A guide to Colorado’s best sledding hills
posted by: Mile High Mamas
Colorado’s winter started early this year so when the snow flies, consider seeking out a sled and one of these locations for some old-fashioned fun. There are myriad of sledding hills–some public, some secret. Here are a handful of favorite sports. Some offer sled rentals: others are BYOS.
These are the best sledding hills all over Colorado. If you’re looking for Denver’s best sledding, don’t miss 11 best places to go sledding in Denver, Boulder and Beyond.
The Chapman Hill ski and skate area, 500 Florida Road, has a small sledding hill ideal for tots next to its two-rope tow ski hill. Afterward, you can cozy up next to the fireplace inside the pavilion.
Leave it to a place like Telluride (and really, there is no place like Telluride) to offer a sledding hill in the middle of town. Firecracker Hill, on the southern end of Town Park, is fun for kids of all ages, with gradual and steeper slopes. The Telluride Nordic Center, also in Town Park, offers sled rentals. Coffee shops with wonderful hot chocolate abound in this town. And the free Galloping Goose bus makes a continuous loop through town, stopping by the gondola, as well.
3. Crested Butte
The Crested Butte Nordic Center, corner of Second and White- rock streets, is on the free bus route and is the site of Big Mine Park, so you can sled on history, where coal was once mined and cooked in coke ovens. Local kids sled on snowbanks around town, most notably, those near the Crested Butte Community School, 818 Red Lady Ave.
At the Aspen Recreation Center, less than mile up Maroon Creek Road just before Aspen Highlands, a gorgeous backdrop of Pyramid Peak and a down-valley view await your sledding pleasure on the free, Whoa Nelly! sledding hill. If you forget your sled, you can rent at the Rec Center. And if you want to do a little ice skating, the ARC- tic Pond is at the bottom of the hill.
5. Glenwood Springs
Locals in the know head to Four Mile Park, on the road to the Sunlight Mountain Resort and Ski Area, a nice easy drive to all-ages sledding. Another hot spot is Canyon Creek. To get there from Interstate 70, take Exit 111 (South Canyon) 0.2 miles, turn at South Canyon Creek Road and go 0.4 miles. Bear right and continue on what becomes County Road 134 past the landfill and watch for the sledding hill.
Go Dutch for the ultimate high, fast ride at Leadville’s newly improved Dutch Henry Hill, with tubing lanes and a free sledding hill where no metal or wooden sleds are allowed. The area is a one-minute drive south of downtown Leadville on U.S. 24.
The town may not be a premier ski destination, but at Frisco Adventure Park on the town’s Recreation Way, the tubing hill provides downhill excitement. Similar to those at several Colorado ski areas, the tubing hill, on Colorado 9 across from the hospital, offers six lanes of 1,200-foot-long rides, with lifts on a Magic Carpet. Inner tubes are provided for $25 an hour. With a minimum height limit of 42 inches, the tubing is mostly for those over 4 years of age. Clusters of up to four are allowed for families who want hand-holding on the way down. The hill is open Thursday through Mondays until March 3, and then every day except Wednesday. The park staff hopes to stay open for tubing until mid-April, weather permitting. For those who like their sledding the old-fashioned way, a sledding hill is nearby.
Carter Park, smack in the middle of town at the south end of High Street, features a walk-up, ride-down sledding hill on a former ski hill. There are no rentals, but snow tubes and sleds are available for purchase at the City Market and Food Kingdom grocery stores in town.
9. Colorado Springs
The spot is the Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, 3920 Dublin Blvd. This is a good-sized hill and the most popular place in town for those heading for sledding.
The jewel in the crown is the all-ages Scott Carpenter Park, 1505 30th St., a former landfill where for some 40 years Boulderites have learned the fine art of sledding. Another option is south Boulder’s Harlow Platts Park, at Greenbriar Boulevard and Gillespie Drive. Those with tiny sledders should head to Foothills Community Park, 800 Cherry Ave., or Meadow Glen, on Pennsylvania Avenue east of 55th Street.
Sledding also is allowed, and especially fun for adults, when there is snow, at Colorado Chautauqua, 900 Baseline Road. Pull into the drive, and stop at the ranger station to see which permitted sledding areas are posted on any given day.
Autumn Ash Park, off North 111th Street at Beacon Hill and Lucerne drives, has a nice hilly slope perfect for family sledding with young children.
There’s also Wanaka Lake Park, 705 Caria Drive, south from Baseline Road or west from Public Road onto Emma Street. Sled off the dam on the northeast side of the lake. Slide down the little slopes that go from the lake down to the lower trail, especially with smaller children. Another major area is immediately west of Indian Peaks Drive on the south side of Baseline Road.
This may come as a surprise to sledding enthusiasts in the Mile High City: It’s technically against the rules to sled in city parks unless it has been specifically sanctioned by city officials. But, Denver Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Angela Casias concedes, “People do sled in the parks.”
After a fresh snowfall, it’s common to find such outlaw fun-lovers at Congress Park, near East Eighth Avenue and York Street; Barnum Park, which offers a fantastic view of the downtown Denver skyline, is located just west of Federal Boulevard and north of West Sixth Avenue; Jefferson Park, a low-key hill surrounded by trees near West 23rd Avenue and Eliot Street; and Ruby Hill Park, 1505 W. Jewell Ave. While park officials generally turn a blind eye to sledding, Ruby Hill and its free winter ski and snowboard facility, the Rail Yard, is one place where sledders could be ticketed because of the safety hazards.
-Karen Mitchell. Elana Ashanti Jefferson contributed to this report.