Letter of Recommendation: Yeehaw-Hill Snow Tubing

Panoramic+shot+of+the+surrounding+area+while+at+the+top+of+the+hill.+

Annabeth Sarbacker

Panoramic shot of the surrounding area while at the top of the hill.

Annabeth Sarbacker

It is 10 a.m. when I am woken by the iconic sounds of Rascal Flatts singing “Life is a Highway”. As my eyes struggle to adjust to the light of the world out from under my blankets and pillow, I attempt to untwist my body from the contorted pretzel-like position that comes from sleeping in the car.

Once fully awakened, my excitement begins to grow. We are on our way to Yeehaw-Hill at Saddleback Ranch. 

 

After turning off the highway, your adrenaline has a few miles to build before arriving at the ranch. Snow crunches under the car tires as you pull into the parking lot amongst a handful of families bundling up to face the cold.

Annabeth Sarbacker
The first glimpse of the tubing hill after getting out of the car.

 

Inside the lodge, you are greeted warmly before being able to pay for your time; the price per hour varies on how much time you decide to pay for. Prior to braving the massive hill, you are given a waiver to sign and a short safety video to watch.

 

Inside the lodge where you purchase tickets and snacks.

 

Once outside, you are able to select your tube from the pile and head to the lift. After you sit down, your tube gets hooked onto the moving line and you are pulled up the hill backwards, which is a relaxing ride in itself. As far as you can see, the land is blanketed by snow and spotted with far off houses.

 

 

At the top you will find yourself faced with the ultimate decision: Larry, Curly, or Moe.

 You walk to the edge, position your tube, take a breath, and jump in. Contagious laughter will escape you while loose snow sprays into the air, evidence of your trail blazing. Going down the hill overwhelms you with an immediate buzz of adventure as the winds whips at your face.

 

 

For Curly and Moe, you are able to go down both of the runs in groups by holding hands with people to make a chain or even intertwining legs in pairs. With the combined weight, you are guaranteed to fly down the hills.

 

 

To our surprise, my siblings and I were even invited to link tubes with a group of half a dozen adults. In this way, the hill becomes a small community as people easily make small talk at the top or offer to take pictures of families together.

 

Annabeth Sarbacker
Schaefer and Paskey smile atop the hill before taking another turn.

 

Between your turns on the hill, the lodge is a cozy place to warm up with snacks and hot chocolate. Wooden tables and lively chatter make it easy to find yourself at home, even amongst strangers.The expansive rustic space will bring to mind feelings akin to sitting in front of your grandmother’s fireplace.

The singular drawback to the tubing hill is that the drive is about four hours (if you are able to skip rest stops). Although it may sound like an overzealous amount of time to drive for snow tubing, it is worth it. The scenery is breathtaking as you begin to find yourself surrounded by snow capped mountains and evergreens that rival skyscrapers.

 

 

As the road twists through the hills, you get to watch quaint, picturesque houses and towns pass by.  If you are looking for a full day adventure, this is it. You get the thrill and excitement of tubing sandwiched between the snacks and quality time of a family road trip.

 

Annabeth Sarbacker
From the back of the car filled with snacks and blankets ready for a family road trip.

 

For a family like mine, who does not hike or camp together, this was a landmark memory for all of us. I would urge you to take your family or friends to do something new together: always make time for new memories with people you care about.  

 

Scot Sarbacker
Family photo captured at the conclusion of the day. Pictured are Jess Aims, Riley Sarbacker, Tami Sarbacker, Charlotte Schaefer, Annabeth Sarbacker, and Matthew Paskey.

Directions from Fossil Ridge High School  

If you have your own favorite place to tube or sled, share it in the comments.