Apres Ski Fun

FREE Sledding near Santa Fe: Big Tesuque Campground

Need a place to take the kids to play in the snow near Santa Fe, New Mexico?
Need a place to take the kids to play in the snow near Santa Fe, New Mexico?

On the final day in Santa Fe, the carful of kids decide that they want to play in the snow. We hauled the Radio Flyer sled, LL Bean toboggan and a Sno-baller from Texas and we are determined to use them.

Free Sledding near Santa Fe

Looking for a free sledding spot close to Santa Fe. I found one down the mountain from Ski Santa Fe. In theSanta Fe National Foreston Highway 475, I stop at theBig Tesuque Campground, 12 miles from downtown Santa Fe.

Looking for a free sledding near Santa Fe, I found it with year-round toilets and a picnic table.
Big Tesuque Campground features year-round toilets, a picnic table and plenty of sun to play in the snow for hours.Photo credit: Catherine Parker

The carful of kids are pleasantly surprised when we get there. I found a year-round vault toilet, a must when traveling with young kids. Additionally I found a picnic table and some trashcans. I have everything I need for a day of snow play and a snow picnic at the Big Tesuque Campground!

The carful of kids live in Central Texas so we rarely see snow. New Mexico’s snow is white, fluffy and covers everything in sight, pure kid magic. My kids should play for hours in near freezing temperatures with no whining!

The first on the list is sledding. The kids don’t even balk when I make them put on their helmets. I want to extra careful since we’re in a grove of trees.

Free sledding near Santa Fe at the Big Tesuque Campground.
Waterproofing is the key to keeping everyone dry and happy.

Off they head down the hill with glee on their faces, alternating between the sled and then the toboggan. According to our non-scientific study, the sled provides a faster ride and the toboggan offers comfort with its padding.

Of course, Mom jumps on and takes a few runs.

I found free sledding near Santa Fe at the Big Tesuque Campground.
I love the dry snow of the west. When the kids play in the sun, they never feel cold.

Prep and Pack for Sledding Fun

What do you need to pack for family ski trip? I’ve been there. And here’s a list to prep and pack.

Need some advice on picking a ski school for your kids? I’ve got some tips for families to find the best program.


Need free sledding near Santa Fe National Forest I found it at Big Tesuque Campground.
Free sledding in the Santa Fe National Forest at the Big Tesuque Campground.

Thank to a little preparation, my kids stay happy for several hours. We wore our ski pants, snow boots, hats, scarves and good water-repellent gloves, not to mention the base layers underneath. Just like Mom, the carful of kids hate to be cold.

The day draws to a close and we pack up. Did I mention that the Big Tesuque Campground in the Santa Fe National Forest area is FREE!

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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