We haven't had the massive snowfall yet of the epic 2015-16 winter, but even a few inches of snow is enough for sledding. Though it may not be ideal for the morning commute, a blanketing of snow gives plenty of opportunities for those looking for some sledding or tubing fun a good chance to get in on the action.
Grab your toboggans, sleds, tubes or trash can lids and head to one of these sledding hot – or rather, cool – spots.
Tahoe Meadows Snow Play Area
Just beyond the Mount Rose Summit lies what is arguably the best, most popular sledding spot in the area: Tahoe Meadows. With no parking or usage fees and ample spots for sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just playing in the snow, Tahoe Meadows can be found along Mount Rose Highway about 20 miles outside of Reno. Park near the trailhead for the Tahoe Rim Trail on either shoulder of the highway, which are kept clear of snow. Location: 22222 Mount Rose Highway.
North Tahoe Regional Park Snow Play Area
Located in Tahoe Vista on Lake Tahoe's north shore, North Tahoe Regional Park has rentable sleds for day use, as well as tickets for sale for the snow play areas. Snowmobiles are also available for rent from the office located near the main parking lot. There is a $5 day-use fee. Location: 6600 Donner Road, Tahoe Vista.
Spooner Summit Snow Park
Nine miles south of Incline Village, Spooner Summit is a free snow play area with hills appropriate for sledding and tubing. While no permits or fees are required, there are no rentals of clothing or equipment, so be sure to come prepared with everything you need for a day out in the snow. Location: U.S. 28 at U.S. 50.
Blizzard Mountain at Sierra-at-Tahoe has two lift-accessible tubing lanes for kids and adults 42 inches and taller, and an expanded snow play area for playing, sledding and exploring. Sleds can be rented from the resort or you can bring your own. Blizzard Mountain also offers snow toys free for use in the snow play area, which costs $10 per person for access, as well as fire pits and s’mores. Location: 1111 Sierra at Tahoe Road, Twin Bridges, California.
Incline Village Snow Play Area
The hills at Incline’s snow play area are gently sloping and suitable for even the youngest and newest of sledding adventurers. Bring your own equipment and enjoy this free, mellow snow play area where little ones can test out their snow legs without fear of being plowed down by speeding sledders. Location: 955 Fairway Blvd., Incline Village.
Tahoe Donner Snow Play Area
With admission prices ranging from free to $19, the snow play area at Tahoe Donner has sledding, tubing and dedicated snow play areas, and all equipment necessary comes with the park entrance fee. Hot cocoa and fire pits are available on premises to help guests warm up between runs and a variety of special events are planned throughout the season. Location: 12790 Northwoods Blvd., Truckee.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
Snow play areas, a snow-park-adjacent lodge and even mini-snowmobile rentals for a kids are available at the SnoVentures Activity Zone at Squaw Valley. SnoVentures offers gently-sloping terrain with dedicated areas for tubing and sledding, as well as beginner skiers and snowboarders, though older kids will probably have the most fun on the tubing runs. The lodge contains fire pits for warming up and roasting marshmallows, and rates run $29 for 55-minute sessions on the tubing hills. Location: 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Squaw Valley.