Sledding in Las Vegas

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Not being ones to sit still very often, Bob and I are always eager to get out and explore- even if we’re in Las Vegas. The bright lights and shiny slots can only hold our attention for so long, especially considering Bob only likes to play the penny slots and the most we’ve ever won is about 20 bucks! After 48 hours around Sin City, we decided to venture out to Mt. Charleston and see some snow.

The drive from Vegas to Mt. Charleston is pretty relaxing and fast, at only 35 miles away. With the casinos behind you and empty desert and mountains surrounding you, it’s easy to quickly feel one with nature.  (Even though we headed there in winter, this is a great spot to come during the spring and summer. The mountain areas can be anywhere from 15-25 degrees cooler than the valley and offer great hikes, seasonal waterfalls and awesome canyon views.)

Once inside the park, the speed limit slows down considerably and there are several forks in the road to choose. We first forked to the left but that basically took us around to a restaurant (which was nice for a quick and clean bathroom break), but ultimately headed back down to the right to find the slopes. As we were looking for somewhere to park, we noticed that people were sledding on each side of the road. It was almost like winter wonderland and every where I looked, I saw someone else racing down the mountain-side. After seeing how much fun everyone was having and since we arrived mid-day, we decided to save some money and just go sledding instead of skiing. What a fantastic decision!

Living in Southern California and only seeing snow maybe once or twice a year, it takes a little while to get used to walking around in it again. Bob almost ate it several times from the ice on the road and after watching him do so, I decided to take to the side of the road and nearly got stuck as I started sinking! The snow was pretty soft and perfect for a snowball fight. Don’t tell Bob but I totally kicked his butt! He couldn’t make them as fast as I could and was completely defenseless against my mad snow ball making skills.

When we got to the top of the hill, we decided to walk a little further away from the crowds and walk amongst the trees. The size of these trees were out of this world; when we noticed that one had fallen, Bob decided to run up to it, lay down next to it and compare his body to the size of the tree! Needless to say- the tree won!

It felt amazing to be surrounded by snow, my best friends and the open air! I felt a little silly being scared of sledding down the hill when seven year-olds were zooming past me but I had fun nonetheless!

Things to consider:

-The conditions on the mountain will greatly influence how long it will take you to get to the resort or lodge and depending on snow and other drivers, I’d add on about twenty minutes to the drive time.

-There are no gas stations anywhere on the mountain, so make sure to fill up before you turn down the main road.

-Sledders are urged to use Foxtail Picnic Area in Lee Canyon by the Parks service.

-Snow Tires or chains might be required depending on conditions, so check before you go on their Twitter account.

-Skiing will run you about $50 bucks for a lift ticket and only $35 bucks to rent skis and boots. (That seems really cheap to me since we usually ski at Mammoth, Ca.)

Have you been to Mount Charleston? Do you prefer skiing or sledding?

Jade Broadus is a spunky girl hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She’s addicted to traveling and has a strange obsession with maps and globes. A lover of dogs, fashion, fish tacos, marine biology, and college football, she has a broad range of interests. Jade has a strong passion for the film “Love, Actually” and has watched it 176 times. Her interests include singing really loud, impromptu dances, shopping, and dressing up in cute dresses and extravagant hats. She has written for Gadling, AOL Travel, Discover Los Angeles, LACOT, LandLopers, Wedding Nouveau, and The Vacation Gals. She is currently the social media and marketing director for Inside Out Media, a media company that owns TravelMindset.com and iExplore.com.

17 Comments

  • Reply February 22, 2011

    Kelly

    Wow I had absolutely no idea you could do this in Vegas! Blowin my mind! Looks like so much fun!

    • Reply February 23, 2011

      Jade

      It was so much fun! And, so close to Vegas- perfect escape!

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  • Reply February 23, 2011

    Cathy Sweeney

    Great fun! I’ve driven around outside of Vegas to go to places like Hoover Dam and into Utah, but I never knew there was a place like Mt. Charleston that actually gets snow.

    I haven’t gone sledding in a long time, but when I was a kid we did that all the time in winter. Now I love skiing.

    • Reply February 23, 2011

      Jade

      I love skiing, too, Cathy. Can’t wait to do some in Mammoth in a few weeks!

  • Despite growing up in Las Vegas and many, many trips to Mt. Charleston, I never hit up the Ski Resort (or went sledding). Kind of regret that! Glad you had fun!

    • Reply February 23, 2011

      Jade

      Thanks, Aaron! It was a lot of fun, if you head back to Vegas you should check it out!

  • Reply February 23, 2011

    robin

    When I think Vegas I definitely do not think snow – this was a revelation to me!

  • Reply February 23, 2011

    Todd | Todd's Wanderings

    Seriously? Is that really near Vegas? I think I might be more surprised at this than most other things in my travels. Thanks for pointing it out. Of course the last time I was in Vegas I got very little fresh air :)

  • Reply February 23, 2011

    Norbert

    Ok, this totally surprised me… Snow in Las Vegas! One more thing for my list!

  • Reply February 24, 2011

    Andrea

    Wow – had no idea this was so close to Vegas! Looks like so much fun =)

  • Reply February 24, 2011

    Grace

    Didn’t realize this was in Vegas. Makes me want to snowboard now!

  • Reply February 24, 2011

    Scott - Quirky Travel Guy

    Wow, that’s incredible to see the desert in the distance while surrounded by snow. Great article!

  • Reply February 24, 2011

    Rease

    I was so jealous of the snowpocalypse in the midwest this winter. I moved away to a snowless city! I love snow and sledding. This place looks beautiful.

  • Reply February 27, 2011

    Jeremy B

    Wow, really? I had no idea scenery like this was close to Vegas! Honestly, I have no desire to go to Vegas but love that you shared a place like this that I didn’t know existed!

  • [...] away and you are nestled in the mountains, feeling far away from the bright lights of Vegas strip. Mt. Charleston offers several options for fun in the snow. Skiing will cost a relatively cheap $80 bucks (for lift [...]

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