The kids are out of school and getting antsy. It’s the holidays, and you don’t want to spend any more cash. This is when you need a cool free sledding spot in the Lake Tahoe area. It is close to Carson City and Incline Village, with off-highway parking. With a sled or saucer, along with a Thermos of hot cocoa, the kids can enjoy hours of FREE fun. Here is one of the BEST Free Lake Tahoe sledding areas.
For the best time, be prepared. I pack the assorted sleds and saucers for the kids then I pack an outdoor chair for me. Then I grab a to-go with a hot beverage and hot chocolate for the kids. Also, the high-energy snacks are nice since this area requires walking up the hill. It’s a good idea to pack some extra gloves and hand warmers as well. I don’t know about your kids, though mine always drop a glove somewhere.
Spooner Summit Sledding Area
Outside of Carson City, take Nevada Highway 50 just past Spooner Summit. At the Nevada Highway 28 turn-off for Lake Tahoe, there is a small driveway across the Spooner Lake State Park. This is the top local spot for free sledding. Located 12 miles from downtown Carson City, Spooner Summit crests at 7,145 feet in the Carson Range. (During the summer, the Lake Tahoe boat inspection uses this area)
With a small street, this area features limited off-highway parking. The Spooner Summit Sledding Area offers a steep hill with even snow coverage that attracts kids of all ages. This area can get crowded on holidays and weekends, so arrive early.
Spooner Summit Sledding Area isn’t groomed so brushes and rocks add obstacles. My kids enjoy the challenge and the speed of the hill, though smaller kids might be intimidated.
With a couple of areas to sled, my kids spend hours racing each other at the Spooner Summit Sledding area. This area is free but doesn’t feature trash cans or restrooms. However, find year-round pit toilets at the Spooner Lake Nevada State Park ($), across the highway.
Please keep this area clean for others by packing out your trash.
Spooner Lake Nevada State Park
Across the highway from Spooner Sled Hill is the Spooner Lake Nevada State Park, a picturesque area with trees along with a small lake. The year-round state park offers numerous recreational activities throughout the seasons.
Access groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails from Spooner Lake Trail to Marlette Lake with views of Lake Tahoe inside the park. Find parking, trash cans and year-round toilets.
Located at 2005 Highway 28, Carson City. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Pay $10 residents/$15 for non-residents per car at the entrance kiosk or iron ranger.
More Lake Tahoe Fun for Families
Know before you go:
- Bring something to sit on. I use the padded wooden toboggan while the Carful of Kids play or pack a chair.
- Bring your own equipment
- Sled at your own risk and helmets recommended.
- Check on road conditions before you head out at NVroads.com, especially Spooner Pass.