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Snow Parks for Kids in Oregon

by Sara Ipatenco

Oregon has several months of wintery weather and has several snow parks scattered throughout the state. No matter what part of Oregon you live in, a snow park is within a day's drive away. You'll need a state Sno-Park permit, but then your family is free to play all winter long.

Northeast Locations

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort, in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, is more than a ski resort. It has a snow park that has sledding hills and areas for your children to make snow angels and throw snowballs. Older children might enjoy the chance to go snowmobiling, too. Closer to the northeastern border of Washington in the Blue Mountains is Andies Prairie Sno-Park. The park has a series of sled runs suitable for most children. Your family might also enjoy snow camping in the park. Catherine Summit Sno-Park is off U.S. Highway 203 in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. In addition to skiing, children can also go sledding and enjoy playing in large amounts of snow.

Central Locations

Inside the Ochoco National Forest lies Mark's Creek Sno-Park. The steep hills give sledders of all ages and ability levels a chance to zoom down the snowy trails. The park prohibits motorized vehicles. Make a weekend of your winter fun at Wanoga Sno-Park about 15 miles west of Bend, where there is plenty of camping space. In addition to 150 miles of snowmobile trails, the park has sledding runs, places for your children to play in the snow and dog-sledding activities. Dutchman Flat, Edison Butte and Walt Haring are additional snow parks that offer snowmobile trails and dog sledding.

Southeast Locations

In Winema National Forest is the Quartz Mountain Sno-Park, about 30 miles west of Lakeview. The snow park includes 67 miles of snowmobile trails and areas for younger children to let loose and play in the snow. Warner Mountain Ski Area, east of Lakeview, has a snow park that has skiing and snowmobiling trails for visitors of all ages and ability levels. The ski area hosts Snow-Fest each year, too, which encourages children to learn how to ski at no cost to parents.

Additional Locations

Page Mountain, in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, is an entertaining snow playground for children. It's also about the only child-friendly snow park in southwestern Oregon. At Page Mountain, you'll have plenty of room for sledding, building a snowman or constructing a snow fort. The Mount Hood area of Oregon, in the northwestern section of the state, has several snow parks that are family-friendly. Timberline, Ski Bowl East, Summit and Little John Sno-Parks each have areas dedicated to sledding and snow play. Farewell Bend, Union Creek and Annie Creek, all in the Crater Lake area, have places for children to go sledding and play in the snow, too.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images