Skiing in Alaska: Your Perfect Getaway Waiting to HappenWhen looking for the best ski resorts in Alaska, the first thing that comes to mind is the inseparable link between snow and this US state. Alaska may very well compete with other US states such as Utah, Maine, or Vermont in terms of majestic views and winter or summer sports activities.
Alaska experiences cold temperatures throughout the year, with even summers remaining considerably cold. In fact, temperatures in Alaska go down to as low as 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in winters. This range is already below freezing point.
Consequently, this climate makes the state ideal for winter sports and activities. In fact, since they experience winters for the most part of the year, resorts are almost always ready to entertain tourists looking for adventurous winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
When one is in a setting where snow arrives even during summer, it will surely get tough to choose which among the best ski resorts in Alaska is worthy to spend one’s holiday in. It is not only the weather which one has to keep in mind. There are also many other factors that adventurous skiers consider when planning a skiing holiday.
The first of these being, what skiers expect from their journey. Is it just for a fun day out with friends and family? Or will it involve a more passionate skiing holiday? Usually, skiing in Alaska is divided into different levels in terms of difficulty and in an individual’s level of expertise or interest.
Certainly, the best ski resorts in Alaska should have something to entertain every family member with. Just a reminder, remember to ask the resorts if they allow children or if they have activities suitable for them before planning the trip.
Anyone must think how demanding this entire process of planning a normal ski trip may sound like. To make it a lot easier, below is a compilation of the best ski resorts in Alaska.
Established in 1959, Alyeska Resort in Anchorage is certainly one of the best ski resorts in Alaska. The resort also has a hotel offering of 300 rooms. Its close proximity to the Anchorage International Airport makes it one of the top destinations of skiers from across the globe.
What Makes Alyeska One of the Best Ski Resorts in Alaska
The resort is spread over 1610 skiable acres, functional throughout the winters. The resort has 76 trails and faces up to 669 inches of snow annually. Skiing in Alaska gets even more fun because of the various winter activities it offers.
The resort has 7 chair lifts, 2 high detachable quads, 2 fixed quads, 2 magic carpets, and a 60-passenger aerial tram. These various services make the resort even more exciting than the usual ones.
In addition, Alyeska's steep and deep mountains make it every thrill-seeker’s paradise. They offer open bowls and long top-to-bottom runs for those who want to ski either on an intermediate or advanced level.
However, this does not mean beginners would not enjoy a similar treat. The best ski resorts in Alaska always have something to offer. The Alyeska Resort is no different. There are tree-lined groom runs which will prove to be a perfect option for beginners.
Fortunately, the adventure does not stop here. The resort has a terrain park for individuals who want to take a slight freestyle approach. Join Chugach Powder Guides for a heli-skiing experience in the world-famous Chugach Mountain Range. They have an exclusive use permit area that covers miles of mountain terrain. Expect alpine bowls, giant mountain faces, huge glaciers, and sheltered free skiing.
It that is not enough, you can even try Snowcat skiing. During a typical cat skiing day at Chugach Powder Guides, they average 10,000 vertical feet of skiing over 8 runs.
CAG cat guides draw upon various terrain options, including steeps, open powder fields, and pillows, among many others. Their cat skiing trips depart from outside the Alyeska Resort. Certainly, this is a great convenience for guests.
The Resort is a perfect place to feel at peace and enjoy the weather and setting. It has a comfortable and luxurious hotel which is functional all year round.
The hotel also provides services from a saltwater pool, whirlpool, and a fitness center. Alyeska also has an award-winning restaurant, the Seven Glaciers. If you wish to relax, the hotel features a spa as well, some shops and an easy-to-access open space.
Nevertheless, to keep your trip exciting, the resort has various other events for your entertainment. In fact, their website provides tourists with an event calendar. These events include live musical evenings, mountain competitions, summer kayaking, heli-skiing and much more! It also happens to be an ideal spot for people to host their wedding receptions or meetings at.
Value for Money
Alyeska offers a whole list of services without visitors having to run from place to place. Skiing in Alaska would mean sitting home and sipping a hot coffee while booking a ticket. Rates can be as economical as $100.
In fact, to allow tourists from across the globe a chance to decide if they deserve to be one of the best ski resorts in Alaska, Alyeska offers an online virtual tour of its hotel rooms. This increases the reliability and trust that they wish for their customers to always have in them.
Eaglecrest Ski Area
Eagle Crest Ski area is a community-owned public (controlled by the government) skiing attraction that travelers will find at the Douglas Island in Juneau, Alaska. It's Juneau's winter playground where you can find Alaska's best powder.
What Makes Eaglecrest Special
The area has access to 640 acres of land. As for skiing and winter sports equipment, it has 34 marked Alpine runs, 2 Nordic skiing loops, and 4 double chairlifts. In addition, it offers an amazingly beautiful backcountry.
On average, snow falls between 200 to 500 inches annually and it has a vertical drop of 1400 feet. The levels of difficulty with respect to terrain are classified fairly between the three categories: beginner, intermediate and advanced; with each level getting 20, 40 and 40 percent of land respectively. This feature makes the resort inclusive for all.
Furthermore, what makes the resort stand out is their award-winning snow sports school. The school caters to all age groups and is popular due to its productivity and effectivity. This coincides with the operators' end goal of developing a community of independent, safe and tactical skiers.
The school has a team of the best skiing or snowboarding teachers who make sure that training and lessons go by smoothly. They are also well aware of how to manage kids and individuals who are a little apprehensive at first. The school has a very personalized environment to ensure the comfort of all its attendees.
Finally, Eaglecrest Ski Resort also happens to be the only area within the southeast region that is open for skiing activities.
They also have adult, community and youth programs which are spread over different timelines depending upon the difficulty of the program chosen. To make it even more convenient for attendees, the resort also provides bus service and travels from/to pick up points.
They also have on-site rental, repair, and retail shops. This means you do not have to go elsewhere to get your snow sports kit or to have it fixed. If you do not want to buy ski boards or other snow sports kits, you also have an option to just rent instead.
For forgetful travelers, the retail shop has everything one would need – helmets, snow sports gear, and goggles or gloves, among many others. They also have lockers to ensure safety of the items of all visitors.
Hungry visitors can also visit the Eaglecrest Grill ; or stay at the old tower bar to relax with family and friends. For those who are on the go and would just want a short break or maybe a cup of coffee and quick snacks, Mountain Lift is the best option.
The Eaglecrest ski area offers interested skiers to be part of skiing clubs in case they want to keep or pursue this passion. Finally, lodging rentals are available as well for those who wish to stay overnight or longer.
Hilltop Ski Area
Established in 1984, the Hilltop Ski Area is situated in Anchorage near the Chugach State Park. It also happens to be the perfect place for beginners. Pretty much of their terrain (80%) is designed for those who are just starting to acquaint themselves with the sport. The rest is for the intermediates and advanced skiers.
What Makes Hilltop Ski Area Special
Hilltop has a triple Riblet chairlift, a handle tow, and a platter lift spread over 30 acres of land. Other interesting facilities are the Karl Eid Ski Jump Complex, with 15-, 40-, and 60-meter jumps.
The area also consists of two parks; the Hillside and Bicentennial parks. They feature trails as long as 12 kilometers, and Nordic skiing opportunities for up to 32 kilometers.
They also have a competitive program called Hart for those who want to develop their skiing skills. The exposure helps participants work on the fundamental aspects of skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
In addition, it also develops their athletic skills. Ski racing is not only for older individuals but rather has various levels to it. This is due to the different levels of competitiveness and difficulty participants are willing to engage themselves in.
The Hilltop Ski Area also has a ski school designed to cater to varying needs and requests. They offer ski and snowboarding lessons for adults and young children, private lessons, and freestyle and kinder ski training.
They also have hot doggers for children trying to learn how to ski after their school hours. Plus a mogul moose program during the weekends. They offer an equipment rental service too. All these with the goal of making skiing in Alaska a memorable experience for everyone.
They also rent out chalets for various occasions such as weddings, fancy meetings, birthdays, anniversaries or picnics. Alongside that, the ski area provides its customers access to disc golf during the summers. The best part about this service is that it is economical and almost everyone can play it.
Value for Money
The resort is luckily extremely economical and feasible. In fact, even for individuals above 19 years of age, the weekend ticket price for 9 am to 5 pm is only $34.
They have different value deals for students, children, and families. Examples are their package specials, night owl promos, and seasonal packages. Most noteworthy, a 10-day pass costs only $260 for adults.
Best Ski Resorts in Alaska: A Multitude of Choices
The Ski area is located near Fairbanks in Alaska. Spread over 200 skiable acres, the resort is ideal mostly for intermediate or advanced level skiers. This is due to its terrain which is most suitable for the said levels.
The area has a vertical rise of 1300 feet and an annual snowfall of 70 inches. It has 42 trails. Equipment rentals are allowed as well.
Mount Eyak Ski Area
Known as Alaska’s ‘Greatest little resort’, Mount Eyak Ski Area is located in Cordova. It is currently operated by a single chairlift and has 30 trails. The area has a vertical rise of 800 feet and faces an annual snowfall of 350 inches. It is also well distributed – with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels getting 20, 60 and 20 percent of the terrain, respectively.
Mt. Aurora Ski Land
Also in Fairbanks, Mt. Aurora Ski Land is known to have the farthest chairlift in North America. It also has nearby lodging facilities for meals and overnight stays. The best part of the resort is the view of the famous northern lights. An ideal getaway experience after skiing.
The resort has a vertical rise of 1027 feet and is spread across 100 skiable acres. The trail difficulty is distributed among beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, each level occupying 20, 40 and 40 percent of the terrain, respectively.
Best Ski Resorts in Alaska: Find Your Hidden Gem
Skiing in Alaska can be an absolute treat. While the best ski resorts across the globe offer their fair share of attractions, you can always find your dream destination in this state.
In addition, while the Alyeska Resort is the state’s premier ski resort, the other resorts are near the coast. Thus, they produce ideal snow conditions as well. The best time to plan your skiing trip is between February and April. However, since most of the resorts welcome visitors outside these months, you should be able to find your hidden gem where you can unleash your adventurous spirit.