When it comes to playing in some freshly fallen snow that glistens on the ground like diamonds it's hard to find a better place to go than the mountains of Southwest Colorado.
Each winter comes the new adventure of finding the best place to drag your tubes and sleds to for the greatest fun. There are the man made, intentionally designed and perfected hills. These man made tubing hills are curated to be the perfect hill for all your winter recreation activities. With the natural snow supplemented by snow blowers and groomed each day to bring the optimal experience.
Or you can go the natural route. Head out into the mountainous backcountry to find that perfect hill. Find the one with just the right angle to not be too steep or too gentle for the perfect speed. Maybe even a little jump built in to catch some air if you get lucky with the right hill. Try them all out as you go to make sure that you get the best fit for you or just stick to one. That's part of the joy of snow playing and tubing in the mountains for a day of fun.
Located in town, only a few blocks from downtown Durango, is Chapman hill, a combination skate rink, ski, and sled hill. The hill is fantastic for getting out on the slopes for a day or a few hours without needing to leave town.
Its small size, carefully maintained slopes, and proximity to town makes Chapman Hill perfect for beginners and casual sledding. If you have young children and are looking for a convenient but fun way to spend the day during the winter months you can take them out to Chapman Hill.
Purgatory ski resort is more than just the ski resort its name suggests. During the summer months you can go out on the mountain slopes for mountain biking, hiking, and more. It's not just the summer season either. During the winter if you aren't up for skiing or just need to swap things up Purgatory has a tubing hill built into the resort as well. The hill is carefully optimized to be the perfect angle and traction for snow tubing at its best.
All that extra snow that Purgatory receives and makes over the season is also amazing for just playing in if you get the chance in between runs on the hill.
About halfway between Durango and Mancos lies the small, but satisfying Hesperus Ski Hill. One of the few nearby ski hills that offers night skiing, Hesperus has been a go to ski hill for locals for the past 60 years.
But skiing isn't all that it has, Hesperus Ski Area is also home to its very own snow tubing hill. The multiple tubing lanes let you race your family and friends while having a great time. The hill even has built up snow walls at its base designed to safely slow down any tubers for an exhilarating but safe landing.
Sometimes those man made sledding hills and snow play areas just aren't what you want out of a sledding hill. There is something to be said for those naturally formed hills that get the perfect amount of snow on the ideal slope.
Molas Pass Trail System is a system of mountain trails that can guide you to that perfect hill. Each trail has the chance to take you out to test a variety of snowy hills for playing and tubing on till you get the one that suits you. Head out into the backcountry for a truly authentic snow tubing and snow play experience.
Snow Tubing/Play/Sledding/etc. are all winter activities so be sure to bring proper gear to keep warm and comfortable.
Snow tubes are available for rental at several of the man made tubing hills.
If you head into the backcountry for snow activities of any type be aware of avalanche danger, particularly in the later season.
Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself energized and hydrated for your day.
Sledding, particularly when you're young, can be a great memory and experience. Be sure to bring a camera to capture that moment. Though you may want to put it in a safe space if you hit the slopes yourself.