Snow Much Fun! Where to Go to Play in the Snow

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After last week’s epic snowfall, we’re guessing Seattle families can count on the snow in the mountains all winter long. If you didn’t get enough snow play recently, there are more than a few sweet spots near Seattle where you can take your kids snow tubing and sledding. From groomed tubing runs and gently sloping sledding hills to snow play areas, here’s where Seattle families can continue getting in on one of winter’s best pastimes!


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Hyak Sno-Park

sledding near Seattle
Jode P. via yelp

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 families spend hours playing here whenever they get the chance. The sledding hill is open for the 2021-22 season, or you can 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: If Hyak is a bit too crowded, 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 much fun). Planning your snow play during the week is another great way to avoid the crowds.

Hyak Sno-Park
Exit 54 off I-90
509-656-2230 (snow report)
Online: parks.state.wa.us/647/Snow-Play-Sno-Parks

Cost: $25-$27/daily Sno-Park permit; $50-$52/Seasonal 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

sledding, tubing near seattle, summit at Snoqualmie
Michelle B. via yelp

The Summit Tubing Center is snow tubing at its picture perfect best. It’s where families can find over 20 individual lanes (during peak season) of groomed snow on gently sloped hills the length of a football field. Commercial-grade tubes and a conveyor belt tow 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: 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. 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
425-434-6791
Online: summitatsnoqualmie.com

Cost: 2021-22 season pricing TBD 
Hours: 2021-22 hours TBD

Lt. Michael Adams Tubing Park & Golf Course Sledding

Viktor C. via yelp

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, locally known as the Leavenworth Tubing Hill, 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.

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.

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.

Michael Adams Tubing Park
10701 Ski Hill Dr.
Leavenworth, WA 98826
509-548-5477
Online: skileavenworth.com/activities/lt-michael-adams-tubing-park

Cost: 2021-22 pricing TBD
Hours: Dependent on weather conditions. Call for times.

Stevens Pass Nordic Center

snow tubing, sledding
via yelp

Enjoy the beauty of Lower Mill Valley when you bring the kids to the groomed sledding hill at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center (about 5 miles east of Stevens Pass). Bring your own sleds or tubes and plan to stay as long as your little snow bunnies will last before they need to warm up at the nearby Cascade Depot. There’s also a snow play area here, so feel free to throw snowballs and build castles and people when the kids need a change of pace. 

Stevens Pass Nordic Center
U.S. Hwy. 2
Leavenworth, WA
Online: stevenspass.com

Cost: Free

Paradise Visitor’s Center on Mt. Rainier

sledding seattle, mt rainier sledding
NPS photo via flickr

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 enjoy the mountain snow from mid-December 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 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 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
360-569-6571
Online: nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/winter-recreation.htm#CP_JUMP_192345

Cost: $30/day per family for up to seven days; $55/family for Mt. Rainier Annual Pass
Hours: TBD

Suncadia Resort, Sledding on the Hill

suncadia winter activities sledding
courtesy Suncadia Resort

If you want to couple a winter weekend getaway with your snow play, Suncadia Resort is the place to do it. Not only can visitors enjoy the tubing hill, but they can also work on their sweet skating moves at the picturesque ice skating rink on the property (you’ll 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.

Suncadia Resort, A Destination Hotel
3600 Suncadia Trail
Cle Elum, WA 98922
509-649-6400
Online: destinationhotels.com/suncadia-resort/

Cost: $10/tube
Hours: 1-hr. long sessions scheduled between 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.

White Pass Tubing Hill

tubing sledding near seattle, white pass
White Pass via yelp

Looking to make your tubing day totally epic? Head out of town to White Pass. No need to make a reservation. This spot is first-come, first-served and the two-hour sessions will give you plenty of time to wear the kids out on the hill. While you can BYO tube, no sleds or toboggans (think: wood, plastic or metal) are allowed. This is a weekend-only activity, so make the most of it with an overnight stay and maybe a few runs on the slopes or a twilight snowshoe tour.

Insider tip: Looking for an all-out snow festival? Think ahead and plan to attend the White Pass Winter Carnival on March 5, 2022. We’re talking a huge snow castle for kids to tube on, snow sculptures, live music and fireworks that will light up the night. 

White Pass Ski Area
48935 US Hwy. 12
Naches, WA 98937
509-672-3100
Online: skiwhitepass.com/tubing-hill

Cost: $8/session (9 & up); $5/session (8 & under); $5 for tube rental
Dates: Fri., 11: 30 a.m. & 2 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Hurricane Ridge Tube Run

sledding
iStock

Located just 17 miles from Port Angeles in 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. If you’ve got kids ages 8 and under, you’ll want to BYO sled to the Small Children’s Snow Play Area right next to the visitor’s center to make the most of your snow day. 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. 

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.

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.

Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center
3002 Mount Angeles Rd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362
848-667-7669
Online: hurricaneridge.com

Cost: $14/hour
Hours: Typically open Sat., Sun. & Monday holidays. Check the website for updates.

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 ParkJefferson ParkInterbay and West Seattle.

 

—Allison Sutcliffe, Kristina Moy & Katie Gruver

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