Best Sledding Near Portland
This week, we explore your options for sledding near Portland and take you to our favorite place with advice on how to make your trip a memorable experience for the whole family.
Getting There & Advise
Aright, so you want to go up to the mountain for an awesome day of sledding. But first, there are a few things you need to take care of:
First, you need to get a Sno-Park parking pass. These are required for parking in any of the Sno-Parks in Oregon between November 1 and April 30. They cost $4 per day or $25 per year and can be purchased at REI (click the link for more places).
Next, you will need to check the weather. Mt. Hood Meadows is right up the street from Little Jon, so I use their weather forecast. You need to find a weather window that will have good snow on the ground for sledding, but a clear/partially cloudy day.
Heading up to the slopes, make sure you bring chains – and if you start to feel nervous, put on your chains at the CHAIN UP AREA. Don’t pull your car over to the nonexistent shoulder and try to chain up. It is a recipe for an accident or someone getting hurt.
As for clothing, in my experience, my day on the slopes lasts as long as the boys can stay warm. The moment someone has cold feet, hands or ears, no amount of standing next to the fire will make it bette. Come with good hats, boots, gloves and glove warmers if you want to stick around for awhile. And once your kids are done, cut your losses and leave. All those happy memories you are trying to make will disappear with you yelling at your kids while they are crying about their one cold finger. I’ve been there… I understand you want to stay for just 30 more minutes, but it won’t be fun for anyone.
For food, simple is better. Sandwiches, fruit and a warm drink in a thermos are your best bets. While cooking hot dogs in the fire seemed like a great idea, they take forever to cook through – and squatting next to the fire holding a pole still for 5 minutes at a time wasn’t worth the effort. S’mores though are easy and a great end of day treat (or a great incentive for kids good behavior). If you are going to use the fire, bring some logs along for the pile. There aren’t any rangers or day use fees here, so if there are no logs, there is no fire.
With only one restroom at the park, the line grows longer as the day does. Plan on giving yourself 15 minutes just waiting in line (hint: take your kids to the bathroom every few hours so there is no emergency). It is also a good idea to have an extra roll of toilet paper in the car in case all the rolls get used up (protip – it is ALWAYS a good idea to have toilet paper, paper towels and a couple of trash bags in the car. When you need them for any reason, you will not regret having them).
Last, be safe. Wear a helmet, don’t go over the large jumps and avoid the tree line at all costs. It is always two seconds after a injury that you convince yourself you really shouldn’t have done that – and now you are broken or gimpy for days, weeks or months. It’s not worth the video/bragging rights.
Thanks for coming along with us and we hope you found all this information helpful. If you have any comments or suggestions on other great sledding sites, feel free to post them in the comments section of the video.
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