Best Snow Tubing near Los Angeles for Families

Some of the tube lanes at Mt. Baldy are as long as 150 feet! Photo courtesy of Mt. Baldy Snow Play Park
Some of the tube lanes at Mt. Baldy are as long as 150 feet! Photo courtesy of Mt. Baldy Snow Play Park
12/8/23 - By Martha Hall

Snow tubing near Los Angeles? 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 hot cocoa that makes sledding and snow tubing near Los Angeles endlessly enticing. Skiing is great, but there's nothing quite like good, old-fashioned sledding and snow tubing.

Now, if you've got a kiddo like mine who gets nervous and a little motion-sick on the steep hills, you might prefer our roundup of places where you can find snow near Los Angeles for some (stationary) snowball fights and snowman-building. Plus, find skiing day trips near Los Angeles, and more winter adventures in our Winter Activities Guide for Los Angeles Kids


Subscribe to our newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox.

Our list includes established snow play destinations as well as some off-the-beaten-path places to try. Always call or check the websites before heading out. The off-the-beaten-path spots don't produce snow, so for those, you'll have to keep an eye on the weather. 

Snow Tubing near Los Angeles in the Mountains

1. Mt. Baldy Snow Play Park — Mt. Baldy

Admission: Prices vary by day. Must be over 40" to snow tube.
Enjoy a day of snowy fun with a Morning or Afternoon Snow Play package. The package includes a Round Trip Scenic Chair Lift ticket and access to the Snow Play Park. The little ones can have a blast with sledding, while the rest can enjoy tubing. It's a perfect winter adventure for the whole family! It's recommended to book tickets online due to limited space. Another benefit is that it's the closest skiing/tubing resort to LA. 

RELATED: Where To Find Snow near Los Angeles

Snow Tubing Near Los Angeles: Mountain High
Mountain High's snow tubing has great views. Photo by Mommy Poppins

2. Yeti's Snow Play at Mountain High — Wrightwood

Admission: 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 means 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). 

3. Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park — Green Valley Lake

Admission: $25/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 publication date, so check the website for opening dates. 

RELATED: Where To Go Sand Sledding in Los Angeles

Snow Tubing Near Los Angeles: Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
Who says SoCal isn't a winter wonderland? Photo courtesy of Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park

4. Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain — Big Bear Lake

Admission: Snow Play With Magic Carpet General Admission Day Session: $45. Children 36" - 42" tall $30. 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 long car ride, but thanks to regular snow (and the natural stuff), the conditions are almost always fine. 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. 

RELATED: Outdoor Ice Skating at the Best Seasonal Ice Rinks in Los Angeles

Snow Tubing near Los Angeles: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Sledding at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Photo by Jeremy Miles/CC BY 2.0

5. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to Mount San Jacinto State Park — Palm Springs

Admission: Adults $30.95; Children (3-12) $18.95; Seniors $28.95; Under 3 free
Prices and hours of operation are subject to change without notice due to weather conditions.
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 are 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. Snow Valley Mountain Resort — Big Bear Lake

Admission: Prices range from $20-$59 depending on date and full or half-day passes.
While the resort is best known for its skiing, Snow Valley Mountain Resort also has Snow Play, where sleds are provided! The Snow Play area is serviced by the lift on Fridays, weekends, and holidays. Snow Valley boasts the longest sledding runs in the region. 

Snow Tubing Near Los Angeles Without the Mountains

7. Winter Fest OC — Costa Mesa 

Admission: Tickets are $25.99 and up.
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 brand new 150-foot ice tubing slide. There's also an immersive walk-through light display, ice skating, 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:

8. Palomar State Park — Los Padres National Forest 

Acres and acres (more than 2,000) to roam and sled and cross-country ski. Check the website for specific spots to head for. A Forest Service Adventure Pass is required. Passes are $10 per day. 

9. Mount Pinos — Los Padres National Forest

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 the Mt. Pinos Ranger District office before making the drive to make sure roads and restrooms are open. 

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 retailers like 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 that 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.

Things To Know Before You Go

  • 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

Places featured in this article: