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Quick Day Trip to See the Snow
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Quick Day Trip to See the Snow
Closest spots for sledding with toddlers/
What are some favorite and closest spots to take toddlers
sledding and playing in the snow? Are there free areas that
are good? What about commercial areas? My kids are 3 1/2
and getting excited about snow. Dad of twins
We are going to try this place next month, so here's one
Sledding near Bay Area for toddlers
We are looking for a place to take our 2 toddlers sledding that
is as close to the Bay Area as possible (closer to a 2 hr drive
as opposed to a 4 hr drive). Any suggestions? A resort area
with tow ropes is good as well as a place that just has hills
for sledding appropriate for toddlers.
A great place for families, esp. ones with toddlers is Soda Springs in
Truckee/Donner. It's 2 1/2 - 3 hours away on Hwy. 80 and they have tube
It's also super cheap!!
Try this place. Approximately 2.5 hours from Berkeley off I-80. Great
place, but if you go on a Saturday arrive early. Once the parking lot is
full, the entrance to the park is closed.
Soda Springs ski area off the I-80 Soda Springs/Norden exit is great for
toddler snow play. There's a separate area (''Planet Snow'') for toddlers
with a small tube carousel and little ski/tube hill. You have to pay to
play, but it's still very affordable. I would avoid the nearby snow parks
(Yuba Gap, etc.) on weekends. It can be a chaotic and sometimes dangerous
free-for-all, with no people officially doing traffic control for little
kids and big adults sliding in cross-directions down the same hill. Yikes.
I used to take my two kids sledding at Yuba Gap when they were toddlers,
and was somewhat relieved when they took up skiing a few years later
because ironically, skiing seemed less dangerous than sledding!
We have taken our 3 year old twice now up Highway 4. there is a pretty good
spot just past Dorrington and Big Trees state park, on the north side of
the freeway. Nothing official, just a plowed spot on the side of the road
with several hills. It is a popular spot.
It is probably just under 3 hours from Oakland, past Angels Camp, Murphys
and Arnold. You can stop at a ski place in Arnold if you want to buy a sled
or saucer. Murphys is a good spot to stop to eat and walk around if you
like. Another good thing about this trip over taking I80 is that it seems
to have much less traffic and is more scenic. The kids can be entertained
by watching for cows, horses, sheep through the foothills. Other than the
occasional slow down over the altomont pass, it is generally smooth sailing
through 580, Stockton, and Hwy 4.
Bryan in Oakland
Can anyone recommend a good spot for a day trip to play in the
snow? My twins are 3, so we don't need much as far as
activity... we just want to be able to drive no longer than 2 -
21/2 hours and be able to pull them in the snow on our tobogan
and throw snowballs. Hopefully also somewhere that we won't
have to pay a use fee since we will only most likely play for
an hour or so. Last year we made a last minute drive up 80 and
it seemed like all of the stops required a per person fee to
Most all ski resorts that have sledding/tubing charge per person and you must use their equipment.
Next there are snow parks that have you pay $5/car or ($25/car/year?). These let you play and use
your own sleds and toboggans. Lastly, there are just places to pull over. The best website listing
places to pull over that I've found is http://www.vacationstation.com/tahoe/topic.cfm?GP=72.
All the distances are from Incline Village, NV. The listing closest to the bay area is Emigrant
Gap. We just got back from the mountains on the 7th and there wasn't much snow there. You would
need to go closer to the summit still. The Mt Rose site was fantastic for those who are in that
We like Sno-Park off Yuba Gap on Highway 80. It's 2-3 hours depending on traffic and weather. There
is a nominal fee to get in the park, but I think it's reasonable: $5 per car and $1 per person.
Here's the web site:
A wonderful area to play in the snow can be found when you drive up Hwy 4 past Angels Camp to
Arnold. Last year we did exactly that. We stopped in Arnold - just somewhere on a quiet street -
and pulled the kids (1 1/2 and 4) on the sleds. It was wonderful. This is a 3+ hr drive, though.
We would like to take our preschooler to the snow, but don't have the finances for a
weekend away. Can anyone recommend a cheap way to have fun in the snow? Doing
a day trip sounds exhausting, but I'm not sure what else to do. Is there anyplace
close enough for a day round-trip? Or does anyone know of a cheap (but healthy!)
hotel for a one night stay, near a good snow play area?
You can easily get away to Dodge Ridge, which is about a 3.5-4
hour drive from Berkeley. There is skiing and/or a sledding place
that is only $9. a day and great for families. Plan to arrive
early, it can be a madhouse. Bring a family picnic lunch box, and
buy drinks or any combination. There is a big open lodge room
that sells hot chocolate, and food, but many people bring all
kinds of things themselves and eat at the picnic tables inside.
The sledding place has NO rope tow, so it's a bit of a workout,
but they have tubes, etc. http://www.dodgeridge.com/ Plan to
take chains. jane
I think that Strawberry on Route 108 was our favorite close place. We drove up in less
than three hours, saw people sledding by the side of the road, and piled out. There's
also a snow play place up the road (Dodge Ridge?) but it can get crowded on the weekends.
I would like to get some recommendations for inexpensive fun places to go play in
the snow for the day. My kids have never experienced snow. We didn't want to get
involved with skiing or snowboarding at all. We were also hoping to find someplace
that we could get to in 2-3 hours, play for the day and come back home. We don't
need anything more than the snow - no ski lifts, no rope tows, just snow. Does
anyone have a favorite park where we could just throw snowballs at each other? I
would definitely prefer to stay away from big ski type places like Tahoe. Thanks!
For the past 2 years, we have taken our toddlers up to the Donner Pass Rest area! It
is located in the middle of the national forest, so it is surrounded by forest. It has
lots of snow, gentle hills for sledding, and it's FREE! Just take 80 east - the rest area
is about 15 miles this side of Truckee, I think. Every time we have been there, there
have been plenty of other people doing the same thing - throwing snowballs,
sledding, making snow angels, etc. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate, and you are
We just got back from the Dodge Ridge area this weekend, which is
about 30 miles east of Sonora on Hwy 108. Its about 2.5 -3 hours
from Oakland, depending on traffic of course. Just past Dodge
Ridge on Hwy 108 is Leland Snow Park. First time we had been
there. It was OK. A bit too crowded for me, but lots of snow
and big hills to go down, plus a kids area where the hills were
smaller. Our kids were a bit overwhelmed, and on the way there
we passed by plenty of place where people just pulled over and
played in the snow. The nice thing about the snow park is the
amenities like food and bathrooms.
Somewhere around there is another snow park run by the Forest
Service or some other gov't agency I think. Have never checked it
out but maybe you could find some info on line about it.
I would like to take my toddler daughter (and family dog) to see
and play in snow for the first time. With the recent rains, I
think the snow level must be relatively high. I would like to
make this a nonstressful daytrip if possible. Does anybody have
suggestions of the site closest to the Bay area might be?
I've checked on the website but can't find discussion of an area
with just snow in an open, public area without need for skiing
Thanks in advance,
Last year, we chose to stay in Reno for a weekend and we drove
down to Tahoe to ''snowplay''. We found Tahoe state park has a
hill for sledding. We paid for use of the hill and we rented
sleds. It was a blast! Because it was pretty cheap, I didn't
feel guilty when my son wanted to quit when he was cold and wet.
They even had a little snack bar with hot chocolate.
I think you could find good places to play in the snow and do
some sledding by just driving the 80 east. Well before you hit
Truckee, there are a couple of ''Sno-parks'' that charge much less
for day use than the regular resorts. Unfortunately, I don't
have the name or contact information, but you will see the signs
as soon as you get into higher elevations. I have done daytrips
many times to the Western Sierra, and it is totally doable! On
the way back, don't forget to stop for an Ostrich burger
at ''Redrum Burger'' (formerly ''Murder Burger'') off the Olive
Street exit in Davis.
I have read the recent postings for snow trips, but am
hoping to find something very basic. Can someone
recommend a "Snow 101" trip? My daughter is just 4,
and has never experienced snow. Therefore any kind of
snow experience will be a thrill for her. What I am
interested in is a place to go that is the shortest,
least mountainy distance from here that has some white
stuff on the ground. Winter sports aren't really important
to us for this trip. We want to get away for a day or
two, and make a few snowballs.
Snow Trip recommendation: Dodge Ridge is only 2.5 hours away. All a 4 year
old needs is a tiny hill not a big snow park. Darlene's vacation rental's
has houses to rent. There's also Pinecrest and strawberry lodge.
We had a really wonderful experience at Granlibaaken
resort near Truckee. They even have a web site that
has all the information about the resort. I would
also recommend Northstar at Tahoe.
this page was last updated: Oct 25, 2012
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