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Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

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Lake City, Florida
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99 posts
21 reviews
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Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

We are currently in Seattle and would like to head over to Paradise in Mt Rainier and find some snow play areas. Snow tubing, sleding, etc. What are some options of getting there from here?

So far renting a car is all I can come up with. According to the Mt Rainier website you need to carry snow chains to enter the park during winter. I am not sure if Rental companies even carry chains.

Also, any ideas of places to snow play in that area. I figure we are talking about paradise, unless someone knows of something closer to downtown seattle.

Thanks,

TT

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
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6,075 posts
19 reviews
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1. Re: Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

The closest Snow Tubing center to Seattle is at the Summit at Snoqualmie. It's 45 minutes or so from downtown and easy to access via I90 without chains. Because it is close you can check conditions before you leave. Know that winter driving conditions exist, but I90 is a very well maintained hwy and rarely are chains required.

If chains are required it does not make sense to go as putting chains on a rental car is often not allowed in your agreement. Inproper chain installation/use can damage vehicles.

Lake City, Florida
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99 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

Thanks, I just ran accross this same info.Now I can rent a simple full size car and not worry about getting 4WD and chains, etc.

Seattle, Wa
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36 reviews
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3. Re: Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

The snow tubing center at Snoqualmie is one you pay for a lift ticket for--it's not a place where you can just bring a sled and play for free. If you're looking for a less expensive spot, check out one of the state sno-parks. You buy a parking permit, but it's cheaper than a lift ticket for everyone. Hyak is closest to Seattle. From the website:

Snow Play

Designated areas are available for tubing and general snow play at Fields Spring Sno-Park, Lake Wenatchee Sno-Park, Hyak Sno-Park, Rose Springs Sno-Park and the Oldman Pass Sno-Park. In addition, tubing and general snow play are permitted in non-designated areas in many Sno-Parks and in state parks that are open in the winter. For safety's sake, snow players should stay off designated snowmobile and non-motorized sport trails. Ice skating is not available in any location."

See this for details, fees, etc:

http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/

You actually will probably run into the same sort of road conditions anywhere in the mountains. So if its a day where you'd need chains at Rainier, you probably shouldn't be driving a regular full sized car anywhere in the mountains. Go only if the roads are bare and be careful in the parking lots, which are sure to be icy. See the WSDOT site for road conditions.

As long as road conditions and the forecast are fine, you don't need chains at Rainier. No one will check (again, if road conditions are bare--I don't suggest this if snow if forecasted).

western WA
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4. Re: Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

There's a good free tubing hill at Lake Wenatchee State Park near Leavenworth. You do have to pay for parking. I don't know if they have snow, but if they do, it is a lot of fun.

Stop by a True Value or megamart for some sleds.

Lake City, Florida
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5. Re: Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

We plan on going to the Summit at Snoquailme this weekend. I have reserved a Taho for the day in case of bad road conditions. Here you reserve spots for tubing for about $20.00 per person. This includes the tube usage.

6. Re: Accesssing snow play areas from Seattle?

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