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Leland High Sierra Snowplay

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Leland High Sierra Snowplay
34033 Leland Meadow Road
PinecrestCA 95364
(209) 965-4719

Ages: 2 and up

Cost: see website for details

Parking: Yes - free

Features: Shop, Snack Stand, Family Friendly, Restrooms

Leland High Sierra Snowplay is just a short drive from the Central Valley, with an expansive and well-groomed snow area for sledding.  The park opens as soon as snow hits the foothills (the park is at an elevation of 6,300 feet) and typically remains open until April.

Those visiting the snow park may choose to purchase either a walk-up pass or a tow-up pass.  The tow-up pass allows tubers to connect tubes to a lift tow that will bring the tuber up the hills with minimum effort.  Those with a walk-up pass must hike up the hill to then tube down.  These large hills have multiple lanes to choose from, each with their own level of excitement groomed in.

The kiddie hills are perfect for those not tall enough and maybe too apprehensive to ride the large hills.  Double and even triple riding is allowed on the kiddie hills, providing visitors with a true family photo-op!  Personal sledding equipment (only plastic or vinyl equipment) may be used on the kiddie hills.  

An oval course on-site is specifically for mini-snowmobile rides!  Children ages five to 12 weighing under 110 pounds — and for an additional fee — can jump on a mini-snowmobile and zip around the track!  This attraction operates only on weekends and holidays under weather conditions.

Weekend and holiday rates are slightly higher than mid-week rates. Holiday rates apply to Winter Break (December 19th - January 2rd), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16), and President's Day (February 20).  See the website for more details.

2011/2012 season hours of operation: 10am-5pm, daily.

1 Reviews

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Reviewed on 02/06/2012

It was with great anticipation that we woke on a February Saturday morning, packed up our vehicle and headed 85 miles east of Modesto to Leland High Sierra Snowplay, located in Pinecrest.

After pulling off of Highway 108, we easily found the park and a large dirt parking lot. Inside the lodge, where tickets, food, and snacks are sold, we received our lift tickets, attached them to our snow pants, and went out onto the snow as quickly as we could.

Sledding and tubing equipment is provided by the park, but we had brought up a few sleds of our own to try, too. My California-native kids haven't had very much snow-play experience, so we went first to the kiddie hills. The area was slightly groomed, easy to walk up, and very casual when it came to how and where to slide back down. Children and adults of many ages were on the kiddie hills; everyone was polite and considerate, watching out for the youngest visitors. After several runs down, our oldest child began to pressure us to move onto the larger hills.

One run is set aside for groups of people to slide down together. Only the appropriate tube is allowed on this hill, and the only way up is to hoof it. Any which way you and your cohorts want to go down is allowed: lying on your stomach, in a head-to-toe fashion; sitting in your tube, interlocking hands or feet and sliding down in a star-like configuration; a combination of the two methods. The slope is significant — one of our children began to get very apprehensive at the top — but very fun once en route.

After the long and slick hike up the tubing hill, we were all very glad for the tow-up pass for the remainder of the runs. With four routes to choose from, there are slightly varying degrees of thrill, but what made this ride unforgettable was the condition of the snow: because it had not recently snowed, the runs were hard-packed and slick. At one point on a large hill, I hit a bump, went airborne, and came back down hard. I'm sure that fresh powder would have made this ride much more enjoyable.

PRO: The snow park had a special offer on this particular weekend: visitors could purchase an all-day play pass (usually $30/person) for the 2-hour play pass price ($22). Our family of five, all over the height of 44" — at which the adult price kicks in — checked in at just over $100.
CON: While for an all-day pass this seems reasonable, the idea that it would cost us $100 for just two hours of play on any other weekend day seemed a bit steep.

PRO: I had asked the manager if this particular day was busy or not... the parking area wasn't completely full, there wasn't a long wait for anything at all. He informed me that, no, this particular day was actually quite slow.
CON: As a result, I would think that on weekends after which snow had just fallen would be quite a different experience. Parking may be a challenge. Finding a seat in the lodge or on the sundeck may be near-impossible. The wait at the top of the large hills may be up to 10 minutes.

Leland High Sierra Snowplay