The Northwest’s Best Spots For Playing in the Snow

If you’re a skier or a snowboarder, you probably already know where to hit the slopes, but what if you just want to get out and play? There are lots of fun winter sports opportunities in the Northwest, like tubing, sledding and snowshoeing, including these.

Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

The Snoqualmie Pass The Summit Tubing Center offers postcard-perfect snow tubing with 12 individual lanes of groomed snow on gently sloped hills that are around the length of a football field. You don’t have to worry about lugging the tubes back uphill either as you’ll have a tow to get you effortlessly to the top. Each tubing ticket is good for a two-hour session which is usually more than enough time to wear anyone out. There’s also café onsite for snacks afterwards.

Hyak Sno-Park, Washington

Hyak Sno-Park is the closest snow park to Seattle. While it’s near Snoqualmie Pass, it isn’t associated with the Summit East area of Snoqualmie ski resort. Sledding here is free, but you’ll have to get a Sno-Park day permit and have a Discover Pass too. The sledding hills are groomed as often as five times a week, and the surrounding area is popular for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There are no facilities other than porta-potties here, so you’ll need to bring your own sleds or tubes, snacks, water, etc.

Lake Wenatchee State Park, Washington

Lake Wenatchee and the surrounding area is absolutely stunning in the winter. Located about 30 minutes west of the Bavarian-style town of Leavenworth, it also offers a tubing hill and a designated snow play area. There’s no tow rope, this is all old-fashioned tubing and sledding, so you’ll need to your bring own, walk to the top, glide down to the bottom, and do it all over again. A Sno-Park permit is required.

Mount Spokane Tubing Hill, Washington

The Mount Spokane Tubing Hill offers 90-minute sessions on weekends and holidays throughout the season. The sessions include a rope tow here so you’ll probably be able to get quite a few more rides in before wearing yourself out.

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington

Located in Olympic National Park about 17 miles from Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge has a small skiing and snowboarding area as well as a dedicated tubing run. On site is also a visitor center with a snack bar, warming area, restrooms and exhibits.

Mount Bachelor, Oregon

Mount Bachelor is famous for skiing and boarding, but fans of tubing can get their kicks by whizzing down 800-foot lanes. Those who prefer something less thrilling can take a free guided snowshoe tour or even ride behind a team of sled dogs.

Crater Lake, Oregon

One of the most visited parks in Oregon is perhaps even more spectacular in winter, often nearly deserted when blanketed with snow.  Snowshoers and Nordic skiers will have virtually free range of the deep snow that covers the caldera’s rim and surrounding wilderness. Free snowshoe tours are led by park rangers, while the experienced and adventurous may want to snowshoe around the 30-mile rim and camp along the way.

Tubing Center Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, Oregon

Less than two hours from Portland, Cooper Spur offers a fun day of tubing near Mount Hood. It’s a great place for families as it has an easy rope lift for getting to the top as well as a fun carousel-style ride for the little ones.

Ski Bowl at Mount Hood, Oregon

Just over an hour from Portland, the Ski Bowl at Mount Hood and offers a variety of activities. In addition to tubing that includes a conveyor belt lift so you don’t have to trudge up the hill, it also has a tubing carousel and mini-snowmobiles.

Gateway Park at Eagle Island State Park, Boise, Idaho

The first and longest official tubing hill in Boise sits alongside a host of other attractions at Eagle Island State Park. In addition to tubing, the park offers skiing and snowboarding and tubing, with tubes included in the daily ride fee.

Cherry Hill Park, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Cherry Hill Park is a local favorite for sledding. When it fills up, the city usually opens up Lost Avenue – Dollar Street to 15th Street, South Dollar Street, as well as the area south of Sherman Avenue, and Boyd Avenue – 9th Street to 10th Street for those who want to sled.

Hermit’s Hollow – Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, Idaho

The views here are amazing and the tubing hill is more than 300-feet-long. It provides the tubes as well as a tow rope and a warming hut that serves snacks and drinks.