10 Spots for Sledding and Snow Tubing near Los Angeles for Winter Thrills and Chills

Mountain High's snow tubing has great views. Photo by Mommy Poppins
Mountain High's snow tubing has great views. Photo by Mommy Poppins

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 Tubing Park — Mt. Baldy

Tickets
Hours: 3-hour packages begin on the half hour. Friday: 2pm-5pm, Saturday: 8am-5pm, Sunday: 8am-4pm, Monday: 8am-12:30pm.
Prices vary by day, (around $59 on weekends); buying in advance online (before 9pm the night before) gives the best deals. Must be over 40" to ride with a parent, though at some times you must be 48", so be sure to check when you book tickets online. Children must be 48" or taller to ride alone. 

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.

Things are a little different this year; you must pre-book a 3-hour sledding experience, which includes your timed lift up to the sledding park and 2+ hours of sledding and snow play. Due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions, the resort asks that guests head back to the chairlift at the end of the three hours. Top of the Notch Restaurant is open for take-out food, hot drinks (including cocoa), beer, and wine, but seating is not available. 

2021-2022 Season: Mt. Baldy Resort requires that face coverings be worn in all facilities. Designated line markers and rope barriers have been set up in order to keep people moving in the same direction and maintain a distance of at least 10 feet. For details, check the website.

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

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.
Hours: 10am-5pm weekends and holidays. Open weekdays starting December 20, seven days a week during the holidays (check for specific dates).

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).

2021-2022 Season: Mountain High requires that face coverings be worn any time you may encounter people—indoors, in lines, and on lifts. Tickets are only available for purchase online in advance, to reduce attendance levels. For details, check the website.

RELATED: Skiing and Snowboarding Day Trips from Los Angeles

Spots for Sledding and Snow Tubing near Los Angeles: Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
Belly flop tubing! Photo courtesy of Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park

3. Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park — Green Valley Lake

Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm; Sat-Sun & holidays 9am-5pm
$20/hour per person. Children under 36" free with 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 minimize time spent interacting with other people (and to get playing faster).

Snowdrift is still getting ready for the season as of our publish date, so check the website for opening dates.

RELATED: Where To Go Sand Sledding in Los Angeles

Spots for Sledding and 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

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 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.

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

Spots for Sledding and Snow Tubing near Los Angeles: Palm Springs Tram
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

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 $28.95; Children (3-12) $16.95; Seniors $26.95; 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!

2021-2022 Season: Tickets must be purchased in-person at the Tramway upon arrival. Face coverings are required (regardless of vaccination status) at both Valley and Mountain Stations, and while riding in tram cars (gaiters and masks with vents are not allowed). Pines Cafe has grab-and-go food and drinks; Peaks Restaurant is only open for lunch; The Lookout Lounge and Cascade Cafe are open.

6. Laguna Mountain Lodge — Running Springs

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

While the resort is best known for its skiing, Snow Valley Mountain Resort also has Snow Play where the sleds are provided! The resort hasn't released an updated schedule for 2021-2022, but check the website for more information. 

8. Snow N Glow — Ventura and Del Mar

Hours: 4pm-10pm (timed tickets) on select dates; only open through December 26, 2021 in Ventura and through January 2, 2022 in Del Mar.
$35.99 per person
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

This is a one-day-only opportunity in Orange County! Bring the family to Pittsford Park for a day of snow play on January 29, 2022 (rain date February 5). 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.

 

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:

10. Palomar State Park — Los Padres National Forest

19952 State Park Rd.
Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

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. COVID-19 guidelines for state parks are in place. Museums, visitor centers, and restrooms may be closed. Check the website and call before visiting!

11. 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. 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.

Spots for Sledding and Snow Tubing near Los Angeles : What to bring
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.

Lastly:
- 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

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