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Top 12 Places to Go Sledding, Tubing & Build a Snowman in Truckee

Siobhan Kenney
December 29, 2022
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Bring on winter family fun! If you’re not skiing or riding with your family, consider one of the following spots for a day of snow play.

Find Truckee Sledding & Snow Play Areas on our Winter Digital Map

Check out our digital, interactive map of Truckee. It shows sledding, snow play, ice skating, downhill and cross country skiing, trailhead parking, outdoor sports shops, scenic paved paths and more!

WINTER DIGITAL MAP

1. NEW! Sugar Rush Tubing

Get your sweet tooth ready to enjoy Sugar Rush Tubing, opening Dec. 17th at Sugar Bowl Resort. The park will feature multiple lanes for snow tubing thrills with a covered moving carpet to whisk you to the top for more. For the little ones in the family, a Snow Play area will be available with a Rotonda, Burton Riglet Boards and the ever-popular Snow Volcano. Stop in for a 2-hr on weekends and holidays.

Open weekends (Saturday and Sunday) plus daily during holiday periods: December 17, 2022-January 1, 2023, January 14-16, 2023, February 18-26, 2023.

2. West End Beach

Truckee's snow play area has got it going on! It offers sweeping views of Donner Lake, easy parking in a large, plowed lot, bathrooms (portapotties), and tons of space for building a snowman or playing in the snow! A Sustainable Truckee sponsorship helped expand snow plowing operations at West End Beach, doubling the amount of winter parking spots to about 60 spaces!

3. Johnson Canyon

Enjoy a peaceful escape to Johnson Canyon, a quiet forest with options for everyone who wants to play in the snow. There are gentle hills for sledding, flat areas for making a snowman, and lots of tall pines to take cover behind during an epic snowball fight.

4. Tahoe Donner Snowplay

Kids can enjoy all of the snowplay activities here, like sledding, tubing, snowman building, snowball fighting, and more. There’s a fun sledding hill with monitored tubing lanes, and best of all, you don’t have to pack a thing - sleds and inner tubes are included in the price of admission. This is a great place to bring small children, with gentle hills that are just steep enough for little ones to feel an exhilarating thrill.

5. Donner Summit SNO-PARK

There are no sledding hills at this location, but it's a great spot to build a snowman, wage a snowball fight, or make snow angels. On weekends, you can warm up with fresh donuts and hot chocolate, sold on site! The best way to enjoy the Donner Summit SNO-PARK is to arrive early and display your parking pass on your dash.

Know Before You Go: No camping allowed per Forest Order 17-22-06. Land adjoining the SNO-PARK is private property. NO Recreational use is allowed on the private property. It's a good idea to have a backup plan, just in case parking is full. When that happens, check out the other great snowplay areas on this list.

PARKING PASS REQUIRED NOV 1 - MAY 30: $15/day or $40/season. Passes sold on site during weekends.

6. Soda Springs Resort

There is so much fun to be had at Soda Springs Resort. Families will love Planet Kids, a snow playground located just across from the ski resort. There are snow “rides,” such as a tubing carousel, and lots of open space for snowball fights, snowman building and whatever else your imagination can think up. While the little ones will enjoy the gentler terrain at Planet Kids, older kids will love spending the day at Tube Town which has up to ten groomed lanes for tubing.

7. Donner Memorial State Park

You won’t find a ton of sledding hills at Donner Memorial State Park, but it sure is one of the most scenic spots in Truckee-Tahoe to play in the snow! Just a short walk will bring you down to the beach where you can marvel at the frozen lake (when temperatures allow) and make a snowman with Donner Summit as your backdrop. Wide-open trails and vistas give it an “off the beaten path” feel, making it an ideal location for an intimate family adventure in the quiet of the State Park’s forest setting.  

8. Disco Tubing at Palisades Tahoe

Saturday nights are for disco tubing under the lights! Palisades Tahoe comes to life colorful LED lights, lasers, and live DJs for disco tubing, a unique family activity everyone will love.

9. Truckee River Regional Park

The Truckee River Regional Park is your one-stop-shop for family fun in the snow with a new sledding hill (conditions dependent). Parking is easy and convenient, and there's no end to flat open fields to build a snowman or nooks and crannies to wage a competitive snowball fight.  

10. Sledding & Snow Play at McIver Dairy Meadow

Located close to Downtown Truckee, McIver Dairy Meadow is a popular sledding and snowplay area that was once the site of a dairy operation. The Truckee River Watershed Council restored McIver Dairy Meadow in 2019, and today, it serves an important role to improve carbon sequestration, increases the quality of the water running into the Truckee River, and provides more habitat for native plants, birds, and wildlife. Note that this is an unmaintained snow play area with no trash or restroom services.

Know Before You Go

  • PACK OUT TRASH & DOG POOP - Help protect this sensitive meadow by leaving the area better than you found it. Bring extra poop baggies for dog waste and pack a reusable bag for trash and broken sled pieces. A good rule of thumb is “If it doesn’t grow here, it doesn’t go here.”
  • RESPECT SIGNAGE - Due to the restoration efforts, sledding at McIver has been relocated away from the sensitive site to allow for rehabilitation and preservation. Please respect signage keeping activity away from the sensitive habitat.
  • PARK IN DOWNTOWN TRUCKEE - Parking is available in the Downtown Truckee parking district, a short walk from the sled hill. DO NOT PARK in front of businesses on Donner Pass Road near the sled hill or in front of the sled hill itself. Parking is prohibited in the street right-of way to enhance safety and to ensure street snow removal and maintenance. Cars parked in unauthorized areas are subject to citation.

Learn more from Town of Truckee and read about the Greening Up McIver Dairy Meadow from the Truckee River Watershed Council.

11. Trout Creek Trail North

The Trout Creek Trail is a scenic paved path in Truckee that offers ample plowed parking and open snowy areas for kids to toss snowballs and make snow angels. Start at the Northwoods Blvd trailhead for easy parking and snow access. After getting your fill of snow play, take a beautiful walk down the 1.5 mile (one-way) plowed trail.

12. Old Greenwood Snow Play

When Truckee receives plenty of snow at lower elevations, the Truckee Donner Land Trust will clear the parking area at their Old Greenwood conservation easement on the north-west corner of the Overland Trail exit off of Interstate 80 for a snow play area close to town! Please be aware there are no restrooms or trash facilities, so plan accordingly and pack all garbage, pet waste and sleds out.

BONUS - 26 Miles of Snow-Free Paved Paths!

Did you know that Truckee has an abundance of dog-friendly winter trails that are plowed in winter and clear of snow?! That's right, 26 miles of scenic paved paths for a refreshing walk with your pup, go on a crisp run, or push a stroller. View our Trails, Maps, Access page to learn more!

How to Sled from Take Care Tahoe

Sledding Tips from Take Care Tahoe

  1. Buy a durable sled that can handle the fun and won't break into pieces. Look for wooden, metal, or inflatable sleds - they'll hold up the best!
  2. Rent a sled or saucer from a Truckee-Tahoe retailer. Just here for a day? View a list of rental locations in this sledding guide.
  3. Pack out your broken sled and know how to properly dispose of it. Recycle it if you can or toss it in the trash.

HOW TO SLED (TAKE CARE TAHOE)

Thanks for doing your part to RECREATE RESPONSIBLY & LEAVE NO TRACE while sledding or play in the snow. Keep our slopes clean by picking up trash and taking home broken sleds.

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