Snow days aren’t meant for you to be stuck inside. Go sledding! It’s easy, inexpensive and fun for the whole family. And little more is needed than a layer of long underwear, a plastic saucer and a snowy hill.
Yakima is home to one of the best sledding hills around — Franklin Park. But if you’re looking to venture out, there are some great slopes and groomed hills in our mountains.
Here are a few of our favorites sledding spots...
THE SUMMIT AT SNOQUALMIE PASS
Leave your sled at home! The Summit Tubing Center provides professional grade recreational tubes.
Patrons of all ages can enjoy two-hour sledding sessions, which includes the tube, sledding down the machine-groomed hill, and a surface tow to bring you back up the hill. And when you’re finished, grab a bite and warm up at The Summit’s quaint café.
*Waiver required for participation
Hours: Weather permitting, weekend & holiday breaks, 9 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. (Contact Tubing Center to confirm it is open for the season.)
Cost: Sold in two hour sessions. Adults (13+): $20-$22, Youth (6-12): $18-$20, Children (0-5): $5
SNOWPLAY AREA AT PARADISE — MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
Depending on the time of year, Mount Rainier National Park always has something fun (and definitely scenic) to offer its visitors. The wintertime is no exception. The Snowplay Area at Paradise has several runs — several hundred feet in length, which makes for a great day of fun for the whole family.
Hours: Weekends and holiday breaks from mid-December through late March to early April. The snowplay area is open during daylight hours (closed by 4:30 p.m. in December and January, open later with increased daylight hours).
Cost: Free for sledding; however, there is a National Park Service entrance fee - $15/vehicle.
Franklin Park — Yakima
On a snowy day in Yakima, Franklin Park’s mid-town sledding hill is where you’ll find folks of all ages. From its steep slopes and hilly terrain, to its baby bluffs and short runs, there’s a fun hill for everyone. But it does get crowded, so follow our sledding tips for a safe day in the snow.
Hours: Daylight hours
(Note: There is limited, if any, street parking around Franklin; however, there is a newly expanded parking lot at the adjacent Yakima Valley Museum.)
Suncadia’s Rope Tow Inner Tubing Hill — Cle Elum
Located just an hour from town, Suncadia Resort’s Inner Tubing Hill makes for a great day of sledding. Simply slide down, and let the rope tow return you to the top. After that, warm up by the firepit, sip on some cocoa and roast yourself a marshmallow before making your way back home.
*Waiver required for participation
Regularly scheduled sessions:
Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Contact Suncadia to confirm Tubing Hill is open for the season.)
Cost: 10-run punch pass: $20/per pass
20-run punch pass: $35/per pass
Sledding Tips: Safety!
•Choose your hill carefully. Make sure it is free of obstacles and trees, avoid hills that end near a street, pond, fence or other hazard, and choose hills that are snowy rather than icy.
•Wear a helmet. More than half of sledding injuries are head injuries, sending thousands to the ER every year. Cover your head — even with a bike helmet.
•Adult supervision. Guide children in the right direction and identify a meeting spot in case of separation.
•Take caution. Quickly get out of the way, take turns and sled one person at a time.
•Dress in sensible winter clothing. Wear waterproof hats, gloves, snow boots, winter coats and snow pants. If clothing does get wet, change into something dry.
•Skip the scarf. Avoid clothing that can get caught in a sled and pose the risk of strangulation.
•Dress in layers. Long underwear should be your first layer, followed by a sweater and then your outer layer. And avoid cotton, as it holds in moisture.
•Wear sunscreen. The sun reflects off the snow, causing damaging rays, so wear sunscreen in the wintertime too.