Sledding Paradises in National Parks

Rebecca WatsonPursuits
A laughing family of two parents and two young girls share a sled on a snow-covered hill.
iStock / FatCamera

There’s nothing quite like the euphoric thrill of sliding down a hill – the sudden rush of wind in your face as you soar along the slopes. National parks across the country provide the perfect spots to pick up a sled and cruise downhill in style. 

Rocky Mountain National Park

A woman poses as she sleds on a bright green sled, wearing snow pants and a heavy jacket. She smiles and outstretches her arms.

Sledding at Rocky Mountain National Park

iStock / Tereza_Venn

Winter activities abound at Rocky Mountain National Park, but Hidden Valley is the one place in the park where visitors can sled to their hearts’ content. Formerly the bottom of the bunny slope in the park’s ski area, this gentle slope is perfect for sledders of all ages. The opportunity to sled is available throughout the winter, as long as snow conditions are right. There is a nearby restroom, plus a warming room that is open most weekends. Just bring your own sledding vehicle of choice – a plastic sled, saucer, or tube – and enjoy!

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Girl sandboarding down a sand dune in a tshirt and shorts, mountains in the background

Sandboarding above Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

NPS Photo / Patrick Myers

Ready to take your sledding skills to the next level? Try sand-sledding at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. Sand sports like sandboarding, sand-skiing, and sand-sledding are permitted year-round on the dune field at this Colorado park, as long as you stay away from vegetated areas that might cause a potentially dangerous ride. Check the sand surface temperatures at the visitor center before heading out to the park and use sandboards and sleds designed specifically for sliding on sand. These sleds feature an extra slick base and special wax that keep your ride down smooth and safe. Make sure to follow all the park’s safety tips to ensure everyone enjoys an unforgettable, unique sledding experience.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

A man and a young boy riding down a snowing hill past trees in an orange and yellow sled.

Sledding in Lassen Volcanic National Park

NPS Photo

Take advantage of the annual snowfall at Lassen Volcanic National Park – as much as 30 feet of snowfall occurs annually. Find smaller, gentler slopes close to Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, where you can also warm up and purchase hot drinks on weekends. Walk just a bit further along the snow-covered park highway to access steeper slopes popular with experienced sledders. Grab your own sled before you head out to the park, and pack a picnic to enjoy in the fireside dining area in Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center after hours of frosty fun.

White Sands National Park

A man and a young girl, holding hands, climb up a sand dune barefoot with a green plastic sled in hand.

Sledding at White Sands National Park

NPS Photo

The powdery white gypsum dunes at White Sands National Park may look like snow-covered hills, but don’t let them fool you – these slopes don’t come with the usual winter temperatures! Visitors to the park can glide down the faces of the dunes along the loop portion of Dunes Drive using plastic snow saucers brought from home or waxed ones purchased in the park’s gift shop. Just make sure to use the proper sand-sledding technique and choose your sledding path carefully to avoid injury!

Yosemite National Park

A family goes snowshoeing on a snow-packed pathway through evergreen trees, their branches laden with snow.

Snowshoeing at Yosemite National Park

iStock / Paigefalk

One unique way to experience the vast, iconic landscape of Yosemite National Park is visiting in the winter months and taking advantage of all the winter activities available. While you can strap on some skis or snowshoes for a walk in a winter wonderland or lace up your skates for laps on the outdoor ice-skating rink in Yosemite Valley, you can also grab your sled or snow tube and enjoy family-friendly fun at Badger Pass. Yosemite Hospitality, an authorized concessioner, sells passes for winter visitors ready to ski, snowshoe, and sled. 

No matter the temperature, there is a national park waiting for you to grab a sled and hit the slopes – be they covered in snow or sand. Discover other sledding paradises when you #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque at the more than 400 national park sites across the country.

Winter Wonderlands Travel Guide
Immerse yourself in the beauty found only by experiencing winter in these national park wonderlands! Explore winter activities in 15 national parks, from stargazing to sledding and more!


You forgot to mention the Olympic National Park at Hurricane Ridge

Start a Conversation

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Stay Inspired
Connect with the parks you love. Sign up to receive the latest NPF news, information on how you can support our national treasures, and travel ideas for your next trip to the parks. Join our community.