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

As the snow starts to fall the kids get antsy. So time to head to a free sled hill that’s close to Carson City and offers off-highway parking. With a sled, or saucer, along with a Thermos of hot cocoa, the kids can enjoy hours of FREE fun. Located in the Lake Tahoe basin, I’m sharing one of top Free Lake Tahoe sledding areas.

For a fun day in the the snow, being prepared is a must. Along with the assorted sleds and saucer, pack an outdoor chair for yourself along with your to-go up with a hot beverage. Then make sure to pack some snacks on this list. Along  with snacks, it’s a good idea to pack some extra gloves and hand warmers as well.

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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

Just pass Spooner Summit on Nevada Highway 50, Nevada Highway 28 turns off for Lake Tahoe. Find a locals spot for free sledding at the turnoff after turning onto Highway 28. 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. Across the highway, find the Spooner Lake Nevada State Park (it’s open though under construction).

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.

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 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. Though 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.

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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 groomed cross-country skiing and snow-shoing trail from Spooner Lake Trail to Marlette Lake with views of Lake Tahoe inside the park. To check out the status of the XC Ski Trails around Lake Tahoe, check out Nevada Nordic. Find parking, trash cans and pit toilets, year-round.

Located at 2005 Highway 28, Carson City. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Pay $10 resident/$15 for non-resident per car  at the entrance kiosk or iron ranger.

Note: The Visitor Center and Amphitheater are under construction.

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.

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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.


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


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.


  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

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