Idaho January 12, 2017
Here Are the 12 Best Places To Go Sled Riding In Idaho This Winter
Sledding is one of those quintessential winter activities that no snow season is complete without–at least, at the rare times that we have snow that actually sticks around for more than a few hours. But considering all of the snow Idaho has seen over the past few week (insane weather changes and phenomena aside), it’s safe to say that winter is heavily upon us.
While skiing and snowboarding tend to be a big deal at our resorts and mountain getaways, if you’re like me, you might not have the balancing and shredding skills to make that happen. Plus, you’re never too old to go sledding– and talk about the perfect family day out! A generic red disc or classic sled are both good options for this beloved classic, but tubing is another delightful way to speed down Idaho’s hilly terrain. Fortunately, ideal sledding spots are never-ending in the Gem State–you just have to get out away from the main roads and explore a bit! All that said, here are some of Idaho’s top-rated spots for sledding, tubing and good old fashioned winter fun.
1. Idaho X-Sports Adventure Park, Garden Valley
Whether you’re a wintertime daredevil with a need for speed or simply an onlooker hoping to appreciate the lovely scenery, Idaho X-Sports has you covered. Multiple tubing lanes for both large groups and individuals barrel riders down a 900-foot slope and out into the valley clearing. Bonus points for the tube tow-rope and added warming hut! Fees apply.
2. Gateway Park - Eagle Island State Park, Boise
Boise's first and longest official tubing hill is nestled alongside a bevy of other attractions at Eagle Island State Park. Located just outside of Boise, this snowpark offers skiing, snowboarding and tubing for all ages. Tubes are available with your daily ride fee as well!
3. Pepsi Goldrush - Bogus Basin
This tube-only hill at one of the Boise valley's favorite snowy getaways offers an 800-foot slope with a paddle tow, tubes included in the daily fee.
6. Cherry Hill Park, CdA
Cherry Hill Park in Coeur d'Alene is a local favorite when it comes to sledding, and for good reason. But if the crowds get a little too overwhelming, CdA typically opens Lost Avenue - Dollar Street to 15th Street, South Dollar Street - The area south of Sherman Avenue, and Boyd Avenue - 9th Street to 10th Street to enthusiastic sledders.
5. Steamboat Gulch, Idaho City
Whether you're visiting Idaho City for a stay in one of the town's backcountry yurts, or whether there to explore and play, Steamboat Gulch is yet another local favorite that hearkens back to simpler times. No tow ropes, no boundaries--just climbing and sledding until your frozen toes need a break. A nominal fee applies.
6. McCall Activity Barn
Leisurely, 800-foot tubing lanes with a vertical drop of 85 feet, alongside a toasty warming hut make up this delightful daytrip--made even more awesome by the "people tow" line up the hill. The Activity Barn also has groomed Nordic ski trails, a rail park and and beginner ski slope. Fees apply, but you can show your Brundage season pass to get a discount.
7. Hermit's Hollow - Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint
While the lanes may be shorter, the view is fantastic and the air is uber fresh! At over 300 feet long, the tubing hill at Schweitzer includes a tow rope, tubes, and a warming hut stocked with drinks and snacks. Fees apply, and reservations are required.
8. Ammon Park and Bartz Field, Pocatello
Ammon Park seems like it was built for sled enthusiasts. This Pocatello park sits in a small valley ravine with hills of various sizes rising on all sides, perfect for switching up your sledding style and speed. Bartz Field is a more popular spot for the college-aged ISU crowd, but safety precautions should be followed to avoid hitting trees and obstacles.
9. East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center, Pocatello
Located about 7 miles from Pocatello. the East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center is operated by the City of Pocatello along with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and volunteers from the Pocatello Cross-Country Ski Foundation. Operated under a special use permit through the USFS, it hosts approximately 20k of groomed skate and classic ski trails, as well as separate snowshoe trails and a sledding hill. For sledders, it is also home to a sledding hill that’s approximately 60 yards long, with unique banked corners that provide an extra challenge. Plus, distant mountain views, few crowds, and a warming hut nearby. A nominal fee applies for parking.
10. Farragut State Park, Athol
Farragut State Park is a beautiful 4000 acre outdoor recreation area on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding are all major activities at Farragut State Park once the snow falls--each with its own distinct area of the park--but conditions vary due to its low elevation. Be sure to stop and drink in the beautiful mountain and lake views, however! Regular park use fees apply.
11. Magic Mountain, Hansen
Located just a half-hour south of Hansen, Magic Mountain has a full-fledged tubing lift, a snow bus shuttle, and multiple lanes for tubing. Of course, Magic Mountain is also a fantastic overlooked ski destination, so don't limit yourself if you could use a weekend to chill (literally) in more ways than one.
12. Penny Hill, Sun Valley
For those who don't want to dish out a fortune, a popular spot in Sun Valley is Penny Hill, conveniently located at the corner of Sun Valley Road and Saddle Road. The top rises up about 200 feet above street level with a lower false peak about half as high for amateurs. Be careful not to hit it when coming down from the top! The slope can get icy, but that just satisfies your need for speed, am I right?
It’s easy to find the perfect sledding spot around here; the real challenge is nabbing a hill before the crowds come! If that’s the case, sledding’s dangerous relatives include ice-blocking, hooky-bobbing, and 4-wheeler towing. Which is your favorite?