I spent this past Easter weekend on a 4-day getaway to beautiful Winter Park, Colorado. The main reason for my getaway was to spend some quality time on the mountains doing what I love, snowboarding. After two full days of snowboarding, Sant and I thought it would be smart to take a day off and rest our legs. Instead of snowboarding, we decided to explore the mountain in a different way by trying out snowmobiling and snow tubing in Winter Park. The Coca-Cola Tubing Hill in Winter Park was conveniently located right next to our hotel, The Vintage Hotel. We purchased our tubing tickets, bundled up, and headed to outside. I was a little worried that after snowboarding for two days, snow tubing would seem a little anticlimactic. To my surprise, all my doubts were wiped away after the first ride down the hill. As soon as I reached the end of the lane, I jumped out of my tube and practically ran to the conveyor belt lift that transports you back to the top of the hill.
The Winter Park Tubing park offers four individual lanes (labeled 1-4). We were informed that lanes 1 and 2 were longer, but slower and lanes 3 and 4 were steeper and faster. The park also offers three different types of tubes: white bottom single tubes (fastest), black bottom single tubes (second fastest), and black bottom tandem tubes (slowest). Every tube has a rope attached to it to make it easier to pull the tube and also serves as a way to link multiple tubes together to ride down the hill. You can link the tubes by looping the rope on one tube through the handle of the other and holding the rope.
Being the thrill seeker that I am, I immediately grabbed the fastest tube, a white bottom tube, and headed for one of the fastest runs, lane 2. Speeding down the hill with the wind whipping through my hair, I was hooked! After Sant and I each took one run down the hill on our own, we decided to link our tubes together and test out one of the longer runs. As we started to pick up speed, we went sliding around the curve to see a couple of mats placed on the curve. Each of the lanes has mats placed toward the end to slow down the tubes and the longer runs (lanes 1 and 2) have a few mats place mid-run on the banked curve which makes for an exciting surprise. As we went sailing around the curve, our tubes popped into the air and sent us spinning backwards toward the end. In an uncontrollable fit of laughter, we grabbed our tubes and hurried toward the conveyor, already eager for another run down the hill. Watch the GoPro video below from one of our favorite tubing runs:
We continued speeding down the hill and hurrying up the conveyor for the next hour until our tubing time was up. After trying all four tubing lanes multiple times, our favorites ended up being lanes 1 and 2, the longer runs. With our tubes linked together, we didn’t think these lanes were any slower than lanes 3 and 4. Being an adventure seeker, I loved the mats placed mid-run on lanes 1 and 2 because they sent the tubes into the air or spinning which got more exciting every time.
You can buy tubing tickets in one hour increments and tube as much as you want in that hour. I recommend purchasing your tickets at least 30-45 minutes before the hour you want to tube. Sometimes tickets sell out for certain time slots, especially during peak season so plan ahead. There’s a cozy warming lodge offering restrooms and snacks at the top of the Tubing Hill if you need a break or want to warm up. I had never been snow tubing before so I didn’t know what to expect, but I highly recommend it. It’s so much fun (for all ages) and it’s a great way to relax after a tiring day skiing.
- Check the Winter Park Tubing website for the most updated information on hours and tubing rates.
- Dress warmly and wear comfortable winter boots (hard shell boots are not allowed, such as ski boots)
- It’s recommended to reserve tubing tickets in advance – tubing times do sell out!
Have you ever been snow tubing before? Would you go snow tubing in Winter Park? Share your experiences snow tubing in the comments below! I would love to hear what other ski resorts offer this fun activity.
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