Rolling off the tube to one side, she brushes loose snow from her legs and heads back uphill. She walks halfway before a 470-foot conveyor lift takes her up the steepest grade to the top.Within minutes, she’s ready to go again.
Fresh snow fell across Southern Oregon in December creating some great destinations for playing outdoors. Everyone is bundling up and grabbing their tubes, sleds and saucers for some fun on the hill. Diamond Lake Resort is a popular destination with its seven sliding lanes, unlimited use, facilities, staff support and its “Wonder Carpet” conveyor back to the top. Three-hour and all-day passes are available and there’s a discount for a family of four. The slope is open for tubing under the lights on Friday evenings and again Saturdays and Sundays. “I believe we have the longest run in the state,” says Diamond Lake Resort’s John Jonesburg. “It’s a steep run. If the conditions are right you slide another 450 feet past (the bottom of) the conveyor belt.”
Jonesburg says the recent arrival of more than a foot of snow indicates this should be a good tubing season. He expects operations to continue through Spring Break. “And, if we get more snow we’ll look at extending that,” he says.
Sledding on Public Lands
There are several other places to go if you don’t need help getting up the hill. Sno-parks on public lands dot the Southern Oregon snowbelt. Here are some options.
Table Mountain at Hyatt Lake
Head to Hyatt Lake Recreation Area in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. There you will find a sledding hill at Table Mountain. Take Highway 66 east from Ashland and turn north on East Hyatt Lake Road. If you’re approaching from Dead Indian Memorial Road, turn south on Hyatt Prairie Road. The campground is closed during the winter but sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are available.
Grouse Gap Sno-Park near Mt. Ashland
There is no sledding available at the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, but Grouse Gap Sno-Park is just up the road. This is within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
There are several state sno-parks across Southern Oregon but only four of them provide sledding/tubing hills. They are Page Mountain on Happy Camp Road near Lake of the Woods, and Annie Creek, Union Creek and Farewell Bend, all on Highway 62 in the Diamond Lake-Crater Lake area. Sno-parks require a day-use or season permit. For permit information, road conditions, maps and more, see the state’s TripCheck website.