If you’re staying in Denver and looking for some unique fun, sledding is a free activity for anyone to enjoy. Athletic or not, there’s something about careening down a snow-laden hill that awakens one’s inner-child. Cozy lodgings and hot chocolate are fabulous, but they’re made all the better by chilly sledding adventures in the snow.
Thanks in part to beautiful Denver, sledding in Colorado is a huge tourist attraction, and that’s not all! In winter in Denver, you can also indulge in skiing, snowshoeing adventures and much, much more.
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With over 300 days of sunshine per year, there are more places to go sledding in Denver than you might think. In this post, we’ve covered the Colorado capital’s fantastic parks and secluded spots blanketed in snow in the winter months. Here are the best sledding hills in Denver:
BEST SLEDDING IN DENVER - RUBY HILL PARK & RAIL YARD
If you drive a mere fifteen minutes out of downtown Denver, you’ll find the popular sledding destination, Ruby Hill Park. In summer, this park draws locals in with its outdoor pool and lush community gardens. However, when the snow falls on Ruby Hill Park’s picture-perfect grounds, the rolling green hills transform into a sledding paradise.
Perched on the mile-high Ruby Hill just outside of downtown, the park has exceptional views of Denver city. You’ll love seeing the twinkling lights of the metropolis from the view of the peaceful grounds.
A collaboration between the Ruby Hill Parks & Recreation Department, and the Winter Park Resort, this rail yard makes up for quick-melting Denver snow with the artificial kind. Groundsmen start setting the scene for sledders around January, ready for (hopefully) some ideal weather conditions in February. March is Denver’s most snowy month of the year, so try to plan your itinerary around that!
Inside the park, you’ll find the Ruby Hill Rail Yard, a 100% free snow terrain park and the perfect place to get your snowboarding kicks. There are multiple rails and boxes for different skill levels, so amateurs and enthusiasts alike can enjoy the slopes and try out some new tricks.
Ruby Hill Park is open every day from 5 am to 11 pm (depending on ever-changing COVID regulations) and the rail yard is lit for skiers until around 9 pm.
Ruby Hill Park sledding is totally family-friendly, and you can certainly stick to the less intimidating areas if you’re new to sledding. There is an abundance of ground to cover (over 80 acres!) so you’re bound to find some inclines that entice you. This is hands-down one of the best places to go sledding near Denver downtown.
Robinson Park is a neighborhood favorite when the long-awaited snow finally begins to fall, and contains some of Denver’s best sledding hills. Like Ruby Hill Park, the slopes here are of varying heights and inclines, so there’s a bit of something for everyone. You’ll find tons of kids and their parents enjoying some good old family sledding at Robinson Park.
The picnic tables, basketball courts, and sports fields in the park appear charmingly out of place when it snows. You might enjoy wandering around in the moonlight on a winter night, perhaps make a snow angel or two in the midst of a park transformed by cooler weather.
The entrance to Robinson Park is completely free, which seems absurd considering how lovely it is there. You might even be able to peak in at the amphitheater, which looks spectacular when it’s laced in sparkling white snow.
Luckily, Robinson Park is fairly quiet on a weekday. You may want to take an early Friday one day and enjoy some family-friendly fun. The sledding hills meet at the park’s basin, so you won’t have to fret about losing control of your toboggan or makeshift sled. The sun shines bright in the day in Denver (yep, even in Winter) which makes park adventures particularly enjoyable.
Robinson Park is open daily from 6 am to 10 pm.
ESTES PARK AND HIDDEN VALLEY
Estes Park is the neighbor to Rocky Mountain National Park, the most visited national park in Canada. You can access RMNP from highway 36, just 2 miles from Estes Park. The 10-minute journey between parks is one of the most iconic drives in all of Colorado. It is resplendent with snow-covered pine trees that scrape the sky.
Before you head out to this park, you’re going to want to take a gander inside Estes Park. The rocky mountains encircle the gorgeous Lake Estes and reflect beautifully against the lake’s water (even more beautiful if the lake has frozen over). Head to the visitor center and someone will be available to direct you to the Aerial Tramway, which provides a spectacular aerial view of the mountain range.
Remember to call on RMNP before you embark on the drive from Estes, as the weather is not always conducive to sledding. Even if the snow seems reasonably safe, it’s always best to check with the park staff just in case. Hopefully, the weather is on your side and you can embark on your unforgettable journey to Hidden Valley.
Hidden Valley is the only area of the reserve designated for sledding, which is why you may find droves of people headed that way once you enter the park. The valley used to be used as a ski resort, so the slopes there are ideal for sledding. The park allows sleds, toboggans, and tubes in this area, so you can go nuts at Hidden Valley!
Rocky Mountain National Park requires a National Park Pass for entrance. This grants you access to 80 National parks in Canada, so make sure you secure a National Park Pass online before you head out for your sledding adventure. These cost upwards of $60 for adults. Kids under 17 don’t need passes.
KEN CARYL SLEDDING HILL
Located in Littleton, Denver, Ken Caryl Sledding Hill is one of the best Denver sledding spots. The land around Ken Caryl has been left virtually untouched, but that hasn’t kept anyone away. You’ll find loads of locals, tourists, and sledding enthusiasts on this hill. Some people prefer the wide-open landscape as opposed to the fenced-in (albeit large) national parks. For an impromptu day out on the snow, Ken Caryl Sledding Hill is the perfect place to be.
As popular as this location is, it can accommodate the droves it pulls in year on year. Sundays and Mondays are generally quieter, however, so try to head out on these off-days, if you can, for a more peaceful snow day.
There is no access fee to Ken Caryl Sledding Hill and the area is open 24 hours a day. There are also a few park benches right at the top of the north-facing slope. You can park off here and watch the other sledders have a good time if checking out the view is more up your alley. Keep in mind that there are no designated trails here, so you’ll want to stick to the more populated areas of the hill.
GEORGE WALLACE PARK
South of Denver is George Wallace Park, an outdoor park spanning almost 25 acres. With benches, playgrounds and trails, this park offers plenty of room to sled as well as routes to explore through the grounds. If the sun is shining and there’s no mist, you’ll also be able to see part of the city skyline from George Wallace Park.
The sledding hills here are excellent here, following along the banks of Goldsmith Gulch Creek. Being right by the water is certainly a plus, and the slopes leading down to the creek are particularly fun for those thrill-seekers out there. You can get to the water by following the Goldsmith Gulch Trail – but be wary of unfriendly weather conditions in the winter.
The park is located within the Denver Tech Center (DTC), Colorado’s economic trading center, which means you’re not far off from the hustle and the bustle of more central city attractions. That said, being in the park feels like being in an oasis protected from the noise of the metropolis. The area is peaceful despite its location, and the atmosphere near the water is blissful.
The sunsets from George Wallace park are simply breathtaking, especially with the view of the city buildings framed perfectly from a park bench.
The Park is open 24 hours a day, though hours may differ on public holidays. Entrance here is also completely free! This space is kid-friendly, too, as the slopes are more than varied enough to accommodate sledders old and young.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SLEDDING IN DENVER
No matter where you are in Denver, you’ll likely find a cool place to go sledding if you simply scale a nearby hill and go for it! You can’t beat the sledding opportunities in Denver’s parks. So you’ll definitely want to make time for the places mentioned in our list.
We hope you enjoy sledding in Denver and get to relish in the incredible Colorado scenery.
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