Safety at Winter Recreation Area at Elm Creek

Three Rivers Parks is committed to promoting slope safety. In addition to skiers using traditional alpine ski equipment, others on the slopes include snowboarders, Telemark skiers or cross-country skiers, skiers with disabilities, skiers with specialized equipment and others. Always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing and snowboarding that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Know your ability level and stay within it. Observe Your Responsibility Code for a great snow sports experience.

Snow Tubing Safety

  • Snow tubing takes place in a winter environment; dress properly. Winter footwear is recommended. (You may not wear ski boots.)
  • Always follow direction of staff and posted signs. Wait for attendants signal before starting down the tube run. Immediately leave the area at the bottom of the tube run.
  • You may tube on our specific rental tubes only.
  • No tubing when the hill is closed.
  • Remain standing on the lift.
  • Riders must be at least four years of age or 36" tall.

Your Responsibility Code

Your Responsibility Code is a compilation of slope safety rules enforced at all U.S. resorts. All skiers and snowboarders should review and understand this code.

  • Always stay in control, and be prepared to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Trail Designations

Three Rivers promotes responsible recreation area behavior. Know your ability and make yourself familiar with recreation area markings. We recommend skiers and snowboarders begin with the easiest hill or obstacle and work up, no matter their ability level.

All of the trails are designated with the common trail marking symbols found throughout North America:

  • Green circle = easiest
  • Blue square = more difficult
  • Black diamond = most difficult
  • Orange oval = freestyle terrain (may include half-pipes, terrain parks and terrain features

Freestyle Terrain

  • Freestyle terrain areas (marked with an orange oval) may contain jumps, hits, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, half pipes, quarter pipes, snocross, bump terrain and other constructed or natural terrain features.
  • Freestyle terrain is designated by size, not degree of difficulty. Start small and work your way up.
  • Know your limits and ability level. Select freestyle terrain appropriate for you. You assume the risk when using these areas.
  • Your condition, speed, balance, body movements, alignment, trajectory and maneuverability will directly affect your ability to safely navigate freestyle terrain.
  • Know the intended use of the freestyle terrain you have chosen.
  • Observe all signage and warnings. Stay off closed terrain and features.
  • Scope around the jumps. Use your first run as a warm up to familiarize yourself with the terrain.
  • Do not jump blindly. Use a spotter when necessary.
  • Transitions are changes in the shape and pitch of the snow or feature, or changes from one type of sliding surface to another. Transitions can be gentle or abrupt and demand that users be alert and responsive.
  • Know where to land within the landing zone, but understand that even if you land in the correct spot, an improper landing posture can lead to serious injury or death.
  • One person is allowed on a feature at a time. Wait your turn and call your start.
  • Always clear the landing area quickly.
  • Be aware that features change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming, and time of day.
  • Inverted aerials increase your risk of injury and are not recommended.

More information on Freestyle Safety


Drones and other powered toys, gadgets or models are not allowed without a permit.

Ski Lifts

Be advised that you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to negotiate or use the lift safely. If you are unsure, ask for guidance on how to load, ride and unload the lift safely. You may not use a lift or any ski trail when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For information on kids riding lifts, visit the Kids on Lifts website.

Marking Devices

Snowmaking equipment, snowmobiles or grooming or maintenance vehicles may be encountered at any time. Fast and aggressive skiing and riding will not be tolerated. Poles, flags, fencing, signage and padding are used to inform you of the presence or location of a potential obstacle or hazard. These markings do not guarantee your safety and will not protect you from injury. It is your responsibility to avoid all obstacles or hazards.

Helmet Use

Three Rivers Parks encourages you to educate yourself on the benefits and limitations of helmets. Every winter sport participant shares responsibility for his or her safety and that of others using the ski area. For more information on helmets, visit the Lids on Kids website.