubing hills, this one is in-person ticket purchasing only.
Michael Adams Tubing Park
10701 Ski Hill Dr.
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Cost: $23/person. Season passes available.
Hours: Dependent on weather conditions. Call for times.
Paradise Visitor's Center on Mt. Rainier
If you're looking for a snowy paradise, look no further than the Snowplay area at the Paradise Visitor's Center on Mt. Rainier. The area opens based on snowfall, and families can usually expect to start their play sometime in late December and enjoy it through mid-March. (Five feet of snow-pack is the minimum to open; check online before heading out). This winter wonderland is a DIY-ers delight as it's bring your own tubes and sleds (only soft/flexible sleds and saucers are allowed; no hard runner sleds or true toboggans) for hours of unlimited play. Our favorite part? All fourth graders—and fifth graders through August 2021—plus their families can get their free park pass by going to the Every Kid Outdoors website and following the instructions. If you don't have a fourth or fifth grader, you'll need a park pass to visit.
Good to Know: All cars are required to carry chains in winter while in the park. 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
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 and views that are hard to beat. Riders make their way down the hill on tubes provided by Hurricane Ridge at no extra charge. The runs operate on a first come, first served basis—if there's room when you arrive, your hour starts when you get there. 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.
Good to Know: The National Park charges an entrance fee, $30 per car, or you can purchase a yearly pass for $55. 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.
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. There's currently no food service available here, so pack plenty of nourishment to keep your crew fueled all day long.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor's Center
3002 Mount Angeles Rd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Hours: Typically open Fri.-Sun. & holidays. Check the website for updates.
Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel Inner Tubing Hill
If you want to couple a winter weekend getaway with your snow play, Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel is the place to do it. Not only do guests get to enjoy the tubing hill, but they also get exclusive access to the picturesque skating rink (guests will need a reservation for both). They've also got a whole universe of adventure with everyone in mind, including axe throwing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobile tours that don't require a stay. The best part? This snow-scape play place is less than two hours from the city.
Good to Know: Due to reduced capacity requirements, tubing and ice skating are reserved for hotel guests (psst...day-of walk-ups may be available to the public), but other winter activities are open to everyone. For tubing riders must be 42” tall and the minimum age for a child to ride is three years old. Adults and children must ride alone for safety reasons. No pets allowed on the hill.
Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel
3600 Suncadia Trail
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Cost: $20/rider for a two hour session
Hours: Weds.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., depending on weather. Check the website for daily updates.
White Pass Winter Carnival
Looking for an all-out snow festival? Think ahead and keep your early March calendar open for the White Pass Winter Carnival. Organizers are working to bring this annual favorite back for 2021, in some form or another. In the past, it's included a huge snow castle for kids to slide on, snow sculptures, live music, a carnival and snow sports competitions for kids and adults. Although things will look different this year, we're sure they'll be plenty of snow and fantastic creations for you fam to enjoy.
Good to Know: The White Pass ski resort experienced a serious upgrade a few years ago, so if you want to get in a few ski runs as well, it would be a fun place to do it. Just remember to reserve your lift tickets well in advance.
White Pass Ski Area
48935 US Hwy. 12
Naches, WA 98937
If it snows in Seattle…There’s nothing quite like a full day of snow-bound play to make all the comforts of home and family so delightful. If we get snow in the city, be sure to try these local golf courses available for snow play: Jackson Park, Jefferson Park, Interbay and West Seattle.
—Allison Sutcliffe, Kristina Moy & Katie Gruver