Central Oregon Tubing Hills Offer Plenty of Thrills
Skiing can be hard. Snowboarding can be painful to learn. And the thought of a chairlift to 9,000 feet might bring some folks to tears.
We get it. Skiing and snowboarding are not for everyone. Sledding? That’s for everyone who’s ever been a kid.
Luckily, Central Oregon is not exactly a flat place and when the snow falls, there’s plenty of places to grab an innertube or sled and experience some thrills (while staying a little closer to the lodge.)
Hoodoo Ski Area’s Autobahn Tubing Hill is a thrill with tubers having the choice among six, 800-foot-long groomed runs. A tube tow will pull you to the top so you don’t even have to worry about trekking up to the top. (You’re allowed to walk to the top if you’re into exercise or something.) Better yet? Hoodoo, just west of Sisters and Black Butte Ranch, is one of the only night skiing options in the PNW and a true, no-frills, neighborhood ski hill. It’s “steep, deep and cheap.” (But the tubing hill closes at 4 p.m.)
Autobahn Tubing Park rates are $17 for 10 runs, or $25 (ages 12 and under) and $30 (ages 13+) for all-day access.
Hoodoo officials say “For those of you who don’t need this much excitement, check out the Snow Bunny Sled Hill located near the Easy Rider Lift. It’s $5 for the whole day. You can use your own sled as long as it’s not too fast or for $5 more rent a kiddie tube from us. Car or truck tubes or other snow vehicles that are hard to steer are not permitted.”
At Mt. Bachelor, the Snowblast Tubing Park, you can buy an all-day pass or a ticket for a two-hour window (10 a.m. – 12 p.m., 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. ) A two-hour session will cost $25 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. All day passes are $45 and $35.
Sessions can sell out so we recommend purchasing your tickets early in the day regardless of what time window you want to ride. Or, if you’re staying in Sunriver, plan ahead by buying your passes at the new Mt. Bachelor sales office at the Village at Sunriver. It’s located in Building 26 next to the South Bend Bistro.
Elsewhere, the Wanoga Sno-Park on the road to Mt. Bachelor is the locals’ go-to spot for some old school sledding. The hill is huge (wide) so folks can spread out and it’s just steep enough to make it fun. What’s more is the sno-park has a large warming hut, restrooms and, in the past, there’s been a vendor in the parking lot to rent tubes, sleds and hot cocoa. (But the days, times have been hit and miss so I wouldn’t go up without a tube or sled.)
In Sunriver, the SHARC is home to a fun little tubing hill and snow play area. The SHARC hill has three different runs of varying steepness so you can choose just how thrilling a ride you want. They’ll provide you a tube and an all-day pass costs just $10. There’s also some even smaller hills in an open area next to the facility.