Discover Saskatoon
Optimist Hill

A Day Out at Optimist Hill

Outdoors & Adventure, Sports
Posted By Ashlyn George , January 10, 2024
The tubing hill at Optimist Hill is the adrenaline rush you didn’t know you needed. No matter your age.


In fact, that’s what makes it so great. It’s a fun activity for everyone. It gets your heart pumping as you spin and slide down one of three tubing lanes before gliding to a stop on the graduated upturn. Then you get to slide down a gentle slope right to the magic carpet which will whisk you back up the hill, ready to do it all over again. No dragging your tube up-hill behind you and working up a sweat that isn’t worth the five seconds of downhill fun - like when we were kids. 

I love to ski, snowboard, and tube. So, the fact that Saskatoon has a centre that accommodates all three of these fun winter activities is amazing! The Optimist Hill facility opened in 2019 within Saskatoon’s Diefenbaker Park. Thirty vertical feet were added to the original hill, making it 70 feet overall. The runs are groomed and there’s a terrain park for those looking to elevate their skiing and snowboarding skills.


And if you’re worried about snow levels (this year in particular), don’t be. Optimist Hill makes their own snow in years that have a little less. 



Tubing was such a highlight for us. We reserved our two-hour session in advance which made it easy to show up and go. We spent every minute on the hill and got in well over a dozen runs. There are staff members at the top of the tube runs to make sure it’s safe to slide down. But they will also link up to four tubes at a time if you want to slide down with friends, kids, or other family members. There was five of us and we had a great time deciding what combination of tubes to go down the hill in. (If you really love spinning, go down solo – it’s a wild ride!)



The best part is that you can still go tubing after the sun has set – which is key here in Saskatchewan with our limited daylight hours. The park is lit up so you can take advantage of nighttime tubing (and skiing or snowboarding) until close.



Afterward, we stopped in at the 3Twenty Modular Village. It’s the on-site warm-up chalet where you can grab a hot chocolate or coffee and a bite to eat. You can order food items like pizza, popcorn and yes, even ice cream.


Ski and Snowboard Lessons and Rentals

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard, this is the place.


Not only does Optimist Hill offer lessons for both activities (booked in advance), but getting up the magic carpet lift is so much easier, especially for those new to the sport. Even though I’m an adept snowboarder, I still get anxiety thinking of having to ride up T-bars on my board. 


3 Tips When Visiting Optimist Hill



  1. Buy your passes online. If you have a printer at home, I recommend you prep your waiver in advance (note that the waiver’s must be printed with colour-ink). This makes checking in and getting your gear that much quicker – especially if the kids are excited to hit the hill.
  2. Wear warm clothes. This might be obvious for anyone who has spent time Saskatoon or Saskatchewan during our winter season. But Optimist Hill is fairly exposed due to its elevation above the river valley. This means if it’s windy, you’ll really feel it. 

You’ll want to wear a warm toque, neck warmer and thick gloves. Ski pants and a well-insulated jacket are also necessary. Wearing merino wool as a baselayer underneath the exterior gear will also help keep you warm and moderate any sweat you might work up on the hill. Goggles are helpful if it’s cold, but sunglasses also work on bright days.


  1. The 3Twenty Modular Village and warm-up chalet has small lockers available so you can tuck away any valuables you want to keep safe while on the hill – like keys, phones, and wallets.