All Articles Forget skiing—go snow tubing this winter

Forget skiing—go snow tubing this winter

When the ski slopes get crowded, grab a tube instead.

Susan Stephens
By Susan Stephens23 Dec 2022 3 minutes read
Two kids playing snow tubing in the winter
Image: Nazar Abbas Photography/Getty Images

When you think "adrenaline-filled winter trip," you're probably thinking of snow-capped mountains and oodles of skiing and snowboarding. But have you considered snow tubing? It’s a sport often seen as something for just the kids to enjoy—but believe us, it's plenty fun for adults, too. As you zoom down by way of gravity, you simply hold onto the handles on the side of the tube and take in the incredible scenery. The higher and steeper the slope, the more of a rush you’ll get.

You can find snow tubing courses at most ski resorts, but we've pulled together a few of our faves, spread from Colorado to Scotland. Ahead, where to take a snow tube for a spin this winter.

Colorado Adventure Park in Fraser, CO

Located about 1.5 hours from downtown Denver, Fraser, CO, is a small town packing a big winter punch. Snow tubing at Colorado Adventure Park is one of the most popular family-friendly activity here because you can rent single or double tubes and take a ride up the slope on the Magic Carpet lift (a walk-on conveyor belt that takes you to the top of the hill). Perfect for the little ones who don’t want to ride alone, the double tubes are also great for couples or friends’ getaways. The terrain ranges from slow and easy to fast and wild.

Travelers say: "This is the fastest I've ever gone on a snow tube. It was really scary at first but since there were small children doing it, I figured it couldn't be all the bad. I'm glad I persevered. In retrospect, I wish that I would have grabbed a helmet from the check-in area because that would have made me feel a little less terrified."—@Sherpa113243

Where to stay nearby: Book a stay at White Horse Inn, a Travelers’ Choice Award-winning bed-and-breakfast, for easy access to the park and other winter attractions.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline in Seven Devils, NC

Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline in Seven Devils, North Carolina
Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline in Seven Devils, NC
Image: SwissMiss59/Tripadvisor

With the largest snow tubing facility on the East Coast, it’s no wonder this behemoth of a snow park nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Seven Devils, NC, gets all the props. Thirty lanes covering four areas with runs spanning 400 to 1,000 feet long guarantee that tubers of all skill levels will have a blast. When you’ve had your fill of tubing the slopes, try your hand at the park’s ziplines.

Where to stay nearby: The Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk makes a great home base, with easy access to both the Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain ski resorts once you're done tubing.

Wasatch Parc in Eden, Utah

An hour north of Salt Lake City, Wasatch Parc in Eden, UT, has two curved snow tube lanes which almost guarantee you’ll never crave the straight line again. Expect amazing tubing fun with a Swiss twist thanks to bobsled turns, making the descent a true adventure. Even better, the two lanes are close enough for friends to ride down the steep slope side by side.

Travelers say: "Six of us, all adults, headed up for snow tubing but it was raining lightly when we got there, and we didn't even know if we were going to commit! ...It only took that one run and we were hooked! Purchased 2-hour passes, which I think was plenty. ...Helpful hint: if it's at all inclement, rainy or snowing, be sure to wear goggles and waterproof outer layer. You'll stay drier and warmer, especially your face, and you'll have a blast!"—@suzinvt

Where to stay nearby: Snowberry Inn Bed & Breakfast is a cozy place to warm up after a long day on the powder (Snowbasin and Powder Mountain ski resorts are less than 20-minutes away).

Mt. Norquay Ski & Tubing Resort in Banff, Alberta, Canada

MtNorquay Ski Tubing Resort, in Banff, Alberta, Canada
Mt. Norquay Ski Tubing Resort, in Banff, Alberta, Canada
Image: fishmister/Tripadvisor

A quick drive from the ski capital of Banff, Mt. Norquay offers unrivaled snow tubing opportunities with epic hills. In fact, it’s the largest snow tubing park in the province, spanning eight lanes of fun suitable for everyone ages four and older. One of the best times to tube here? The night session, which runs from 5–8 p.m., has fewer crowds, and allows you to tube on the well-lit slopes.

Where to stay nearby: When the day is done, warm up your fingers and toes next to the fire at Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa, centrally located on Banff's main street.

Cairngorm Mountain in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Cairngorm Mountain in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Cairngorm Mountain in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Image: Victor/Tripadvisor

It’s time to take your tubing to one of Scotland’s most famous mountains. Located in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, this tubing park is actually open in both autumn and winter, offering adrenaline-pumping courses on both warm-weather and snowy days. Visitors can take in a high-speed thrill with views over Loch Morlich and the Spey Valley. The course’s three lanes offer slopes suitable for everyone from the wee ones to older adrenaline seekers.

Travelers say: "Not our first visit and won’t be the last! We had a great day on Cairngorm Mountain, we booked to visit to take part in the tubing—which was so much fun! Then luckily secured an afternoon slot for ski lessons for our two kids."—@MrsC226

Where to stay nearby: When you’re ready to call it a day, retreat to the Macdonald Aviemore Highland Hotel, where you can warm up in the on-site sauna and steam room, and kids can splash about in the large indoor pool and water slide.

Ski season is on

Recs, tips, and stories from the slopes
Read on
Susan Stephens
Susan Stephens is a scientist-turned-travel writer, with a passion for exploring new places and eating fantastic cuisine. Based in Portland, Oregon, her love of nature and of the Pacific Northwest inspired an unending quest for off-the-beaten path journeys. She will always seek the road less traveled, yet still get in the longest line for street food (that’s how she knows it’s good).