This past week I decided to be spontaneous and take my family on a much needed mini vacation. I took not even a day of planning and we decided to drive up to the snow near Donner Summit, for a couple of hours of snow play, and then to stay a night or two in Reno, NV. I can’t tell you how nice it is to just go on a spur of the moment trip, without having to agonize over the best price, the best activites, etc. I saw that the hotels in Reno were offering awesome prices, and decided to go for it; and we could figure out what we’d do when we got there.
California has something really neat to offer, which are Sno-Parks. Sno-Parks are little areas where you are allowed to park and play in the snow until your heart’s content. These areas are designated for such play and really do have the perfect hills for sledding. A HUGE bonus to these Sno-Parks is that they have restrooms close by! Once you cross the border to Nevada, you won’t be able to find organized play areas such as these.
You do need to pick up a parking permit, which costs only $5, or your car could be towed. The fun area we had to play in, with restrooms, was well worth the $5. You can view a map of Sno-Park locations and permit locations on the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation website for California. The sno-park we went to was just barely off Highway 20, but tucked away enough to not feel like you are anywhere near the highway. It was the perfect afternoon of fun in the snow, and the kids all had a blast!
After our fun in the snow, we headed to Reno for a very fun stay at Silver Legacy. You can read Mini Vacation Part 2: Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino in Reno, NV, here in just an hour.