Bundle up in your warmest winter weather gear and head to these nearby snowy destinations with the kids

The outdoor fun doesn’t slow down when winter rolls around. Whether you’re craving a winter hike near Portland or seeking a full weekend getaway in the area, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and breathe the fresh, cold air.  Fortunately, it’s just a short drive away to Mt. Hood, where families with kids of all ages can enjoy snow tubing. But if you’re looking to stay closer to home, we’ve got hot spots to go sledding near Portland, too. So, grab your tube, sled, or snow disc and get ready to slide because we’ve put together an amazing list of all of the best places to ride.

Snow Tubing: Mt. Hood Hot Spots

1. Mt Hood—Skibowl

This is Portland’s favorite sledding destination and for good reason. There’s a lot to love, with specially designed tubes and well-groomed slopes. A conveyor lift makes the ride to the top of the hill almost as fun as the tube ride down. Plus, come back at night for Cosmic Tubing, where LED lights illuminate the slopes for even more downhill exhilaration.

Dates: Through April 2, 2023
Cost: Day Tubing is $30-$36/adult & $25-$31/kid; Cosmic Tubing is $35-$39/adult & $30-$34/kid

87000 US 26
Government Camp, OR
Online: skibowl.com

2. Cooper Spur Resort

For a great introduction to snow tubing, head to this resort for full-service fun. With a cozy lodge and snow tubes included with your tubing ticket, the whole family can enjoy a full day of frolicking in the snow. Kids under 42” should try out the Children’s Snow Carousel, a merry-go-round that pulls children around in the snow, while taller kids can head out to the hills. When your crew is tuckered out, take a break in the lodge with a mug of hot cocoa. Be sure to leave personal sleds and snow discs behind—they aren’t allowed on the hills—and check the website for weather conditions that might temporarily close tubing lanes.

Dates & Times: Sat. & Sun., Dec. 17, 2022-March 5, 2023; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $39-$49/adults; $29-$39/kids, 7-14; Free, kids 6 & under

10755 Cooper Spur Rd.
Mount Hood, OR
Online: cooperspur.com

3. Mt Hood—Snow Bunny & Summit Pass (formerly Summit Ski Area)

Since 1927, the Summit Pass area in Government Camp has been providing consistent, family-oriented fun for both beginners and more experienced winter-sport aficionados. Pick up an all-day pass for the dedicated tubing hill, which includes the use of a snow tube, and enjoy a full day of fun. Or, take a short drive east to Snow Bunny, which also offers tubing on weekends and holidays. It’s a little smaller than Summit so it’s a good option for younger kids. Call ahead for conditions.

Dates & Times: Opens Dec. 16; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $27/person

90255 Government Camp Loop
Hwy. 26 at Government Camp
Online: timberlinelodge.com

Related: 9 Easy Weekend Getaways Your Family Needs This Winter


Take the Kids Sledding near Portland When the Snow Flies

A child in blue winter gear sleds down a snowy hill near Portland followed by his two friends

4. Trillium Lake 

This area provides amazing views of Mt. Hood and is known for its family-friendly recreation opportunities in the summer time. In winter, it offers steep chutes that you'll find tucked away at the end of the parking lot and makes a nice alternative to Snow Bunny (across the highway). There are enough variations in slopes to please the most beginner or advanced sledder in your crew. Please remember to check road conditions here before heading over.

Cost: $10/vehicle

Off Hwy. 26
Government Camp, OR
Online: fs.usda.gov/recarea

5. Sellwood Park

With mellow slopes that are great for beginners, families who want to sled (but don't want to commit to a long drive) love this park and sledding spot south of downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River.

S.E. 7th Ave. & Miller St.
Online: portland.gov/parks/sellwood-park

6. Gabriel Park

Well known in the warmer months for its skateboarding, Gabriel Park invites you to sled down the half-pipe or shred gnar on one of its many rolling hills when (or better yet, if) snow falls in the city.

S.W. 45th Ave. & Vermont St.
Online: portland.gov/parks/gabriel-park

A happy boy slides down a snowy hill near Portland on a blue sled

7. White River Sno-Park

Pick a spot, any spot, on this unregulated hill between Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline, about a half mile uphill from the parking lot. It’s free and offers a variety of terrain, but be sure to choose a spot well away from the river, and watch for exposed rocks when snow is low. With beautiful views of Mt. Hood, it’s also a popular destination for snowshoeing. Get there early on snowy weekends to grab a parking spot.

Dates: Through April 30
Cost: Free; $4 daily Sno-Park Pass

Oregon Highway 35
Approx. 4 miles north of US Highway 26
Online: fs.usda.gov

8. Little John Sno-Park

A few extra miles down the road, this unregulated sledding spot is great for free, old-fashioned fun. Bring your own tube or disc (no sleds, toboggans, or skis, please), and be prepared to trek back to the top once you’ve slid down one of many hills (there’s no conveyor lift here). But that’s part of the fun, right? To make sure the good times keep rolling for your gang, be sure to read safety information posted near the play hill and consider bringing along helmets for kids.

Dates: Through April 30
Cost: Free admission, $4 daily Sno-Park Pass

Oregon Highway 35
30 miles south of Hood River
Online: fs.usda.gov

Related: The Best Places to Snowshoe with Kids

Snow tubing & sledding tips for a successful trip:

1. Most places on the slopes require a Sno-Park Permit, available in daily, 3-day, and annual increments. Pick one up at your local DMV or at many Bi-Rite and outdoor stores.

2. Check the road conditions before you head out—Mt Hood can get snowy and stormy very fast. Pack tire chains in addition to cold weather gear, food and water, and other comforts to keep you happy on a day in the cold.

3. Also be aware that some locations require tickets and gear rental on-site (no personal equipment allowed), while other slopes just provide the snow.

Additional reporting by Dhyana Levey

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