We took our kids sledding at Wanoga Sno-Park over winter break and had so much fun! We’ve been anxious to go back ever since. On our first visit we became quite envious of a group that was doing this sledding thing in style! They had a whole big spread as if they were tailgating at a football game. So this time we wanted to do it up right! We invited a big group of friends and decided to make the day of it.
This sledding hill is no joke! It’s pretty steep, so you get a good workout walking up & top-notch speeds coming down! The kids have an absolute blast! My son is non-stop the entire time we are there. My daughter, on the other hand, makes a couple runs before she opts for snow play instead. Be sure to bring your snow toys to add to the fun of it!
It is so much fun…even the adults get in on the sledding action!
Obviously the sleds have no steering so you can shoot off in any direction going down. I was amazed how many people at the bottom of the hill or walking up were completely oblivious to this, causing several near miss collisions! This was more of an issue when we went over winter break as Wanoga was packed with visitors. This past weekend was not near as crowded. What a difference a holiday vacation makes…
It amazes me how much the weather changes as you drive up the mountain. In Bend, most of the snow has melted, and the temps are hovering in the 40’s. This is considered “warm” for this time of year, and the sun was shining bright. As we approached the Sno-Park, we found ourselves driving into a winter wonderland with plenty of snow to keep the winter sports action going on the mountain. We haven’t seen a substantial amount of snow in Bend for weeks, yet it snowed on us the entire time we were there on Sunday!
Tailgating is the way to go with a big group of people! (We weren’t really “tailgating” but rather set up camp at the base of the sledding hill). We had the fire pit going and brought chairs so we could sit around the fire while the kids went sledding and played in the snow. We brought chili for lunch, and the kids roasted hotdogs over the fire! We brought the camping stove to keep our chili warm, and my husband brought a portable camping table to give us a staging area for the food. Good thinking Babe! We filled up our Hydro Flasks with hot chocolate for the kids and our Growlers for the adults. We had a blast…this is definitely the way to go sledding!
Our fire kept us warm and toasty the entire day. No fire, no problem! If you need a break from the cold and snow, there is a warming hut at the base of the sledding hill. It is definitely warm inside as there is a wood-burning stove to keep the interior warm. Several picnic tables offer a comfortable space to eat, so be sure to bring a picnic lunch. If not, no worries as there is a concession stand trailer that sells everything from chili to hotdogs to hot cocoa!
An important note, a snow park permit is required for parking in all Oregon Sno-Parks. This is a different permit than the Annual Forest Pass Check out this link to find out where to purchase a snow-park season pass. A day permit is also available for purchase at Wanoga for $6. The money from the snow park permits is used to keep the parking lots plowed and the fire going in the warming huts, among other things.