Best Places to Play in the Snow

By Snoqualmie Valley Macaroni KID January 2, 2023

Sledding. Snow Angels. Forts and snowball fights. Catching snowflakes on the tongue, chased with hot chocolate (or something stronger). That’s what we’re talking about. Here's a list of some of the best places to play in the snow this winter!  We recommend you always check the websites for more information and to see if the area is open (could be closed due to lack of snow or too much snow).

  • I-90: Exit 47
    Denny Creek is a little difficult to get to and you absolutely need 4 wheel drive. If snow levels are low, you get off on Exit 47 go to the north side of the highway and follow the signs for Denny Creek Campground. Snowshoeing or snow booting your way along the road you eventually get to the campground.  It's really fun for some tree sledding as well as huge epic games of capture the flag snowball style. CLICK HERE for more information.
  • I-90: Exit 52
    For the Commonwealth Basin Snowshoe, you park at the Summit West parking lot, hike under the highway, and then go up the trail towards the Pacific Crest Trail.  There a a couple of bathrooms up at the trail head and then miles and miles of cool forests/snow bridges, and sled runs to explore. Right behind that is a sled run that we build every year that is an absolute blast. CLICK HERE for more information.
  • I-90: Exit 54
    • Hyak Sno Park boasts heated restrooms, a tubing hill, designated snow play area. This snow park is "groomed" and requires the special groomed sticker.  Open 8 am to 4:30 pm.  CLICK HERE for more information.  VERY POPULAR!
    • Gold Creek Sno Park is shared with snowmobile users, snowshoeing, offers limited snow play and is not groomed.  CLICK HERE to find out more information.  VERY POPULAR
  • I-90: Exit 62

                Crystal Springs Sno-Park is a very busy place, but there is a little bit for everyone out of this area. CLICK HERE to find out more information.

  • I-90: Exit 63
    • Cabin Creek Sno-Park is excellent for families and snow play.  Views of the Yakima River and a small climb to the top of the knob await. CLICK HERE to find out more information.
  • I-90: Exit 70
    • Lake Easton Sno-Park is a quieter Sno-Park with great snow play opportunities and a nice winding groomed ski trail through the woods eventually passing by Yakima River viewpoints along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. CLICK HERE to find out more information.

  • The requirement for permits/passes at the Sno-Parks is a bit confusing.  Be sure you check HERE to know what you'll need to purchase.
  • The parking lots tend to fill up quickly, especially on the weekends!
  • You may also want to check out

Tubing at The Summit is a more structured option, but is still fun for the whole family!


  • The tow takes you, and your tube, back to the top so you can maximize your fun on the snow.
  • Tickets are sold in two-hour sessions beginning at 9 am.
  • The Tubing Area is a weekend operation maintaining hours Fridays - Sundays and during holiday periods.


If you're looking for a road trip adventure, hop in the car and drive about two hours south to the Designated Sledding area at Rainier.  You may want to get an early start because the area is only open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.


  • The snow play area is immediately north of the upper parking lot at Paradise. Sliding and sledding in the park is permitted ONLY in this designated area.
  • Check Twitter to find out when the road will open from Longmire to Paradise - it is not open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and closes nightly at dusk
  • The nearby Jackson Visitor Center is the perfect place to warm up between runs. And food is available from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. when the visitor center is open.
  • CLICK HERE for the Paradise Winter Recreation Map.

If/when we do get a decent snowfall here on the Plateau or in The Valley, check out these snow play suggestions from local parents.

  • We enjoy using our summer toys in the snow. Instead of building sandcastles, we build igloos and decorate them with sea stars and fish.
  • Make a snowman ... but make him upside down! My boys think a standing-on-his-head snowman is the most hilarious thing ever!
  • We make car tracks out of the snow for Hot Wheels!
  • I've always liked to take our toys out in the snow too. Like dump trucks, bulldozers, etc. If you lose them, you just have to wait for it to melt to get it back!
  • Fill squirt bottles with food coloring (or washable paint) and water.  Spray the snow to make pictures!

Here are a few more articles, from outside links, that may also help you enjoy your family time in the snow this season:

Macaroni KID Gig Harbor is your best source for kid activities and family fun in Key Peninsula, Fox Island and Gig Harbor. Be sure to check the CALENDAR for a complete list of local events - guaranteed to entertain, educate & exhaust your kids & family.

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