Sledding, Tubing, & Skoutching – Quick Trips
Activity: Snow Sledding/Tubing
Best Location: Routt or Medicine Bow National Forest
Cost: Free or very little
In Laramie winter is something that we surely have no lack of and fortunately there are some awesome activities to take advantage of this time of year. Whether or not you want to admit it, flying down a hill on a sled or inner tube is a great time for all ages, assuming you are still physically able. If you are really ambitious take your worn out furniture, slap on some skis and take it for a ride; more on that later!
With several national forests close to town, there are quite a few options for different places to go sledding or tubing. One of the most well know spots is the Happy Jack Recreation Area located off of Happy Jack Road. It is the sight of an old ski area so you will find several wide open ski runs to take off on. I would definitely recommend bringing an extra sled or two; if your sled is relatively cheap chances are you are going to need another after the first one breaks! Check out the map below for directions to Happy Jack Recreation Area. For some locations even closer to town check out our story all about sledding around Laramie. If you want to put a fun spin on traditional sledding keep reading below.
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There are some great ways to spice up the traditional sledding you might remember from growing up. Instead of going to an established sledding hill find a place in the mountains that is accessible but not trafficked in winter. Then find a descent hill and use sleds to carve out a trail down the hill through trees etc... You should end up with a bobsled like track that is a ton of fun to fly down and a little more challenging than your traditional sled hill. Jus dont hit a tree! If you really want to make things interesting throw in a jump at the end like the one in this picture.
Now the best option; couch sking or as some like to call it, skoutching! If you happen to have some furniture that you don't care too much about put it on some skis and take it for a ride; the process is pretty self explanatory but you do want to make sure it is done in a safe manner. You can usually pick up some really old beat up skis for around $5 at a ski shop, pawn shop, or garage sale. On the left you can see a picture of a large couch with 4 skis mounted under its frame. If the furniture doesn't have a solid frame I would recommend using some 2x4's to make a solid base, which you can mount the skis onto. As you can see the two center skis are forward mounted while the outer two are center mounted; this will prevent the couch from tipping over as you fly down the hill. In any case be ready to jump off if things go wrong. Sometimes a quick push start at the begining is a big help if you want to go fast.
If you have any questions make sure to comment on the story. Most importantly have fun and be safe!