Apres Ski Fun

Free Sledding Spot near Lake Tahoe at Spooner Summit

Free sledding hill near Lake Tahoe and Carson City.
Kids love sledding just as much as Mom loves FREE! Credit: Catherine Parker

This is the time of the year that the kids are climbing the walls. So load them up for some outdoor fun that’s easy on the wallet. Here’s one of my favorite FREE sledding hills in Lake Tahoe. It’s on the North Shore and close to Carson City  with off-highway parking.

Pack your collection of sleds to the kids, an outdoor chair for yourself  and hot cocoa for all for a few hours of fun. Don’t forget to waterproof the snow pants, find some good stuff in this list.

Free sledding hill near Lake Tahoe and Carson City
The nostalgic favorite, the wooden toboggan, offers a cushy pad, a go-to ride for Moms and girls. Credit: Catherine Parker

Spooner Summit Sledding Area

Spooner Summit, 12 miles from downtown Carson City, crests at 7,145 feet in the Carson Range. Just pass Spooner Summit on Nevada Highway 50 find a locals spot for free sledding at the turnoff on Nevada Highway 28 for Lake Tahoe.

This area is off the highway and has a small parking area. It’s across the highway from the Spooner Lake Nevada State Park. Find a steep hill with even snow coverage that attracts kids of all ages. This area can get crowded on holidays and weekends.

Free sledding hill near Lake Tahoe and Carson City
My 12-year-old likes speed and sometimes he cracks his ride. Credit: Catherine Parker

Spooner Summit Sledding Area isn’t groomed so brushes and rocks add obstacles. My carful of kids enjoy the challenge though smaller kids might be intimidated by the speed of the hill.

With a couple of areas to sled, the carful of kids spend hours racing each other at the Spooner Summit Sledding area. This area is free but doesn’t feature trash cans or restrooms. Though find year-round pit toilets at the Spooner Lake Nevada State Park ($), across the highway.

Free sledding hill near Lake Tahoe and Carson City
My 10-year-old prefers the plastic toboggan for the combination of steer-ability and speed. Credit: Catherine Parker

Spooner Lake Nevada State Park

Across the highway from Spooner Sled Hill, find the Spooner Lake Nevada State Park, a picturesque area with tree along with a small lake. The year-round state park offers numerous recreation activities through the seasons.

Access a groomed cross-country skiing and snow-shoing trail from Spooner Lake Trail to Marlette Lake with views of Lake Tahoe inside the park. Find parking, trash cans and pit toilets, year-round.

Located at 2005 Highway 28, Carson City. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Entrance fee of $10 per car is collected at the entrance kiosk or iron ranger.


Be Prepared for FUN

Nothing stops the fun like COLD kids. To play for hours in the snow without my carful of kids complaining, I’m prepared.

Snow clothes keep kids dry for a day of sledding, mine wear snow pants, jackets, boots and ski gloves. I pack Hot Hands for everyone and carry a full snack bag including instant cider and Cup-A-Soup along a thermos with hot water. Looking for more ideas for snacks, I’ve got them below.

Is it Your First Family Ski Trip?

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.

More Lake Tahoe Fun for Families

Looking for more places to discover in Lake Tahoe? Got a couple of my favorite spots to share.

Mt Rose Meadows for Sledding
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe Resort Review
Granlibakken Tahoe Review
Diamond Peak Ski Resort Review
Guide to Tahoe City 
Squaw Valley Ski Resort
Northstar Ski Resort
Lake Tahoe Summer Fun Guide 

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.
  • This is a bring your own equipment spot.
  • Sled at your own risk and helmets are recommended.
  • Be sure to check on road conditions before you head out at NVroads.com, especially Spooner Pass.

Kids love Sledding and Moms love Free! Here's a secret sledding hill near Lake Tahoe and Carson City in Nevada that offers both. #SledHill #Free #LakeTahoe Where to take kids sledding in Lake Tahoe | Free Sledding Spot in Nevada


  1. We love sledding here in Europe! It’s much cheaper compared to skiing and a lot easier! We have enjoyed this fun last weekend here in Slovakia!

    • Catherine Parker Reply

      We sled and snowshoe in-between ski days. With several different sleds and toboggans, my kids can play for hours.

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