10 Spots for Sledding and Snow Tubing near Los Angeles for Winter Thrills and Chills
Snow in LA? Why not! Living near the beach doesn't mean sand sledding is our only winter sport. A short drive up into the mountains allows our SoCal kids the magical mixture of snow, cold air, velocity, and cocoa that makes snow sledding and tubing endlessly enticing. Skiing is great, but there's nothing quite like good, old-fashioned sledding.
Looking for more snowy adventures? We've got a list of all the places where you can find snow near Los Angeles, plus the best ski resorts and ski destinations in the country in our Ultimate Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Sports Guide.
Our list includes established snow play destinations as well as some off-the-beaten-path places to try. Most of the established spots are open on holidays—assuming there is snow or the ability to make it. Always call or check the websites before heading out. The off-the-beaten-path spots don't produce snow, so for those you just have to keep an eye on the weather.
Parks for Sledding and Snow Tubing near Los Angeles
1. Mt. Baldy Snow Play Park — Mt. Baldy
8401 Mt Baldy Rd.
Mt Baldy, CA 91759
Round Trip Scenic Lift: 8am-4pm
Snow Play Area: 8:30am-4pm
Prices vary by day, (around $70 on weekends for the snow pass with scenic ride). Must be over 40" to snow tube.
Things have changed a bit at Mt. Baldy with the introduction of their new Snow Play Park. An all-day pass includes a round-trip Scenic Lift Ticket and unlimited day access to the Snow Play Park. And yes that includes tubing and sledding with multiple tubing lanes — some as long as 150 feet! What's not to love? Especially since it's the closest skiing/tubing resort to LA.
RELATED: Where To Find Snow near Los Angeles
And away we go! Photo courtesy of Mt. Baldy
2. Yeti's Snow Play at Mountain High — Wrightwood
Wrightwood, CA 92397
Hours: 9am-4pm weekends and holidays. Open 10am-4pm on select weekdays starting December 19, seven days a week during the holidays (check for specific dates).
All activities pass: $79 (all ages), Tubing, Sledding & Snow Play: $59 (all ages), Children Under 32" are just $30 and have access to Snow Play only. Parking is $20.
Heralded as Southern California's closest winter resort with no mountain driving, Mountain High is worth a visit. The Tubing Park—Southern California's largest facility—is located at the North Resort and has a very basic bar/restaurant adjacent. Moving carpet lifts mean no lugging up the hill, and tubers get a solid push down the slope by attendants who are happy to strive for the longest run possible. Check out the real-time cameras. (While you're at it, check out our review of Mountain High's Children's Ski Academy).
Belly flop tubing! Photo courtesy of Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
3. Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park — Green Valley Lake
34600 CA-18, Green Valley Lake, CA 92341
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm; Sat-Sun & holidays 9am-5pm
$20/hour per person. Children under 36" are free with a paying adult. Parking is $10. Cash only—there's an ATM on-site.
No fancy lifts here, but there are stairs for your climbing convenience. Snowdrift claims to be Southern California's largest and oldest tubing park. Follow the rules, and you're in for a blast. Everyone who enters Snowdrift must have a signed release. You can download one off the internet and have it filled out ahead of time to get playing faster.
Snowdrift is still getting ready for the season as of our publish date, so check the website for opening dates.
Who says SoCal isn't a winter wonderland? Photo courtesy of Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
4. Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain — Big Bear Lake
800 Wildrose Ln.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Hours: Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10am-Dusk.
Snow Play With Magic Carpet General Admission Day Session: $40, Night Session: $40. Children 36" - 42" tall $25. Children under 36" are not allowed past the Snow Play gate.
Sledding luxury? The Alpine Slide just might have it. What could be more welcoming than a Plexiglass-covered (i.e. toasty warm) Magic Carpet lift that carries you back up the hill after your ride? And lights for evening sliding? This tubing destination requires a longer car ride, but thanks to regular snow (and the natural stuff) the conditions are almost always fine. Added bonus: you might get to see a bald eagle overhead.
Alpine is another sledding spot that requires a signed waiver, and doing that on the premises means signing on a public iPad. If you prefer, you can download, print, and sign a copy from Alpine's website before arriving. Only cash is accepted on site, though ATMs are available.
5. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to Mount San Jacinto State Park — Palm Springs
1 Tram Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Hours: Monday-Friday trams depart starting at 10am and the last tram down the mountain leaves at 9:30pm; Saturdays and Sundays trams depart starting at 8am and the last tram down the mountain leaves at 9:30pm check online for details about special hours.
Adults $29.95; Children (3-12) $17.95; Seniors $27.95; Under 3 free
Prices and hours of operation are subject to change without notice.
Hop aboard the Tram in the desert and take a truly breathtaking slow climb up the mountain with a 360-degree panoramic view of Palm Springs and beyond. Arrive in an Alpine winter wonderland. Bring your own sled and run and romp to various makeshift hills. Snowman building and snowball throwing encouraged. While this is doable as a day trip, think about staying and playing in Palm Springs for an overnight getaway. Palm Springs is glorious with kids in the winter!
6. Laguna Mountain Lodge — Mt. Laguna
10678 Sunrise Hwy.
Mt. Laguna, CA 91948
San Diego County may be a bit of a trek. But hey, there's lodging, ample space for stomping, and sledding during snow season.
7. Snow Valley Mountain Resort — Big Bear Lake
35100 State Hwy.
Running Springs, CA. 92382
Non-Holiday Fri, Sat, Sun (Lift Serviced) — Full day 7+: $42, Full day 6 & under: $28, Late day (3-4pm): $20
Mon-Thurs Non-Holiday (Not Lift Serviced) — Full day 7+: $24, Full day 6 & under: $19, Late day (3-4pm): $14
Holiday Periods (Lift Serviced) — Full day 7+: $52, Full day 6 & under: $39, No late day snow play
While the resort is best known for its skiing, Snow Valley Mountain Resort also has Snow Play where the sleds are provided! The Snow Play area is serviced by the lift on Friday, weekends, and holidays. Snow Valley boasts the longest sledding runs in the region.
8. Snow N Glow — Ventura and Del Mar
Hours: 4pm-10pm (timed tickets) on select dates; open through December 26, 2022 in Ventura and through January 1, 2022 in Del Mar. Open on weekends only and daily the week of Christmas.
$35.99 per person in Ventura
$42.99 per person in Del Mar
With two locations, you don't have to travel up into the mountains to enjoy a snow tube ride! The limited-time holiday experience has two locations, one in Ventura and one in Del Mar. In addition to unlimited snow tube rides, there is music, food, a holiday light trail, and a snow play area.
9. Lake Forest Snowfest — Orange County
21701 Pittsford Dr.
Lake Forest, CA 92630
This is a one-day-only opportunity in Orange County! Bring the family to Pittsford Park for a day of snow play — the official date is still to be decided. Sleds and saucers are provided for 90-minute sledding sessions. Pre-registration is mandatory. $7 wristbands must be pre-purchased at Lake Forest Community Center.
10. Winter Fest OC — Costa Mesa
OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
In addition to tons of other festival activities, kids can now snow tube at Winter Fest OC in Costa Mesa! Hosted, as ever, at the OC Fair & Event Center, the winter wonderland announced its new-for-2022 150-foot ice tubing slide. There's also an immersive walk-through light display, ice skating, a snowboard simulator and as usual, a market with food and drinks, interactive activities and great photo-ops.
Make Your Own Trails for Sledding near Los Angeles
Save a little money, perhaps, or avoid possible crowds and lines by seeking your own hilly sled trails. Here are a few options:
11. Palomar State Park — Los Padres National Forest
19952 State Park Rd.
Palomar Mountain, CA 92060
12. Mount Pinos — Los Padres National Forest
Mt. Pinos Ranger District
34580 Lockwood Valley Rd. Frazier Park, CA 93225
If there's been rain in the city in December or January, there's a good chance that Mount Pinos has snow for the sledding, only 90 minutes away. A one-day pass for parking in the forest covers a whole carload of snow lovers. We recommend calling Mt. Pinos Ranger District office before making the drive to make sure roads and restrooms are open.
For folks willing to trek farther afield, check out a few other recommendations.
Big Bear Snow Play is fun for all ages. Photo courtesy of Snow Valley Mountain Resort
Things to Bring and Consider
Sledding is usually harmless, and when you're on your own without a tubing attendant, common sense keeps it that way. Make sure you know the sled's path, so you don't end up colliding with a tree, rock, or fence. And always monitor your kids for fatigue and cold. Have water and snacks handy; trudging through the snow builds an appetite. Have a blanket in the car in case traffic is thick on the ride home (and kids are cold or wet). Otherwise, throw caution to the chilly wind and let the snowy decline carry you away.
Sports stores and Target sell inexpensive sleds, tubes, and saucers. But you can also get creative and supply your own. Cafeteria trays work (I’ve used them) as do boogie boards and trash can lids. A piece of thick cardboard will even do in a pinch.
Also, remember: decent snow for sledding means possible snow and ice on the roads as well. Check the local weather and road conditions (or call 800.427.ROAD) before heading out, as you may need chains for your tires.
- Wear layers so that you can start warm and peel off clothing as needed. Waterproof clothing is best.
- Bring a change of clothes; sledding and tubing can make for wet clothing.
- Wear sunscreen. UVB rays are stronger the higher the elevation. Even though it may be cold outside, the winter sun still reaches your skin.
Originally published December 23, 2011