Mt. Hood: A Sledding and Tubing Paradise for Families

Mt. Hood: A Sledding and Tubing Paradise for Families

Winter season always brings exciting outdoor opportunities for families. And nothing says winter family fun like a pristine afternoon on a snow-studded hill. It may be too early for young ones to engage in snowboarding and skiing, but do not fret. There is no shortage of spots for a safer alternative: tubing and sledding. And instead of just dragging the sled up the nearest hill, why not check out one the most special family retreats, Mt. Hood in Oregon? You can have a blast with both activities, especially if you are visiting from a climate without much snow. After all, it is a place where adventurous winter dreams come to life.

A titan to behold

Mt. Hood is located some 50 miles east-southwest of Portland. It is the unmatched, towering giant of Oregon, but also one of the loftiest mountains in the U.S, respective of its prominence. With the height of over 11,200 feet and numerous establishments, it is a prime destination for people across the country. There are also a lot of nice events taking place, such as Saturday Night Lights, Hope on the Slopes, New Year Eve’s Extravaganza, ’80 night, Snow Beach Festival, rail jams, etc. Let us also not forget that it rains almost daily in the Cascade Range. Thus, the reason why many families go there is to enjoy some sledding and tubing at Mt. Hood.

Safety precautions

Before we get to that, I would prompt you to stay on the safe side. Namely, the slippery roads on Mt. Hood can be rather treacherous. You should not venture there without proper winter gear. Try to avoid times of high traffic and check the weather forecast beforehand. It is preferable to have a 4×4 vehicle or a front-wheel-propelled car equipped with chains. Now, you might have heard that Mt. Hood is also a dormant volcano and that is true. However, there is no reason to fear. The chances of it becoming active in the next 30 years are meager. Therefore, it is perfectly safe for you to bring your family and go for good old Mt. Hood tubing/ sledding.

Winter bliss

Speaking of which, what kid does not like sledding? It is one of the favorite pastime activities even for generations practically born with a smartphone in hand. You can rest assured that Mt. Hood sledding is some of the best in the country. You may do it basically for free, except that you need to obtain a permit. And if you prefer tubing, be my guest as well. Despite what some people think, it is actually safer than traditional sledding. There is actually an efficient way to decelerate and steer the tube, by dragging your feet. As an added benefit, you get more trips down the hill as you do not have to bring your sled to the starting point every time.

Where to go?

So, what is the best place to go for some snow tubing at Mt. Hood? Well, Skibowl East has a lot to offer and it is the closest one to Portland. Visitors can take advantage of a wide section of tubes, as well as the only conveyor lift around. I would not miss Cosmic Tubing here, a cool event that takes place on weekends and holidays. It features a mesmerizing atmosphere filled with music and lights. Another cool location is a Summit Ski Area in Government Camp. It is actually the oldest ski area on Mt. Hood, which now doubles as a tubing spot. Here, you cannot bring your own sled, and the tube costs between $20 and $25, depending on whether it is a workday or a weekend.

The list goes on

On the north side of the mountain, which offers majestic views, lies the Copper Spur Mountain Resort. It is a bit quaint and quiet, which goes right up the alley of some families. Most importantly, there is a tubing park with a pretty slope rope there. You pay only 10 for mornings and afternoons. Furthermore, White River Sno-Park gives you a chance not only to enjoy tubing, but also free sledding, snow-shoeing, backcountry skiing, and simple snow play. It can get pretty crowded during the peak of the season, but there are many roads up and down the hill to explore. There are decent hills just five minutes from the road, but some more challenging ones lie further ahead. A breathtaking view of the mountain acts as a backdrop while you go about your escapades.

Let it snow

There are some other spots suitable for tubing and sledding at Mt. Hood, such a Little John Snow Park. It is less crowded and there is plenty of snow fun and play to be had there, at 3,700 feet. Wherever you go, make sure to load properly and wait for instructions from a tube operator. It might be a good idea to seek tandem tubes that allow you to descend downhill together with your little daredevil. Adults sit behind and need to tube face down on a stomach, while the child sits in the front. In case the family is feeling confident, you may also try group riding. It requires each rider to hold onto the handle of an adjacent tube. Finally, remember that tubing areas naturally depend on the amount of snow and general weather conditions.

Winter magic at its finest

There are few palaces that pack so much fun as Mt. Hood does. There is something for everyone, including children. There are various family-friendly amenities and resorts at your disposal. However, do not throw caution to the wind. Mind the road and weather conditions and tool up before you embark. Take baby steps and then see if you are ready to storm down steeper hills. Whether you decide to tube or do some sledding, you are guaranteed a bunch of scream-worthy rides to the bottom. Just bear in mind that the number of tickets is limited for each season. Therefore, it is highly recommended to either call in advance or book tickets online. It is time to have a family time of your life and forge everlasting memories.

Sean Lockwood

Sean is a programmer with a passion for extreme sports. Favourite extreme sports discipline is biathlon. Started this blog because of the great love for nature and adrenaline which results in something extreme like Extreme Sports Lab (ESL).

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