The winter snows bring ample opportunities for sledding in and around Grand Junction. If tiny hills leave you a little uninspired, consider upping your sledding – or snow tubing – game at some of western Colorado's premier sledding spots.
Affectionately dubbed Old Powderhorn by local residents, the old Mesa Creek Ski Area is a great place to go sledding. Approximately three miles past the official Powderhorn Ski Resort, you’ll find a parking area on the southern side of the road. Park your vehicle and hike up the trailhead to access the hills.
Sledders are welcome at the lower ski area, which is clearly visible from Highway 65. The sled hill is broad enough to accommodate plenty of riders and also has a long, flat area to help you slow down.
Just off the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway, the area is also a breathtaking spot for a cold-weather picnic, so consider packing a lunch for the family. Many visitors choose to make it a day trip and bring along camp stoves to make chili and hot chocolate on their tailgates.
Just a little over an hour from Grand Junction, Ridgway State Park has an impressive sledding hill near the upper boat ramp parking lot. You will also find various other sledding and tubing opportunities throughout the park.
Depending on conditions, the area also offers great cross-country skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. In addition to its two year-round campground loops, Ridgway State Park also offers three cozy yurts, making it a fantastic option for an overnight sledding trip amid some of Colorado's most scenic surroundings.
If you're looking for a quick place to sled without having to drive, Duck Pond Park is a great option. One of the top sledding spots within Grand Junction city limits, this popular winter gathering place offers several areas for sledding and tubing. Expect plenty of company as you zoom down perfectly packed hills that culminate in a safe, flat area far away from cars, trees, fences, light poles, and other dangerous obstructions.
In addition to its plentiful gentle slopes, Duck Pond Park also offers a large, modern pavilion, restrooms, and a playground.
Although sledding can provide hours of thrilling fun, it also comes with potential dangers. Research done by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital indicates that 20,000 American kids are hospitalized every year due to sledding-related injuries. You can reduce your risk by taking the following precautions:
Riders should always lay or sit on their backs on top of their sleds with their feet pointing downhill. It's also a good idea to learn how to stop and turn your sled by using your feet.