The World's Best Snow Tubing Hills (PHOTOS)

Because sometimes your backyard just won't cut it.

The dream of the endless sled ride is a fantasy born of reading too many Calvin and Hobbes strips and too few physics textbooks. Unfortunately, most rides down the hills near most homes are of the abbreviated variety. There is barely time to feel the cold air on one's face, much less wax philosophical before going airborne. Still, there are a few places around the world where a truly devoted sledder can find that steepest of hills and, even better, not have to walk up it.

The best places to go sledding are, inevitably, the best places to go tubing. Simple plastic sleds and toboggans have myriad virtues, but they aren't a favorite among the lawyers who shore up businesses against lawsuits. It will never be common for ski resorts to hand over the keys to the luge either. It is a litigious age after all. This means we're left with tubes, which is hardly nothing.

Tubes are comfortable, light and capable of supporting the weight of several people. The also move very quickly, especially when they are on slopes so steep that they are serviced by lifts, throwing off the high-pitched plastic scream of friction as they rocket down the hill.

That said, not all tubes and not all snow tubing hills are created equal. Some hills are great because of the speed they offer while others stay open all year. Some are great because they've cropped up in unlikely places and others are memorable for being absolutely covered in snow. What is clear is that these are the best places on Earth for slip sliding away.

Let's go exploring.

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Before You Go

Mad River Mountain, Ohio

The Best Tubing On Earth