by Kimberly Ellertson
The Ellertson Family arrives at The Summit at Snoqualmie. Photo by Kelli Isaacs.
No, not the television – downhill inner tubing that is!
When it’s winter in Washington, sometimes we find ourselves asking, “Where’s the snow?” It doesn’t often make an appearance in the city, but snow abounds on the nearby mountains and passes. Less than an hour from Seattle on I-90, The Summit at Snoqualmie is a quick and easy way to answer your question and find that often elusive snow.
Fun on the rope tow. Photo by John Ellertson.
Not a skier you say? No worries, Snoqualmie is fully equipped with 12-lanes of downhill tubing paradise that are each nearly the length of a football field! All you must do is choose your preferred color of tube (pink for me, of course), wait your turn (lines were never more than four or five people long, taking less than two-minutes), and spin and slide and laugh your way down to the bottom.
Chace is all smiles. Photo by Kim Ellertson.
Want to know the best part? You know when you go sledding on your own and when you get to the bottom, and then you have the dreaded walk back up? At this hill, there is a fully automated rope tow system that allows you to sit back in your tube and simply enjoy being pulled back to the top. But if you’re looking for some added exercise, they do have walk-up lanes for those who choose to go that route. It exhausted me just watching them!
Tickets provide you with a two-hour session of tubing, which is more than enough time to wear you out, even if you do take the rope tow option back to the top every time. Momma Tip: You can order your tickets online ahead of time, as well as fill out your waiver form. This guarantees you a spot on the hill, and allows you to skip the ticket line up upon arrival.
Apres tubing with Ryder. Photo by John Ellertson.
If you’re a family looking for some fun in the snow, this is a great winter option for kids of (almost) all ages. Momma Tip: The website suggests that this is not an activity for children under three years of age. My 3 ½ year old definitely was ready for the fun and can’t wait to go back. However, heed their warning: my 1 ½ year old was a bit overstimulated. He only made it down the mountain four times before he was ready to head inside the small café for hot chocolate and lunch. Perhaps the website’s suggestion was correct. (Sheepish Momma.)