With all due respect to your local park — you know, the one your kids rush to at the first sign of snow? — you haven't experienced the ultimate thrills of sledding and tubing until you've done it in the Rocky Mountains. And of all the places in Colorado, Grand County ranks highest for sledding and tubing fun. It's accessible, the sledding hills are big but not too intimidating, and we even have several facilities offering lights (night tubing!) as well as surface lifts and tow ropes, just in case you want to take the lugging and trudging out the equation. So grab your toboggan and your snow saucer and check out these prime spots for Colorado's "other downhill pastime."
Why go: With its groomed runs, tow-rope and free sleds for kids 3 and under, this Fraser facility can keep a whole family entertained for hours.
Added bonus: Kids love the Colorado Adventure Park's fleet of snowscoots, miniature, speed-controlled snowmobiles that can be rented by the hour for a trip along an easy groomed trail in a nearby meadow.
Visit the Colorado Adventure Park website for location, hours and cost.
Location: Winter Park Resort
Why go: Located at the base of Winter Park Resort, this new park combines four lanes of tubing action (imagine banked turns and other fun features) as well as a covered conveyor lift ride to maximize the amount of runs.
Added bonus: Since the park is located at the base of Winter Park Resort, it's perfect for families and groups that are split between skiers and non-skiers. Have your cake and eat it, too.
Visit the Winter Park Resort website for more information.
Why go: Most mountain towns would love to have a tubing hill with tow-rope access, rentals and concessions. Fraser is lucky enough to have two. The original is a blast, with a low-key atmosphere and a slope that just might be the perfect pitch for young thrill-seekers.
Added bonus: Call in advance for evening hours. Tubing at night on this hill is a memory you'll never forget.
Visit the The Original Fraser Tubing Hill website for details.
Location: Next to Shadow Mountain Reservoir
Why go: Located on the peaceful grounds of the Grand Lake Nordic Center, this tubing hill is a particular favorite of families looking for a tubing hill in beautiful natural surroundings.
Added bonus: Mix tubing with a little cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the Nordic Center's 35 kilometers of trails.
For more information, visit their website.
All around Grand County, you'll find opportunities to pull out your sled and yelp for joy.