20190212 Snow Day Sledding -MRepplier

Students sledding down a hill near the Paccar Center for Applied Sciences at GU.

Sledding is rooted in winter culture like hot chocolate and warm fires. Whether you like intense slopes or just like it as a casual winter activity, sledding is easily customizable and can be enjoyable for everyone. Gonzaga and the surrounding neighborhoods have lots to offer for fun sledding adventures, so grab your sled and get ready.

Surprisingly, GU’s campus features tons of small hills perfect for sledding.

Sophomore Johnny Hansen, an avid sledder, recommends going over to Lake Arthur. The gentle slope and lack of bumps make it beginner friendly, and it does not require a car to get there.

There are plenty of hills for every type of sledder. “Near the Martin Center is pretty fun if you can handle bumps,” Hansen said. 

Outside of GU’s campus, Spokane has many options for fun sledding activities.

Freshman Alex Horton, a lifelong Spokane resident, raved about Manito Park.

“Whenever you drive past the park in the winter, there are always a bunch of families sledding down the hill,” Horton said, “They set up lanes and stuff, so it’s really fun.”

She recommends the hill parallel to Grand Avenue near the entrance.

“The whole park is huge hills, so any clear area would work great,” Horton said. 

Underhill Park, just off of I-90 in the East Central Neighborhood, is another local favorite.

Horton described the park as having amazing hills. The park is known for its sledding hill, which goes 80 feet up to the former railroad bed that is now the city’s Ben Burr Trail.

In recent years, Underhill has surpassed Manito Park in terms of popularity, but Horton said both will still be rather busy. 

Many other local parks have great hills for sledding. Lincoln Park on the South Hill offers good inclines and declines, while Chase Middle School has a path clear of any trees and stairs to make getting to the top much easier.

Rochester Park, near Whitman Elementary School, is another great option if looking for easy sledding, since the park features smaller hills and no trees.

A further distance away, but still notable, is Holmberg Park, The hill between Holmberg Park and the Holmberg Conservation area is excellent for sledding, and is usually less crowded than Manito and Underhill. 

While these are great options, don’t shy away from discovering your own favorite spot. When looking for a good sledding spot, there are a couple factors to keep in mind.

First, make sure it’s an area clear of trees or bushes to avoid any potential crashes.

Finally, the length of the slope determines how long your ride is, so keep that in mind when looking for a good hill.

“The longer you are on the sled going downhill, the better,” Hansen said. 

Sledding is a great winter activity with something to offer for everyone. So, the next time Spokane has a snow day, grab your sled and try one of these parks.

Sydney Flucker is a staff writer.

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