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

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.

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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

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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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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.