We are in the midst of winter and there is one thing on every kid’s mind – snow! A sprinkling of cold, white powder can mean so much to so many, but for most it can mean a snow day off of school and an opportunity to ride a sled at warp speed down a hill. When classes are cancelled and you’re bundled up, be sure to check out some of these local sledding spots on the next white out to enjoy fun for the entire family.
Jim Brown Park
Jim Brown Park is a public park located in Tumwater and boasts one of the best hills in all of Thurston County. It’s so steep that sledders and skiers alike practice their moves down it on a glistening, snowy day. Visitors can park nearby on the street, hike up the hill and ride down. At the bottom, the play area becomes a snow fortress for children to explore. This hill is extremely popular as it is walkable from many Tumwater Hill neighborhoods.
Named after the historic Bigelow family, Bigelow Park in Olympia has some spots for sledding as well. These hills are better suited for beginners but would be fun for anyone with a sled. The open field area is also well suited for those looking to try out their snowshoes or cross country skis without having to drive to the mountains.
Known for its annual flooding and morphing from park into wetland, Yauger Park in Olympia is an excellent choice to have some fun in the snow. Wide open fields with steep hills leading up to Cooper Point Road allow sledders to go for distance rather than speed. Take advantage of the nearby playground and full facility bathrooms for an all-day experience.
Chehalis Western Trail
This biking and walking trail runs the span of Thurston County from Yelm to Tenino. While it is usually popular during the sunnier months, believe it or not, it’s a great spot to take a sled, set of snowshoes or cross country skis for an outdoor, snowy adventure. The Western Junction is a good place to start and head out on the trail. Pull your sled through the powder and enjoy the scenery that Thurston County has to offer.
Looking to get out of town or is there just not enough snow in Thurston County to play in? Less than two hours away, residents can slide into Hyak Sno-Park along the I-90 corridor. A one-day pass costs $20 and gives visitors access to multiple sledding hills, trails for snowshoeing, and even the use of the park’s heated bathrooms. The amenities and sledding options make this a very popular place for locals to hit the slopes.
The Summit Tubing Center is the ultimate downhill experience for kids of all ages. The 550-foot-long hill boasts 8 lanes and drops 40 feet in elevation as guests whiz down the hill. Passes range from $26-$30 for everyone over seven years old depending on the day and those six and under are always $10. If you plan ahead, purchase your tickets online for up to half off per ticket. Season passes are also available and pay for themselves after three visits. Tubes are provided with the cost of the day pass so you don’t even have to bring your own sled!
With the ever-changing forecast, the opportunities to go sledding could be just around the corner. Until then, sledding enthusiasts will keep singing, “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”