Badger Pass is nothing if not quaint and idyllic. It bills itself as “unpretentious, friendly and affordable” and I think that about sums it up. That and the gorgeous Sierras setting.
Badger Pass is actually a full-service ski resort offering ski and snowboard instruction, rental equipment, a ski shop, childcare, and a cafeteria and lounge. The 90-acre setting features some 10 runs (I did say it was quaint, right?) and extensive cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails.
There’s also a very small roped-off area near the cross-country rental equipment area where kids and families can try their hand at snow tubing.
The “hill” isn’t too steep or too long, making it perfect for total newbies and young kids. In fact, the area is designed specifically for younger kids who want the excitement of sliding over snow – not for hot shots with a serious need for speed.
Your $15 rental fee includes the use of one snow tube and access to the area during one of two, two-hour sessions. There’s an attendant on hand to ensure no one gains too much speed or gets too rowdy. That and making sure only one person is on the course at a time.
Each slide down the hill lasts about 10 seconds, depending on how fast you go. Then you’ll need to hike back up the hill and do it all over again.
The Explorers couldn’t get enough of it. The Big Explorer tried every possible position on the snow tube he could think up (and some that others suggested) to see which got him down the hill the fastest. And The Little Explorer (who rode with dad) begged to ride head first. Yeah, that’s how he rolls.
We had to drag them off the hill at the end of the session lured only by the promise of lunch. And of returning again next year.
Date of most recent visit: Sun., April 1, 2012
Who: The entire family!
Weather: Mid 50s, breezy
- Playing in snow (and splashing in slush)
- Seeing icicles
- Trying all kinds of fun positions on the snow tubes to see which got us down the slope fastest
- Sliding down the hill head first
- Eating a picnic lunch on the deck of the lodge with a gorgeous view of the slopes
- Badger Pass is usually open from mid-December through mid-March, conditions permitting
- Snow tubing costs $15 per person/2-hour session; kids 4 and under (and/or those under 42 inches tall) must ride with an adult
- Snow tubing sessions run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m.
- Tubing area is designed for younger kids who want the excitement of sliding over snow; high speeds & bumping into each other are prohibited
- Helmets are not required
- Don’t forget the sunglasses & sunscreen
- As always, dress for the weather & layer to accommodate for changing conditions
- Restrooms & lockers can be found in the lodge, just a short walk from the snow tubing area
- Food & drinks are available for purchase at the lodge – or bring your own (they’ve even got microwaves!)
- Other winter activities available at Badger Pass include downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing & snowshoeing
- Chains are required in the park during winter; be prepared to use them when visiting Badger Pass
- Small, free parking area; free Badger Pass shuttle bus is also a great option
Badger Pass Ski Area is 5 miles south of the Chinquapin intersection of Wawona Road (Hwy. 41) with Glacier Point Road in the southern area of Yosemite National Park.
Looking for more things to do in Yosemite with kids? Check out An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Yosemite National Park With Kids.
Note: This review is based on my family's personal experience. We did not receive any incentive to visit, nor any compensation for sharing my opinions. If you have any questions, read my full disclosure policy.