2018-02-09 / News Update

A snowy mountain escape here in Georgia

Laura Levering
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Snow Mountain pass-holders at Stone Mountain Park are met with a view of the park’s 825-foot mountain, which features a 90- by 190-foot memorial carving. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Snow Mountain pass-holders at Stone Mountain Park are met with a view of the park’s 825-foot mountain, which features a 90- by 190-foot memorial carving. Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Last month’s snowfall across the Central Savannah River Area had some people dancing in the flurries and others, like me, yearning for snow worthy of forming snowballs. Fortunately, I was able to fulfill that yearning with a trip to nearby Stone Mountain Park.

Located about 135 miles west of Fort Gordon, Stone Mountain Park is 3,200 acres of natural land filled with things to do year-round. But it’s the mountain’s snowy transformation that makes it a popular attraction during winter months. And although temperatures typically fluctuate this time of year, sometimes resembling spring-like weather, Stone Mountain is making it easy to forget days of winter will soon be behind.

Through March 4, visitors can enjoy an array of winter activities in an area of the park filled with makeshift snow. Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park is situated in an area facing the park’s 825-foot mountain. The mountain covers 583 acres and features a memorial carving that measure 90 by 190 feet, providing a picturesque backdrop for snow enthusiasts.

Guests must have a Snow Mountain ticket to enter the Snow Mountain area. There are three options when it comes to purchasing Snow Mountain passes. The least expensive pass includes a two-hour tubing session and all-day access to snow play areas. The most expensive of the three grants all-day access to tubing and the snow play area, plus tickets for three attractions outside Snow Mountain.

Tickets can be purchased online or in person. Capacity is limited, and advanced reservations are required. This lessens wait times in line, keeps the flow of tubes moving smoothly and allows for maximum playtime. No equipment or experience is needed.

There are two main tubing runs: Avalanche Alley and Tube Runners. Avalanche Alley places four to eight riders inside an oversized tube and sends them off a steep slope spiraling down a 400-foot hill. Tube Runners is for individual or coupled riders. The hill is not as steep as Avalanche Alley, but makes for a thrilling run.

Upon entering lines for tubing, guests select either a single or double tube before proceeding to a lift, which transports them to the top of the hill by way of conveyer belt. Guests in line for Avalanche Alley do not grab a tube because theirs await at the top of the hill.

Once guests reach the top, they enter the appropriate entrance for the ride. Avalanche Alley has two tube runs, and Tube Runners has 14. There is plenty of staff on hand to guide, instruct and assist riders.

Once at the bottom of the hill, riders are responsible for transporting their tubes to a drop-off point a short distance away, and staff are readily available to assist anyone who needs it.

A few hundred yards away from tubing, SnowZone is a winterland where guests can build snowmen and even dress them with items from a snow closet, create and throw snowballs at designated targets, construct a snow fort, dig a tunnel, or whatever else comes to mind.

For smaller guests, there is an area designated for children 3 and under (42 inches and below). The area includes a bunny slope for the littlest tubers to experience.

After the sun goes down, LED lights and lasers illuminate Snow Mountain, and music can be heard throughout. Closing time varies daily. But when it comes time to leave, guests can retreat to one of Stone Mountain’s two lodges, camp out or head home.

Snow Mountain is without question one of Stone Mountain’s most popular attractions during winter. But with a little planning, the park can be a weeklong escape.

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