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Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing in Alaska is outrageous; high mountaintops situated at sea level create some of the best snow conditions Mother Nature can offer.

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A snowboarder gets some serious air off a ledge at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.
A snowboarder gets some serious air off a ledge at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. ©Alyeska Resort/Simon Evans

The Alaska slopes that spawned Olympic gold and silver medalist Tommy Moe and bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher, hosted Olympic champions Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn and served as an early training ground for up and coming Olympic snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sifsof are all yours as well.

Skiers and snowboarders have three choices for alpine skiing within 45 minutes of downtown Anchorage – all of which offer stunning views, something for every skill level and the most awesome terrain found anywhere. The long season includes enough daylight to ski for an average of 7.5 hours a day in December and a stunning 16 hours a day in April.

Anchorage Ski Areas

Beginners and those short on time can zip to Hilltop Ski Area. Tucked neatly into the southeast corner of Anchorage, Hilltop is just 15 minutes from downtown. Skiers and snowboarders glide down the gentle slopes that weave against the base of Chugach State Park, while snowboarders hone their aerial skills on the popular “Mongoline,” a permanent halfpipe. Adjacent to Hilltop are the Karl Eid ski jumping facility and the Nordic trails of Far North Bicentennial Park.

Arctic Valley ski area is just 10 miles north of downtown at the end of Arctic Valley Road. Originally established for military recreation in the 1940s, the valley’s powder-filled courses take the serious or amateur skier or snowboarder through four open bowls, a terrain park and 25 trails holding 250 inches of annual snowfall. Two chair lifts and a T-bar deliver snow seekers to 1,214 vertical feet of mountain madness.

Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier ski resort, which has been recognized as one of the top 25 ski destinations by Skiing Magazine. It boasts 650 inches of average annual snowfall, 2,500 vertical feet of diverse terrain over 1,400 skiable acres and an alpine ski season that can stretch past 150 days.

Alyeska caters to all abilities, but it’s the area’s legendary “steep and deep” powder that entices skiers from all over the world. Beginners will love Chair 3’s gentle runs; intermediate and advanced skiers will adore the tree-lined middle slopes and wide bowls, while stronger skiers can go to the North Face to carve turns on North America’s longest continuous double-black runs. Freestylers can check out the features of a pair of terrain parks or hit the Alyeska Superpipe.

Throw in the Girdwood après ski scene with the Sitzmark Bar & Grill, The Bake Shop at Alyeska and dinner spots such as Double Musky and Jack Sprat, and you've got yourself an irresistible ski destination.

Backcountry and Heli-Skiing

Head into the wilds of Alaska via helicopter or snowcat for untouched powder and some of the most spectacular and accessible backcountry skiing in North America. Send up plumes in the 700,000 acres of skiable powder in the Chugach Range, or enjoy the rare treat of carving turns in the Tordrillos, just miles away from North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley. When the day is done, retire to a remote lodge or plush hotel, dine on Alaska specialties and relive the day’s unforgettable experiences.